My Ultimate Archnemesis

Throughout my life I have faced the relentless demand fatigue places on my body and well-being. Of all of the crippling effects of this chronic disease, it is the fatigue that I find most devastating to my success as a person and a professional. I honestly cannot say that at this point in my life, not a day goes by where I do not experience fatigue to the point where I am forced to alter plans, reconsider my choices, and verbalize a few choice words for those I hear around me complaining of being a “little tired” or “under the weather.” What I wouldn’t give to have my best day equate with their worst.

I have struggled with unnatural fatigue for nearly as long as I can remember. I vaguely recall trying to play soccer as a young elementary school child and being unable to complete the rudimentary laps and drills. My legs simply would not work the way I wanted them to, and I was often jealous of the ease with which my teammates completed the simple exercises. I thought I was merely out of shape at the time, and that with hard work, I would be able to compete with my peers.

The years went by, and I worked hard to develop my athletic skills and abilities. But I often remained a step or two behind no matter how many extra sprints I performed at the school yard across the street from my home. As I got older, the fatigue only continued to increase, often leaving me lying helpless in my dorm room unable to join in the fun my teammates were having down the hall. I can still remember their probing questions, asking why I slept all the time. I was tired. That’s all I knew, and I wanted people out of my business.

Eventually I left dorm living for a house off campus. Doing so provided greater privacy, and I felt more free to rest as my body demanded. My health started to improve, and I experienced a period of time where I almost felt normal. I rode my bike almost daily, and I was able to my attend classes and coach my basketball girls. My health wasn’t perfect, but it was better. Looking back it was a special time in my life.

A little over ten years later, I continue to battle my demons. I have lost my marriage, many of my friends, and career ambitions in part as a consequence of my body’s struggle to fight this illness. I have battled through a complete identity crisis, and I have survived. I will never again be who I was, but I am excited about becoming who I am.

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

Comments

Poll