You've reached fatigue part 2. If you arrived here first and would like to go to part 1 first, click here.
I've learned to be flexible and try not to make plans that are difficult to change. There are less disappointments when we say; "We'll go to the zoo one day this week."
This way, we have a whole week to work with instead of one set day and time. And if it doesn't work out that week, then that's okay, too. Something less tiring and just as fun, will come up. Even if it's having a picnic in the bedroom, complete with pizza and a movie or our favorite Star Trek episode.
Fatigue is unique in that it is not directly caused by MS. It is more a result of using up all of your energy to perform daily tasks. Things that most people take for granted, like bathing, getting dressed, or walking from the bedroom to the kitchen and back. Things that, for people without multiple sclerosis, would take at most, a few minutes to complete. For someone with MS, the length of time it takes to do even the simplest tasks, can be multiplied by 10.
If bathing and getting dressed tire you out, have someone help you. Many times family and friends are willing to help, if they only knew what you needed. Consider taking them up on that offer of - "Let me know if you need anything. I'm here to help." If a family member or friend is not available or is just unable to help, consider talking to your case manager about it. There are many programs, as well as insurance (especially if you have both Medicare and Medicaid), that will cover a nurses aide to come and help you.
They can perform tasks like light house keeping, helping you with bathing and dressing, or even just keeping you company while your primary caregiver goes out for a few hours.
If walking causes you to become fatigued, use a cane, walker, rollator, wheelchair, or an electric scooter or power chair. Cir uses at least one of these mobility aides everyday. Which one he uses depends on the activity he's going to do. Obviously the wheelchair, scooter, or power chair, will conserve the most energy.
Cir goes to the zoo, the library, anywhere he wants to. For long distances, he uses his electric scooter. The larger grocery chains and department stores offer a convenient solution. He usually uses a cart to walk inside, then uses their electric scooters to get around once he's there.
The level of fatigue you feel is something that will probably change over the course of your MS. It can also change literally from month to month or even from day to day. How you manage it depends on your daily activities and the priorities in your life.
Coping with the feelings you may have as a result of having fatigue, is another area you will most likely have to deal with.
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Cir & Akrista
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