Today our post is on fatigue!
We thought we would do a post on this as it’s something that seems to come as an added bonus with most chronic conditions. It makes you sleepy all the time and just thinking about doing anything makes you even more sleepy! For me it’s also the one that’s just never ending…
So what is fatigue?
Fatigue seems to be experienced differently by people. For me it comes in two forms:
- Complete lack of energy! It’s as though all of my energy has just suddenly drained out of me and simple activities such as moving feel impossible.
- My bones feel so heavy it’s as though they are made of lead and if I try to move I feel as though I’m trying to move through a swamp. This one likes to appear mostly in the mornings. I feel I should be given a medal sometimes just for managing to get out of bed!
Dizzy even pottered out to ask a few other people how they found fatigue so we could see how it felt to them:
- ‘Drowning in cotton wool.’ – John Smith
- ‘All encompassing heavy thick fog that makes lifting my head so difficult, talking , listening and generally functioning in any part of general life nigh on impossible.’ – Christian Rolfe
- ‘I feel like I’ve got the draining feeling from having flu, every part of my body feels really heavy and I feel really cold. I struggle to keep my eyes open and my speech becomes slurred too.’ – Sally-Ann Ford
- ‘It feels like a 12 hour long haul flight with the worst hangover while wearing a soaking wet ankle length fur coat and trying to do day to day tasks while feeling like that.’ – Fiona Ross
- ‘I get it in my arms and legs, my limbs just stop working.’ – Karen Mark-Green
- ‘Just so overwhelming, this is the one thing, I find so hard. Right eyelid drops, speech goes, which is so frustrating, because, I know what I want to say.’ – Dolly Dipsey Dory
- ‘Like I can’t even think or get sentences out properly. Like I’m on a real ‘go-slow’ and the only thing that makes it better is laying down and sleeping. Legs and feet feel heavy and tired. Eyes can see but can’t be bothered to look. Sometimes feels like a hangover.’ – Amy Brownlie
There doesn’t seem to be much that can actually stop fatigue but there are things that can help to stop it from getting progressively worse during the day. For me this is super important as if I don’t and I let the fatigue get worse; brain fog, tingling, dizziness and numbness start to creep in…
Ways of coping with extreme sleepiness!
- Sleep, sleep and more sleep! Lots of sleep and nap times are vital for helping manage the sleepiness. Still feel sleepy afterwards but it does stop it from getting any worse.
2. Prioritise tasks and activities. This is a difficult one because a lot of times things you want to do get scrapped so there’s enough energy for the things you have to do. My week consists of work and then sleeping the rest of the time so I have enough energy for work!
3. Relaxing. Getting stressed and feeling tense takes up so much energy! It’s not always easy but trying to stay relaxed means more energy for doing happy things! 🙂
4. Healthy eating. Drinking lots of water and eating healthily will help to give you more energy.
5. Exercise. Most of the time the idea of exercising is exhausting in itself. I feel like it’s a mad idea to get up and start moving around when I’m so sleepy but I must admit when I do it I do feel abit better. Gentle yoga and hydrotherapy always makes me feel slightly re charged. It’s just the getting going bit that’s difficult!
6. Keeping cool. MS doesn’t like heat and this can set off or make fatigue much worse. It means it’s really important to try and stop yourself from getting too hot.
7. Sleep! This ones important enough to mention twice. 🙂
How does fatigue feel for you and do you have any tips for helping cope with it? Me and Dizzy would love to hear them! 🙂 xxx
Big thank you to John, Christian, Sally-Ann, Fiona, Karen, Dolly, and Amy for their contribution to this post. xx