By Julie Holliday in Pro Health.
With an energy-limiting chronic illness like ME/CFS, a key to being as well as possible is to make sure you don’t use more energy than you readily have available to you (sometimes called your “energy envelope”). When you push past your limits, your cells have to use a different method to produce energy, and this emergency energy production always leads to a substantial worsening of symptoms, also known as post-exertional malaise (PEM)––one of the key symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
So what is pacing? Simply speaking, pacing is a way of taking care with how you use your energy so that it doesn’t run out. Although it sounds simple, it involves learning many new skills that were never needed before ME/CFS and unlearning old ways of being that no longer work for us.
Pacing is a word that inspires a mixed reaction in me. It brings feelings of not being able to do what I want and lack of spontaneity. It also brings the irritation of having to be disciplined in order to pull it off. Pacing for ME/CFS involves all of the practice and self-denial involved in mastering any kind of complex skill set. But ultimately, I know I have a much better life because of it, and it gives me a very important (if not fragile) sense of control over my well-being.
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: