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The One Word I Do Not Want to Hear as a Person With Fatigue

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It is such a horrible, derogatory word, especially when it is aimed at those of us with a chronic condition with fatigue as a major symptom.

I have noticed since my multiple sclerosis diagnosis three years ago that people are understanding to begin with, but as time goes on, they start to make judgments. When I say I need a nap, it is because my body is physically and mentally exhausted, even though I have not done anything strenuous. However, if I mention needing a nap, people throw out that word. Lazy.

I don’t think they understand how much it hurts. I would much rather have the energy I used to have and not have to sleep straight after work or having a shower. It happens all the time…

I’ll do the dishes tomorrow, I’m too tired.


I don’t fancy going out tonight.


Can we have something easy for dinner?


It is said so much, I sometimes start to wonder if I am. However, I then remind myself that I have MS. I remind myself that I have Graves’ disease. I remind myself that I’m not lazy. Taking care of myself and my health is much more important than narrow-minded judgments by people who don’t understand.

Sadly, I don’t think this perception will change. We will continue to be called lazy, but at least for everyone that says you’re lazy, there is someone out there who understands it from your point of view. We will support each other in spirit and not be labeled lazy.

Getty image by Biserka Stojanovic.

Originally published: March 3, 2020
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