I'm Not Tired: International CFS/SEID/ME Awareness Day
May 12, 2015
Tomorrow, my sister Michelle and I will embark on a ten-week health overhaul, a candida/digestive health program from www.thewholejourney.com. It add...
April 25, 2015
From this point, I am adding more structure to this blog. On Saturdays, I'll give a general update on Michelle's and my progress with our illnesses a...
Creative Time Management Series
June 7, 2015
Back to Basics: The Energy Envelope
June 16, 2015
One of the key elements in any SEID recovery plan is calculating and staying within one's energy envelope. The basic idea of the energy envelope is a simple one: if you spend more energy than you have, then you've stepped outside your energy envelope and will experience an increase in symptoms. However, if you honor yo boundaries and live within your energy envelope, you can reduce flares and enjoy more consistent energy levels.
Then it gets more complicated. SEID is an unpredictable illness, and my energy envelope this summer may look different from my energy envelope later this year. A change in circumstances, such as a different job or change in workload can also affect how much activity time I can spend before experiencing an increase in symptoms. I often struggle to accept that I have a smaller energy envelope during a flare, especially if it comes after a period when my health had seemed to improve, since I'm used to performing at higher level and hate to admit defeat.
RIght now, after riding a performance-crash rollercoaster of a semester, I'm in the process of re-evaluating my energy envelope, which is really a collection of a bunch of tiny envelopes. To do this, I am logging my activities, noticeable symptoms, and energy level on a scale of 1-10 a few times each day for three weeks. Along the way, I am observing the relationship between activity and energy in the following categories, divided further into different activities:
*Downtime: resting (eyes closed) vs. reading vs. watching TV
*Creativity: non-physical creative work vs. playing piano
*Physical Activity: playing piano vs. exercising vs. errands vs. cooking
*Social Activity: talking to one person vs. a group of people
*Events: church vs. parties vs. other special events vs. performances
At the end of my three weeks, I'll blog my findings of my energy envelope for the above activities, my basic envelope for each category, and my general energy envelope for the total amount of work I can sustain on a daily basis. This will give me a clear idea of how much work I can take on in the fall, and it will give me a baseline so I can set goals to expand my energy envelope in the months ahead!