All six of us returned to our little room in the rehab building. Not quite as chipper as we were the first day, but all very thankful to be able to participate.
So what did we talk about?
A big question to those of with MS is what causes Primary Fatigue in MS? Primary fatigue is the fatigue caused by the disease itself, compared to secondary fatigue, which has many causes, including medications and mobility impairment.
Fatigue does not correlate with a relapse. Fatigue just is.
There are at least three theories as to why IT is.
1) Is it because of the broken and damaged nerve pathways in the brain? The brain must use a larger area (detours) to get the messages out...and if not taking a detour, the brain works harder...and harder to get the messages through. Multiple and stronger messages use up more energy than just one message.
2) Glucose is used in many parts of our brain as fuel, and if an MS brain has trouble using glucose, it is harder for the brain to be used effectively
3) The immune system is over active - ever present immune activity can cause fatigue.
That is 3 nutshells to digest.
And once again, we have been given homework! Interesting, homework.
I had to make the comment about participants in a FATIGUE workshop getting homework...complaining that they can barely make it through the day, and have had to give up so many things in their lives...
Our homework is to select 2 days, within the next week, and schedule the whole day - in particular the things that we MUST do, and at least three rest periods. We also have to grade our fatigue level in the evening, for the next seven days.
Rest can be something relaxing, it doesn't need to be sleep. But if we experience mental fatigue (oh yes!) then we have to be careful not to "rest" by doing word or number puzzles. I expressed that I have many hobbies, but I can never seem to turn my brain OFF. Even if I am beading, I am thinking ahead to what I'm going to make next, or that I should be sweeping the floor...
Apparently, I have yet to learn how to give myself permission to rest.
And...I have been told this before.