This past decade has encompassed the worst and the best of my experience with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Previously I'd had short but intense periods where CFS symptoms appeared for six weeks at a time, then disappeared till the next time I caught a cold.
But then I went really chronic. Every day for years was shrouded with symptoms that kept me from being able to live my life.
Here's how it went.
2001 - 2002
I had dropped out of my church and my homeschool group. This had broken my heart but I needed to stop draining my puny energy batteries. I felt like I was vibrating all the time. Before I got CFS, I had a great memory. I was the detail person. I could hardly remember being that way -- I could hardly remember anything.
I lost touch with everyone I had known. A few people called or sent me cards but I was too sick to be able to respond.
I was putting on weight like a house a-fire, unlike anything I'd ever experienced. This began to turn around with a low carb diet. I thought for awhile that maybe I was just severely hypoglycemic but a crash in the fall told me this was not the whole story after all.
2002 - 2003
After my autumn relapse, I had a crushing winter crash. My right arm was useless due to joint pain and inflammation. By spring I was beginning to regain some strength, but was now in that limbo where I was well enough to be bored but too sick to do anything, including read or watch television. I sat looking out the window, or slept, most of the day.
2003 - 2004
Once again I improved in the summer. I was like a dull-normal mentally with the activity level of a lethargic couch potato. This was an improvement and I enjoyed the summer sun as much as I could.
That winter I got hit so hard with vertigo I thought I was having a stroke. I spent my 25th wedding anniversary at the hospital having tests done. The next few months I was in bed for 20 hours a day.
2004 - 2005
By spring I could go for 20 minute walks. By summer I was more active and hopeful that I was on my way to recovery. I had moments when I felt fine.