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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Old Year/New Year Reflections

By HERWriter
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome related image Photo: Getty Images

It's a universal impulse at this time of year to look back and to look forward. This week closes out the old year, and opens the new.

It's the perennial Old Year/New Year reflection. Looking in two directions at once.

People who are chronically ill do this too, at least the ones able to think coherently enough for long enough periods. Some years, that wasn't me.

Some years, I spent the weeks after Christmas in bed, sleeping chaotic hours around the clock. Dozing over an unread book. Staring uncomprehending out a window.

But not this year. This year I'm quite coherent, thank you. And I am doing the Old Year/New Year reflection.

We chronics ask many of the same universal human questions that healthy people do. Then there are other issues unique to us.

1.Was I happy last year? Will I be happy in the coming year?
If the year winding down has been rough, it can be hard to hope that something better will come. But ... hope anyway.

2.Was I healthy last year? Will I be healthy this year?
For some of us bad health has shrouded our past for more years than we can count. Some chronic lives have been like a Gothic tale of horror. A brand new year up ahead may inspire hope and anticipation, or fear of falling off a new precipice.

3.Have I moved ahead this year? Or have I lost ground?
I can rarely make a blanket statement as to whether life has been bad or good. I find it helps to look at different aspects of my life. And if anything has improved, my preference is to take that and fan its flames of hope, for all it's worth.

I've been viewed as being Pollyanna-esque or prey to wishful thinking. But I've already lost a lot to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'm not letting it take anything more from me than I can help. And that especially includes my ability to hope.

4.What new things am I hoping for in the coming year?
Some of us with CFS are hoping for a doctor who is sympathetic and knowledgeable. We're all hoping that there will finally be more than just a small handful of devoted heroes who've been investigating CFS with little or no financial support.

Add a Comment2 Comments


Hi Sue,

There's a section called My Road to Recovery from CFS at http://www.ncubator.ca/Road_to_Recovery.html and another called Things That Work For Me at http://www.ncubator.ca/Things_Work.html which contain articles referring to different parts of my treatment.

The main highlights would be lightening the toxic load on my liver, immune system and digestive system and then re-building.

I did juicing for awhile, have taken liquid chlorophyll in water. Did dry skin brushing with a loofah every day. Used an ointment called Lymphagen to stimulate lymph. Done nasal irrigation.

Avoiding chemicals as much as possible. Avoiding foods I'm sensitive to. I am gluten-intolerant and don't tolerate many carbs or processed foods well. For me, plenty of meat, healthy fats and vegetables work best. Straying from this weakens my health.

Supplements like omega-3 oil, vitamins B12 and D, adaptogens like ashwagandha and Reishi mushroom, natural antivirals. Acupuncture every month.

Reiki, prayer, meditation, visualization, positive affirmations are also a part of my recovery.

Cleaning out the bad, building up the good, plenty of rest in order to regenerate. Learning how to get out of my sympathetic nervous system and into my parasympathetic nervous system. PNS chemicals released are healing. SNS over too long a time tear a body down.

This isn't an exhaustive list but these are a general overview.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

January 3, 2011 - 10:30am
EmpowHER Guest

This is a great article, Jody! I always like to start off the new year with some introspection.

I'm curious about what treatment you attribute to your ongoing recovery? I've checked your website, but I couldn't find any specific mention of what has helped you. Just curious!

Happy New Year!

Sue Jackson

January 3, 2011 - 9:49am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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