Blurb Verse

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:3-5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fibro Myth #4: I know the feeling, I get tired too!

Ever heard your family or friends or colleagues scoff when you tell them you're exhausted? Do they say, "yea, me too"? Do you feel like you're a dead man/woman walking?
Unfortunately, for most people, having fibromyalgia also means battling extreme chronic fatigue symptoms. Chronic pain and fatigue often occur together - as many as three in four people with chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain report having fatigue; and as many as 94 percent of people with chronic fatigue syndromes report muscle pain.

Being fatigued is different from just being tired. According to Dr Karin Olson, a University of Alberta professor (Faculty of Nursing), individuals who are tired still have a fair bit of energy, so although they may feel forgetful, and impatient, and experience gradual heaviness or weakness in muscles following work, this is often alleviated by rest. Fatigue, on the other hand, is characterized by difficulty concentrating, anxiety, a gradual decrease in stamina, difficulty sleeping, increased sensitivity to light and the limiting of social activities once viewed as important. Individuals with exhaustion report frank confusion that resemble delirium, emotional numbness, sudden loss of energy, difficulty both in staying awake and in sleeping and complete social withdrawal.

Unlike tiredness, long-term use of caffeine and other stimulants are generally avoided or minimised by people experiencing fatigue and exhaustion, as these substances "fool" the body into thinking it has more energy available than it really does.

So as helpful as your friends and family are trying to be with their comments, the fatigue/exhaustion suffered by chronically ill is actually not the same as tiredness. We, too, struggle with tiredness, when we are  extremely busy etc but we struggle with fatigue too, which is by far more sinister than the tiredness.

2 comments:

  1. Great explanation. Happy to have you at Fibro Bloggers Directory. Will be adding you tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks heaps. I'm happy to be part of Fibro Bloggers Directory & help raise some more awareness about fibro!

    ReplyDelete