Is There A Stimulus Package to Help My Deficit?

I’ve been continuously moved by this link since I saw it yesterday. It’s from and it’s good. I seriously can’t stop thinking about it. It’s been like a smack in the head. All day long. I get it. Really. I just don’t know how to apply it.

Dr. Sarah Myhill asserts that healthy people have 1000 pounds of energy per day, and people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or other Lyme Like illnesses) have 100 pounds to spend. Okay. I can live with that. My body makes me live with that EVERY single day. Day in and day out, I have 1/10 of the energy that most people have per day. Okay. Radical Acceptance. Got that.

But then, she goes on to say that people like me need to bank at least 20 pounds of that energy every day in order to actually heal.


I go back and forth between accepting that as true, and just being really angry about it. FIRST, I only get 1/10 of the energy most people get to do what the world expects of us as societal members. And then, I have to hold 1/5 of that pittance in reserve or I’m operating in a serious deficit. Okay. Fine. I’ll accept that.

Truth: I am so far in healing debt, and I have no idea how to get out.

What the hell does that look like to hold 20 pounds in reserve? I’ve never been particularly good at math, but every way I try to add it up, it doesn’t mesh.

I try to use that 1/10 that I get to do it all. Raise my family, make money, eat, go to medical appointments, fight for services that other disabled people get without much effort. There’s no time for rest, unless my body or my blood pressure makes me. There’s little interaction with the healthy world. And I rarely go ANYWHERE that isn’t required by my illness.

And even with those cut backs, I operate in a deficit every single day.

I keep thinking about Ruth Hayden, who is an amazing financial person who works with Women and Money and sometimes with Couples and Money. I’ve taken classes with her and she lays it out in simple terms. You have X amount of income and X amount of expense, and you have to make them match. You do that by EITHER making more income or by reducing expenses. Or both. It is simple math.

I’m trying to apply that concept to my available energy. I reduce expenses and gain more energy. Simple math. But somehow, with a tired body screaming at me. . . and so much that has to get done, I just don’t see the equation working out.

I’ll take any advice you have to offer me. What would YOU do if you went from having 1,000 pounds of energy to spend to having 80. How would you live your life differently?

Help me with my deficit reduction plan. I’m all ears.


4 responses to “Is There A Stimulus Package to Help My Deficit?

  1. I’ve never seen anything written about the estimates about reduced energy and CFS, nor about the need to conserve that energy for healing that you’ve just written about. Good to know about them, I think they hugely help quantify a profound issue otherwise hard to describe and even harder to understand and accept. And they are both absolutely consistent with what I’ve seen, heard about, and experienced myself.

    The resulting tug – to be productive and meet one’s life obligations with shockingly fewer resources than others, yet to also zealously guard that precious capital needed to get better – is I think an essential dilemma which CANNOT ever come into balance. Trying to balance an equation which cannot be balanced made me crazy, because I kept trying different configurations endlessly, when, truly, I believe now, none would work.

    When I finally crashed, I gave up trying to balance that real but impossible equation, accepted that it sucked, as big-time and unfair and wrong as it could possibly be, stopped all the pretending to others and to myself that I was sort of healthy, whittled responsibilities down to practically zero, timing them for best effect, and gave my body what it wanted, when it wanted it. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t understand what I was doing, I had just run out of options. Did that make me better? I cannot say, I only know that I am much better now.

    And there were plenty of other resources in there, too, since my sole commitment for that year was improvement. There was good, regular chiropractic care, a new nutritional and supplementation approach, a trip to China for an intensive 2-week Qigong retreat, and later that year, 11 sessions with a powerful healer in New York. Then I added an herbal remedy and zapping. I used retirement funds to fund all of these, because even with the early-withdrawal penalties, it was still the best investment I could make.

    It would have been wonderful if I’d had someone in my life who was supportive, but I think my then-husband just didn’t get it, and perhaps wasn’t fully persuaded that I wasn’t a malingerer or happy to have others do tasks rather than do them myself. Since everyone who knows me knows the word ‘lazy’ has never applied, I assume he just had difficulty with the concept of such a ‘woo-woo’ kind of illness. But perhaps knowing I was truly alone against this helped me lurch into action and commit to not stop finding answers and improvement.

    Sorry this is so long and so much about my experience. I very much hope to see you lifted up, happy, and well once again.

  2. Hello again!
    Having read the article you’ve mentioned, I agree completely. I’ve always worked on the principle that my energy is like money in the bank – if you haven’t got any in, you can’t take it out! If I over-do it, there’s a price to be paid with pain and exhaustion, so put money in the bank beforehand to help compensate! Pacing is the KEY on a daily basis, but if I do over-do it, then rest afterwards, more than normally, to put the money (energy) back in the bank! Learn to read your body and take appropriate action when necessary.. ie – go to bed when necessary!
    Not much money in the bank at the moment, as I’m having a flare-up, so need to keep this very short.

    Take care and hope this is helpful
    Chris x

  3. Jeanne – I see the problem. Not good.
    Question: Are you sure that CFS principles apply to Lyme and co-infections? Or do you have diagnosed CFS? Or…?
    I think the answer is (1) It will really help when you get on disability; (2) Do the best you can now, even if it’s not ideal; (3) Ask you inner wisdom what that might look like.
    I’m thinking that, if you’re genuinely hurting yourself by operating the way you are (running an energy deficit, when you need a positive balance to recover), that’s just not a sane choice. Would you take a small amount of a lethal poison every day if that temporarily let you do accomplish more? Wouldn’t that be penny wise and pound foolish?
    You could think about it from the point of view of the future you want to create for yourself and your family (i.e. moving toward recovery). Neither you nor they would want you to not recover. You’re doing huge, messy treatment regimes to recover. Why not assume that you can (gradually?) get your mind around the wisdom of this new information, and find a path to putting it into play?
    Obviously it won’t be an easy adjustment. And maybe it’s not time to do less yet. But if it’s what the Universe (and your kids) need you to do, then there can be a will. And where there’s a will…

    • There’s a way. I was denied for disability at the hearing level. It took three years. We have a year or two more to wait for the appeal. And then, if we win, yay! In the meantime, I’ve applied again. I just met a woman who has the same dx as I do, and she got disability on the first try. It’s all in how your doctor words the records, and which ones the clinic sends out. : (

      CFS is very often misdiagnosed lyme. I got a diagnosis of CFS from our buddy, Steve several years ago. Yep. It’s very similar. Not all CFS is undiagnosed lyme, but there seem to always be undiagnosed viral/bacterial players, sometimes XMRV. It’s such a rubik’s cube.

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