Things that help me manage my fatigue
Nothing, yes nothing can help deal with the fatigue that MS brings to many. I mean, DOING nothing - sometimes you need to accept that doing nothing is the best option. You are not giving in, slacking, being weak - this is MANAGING YOUR CONDITION. That said, some things you can consider trying include:
Light box – I’ve had my LitePod for years, use it between the clock changes Oct-Mar, and it is on a timer plug so I get a morning blast of light for 30 mins. I know someone who swears by her dawn light simulator – wakes you up in the morning more naturally than an alarm. Light therapy devices are available on many online stores and in store.
Oxygen therapy – Available at the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre (bmstc.org) – I go once a week, and do a session on the outside of the tank. ‘Dives’ inside the chamber are either 33ft. 24ft or 16ft, some go fortnightly while others go twice a week.
Rest - Don’t fight it; don’t try to work through it. When fatigue hits – and for me that might mean my speech get slurred, my legs feel heavy, I can’t concentrate – the best thing is to have a lie down (resting does not mean sitting down with a cuppa in front of the telly) so you can relax your whole body. It is all about managing your condition.
Physiotherapy – Strengthening your core will help with balance – talk to your MS nurse and/or the physiotherapists at the BMSTC. You’ll need an initial assessment – call Berkshire MS Therapy Centre | (bmstc.org) to book one. They offer one-on-one sessions and there are classes at the centre during the week (I do a Friday morning group session).
Eye health - Regular checks by an optician are key for eye health. However, getting to an optician and into their chair can be an issue for some. You could try Visioncall Home Visiting Opticians on 0845 050 1831, delivering free NHS eye tests at home. Also available from The Outside Clinic on 0800 60 50 40 or 01793 64 22 00.
Other therapies that help some people with MS:
- Acupuncture – available at BMSTC
- Foot health care – available at BMSTC, especially important if you have peripheral neuropathy (numb feet)
- Hydrotherapy – MS Society service held at the Royal Berks hospital, talk to Diane Goodlock 0118 9267174
- Pilates – available at BMSTC
- Advice from a specialist if experiencing choking when drinking/eating – talk to your MS nurse.
Diet – Some follow the principles of the ‘Overcoming MS Diet’ – essentially vegan plus fish. I have been a vegetarian for years so miss out the fish. http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/
Learn about it - There are periodic Fatigue Management programmes run by the MS nurse with input from physiotherapists and dieticians – talk to your MS nurse if you are interested. One-to-one fatigue management is also provided by the community MS Specialist Occupational Therapist, contact Wokingham 0118 9746800 or Reading on 0118 9373737.
Hot chocolate has been shown to help reduce fatigue in some folk. But, it is the dark, flavonoid, anti-oxidant kind to reach for.
© Copyright Living with MS