Humans of ME/CFS
When I developed ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), I had never heard of it. I went to a doctor, hoping to get a prescription, and I expected to be back up to full speed in a few days. But, that didn’t happen.
So, over the course of the next few years, I stopped at nothing in my effort to recover. My journey took me through trips to Mayo Clinic, an alternative medicine clinic, a nationally known medical facility, a whole body clinic with traditional medicine and counseling, and to numerous other doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, and counselors. I didn’t improve.
In my determination to get my life back, I tried every remedy anyone suggested. I would give these trials several months, knowing that improvement takes time. But, then I would have to acknowledge that whatever I tried wasn’t working for me.
At the epitome of my desperation, I was determined to stay alert all day. I was seeing a psychiatrist and getting counseling. The prescriptions I used became more and more powerful, as I strained to “just feel normal.” At one point I was drinking coffee off and on all day, using caffeine pills, ephedra (which is now banned in the United States) and numerous prescriptions to get me through the day. Unfortunately, I often crashed when they wore off. The toll of these and my illness led to a divorce.
Ultimately, one thing that helped me was an on-line support group, which taught me this important principle: “Accept it. This is your life now.”
Currently, I manage through pacing myself. I need to filter activities through, “Will I have enough energy?” Some days, I am already exhausted by late morning. I have oppressive fatigue, mild headaches, and sore throats.
For the most part, I have chosen not to tell people how I feel. My former husband got exasperated with hearing that too often. I would say that many people observing me don’t know. When I hear people say, “I am so tired,” I wonder if they have any idea what ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is like. I would compare it to getting an inch of snow versus a full-blown blizzard and trying to get around.
The best part of my life is my faith in God, which carries me, and lifts my spirits. I don’t take the blessings I have for granted. God has provided for me, step by step.