MS Fatigue: Can I Get a Charger?

My cell phone. My life line. I manage to keep it pretty busy. I do practically everything with it. But after a while, as the battery depletes from its workload, it perpetuates my inevitable call for assistance.

One evening after a hearty day of working away on my cell, I sent my daughter a text. It read, “I'm on 6% can you plug me in please?” Once she so easily plugged in my phone’s charger, I was back in business – even while my phone was restoring itself back to 100%. I couldn’t help but to think that it would be so awesome to simply send someone a text to plug me in when my "juice" has depleted with MS. How great it would be to not only begin charging that easily, but to be able to keep going while charging.

MS fatigue is debilitating

Diagnosed with MS almost 17 years ago, I experience a plethora of symptoms such as optic neuritis, sensory issues, neuropathy, and mobility challenges to name several. One of my primary issues is also one of MS’ common symptoms: fatigue.

Fatigue is not just being tired. You can’t just rest a bit then you’re good to go. Fatigue, particularly MS fatigue, is like an incredibly overwhelming exhaustion – and that’s even putting it lightly. It is debilitating, zapping your energy and leaving no ability to do even the slightest task. It even exacerbates my other symptoms. Fatigue leaves me limp…literally. I feel like a noodle.

My first experience with it

My first experience with fatigue that I recall happened at work. It would occur just before I was actually diagnosed. It was spring semester and a pretty day. My colleagues and I decided to take advantage of the pretty day and walk down the street to the campus cafeteria to have lunch. (I worked at the state’s university).

It wasn’t really a long walk and though the day was warm, it didn’t seem to be uncomfortably hot. At first. By the time we arrived, I noted that I felt a bit slower and I no longer had much of an appetite, but I just went with it. Ate very light, mostly drank, and chatted. When we left, two to three steps in, there was definitely something very wrong. I was HOT, my legs felt as if they weighed 500 lbs – EACH. I had no energy, nor a clue as to what was happening.

My friends helped me to a bench and called for security to drive me back to the office. I managed to get to my desk where I sat spent, limp, and sucking up as much A/C as possible. I couldn't explain it, but thought that perhaps with age, I was more intolerant of heat. It was just so sudden and new and different. And definitely not a good feeling. I remember a couple of months later at my neurologist appointment, I told him about the incident. He told me that I had definitely experienced heat-triggered MS fatigue.

Trying to manage fatigue

I take medicine to try to manage fatigue, but still it rears its ugly head. I especially deal with it when I flare up, get too hot, have a restless night, over-exert myself, am stressed, or get too excited.

Actually, because MS is so unpredictable, there are times when fatigue just falls upon me out of nowhere. Even with medication. I wish I had a charger so that I could simply ask to get plugged in and be immediately back in business, even while being charged. Now that would be life!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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