Okay, so with all the various conditions that go with Fibromyalgia, one of the worst ones that I find hard to deal with is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In summary, it’s a disease characterized by neurological symptoms, muscle pain with intense physical or mental exhaustion, relapses and specific cognitive dysfunction. This is the reason that we’re always tired. It’s really difficult to accept that the doctors can’t do more for this condition.
When I was first diagnosed, I found it almost impossible to get out of bed. I was too tired to do anything and everything. I spent months in bed waiting for the fatigue to get better, but it didn’t. I used to be an extremely active person, always on the go, and so this was a nightmare for me. One of my doctors eventually changed my anti depressant from Cymbalta to Wellbutrin. He did this as I was experiencing negative side effects from Cymbalta. As a bonus, the Wellbutrin helped a bit with the fatigue. Wellbutrin can give you some energy in the morning after taking it. The fatigue was a bit better and I was able to get a few things done in the morning. Then it would “wear off”, if you want to call it that, and the fatigue would set in again, but ten times worse. I’d find it difficult to fetch my son from school, to help him with his homework, to cook a meal … to do just about anything you can think of. I was so happy when I was finally able to get into bed and rest.
I got so sick of watching movies and series. I was so bored in bed! I needed something, anything that could help with the fatigue.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin initially. A lot of people were saying bad things about Ritalin and so one day I decided to take one myself in order to see exactly what it did. Well let me tell you, it helped me concentrate, which I had been battling to do … you know, the delightful Fibro Fog. It also gave me some energy after taking it. I don’t suffer from ADHD but the Ritalin tended to help with my inability to concentrate due to Fibromyalgia. It also helped a little bit with the Fibro Fog. The best thing about it was that it gave me a bit more energy.
At my next appointment with my Professor who deals with my Fibromyalgia, I discussed it with him. Interestingly enough, they were in the process of doing a study on people with Fibromyalgia and ADHD. I was lucky that I was able to join the study and he prescribed the Ritalin for me as it really did help.
I still, however, run out of energy by about 11 am. The energy that I get is not like the energy I used to have prior to Fibromyalgia, but it is a bit of energy nevertheless. Once the energy has worn off and the fatigue has set in, I’m desperate to get into bed. I take the second Ritalin at 11 am but unfortunately it doesn’t give me anymore energy. It doesn’t work like the first one that I take in the morning. I find this extremely unfortunate. Again, I battle to do anything in the afternoon and I certainly can’t cook a meal for my family by 6 pm. I’ve often forced myself to do it, but then there are the days that it’s just impossible as I can barely get out of bed. I’m really so tired of being tired all the time and would do anything to get my energy back. I even find a shower exhausting and so I have a bath in the evenings and shower in the mornings. Going out shopping is exhausting too and so I’ve finally resorted to online shopping. I’m becoming a real recluse as a result of this.
Chronic Fatigue is ruining my life and my family obviously battle to understand it. My husband understands it and supports me 100%, but I’m quite sure that he’d like things to be different. My children really battle to understand. My eldest daughter is wanting to introduce game nights where all the family and their partners can come together and enjoy an evening with games. I sadly cannot do that due to the fatigue I experience in the evenings. It would need to be done during the mid afternoon or not at all. We used to go out for dinner often, but now I find that almost impossible to do. If I force myself to go, I usually sit there feeling absolutely exhausted. I feel like I am missing out on life.
The funniest of all is that when I do get in to bed, thoroughly exhausted, I’m not able to sleep. I’ve suffered from insomnia ever since I got Fibromyalgia. As a result, I lie in bed watching movies or series until the time is right to take my medication to sleep. I enjoy reading in bed, but I’ve got to try read the book in one day as by the next day, I’ve forgotten what I’ve read and end up having to read it all over again.
I’m really sick and tired of dealing with Chronic Fatigue and really wish that doctor’s could find something that could help us. We’ve all read so many articles about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome co existing but why can’t anybody do something about it? Am I tired due to the pain that I experience every day? Yes, most definitely. Am I tired due to restless sleep? Yes, but my doctors changed my sleeping tablet and now I don’t wake up at all during the night. Am I tired due to the depression that I’ve got? I think so. Depression can keep you in bed for weeks but my depression is finally under control. So why do we have this Chronic Fatigue? Often it just comes out of nowhere and there I’m bedridden again.
Exercise apparently helps, but I’m only able to do that in the morning. If I don’t go in the morning, for whatever reason, I’m unable to exercise at all. I’d love to join my husband at gym in the evenings, but I’m just too exhausted to do it.
And so we go back to The Spoon Theory and how true it really is. I have to accept it but I really don’t want to. I like to push myself and my boundaries, but I find that the fatigue normally wins. I can’t wait until doctors have figured this out and a treatment is put in place. I eagerly await that day.
In this article from WebMD , they offer some suggestions on how to deal with the fatigue. One of the things that I do is to schedule only one “To Do” item per day. I then complete that in the morning and the next day I tackle the next item. This helps and I end up getting most things done that I need to. I never schedule two things to do on one day as invariably the second won’t get done and then I feel guilty about it.
Please let me know if you also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and how it affects your days. Have you managed to find anything that helps you deal with it? I look forward to reading your comments.