Posts filed under fatigue

Resurrection. Part 2: General Symptoms.

Filed in General, HealthTags: ,

I can remember several experiences over the last ten years that were brought about by my ailment. I can remember them vividly because they were quite severe, and I'll describe some of them for you in the next chapter of this series. In today's chapter however, I'll quickly describe some of the general symptoms I've experienced.

Fatigue was a big problem. I felt tired for most of the day on most days. Even if I slept for an extra two or three hours during the day, I would still feel tired. One result of the perpetual fatigue was that I was almost always passive rather than pro-active. This was probably why I was able to continue my work at TVB, because they'd call me up to go to work and I'd go. It was that simple. On the other hand, trying to actively prepare for engagements, or walk out the door to exercise, or even prepare breakfast was extremely hard to do.

Watching tv became a big part of my life because watching tv is the easiest passive activity on Earth. Procrastination also became a way of life because I didn't have the energy to actively work on those tasks that were most urgent. This didn't mean that I didn't get any work done, but it did mean that the most urgent work was normally left until the last minute.

My body also suffered. Over the years, injury and illness became more common. Before the programming incident, I was rarely ill. During the last three or four years however, I found myself mildly ill for many months at a time. Healing was also a problem such that running or weight lifting did not lead to healthier larger muscles as it should have, and led to injuries instead. Looking back, I suspect that this was also an ingredient in my vocal problems; even though I trained, my vocal cords were not able to build strength as they would normally do.

My moods were unpredictable. There were times when my body felt as if it had hoarded large quantities of adrenaline, so much so that I wanted to explode. This unfortunately and regrettably led to uncontrollable, unnecessary and unreasonable rage, most of it in the privacy of our home. I remember raging uncontrollably and knowing in my mind at that very moment that the rage was completely unjustified but unable to stop regardless. There was a period of time when it was very very difficult for my family to be with me. Happily, those days are far behind us now although they'll never be forgotten.

Next time, I'll describe some of the individual experiences I remember. I think you'll find them intriguing. And then in a later chapter, I'll tell you what I think the ailment is.

Take care all.

Resurrection. Part 1: The Beginning.

Filed in General, HealthTags: , ,

Almost 10 years ago, I succumbed to a debilitating physical/physiological problem that nobody could diagnose or treat correctly.

At the time, I was writing software to aid database developers who worked with the FileMaker database system. I spent day after day working on it for months. Many programmers will tell you that it's difficult to pull yourself away from a project once you get involved, and I often spent 12 to 15 hours a day working on the software. Most nights, I slept only 3 or 4 hours, and not very soundly because one ear was kept open while I slept to listen for fights and incidents involving a village puppy I'd befriended earlier in the year.

After 3 or 4 months of this schedule, my body gave up and I lost the ability to do anything conscientiously. It was a hard time for my family. I saw a doctor and was promptly prescribed anti-depression medication because my ailment was not understood and therefore deemed to be psychosomatic in nature. People around me and at TVB were telling me to buck up, get back in the game, stop moping, pull yourself together, etc. They simply didn't understand, and that's the biggest problem with this ailment; nobody understands it except those who have experienced it personally.

The symptoms are terrible and life changing. You feel exhausted and fatigued all day every day. You are unable to do anything that your responsibilities dictate should be done. Hormonal rage becomes an unpredictable part of daily life. And for me, stage nerves transformed into stage terror. This was perhaps the most serious symptom for me because where I once loved performing on stage, I was now in fear of it, or rather in fear of the terror that I would probably experience on the stage. It was extremely debilitating (and life threatening) and there were many occasions when I considered giving up performing because I felt so tired, and more importantly to avoid the fear and the terror.

A mystery to me, I was still able to function at TVB although it was very strenuous trying to maintain the energy in my characters while on set. I distinctly remember my role as Marco Polo, thinking at the time that Marco Polo would probably have been an extraordinary man with unlimited energy, intelligence and curiosity, and then using every ounce of my limited energy to try and portray that in the character. It was hard.

The last 10 years have been very difficult, but my family and I survived and it's almost over.

In August this year, I flew to L.A. to begin recording my album. While in L.A., I was suddenly besieged by multiple sources of significant stress; health, financial, responsibility. Where most healthy people would be able to continue with their lives, my body's reaction was instead pronounced. The muscles in my upper body, shoulders and neck all responded by tensing up as hard as possible. This included the muscles in my throat, and I was no longer able to sing. I saw a wonderful ENT specialist in L.A., and extended my stay by two weeks in the hope that I'd recover and be able to record my songs, but I didn't recover and the recording had to be postponed indefinitely.

Since then, I've reflected and analysed these past years since the programming period 10 years ago, and I've realised that my body in its current condition is unable to handle stress. If I'm to turn my life around, accomplish worthy goals and fulfil my dreams, I will need to cure my body and make it strong again.

Fortunately, I may have discovered the true nature of my ailment, and that makes it possible to repair my body. The healing has started and the future is beginning to look bright!

More later.