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MS Hacks vol.2: Taming Fatigue

Motivated by the wonderful response to Vol. 1: Beat the Heat, I've been trying to chose a topic for the next set of MS Hacks. There were a few possibilities - and I always welcome more suggestions - but I figured that fatigue seems to affect more of us MSers than any other symptom, so perhaps we could all stand to learn something by pooling our information. Of course, there are drugs such as Amantadine and Modafinil prescribed for fatigue, but medication is only a part of fatigue management. What do you do to tame the fatigue beast? As usual, I will start: To conserve energy, I take what I call a "non-sleeping nap". This basically means almost completely switching off and resting without falling asleep and messing with my sleep routine - I find a sitcom episode that I have already seen is just the right level to keep me awake without really requiring any brain work. Just having an hour in the day doing pretty much nothing really helps my batteries last a bit longer.

I use "Come Dine With Me" in the same way! :-)


In the first year after diagnosis I fell into the classic "boom and bust" cycle, alternating between really overdoing it and then crashing and doing nothing due to the resulting fatigue. Learning to pace myself; taking a break BEFORE I get tired rather than when I start to wobble has been the hardest thing in the whole MS journey I think and I'm still not very good at it! I found that taking even 20 minutes 'down time' like highheeledfagin describes when I got in from work helped me get through the evening and keep a normal sleep routine. I've also found that being more active and getting fitter has massively reduced the fatigue, I now only really experience it if I'm unwell or experiencing other symptoms.