Increased MS Fatigue

Despite the majority of my recently increased MS symptoms having lessened, I’m continuing to suffer from increased MS fatigue. This type of exhaustion is qualitatively different from what most individuals refer to as simply being tired. It is an all-consuming, debilitating, whole body weakness, as well as complete exhaustion. It’s experienced even when you’ve had a good night’s sleep. It feels like you’ve simply been run over. It actually hurts to feel this exhausted. Once this level of fatigue sets in, there’s actually no other option but to lie down and rest, often for an extended period of time. It is the single most disabling symptom of having MS for me. Actually, struggling with debilitating MS fatigue is the number one reason why individuals with MS are unable to remain employed. Like other MS symptoms, this fatigue worsens significantly in response to experiencing increased levels of stress. As with my many other MS symptoms, this is an invisible symptom. Once I “hit the wall,” with increased fatigue, I absolutely must rest. Several times, I’ve been in awkward social situations where all I could think was that I absolutely have to rest, right now. It hasn’t always been an option, however, to politely exit from a social encounter. Even more challenging, no one around me could even detect my increased fatigue. For the past fifteen years, I have been prescribed stimulant medication for MS fatigue. Unfortunately, it has stopped being as effective as it initially was. Due to concerns about increased blood pressure levels, my dosage can’t safely be increased. MS fatigue also produces a significantly decreased ability to focus on more intellectually challenging types of tasks. Today, I completed three initial psychological evaluations at the nursing home. I came home, and immediately went straight to bed. It wasn’t even 2 p.m., and the productive period of my day was effectively already over.

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