Fatigue: One of the Worst Parts of Crohn's Disease
Last updated: April 2023
You know that feeling when you physically cannot keep your eyes open? Like when you are sitting on the couch at night watching TV and it takes every effort to not shut your eyes and fall asleep during a commercial, so you just take yourself to bed rather than fight the fatigue?
That's living with Crohn's disease... All. The. Time. Whether it be 9 a.m., 1 p.m., or 11 p.m., fatigue hits us like a truck and there is no amount of coffee, fresh air, or stretching that can fight this beast.
The misery of Crohn's fatigue during work
When I was working my corporate job, this is was a major obstacle in maintaining my productivity throughout the day. I remember sitting at my desk, looking at the computer screen, physically holding my eyelids open for fear that even blinking would send me to La La Land.
I would take walks around the office to get water in the break room or take a walk outside just to get fresh air, but neither of those tactics helped fight the level of fatigue that was upon me.
Fortunately, I lived close to my office so many of my lunch hours were spent drinking a smoothie in 15 minutes and then taking a quick nap for 45 minutes before returning to the office.
And, in dire situations, I would "run an errand" for a half hour just to go home and get a quick 30-minute snooze in so that I could get through my afternoon meetings. It was miserable.
Others don't understand the constant fatigue
And, the worst part of feeling constantly fatigued is that I felt guilty when saying it to others, and truthfully, they just didn't understand the level of exhaustion I was experiencing. I also felt like it showed weakness.
How many times do people say "I am so tired!" because of working a night shift or taking care of a newborn? I felt like saying "I am so tired!" showed weakness, especially when I did not keep late hours or have a physically demanding job. But, this level of exhaustion was on a whole other level that most cannot comprehend.
Crippling, frustrating, and one of the worst symptoms of Crohn's
I had to come to the realization that despite others thinking "being tired" was common among most people on most days, my fatigue was extreme and due to my chronic illness, so I could not be shy when limiting my daily activities because I had zero energy and I was no longer afraid to let others know about it.
It's crippling, frustrating, and a nuisance to our everyday lives. But, it is critical that we let others know how we are struggling, give our body rest when it requires it, and do whatever we can to make sure our bodies in are their best shape to stay healthy otherwise while we battle this disease and all of the side effects that come with it.
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