“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Post SEX-Ertional Malaise?

(Hmmm ... couldn't find an appropriate picture. For the best?)

My husband and I were considering this question. Could ... intimacy cause post-exertional malaise? I mean, it is certainly the most aerobic of any of my current activities. Could it be sabotaging all my careful efforts to pace and monitor my activity levels?

Of course, the benefits are substantial: it relieves stress; it boosts immunity; it burns calories; it improves cardiovascular health; it boosts self-esteem; it reduces pain; and it HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER! (from WebMD)

Maybe it's like dark chocolate when you're on a diet -- it's so good for you, the calories just don't count.

Perhaps I should just keep an awareness in the back of my head and try to adjust my other activities to compensate. I really don't think I'm going to formally "pace" this one; too much scheduling takes the spontaneity and fun out of it.

Like I told my husband the other night, this is one thing I am not willing to sacrifice to CFS. The response from my so very supportive husband? "Me, neither."


Dusty Bogwrangler said...

I suppose the proof, as it were, is in the pudding! How does it make you feel? Do you crash 24 hours later?

I've yet to put this one to the test! Thanks for your post, it cheered me up no end.

Lori P said...

Very interesting post and interesting question!

I haven't had to deal with that thought with my 16 year old yet, thank goodness! ;-)

Sue Jackson said...

Yes, of course sex causes post-exertional crashes! Anything that gets your heart rate up counts, and that certainly pertains to sex (if you're doing it right!) Still, you can try to abstain if you're not feeling well or try to take a more, uh, passive role to keep from tiring your muscles and crashing too badly. But, you're right...sometimes you just have to make the sacrifice, even if you know you'll crash. This is just one of those things. I think this is perhaps the most unfair aspect of CFS of all!


Renee said...

Yes,there is such a thing as Post Sex-ertional malaise...definitely. It is another loss in the world of CFS or it is another consequence if sex is not managed with some restraint or according to how much energy you have, etc. I think every person finds their own way to deal with this one and has to decide with their partner what is best for them according to where they are on the scale of CFS energy and health.
I remember reading once about a woman who was very ill and could hardly get out of bed alone. She was laying and spooning with her husband and said to him, "I am so sorry we cannot make love"...and he replied, "We ARE making love".
I guess we are all up and down the scale of energy and how things affect us. Maybe more rest the day or two after would help?

Shelli said...

Renee, that is such a sweet story! Thank you for sharing it. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments.

I think I probably do subconsciously pace it -- like any other activity, my body lets me know I'm not up to it. Although, I suppose I'm not the first wife to say, "Sorry, honey, I'm too tired!" And, like other activities that are too precious to let go of, I sometimes throw caution to the wind and just go for it. There's a reason we've been happily married for over 20 years -- and I know what to do now to bounce back from a crash.

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