Inspired by Bruce Campbell’s recovery I intend to estimate my energy envelope every few months. I know I’ve improved over the last six months and I wish I had done this back in February so I had concrete evidence of my improvement for motivation. Better late than never.
The definition of the energy envelope I use is the same as the definition of one’s baseline in Alex Howard’s book Decode your Fatigue–it is the level of activity that can be consistently performed every day and leave some energy in the tank for robustness and recovery, and, crucially, avoid Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM). These limits are an indication of what I can manage on days without PEM.
|Sleep Required||8 1/2 hours, in bed around 10pm.|
|Daytime Rest Required||30-40 minutes on most days, sometimes more.|
|Activity||3 hours a day. Activities like errands, cooking & housework OK in moderation.|
|Exercise||40 minutes walking OK, careful with hills. 135bpm peaks max.|
|Reading & Computer||Reading OK most of time, but must limit time on computer to ~40 mins.|
|Driving||Limit about 2 hours, sometimes tired after 30 minutes.|
|Standing||Limit 1 hour, whether walking, shopping, cooking.|
|Socializing||Usually OK with one person or small group for ~1 hour, but respond strongly to some people and vulnerable to stressful encounters.|
|Video/voice calls||45 mins max.|
|Other Illnesses||Low IgA and repeated infections (cellulitis from insect bites, oral candida, UTIs). Gut pain with extra fatigue.|
|Mental health||More stable than late 2021. Challenges around meaning, grief/loss, loneliness. Weekly/daily despair and thoughts of suicide. Stress around seeing doctors and not being understood.|
|Stressors||Life mostly stable at present, thankfully.|
|Food||Food intolerances (grains, histamine, beef steak, egg) and sensitivities (sugar, caffeine, alcohol).|
|Sense Data||Sound sensitivity can make some things unbearable, e.g. noisy restaurants/shops/music. Films and TV sometimes overwhelming. Technical info sometimes overwhelming.|