Frustrated with Fatigue

With all the drama surrounding joint pain and swelling, fatigue doesn’t get nearly the screen time it deserves. To say that I despise fatigue would be putting it mildly. It is my arch nemesis on many days, often even more so than the pain. Or perhaps they have some joint collaboration going on to take me down. Pain causes fatigue. Fatigue causes pain. Either way, it leaves me frustrated with fatigue.

There are many frustrated with fatigue

There is no shortage of people who frequently experience fatigue with psoriatic arthritis. It is sadly, a very common symptom. But what makes matter worse is that the options available for dealing with fatigue really just don’t work all that well.

There is very little we can do to fight fatigue. Anything I’ve tried has made a marginal difference, at best. Vitamins, supplements, gentle stretching and movement - I’ve tried them all. And it’s not necessarily that they “don’t” work, rather that more often than not, I don’t have the energy to keep up with them. It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario.

Feeling frustrated

At least with pain, I feel like I have a chance of making a difference. I have options. Heat, ice, and medication all designed to manage pain. But fatigue? How can I fight it? Caffeine? A nap? It is so frustrating to feel so helpless.

It is so difficult to describe

When fatigue hits, I feel like my arms and legs are dragging around 20 pound weights. Even holding my head up requires concerted effort and concentration. The sheer helplessness of fatigue just adds to my frustration. I can’t help myself and no one can help me. I just lay here. Angry and frustrated. Barely able to hold my eyes open, yet not really being able to sleep.

Should I just call in dead?

When it comes to work, it is even worse. Instead of calling in sick, what can you do? Call in tired? Seriously. That’s insane. Even that word, tired doesn’t do it justice. Saying, “I’m tired,” makes it sound like the solution is simple. Or even that it is easily understood. It doesn’t begin to explain what is going on inside our bodies.

When you have psoriatic arthritis, your body is like a constant battleground. At war with yourself, your body requires vast amounts of energy to complete even the simplest tasks.

Fine, I surrender

Perhaps the answer is to just give in. Maybe I should do my best to buy a little time away from the daily demands and just surrender to the fatigue. Here’s a thought, I use up so much precious energy trying to fight it that maybe, just maybe it will pass sooner if I just surrender to it.

But reality doesn’t always cooperate

But unfortunately, as a mom with three young kids, the reality is that I don’t often get that luxury, at least not without a heaping load of guilt with a side of condescension and judgment. But perhaps that is a story for another day.

Just give it up, you might be glad you did

So I guess, that’s it. That’s the best I have to offer. It is not often that you will hear me say this, but sometimes it is simply the best option. Surrender to the fatigue. Give up the fight, at least for now. Save your energy for things that really matter.

Or just lay there and stare at the wall. It’s okay. I won’t tell anybody.

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