b'Life with MSMMSSFFaattiigguueeEExxppllaaiinneeddAwareness, management of stressors can help.By Cherie BinnsIt seems to me that there is a disconnectbales off in that heat over the course of 15 or misunderstanding about MS fatigue onminutes was extremely fatiguing.the part of healthcare practitioners and evenThat level of physical fatigue does not even in some members of the MS community. Forcome close to the intensity of MS fatigue, me, MS fatigue has nothing to do with beingwhich is nonrecoverable and intense to a tired. A nap does not address this level ofdegree that is often not describable. I tell my fatigue and may not even be possible (I cannothusband that it feels like the starch has gone seem to nap and never have unless I am sickout of my spine" or this is knuckle-dragging with a fever). MS fatigue generally, once itfatiguemeaningIcannotkeepmybody hits, wipesmeoutfortherestoftheday.erect. It is difficult or impossible to hold my Thereismuscleweakness.Theremaybebody upright. I am not sleepy. I cannot nap. cognitive effects. There is profound lethargy. The intensity of this fatigue is profound People often have a completely inadequatebeyond anything I had ever experienced prior understanding of the difference betweento MS.fatigue that affects all of us when we overdoAs a kid growing up on a farm, Whether for extended periods and MS fatigue. Thatit was getting up at 4 a.m. to do the milking or first kind of fatigue needs rest, sleep, andgetting up at 2 a.m. to deliver a calf that would refreshment. MS fatigue is not relieved bynot clear the birth canal. The latter entailed anyofthosethingsbutispervasiveandhooking a loop around the forelegs of the prolonged and can be totally disabling.calf while simultaneously pulling with the As a young person living on a dairy farm,contractions, which often took two adults to I had to help with the haying during theprovide enough strength of pressure to facilitate summer.Myprimaryjobwastohaulfullthe birth over the course of the next hour. wagons of baled hay from the eld to the barnThisisdrainingatbestinahealthyand and offload it. Each wagon had an average ofstrong individual. 120 to 150 fty-pound bales of hay per load.MS fatigue is an entirely different animal We pulled the tractor and wagon onto a cementthan fatigue that results from prolonged and pad at the back of the barn, turned on thestrenuous activity. It is almost as if you are elevator or conveyor and threw bales onto itwatching yourself from outside your body, to carry them into the hay mow and dump thembut do not have the strength to respond to the off along the way. If the exterior temperaturesimplest stimulihence, the term lassitude. was 80 degrees, the temp on that cement padThis is in a totally different category than was measurably 15-20 degrees warmer. Thefatigue as the general population knows it. physical activity of throwing those fty-poundQuestions that we are asked in healthcare 54 msfocusmagazine.org'