Hello and welcome to the about me section of this site. This is going to be the longest and probably most un-fun (yes that is a word) section of the site. However it’s a story I think a lot of people will be able to relate to so if you have the time to read please do.
This is probably the bit I’ve been dreading writing the most because as any other sufferers of CFS/ME know, we spend a lot of time trying to pretend nothings happening and re-living can be tough. But here goes.
In September 2016 I came down with what I thought was a particularly nasty cold. I had recently moved to London and started a new job which had a hellish 1 1/2 hour commute. Being reasonably new in the job I was overly worried about being unwell and taking any time off. However I had a week booked off for a holiday to visit my Mum in Switzerland the following week. Perfect, I thought. A week to sleep, eat and totally relax before going back to London rejuvenated and healthy. I could never of imagined that that would be the beginning of my entire life changing.
That week in Switzerland my cold symptoms mostly cleared up. But I didn’t experience the usual getting back to health feeling. I continued feeling terrible and began to worry about returning to the stressful job and long commute when I was feeling so crap.
Also I knew somehow, I knew that this wasn’t normal, I didn’t feel right and I can’t explain it any better than that. So I returned still feeling unwell and exhausted and dragged myself back to work. I spent a week constantly close to panicky tears because I felt so unwell and was starting to really worry about a) losing the new job and b) something being really wrong with me- in that order, thanks 21st century. Eventually managed to get myself a docs appointment and a blood test was ordered. A week later the results were in: Glandular Fever. Hurrah! That was my initial thought. I wasn’t crazy, I was really unwell and I could legitimately get signed off work and just rest.
So I was signed off for a week-, I didn’t know then but I would never go back to that job.
After a week, I got the train home to the countryside. At that point getting a train, even packing a suitcase had taken every ounce of strength I had left. In fact I remember the day I packed I cancelled my train and had to get one the next day because I just couldn’t do both.
This was the beginning of November and I was at my Dad’s for about 4 weeks in a total fog, barely being able to get out of bed even to get dressed. I was realising more every day that this wasn’t going to go away quickly and that my return to work and my London life was slipping away from me.
Eventually my doctor at home diagnosed me with ‘post-viral fatigue’ as the initial Glandular Fever was clearly gone. She informed me in November that after 6 months it would be officially considered ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’. Oh and there’s no treatment by the way. Wonderful.
I’m going to cut a long story short here. I ended up coming back to Switzerland with my Mum in December. I wanted to get away from home, from all the things I was missing out on and I knew she would be able to take care of me- I’m 27 in case you were wondering.
I though I’d be here for a few weeks, well I’m 6 months in and no sign of moving home yet!
During the following months, I lost my job, had to give up my room in my flat with my friends and generally had to accept the life I’d worked really hard to build was now gone. I became used to the idea that I was not going to be capable of having a ‘normal’ life until this was over.
I’ve been through some times when I was so negative and down I was convinced this was my life now. Trying to accept that you can’t leave the house because if you try and walk anywhere you’ll be bed-ridden for a week was pretty hard for a previously very active twenty-something to accept. Some days I felt as though I would totally loose my mind.
I’ve tried a lot of different treatment types over this period of time, which I’ve come to realise meant never during my worst down phases did I ever really let myself give up. I’ve detailed these in the ‘Treatments’ section, some worked and some definitely did not!
Currently I’m undertaking a new stage on recovery with a programme called ANS Rewire as well as adhering to the Paleo diet and some other supplemental treatments. Also meditation and other mental calming treatments.
I hope this will be where my story changes, but I know is may be a long road (even though I secretly hope I’ll just be one of those miraculous recoverers!). I haven’t gone into as much depth in this section as I thought I would, somehow it doesn’t seem necessary now. But I hope you’ll follow my story and be there when I find my happy ending…