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Tendency to overestimate or underestimate how much you can do

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Calathea, Feb 14, 2012.

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Do you overestimate or underestimate how much activity you're capable of?

  1. I overestimate how much I can do in a big way, leading to overexertion

    5 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. I overestimate how much I can do in a smaller way, leading to overexertion

    28 vote(s)
    70.0%
  3. I pace myself perfectly

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
  4. I overestimate about as often as I underestimate

    3 vote(s)
    7.5%
  5. I underestimate how much I can do in a small way

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
  6. I underestimate how much I can do in a big way

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. I do not have ME/am in remission

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Since we're always being accused of what boils down to being medical jargon for being lazy (catastrophising, kinesiophobia, deconditioning) whereas every person I've known with ME tends towards chronically overdoing it, I thought a poll would be nice to establish what's really going on. Answer for how you are now rather than how you have been in the past. In the past, I used to overexert myself a lot more than I do now, for instance, and have learnt through bitter experience and illness deterioration to pace myself better, but I still tend that way rather than any other. I've designed this poll for people who currently have ME, as opposed to people who have recovered or who have some overlapping symptoms and thus find this board useful but actually have a completely different condition. If you're fairly sure that it's ME, you just don't have a diagnosis yet, feel free to vote; I'm just trying to keep out contamination due to depression instead of ME, the sort of thing that usually buggers up research on this subject.
     
    WillowJ, Little Bluestem and L'engle like this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Calathea, I put overestimabte a little, as while I am pacing fairly well I never know where that limit is and always want to push it. If I am not doing the maximum I can I tend to get frustrated and want to do more. I can spot doing too much fairly quickly now and it doesnt usually go too far, although sometimes I have things I really want done and am prepared for a crash because its worth it. The biggest problem I have is when I don't want to stop doing something because its something I want to do, like chatting way too long in various places, or reading blogs late into the night. Bye, Alex
     
    WillowJ, merylg and L'engle like this.
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I have gotten pretty good at pacing. But often I overestimate a little on how much I can do, and just DO IT in spite of myself. Sometimes I need to have a break from all this endless resting. But there have also occasionally been times where I underestimated and was surprised that I fared better than I expected. It can be really hard to get an accurate reading on one's energy when the brain is out of order!
     
  4. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I voted but needed another category really as I usually pace well and only very occasionally miscalculate and overexert.

    Best,
    Sushi
     
  5. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I can't respond here as I can't estimate anyway (that's a bore for planning ahead) but take each day as it comes and can see quite what is available from day to day (and moment to moment really before zzzzzzzz takes over).
     
  6. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Me, too. I voted Perfectly, but I occasionally overexert. It's nearly impossible to know for sure where the boundaries are and it's so tempting to err on the side of overexertion. :D
     
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I think you over-exerted your vote. hehehe That face looks mighty stressed to me.
     
  8. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    LOL! Yes, now I will have to go to bed for the rest of the day. ;)
     
  9. Artstu

    Artstu Senior Member

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    UK
    I voted I overestimate about as often as I underestimate because of the fluctulating nature of the illness, what is possible one day is not necessarily possible the next day, matching the energy avaiable each day is the key for me.
     
  10. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    In my case I know my limits, But I have to work, so I push because I do not have an option sometimes. Example, Getting my kid and myself ready int he morning usually gets my HR at >120 and I know I only have 5min up right but I cannot help it if I want to make it on time, So I keep crashing by Friday 3 to 4 day crash.
     
  11. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Such is the sad reality of those of us with mild-moderate illness who can still work. You get through the work week, but crash evenings and weekends. I remember those days. It's tragic that this illness is so under-recognized that people have to function like that. You have my utmost empathy Inester7. A light warning -- overexerting consistently like that usually leads to a degradation of baseline health, so start looking into disability now so that you are prepared when/if you finally cannot work at all.
     
    Little Bluestem and L'engle like this.
  12. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Don't worry, folks, it's only a quick-and-dirty poll! It does make my point, which is that so far absolutely no one has said they tend to underestimate how much they can do, while a strong part of the medical profession seem to regard that as standard. Pretty much everyone I know who has discussed their ME with me has experienced deterioration due to overexertion, usually long-term. It's absolutely insane that the official opinion has this so back to front.
     
