How do you cope with fatigue?

knitternsk8rgirl
knitternsk8rgirl Member Posts: 18
edited 30. May 2010, 15:24 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, I'm new to the Forum and reasonably new to arthritis - I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. My GP is sympathetic, I seem to have got my medication as I want it and I'm happy about that, but my immediate problem is that recently I've been experiencing bouts of fatigue which I don't know how to deal with.

I feel like all I do now is go to work and then come home and haven't the energy to do anything at all that I used to do. I don't mean that I used to be always on the go and out every night and all that, but the 'normal' things that I used to do I can't summon up the energy for any more. My favourite leisure activity which I've done for more than 20 years and really enjoy is becoming increasingly difficult for me to do in the same manner as before arthritis, and because I do it with a group of friends who still can do it I'm really feeling the difference. It makes me feel really old not being able to do this any more.

So, do you have any advice? How do you deal with fatigue? Should I just resign myself to having to give it up? Is this how is is with arthritis?

Please help - I don't know anyone with arthritis and can't get to the local meetings here because they're held in the daytimes and I'm always at work (I work in a school and can't have time off in term time).

Comments

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi there,

    welcome to the forum.

    Fatigue is something a lot of us battle with. Pain meds, the super human effort it takes us to carry out tasks others take for granted and not sleeping well all add up to increased tiredness. Conserving energy where you can, pacing yourself and deciding what is really important to do on a particular day help. Having a nap after work might help!

    I work in school too and I cut my week to a four day week (due to also being a fulltime carer and having arther making me so tired and having no time to myself.) Of course it meant a pay cut - but I have no regrets. Sometimes it is hard when the Monday teacher has moved things and I can't find them, but I can live with that.

    Speedalong
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Welcome to the forum
    I've got OA and as speedalong says fatigue is one thing that goes with arthritis. But you'll learn how to manage it. Can you cut your hours down?.....Pace yourself is the most important thing. Do what you can {at home} and leave what you cant...Prioritise your jobs at home{I hate that word but its all I can think of}So that you get what you think needs to be done...done and work your way slowly down a list...If the bottom things dont get done it wont matter. Do a little bit and rest etc. Not sure what it is that you do that you think you might have to give up but there could be a way around it. Sorry thats probably not m,uch help
    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome. I have learned to listen to my body: I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis nearly four years ago, but had been ill with it since 1997. Then it was only my left knee that was affected, now it isn't in my hips and spine, that's all.

    I now know my limits (and they are regularly shrinking) and I do what I can to conserve energy. For example, all cooking and ironing is now done whilst sitting, which I loathe but, as I cannot stand for longer than three-five minutes, makes sense. I now only iron my husband's stuff - don't care what I look like, never a stunner to start with! Creases fall out of my T shirts as I wear them - simples.

    I have greatly reduced my social life, just because of the lack of energy. We've had a friend here today, sorting out our garden: all I did was regularly make tea and cook lunch, but I've had it now and I'm off soon for a doze. Employment-wise I am very fortunate as I am self-employed and all my clients understand that I have good and bad days.

    Arthritis of any sort is tiring in itself. It renders all you take for granted null and void. It takes energy to cope with pain/discomfort and the negative responses from others who have no idea how draining and debilitating it can be. Everyone's tolerances are different, everyone's reactions to the meds are different too - and the meds can be just as bad energy-sappers!

    Well, that was good and gloomy, wasn't it?! My apologies for the downer - the upside of it all is when you have a good spell - they're rare but lovely! Then the tendancy is to go hell-for-leather and wear yourself out again. Be aware of what your body is telling you, and discover your limits, then work everything else in around it. Good luck - keep in touch, progress reports are always interesting! Dreamdaisy
  • sharmaine
    sharmaine Member Posts: 1,638
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Fatigue seems to run hand in hand with arthritis! When I used to work full time I would come home and lie down. I tried to cope with my job for about two years but in the end had to give it up.

