How can you describe your fatigue?

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vickythecat

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Hi,

I am not very good at words that explain certain physical feelings. The word fatigue is one of them. It simply confuses me. Is it supposed to be the same as 'exhaustion', for example?

I often hear people take a nap when they are exhausted or are fatigued. But with me, when I am exhausted (=when I feel completely burnt out), I just have to lay down, close all windows, curtains and create my calm cocoon and make my mind zone out, but I cannot fall asleep.

On the rare occasion that I can take a nap, I wake up feeling just the same exhaustion, but a little less 'sleep-deprived'. does that make sense to anyone?

So this is what fatigue feels like for me;
- every physical action I have to take, is an effort. Often a calculated effort. For example: 'Ok, now I will get up and put a basket of laundry in the washing machine. One, two, three, up I go...'

- on a very bad day/hour, little things become a huge effort - from lifting my arm to move that one hair in my eye or to get up to go to the toilet after holding my pee for very long.

- on a medium fatigue day/hour, I can get up, but I can only do one thing and then I have to rest again, to do the second thing. For example; take a shower. stop. lean against the wall in my bathrobe. dry myself. stop. dry my hair. sit down. breathe X 20. get dressed. sit down...

- I also often feel breathless - but I don't know whether that is fatigue, exhaustion or just my lungs telling me my body is working hard.

What about you?
 

Sagey

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Hi Vickythecat,

That's exactly how I feel. It's su... lol.
Everything has to be thought out. I just lied down because my plantar fasciitis was acting up and I couldn't walk.

I want to take a shower, but I have to get the energy to get in there., and wash myself.
Prior to this I wouldn't have thought twice about thinking before doing something.
The shortness of breath I have too.The fatigue causes it.

It goes with the low energy.Sometimes if I get to the top of the stairs, I have to catch my breath and it feels like I'm having an asthma attack.

It's so hard to deal with.Im having a bad day today, so I understand completely.

Everyone on this forum with Fibromyalgia can
relate.Thats why I like reading the posts, because we can share all our symptoms.

And they get it.

Sagey ��
 

andreapo

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I am having a relapse after a fairly good year. No idea what has set it off but I quickly forgot how it really feels. I have chronic pain from a degenerative type of arthritis and am accustomed to living with my pain. Now, I am just tired and resting/ napping is never replenishing. The fibro fog just shot up and I honestly thought I had overcome the worst of it all. I can only say that I understand how you are feeling and I think only someone who has fibromyalgia can really understand.
 

diamond

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yes the word fatigue or exhaustion doesnt really cover it ..mines a mix of all you say plus muscles so weak they wont hold me up for many minutes...i guess its the same thing just different words....we all try and explain and finding the words to give the depth of how bad it can be is almost impossible.
 

sunkacola

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For me, I call it "fatigue" when it is all I can manage to lie on the couch, thinking to myself that I am too tired to lie on the couch. I can't read or watch a movie because that takes too much energy. Lying on the couch doing literally nothing takes too much energy, but I can't sleep either.
That is my definition of Fatigue.

If I can read or watch a movie, fix and eat a meal, even if slowly, and feel as though I am too tired to do all that but I actually CAN do it anyway, that is what I call "exhausted".

The rest of the time, I mostly just feel tired.

Fibro is such fun, isn't it?
 

Lou38

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I haven't experienced fatigue too much, mostly tiredness. I donated blood on Tuesday & was fine straight after but yesterday I felt completely wiped out! Every part of me hurt & it took so much effort just to hold my head up, it felt like I was coming down with flu or something. Then last night in bed I had that really horrible dry mouth you get with Amitriptyline & I woke up thinking I was choking. Today I feel much better, just tired. I think I'd do it all again though, it's such a good thing to do & they're really low on stocks of O neg blood just now. Just another thing that fibro will end up snatching away from me!
 

vickythecat

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For me, I call it "fatigue" when it is all I can manage to lie on the couch, thinking to myself that I am too tired to lie on the couch. I can't read or watch a movie because that takes too much energy. Lying on the couch doing literally nothing takes too much energy, but I can't sleep either.
That is my definition of Fatigue.

If I can read or watch a movie, fix and eat a meal, even if slowly, and feel as though I am too tired to do all that but I actually CAN do it anyway, that is what I call "exhausted".

The rest of the time, I mostly just feel tired.

Fibro is such fun, isn't it?
A great explanation of how I feel as well. Thanks for sharing.

Especially the part that I might be fatigued, but I also cannot sleep. I just lay down in bed, eyes clothes, waiting for it to pass. It also feels like my blood is replaced with concrete, everything feels so heavy.

I noticed recently how for many years a lot of people around me use the terms 'tiredness', 'exhaustion' and 'fatigue' like they are the same thing, so that confused me as well. Also people often assume you need sleep in these 3 states - which was never really the case for me. I need sleep when I feel sleepy/sleep-deprived and a little tired. Sleep does not take away my fatigue or exhaustion.
 

diamond

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i like sunkacola' s explanation...too tired to lie on the couch..this is perfect...its like being alive but almost dead at the same time!

Like 1% battery power in our brains and muscles....for me i sometimes feel so unwell and weak it actually protects me from caring that Im missing out!

Of course deep down i do really..desperately so, but when you feel so unwell laying down takes complete precedence.

Like you say its nothing like sleepy.

I find no one aside from fibro sufferers get this at all..now its my normal for so many years i kind of look on in wonder how people...especially those my age and older do so much with great ease..and i ask silly protective questions about whether ordinary things hurt them!

Afterwards i realize i live in a fibro bubble and how silly what i might say sounds to them!
 
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moe1959

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I just posted a reply, but I cant find it. So, here goes again: I personally feel like Dead weight, my arms feel heavy, my Mind is foggy , and I get dizzy, and out of breath . All of us are diffrent with symptoms. If there s one thing I can relait to its emotional fatigue, its like my body wants to move, but my brain sais "oh no you dont". I know this for sure, with fibro, its not black or white, but a mess of symptoms that can come and go, without forwarning. For someone like myself, who liked to have all my ducks in a roll, going places on only a few hours notice, DOES NOT WORK.
Fot instance, if Im going to watch my Grandbabies on a Thursday I will makesure Tuesday and Wed. Schedule is a light work day. Fortunitly Im able to do this.
 

Sam66

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I know it's almost impossible to explain to someone that doesn't feel it what it's like. I just try to say my whole body feels like lead weights and my head feels like cotton but even that doesn't come close to what a non fatigue suffer can really understand.
 
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Yes I feel the same way. I feel like I wake up in quick sand; how is that?
:)
 

Forgetmenot

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I feel like my body is made out of lead.awful feeling.
 

andreapo

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I get overtired and can not focus on anything mentally or sleep well. Stress within family&househld can set me into a downwadr slope fast.
 

diamond

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stress is a killer and even when i am doing better any stress practically shuts my body down completely
 

sunkacola

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stress is a killer and even when i am doing better any stress practically shuts my body down completely
Me too. I think that I am doing OK, for afew days, and then something stressful comes along and the next thing I know I am lying on the couch with everything from my head to my toes hurting. Or I wake up in the morning and have no idea how I am going to manage to get myself out of bed even long enough to let the dogs out. This morning I let them out and back in and went back to bed and didn't get up again for two whole hours.

this is so not like me.

One of the things that is so hard to take with this disease is mourning the losses that we have. Loss of friends, of activities, and most of all the loss of who we used to be. I used to be the energizer bunny!! I could go-go-go all day, day after day. All my life, up until 4 years ago. Now I don't even know myself.
 
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