Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dealing with Muscle Weakness and Fatigue

I've been dealing with muscle weakness and fatigue these past few days. To the point of having to sleep off a couple of afternoons. It's really discouraging and I can't figure out if it's a weird virus or an MS attack. It kind of doesn't matter as I'm maxed out on MS treatment (until they come up with something better), unless I wanted to switch to Copaxone, but I've been doing so well on Rebif I'm loth to change.

I'm still struggling climbing at altitude - I feel like I hit a wall at 7300' - and I'm trying not to worry that this attack or whatever it is happened after a Shasta climb. (albeit a short one.)

Researching what causes muscle fatigue here:

Interesting that there is perceived and real muscle weakness.

After some digging I found this article
which talks about how a virus causes fatigue by causing inflammation of the muscle fibers which interfers with proper contractions. The author goes on to say though that it's important to not be too sedentary as
Movement builds up the proteins needed for muscle contraction. If you're barely stirring, the proteins deteriorate. "After a week spent flat on your back with the flu, you'll be weak as a kitten for days afterward," says Dr. Siegel.

I've been going to work 1/2 days for a couple of days wondering if I was doing more harm than good. The above implies it was the right choice.

It just occurs to me that if the fatigue is caused by inflammation I should be taking an anti-inflamatory - I'll try that.

Over doing it has its cost though. The proteins in the muscles link up so they can cause contractions. Over-stressing them causes the links to tear and it can take days for those to rebuild that article doesn't say where normal weight training falls. You want some break down to occur but I don't know how much.

Other things i happened across:
Glasgow parkour:

Oh and in the category of don't believe everything you see on the internet:
Hokum hokum hokum:

I did do a sit against a wall test to see if I was doing any worse.
I'm not. I was able to sit against the wall for 1 minute 30 seconds which is double the excellent level for men.

I want to climb and climb strong. This is driving me nuts. I get these brochures of beautiful places and trips that I want to go on, but if I can't keep up I can't. I'd love to be able to climb and to run and to do adventure racing or whatever else I want. I'm not giving up on this.

I want to keep working on this, but winter is coming and I'm going to have to snowshoe to get to those altitudes which is fine but that takes more time. But of course the big project this winter is learning to ski (wa hoo).

I can't figure out what to do on Saturday. common sense would say just workout easily in the gym and maybe do a little yard work, but it's way tempting to go on a hike as well. I think one way to get a handle on this is to get really good at weight training as that helps weakness (I read that somewhere - can I remember where? - of course not).

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