Humans of ME/CFS
I am a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) and originally from the USA. I moved to South America in 2000 after chiropractic school and over the next 12 years developed the biggest chiropractic practice in South America. In 2013, I reached out to energy pills for a boost due to my demanding schedule of practice and teaching. Little did I know, these pills contained a dangerous herb called yohimbine. The pills stated they were 'all natural.' One night after work, I felt very bad and had a severe adrenal rush. I was in shock, but did not call for an ambulance. I did not think I was having a heart attack or stroke and I thought my body would be fine. But, my life would never, ever, be the same. I soon went on to run a world-wide seminar, but when it was over my heart felt like it was going to explode. I called an MD who said my heart was fine.
I continued with my life until I collapsed. I started seeing doctors, but all said it was severe stress. Then, I started noticing that exercise was making me much worse. I received misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. Yet, I pushed on. Finally, after 9 months of feeling like death and getting more and more disabled, I decided that I needed to find answers.
Twenty doctors later without answers, I went to the Internet and found a doctor who helped and the book, The Hummingbirds Guide to ME. I was a classic case. This doctor immediately sent me to another country to do a series of SPECT scans which found that I had ME. The abnormal SPECT scan results were getting much worse after only ten minutes of walking. I am 47-years-old, I have a six-year-old daughter, and am now so disabled I cannot work. Leaving my house is possible but difficult and I am losing the ability to function more and more each day.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could have been either recovered or much more functional if I had been diagnosed correctly. After learning about ME, I thought diagnosis by a doctoris really not so hard. There are some telltale signs. My legs were cement, I had severe post-exertional malaise. It is a travesty that so many of us push on after onset of illness because we do not know what illness this is.
I am so tired of all of the gimmicks out there that claim to cure ME/CFS. ME and ‘CFS’ are lumped together but they are not even close to being related. It’s like saying cancer and diabetes are the same thing. It is one of the greatest travesties on the planet that ME is not understood.