Sometimes I think that should be all one word MSFatigue.
I notice this subject coming up every time there's a batch of newbies. "How would you describe your fatigue?" I don't think there's a symptom any more difficult to explain to non-MSrs than MS fatigue.
According the the NMSS, something like 80% of people with MS experience that fatigue, and it's the primary cause of MSrs leaving the work force. For some people, it's their PRIMARY symptom. Fatigue and its accompanying stupidity drove me to the doctor to start with.
I would go to meetings that started at 6 p.m. and already I'd be nearly catatonic with fatigue. My body was tired, my eyeballs were tired, my brain was tired, my emotions were tired, even my hair was tired. Even if I could have explained it to anybody, I was too tired to try.
I can see where people would get the idea that fatigue is the result of the other symptoms, but fatigue IS a symptom itself. Out of the blue, for no discernable reason, I'd suddenly feel as though I'd pulled two all-nighters, run around the lake, and was recovering from the flu.
I tried Amantadine (allergic) and Provigil (jitters and nightmares weren't worth the tiny difference it made). I've resigned myself that it's part of the deal, and although I can't "cure" it, I have to manage it. And restrain myself when someone (other than MSers) says, "Oh, I know what you mean. I stayed up late last night and I'm tired, too."
So...for the benefit of newbies...how would YOU describe your MS fatigue?
**My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)