but why is that? when we see a doctor about a headache, we generally don’t get told that everyone gets headaches (even though almost everyone does), that we should man-up and soldier on. there is usually some kind of discussion about symptoms, maybe treatment suggestions or tests booked. and yet, for some reason, complaints about fatigue, no matter how distressing, tend to be brushed off and rationalized by blaming the patient — you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re not eating right, you’re not exercising enough, you’re too stressed, you’re drinking too much, you’re dehydrated.
there’s no question that fatigue can be a hard thing to diagnose and treat, particularly in people who have health conditions and are on medication — no one ever seems to know if the exhaustion is caused by the condition or the meds, and even if the reason could be nailed down, besides perhaps adjusting the treatment, there’s often not much that can be done about it. it becomes a bit of a suck-it-up-buttercup situation. lousy.
the other thing about fatigue is that it’s frustratingly nebulous. it’s not a tangible lump, bump or pain that can be felt, scanned or removed. it can’t be detected with a blood test. it’s invisible to the person who sees you for two seconds in their office, tapping their foot and checking their phone as you rattle off symptoms. yet, for people experiencing fatigue, it’s right there with them, all-consuming, ever-present cement shoes that make it excruciatingly difficult to have quality of life.