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Author Topic: Any help with concentration and fighting tiredness  (Read 4937 times)
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Giraffe76
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« on: May 24, 2016, 06:03:52 PM »

Hello,

My wife fights tiredness and struggles to concentrate on anything everyday especially after she has taken all her tablets (for both her ME and diabetes) which seems strange and i want to know if there is anything that anyone can recommend to help her please

kind regards Mark
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carrie
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 10:05:18 AM »

Hi there mark, apologies for the lack of response as yet. Loss of ability to focus and concentrate is a major symptom for those with ME/CFS. I find I have to accept this and break down tasks and hobbies into small bite size pieces much as I do for my two year old daughter. Trying to push and do too much can lead to frustration and a sense of failure which just compounds the problem. Attitude is important, the more defeated we feel the less we will be inclined to do which leads to longer term loss of ability. Think how you would need to break things down for a child with poor concentration skills and then adapt them to suit an adult. I know it is frustrating both for the sufferer shuddered the carers and family but taking things more slowly leads to better outcomes longer term.
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Giraffe76
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 01:56:43 PM »

Carrie,

Thank you for your advice.. i will definately keep it in mind for the future.

A specialist that she had seen several years ago advised her to fight through the tiredness as much as possible and dont go to bed because it creates bad sleeping habits/patterns.

Is there anything that you or anyone else can suggest she does to try and stay awake,especially as there are certain times that shes on 4 time release pain killing morphine tablets a day and shes just a zombie and sleeps the day away.

Regards Mark
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 02:07:03 PM by Giraffe76 » Logged
carrie
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 02:18:05 PM »

Hi, firstly a couple of points where I disagree with the drs. Pushing through fatigue is counter productive in me/cfs but useful in certain things like depression. Imagine that your car is low on fuel the lights on and the first signs of fuel exhaustion hit. There is a petrol station a mile away our ten miles away. Which would you go to? Is I'd choose a mile away refill and carry on safely in the knowledge I will get top my a
Destination, I wouldn't push another eleven miles as it might be quicker bit risk completely stalling and danmaging my car further. ME is much the same and exactly where I have screwed up over the last fifteen years. I have always been a carry on regardless person. Your tired? Have a coffee and get on with it, this in turn leads to the well known boom and bust cycle which causes long term deterioration in health and functioning which I am a prime example of. If you need rest rest if you want to do something do it but keep mindful of your bodies signals for fatigue. More gets done longer term with moderation than boom and bust.

Secondly I have the opposite problem I simply don't sleep, how long had your wife been ill? I used to sleep excessively then I flipped and simply don't sleep hardly. We tend toi experience phases of insomnia and sleeping excessively. Also if it is related to medication it is whey going back to your Dr. I have swapped from 90mg mst continus to fentanyl recently for other health issues and it may just help if another med is tried
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 02:27:45 PM by carrie » Logged
Giraffe76
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 02:42:50 PM »

carrie,

I understand and fully agree with your analogy and there are times when she can stay awake through the day but other times when shes only awake for a few hours before she goes back to bed.Ive only known her for 15 years and she started to suffer with ME a short while before we met but i have seen a gradual decline with her over those years.

My wife always has a big cup of coffee to try to keep her awake and get her through the daytime,once she gets to about 7 or 8pm she comes awake. She does sleep much more in the wintertime when its cold and her pain is very very high however the other problem she had was that in her last job before she developed ME she was working as a computer analysts and was on call 24/7 so her sleep pattern was damaged before she got ME..in fact shes subsequently been told that the lack of a sleep pattern and in fact lack of sleep was one of the contributing factors to her developing ME in the first place.

Are you saying that you would recommend her to stop having the coffee?

Our doctor is fantastic and is very very supportive especially with my wifes condition,each time she visits him (which in fact isnt very often) shes always asking if she can be taken off any tablets or if there are any alternatives. She is also on anti depressants too along with about another 16 tablets a day.

Mark
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carrie
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 03:11:11 PM »

Hi there mark, apologies I didn't make myself clear, coffee is not ideal,I don't think we should drink it certainly in the quantity I do, and there lies my problem, I am a sugar with coffee addict I live on caffeine and sugar and therefore cannot tell you that your wife should stop it but realistically yes, it is not doing us any favours If we drink it regularly, I an at the stage where caffeine does not keep me awake at all but may interfere with my sleep.