    When you're feeling like this the only thing you can do is rest. Don't push yourself too much. I used to run around like a lunatic doing things but now I set myself daily tasks - otherwise I pay the price for over-doing things. Now that I'm home all day I really wonder how I coped with working!

    You'll find ways of coping. Where do you have arthur? I have it in knees, hands etc.

    Regards
    Sharmaine

    Hi, I'm new to the Forum and reasonably new to arthritis - I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. My GP is sympathetic, I seem to have got my medication as I want it and I'm happy about that, but my immediate problem is that recently I've been experiencing bouts of fatigue which I don't know how to deal with.

    I feel like all I do now is go to work and then come home and haven't the energy to do anything at all that I used to do. I don't mean that I used to be always on the go and out every night and all that, but the 'normal' things that I used to do I can't summon up the energy for any more. My favourite leisure activity which I've done for more than 20 years and really enjoy is becoming increasingly difficult for me to do in the same manner as before arthritis, and because I do it with a group of friends who still can do it I'm really feeling the difference. It makes me feel really old not being able to do this any more.

    So, do you have any advice? How do you deal with fatigue? Should I just resign myself to having to give it up? Is this how is is with arthritis?

    Please help - I don't know anyone with arthritis and can't get to the local meetings here because they're held in the daytimes and I'm always at work (I work in a school and can't have time off in term time).
  • coco67
    coco67 Member Posts: 2,441
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    im newly diagnosed also so hi from me, i have been exhasted for the past 6 months and have pushed my self hard as the reactions ive had has been along the lines.... i dont know why your tired bla bla bla i have found this post reasuring as it seems fatuige does go along with arthur and im not lazy or mad, ( i was previously one of these hyper people who never sat still) i wish you well and just wanted to say HI :D
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No coco, you're not lazy or mad. It is draining and those without it have no idea what it is like. Google 'The Spoon Theory' - that explains it so well. DD
  • brett301
    brett301 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi all - have to agree with all the comments - it just gets to you and is a vicious circle - you want to do things - but the body says "NOOOOOOOOOO" - simple tasks take longer and sometimes the only way to do jobs that still have to be done ( but of course no one wants to help you with ) is to dope yourself up on what ever pain killers you have available - do them - and suffer for maybe days afterwards :(

    then people look at you and opine " well i though he /she was disabled etc " not realising that the ONLY reason you are probably moving around at all is the meds - do they ask ?? nope just assume you are not as bad as you make out !! ( usually inferring that you are skiving / a scrounger / fiddling the system ) - but little realising or caring that you are probably killing yourself slowly just trying to do what needs to be done

    that's the big problem with arthritis - you cant see it - but as we all know boy can you feel it

    my advice ?? - do what you can each day - then rest - don't push yourself too hard - but also don't just give up

    and the critics - well screw the lot of them !! - they will be the first bemoaning their lot when Arthur gets hold of them !!

    anyways good luck to you and try not to let it get you down - and i am a fine one to talk in that Field ...................................no wonder i suffer from depression as well

    ho hum .....................
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Its so true.......its invisibe....If you had your arm in a sling you would get a lot more sympathy.
    I've been trying to promote Arthritis Care....so many people get diagnosed and then think that is it....no help. I'm a volunteer and I always carry little pink cards about with me and hand them to people I'm talking to who have arthritis...Its got this web site and the helpline number on it...I even started a group on line in the hope that it will make people more aware of it.
    http://www.ArthritisCare.yuku.com

