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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a Shrinking World: Hello Library

By HERWriter
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In 2006, I made my maiden voyage back into the library. Walked in, walked around, walked out, fell into Al's car. He drove me home, and I went to bed for the rest of the afternoon.

Wiped, but triumphant. I held onto that triumph tightly. Felt pathetic, but feisty.

A few days later I went back. Al was again posted in the car out front. The plan was, I would pick out some books, and I would come get him so he could carry them out for me.

Sounds romantic, no? No, I'm afraid this was just hard-nosed strategy. My arms and hands were so sore and tender at that time that if I carried more than one book out to the car, the pain would flair dramatically for weeks afterward.

I chose some books, which wore me out. Then I needed to get a new library card. That meant I had to fill out a small form, which I couldn't do. My right hand could barely hold a pen.

They only wanted my address, phone number and signature but this was beyond me. I had to ask the librarian to fill most of it out for me, and then it took everything I had to sign the card.

Whew! Done!

I signalled Alan, and he came in to get my books. We looked like a couple of sweethearts, though really we were an invalid and a caregiver. Well, yeah, we were sweethearts too, but with more serious things on our minds back then.

He did this for me once a week, for two years. I would take out seven books at a time so I wouldn't have to go through the ordeal more often than once a week. I seemed to be able to handle that.

Eventually I was even able to chat with the librarian, though it took some months before I had that kind of energy and clarity.

A small chunk of my life, arduously reclaimed.

I spent 15 years losing the battle against CFS. Two years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.



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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.