Today I was hit with a bout of fatigue so intense I couldn't keep my eyes open for anything. I've faced this symptom many times over the years, but I don't blog about it much. A couple of my friends from church who also live with Fibromyalgia have mentioned getting hit with this fatigue as well. I thought I'd do a post on it so that those of you who have loved ones living with Fibo can have a better understanding of what it's like.
When this overwhelming fatigue hits our bodies it's as if we are between conscious and unconscious. When it finally hits me I get dazed and woozy I MUST lay down or sit down and I am asleep within seconds. There is not a darn thing I can do about it but succumb most times. My limbs go completely limp, I am very aware of the increase in my heartbeat, and my head "lolls" until I find a surface to rest it on.
Usually I have about an hour warning before I get incapacitated. I am unusually tired and unable to focus, I forget things quickly, and I can warn the family that I can't drive or I can quickly make arrangements for the kids if they need a ride for something important. Generally, I lay down on the couch in our home so that I am at the center of all the activities my children are doing. I have a vague consciousness that they are ok for the time being or if something happens I can grab my phone for help. I keep my cell phone tucked next to my body just in case. Since all of my kids are teens or at an age where they are capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, I've taught them how to help me manage a fatigue attack and what to do if they need anything or anyone.
Trying to talk while in a fatigue attack would be funny if it weren't so darn frustrating. It's something like being given anesthesia and trying to talk right before you "go under". It's very slurred and slow. I find it hard to form sentences. It's very discouraging.
If you have a loved one who is living with Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, please rest assured that they are NOT playing a game, lazy, or trying to 'get out' of anything by being tired. NOPE. The truth is that their body simply shuts down. Period. Their choice is to go ahead and succumb to the fatigue until it wears off, or try and function through it. Trying to function through it is somewhat like trying to swim through thick caramel or tar. The force against the body stifles everything and makes it very, very difficult to do anything ordinary. They don't simply decided "hey, I'm gonna have a fatigue attack now". It comes on anytime, anywhere. Most of us who've had these before, sometimes have little warning signs that tell us it's coming on and we can make arrangements to deal with it as best as we can, but there is always the off chance that it will hit and not give us any warning or time to figure out what to do to endure it while it lasts. That's when we need help and support the most! Find some time to sit down with your PWF and ask them how you can best help them the next time a fatigue attack comes on. Write down what they say if you need to. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
**** (Warning! Random thought ---->) One more thing on an off note: The LYRICA commercials? WAY TAME compared to what it's really like to have Fibro and deal with it. I get so disgusted with them and WISH the company would put on something real. It makes Fibro look so incidental and it's SO corrosive to our lives! One can only hope that the company will start showing what it's REALLY like! ****
Anyway.......Hang in there fellow fighters and know that you are NOT alone.
Here's to your success! ((((HUG))))