Body Exhaustion: A Pain in the Tail!
Last updated: March 2023
I had a recent painful experience that I'm sure other individuals have also experienced--I'd like to corroborate this experience with my own experience. In august, graduate classes for my degree started, and because I work full time, my class on Monday is in the evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. That's a long time to have a class after working for the full day! But what I noticed was that after my 9:30 pm class, my entire body was exhausted.
I felt fatigued, drained, and like I just wanted to crawl into bed and rest for 12+ hours. Unfortunately, you cannot really do that when you have reading to complete and other tasks, like taking care of your house and your cat.
My sudden tailbone pain
But the most amount of pain I felt was in my tailbone! I had never really experienced that amount of pain in that particular area before, but assuming the widespread nature of RA, I wouldn't be surprised that RA is affecting that bone, too. The pain was a consistent throbbing combined with a bruised feeling, almost like I had taken a fall and was experiencing the pain of the fall and inflammation at the same time.
Was sitting for too long the culprit?
I would assume this pain came from sitting all day and for an extended period of time for my class. It was very sensitive to the touch and caused me to constantly have to reshift and contort my body to not be in pain, which wasn't the most conducive to trying to learn new material in my class. Nor did it help that some people in my class started to look and think something was wrong with me (which, they were right, I was in pain). It's just hard to know when RA will strike, especially when schedules and things change from your normal schedule, which is something I've noticed about my body, too: abrupt changes are really hard on me, not only mentally, but also physically.
To alleviate some of the pain in my tailbone, I resigned to resting in bed for a while and having a heating pad on the bone to release/relieve some of the inflammation and pain. This worked well for me, along with a fairly potent cocktail or ibuprofen and water. Eventually, with all of these remedies and the playful demeanor of my cat, I started feeling better. A hot shower also helped with feeling better, as well as helped me sleep, and I was able to get a good amount of sleep (that is, until my cat decided to wake me up earlier).
I'm continually confused and perplexed by the widespread effects of having RA. It's rather annoying to have to always think and wonder which part of my body will be in pain upon waking each morning. And with new season changes, my body is precarious: it exists in this weird space between health and sickness, floating back and forth between the two. Has anyone else felt pain in their tailbone? What did you do to alleviate that pain?
Did you know rheumatologist Dr. Donica Baker is answering community questions?
Join the conversation