F.A.T.I.G.U.E.

F.A.T.I.G.U.E. deserves more than a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T. No pun intended, but I honestly feel too tired to even write this blog tonight. I have been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS for the past 25 years.

On a daily basis, I experience profound, incapacitating, debilitating, and indescribable fatigue. It is the single most difficult aspect of living with this chronic illness.

I’ve had multiple periods when MS has temporarily affected my ability to walk, requiring the use of a wheelchair. Needing an assistive device offers validation of having a serious health impairment.

There is no such external marker for my fatigue. Outwardly, I look just fine, even when I feel an overwhelming need to just lie down and rest. This happens after the simplest of tasks.

I no longer pop out of bed, jump in the shower, and simply get dressed. The simple task of showering necessitates lying down to rest, before finishing getting ready.

I feel like I spend my life in slow motion. No easy adjustment for a self-confessed Type A, driven high achiever. Just this past week, I saw my neurologist for my 6-month check-up.

I told her that I no longer am benefiting from my Provigil medication, which I take twice per day to manage my fatigue. Increasing this stimulant medication is not safe for me, since it would increase my blood pressure. This is especially risky since it was incidentally discovered that I have a cerebral aneurysm, 5 years ago.

I feel frustrated, discouraged, and anxious about losing the efficacy of the single most important weapon in my fatigue arsenal.

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