Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fatigue: A Daily Struggle

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society states that fatigue occurs in 80 percent of patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis. In hot or humid weather, fatigue may increase throughout the day.

I live in Texas - It's hot and humid every day so you can bet that I'm screwed on that one. 

Fatigue. It hurts, it's unbearable yet somehow we all seem to open our eyes every morning, slap a smile on our face and take on the day (with the help of a few cups of coffee).

If you hear anyone with MS say "Man, I'm so flippin' tired" that doesn't mean they went to bed at 2am and woke up at 6 to take on the day. That usually means you held your eyes open until a little past 8pm and fell asleep while watching The Voice. 

I'm going to attempt to explain what fatigue feels like to those who don't have MS, or any other autoimmune disease.

Fatigue makes your head hurt. Every.Single.Day. You can only take so much Tylenol before needing a liver transplant. (If you're a member of my family, you're on the short list if I ever need one). 

Fatigue makes you nauseous. This one sounds strange but you are so tired that you feel like you need to vomit. You might be out with friends for dinner when nothing sounds appetizing and you just need a double shot espresso from Starbucks to keep your eyes open.

Fatigue makes it hard to concentrate. If you work a full-time job as I do, you understand this all too well. Those times when your vision goes blurry and you just need to give your head a shake, say a quick prayer and re-focus? Happens all of the time and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Lastly, fatigue makes you unable to sleep. Funny, right? Many people with MS who all suffer from fatigue suffer from insomnia as well. The nights where you just need an extra hour you end up tossing and turning for the entire night. 

It's difficult to wrap your mind around if you haven't experienced this, but sometimes it's truly difficult to just 'Do-Life'. 

The hardest days for me are Thursday and especially Friday. I've given all I have to push through the beginning of the work week and have nothing left. Exhausted doesn't even touch how I feel on those days.

So how do we beat it?

Some say exercise which I think helps my body in general but I definitely feel exhausted afterwards. 

Some say to eat like a rabbit (vegetarian) which might help battle fatigue.

For me? I haven't found a way to manage it and I'm not afraid to say it. I look forward to weekends where I am able to save up energy for the next week and also spend way too much money at the local Starbucks. 

Who knows, but at this point, it's 5:28pm and I don't even think supper time is worth me staying up until 6pm for, don't judge.