Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fatigue Takes Its Toll

The other day I slept in almost an hour past my alarm clock. That never happens. And I'm not exaggerating. It's the truth.

There have been a handful of times in the last decade that my alarm woke me up. Other than that, I always, always, always wake up before my alarm goes off. I have an incredible internal alarm clock.

Until the other day! I use my iPhone as an alarm; I have no idea how long it keeps going, but I know it's for quite a long time. But I just slept right through it. Goes to show you how fatigued and tired I am. Fatigued as in feeling totally worn out all day long.

I've always been a sleepy kind of person who loves naps, I'll admit that. But this is different. I wake up after sleeping all night long and could take a nap after breakfast. If I'm at home during the day, I usually do take a nap in the afternoon, but it's not a treat and a pleasure the way it was in the past, it feels like a necessity.

I don't sleep all night long, so that could be a definite cause. I fall asleep right away at night, but usually wake up four or five hours later and am awake for at least an hour to two hours (!), so that certainly doesn't help. That was going on before RA hit, but now it's way more firmly established.

It could be medications I'm on, like Methotrexate, as fatigue is a known side effect.

It could just be the crap RA! Fatigue, yes, is also a result of this crap disease. (Ha! Just like saying that word "crap"!)

And, of course, this past week, it doesn't help that my shoulder is still sore because of the ongoing tendinitis issue, and sleeping isn't supercomfortable.

Whatever it is, I'd say I'm getting a minimum of 7 hours of actual sleep 3 nights a week and at least 9-10 hours the other nights. Add naps to that, and the fact that I am getting to the gym at least 3 times a week for cardio workouts and going for long walks on the other days, and there's no way I should be feeling as tired as I am.

Am meeting with my rheumatologist on Monday for a regular checkup. Will ask what's up with this and report back!

For now, it's almost 10 in the morning and it's clearly naptime!!!!!


  1. Last night I fell asleep at 6:30pm and woke up this morning at 5am. I guess I really needed sleep too. Like you, I wake up often throughout the night. Maybe we are preparing for hybernation. :)

  2. That sounds like a nightmare, Laurie. I am one of these people that has always slept right through the night like a log, but I did go through a phase of a couple of months last year where i'd wake up at 2am every night like clockwork and be awake for a couple of hours. It totally messed me up for the day and I couldn't figure out why it was happening, maybe it was the emotional stress of getting diagnosed. I think once your body clock adjusts to waking up you keep doing it. I'm not sure how I got over it, a few months later it just stopped happening again. I hope you can pinpoint what it is that wakes you. Good luck with the rheumy!!

  3. sleep is such an issue!

    relaxing as well as you can and having a solid sleep routine helps.

    i have downloaded some progressive muscle relaxation from i tunes to help me, along with beach imagery.

    i have managed a new post on my blog today- should cheer you up if nothing else!

  4. It sounds like you're actually getting plenty of sleep, Lauri, so I think your fatigue is coming from some other source, like the MTX. I hope it isn't, but I'm one of the people who couldn't tolerate it. It didn't make me nauseous, like it does to so many, but it made me feel weak, dragged out, unutterably tired, and afflicted with a sort of allover general malaise. I hated it. And while I stuck it out for six months, I finally BEGGED my doc to switch me to some other med. He did--and that awful feeling stopped after a few weeks.

    Wishing you the best with your appointment. I hope you can get to the bottom of this soon. It's hard to function when you feel like ... well, crap. ;o) Sending courage, warmth, and lots of hugs your way.

  5. Naps sound terrific.
    If you have time for them.

    Hope things are looking up. Let us know what your rheumy says.

  6. I'm wit you Laurie - fatigue is the worst. Sometimes I think I could sleep an entire day and still wake up tired. ~;o( Hope things improve for you soon!

  7. Ironic how we have fatigue from RA and we take MTX to help fight RA and it gives us ... more fatigue.

  8. I hear you. And it IS total crap.

    I hope your appointment went well on Monday!

  9. Hi all! Thx – as always! – for your comments. My doctor isn't sure what's up. All my bloodwork is normal, and my joints look good. It could be the Methotrexate, she says. It could also be the waking up at night, so she's booked me in for a consult at a sleep clinic. Will write more about that...when I'm not feeling so tired lol!

    :) L