Feeling Exhausted, for Twenty-Six Years

In July 1993, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. Two years later, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Living with both of these autoimmune disorders has been extremely difficult. I’ve battled debilitating fatigue, for an exceptionally long period of time.

Everyone of us feels fatigued. I really get that. Nevertheless, I had no real idea of just how very devastating it is to fight crushing fatigue, on a long-term basis.

This is the type of fatigue that demands that we stop whatever we may be doing. Unfortunately, resting is almost always non-restorative.

This is the type of fatigue that makes the idea of simply taking a shower, plus getting dressed, feel overwhelming.

This is the type of fatigue that creates a wide chasm between what our particular goals might be on any given day, versus the stark reality of just how much we’re actually able to complete.

This is the type of fatigue that necessitates taking medication, on a continued basis, simply to keep functioning. Such medication, nonetheless, often stops being effective after a period of time.

Therefore, it may be necessary to raise the dosage, whenever possible to do so. Alternatively, management of chronic fatigue may require switching to a different type of medication.

This is the type of fatigue that creates difficulties when you’re engaged in an activity with someone else. Once you “hit the wall” of MS fatigue, it absolutely demands that you stop whatever you might be engaged in doing, and to just rest.

The single most challenging aspect of this type of fatigue is that, for the most part, it remains largely hidden to others. Consequently, they may erroneously conclude that you’ve somehow lost interest in the activity that you’re doing together, or that you’re merely lazy.

Compounding the difficulties of living with persistent fatigue is our emotional response to such long-term exhaustion. It’s very easy for depression to develop in response to feeling fatigued on a consistent basis.

Such feelings of increased depression are associated with the development of heightened levels of fatigue.

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