I am sure that I’m not the first to liken MS fatigue to a hangover; it is the closest comparison I can find to the way I have been feeling for the last few months. In fact, I’ve been feeling so ‘hungover’ lately that it occurred to me that I may actually be in a self-inflicted state of constant hangover rather than the usual MS rubbish. There is actually such a thing as a permanent hangover, it’s called a ‘Hummer Hangover’.
I’ll admit, although you have probably already sussed this out, that I am partial to a glass of wine. Over the past 5 years I have gone from being tee-total to drinking 1 or 2 glasses of wine at the weekend to drinking 2 – 3 glasses a night. It may or may not be coincidence that the glasses of wine consumed have increased at the same rate as the number of children in my brood…
Anyway, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I decided that there was only one way to find out if this was MS related or if it was, indeed, a case of alcohol abuse – I needed to stop drinking. The fact that I could stop drinking is a good sign, I was a little worried that my usual kick-ass willpower was going to fail me in this endeavour and unveil me as an actual alcoholic. But I’m not an alcoholic. I have easily managed 2 whole weeks free of the stuff. Trouble is I don’t feel any better for it. I still wake up feeling as though I need another night’s sleep. I still feel sluggish and tired and dizzy and sick and, at times, stressed and depressed. I’ve had MS for around a decade now, so the fact that the symptoms include all of the above is not new news, but for a while there I allowed myself to believe that these were symptoms that I had control over, and I don’t. Sure, excessive drinking isn’t good for you and will undoubtedly worsen any lethargy that you already feel, but on this occasion I can’t hold red wine accountable for this ongoing malaise.
Now, where did I put that corkscrew?