« Back

MS Fatigue

Fitted

Thursday April 05 2018 11:03 AM

Read the first blog for MS and Me from Katie St. Lawrence (24). She shares her experience of what it means to have fatigue, how she deals with it and how, thanks to being strategic about rest, energy and listening to her body, life is as enjoyable as ever.

I never knew when I was first diagnosed that fatigue would be one of my biggest challenges in my battle with multiple sclerosis. During the diagnosis process, I was always asked by the doctors and nurses how my energy levels/fatigue were. I never had any complaints. 

This changed a year after my first relapse. It was during the summer time when I started experiencing fatigue. I began to notice that the smallest of tasks would leave me feeling wrecked and needing to take a break. Jobs like preparing the dinner or cleaning my room (which never used to be an issue for me before) left me feeling like I had just completed a mini-marathon!

I started to get jealous when I looked around and saw other people around me doing these tasks without any difficulties. I also felt angry with myself when I thought about all the times, pre-MS, when I sat around doing nothing. I could have been enjoying myself! Little did I know then that I would be suffering from what I could only describe as the Ultimate Tiredness x10 for basic tasks.

Katie’s Fatigue = waking up after a full night’s sleep only to feel as if I’ve not had any sleep at all. Or being so tired that I can barely move and have to talk yourself into moving. Fatigue is when a hot shower can drain every ounce of whatever remaining energy out of your body. It leaves you feeling completely shattered and defeated. 

Like many people with MS, I have my good days and bad days when it comes to dealing with fatigue. Fatigue is with me all year round but is so much worse in the summer time in the higher temperatures. On my good days I can go most places or do most things without it affecting me too much- only a little bit fatigued. But on my bad days, I wake up feeling completely wrecked and basic tasks almost wipe me out.

Since the first year, I have learned to deal with my fatigue. I’m more strategic now- if I have an event coming up I prepare by taking things easier in the days leading up to it. I have also learned to listen to my body more and if I feel as if I am over doing things, I take a rest or get an early night. While fatigue can be extremely difficult to deal with, I try not to let it rule my life. When I listen to my body, I can manage. Things are very different to pre-MS but  despite the fatigue, by making small changes, listening to the changing needs of my body, the most important thing is I still get to enjoy myself. 

Author: Katie St. Lawrence

Tags: ms, multiplesclerosis, fatigue

Comments

Deirdre

Thursday April 05 2018 13:36

Great read Katie 'n wish you all the best. Any suggestions what I could do to help my (very independent) sister who suffers a lot with fatigue from MS?

Joan

Friday April 06 2018 06:07

Thanks for writing this Katie. Great coping strategies for fatigue. I too am tired of being tired. Welcome to the group!

Trevis

Friday April 06 2018 08:16

Always nice to read a piece from someone who 'gets it'. Well said, Katie. Cheers

Declan

Friday April 06 2018 09:55

Great blog Katie
Welcome aboard Team MS&Me

Aoife

Saturday April 07 2018 09:47

Great blog, Katie. Fatigue is one of my biggest issues. Many of your points are so relatable - especially the one about having taken energy for granted before diagnosis and feeling a bit jealous of others who fly through tasks that can drain some of us of all energy. Well done!

Robert

Saturday April 07 2018 15:50

Super post. Describes fatigue very well. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Willeke

Saturday April 07 2018 17:54

Fantastic piece, Katie! Welcome to the group and to the MS-fatigue club. Like you say, it's about being practical and learning how to manage.

Teresa

Monday April 09 2018 18:02

Great post, Katie. Fatigue is one of those silent symptoms that has such a huge impact on people's lives. And it's difficult to explain to people who don't experience it!! Keep strong!

Jen

Friday April 13 2018 12:29

Thank you for sharing Katie! MS fatigue is hard to explain to someone who doesn't have MS!

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published and will only be used by MS Ireland to contact you should there be an issue with your comment.

Please read our policy on making comments. Basically, respect other people’s view, use appropriate language and be nice! Comments are published between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

We ask this question to ensure that you are a real person, and not a computer adding information automatically.

By commenting, you are adhering to our Terms of use / Privacy

Latest News

More news

What's hot

Read

MS Readathon 2018

Calling all bookworms! Sign up to the MS Readathon, Ireland’s largest and longest-running sponsored read for young people.

Find out more

Events Calendar

» Our next Event

26 September 2018: Physiotherapist designed and led exercise programme for people with MS.

View all events

eNEWS SIGNUP

If you'd like to receive e-news updates from The Society please enter your email address below. If you want to know more about how we manage personal data then please see our privacy policy.

My local MSI

Map of MS Ireland's service areas South Mid West West Midlands South East North East North West North Dublin City and Fingal South West Dublin and Kildare South East Dublin and Wicklow