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Thread: Walking Para's or anyone, how do you deal with the fatigue and exhaustion

  1. #1
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Walking Para's or anyone, how do you deal with the fatigue and exhaustion

    Walking para, L1 burst fracture. Still paralyzed from waist down in back of legs and feet. Neurogenic bowel and bladder. I am struggling with fatigue and exhaustion. I have been unable to work because of multiple issues, pain, fatigue, exhausted feeling, long bowel program, etc. I have managed pretty well to stay independent and do things for myself. I live with my brother and his family which helps a lot financially. I try and break things down daily to make things manageable. I try and help around the house, clean, cook, dishes, house laundry, grocery shop, etc. I give rides for my niece and nephew etc. I have always felt it important to do as much as I can, and help as much as possible. I can never repay them for helping me so much. I try to keep up with my PT, stretches, and work outs, 4-5 times a week. I am finding it more and more difficult to keep up with everything and feel like I am always fatigued and tired. I feel like I am losing some ability. Ability to stand and walk as much as I had, even though it wasn't a lot. It is taking me longer to find my legs in the morning, getting them to move right, find my balance without holding on to the wall or counters etc. I do use crutches for longer distances if I don't have something to hold onto. Is there anything that helps with the fatigue. My diet is decent. No fast food and I supplement with protein shake and glutamine most days. I am becoming more reliant on caffeine and a preworkout in order to make it through my days. Is this just the nature of the beast? My body tired of compensating for things that don't work? Any suggestions on things to help with the fatigue. I am usually in bed around 7 at night, pain usually forces me to lay down. Usually try to sleep for a couple hours then up to cath and then take my meds including a sleeping med. Usually up 5-6 am.

  2. #2
    Have you talked to your primary care doctor, and made sure there isn't anything outside of SCI stuff that is making you tired?

    For example, thyroid problems, anemia, low mood, sleep disorders (sleep apnea, restless legs etc...) can all make you tired and are very common.

    For my Dad (similar injury to you, but older), treating his sleep apnea and mood helped a ton. Regular exercise also helps, although it seems counter intuitive. Treating pain helps, but unfortunately pain meds can also make you sleepy. Using non-MED ways to treat pain helps. Heat/cold/topical meds/stretching/massage/TENS etc...

    My Dad also uses a mild stimulant (generic form of provigil), which is used for people with sleep apnea who are still tired despite treatment.

    And he knows his limits. Life and self care with SCI is really exhausting. Sleep, prioritize.

  3. #3
    If you can try to stop taking the sleeping pill. It migth be hard to stop as it might take 1-2 weeks and try not to sleep during the day so your body gets used to it. After I stop taking it, I slept about 2-3 hours a night but I did not feel tired. I felt ok but it might be different with everybody.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zagam's Avatar
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    Fatigue by falling over and spaz by getting stuck. May have to use chair more.

  5. #5
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    All my labs come back fine. Not deficient in any area. Thyroid good. I am being treated for depression and PTSD. I have tried going off of my sleeping med but have failed. I take trazedone. I don't have a hung over tired feeling when I get up like other sleeping meds. It usually hits me later morning, after my bowel program and getting ready for the day and then later afternoon.

    Seems my issue is staying asleep. I am so tired when I lay down there is not usually a problem falling asleep. It's that I am up in two hours, need to cath and then between pain and my mind racing, I find it difficult to go back to bed without medication. Will be seeing my primary care this week. I am trying to fight against using my chair more, but I am fearing that it may happen sooner than later at this point.

  6. #6
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    I think its just aging. I got my first wheelchair last year, walked 27 years. I quit eating processed foods or drinking soft drinks. I even take Vitamin D and a VB12 in the morning plus some kind of energy vitamin.

    But the fatigue is always there.

    If you find the answer, share it with me lol
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  7. #7
    My Dad has started inserting a foley at night so he doesn't have to get up to cath. Really great.

    But he's still tired too.

  8. #8
    Reading your post sounds like you are employed as a maid! Don't mean to negate that you are helping your brother and his family, but I'm wondering if it's time to think of getting your own place. Maybe with a roommate. You don't mention a social life of your own - friends, dates, activities. You seem to have so much to do each day, but it only seems to center around chores and exercise.
    Finances may be an issue, just wondering if with a work related injury you are able to get worker's comp. in addition to SSDI.
    Have you had any contact with state vocational rehabilitation? You said you are unable to work "now", but perhaps a vocational counselor could help you develop a program involving vocational testing, education, etc. You are young enough to think of supporting yourself by suitable employment later.
    Just a comment - if you can manage a college program it could be part time - and it may be feasible if you cut down on all those chores and instead have activities that will have an impact on your future.
    P.S. All those daily chores you mention would tire any non-disabled person. Hope you will let us know if you have future plans; this is a tough situation for you.

  9. #9
    You have been at this longer than me so you know the fatigue and exhaustion, never go away. If you don't feel it, most likely the meds are covering it up.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    Reading your post sounds like you are employed as a maid! Don't mean to negate that you are helping your brother and his family, but I'm wondering if it's time to think of getting your own place. Maybe with a roommate. You don't mention a social life of your own - friends, dates, activities. You seem to have so much to do each day, but it only seems to center around chores and exercise.
    Finances may be an issue, just wondering if with a work related injury you are able to get worker's comp. in addition to SSDI.
    Have you had any contact with state vocational rehabilitation? You said you are unable to work "now", but perhaps a vocational counselor could help you develop a program involving vocational testing, education, etc. You are young enough to think of supporting yourself by suitable employment later.
    Just a comment - if you can manage a college program it could be part time - and it may be feasible if you cut down on all those chores and instead have activities that will have an impact on your future.
    P.S. All those daily chores you mention would tire any non-disabled person. Hope you will let us know if you have future plans; this is a tough situation for you.
    I know your trying to help Triumph, but the reason why she asked for walkers is because if your a full time chair user, you don't get it.

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