Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue Is Not Just Being Tired | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue Is Not Just Being Tired

Recurrence of Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue

Florida wildflowerA couple of days ago an old friend came to visit: Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue. All of a sudden on Monday afternoon, it felt like it was 2 a.m. and I should be in bed. It looks like it may want to stay over for awhile.

At first, I thought I was just over-tired. That evening when I fell asleep early, I blamed the half glass of wine with dinner. The next morning, I was blaming myself for working too hard – intellectual not physical work, mostly.

Finally, after another day of it, I recognized my old enemy “Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue.”

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue feel like being tired?

It feels like some thing is pulling me backwards. It’s not the stiffness that makes moving extra difficult. Or the ice-pick pain or tenderness I have in every joint. It’s neither depression nor hopelessness. It IS SOMETHING that making gravity stronger.

I don’t drink much caffeine, but I keep thinking all day long, “I just need a cup of coffee.”

Like most of us, I’ve lived on both sides of the fence. This is not the same as being tired. It’s more like being sick with the flu.

I can remember the “good” feeling of tired after working hard. This is not it – this is being sick.

Yep, there strategies and tips to manage Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue

And hopefully it won’t last too long. Over the past few years, I’ve had almost daily fevers. But fatigue comes and goes. I swear this disease has a mind of its own.

Seriously, that’s my precise explanation for Rheumatoid fatigue: It attacks whenever it chooses!

(Here’s a more technical explanation of the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue.)

But, I’m a warrior and I know I’ll get through this. I’ll eat healthy and take vitamins and meds… Through a combination of rest and pushing myself, I’ll outlive this like I have every time before.

NOTE: Yesterday, I sent out THE SPEAR, a monthly letter from me. Please check your email inbox for your copy. Or if you haven’t signed up, you can sign up here. It’s a short behind-the-scenes and from-the-bottom-of-my-heart personal note.

Postblog: In the midst of my too busy too tired day, I was treated yesterday to a Skype visit with Lisa Copen of Invisible Illness Week. Lisa has RA herself and founded IIW several years ago as part of her mission to help others who are suffering. Lisa also interviewed me for her virtual conference which will be broadcast September 10-14. Check it out!

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Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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78 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue Is Not Just Being Tired

  • June 28, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Kelly, thank you so very much for your very informative and well written blog and for taking the time and making the effort (which I know is costly in terms of energy, a commodity which we all must parcel out carefully) to provide this forum. I no longer feel so alone. It is now clear that fatigue is not my singular problem. I am not the only one whose doctor responded not with a remedy for the fatigue, but simply an interested “Hmmmm…” and a change of subject. Thank you and thanks to those who shared their thoughts and feelings on this frustrating disease.

  • August 22, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Does R A make you feel like you have a stomach virus and affect your appetite?

  • May 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    My 20 month old grandson has been visiting all weekend. I’m 60. I’m tired. But no. It’s more than that. I feel like I can’t lift my arms to eat dinner. The rheumatoid fatigue has hit. I came to my bedroom to call in some scripts and rest for a while. They are all expecting me to act like a grandma and I can’t. They don’t understand that I could yesterday and I might be able to tomorrow. But right now I can’t play. I’m 60 and it’s been a long weekend. This is different.


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