Dear Fatigue,

Dear Fatigue,

You and I go way back. I know we do… way farther back than diagnosis or even acknowledged symptoms. Now that I know you for what you are, and I’ve come to accept you and know the difference between you and regular tired, I’m alright with you. We’ve made our peace. And honestly, with the combo of the time travel seizures, the comedy – man, the comedy.

You’re pretty alright sometimes. I especially liked the time Adam told me I fell asleep in the middle of telling him a bedtime story when I thought I was 5. I sound adorable there, thanks to you!

But really, this whole 2 or 3 nights of not being able to sleep well followed by 2 or 3 days of not being able to stay awake well… I’m not loving it.

Sure, I slept well last night. But making me take 3 naps today? 3? Really? And for me to want to go to bed right now? It’s 7:40. That’s ridiculous.

But what’s more ridiculous – caving to your whims and having a higher probability of feeling well tomorrow, or not listening and forcing myself to stay awake and study criminal law, when my retention rate is not very likely high, and my likelihood for seizure only increases the longer I force myself to be up when I want to sleep?

You leave me very little in the way of options, and that frustrates me. I know we need to work together if I’m going to pass the bar exam this time, and the only way I’m going to do it is if I’m prepared, which means I need to be able to study – which means I need to have timealert time – in which to do so.

As a show of good faith on my part, I’m going to take my nightly meds at 8, as always, clean up, and cozy into bed just afterwards – a full 3-4 hours earlier than usual. Hopefully, this extra time will allow you the opportunity to get the extra rest you crave.

I want to work with you, not against you. Please, please, please help me study well tomorrow.

Please and thank you,


Now, I know there’s no arguing with MS or any of its symptoms.

Besides, if Fatigue even did have its own personality within me, it’d be too tired to respond and too lazy to have planned any of this.

Fatigue is what happens as a side effect of lots of other random shit happening inside my body. It’s that bright red flashing light on top of the phone that lets you know there’s a call when ringer is on silent… because really, your insides can’t call you or send you an email or text. This is the closest thing it’s got.

Fatigue is my friend on the other end of the line, saying, “Uh, hi there, sorry to be a bother, but just in case you thought everything was hunky dory in here, there’s bad stuff going down, loads of it… and by the way, you’re really stressed. I know you really well, and you just will not take a long enough break for the rest of your body to get the rest it needs, so I’m shutting you down for a while. Hope you understand.”

It’s just hard not to get stressed when you’re studying for a test that allows fewer than 40% of all participants to pass. Despite that, I know that the more I stress, the worse my MS will likely flare, meaning the more fatigued I will get. I figure if I can get Taoist on this, and accept my body’s need for rest now, maybe it won’t snowball into a relapse like last time.

I know I’m competing with no one but myself. I just feel like I’m pushing a great big, invisible wall some days. Multiple choice studying is mostly like a trivia game to play (if you enjoy rules like I do – and yeah, you can make fun of me for that if you want to. I like D&D too!) and memorizing black letter law isn’t any more difficult than memorizing 4 mallet rag-time pieces used to be… just different.

And the best part is, this go-round, I’m even inspired because every day, I remember my purpose behind wanting to be an attorney — to help friends become rock stars and movie makers. To bolster creativity. To help open the gates to more new creators.

So if I’m enjoying it this time, I know I’m less stressed… I just need my body to cooperate.

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