The Oxford Dictionary describes the word fatigue with terms including:
- extreme tiredness
- reduced efficiency
- lessened response/enthusiasm
and due to:
- prolonged activity
- repeated variations of stress
- menial tasks
Various dictionaries attribute the origins of the word fatigue to French and Latin words meaning to tire out and to satiety/surfeit (full or to excess, replete). We hear the word commonly used in relation to battle fatigue. Though the battle is not war as such, caring is a battle with the mainstream, systems, conformity, presumption, prejudice, invisibility, isolation…and this is an incomplete list.
As each individual is…well…an individual, but with similarities to other humans, so is each family, group, community, school, medical facility, government etc.
As a unique human, those things which fatigue me may not be the same as that which fatigues you. We may have some common struggles, and I may have some in common with another but that I don’t share with you.
Though this is by no means the only thing that I am fatigued by, forms and documents are exhausting just by the mention of them. Prolonged, overexposure; repeating the same information in different ways, on different forms, for different organisations, every visit/year; meniality; repletion; reduced efficiency and enthusiasm; exhaustion.
Some forms and documents have added stressors to them – applying for funding (asking others for financial assistance with my family, something I feel I should be responsible for); requirements to continually speak of my child/parent’s deficits; re-documenting a permanent, congenital condition…repeatedly, paying medical professionals, getting to appointments etc…
But forms generally now fill me with dread. The words I tell myself can be a help or a hindrance. For example, I can (even sub-consciously) tell myself this will take a lot of time, I will be required to get further medical/educational/allied health documents etc. or I could tell myself that this won’t take long and will then be out of the way, I have done these before so I know what I’m doing. But the efficacy of this process hinges on various contributing factors, which will differ each time I have forms to fill out. How tired I am already, how many forms I have had to fill out in recent days/weeks, do I have to work or attend meetings at this time…you get the idea.
Forms and paper work are one of the most difficult tasks for me to complete, simple as they may be in and of themselves (appointments for professional support documents notwithstanding).
For you, it may be other things like:
- social outings
- education settings
- hospital/doctor visits
- family get-togethers
- a visit to the hairdressers
The list is endless, and unique to each of us, our children, family and season of life.
I have Form/Document Fatigue. What fatigues you?