Posts Tagged ‘Exhaustion’

What *Is* a Flare Like?

October 26, 2021

This is very hard to explain as each one is different.

A flare can vary in duration, intensity, symptoms, triggers

A flare can last for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or even months.. Possibly years..

A flare can simply be a temporary exacerbation of symptoms that can be treated reasonably easily through medication and rest. A flare however can also be a debilitating excruciating exhausting with a skyrocketing increase in symptoms.

A flare could be pain, fatigue, insomnia, significant cognitive impairment, muscle spasms or charlie horses, IBS/IBD inflammation, exacerbation of sensitivities to food, smells, touch, less severe symptoms include body temperatures fluctuations, nausea, RLS, TMJ, dizziness/lightheadedness, costochondritis, headaches or migraines, numbness & paraesthesia

I am not including depression in this list despite the fact that many will think that yes this is part of a flare. For some it may be but for me my depression is not related to the fibromyalgia so much but the limitations of the flare in physical activity, mental stimulation and socialization.

With all the symptoms listed above a pain flare is different, day by day, hour by hour, trigger dependent and with various possible causes, intensity.

For example, one person might have issues with increased migraines and fatigue.. Another might have a flare in IBS/IBD symptoms, or muscular pain or cognitive issues. No 2 are ever alike.

Are you getting enough sleep?

August 10, 2021

How much sleep do you really need? In general, most adults need about 7 hours of sleep per night. Children and adolescents need even more – around 9 or 10 hours per night. However, the amount of sleep people need varies widely, ranging from 5 to 10 hours per night. The important thing is to find out how much sleep you need to stay healthy and alert, and then try to get this amount of sleep each night.

People like me, with fibromyalgia have this problem. We require more sleep & rest than the average person.

At my worst I was in bed by midnight, with several extended & cognitively aware wakeup. I’d wake at noon to my alarm. I’d have a nap as well between 1 & 4 hours. I was still exhausted & non-functional.. Currently I am getting about 6ish actual hours of sleep at night as per my fitbit. I generally wake on my own, but use a alarm of I need to be somewhere at a specific time. I, generally, no longer take naps.

I am still exhausted, but because my health is better overall, I am… functional.

The right amount of sleep is the amount that lets you wake up feeling refreshed and well. You may be able to function on the amount of sleep you are getting now, but it still may not be enough for you to reach your full potential. Here’s how to tell if you’re not getting enough sleep:

  • You need an alarm clock to wake up.
  • You sleep longer and better on weekends.
  • You have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
  • You feel tired during the day.
  • You have bags or dark circles under your eyes.
  • You doze off while sitting in a public place, such as a movie theatre or meeting.
  • You get drowsy while driving.
  • You have trouble concentrating.
  • You have early morning headaches.

I’m sure many fibromites have several of these signs of poor sleep. I laugh at the suggestion of waking feeling refreshed and well – Doesn’t happen much for us..

These are the issues *I* experience:

  • I still need an alarm clock on occassion, for something important
  • I have trouble getting out of bed feeling sluggish & pain spikes just after I wake.
  • I frequently feel tired during the day.
  • I’ve bags and dark circles under my eyes.
  • I don’t usually doze off while sitting in a public place but it has happened.
  • I have only been excessive drowsy while driving three times.
  • I have trouble concentrating, but this could be fibro fog.

Like the last point, all of these signs could be caused by Fibromyalgia or it could be caused by poor sleep. It is very difficult to differentiate as signs & symptoms are very similar as are the forms of treatment are also very similar.

If you notice any of these signs, you may not be getting enough sleep. Try to gradually increase the amount of sleep you get each night until you find the right amount – you’ll know that you’ve got it when these signs start to go away. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep for a long time, it may take a while to recover. If you’ve tried everything and still have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, talk to your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

I agree, if this is a persistent & reoccuring problem, it might be a good idea to see your GP & get a sleep study done to see what’s up in your actual sleep.. I’ll try & post about my sleep study experiences.



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I pilfered this from PC Health… but all material copyright of MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021.  Original Source :  www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Sleep-Getting-a-Good-Nights-Worth

A Letter from Fibromyalgia

May 6, 2021
A Letter from Fibromyalgia

Hii!! My Name is Fibromyalgia, and I’m an Invisible Chronic Illness.

