Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tired Just Doesn’t Tell The Story

Fatigue.  I never really appreciated that word and most people have no clue what it really means. As one of the major symptoms of MS, those of us who have it really appreciate that doctors have recognized the importance and significance of how it changes your life.  All of us have been tired at some point in life.  Fatigue is a whole different animal.
The National MS Society defines fatigue as this: Fatigue can significantly interfere with a person's ability to function at home and at work, and may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations. "MS fatigue" is different from fatigue experienced by persons without MS.  It generally occurs on a daily basis; it may occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep; it tends to worsen as the day progresses; it tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity; it comes on easily and suddenly; it is generally more severe than normal fatigue;  it is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities.

I point this out because that is one of the reasons a lot of MS patients get depressed.  When you rarely feel like doing anything and begin to feel useless, it is hard not to get depressed.  Most of us have worked, raised families and been involved in social activities all our lives.  As we begin to be so limited in our actions, people start pulling away from us and doors are closed to our participation.  It is easy to shrink into a hole and let depression take over.

I am fortunate in that I have a wonderful husband that stands by me and tries to work with the problems I face each day.  Some friends have yet to come around, but that is expected.  Most people just don’t understand, so they stay away.  It’s OK; those of us with MS know we aren’t perfect and don’t expect others to be either!! J

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