“I’m so tired
Everyone has said these words. And everyone has heard someone else say these words. But what do they mean? When managing a chronic illness like IBD, the word “tired” takes on a whole new meaning. From difficulty sleeping, to anemia, medication side effects, mood changes, and chronic inflammation, fatigue lurks behind everything when managing Crohn’s or UC. So we decided to ask the experts – you, our community – how you distinguish tired from IBD tired. These were you incredible thoughts:
The Unrelenting Fatigue Experience
Many of you reported feeling like you’re fighting a never-ending battle with fatigue. It is all-consuming and exhaustion to the bone.
“Crohn’s tired is like living and walking through a wall of wet sand. Everything is harder and takes longer than a mere bout of fatigue. Your quality of life is compromised every day with that level of exhaustion weighing you down. There are not enough naps in the world to bring you back to merely tired”
“I don’t remember what it feels like to be energized. You can sleep 12 hours and still feel like you ran a marathon or sleep 6 and feel the same way, makes no difference”
“For me, IBD tired is an evil force making you work twice as hard at everything all day. Also, on days off, you wonder why you are just as tired as a work day, and still can’t manage to get all of the home jobs done that you saved for the day off work”
Wishing Others Would Understand
Many of you reported wishing others would understand that IBD fatigue is so beyond just needing to take a nap and moving on. Sometimes, communicating with the ones we’re closest to can be the hardest step.
“I’m tired of being tired, feeling drained, knowing I should rest but pushing myself to try and do as much as I can for my kids and family. IBD tired is everyday, top of your eyes hurt from being so tired because there was minimal sleep. Then there is the tired of trying to explain it over and over again. Sometimes, I feel it’s the ones closest to you that need the reminder of what IBD tired is”
The True Difference Between Tired and IBD Tired
“Feeling IBD tired means FORCING yourself to do things normal people do without a second thought. Sometimes just a simple shower is very challenging”
“I’d be happy to be just tired…to be able to get some rest and start out refreshed. There is not enough sleep (if I can sleep), or rest that can rescue us from this soul-deep, mind-numbing fatigue”
“IBD tired is gravity feeling much stronger, pulling you down. Difficult to do anything and everything”
“I can push through tired. If I push through IBD tired, I get worsening symptoms”
We are so glad so many of you shared your thoughts and experiences with us. Your comments are so indicative of a broader trend: You are not alone! We are here for you, and so are your fellow community members.
How do you distinguish tired from IBD tired, and what you do to combat the exhaustion?