I am now velcroed to you for life.

Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please.

I can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun?

I took Energy from you, and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now! I also took Good Sleep from you and, in its place, gave you Brain Fog.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

Oh, yeah, I can make you feel anxious or depressed, too.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away, too.

You didn’t ask for me. I chose you for various reasons: That virus you had that you never recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma. Well, anyway, I’m here to stay!

I hear you’re going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. I’m rolling on the floor, laughing. Just try. 

You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.

Pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills

You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants, anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant pills. You will be told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given a TENs unit, get massaged. You will be told that if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away, told to think positively. You will be poked and prodded. MOST OF ALL, you will not taken as seriously as you feel when you cry to the doctor how debilitating it is to live your life, every single day.

Your family, friends will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and that I’m a debilitating disease.

Some of they will say things like “Oh, you are just having a bad day” or”Well, remember, you can’t do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago”, not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago. Some will just start talking behind your back, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a “Normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next!

In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret), but I guess you already found out… the ONLY place you will get any support and understanding in dealing with me is with Other People With Fibromyalgia.

Yesterday was Exhausting!

April 13, 2021

Yesterday was exhausting. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I didn’t do much. I had a chronic pain support group in the morning on Zoom and a workshop at lunchtime also on Zoom (tho I napped through part of it- Ooops). I had a medical appointment which consisted of me putting my feet into foam for my orthotics and saying I like those ones. I did not have to make dinner. I did not have to run around after my dog. I did pretty much nothing, but it was exhausting & my day was still not over..

As some of you may know, so if you may not I am a night owl. I tend to go to sleep well after midnight.

Last night was a little different however. I’m winding down from my day and I’m playing on my phone and chatted with one of my Cub leaders who’s also up until the wee hours. I realize that I’m almost at the end of my rope and I’m thinking it’s probably what? 1, maybe 2 o’clock in the morning? Nope. I look at the clock & it is 9:24pm. I could not believe it.

9:24pm & I’m Exhausted

& so I decide that sleep is probably needed..but I *had* to have a shower (those who lost alot of weight understand why). Despite my hair not have being washed in over a week I had decided that I wasn’t going to wash my hair because that would be just too much for me to handle.

I was right. Cuz what do Indo in the shower, under the nice hot spray? I decide “Nah, I got this, I can wash my hair tonight”. Funny girl. But I did get myself showered and hair cleaned & conditioned. All nice & clean and no worse for wear, right? *Snicker*

Corner shower stall with a door that I couldn’t open.

My problem was the shower door..You see, I don’t have a tub, just a good sized shower stall with a door similar to the one shown here And after I turned off the water I pushed the door open. Or rather, I tried. It wouldn’t budge.. Tried again, harder & it jiggled.. I had to put a bit of weight behind it to get it open. Ya know why? Cuz I was too freaking weak & exhausted to get the damn door open! & Do you know how *light* those things are?

About Fibro (Pt II)

June 30, 2020

This is a long read, but if you haven’t ever seen/read it, then it is most def worth the time. Because of it’s length, I’ve made it 2 posts. Fell free to use it for your own use if you so desire.

