Tomorrow morning you will wake up feeling exhausted and find every inch of your body is aching. Your brain feels like it is in a fog; you can think but it is very difficult to understand. You presume that you are getting the flu and you stay home from work so you won’t infect anyone else.
A week later you don’t feel any better. You are so tired you can’t function but you aren’t sleeping. A quick trip to the doctor and you find out there is ‘nothing wrong with you’.
So you push on. You go back to work but you are not doing a good job because you can’t think right and now you aren’t remembering things. At home the sympathy you had from your family when you first got ill is gone. They expect you to be well by now and they don’t understand why you aren’t. You don’t understand either.
The relationships with your employer and even your family get strained and for some people fall completely apart. Talk about depression? You have it big time now. You have also acquired some other lovely little gems like irritable bowel and bladder, cognitive and memory impairment, muscle spasms, headaches, nerve irritation, reduced coordination, multiple chemical sensitivity (odors, noise, bright lights, medications, foods), and decreased physical endurance. Life is the pits.
If you are lucky your doctor eventually realizes that it isn’t all in your head, and that you actually have something wrong with you. You are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [CFS]. The diseases are so similar that you could get diagnosed with either one or both! Welcome to the club! You are one of approximately one and a half million people with Fibro/CFS.
How bad does a person with Fibro really feel? Dr Mark Loveless, Head of the AIDS and CFS Clinic at Oregon Health Sciences University gave testimony in 1995 at a congressional briefing that the patient “feels effectively the same every day as an AIDS patient feels two months before death”.
So my case isn’t as bad as this, but it’s still nice to hear about other people going through this, I’m not really crazy!