I was much the same as your wife, I was running on empty for many years, working, studying, working, and trying to socialise, literally sleeping on a Sunday Afternoon for a few hours then that was pretty much it for a week until my next Sunday slumber. I also developed mental health difficulties, for me these preceded my physical decline though I had had difficulties since childhood with pain and things.

The problem as I see it and why I an not best placed to give definite advice is that I truly believe that ME is simply a list of common symptoms and the causes are vast and variable as much as the sufferers who have to deal with them, in the past two years since I had my daughter things have come to light that in my opinion explain many of my health issues away from the misnomer of ME. But that's another post for another day when and if I get much confirmed.

The one thing I would suggest, not just for us sufferers of these symptoms but for anyone who values their health is try and reduce sugar in any form there are numerous books which explain the dangers, risks and science behind it but one of the most trusted and one of the first is called pure white and deadly. I mention this as I do truly believe it is important and although I an struggling giving up sugar I feel it is a good basis and if your wife is like me, we crave sugar when our energy is low so end up with coffee as a side to the mug of sugar.  I used to drink up to six litres of diet coke a day which I also think had a negative effect due to the sweeteners and chemicals, but it leaves us a little high and dry when we are so reliant on sugar. Depression also can lead to cravings for either sweet our high processed carb products, but they are counter productive.

I an Sorry I am not at my most literate and able ro explain myself due to recent heath hiccups but hoping I will make more sense soon!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 03:14:12 PM by carrie » Logged
roger
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 05:03:21 PM »

'Not as your most literate', Carrie??? That post was one of the best I've seen on the forum for a very long time!! And yes, you SHOULD give up sugar. In my personal experience, it's horrible for about two weeks. After that, sugar tastes unpleasant! Suffering for two weeks could well save your life. Sorry if that seems a bit blunt/harsh, but it's true.
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carrie
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 05:22:14 PM »

Roger, if you weren't blunt/ to the point you wouldn't be our favourite Roger! And yes once I get my self back together it is my mission as I am sure it will prove worth while, I just have to be in a little more stable mind set or I will set myself up to fail then claim it is impossible lol
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roger
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 05:56:29 PM »

That sounds reasonable  Kiss
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MissyRS
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 06:02:33 PM »

I have found that having ME and Fibro has made me be decisive to the point of cut throat!  And I'm the one whose throat is being cut (mostly!!).  For example - Caffeine.  I LOVE coffee! I truly LOVE coffee! I mean REALLY LOVE COFFEE!  But I read something - probably here on the forum - not long after I was diagnosed which said to cut out caffeine.  And so I had a very serious talk to my coffee loving self and it has had to go! 

It's a fake shot of energy rather than reliable, useful and sustainable.  Often the crash induced after the caffeine has worn off is worse than if you hadn't had the coffee in the first place! So I decided that I'd rather take 4 very small steps forward and a couple back rather than end up back at square one!!!

So yes - my advice for Mrs Giraffe is say cheerio to the coffee! 

Also when it comes to sleep as it is so hard to come by on occasion - getting what you can when you can seems to be sane to my mind.  I think about what my sister-in-law was told when my niece was born about sleeping when the baby sleeps i.e. sleep when you can! I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week - and most weeks I am managing this!  But I rest whenever I feel the need on my 4 'off' days!  So I'm often found in bed of an afternoon - even if I don't sleep I will read or rest.  Plus I've also accepted that I can't have late evenings as I used to!  So I'm often in bed on school nights by 8 ish - 9 at the latest! 

So basically I think that we do have to listen to our bodies and go with what seems to be the best at the time - and this can be painful in itself if it means cutting things out that one loves - like coffee!!!  Or for me going to the cinema - can't cope with the noise anymore and most of my friends can only go of an evening and I'm no good then... so that's now out!

So ... that is my two'pennorth!!! Even even three words of that is helpful that's cool - just ignore all that isn't at all helpful!!!

Take care!

 smile
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roger
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 06:19:44 PM »

Well now we have two great posts on this thread Ė Carrie and Missy, youíre stars.

Re sleep Ė I struggled with this for a long time, perhaps a couple of hours a night when something was telling me that Iíd never get well if I didnít get a straight eight. Then it struck me that worrying about lack of sleep led to even less sleep. So then, when I woke for the night, often before midnight, I stopped worrying about it and just used the time to meditate. In a very short time, Iíd improved my meditation technique dramatically and was back to the six hours a night that was my norm all my life pre CFS/ME.

