Sarah's Letter to her Fatigue

Stroke survivor Sarah wrote a letter to her fatigue. 

In this letter, Sarah conveys the frustration of letting an old version of herself go and facing a new reality in which fatigue can enter at any moment.

Dear Fatigue,

You test me, punish me, control me, and teach me. I swing between being thankful for you teaching me patience and tolerance and detesting you for taking over my life. For preventing me from living for stopping me from working, seeing my friends and my family. But mostly, being the woman, I knew and loved. You took that away from me. You stole everything I knew and recognised.

I imagine that I was once a spectacular castle set in the most beautiful grounds, Walled gardens and wildflowers. But now I am a dilapidated castle. You can see where I started but it has started to crumble away. It is now exposed, bear and fighting for its life.

I didn’t know or understand it before. I cringed at people who said they were tired. I didn’t know or recognises what that was. I was bursting with life, bursting with endless energy. Nothing was going to stop me or take me down. Stroke you arrived and crippled me. You stilted my speech and left me with the dreaded F. Yes, fatigue I’m talking about you!

Fatigue, for you I have no fight, no defence. I can work on my movement in rehab. Aided by doctors and therapists. I can do my speech work and practice. But you fatigue? What can I do? You leave me alone and frightened with no fight. I can’t fight you! Because I don’t have the energy and I don’t know what causes you. I don’t understand you and that cripples me.