It’s an interesting phenomenon, this MS fatigue. Lots of factors affect it, including sleep, hydration, and exercise. Sleep I can manage to get, hydration is easy to maintain (and also easy to forget), but the exercise is not always steady.
I have poor balance due to MS. I often bump into things, using the nearest piece of furniture or wall to “catch” my balance. I used to say I “lost” my balance until a physical therapist gave me that new term. You only lost it if you actually fell. Otherwise you can say you caught it!
Balance is a complicated issue, and many functions within the body affect it. If you’re interested in the details, you can read more here: “Causes of balance and walking problems“. One thing that really affects me is the leg weakness. So when I’m not exercising on a regular basis, my legs get weaker, and my balance suffers greatly.
I’ve said before that I walk my kids to the bus stop in the mornings. The sub zero temperatures here in Michigan prevented us from walking for several weeks. I am keenly aware of the effect this has on my body. My leg muscles weaken very quickly. Lots of leg muscles are used for walking (roughly 200), and walking requires balance – that is, if you care to stay upright – and so it takes more effort for me even to walk around the house. Hence, the fatigue.
It frustrates me that this can spiral down so quickly, but the upside is that I can also turn it around just as quickly. Using my cane helps in the interim, as it helps me maintain balance and thus requires less energy. However, after just a few days of walking to the bus stop and walking the dog around the block, my legs are moving much better already. That, and I can almost say I have ENERGY. Almost. Still, it’s a pleasant change from the days of fatigue. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.