(N24) Sickness & When Things Go Awry


Like with anyone else, sickness can play havoc with my day to day life. The number one thing that suffers the most, is my sleep pattern.

This will be displayed in one of two ways

  1. Lots of sleep: Meaning, the amount of time i’ll spend sleeping, will increase. This is actually one of the worst things, because it means my day could be considerably much longer than the 24 hours. Which means that i may not be well enough, sleep wise, to go to work. I might not be able to keep any appointments i’m due to attend around that time.
  2. Not much sleep: The better of the two, technically. As it means i may be more liable to be able to go to work, and get stuff done, with a bit of assistance and patience.

The best thing to do in this situation, is to just leave me to it. Give me oodles of sympathy, cuddles….gifts…whatever. But in terms of helping with my sleep pattern, let me deal with it myself – i have more experience 😉

Things that happen

Sometimes incidents or events may emerge, that may mean i’m having to stay up longer, or i’m upset and stressed out. It’s mostly the latter. But occasionally, my body will throw a ‘tantrum’, and for no reason at all, will just throw my sleep pattern out the window.

Sometimes talking helps, to figure out what it is. But i’m so used to this happening by now, i know what i need to do. Please don’t interfere, even after reading this. I know you may think you’re helping, but it can make it more difficult.

Basically what i do, is keep the timing of my sleep medication the same, keep my sleep routine the same. But also i will look at, what is causing it, and ways around or resolving it. Mostly it’s being patient, and let things work out for themselves.

Sometimes it may mean i have to take some time off work. But i try not to with that, because it can cause problems in work. I like routine, which I’ve mentioned before in a older blog entry, and so if i have too much time off in a short space of time…it may start off another ‘internal’ routine which can be hard to break. My mind will be compulsed to stay at home, and i will get a little voice in my head encouraging me with this. It’s not good.

So i try and keep time off, as short as possible.

On the flipside though, having a break from a job, and coming back a few months later can be excellent. I can have a bit of a reset, energy wise. Instead of having to take a day or two off, regularly. But the cause behind this, needs to be resolved. So it may be the hours i’m working, the time of day, the duties i’m doing, the journey to work might be very tiring – adding to what would be an already tiring day.

These things need to be addressed. In the past, i tried various different jobs. Most of them started in the morning, and i felt that i could do them, because it was only one day, or it was only a few hours, it was nearby, etc. Every time, though, i was deluding myself to what i could actually cope with. Consequently what would happen is, the tiredness would roll on from one day to the next, and the next. Never really getting the rest i needed before the next day i worked. After a couple of months, i would find it struggle to function, on any day – whether i was working or not. And everything would suffer, i would get ill, my mental health would suffer and the challenges that autism brings on a daily basis – becomes harder to deal with.

Ultimately i had to leave these jobs. So on my CV, I’ve been left with a patchy work history. Some employers see it as a commendable thing, because it shows me trying. But most, just see it as me being an unreliable employee.

There’s being tired, and there’s being Tired.

A lot of people when i try and tell them about this, tend not to understand so well. I think, they see it as me being a bit of a whiner and/or lazy. Everyone gets tired, of course we do. But the type of tired i get, where i can’t work or struggle to function, goes beyond that.

The type of tired i get, i wouldn’t be able to go out after work to let my hair down. I wouldn’t even be able to stand, without falling over or throwing up. And this doesn’t go away as the day goes on. I don’t ‘wake up’ from it. It continues all day, and can pass on to consecutive days.

A common symptom of N24 is chronic fatigue. Even simple tasks, such as taking a bus journey to work, can really tire us out! How you feel at the end of a long day, is how we would feel at the beginning of it.