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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fatigue and M.S.

Fatigue is one of the most difficult aspects of multiple sclerosis to explain to someone.  When I say I am tired, I just leave it at that.  What I really mean is that I am bone weary drop any minute exhausted. I also mean "please don't expect me to make any decisions because I truly am not capable of deciding what to make for dinner tonight."

M.S. Fatigue creeps into all aspects of my life. The physical symptoms are obvious. I want to sleep more, my gait is a bit off,  my speech becomes stuttery, and I am just all together slower.  The mental part definitely affects my decision making capabilities, and my emotional control.

Being so tired also brings on the dreaded G word.  You know guilt.  When I can't keep up with the family and friends I feel bad.  Fatigue has affected my work life in the past. I could not always keep up with the tasks assigned to me.  I would make simple mistakes when placing orders with vendors or paying invoices.  The amount of work I actually missed was not excessive, but I always felt bad and unreliable when I did have to call off.  I would put a full day in at work and then come home and do nothing with my family.

Fatigue also affected my social life drastically.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that my daughters are very active.  I have a house to manage. I like to run when I can.  Something has to give and sadly it has been my social life. Even though I no longer work outside the home,  my life has to be regimented and scheduled or I lose track of things.  Trying to squeeze in coffee or lunch can screw that up for me.  I feel bad though because that makes me a terrible friend.  The sad thing is I love to connect with people. If you catch my interest and earn my respect I will be your friend for life.  I just can't always have lunch with you.

What I want people to understand the most about those of who are affected by M.S. fatigue is that we are not lazy.  We do not enjoy this lack of energy.  When we say we are too tired to do things it is not an excuse.  We are exhausted and if we could change it we would.

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