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Which is worse - your Pain or your Fatigue?
10 Replies
iliveinpain - April 7

Just wondering, because lately, I'm so exhausted I can barely get through the day. I hurt like blazes as well, and I don't know if that causes the fatigue or what, but, it's just gotten so bad. My husband tries to be supportive, but he doesn't really understand.

I don't know even how I manage to work anymore. I've literally dozed off at my desk. So, I'm really hoping to get some kind of a poll going here.

Do you all suffer more with pain, fatigue, or both?


kvc33 - April 7

Exhaustion by far. My primary diagnosis is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


iliveinpain - April 7


Thank you for replying. Even though I'm sorry you experience this too, I'm sure you understand when I say I'm glad to not be alone.

My husband gets severe migraines and he has to just go to bed until they pass. He was trying to be 'helpful' last night and fix me, and told me I need to just exercise more.... I told him that was like me telling him he needs to grab a cup of coffee and suck it up and work through his migraines.

Honestly, I get so tired of hearing people who have no idea what we go through on a daily basis telling me to exercise more or just pop a pill or whatever! I just know I'm sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired all the time.

Last night, I didn't take my meds to help me get to sleep, thinking maybe I'm over medicated. Needless to say I didn't sleep very well, kept waking up during the night, and today, I'm in pain again. What a terrible thing we live with.


vavaughn - April 7

iliveinpain -- I know exactly how you feel. Right now my fatigue is worse than my pain and I wouldn't have thought that possible. I have been missing 1-3 days a week of work because I am too exhausted to get out of bed. I have my doctor telling me I shouldn't be that tired. I have my boyfriend that has totally withdrawen from me because I am always sleeping. It is crazy the price we pay over and over again with this illness!

I wish I had some words of wisdom because I could use them myself. All I can say is keep doing the best you can. When I get down, I just remind myself that the best I can do is all I've got. If it isn't good enough for anyone else, too bad. I worry most about my job. I don't think my doctor would support me going on disability and I'm not in a relationship that would support me not working.

I did just get some new vitamins that have great reviews that I am hoping help. They are online from ProHealth and called Fibro Engery Formula. It's too early to tell if they are going to work but I'm willing to try anything!

I hope your fatigue begins to subside and if you find something that helps, please post it and share with the rest of us!


Fantod - April 7

iliveinpain - Right now, it is fatigue. But, as we all now that could change any minute.

You did not do yourself any favors by not taking your sleep medication. Fibromyalgia (FMS) interrupts the deep sleep cycle with short bursts of high intensity brain activity. Your muscles require deep sleep in order to repair themselves from the days activities. No deep sleep means higher levels of pain which rapidly becomes a vicious circle. Take your meds.

Your husband is actually correct in his assertion that you need more exercise. He may not have phrased it very well and his timing was certainly not good. Even if you could manage to take a short walk every day, that would actually help you sleep better and (believe it or not) alleviate some of your pain.

I'd like to suggest that you order "Fibromyalgia for Dummies" from Amazon online. Like all of the dummies series it has very good basic information about this syndrome. Read it and ask your husband to look it over. Both of you need a better understanding of FMS.

And finally, I think that you either need to speak to your doctor again or go and see someone else for a second opinion. If you decide on the latter, get a copy of your medical records to save time and money. You should be more functional than what you describe. Also, have you considered finding a counselor to help you cope with your illness? I think that you are really struggling with depression too. Dealing with FMS is always a challenge but it seems to be overwhelming you on several levels. I hope that you will consider making some positive changes in your life. Take care and God Bless.


January - April 7

liveinpain - tell your husband to read up on chronic fatigue - the facts are that exercise usually WORSENS the fatigue, and "pushing yourself" is NOT recommended! My physical therapist told me this - do only a little, and don't even get close to feeling like you have "worked out." Quit while you're ahead. Fantod's suggestion, a short walk, is a good one. (NOT a long walk!) Very gentle exercise is needed.

I was diagnosed with FMS and later with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Maybe the same thing?) But I think not…

Now that I have my pain under control with medication, the fatigue is the worst thing. I keep my meds pretty low dose, so I don't think they are causing the fatigue. I had one busy half-day recently. That morning, somebody rang my phone very early, so my sleep was ruined. I came home in mid afternoon and went to bed. Up for a while in the evening, then slept all night, and slept in til noon the next day. Slept most of the next afternoon and evening. etc. etc. I'm still exhausted, it's been 3 days.

