Monday, 7 May 2012

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Coping with Fatigue) - Rehab Days 33 and 34

The Fatigue Battle

The last couple of days have been quite rough. I've been fighting a bad patch of fatigue and have done nothing that I had planned to do over the bank holiday weekend. Along with the fatigue I've been battling with a variety of odd symptoms:
  • Stomach cramping and nausea
  • Pain that isn't associated with my blood clot
  • Brain fog
  • Having moments when my pupils dilate and it seems like everything is going a mile a minute (and no, I'm not on speed)
  • Forgetfulness - not like me at all, I'm having problems recalling words and short term memory loss
  • Intense pain on my scalp (I currently have cooling cream in my hair: not pretty)
  • Problems injecting - it feels like I'm injecting into cheese now (there's a lot more resistance)

Period Pains

I've also got some menstrual pain as well but I can tell when I'm due on. I've been having cramps without bleeding for the last couple of weeks but this time they seem to be stronger so I'm not really sure what's going on there. 


This guy is back in full force which is making my fatigue even worse than it should be. As well as not being able to fall asleep, when I do it's for 10-12 hours minimum and then I'll randomly drop off several times during the day. I'm hoping to get to sleep tonight because I have work in the morning. I guess I could always sleep when I got home but it would seriously throw me off for the entire week.


This has to be one of my favorite things to snuggle up in when I'm tired, cold or trying to fall asleep. The fact that I can have the use of my arms to read a book or do a crossword in is great! I can often be found on the couch with a book over my face snoring like a trouper. If you want one they sell them on Amazon:

Tips for Coping with Fatigue

I will often take a bubble bath or simply put my feet up and shut my eyes for 10 minutes. I often find that doing the same activity for long periods of time will also make me tired too. If I'm at work, for example, I will get up for a 5 minute walk or get a drink every hour, especially important if you have a desk job. 

Here's a list of other tips that I use when I'm having a bad patch of fatigue:
  • Make sure I get 8-10 hours of quality sleep: that's actual sleep not including the time it takes for me to get comfortable and ready for bed (it can take up to an hour).
  • Make sure I'm at a comfortable temperature: being too hot or too cold can put extra strain on your  body that it just doesn't need when going through a fatigue spell. Cold drinks, cool showers and fans for when you're hot and hot drinks, a hot-water bottle and blankets for when you're cold.
  • Reduce pain: this can either be through medication, body movements (stretching or walking often help), or using props to relieve pressure points (I keep a beanbag on the sofa and in my bed to keep my leg elevated to reduce pain and swelling).
  • Write in a journal (or blog): taking your thoughts out of your head and putting them somewhere safe for you to deal with later helps to decrease stress at the end of the day, or anytime that you need to unwind. Put the thoughts away for a time when you have the energy to actively accomplish them.
  • Read, watch a movie, or listen to music: getting stuck in a good book or being taken away to somewhere else is a very good distraction tool that I use. By not focusing on your fatigue you can actually get some sleep, or, if you use the right tools actually give you some energy. For example, if I need some energy I'll put on some funky music but if I need sleep then I'll put on some relaxing music or read a book.


So there you have it, how I cope with my fatigue days. The tips that I've included are only some of the best ones that work for me, there are others that I use depending on the situation but I figured these are the most useful ones. If you want some more tips, or even have some to share then please leave a comment.

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