A constant companion of chronic pain is fatigue. It is overwhelming at times and seems to have no true relation to activity.
A perfect example is riding in a car……just that act will cause fatigue….even if it is just an enjoyable hour drive with family. A nap is needed once home….if not…the next day will surely bring an early bedtime….as the body just decides to “unplug”!
Thankfully my husband and son are supportive! In the beginning, I would often get the question “what made you so tired”? Now…they understand that it accumulates (for lack of better term).
It is like walking through mud in your boots…..the more you step…the more mud that accumulates on the bottom of your boots….until you find that your steps are impaired by the weight of the mud and muck.
The fatigue that accompanies chronic pain conditions (Fibromyalgia, Polyarthralgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, etc.) attempts to do the same! It attempts to wear a person down….to prevent us from doing what we want to do.
The trick? Well….there is none! We simply have to embrace this part of our condition/illness…..just like the pain…..it is yet another companion. All we can do is pay attention to our activities…..pace ourselves as carefully as we can…knowing that even when we are doing our best…..we can still overdo.
I try to remember that it is important I take my daily nap…..that I keep a consistent bedtime routine (try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day)……while allowing myself to break that rule if I am too overwhelmed with fatigue…in which case….I give myself permission to crawl back into bed for a longer nap….and allow myself to go to bed early.
I know these companions are frustrating. The true “trick” is to NOT allow these companions to rule….or to be in charge!
Hang in there! Be patient with yourself and know you are not alone!!!