    L'engle and Ocean like this.
  13. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    hello great thread...it has taken me a very long time to not over do it and i still struggle with over doing it....i think everything the fibro/cfs pain fatigue...along with many other things like the social phobias and panic make me freak out and i over do it...if i have to go anywhere and drive i cant take any medications because of sedatiion....i always tell myself beofe i go to walk slower...i tend to speed walk almost run like a mad person through store to get in and out quickly...to not get much but usally fill buggy full as to not go back anytime soon...and i feel crazy...i throw things on belt like im crazy..rush to car like my life depends on it and ihave bomb strapped to me to go off...and it takes days or weeks if i know i have to get out and drive to bulid up to it...lots of praying..worring and crying...

    i use to be worse..but the support groups and doctors and hubby and kids have helped alot...i use to hate myself for putting more on family by asking them to do things but hubby offers and it helps so much...the medication helps alot...the morphine sedates and takes edge off better than anything else ive taken...i can take a some walks wiht my child around neighbourhood im so proud of that...not happy i have to take morphine to do it..i take medications espically the xanax after if having to go shopping by myself which helps..theres always the pain and fatigue afterwards...i cry almost daily but starting to accept more that it is what it is.....maybe someday more testing and medicatons will be out that doesnt sedate or make loppy and foggy and i will be able to go back to work...to go to a movie again with kids...and to drive anywhere and not panic...

    i did as much as long as i could but it got too overwhelming..too much pain and fatgiue...i can say i did my best and i still try...i do what i can on the medications...couldnt make it a day witout them and lay down in between...

    i guess we all have to accept what we can and cant do...its hard...my dear aunt is almost 80 anhd very ill for a very long time with heart they gave her up along time ago..she doesnt live near me..and thoguh even talking on the phone is exhausting i try to call her and tell her i love her she means so much...she has to get grocerys herself...and pay bills etc...and its so hard on her also...but she gives me hope to keep going on...if anyone would have told me i would be this ill and lose so much from being ill i wouldnt have believed them...these illness are so devastaing...and you never know waht a person is going through when you pass them on street...i look fat healthy and i try to act normal and not complain...other than vent on support groups to others who understand the amount of pain and exhaustion...but if anyone walked a day in my shoes theyed see how sad..how much i cry..how much pain and exhuasted i am...i had to wash hair yesterday and it took alot of energy...sorry just venting some...still angry at being ill...angry about not being normal but trying to work on it...
     
  14. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    With an enormous amount of help from my husband, I am able to pace very well since he takes on all responsibilities in and out of the home on top of his job. I won't say I do perfectly but I think I've done a good job of learning my limits and sticking with them and balancing any activity with lots of rest and paying attention to cues from my body. Where I get into trouble with flares is from medication side effects that affect my symptoms or my sleep, sleep troubles for various reasons, and activity that can't be prevented like urgent doctor appointments at a time that I'd normally be pacing myself to rest. But in the cases where it's in my control what I do or don't do, I think I do a pretty good job with pacing for the most part. Unfortunately for me, pacing well and doing all I can to avoid crashes means I can do very little and do not have a lot of functionality since it doesn't take much for me to flare. It also depends on how well I'm already doing at the time. If I'm already doing worse than baseline, then I will be more prone to flaring easily and severely so I will need to adjust my level of activity and pacing.
     
  15. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    I used to overestimate in a big way, now I only overestimate in a small way...
     
  16. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    I put that I overestimate in a smaller way, even though I mostly pace pretty well. I have children which means unpredicability and even though I have really good support there's no such thing as perfect pacing in my world. Though I did have 4 days of perfect pacing after Christmas when they all went away for a few days.... :D
     
  17. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I put overestimate in a small way, but I'm all over the board. Sometimes I should do more, but I don't feel like it. Sometimes I don't want to do more, and shouldn't, but something urgent makes me have to overexert. After all these years, I am not great at pacing and estimating.
     
  18. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Like many here, I have learned to pace somewhat. I used to overestimate hugely what I could do, I have learned to only overestimate in smaller ways that I can recoup from more quickly. The big crash that I have never recovered from back to my old baseline scared me into learning better pacing.

    Sad that so many of us are forced to learn the hard way! There is no way to prove that activity will make you sick until it makes you too sick to function. (Even then that is not accepted as 'proof' in many cases. I can crash from activity even if it feels pretty much OK when I'm doing the activity. It's hard to get yourself to stop and rest until you feel sick, then, there you are again, feeling sick... :p
     
  19. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I didn't know how to answer because how do you know if you under-estimate? Over-estimating is easy - you crash and feel worse but how do I know on any given day if I would have been able to handle a little more? I always wonder about that. In addition, every day is different. Some days, I can do more some days less so my limits keep changing. I must be over-estimating most of the time because it feels like I have been in a long crash for the past year. But, then again, maybe my whole condition just became more severe. It's confusing.
     
  20. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    This is probably why most of us over-estimate in smaller ways. How else can we know where our boundary is? The results of this poll so far seem to demonstrate that we have a fairly logical approach to our illness overall. We try to do as much as we can but the only way to know what we can do is to over-estimate fairly frequently.

    I noticed that only two of us claim to pace perfectly and I think both of us have extremely supportive home situations. I was one of those two and even though I think I pace myself very well in general, I still have to test those boundaries periodically to see if I can stretch the boundary a little when I'm feeling better than usual. If I had to cook or clean or shop or any number of other things, I would have to overdo just to function. Overdoing is pretty much a way of life for PWME. How anybody who's actually paying attention can conclude otherwise is beyond me.
     

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