Person on indoor stationary exercise bike with swirls of movement

What My Rheumatologist Suggested For Fatigue

Fatigue is my worst enemy. I almost never stop talking about how tired I am, and I’m sorry if you’ve ever had to experience it. It’s not my fault, though! I really am always exhausted! I’m prone to daily naps and early bedtimes. That’s just what my life has become lately.

When I first mentioned it

I first mentioned my fatigue to my rheumatologist back in December, so about 10 months ago. He didn’t really say much, which I attribute to him not knowing how truly bad it is. He told me to try doing more cardio, to which I agreed, but secretly thought he must be crazy.

How could I possibly do cardio every day, when most days I could barely get out of bed? It was also December, and things like biking or running were out of the question.

What I decided to do

I knew my best friend had an exercise bike, so I decided to ask if I could borrow it for a little while. They let me keep it! So I decided to try to bike a little bit each day, but before long, the holidays arrived and that kind of flew out the window.

I did notice that the biking helped my fatigue a little bit, but not enough for me to continue doing it, obviously.

The second mention

I talked to my rheumatologist over the phone a few weeks ago and mentioned the fatigue again. I’d started a new biologic and was in the hopes that it would help me out with the fatigue. It did on and off, but again, not enough to not be napping regularly.

When I mentioned the fatigue to my rheumatologist, all he suggested was doing more cardio. I figured that this is my only hope for right now, so I reluctantly decided to try it again.

What I’ve been doing

I’ve been trying to do yoga every other day and biking on the days in between for about 2 weeks now. I’m noticing that my confidence is up, for one. I feel a lot better about myself when I’m exercising regularly. I know that from before, though, I used to love working out.

Apart from my confidence, I’ve been feeling a little bit better fatigue-wise. I think this will only get better the longer I do it. I don’t need naps as frequently, although I do still nap. I'm not feeling as body-heavy as I did before, either.

Keep in mind

Please do keep in mind that I am an ankylosing spondylitis patient who is unable to work, and lives at home with her parents. I feel very lucky to be able to test these things out and nap when I need to or spend a day in bed when needed.

I know not everyone has the same luxuries as I do, as well as some of us can be in flares which would make me unable to work out. I've been doing the best I can with what I’m given.

What have your rheumatologists suggested for fatigue, and what has worked for you?

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