Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dealing with Lupus Fatigue (Part 1)

OUCH!!!!  Maybe not!

A very common problem experienced by many patients living with lupus is progressive reduction in activity/exercise. What typically will follow is a vicious cycle of inactivity and deconditioning which results in an increase in symptoms…which then leads to a further reduction in activity in order to avoid the pain and discomfort. Thus, making the end result be our inability to comfortably accomplish even the most basic activities of daily living.

Living in such a state of chronic distress places a tremendous drain on a person's ability to function psychologically, physically, and emotionally. It is therefore important to consider alternative methods to reduce or prevent the onset of fatigue. The goal should be to develop a healthful daily routine including exercise and energy conservation techniques.

Most of us are advised to set priorities and maintain a reasonable schedule. We are encouraged to try to develop an activity/rest program based on our fatigue patterns which will allow us to utilize our energy most effectively. You should consider fatigue patterns including onset, duration, intensity, and aggravating and alleviating factors. 

For me, energy conservation is the way my activities or tasks are completed. I conserve energy by pacing myself and simplifying my work routines. The principles of energy conservation are designed to help you reduce the strain on your body.

You can pace yourself by alternating periods of work, activity, therapeutic exercise and rest in order to avoid fatigue. Pacing is important because fatigue or over activity can leave you drained of all energy. It allows energy to last through the day and makes it possible to do things that are important.

Pacing works only if a schedule is developed each day of the week. When developing a schedule, it is important to set priorities. To set priorities, it is necessary to analyze each task or activity by asking these questions: 
  1. Is the task necessary?
Ø  Can it be eliminated?
  1. Why am I doing this task?
  2. What purpose does it serve?
  3. Do I need to do it or can someone else?
  4. Who can help to do it?
  5. Where is the best place to do it?
  6. When should it be done?
  7. What is the worst possible thing that could happen if that task is not done?
Tomorrow I will continue with the Principles of Energy Conservation!!   

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