One of the crueler things that people unintentionally say to me surrounding my illness is that I am "so lucky" to get to take a nap daily or how they wish they could take a nap as often as I do. While I understand what they are saying about craving more sleep, what they are actually saying is coming from a place of ignorance about my health issues and their true impact. I've even had others with chronic fatigue syndrome or late disseminated Lyme disease tell me to just skip a nap on a certain day in order to attend an event. Clearly their health issues do not come with the same severity of restriction that mine do.
The problem with napping daily is that it really interferes with life. I can't easily book appointments in the afternoon. I can't do social activities in the afternoon. I have to book in my daily nap. I sleep 2-4 hours in the afternoon (usually 2), and then I will sleep another 8-10 hours at night (usually 8-9). That means I am sleeping 10-13 hours per day compared to the average adult who needs 7-9 hours but gets less than 7. One can quickly see that means that I have 3-6 less waking hours per day than the average adult which adds up to 21-42 hours a week. That's as much as a part-time or full-time job!
Thus, it's very difficult for me to respond politely to those who make comments about how they wish they could nap as often as I do. I almost always reply that I wish it wasn't a requirement for me but my health necessitates it. Most people realize at that point that they have really stuck their feet in their mouths and backpedal with awkward comments about how they know I have health problems but they still wish they could get more sleep. It's one of those conversations that I know will never end well.
Thus, if I can not meet your requests for a mid-afternoon appointment time, please know that it is not for a lack of wanting to be able to help you at that hour. It's simple biological reality for me that I will be asleep at that time. I currently do book late afternoon, weekend and evening appointments on occasion to help clients who are also limited in their scheduling availability. I look forward to the day, though, when I can give up my naps and I am able to work a 9-5 day just like the majority of the population.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC