Fatigue & the heat wave – by Mark Koning

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There is a saying, “no two brain injuries are a like”. This is true, every acquired brain injury is different, just as we all, as humans, are different. But as we also share things in common, so do these ABI’s. One thing in particular that I have heard from a few individuals, and also deal with myself, is fatigue.

Like brain injury, fatigue is invisible, and I find is constantly hiding in the shadows; lurking in the corners of the brain I suppose. It seems to be ready to jump into action at any given time of the day and it is incurable by a simple nap.

Fatigue =extreme drowsiness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.

I’m not so sure if people get the kind of effect fatigue can have on someone living with a brain injury, it can be draining. I find that it comes in waves and at various levels; low, mild, extreme. But regardless, it is never really a pleasant experience being haunted by this silent paralyzer. It is disorienting. One could almost wonder how much worse it possibly get?

The past summer of 2016 was the hottest year on record, beating out the previous year, which was pretty hot itself. Heat and humidity, a lethal combination; and an instigator of fatigue.When these things collide it can get and feel pretty brutal. And as much asthe summer months (to me) feel like they cruise along quite quickly, the days themselves seemto be drawn out and prove to be hard fought… if that makes sense.

While I’m not sure about the exact way to beat this devastating duo of fatigue and the heat wave, I know that there is one. Perhaps it is inner strength; maybe it is just knowing how to slow yourself down and breathe; maybe it is going for a nice cool swim or taking a cold shower.Regardless of how staggering it can get, like with many things, I will get through it and survive. I’m sure any of us who come up against these monsters can do the same.

Sometimes I wonder, though, which is harder? Dealing with the fatigue or dealing with the fact that others don’t get why I’m dealing with the fatigue. Maybe it is me not always telling people that I’m trying to deal with the fatigue. Wow, that’s confusing… but that is also brain injury.


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