Fatigue from chronic illness
I'd be interested in having a discussion with others who have chronic illnesses, especially autoimmune diseases, that cause significant fatigue.
I have adrenal insufficiency (either the adrenal glands don't produce cortisol or the pituitary gland doesn't tell the adrenals to do their job - either way, my cortisol level without replacement is 0) and post-Graves Disease hypothyroidism (my thyroid was killed to treat the Graves), as well as a a serious cardiac arrhythmia and Raynaud's Syndrome (which doesn't cause fatigue, I know).
I am on the correct levels of replacement hormones, as shown by frequent blood tests, and I have an implanted cardiac defibrillator (which includes a pacemaker) to protect me from dangerously high and low heart rates, but am plagued by bouts of terrible fatigue, the kind where I sit slack-mouthed and can't put two sentences together. Which is bad, because I'm a criminal defense lawyer. (I'm better in the morning, which is when I'm usually in court.) It doesn't happen every day, but when it does, I just don't know what to do with myself, other than sleep, which I usually can't do. (Even if I can, it doesn't help much. I'm not sleepy, I'm exhausted.)
I exercise regularly, sleep 7-8 hours a night, don't smoke or use drugs, rarely drink alcohol, and eat pretty well (which means I eat all the right stuff and some of the wrong stuff), but nothing seems to help. My doctors, who are all well-respected in their fields, tell me that I'm doing great for someone with my medical problems, and that I have to expect a certain constant level of fatigue.
I'm just wondering whether others of you with similar problems might have some tips or ideas that could help. Or maybe just commiserate.:)