Let’s Be Real About Fatigue Slumps

January 30, 2020 2 Comments
Life with a brain tumour and fatigue. Hospital building MFT

Let’s Be Real About Fatigue Slumps

January 30, 2020 2 Comments

Our house has been plagued by persistent illnesses of late. 

A sickness bug and semi-flu like colds that we keep passing back and forth: unable to shift. Add in teething, some sleepless nights and seizures (me, not Dylan) and I’m absolutely knackered. 

Today, actually, it’s fair to say I’m properly fatigued. It’s hard to explain what fatigue feels like. Its muggy and heavy and normal things require more effort than they should. No amount of lemon water, kale or a hundred turmeric lattes will fix it. And sleep doesn’t actually help much either.

A large proportion of mums have returned to work at this point. And I’m very aware that I’m fortunate to remain on maternity leave whilst also having Dylan in nursery 2 days a week. 

We¬†do, unfortunately,¬†seem¬†to¬†spend¬†an¬†inordinate¬†amount of¬†time¬†in hospital waiting rooms‚Ķ¬†but¬†I¬†think¬†he‚Äôs¬†used¬†to¬†it now – and so am I!¬†The 2 days at nursery give me a chance to do uninterrupted physio stuff (I also don’t feel too bad about it because he has loads of fun and by the amount he eats its clear the chef is a much better cook than me!).

I will, of course, be picking up freelance work again soon and by soon I mean in the next couple of months.

As I quite literally flopped onto the sofa this morning to have a little rest, I thought about the things Health Visitors and Midwives tell new mums (certainly in the early weeks and months) the say that we are best placed to sleep when the baby sleeps (!) , carve out some time for ourselves (ha Рgood luck with that!). And the housework? That can definitely wait.

It’s all good advice. But the problem is it’s not very feasible. But it can, I think, be applied to attempting to manage bouts of fatigue.

Its muggy and heavy and normal things require way more effort than they should

I¬†recently¬†asked¬†my¬†Instagram followers¬†for their¬†tips¬†for dealing with life overload¬†(house stuff combined with a baby and medical appointments, etc., etc.)¬†and the resounding advice¬†was¬†to¬†strip¬†things¬†back to the bare minimum.¬†Lower standards on housework¬†(Even as a temporary measure…¬†Say, in a busy week.).¬†And crucially¬†(to try to)¬†not to feel bad about it.

‚ÄúBe kind to yourself,‚Ä̬†the¬†Insta¬†quotes¬†proclaim.¬†Perhaps¬†it‚Äôs¬†not such a¬†cliche¬†after all?

I think I might treat myself to¬†shaving¬†my¬†legs¬†this¬†week!!¬†(And¬†before you¬†think¬†wtf¬†– it’s a ‘treat’ because I can‚Äôt¬†do¬†them standing up in the¬†shower¬†due to rubbish balance, I¬†have¬†to sit down somewhere and have my left (weak leg) up on a stool and two hands free to maneuver which makes it feel more of a¬†big¬†job!!).

For¬†now¬†though,¬†wish¬†me¬†luck¬†submitting¬†my tax return.¬†I’m almost done which with just a day until the¬†deadline,¬†it’s¬†safe¬†to¬†say¬†I‚Äôm¬†cutting¬†it¬†fine.¬†You’ll find me eating¬†ALLLLL¬†the¬†biscuits for the remainder of the morning.

Once I’m feeling a bit less fatigued I’ll be back to share some tips for managing brain tumour (and epilepsy) related fatigue. It would seem a bit rich in the midst of a deepening slump myself. So I’ll save it for another day when my brain works.

If you’re reading this and feel a bit the same then be safe in the knowledge that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And in the meantime, you’ll find some excellent resources below.

Be back soon.

Sar X

Brain Tumour Charity


Macmillan Cancer Support

Image: the cheeriest building on the Manchester NHS Foundation Trust site.


  • Ruth Boaden January 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    HI Sarah, Didn’t get a chance to reply to your request on Insta re doing less/coping but read this blog (https://makingitmindful.com/category/book-reviews/) about this book (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Do-Less-Revolutionary-Approach-Management/dp/1401954987) and/or podcast https://open.spotify.com/episode/3DAHBJLoldxJviAoaJFjUN?si=CFuyOHLgTZmcp4XDhGuwGQ) Sounds like it might be helpful (and now I need to read it too!). Do keep in touch
    Ruth xx

    • SarahGaffney January 30, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks Ruth! This sounds useful. Will check it out. I’ve also been looking for new podcasts so great timing X

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