Have you ever been really tired? Like feel-it-in-your-bones tired. The kind of tired that makes blinking a chore. It’s something I had never experienced in my entire life. I just thought I knew what it was like to be fatigued.
The first time I experienced this fatigue, I didn’t understand how I could be this worn out. I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary that day or even the day before. I was just wiped out. It felt like my whole body was in wet sand, and the effort it took to move was tremendous. Then I started to notice a pattern. About a day before it would storm, my fatigue would be at its worst. When my body is fighting the inflammation and everything else that comes with ankylosing spondylitis, I really notice it.
One of the things I have learned is when this fatigue hits, don’t fight it. If I try to power through the fatigue, my body protests. The muscle spasms will start in the lower back. Then the headaches will start. I feel as if my body is saying, “Hey dummy! Remember to take care of yourself.”
Now when the fatigue hits, I listen. If that means staying in bed and watching TV, then that’s what I do. It could be that I just put on my comfy clothes and hang out on the couch. The point is not to overdo it when your body is tired. That doesn’t do anyone any good in the long run. My whole attitude changes when I try to “power through it.” I get very short with everyone, and everything seems to aggravate me. When I feel overwhelmed with these feelings, I just need to rest.
One of the things that has helped me when the fatigue is at its worst is taking a bath with Epsom salts. In fact, I usually add Epsom salts to most of my baths! For me, it really helps with muscle aches I get when the fatigue hits. The key is trying to minimize the side effects from fatigue. I can deal with being tired on its own, but when you start adding other things, it can overwhelm me.
It’s important for you to explain to your family and friends how your fatigue affects you. This will help them better understand why you may have to cancel plans every now and then. Being honest with yourself and with everyone around you will make it easier for everyone.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Leong / EyeEm via Getty Images
Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.