• Rachel Rutherford

Some October Thoughts


Feeling better in the PM than the AM. This has been a consistent theme through my recovery.


The 3 hours after I wake up are hands down the hardest. At my latest set of bloods my cortisol was still very high. Not as high as it was in my first set of tests but still extremely high.


Cortisol is naturally at its highest in the morning and for the balanced amongst us naturally goes down throughout the day.


For those of us whose systems are in a state of flux it tends to be a lot higher in the morning and then not go down as it should. This means we are on constant alert. It’s exhausting.


Brain fog, breathlessness, fatigue, tiredness, irritability, you name the symptom, cortisol is probably playing a part. Along with a lot of other things obviously.


For the first 3 months of my recovery I would have a crash in the morning where I would need to go and lie down. The brain fog was so heavy I couldn’t keep my eyes open and as a result the first 4 months of the year passed in a blur of consciousness.


In the first couple of months it was so heavy I couldn’t even work. I know it’s hard to imagine it but my brain and body just wouldn’t switch on. It was like a rebellion.


Work is going well now but that’s because I prioritise it above all else. If I wake up feeling tired and know I’m going to have limited brain power and energy that day, I don’t get up and exercise I get up and work.



I have been assured that at some point this will all balance and the hardest part is keeping that belief. I still have fog, it sucks, it interferes with my life in the most annoying way and it makes me tired and demotivated at times. I think it’s important to share this to assure you you aren’t alone.


Some weeks it’s harder than others and when I pick up and illness it’s even harder as my body just seems to have limited fight in it. It takes me longer to fight the illness off and more annoying that anything I seem to pick up everything much more easily. I can now understand why the more vulnerable among us were protected so strongly during Covid.


I do hope one day to get back to feeling more completely normal, being able to plan activities knowing my body will support me but I’m very much not there yet. I still don’t quite know what I’m going to get week in week out which for someone as driven as I makes me want to sit and bawl my eyes out daily.


I know I have a supreme level of mental strength I wouldn't have got as far as I have without it but it doesn’t make anything easier to process. But without this mental power I know I wouldn’t be back at work, and I wouldn’t be able to push through on the stupidly hard days and for that I am grateful.


Ps. Also grateful to my body that stuck with me a lot longer than it should have needed to.

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