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Is this a crash?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by bananabas, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. bananabas

    bananabas Senior Member

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    After my morning activies, I often end up lying on the couch, unable to think of anything (or to do anything, even light reading), with my eyes closed but not really sleeping, trying to warm my icy-cold hands by placing them between my thighs. This usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

    Is this what you guys call a crash in ME lingo?
     
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  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    I don't think there is a clear definition, but I would say no, crashes are worse and take longer to recover from. Several days to weeks, in some cases months or years.

    They are also called flare ups and resemble the worsening of symptoms seen in autoimmune diseases.
     
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  3. bananabas

    bananabas Senior Member

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    OK, so what is it then? I've had this for years and found no explanation so far.

    Does anyone else experience this? It's like I need to "turn off the world" every now and then in order to be able to continue.

    PS: some nausea is also usually present at that point.
     
  4. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

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    That is definitely what I would consider a mini crash. Always a sign that i've overdone it. Could you perhaps pace your morning activities a bit better?
     
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  5. bananabas

    bananabas Senior Member

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    I can definately try. So far I am doing like 1 hour of computer work, then breakfast, then 3 hours of computer work, then this "thing" hits me.
     
  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    It's not PEM. But yeah, you could call it a "crash". I agree that pacing is the best way to try to prevent this. I avoid during too much in the mornings. I also avoid talking too much and taking showers in the morning.
     
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  7. bananabas

    bananabas Senior Member

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    I just thought pacing generally applies to physical exertion, but maybe I should consider applying it also to mental exertion (i.e. sitting in front of the computer).
     
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  8. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    In general terms crash = PEM (post exertional malaise)
    Note PEM doesn't distinguish between physical and mental exertion. Some of the more severe PWME can get PEM just from sitting up in their beds for a while.

    30-60mins is a very short time. Even when I was healthy I used to rest more than that every afternoon :p. I don't think that specific symptom would qualify as ME. It just sounds like an ordinary nap unless I'm missing something haha
     
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  9. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

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    @bananabas I get exactly the same thing whenever I use my brain too much or for too long. I'm unable to watch noisy/busy films or read or study for this reason. It completely wipes me of any energy forcing me to lie in a dark room for an hour or three. A crash is definitely not just caused by physical exertion. Your brain is the busiest organ in your body!

    Perhaps try and stop after the 1 hour and see if the same thing happens.

    It could also be a sign of orthostatic intolerance. Could you try having your feet raised whilst using your computer? Or buy a laptop! ;)

    @panckage Sorry, but I disagree totally. I never experienced that as a healthy person.
     
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  10. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    It's ANY exertion.
     
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  11. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Just thinking out loud here...could it be related to blood sugar (hypoglycemia)? It's about that time of day when it can often get low.
     
  12. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Low blood sugar doesn't cause icy cold hands.
     
  13. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Beg to differ. When I get hypoglycemic I get cold.

    Anyway, it was just a question. Not a diagnosis.
     
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  14. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Exactly what I'm going to say. When I over do it I say I'm crashed. To friends who get it I aay PEM.

    Really does it matter what you call it between us? Please no one get all technical with definitions. The bottom line is you did too much. Went past your threshold. Whether physical or mental

    I always learned do 50% of what you think you can.
     
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  15. bananabas

    bananabas Senior Member

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    So how can I test the hypoglycemic theory? Is there an easy over-the-counter solution?

    Anyway that sounds a bit strange because I did numerous blood tests after feasting and it never came out low.

    About naping, a nap feels like a nice relaxing thing. This definately isn't, and I don't even sleep during that time.
     
  16. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    In my book that is PEM.
     
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  17. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    It sounds like it might be related to dysautonomia. Since many people with ME (PWME) have dysautonomia, your episode could be related to ME, but it might also be dysautonomia from some other source, or primary dysautonomia.

    If you are having an orthostatic intolerance (OI) problem during these episodes, that might explain the difficulty thinking (poor blood flow to the brain), and nausea (common with low BP). Cold hands can be from poor blood flow or poor body temperature control as a result of dysautonomia.

    A useful investigation would be to check your BP and HR when you feel rotten, but before you lie down, after you've been lying down for a while, and once again after you feel better. You might find this PR article on orthostatic intolerance helpful, especially the section on diagnosis. Dysautonomia can be much more than just OI, and OI can be much more than POTS, although few doctors understand this. It's a specialist field that many doctors think they know more about than they do.

    The good news, if there is such a thing with this illness, is that there are treatments that can help with OI, so if that's what you're experiencing, there's hope you can reduce the magnitude or frequency of these episodes.

    In my experience, a PEM/PENE-type crash is more severe, lasts longer, and has more flu-like symptoms. It is usually delayed (although not always) and has a delayed recovery. I believe the definitions require recovery to take a minimum of 24 hrs.
     
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  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Pacing applies to any exertion at all, for many of us or most of us, it can be mental exertion too.
     
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  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    hypoglycaemia can be tricky to pick up if you don't have it at the very time you have a blood test. A person can be quite severely hypoglycemic at some times but not at others . eg after eating breakfast if a person has an insulin issue it can cause the insulin to spike up too high and then cause the glucose to crash into a hypoglycaemia state. 2hr glucose tolerance test with the insulin results included came pick up problems such as this with insulin/glucose. Hypoglycemia is more common in ME.
     
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  20. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    In ME lingo :) , I'd call it either an "overload state" "brain overload" or some type of crash... probably related to something you have due to the ME eg it could be orthostatic intollerence, low blood volume (and then that can cause issues due to sitting still) or even as other suggested hypoglycaemia (though hypoglycaemia probably wont cause the laying with eyes shut though can cause laying and feeling cold).

    The fact you have to lay with eyes shut shows a brain overload state, you've over done it (you are shutting your eyes trying to tune out stimuli I suppose and the issue is that rather then PEM). You need to change how you are doing things and stop and rest your brain before you get like this (I often alternate between doing brain stuff, doing non thinking physical stuff and doing resting to avoid issues)

    When I get "overload" (relating to my brain) and crash, it can be a very temporary one and Im not prone to calling that PEM which I usually think of coming in as a delayed crash reaction and isn't something one recovers from fast. (though some may define PEM differently). Things like OI can cause quickly recovering clashes eg POTS crashes etc.

    Be aware that if you have low blood volume, mornings can be worst time to be doing stuff as one can be still trying to get the body rehydrated from overnight. Sometimes it can pay to put off activities till afternoon if this is your issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
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