Managing Fatigue – A webinar
How do you go about managing fatigue?
I recently joined a Managing Fatigue webinar hosted by the MS Society Scotland to find out.
In the two years since I was diagnosed, I’ve not experienced fatigue so some statistics presented surprised me. Fatigue is the most common symptom of MS, affecting greater than 80% of MSers. It is highly debilitating and the main reason people with MS have to give up work earlier.
The presentation then provided some definitions of fatigue. It seems to be something beyond normal tiredness. Some examples given were
- It feels like being weighed down
- It is much more than just being overly tired
- You just want to site and do absolutely nothing
I found this description the most vivid: “a combination of being tired, a hangover and jetlag”. This could clearly impact so many areas of life, be that family, social or work.
The concepts of primary and secondary fatigue were discussed. Primary fatigue is seen as directly caused by MS. This includes heat sensitive and cognitive fatigue.
Secondary fatigue could be caused by various non-MS factors. For example, medication, other medical conditions, quality of sleep, fitness levels and nutrition. I imagine a combination of both primary and secondary fatigue would be particularly debilitating.
From there, several management techniques were suggested, and the MS Society has developed these into an online course. This can be found at https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/signs-and-symptoms/fatigue/managing-fatigue/online-fatigue-management-course
I found this a particularly useful hour even though I do not have fatigue. It was helpful to understand the characteristics and get ideas of how to manage them. It might be something that happens in the future and having some knowledge is helpful.
Since my diagnosis, I had avoided sessions such as this. I’m not sure why. Maybe not really wanting to face up to the condition. Now, I am going to look for more to help me understand and adapt to this weirdly unpredictable illness. Forewarned is forearmed so to speak.
The MS Society hosts a number of online discussions and webinars which can be found here. I will be looking to join and may see you on a Zoom call soon!