We worry about lots of things that we really shouldnít worry about!!!
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MissyRS
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2016, 11:55:29 AM »

Roger... that is so good!!!!!  I remember my OT telling me that I could perhaps try meditating when I was lying awake at night - and it was like this huge lightbulb moment!!  I do something I call a 'stilling' with some of my more precocious charges at school and it absolutely AMAZING how beneficial it is... (I had one group of 16 year old boys who on at least 3 occasions turned up to my lesson saying 'Please Miss can we have a stilling today - my head is mashed!' - Believe me as a teacher it's moments like that that make my entire career!) I hadn't even considered it for myself in the waking hours of the night - and it really is helpful...

Mr Giraffe something was bugging my brain about your specialist's advice re: sleep and now (after some needed sleep myself!!) I've re-read your post and I know what it is... Mrs Giraffe is being prescribed morphine for pain!  MORPHINE!!!! I'd like to see the specialist try to stay awake and function fully on that wee wonder of medicine!!!!!!!!  Obviously I don't know what meds Mrs G has daily but I have some that when I take them before bed they help me chill and sleep better - and I've found out recently they are also an analgesic so that's goodly too - BUT the down side is if I have too much (I naughtily alter this med from the prescription!!) I feel like I have an awful hang over the next morning!!!  (Hence my altering the dose!) But if Mrs G is on any meds like that (amytripaline- Can't spell it!!) then they will have huge effects on her cognitive functioning at any point in the day she takes them!!! 

Plus - Mrs G's pain levels require morphine; I'd be in bed the whole time if my pain levels were that high!!!  I can manage my pain with over the counter meds, sleep, pacing and the amytrip!  So my hat is OFF! OFF! OFF! to Mrs G for being a functioning human any and every day of the week!!!

One last thing then I'll shut up... Sticking to a car analogy (which I too love Carrie!!!) the best description I've heard of ME is that the human version of our alternators are broken!  If my car's alternator was dud and I couldn't get a new one - I'd have to plan every movement with precision and care - so have a plan of where to stop to charge the battery.  Plan to always remove the battery and fully charge over night - or have multiple batteries (sleep is this I think for humans and healthy food!) Plus some luxuries would have to go - no radio... No Air con... No charging my phone on my commute... Don't know if the wheels have fallen off that wee analogy - but it really works for my brain and fits my life now... but being totally honest (and I know I'm an eternal optimist) my life may not be as broad now as it was - but the depth I reach in the things I do is truly rich - it just takes a bit of time to re-jig what is 'life' in our brains I think! 

OK - I think I'm way way way off topic - so I'm off ...my lovely aged parents are bringing me fish and chips for lunch! Yum so excited!!! 

Cheerio just now peeps! 

 smile
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roger
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2016, 01:47:56 PM »

Hey, Missy, I like your car analogy, in fact I like it better than Sarah Myhillís, although Iím a big fan of hers. She likens the mitochondria to the carís engine. But if the Carís engine is not working well, that doesnít affect other parts of the car, whereas if the carís alternator (mitochondria) is below par, then the battery (ATP) is going to have to be slowly charged up on a regular basis, and a semi flat battery affects many of the carís other functions. Yup, I like it!

Good points re the morphine, too!!
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carrie
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2016, 06:25:24 AM »

To be fair I functioned better on the morphine than I do on these fentanyl patches but everyone reacts differently to meds.
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SophieWarren
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 03:16:21 PM »

Most scientists are inclined to think that an adult should sleep at least 8 hours a day. This is considered enough for the body to feel well rested in the calm. However, these requirements may vary from one person to another, and some people can feel rested even if I only slept 6-7 hours. http://skywritingservice.com/blog/why-lack-of-sleep-is-dangerous-for-health Scientists say that if you feel like you want to NAP during the day, it is a signal that You don't get enough sleep at night.
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roger
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2016, 03:29:01 PM »

Hi Sophie, and welcome to the forum  smile

Personally, and this is just me, I gave up listening to scientists a long time ago. As far as I'm concerned, sleep requirements vary tremendously from person to person, and to attach a specific 'sleep period' to everyone is ridiculous. The objective of sleep is rest and rejuvenation, and the period and depth of sleep required is that that achieves that objective - just MHO of course  smile
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