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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day Four MS Awareness Week - The Fatigue Monster

Today I want to talk about Fatigue and MS (dramatic music plays). 

(putting aside the fear by sharing a funny Korean baby) 

This is me with my big head (not really) cause I'm Korean (that's real).

Everyone OK? Good. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS. It's also (in my opinion) is one of the most debilitating. 80% of those diagnosed with MS will suffer from fatigue. We even have a a cool name for the type of fatigue we have it's called Lassitude (it has it's own name - how great right?). This type of fatigue is characterized by the following:

  • Generally occurs on a daily basis
  • May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep
  • Tends to worsen as the day progresses
  • Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
  • Comes on easily and suddenly
  • Is generally more severe than normal fatigue
  • Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities

The other amazingly fun thing about MS fatigue is that they don't know what causes it. As you know, you can't effectively treat something when the cause is unknown, just like MS itself. Fatigue is my worst symptoms of MS. When I push myself to far, either at work or home, not sleeping enough, or horrible amounts of stress, my fatigue can get so bad I can't function. I fell asleep at a stop light once after a very stressful week at work. 

There are ways to combat fatigue - such as keeping cool, but fatigue can just come on and overwhelm you. I think I've said it before but it feels like someone has thrown a wet blanket on top of you. As quickly as it comes I've had it leave just as fast and it's one of the oddest feelings you can have. Exercise also helps with fatigue but I'll talk about exercise in another post.

There are also medications such as Provigil (a narcolepsy medication) and Ritalin (an ADHD medication). I personally use Provigil. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. As well, you should always get checked for other medical conditions that may cause fatigue. 

If you think you need help with your fatigue you should talk to your neurologist. Before I was diagnosed with MS I would get in my car, drive to the store, and then decide walking from my car to the store was to much trouble, and go home. I felt like a fat, lazy, slob and I was so embarrassed by this that I never told a soul. After diagnosis I spoke with someone who also had MS. I asked her about fatigue and shared the story I just shared with you. She laughed and told me that had happened to her many times. I started to cry. 

So, my suggestion is talk to someone else who has MS, talk to your Neuro, and don't be embarrassed  Now with exercise and managing my stress and time, and with the help of Provigil now and then. I always get out of the car when I go to the store, much to the horror of my bank account (smile). 

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