Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WS) sufferers will frequently be tired all day and paradoxically have trouble sleeping at night. Their energy levels can, however, fluctuate with body temperature changes. For example, some patients relate that they are more tired in the morning, but once they get started moving around, their fatigue sometimes subsides. However, their fatigue sometimes returns in the late afternoon when their body temperatures normally decrease again (remember the symptoms may also correlate with body temperature patterns that are too high or too unsteady). Characteristically, patients with Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome can usually muster their resources for a period of time (sometimes they can’t), but find that their resources are easily exhausted. This can be compared to other sources of fatigue that sometimes cannot be overcome for a time, even if the patient wants to.
Sometimes Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers are able to function all day at work but will collapse as soon as they get home, being worthless (as the patients say) for the rest of the day. They may be able to gather themselves up enough to work all day and evening three days in a row only to “crash and burn” for the following several days (sometimes not even getting out of bed). I remember one patient who would go to bed some Friday nights, sleep through Saturday and wake up Sunday evening for a few hours, with her husband watching the kids during such weekends.
These situations are consistent with the notion that these patients are stuck in conservation mode wherein their bodies are attempting to conserve resources for fear that their available resources may be insufficient to meet the presenting challenges. So resources are available to meet some of the presenting challenges, but seem to be easily depleted. Their fatigue isn’t always constant and might seem to subside in the midst of accomplishing an important task, but once the task is done, frequently they will become significantly more fatigued. In the most severe situations, they may have a hard time working at all, or even making it to work.
Many times, Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers will sleep ten or twelve hours during the night, and still will wake up not feeling rested. It’s the kind of fatigue wherein they feel they do not have sufficient resources to deal with their current life situation. They simply feel overwhelmed by ordinary life. Sometimes the fronts they put on at work or at home no longer disguise their disability. Some Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers may have good days and bad days which seem to be well correlated with body temperature pattern changes (such as just prior to the period).
To help non-sufferers imagine what the fatigue might feel like, one might compare it to the fatigue associated with having the flu. When a person gets the flu, they may also develop a fever. Elevated body temperatures can cause Multiple Enzyme Dysfunction, and can result in fatigue and a diminished level of functioning throughout the body. Just imagine how you’d feel if you’d lost almost everything. Most of us would feel quite challenged, overwhelmed, and even fatigued under such circumstances for good reason. However, these are the sorts of feelings that Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers sometimes have persistently, even when there is no good reason (making them inappropriate).