At this point in my journey, battling Multiple Sclerosis is probably easier for me than most inflicted with the disease. However, my main villain, MS-related fatigue, is a constant force that plagues most of my days. That constant feeling of brain drain and bodily tiredness tends to make me feel incompetent, lazy, and unmotivated – three incredibly terrible enemies for an entrepreneur.
Some days are better than others. Typically, most mornings start off refreshingly energetic. This is good since I can usually knock out most of my daily work-related responsibilities during this time. Eventually, the fatigue begins to kick in. For the rest of the day, I forcefully focus on high-priority tasks when I am able. It sometimes feels impossible to stare at a monitor or TV without becoming nauseous, so I try to take mini-breaks or perform easy chores like walking our fluffy toy poodle, Scarlett. Thankfully, after evening dinner and a hot shower, I feel refreshed again. The fatigue is usually knocked out for a couple of hours of leftover tasks.
The aforementioned daily cycle of a hybrid schedule has worked for the past year. I try to work only a little during weekends unless an urgent or high-value project needs attention. Unfortunately, that scattered “downtime” makes me feel guilty and incompetent. For the past fifteen years, I have spent so much time nurturing Printkeg, so I am always scared to lose everything we’ve accomplished. I also worry about future MS symptoms that many other survivors deal with and how those will affect my ability to serve the company. I cannot express how lucky I feel to have wonderful employees.
I have learned that resting when I need to is super crucial to revival. I prioritize tasks and organize them into manageable groups. When focused on finishing small groups of tasks, I feel a sense of accomplishment that fights those internal fears of incompetence. Sometimes, I control my diet better, but nothing can significantly deter the fatigue. So far, a good night’s sleep helps alleviate some daytime fatigue more than anything else. The worst thing that supercharges the fatigue is getting overheated, which is relatively easy to do in the south. South Carolina’s temperatures and humidity are not my friends.
Right now, one of my favorite articles that provide information and solutions to MS fatigue is 12 Ways to Fight MS Fatigue at EverydayHealth.com. The author, Chris Iliades, MD, does a great job breaking down my feelings. Previous posts about my personal experience with MS are listed below.
Chapter 1 – Running a Business with MS (Part 1 – Discovery)
Chapter 2 – Running a Business with MS (Part 2 – Symptoms)
Chapter 3 – Running a Business with MS (Part 3 – Fatigue) * You are here
Chapter 4 – Running a Business with MS (Part 4 – Coming Soon)