Tuesday, August 20, 2013

fatigue - your/my new worst enemy

Fatigue, in both physical and neuro form, is apparently quite common post-stroke.  In my case, it has been pervasive so far throughout my recovery.  Where it really hits the fan is when it disrupts my sleep pattern at night.  Specifically, what I fell into before and have been falling into again lately is a pattern of taking an afternoon nap and then, perhaps subsequently, struggling with insomnia in the early part of the night.  What seemed to help before was my doctor prescribing me a low-dosage neurostimulant (ritalin - yes, the stuff they give for adhd) which I would then take after lunch to help me get past that nap-hour.  I wouldn't really "feel" anything when taking it, but I was able to break the nap/insomnia pattern the first time, so it's something to consider if you need a way to break such a pattern.

In my experience, I think it's been hard to separate neurofatigue from physical fatigue.  My response to both is to want to nap, but I think that is counter-productive for fighting depression, yet another of the monkeys on our backs after a stroke.  I think napping in response to neurofatigue mainly serves to destroy our normal sleep patterns, as it isn't physical rest we need, but neural/brain rest.  I haven't settled on how to effectively do that yet, but it's a work-in-progress, so to speak.  I think the ritalin is to neurofatigue essentially what caffeine is to physical fatigue.


  1. A roll in the hay always helps. But I'm only recommending that because I'm your wife! ;)

  2. Uh, the previous comment has been rated NC-17 by the blog rating rating center of America.....(public service message:)