The chronic phase
After eight months of living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in its early stages, feeling days of massive energy loss and weak muscles, the chronic phase of CFS kicked in. Just standing up from a chair or my bed was crippling. I felt like an eighty-year-old woman. My limbs were in pain, especially my legs, which were always tingling. My muscles cramped up intensely. My whole body felt inflamed.
Darkness and despair
Living with this chronic pain and debilitation impacted my rocky marriage. Soon my husband and I began to live separate lives under the same roof. But my children kept me going – for them, I pulled myself together as much as I could. But my dreams of being a fitness trainer vanished. Darkness and despair crept in. I knew my life, which was stressful and unhappy, needed to change. But I couldn’t see how.
Treatments for the chronic phase
I knew there were no drugs to treat CFS and that I would have found my way of coping. So I read everything and tried everything. Many people talked about their relief from taking supplements, like fish oil, vitamin D, and calcium, so I tried them.
I was already a vegetarian but optimized my diet with natural supplements like vitamins and minerals. Some people swore by holistic treatments, so I tried acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation, Reiki, and Ayurvedic treatments. Others said counseling was key, so I tried that too, even hypnotherapy. All of it. For over a decade.
Exercise saved me
Some days it was impossible to move. But on the better days, I exercised. If I overworked my body, it sometimes took days to recover. But I learned how to handle different doses of exercise. I learned to listen carefully to my body and when not push too hard. Through this, I developed a process of working out different parts of my body at different times, which was crucial – because exercise stopped my body from getting weaker.
Is there one remedy to CFS? No. That is why I believe in a holistic approach – because it is only when we address our body, mind, and soul – at the same time – that we can become healthy.
In part 3 the journey continues…
This article is about another woman battling with CFS. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/owning-pink/201204/the-secret-healing-chronic-fatigue-syndrome