Photo: Getty Images
I've lived with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in one form or another for almost 20 years. I have had times when I was completely non-functional. I couldn't think a complete thought. I couldn't walk down the hall. I couldn't count my money or write a grocery list.
Listening to anyone talk would put me to bed, vibrating and with a kaleidoscope brain. I was a vegetable, with no grasp of what was going on around me, or who I was back when I was still me.
But I have been recovering from the worst of CFS for the past four years and the more I recover, the better my body and brain work and the more I remember about me, about who I was. The old me, the pre-CFS me.
Here are some of the things that I'd forgotten for years at a time because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
1. I had forgotten what it was like to get in the car and drive to the grocery store.
When I was leaden and seasick, I could no more go to the grocery store than fly to the moon. Could not drive. Could not steer a shopping cart. Could not choose things from a shelf. Could not handle money or speak to the clerk.
2. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed chatting with the lady at the library.
At my worst, I could not navigate through the doors of the library. I couldn't read the titles without feeling like I might collapse. My arms and hands were too sore to carry books.
The library is a dozen blocks from my house. Might as well have been across a chasm. A chasm blasted by the dynamite of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
3.I had forgotten what it was like to go to the bank and do my own banking.
When I couldn't keep numbers in my head, and couldn't count I was fortunate to have a husband who was willing to do everything for me. The tellers might as well have been speaking a foreign language. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome garbled and distorted everything I heard.
4. I had forgotten how nice it is to dress up just for the heck of it.
I lived in an old housecoat for months at a time. Eventually I graduated to "real" clothes, but I kept it basic for a long time.