Understand MS fatigue, logic can fly out of the window

Understand MS fatigue, its when logic flies out of the window

MS Fatigue, a ghastly hidden disability

For many people fatigue is an unenviable part of multiple sclerosis, its severity varies from person to person.  People do not truly understand MS fatigue unless they suffer from it. The cause of this hidden disability is not properly understood. Worse still, too many people do not appreciate that fatigue is a chronic hidden disability. This is how the MS Trust describes fatigue.

Do I understand MS fatigue

How about “an overwhelming inability to continue but there is no obvious cause”. That’s not right for everyone but it’ll do for the time being. A 5 Km runner will feel physically exhausted at the end of the race. The mental capacity is still good and physical recovery is usually reasonably quick. Recovery is not so straightforward for a person with MS. A sit down or even a nap is a good start but even that might not do the trick.

I have advanced MS and I suffer from fatigue. Standing on my feet is a killer. If I am using a walker then life is easier but that does not stop the fatigue. Standing is easier if I can find something to lean against so I am not fighting to keep my balance. I must not burn the candle at both ends.

Consequences of fatigue

I’m not out of breath but coordinated movement of my legs is tricky. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I broke into a sweat because of physical exercise. Instead my thighs ache, problem with double vision becomes much worse and logical thought falls by the wayside.

So as well as being physically exhausted my brain is befuddled, I’m unable to think clearly or logically. Does this sound familiar to you?

Understand MS fatigue, logic flies out of the window

MS fatigue causes confusion

It’s the befuddled brain that is worrying

It’s at these moments of confusion that I want to continue with whatever I am doing regardless. Yup my brain works in peculiar ways. I know I have done too much but I have must keep going and not give up. My thoughts are very disorganised.

Now is the moment when I ought to stop and ask for help but often I won’t. When sense prevails or The Wife intervenes I will sit down and snooze. An hour later the fatigue and the MS brain fog has all but disappeared

Nobody knows why

Some lucky people with MS do not suffer fatigue. Mine is not chronic but it leaves me feeling guilty and being too reliant upon other people.

Eating a meal in the evening, my one good meal a day, often causes severe fatigue but a 2 hour sit down cures it. For some people fatigue just happens; suddenly they feel enveloped by a thick fog and it can change their whole way of life. Which camp are you in?  Even more frightening, nobody can really understand MS fatigue.

Sensible ideas

Always have mobile numbers of people you know and who can help in case of emergency. If you know what can trigger the fatigue then life can be much easier. Maybe there will be a cure meanwhile we all just soldier on.

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Associated articles

Further handicaps because of MS






Invisible disabilities are the hardest





November 2021

7 responses to “Understand MS fatigue, logic can fly out of the window”

  1. Kay says:

    I get this very rarely, fortunately, but when it hits it’s Iike the seconds after being given a general anaesthetic.

  2. Mal says:

    ‘Keeping busy/occupied’ really does help somedays!

  3. Mal says:

    Thank you for your site – as always, good sir!
    Oh, I wholly appreciate the annoyance for random MS Fatigue! Just yesterday it kicjked-in for me for no apparent reason… 16 hours I spent in bed, dagnammit!
    Today – all seems OK… go figure!
    It’s the whole randomness of it that gets me somedays.

    • Hi Mal,

      There is nothing random about my fatigue yet, thank goodness. It happens when I do too much. Yes I do occasionally have bad days when I feel down in the dumps and unable to achieve anything but I do keep myself busy and that helps.

  4. John Cowburn says:

    Good article Patrick, more or less describes exactly how fatigue affects me!

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