This is NOT normal. This is an illness of some kind. When I was younger, I was often sick, but I pushed myself to accomplish an extra lot, so laziness is not my nature. This exhaustion problem is very hard to accept in myself, and it's worse when other people criticize and don't understand, especially when they are doctors! (But ignorant people love to paste labels on others!) I have finally come to the point where I stand up for myself and my dignity as a human being. I know who I am, they don't. This is not a defect in my character, this is an illness that is not yet correctly understood. If I need to sleep, I sleep and everyone else can go jump. SELF-care!


kvc33 - April 7

I think there is often a fine line between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and FMS and I think that it can start out as one thing and become the other. All activity: mental, physical, or emotional takes energy from us. If you are using all your energy at work to the point where you are falling asleep at your desk you won't even have the energy to go for a short walk. I question your ability to keep working full time. Pain creates fatigue, and fatigue creates pain. It's a vicious cycle. I suggest you start keeping a record of how your illness is affecting your ability to work and also get your co-workers if they are willing to write letters on your behalf if you choose to go part-time or quit altogether. I often hear people who are working say that they can't quit for financial reasons but believe me you can get by on a lot less money than you think you can. I live below the poverty line and I am okay. I have a car (old), a computer and a place to live. I eat well and can afford inexpensive clothing. What more do I need? Not taking your meds was a good experiment, now you know that it's worse without them.


fibromite.u.k. - April 7

Just at the moment my pain seems so bad I don't know how I am going to cope with it anymore. It is usually the pain that is the worst, but sometimes it is the fatigue.

No one has any idea of just how bad this illness is unless they have it themselves. However kind a person can be, (and most are not), it must be unimaginable to them to understand how ill we feel. I have had some really stupid things said to me, like one person asking if I would like to go out for a walk with her and some of her friends and that I could easily manage it because it was only three miles and all the flat. I had to explain that I can't cross the road outside my house on most days. I am sure she didn't believe me. Another person says she has CFS, but doesn't have time to sit down during the day as she is so busy! They really have no idea at all.

I can't imagine how you can actually go out to work. I can't even get myself a meal, if my husband didn't get me my meals then I would just live on junk food out of a packet. But then, I wouldn't be able to get out to buy anything, so I would probably just starve.

Sorry to be so negative, I am really going through a bad time just now.


kvc33 - April 8

You can trust that I know how bad it is. I have many days where just breathing is difficult and I lie in bed all day. I too, wouldn't eat much without help. I haven't been a 'cook' for sixteen years. I just graze all day instead of making meals. I live in a small cottage where the kitchen and bathroom are only steps away and that is how I need it to be. I don't know of any disease that zaps a persons energy so much except maybe end stage cancer and ALS and they are both terminal.


mdak - April 8

I know for myself that since I have beeen on disability I have improved so much. I can rest when I need to and by not over working my muscles has caused less pain. I think most of FM patients have real bad muscles soreness in the morning. Now I can sleep in and get up slowly. I try not to plan to many things in one day.If I do, you can really tell it. I have a regimine that is the same most of the time and it really helps. I to thought there is no way I could afford being off either, but I am doing well. I just learn to monitor my spending, but it's so worth it. Since I dont work I dont have to need new clothes, buy lunch, pay for gas and all the other stuff. I know everybody can't afford to do it, but mine came to life or death situation. Even my depresssion has been better because my pain has been controlled. My fatigue is still there even if I have good pain control. So what I guess I am saying is that I suffer from both, but soooo much better since I have been on disability.


ParrotGirl5 - April 13

Boy are you talking my language! I have constant pain, and fatigue so bad it's debilitating. My Dr says I have mild (controlled) diabetes; and everything else is just fine. Yeah, that's why I feel so bad most of the time. I especially have pain in my inner thighs that makes it hard to walk. Anyone else have this symptom? I was thinking I had PAD; but after reading some of your notes, I can see that it is just a part of the FM. So sorry all of you are suffering as I am! Nice to know I'm not the only one though. I am 59, and never thought I would be aging this fast. Did yoga, meditation, vitamins, and all that stuff for years.



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