March 20, 2018

The Fatigue of it all!

Long before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my life had already changed.  I dealt with the challenges and innumerable doctor’s visits in stride, always hoping that each definitive diagnosis and medication would return me to myself.  Well, that never happened until the correct diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, which came with a regimen of medications and a realization that life will never be the same!  These medications have side effects and the first one that reared its ugly head was the chronic fatigue that is part of the challenge that is rheumatoid arthritis.  

The loss of energy caused by chronic fatigue can be devastating.  When I first complained about the effects of chronic fatigue I was told to eat several small meals throughout the day to help keep energy levels up.  I was totally on board with this, but several meals morphed into many, and weight gain and fatigue were ever-present.  It’s funny how many lessons we learn in life that transcend into other areas of life.  Working with a dietitian these past three months I’ve learned to create tool boxes to address the challenges associated with eating nutritious meals, and now I’ve created a tool box of strategies to combat bouts of chronic fatigue.  The weather of late has caused flares and compromised daily schedules, therefore I now follow my newly formed tool box to help tolerate chronic fatigue flares, these are some of the things that have helped me when I’m struggling with fatigue.

 allow extra time to complete simple tasks and accept that some days you will be able to do more than other days     

balance how much I do with the amount of rest I need

exercise is helpful but I must be aware to not overdo it and pace myself accordingly

wear a mouth guard when I sleep

 avoid caffeine and sugar that may spike my energy level 

 avoid or limit stress if possible and keep a record of stress triggers to avoid

 stay positive

Sometimes it feels like a full-time job tracking and addressing my needs when chronic fatigue takes a hold on me.  The weather certainly causes an immense effect on how I feel and it becomes a need to prioritize what I to do versus what I’m able to do!  Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and an excess of six inches of snow is predicted to fall.  The past three weeks have been quite a rollercoaster of weather and today in anticipation of the storm to come the buffleheads were enjoying the mild weather and having a great day, I should follow suit!

 

 

 

Comments

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