It’s Still With Me
Neuro fatigue is something that became a huge problem for me as I recovered more and more from my TBI. In my mind, as I improved it would become less of a problem. WRONG! If anything I feel it more.
Put A Positive Spin On It!
I try and put a positive spin on it, as much as I hate the feeling of Neuro fatigue. The best way to think of it, in my opinion, is to think that the reason it is more of a problem is that you are building your endurance and doing more! Which is great!
Difference In Just Tired And Neuro Fatigue
One thing that I had to figure out as my recovery has progressed is to know the difference between Neuro fatigue, or just being overly tired. It is hard to learn the difference, it is like constantly walking a line between the two, trying to figure out where you are on any given day.
My Description Of Neuro fatigue
When I’m experiencing neuro fatigue, it affects my whole body. Physically, my whole body feels heavy, sometimes achy. I have had times where it has felt like I can hardly get one foot in front of the other.
My vision gets double when I’m experiencing neuro fatigue. Also, I have experienced, especially when migraines are involved my vision gets all sparkly..seeing blinking spots sort of. This will make a headache even worse.
When I’m experiencing neuro fatigue, my normal baseline headache will get much, worse, sometimes really quickly.
My brain feels all fuzzy and I literally can’t think clearly. If there are a lot of people around, it will be hard to differentiate who is talking or be able to follow the conversation. My hearing also gets ultra-sensitive.
On these days, don’t be afraid to take a crash day. I often took a crash/ do nothing days before I was hurt! Now that I’m recovering TBI I more fully understand the benefits of taking a day here and there. Needing to rest and refuel your body is nothing to be ashamed of TBI or not!
If you didn’t catch my first article on neuro fatigue. Take a look, you will find 5 tips in that article that I think will really help with learning to deal with this annoying part of TBI life.
Being Extra Tired
There is a difference between Neuro fatigue and just being really tired. I still sometimes have trouble telling the difference. My symptoms vary so much each day. It makes it hard to figure out whether or not to push myself.
You have to remember (no matter how much it sucks) that on the good days, and sometimes just okay days we have got to push ourselves. It is the only way to improve and build endurance. So it is super important to try, even when it’s hard.
Neuro Fatigue Symptoms (Don’t Push Through)
- migraine headache
- vision problems
- Extra sensitive hearing
- balance problems(if you have them, worse than usual balance problems)
- Physically tired to the point your body feels heavy or achy
- Brain fogginess/confusion
- Any combination of the above!
Days You Might Want To Try To Push
First off, you know your body better than anyone else. Nobody else can tell you. Listen to your body and do what you think is best for yourself.
If I have a day where I have a lot of symptoms flared up but I feel like I can get out of bed, I will push through. Push through meaning getting up, out of pajamas and just having a restful day around the house.
When I truly have neuro fatigue, I feel like I wake up in the morning and literally feel like I can’t bring myself out of bed. So I don’t!
Half A Crash Day (It Count’s As Pushing Through)
If you have a really bad morning. Put your earplugs in, lay with an ice pack on your head, or heating pad on whatever aches. Drink a lot of water, eat something healthy even if you are not hungry.
If you begin to feel better as the day goes on. See if you can get up and out of bed. Even if it is just watching t.v. or maybe a short walk outside.
I have found that now that I know my body, I have learned to listen to my body. Now unless I have had a run of totally exhausting days, I can usually get myself to feel good enough to get up after a half crash day instead of a full one.
Listen To Your Body, It’s How To Make Progress!
Learning to listen to your body, when to push and when you just need to rest, is the key to improving your endurance, and tolerance.
Think about it as one of the things on the recovery list that you need to consciously work on. You may not be able to remove neuro fatigue from your list of symptoms, but you can learn to handle it better. Which will help you differentiate when you should crash and when you might be able to push through. It all just depends on where you are in your recovery.
If I can do it, you can! Keep on Keepin’ On!