Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2

A to Z Challenge; F is for Fatigue #atozchallenge

In fibromyalgia, energy's evil twin is fatigue.

I can't stand it when non-fibromyalgic people say "I'm tired, too."  I wish I was just tired.  Or, the most loathsome remark:  "Gettin' old."  I'm not frigging OLD.  Old is like, 90.  I'm 54.  I'm not old.  I'm not gettin' old.  And neither are you!  That is just absurd!

Fatigue is not a good description of what we with fibromyalgia experience.

Fibromyalgia's fatigue is a crushing, unrelenting, unexplained exhaustion that prevents you from participating in life... every day.  This fatigue is not in proportion to activity levels.  In other words, doing even the slightest bit of activity can produce indescribable exhaustion in a person with fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia's fatigue is not relieved by sleeping or resting. Fibromyalgia's fatigue can't be predicted -- if you think over-activity will cause fibro fatigue, think again.  It might, but then again... it might not.  Sometimes just the slightest little thing can produce exhaustion.  More commonly, we just wake up exhausted, already in a deficit for the day.

It has been reported that fatigue is one of the main reasons people seek medical attention with primary care physicians.  That's in general, not just people with fibromyalgia.  Fatigue can be a symptom or effect of many different ailments including sleep apnea, heart disease, cancer, thyroid problems, and more.  It's no wonder that doctors question the validity of fibromyalgia, when almost all other diseases have a "fatigue component".  But the difference with fibromyalgia's fatigue component is that it's the main feature (after pain) of the illness, and it is extremely disruptive to quality of life.  Another person may be "tired, too" but the quality of their life isn't permanently disrupted or destroyed by their tiredness.  They can get a little extra rest and feel like their ol' self again.  Not so for us with fibromyalgia -- in fact, often, resting makes our fatigue and pain worse!

As with all the other symptoms I've been writing about this month, the key is management, management, management.  There is DEFINITELY no pill for fatigue.  Energy drinks, energy pills or extra coffee actually can make things worse.  I've had days where I'll drink and extra coffee, and then actually need to go take a nap.  Substance-driven attempts at restoring energy drain the adrenals, and poof! you're more tired than you were to begin with.  The same is unfortunately true for doctors' and other experts' recommendation of exercise.  Ok, maybe a brief walk around the block might restore energy, but my experience is that it just wipes me out more.  It's terrible, because we WANT to exercise and participate in life, we just can't!  Or, when we do, we pay the price.

For more information on fibromyalgia's persistent and chronic symptom of fatigue, here are some links.

Thanks for reading, have as good a day as possible!

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-fatigue

http://www.fmnetnews.com/latest-news/fibromyalgia-fatigue-is-more-than-being-tired

http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/library/fighting-fatigue




Yeah!  I'm cranky today!


I'm participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge this month. My theme is fibromyalgia symptoms. And here comes the disclaimer:  I'm not a medical professional -- not even close. I'll be sharing my own experiences with fibromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Please consult a professional if you have a chronic illness, or suspect you do. My blog is purely my own opinion and experience. It is not intended to serve as medical advice.

Comments

  1. Thank you...thank you so very much. I have one friend in particular who suffers from fibromyalgia and I confess that I do not understand it. I try, but I can't. Your descriptions takes me a little closer to grasping my friends pain and fatigue. My prayers for you in your trials with it. Thank you again.

    Livin' Out Loud 4 Jesus @ www.merriehansen.com

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you, Merrie. If we can help just one person understand that is a wonderful beginning :)

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