    Love
    Hileena
  • coco67
    coco67 Member Posts: 2,441
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    thankyou, i can understand why depresion is common as its blooming hard dealing with other peoples ignorance. i used to say to people...my head wants to party and run around but my body is tell me to to get stuffed it knackered, i have read the spoon theory and might use it it is fab. Thankyou for the support that has been offered the past couple of days it has ment so much. xxxx
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi have you told your gp about the exhaustion it could be your meds needs adjusting and a blood test might be needed. i had this for nearly a year before mentioned it to gp as did not think it important lol but now have meds that suit and am getting my life back make a lot of difference good luck val
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,234
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome
    I find that you have to pace yourself, I am lucky I dont work, like val says go back to your gp and see what he says, but make sure you get it over to them how tired you are.
    Sorry I am not much help, but you know where we are when you want to talk .
    You take care
    Barbara x
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    coco67 wrote:
    im newly diagnosed also so hi from me, i have been exhasted for the past 6 months and have pushed my self hard as the reactions ive had has been along the lines.... i dont know why your tired bla bla bla i have found this post reasuring as it seems fatuige does go along with arthur and im not lazy or mad, ( i was previously one of these hyper people who never sat still) i wish you well and just wanted to say HI :D

    You are NOT LAZY OR MAD - you have arther - and he makes all of us tired. Doesn't matter how fit, active, hyper we used to be - the tiredness affects us all. This was a revelation to me - for ages I thought it was just me who felt like this....

    Speedalong
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No sweetie, we all do. DD
  • deborahjane
    deborahjane Member Posts: 165
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i know how you feel i,ve had ra for 15 years.this morning i got up at 9 done some house work and now feel like going to sleep.i dont like to keep sleeping though it feels like i am wasting my day.or my life away.and you do feel guilty keep resting.never feeling the energy to go any where,my daughter asked me if i wanted to go to car boot today but i just don,t feel like it.pity there is not a tablet to give you more energy. :(:(:(
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    My answer to car boot sales or large shopping centers is my Paddymobile LOL {hubby named it} mobility scooter...couldnt manager round a car boot sale anymore without it

    Love
    Hileena
  • knitternsk8rgirl
    knitternsk8rgirl Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again. I want to thank you all so much for your replies and suggestions. It really is good of you all and I do appreciate it, especially so quickly.

    Some of you had questions, so to answer them not in any particular order, I have arthritis in my right shoulder, right side of neck, right arm and hand (am right handed!) and am feeling twinges in my left hand recently. I changed jobs last autumn and now work less hours/week (30). The activity I have trouble doing now, after more than 20 years of doing it regularly, is ice-skating, and other things I can't do much any more are knitting (hence the username), sewing and reading.

    Re the suggestion about seeing GP about it, I rang up last Friday to book an appt this week because I'm off work, and couldn't get one unless I ring up at the start of surgery every day and get one of the ones they keep for 'on the day', if that makes sense. Guess that's what I'll have to do then. There are only 2 GPs in my surgery and I only see one of them because the other has been totally unsympathetic and told me in January to ' just put up with the pain'!! Think other people in same boat too, because everytime I want to see my sympathetic GP it's a long wait, whereas if anyone's desparate the other one always seems to have appts free.

    Anyway, thanks again, and I'm just off to Google 'Spoon Theory' whatever that is.
  • brett301
    brett301 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    problem with gp's ( and the whole medical profession ) is they KNOW there is not a lot they can do about Arther - bar give you pills fact is like the common cold there is ( as yet ) no cure - and i seriously doubt there ever will be in reality ( except for "private " - read rich - patients )

    i must confess i love the honesty of one specialist i went to see about my knee and hips - she called me in to the room and said " i don't need to examine you as i can HEAR your joints clicking " seems Arther is tied up with ware and tare in my case - or as she said the technical term is they are knackered !! :lol:

    so all we can do is struggle on - do the best we can each day and keep taking the pills - mind you ,personally i don't take too many of them as if you do you become immune to them and when one gets a flare up they don't work - one has to play it by ear a bit with this stuff as i have rapidly learned

    but what makes me REALLY annoyed is, in life the scumbags seem to sale through and the good folks get all the aggro - and pain

    well all i can say is if there IS something after all this ( which i believe there is ( not in any religious way mind ) - we had better have mounted up some brownie points or i am gonna demand to see the manager .lol :roll:

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