I’m Tired. A Lot. Here’s How I Deal
A majority of women with endometriosis report experiencing extreme fatigue, a recent study shows.1 In other news, the sky is blue. I felt both vindicated and sad when I came across these findings. I had held out hope for my endo sisters that maybe it was just me who was tired all the time.
I don’t fall asleep in the middle of the day, and I couldn’t take a nap even if I tried. It’s not that I’m sleepy, it’s more that my body gets really exhausted. It sometimes feels like I’ve worked out without hitting the gym or like maybe I’m about to get the flu. It’s particularly bad if if I’m anywhere in my luteal phase: the time of your cycle after ovulation but before your period starts.
My doctor has checked my thyroid and B-12 levels more times than I remember. I’m the picture of health according to my most recent blood work, my doctor told me. So while I can’t offer a magic cure for tiredness, I can share how I manage.
I track my period
My pain and exhaustion wax and wane with my menstrual cycle, and I track my symptoms — like fatigue, cramps, and irritability — with a period app. (I use Period Tracker, but there are plenty of others out there.) Gathering years of data has helped me pinpoint when I’m most likely to experience low energy. It also helped me figure out when I feel best: a few days after my period starts up until I ovulate.
So the first two weeks of the month are when I load up my schedule. It’s when I (try to) tackle work projects, plan any kind of intense physical activity, or do anything else that needs a lot of energy.
I talk about it
I’ve been with my now husband for about about 13 years. He is well versed in everything endometriosis. He knows that if I’m 10 days away from my period, I’m probably going to need a little more time to conquer that 8-mile hike. Or maybe we just need to stay in and binge Netflix that weekend. I also don’t beat myself if I’m too tired for a night out or a 30-minute run. I know once my period starts, I can get back to conquering that HIIT routine. But when I need a break, I take it and I don’t feel bad about it. And neither should you.
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if it was endo related?