Balancing Responsibilities and Sleep During a Busy Month

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by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Although sleeping helps me feel my best, it is also my greatest adversary.

Like many people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, chronic exhaustion is a constant battle. No matter how much sleep I get, I’m always tired. Add the fact that it’s crunch time at the end of a school year, and spring farm chores are in full force, and I’m one tired gal.

One of my responsibilities as a teacher and college counselor at a local high school is administering Advanced Placement exams. These tests cover various class topics, and students can sometimes receive college credit if they do well.

For the two weeks that exams are administered, I arrive at school 45 minutes early, and I often stay late to wrap things up.

On the farm where I live, the grass is growing, the weather is hot, and there are two new foals this year. That means lots of mowing and weed whacking, cleaning and filling water troughs more frequently, and lots of hands-on time with the youngsters to get them acclimated to people. While the last one is fun, all the tasks are time-consuming, which means I have fewer hours to sleep.

Why is this relevant? Because one thing I’ve found over the years is that when I’m extra tired, I have a tendency not to move or roll over when I sleep. This often leads to me waking up stiff at best, and with a sore or angry muscle at worst.

A few days ago, I woke up and my right hip, which had been doing much better after I had injured it during the winter, was angry all over again.


Hurting makes me more tired. And so the spiral begins.

I must be careful to keep my pain in check as much as possible. Additionally, I need to make getting to bed early a priority, even though it’s difficult right now with all the responsibilities on my plate.

I’m lucky that my amazing neighbor David and my parents have been helping out when they can, as everyone knows that May is a super crazy month for me.

Whenever I get frustrated by the difficulties EDS throws at me, I just remember that I have friends and family who are incredibly supportive and always ready to pitch in, when needed.


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


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