Managing MS fatigue, an overwhelming inability to continue

Managing my MS fatigue

Twirling spaghetti round a fork gives me fatigue

Managing MS fatigue is a long story. As recently as 1995 I played badminton singles in the local sports centre, after just half an hour I was physically exhausted and very sweaty. I’ve now hung up my badminton racket, personally I blame multiple sclerosis,. I still suffer intense exhaustion but no sweating. Walking very slowly for an hour leaves me feeling wiped out. How do I manage my MS fatigue?

Describe it

‘An overwhelming inability to continue but there is no obvious reason.’

Does that describe MS fatigue  to you? It ticks my box and there is an implication of the frustration and helplessness that I like.

Managing MS fatigue can be difficult but that’s my own stupid fault. Recently I managed to walk continuously for an hour and at the end I had chronic fatigue. I walked less than a kilometre, raising money for the local MS Therapy Centre.  MrsB has forbidden me attempting a similar venture for a long time.

Repetition is difficult and clumsy

Did you say, “MS is different for everyone”. The same applies to my MS fatigue. Some things are becoming incrementally more difficult for me. Walking is a problem for almost everyone who has MS. There are do many subtle and not so subtle problems tied in with this disability.

Over the last 25 years

That ever-present elephant in the room, multiple sclerosis, has taken away all control and feeling from my left leg. It started as foot drop and slowly the control and movement of the leg has ebbed away. At least my right leg is in good nick.

Something else that has crept out of the woodwork over the last few years and I never saw it coming. My left hand is slowly going the same way. So far its only in the dexterity of my fingers but where and when will it end? Writing is a struggle.

What’s happening?

Slowly but surely manual dexterity is slipping away, I can’t control my fingers. It’s little things like undoing knots in shoelaces, twirling spaghetti round a fork and writing shopping lists.

Eating is a social activity

Making spaghetti carbonara

I can slice the bacon but I cannot separate the eggs. Grate the Parmesan and mix ingredients together but MrsB must put food onto plates and carry it to the table. I can confidently twirl the spaghetti round my fork half a dozen times. Then it becomes a task that requires more and more concentration and effort. By the end the intense focus required to manoeuvre the fork takes away all the pleasure in eating.

A glass of wine

Sometimes I even have a glass of wine with my supper. Now I really must engage brain. I pick up the glass, transfer it to my lips, take a sip and return it to the table. More than once the glass has inexplicably slipped out of my hands and smashed on the kitchen floor or I have dribbled wine onto the plate. So embarrassing.

Managing MS fatigue

It does not make me feel tired or want to yawn. It has stolen games of badminton from me that I enjoyed even though I invariably lost. Managing MS fatigue sounds easy but there’s always something unexpected round the corner. I must smile and keep on going.

Simple things I now need to understand






Does my disability make me worth less?

October 2020

6 responses to “Managing MS fatigue, an overwhelming inability to continue”

  1. Siobhan says:

    I sometimes confuse my chronic fatigue with laziness. I get very fed up that I can’t achieve what I want to do because I am so tired all the time. Unlike other people with MS I yawn a lot at night! I find it hard to get upstairs to bed. But the good things in life are swimming and cycling on my electric tricycle. I can forget my balance problems and lack of coordination.

    • Hello Siobhan,

      Yes, I know exactly what you mean. With me it is more a case of knowing I will be tired after doing something and is it worth the effort?
      Sadly the multiple sclerosis monkey is so big that I can never forget about it, instead I just have to learn to live with it.

  2. Katie says:

    Fatigue feels to me like someone just pulled out the plug… Literally, I just wither! ….as the electricity lead no longer connects with the socket.

  3. MC Black says:


    Have you considered using the unbreakable sort of “glasses” that are intended for pic-nics and similar use. That would eliminate the breakage but NOT the mess!

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