About Fibromyalgia

Being sick doesn’t mean I’m not still a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit I probably don’t seem like much fun to be with, but I’m still me stuck inside this body. I still worry about school and work and my family and friends, and most of the time I’d still like to hear you talk about yours too.
The difference between “happy” and “healthy”. When you’ve got the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I’ve been sick for years. I can’t be miserable all the time, in fact I work hard at not being miserable. So if you’re talking to me and I sound happy, it means I’m happy. That’s all. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I’m getting better, or any of those things. Please, don’t say, “Oh, you’re sounding better!”. I am not better, I am sounding happy. If you want to comment on that, you’re welcome.
Being able to stand up for ten minutes, doesn’t necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour. And, just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn’t mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases you’re either paralyzed, or you can move. With this one it gets more confusing.
Repeat the above paragraph substituting, “sitting”, “walking”, “thinking”, “being sociable” and so on … it applies to everything. That’s what FMS does to you. – Please understand that FMS is variable. It’s quite possible (for me, it’s common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I’ll have trouble getting to the kitchen. Please don’t attack me when I’m ill by saying, “But you did it before!”, if you want me to do something then ask if I can. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel an invitation at the last minute, if this happens please do not take it personally.
“Getting out and doing things” does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. Telling me that I need a treadmill, or that I just need to loose (or gain) weight, get this exercise machine, join this gym, try these classes… may frustrate me to tears, and is not correct… if I was capable of doing these things, don’t you know that I would? I am working with my doctor and physical therapist and am already doing the exercise and diet that I am suppose to do. Another statement that hurts is, “You just need to push yourself more, exercise harder…” Obviously FMS deals directly with muscles, and because our muscles don’t repair themselves the way your muscles do, this does far more damage than good and could result in recovery time in days or weeks or months from a single activity. Also, FMS may cause secondary depression (wouldn’t you get depressed if you were hurting and exhausted for years on end!?) but it is not created by depression.
If I say I have to sit down/lie down/take these pills now, that I do have to do it right now – it can’t be put off or forgotten just because I’m out for the day (or whatever). FMS does not forgive. – If you want to suggest a cure to me, don’t. It’s not because I don’t appreciate the thought, and it’s not because I don’t want to get well. It’s because I have had almost every single one of my friends suggest one at one point or another. At first I tried them all, but then I realized that I was using up so much energy trying things that I was making myself sicker, not better. If there was something that cured, or even helped, all people with FMS then we’d know about it. This is not a drug-company conspiracy, there is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with FMS, if something worked we would KNOW.
If after reading that, you still want to suggest a cure, then do it, but don’t expect me to rush out and try it. I’ll take what you said and maybe discuss it with my doctor.

In many ways I depend on you – people who are not sick – I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out… Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. I may need you to take me to the the doctor, or to the physical therapist. I need you on a different level too . You’re my link to the outside world… if you don’t come to visit me then I might not get to see you. … and, as much as it’s possible, I need you to understand me.

About Fibro (Pt I)

June 29, 2020

This is a long read, but if you haven’t ever seen/read it, then it is most def worth the time. Because of it’s length, I’ve made it 2 posts. Fell free to use it for your own use if you so desire.

About Fibromyalgia

My Need for Massage Therapy– If I get a massage every week, don’t envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that Charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is filled with painful knots. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

My Good Days – If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

My Uniqueness – Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else. (Keep an eye out for the reposting of the topic “My Fibro is Not Her Fibro”)

My Weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My body’s metabolism is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it. Often the medication I must take causes weight gain, but many of us with fibro suffer from severe IBS and lose weight.

My Stress – My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

My Depression – Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression, but it is a result of the Fibro.. not a cause of it.. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

My Sensitivities – I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, textures, odors, food, etc.. FMS has been described as the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

My Intolerance – I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I may sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

My Clumsiness – If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

My Forgetfulness – Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age (Young people can get fibro) but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

My Fatigue – I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can’t help you with yard work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

My Pain – My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I cannot work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is VERY real.

He doesn’t get it

August 23, 2012
Today, or rather the wee hours of the morning of today, he Didn’t get it.

So, we get in from a walk with my puppy, & I do our bedtime routine.. I crawl into bed, and at about 1:30am- 2am … my leggs seize! From hip to the very last muscle at the very bottom on my feet.. Not a charlie horse where it cramps but everything, both leggs, seized up.. Normally it’s just one legg & it’s not hugely nasty like this.. But it was hugely nasty in both limbs.. They’re like charlie horses in that I have to gain control over the muscles however a charlie horse requires a short, but hugely nasty controlled clenching almost like creating a controlled, but more intense spasm then its over. But not with this. It doesn’t need as much force, but it does require a nice chunk of time in the clenched state, significantly more time. Unfortunately that means a longer duration of pain.. But I can handle that.

All I could think was ‘Thank God I am in bed’..

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A little later at about 3am, the dog goes nuts cuz she’s gotta go bathroom.. One of us needs to take her out or she goes in the apartment. But he’s too tired, has “no energy”. Even after I explain what happened, he still expects me to go.. So almost 15 minutes to dress into jammie pants & a tee beside me that I have for when I need to take puppy out at night. And another 45 min to walk from the back-side to the front door. An hour to do a 5 minute potty break.

You’d think knowing how much knowing my pain can impact me.. and the intense fatigue to goes along with it that he’d be more understanding.. So, today I you’d think he’d have more understanding & empathy.. Nope, this time he Don’t get it. *sigh*