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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: 10 Things I Had Forgotten

By HERWriter
 
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome related image 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.

Now I am liable to put on some makeup, and wear a pair of hoop earrings. Who knows, I might even work my way up to wearing the high heeled boots languishing in my closet.

5) I had forgotten what a clear mind felt like.

Life was so basic for such a long time. Vibrating, head fog. Must be time to eat something. Cold. Put on a sweater. Or an extra blanket on the bed. Time to sleep. Wake up. Wish I could just go back to sleep and skip the day's CFS symptoms and queasiness. Often I did that.

6) I had forgotten that I used to manage a website and correspond with my writers.

Reminders of this pre-CFS period of my life were like looking at someone else's old photographs. Could that have been me? Couldn't imagine being able to juggle and soar as I used to do with such ease. But it is very slowly coming back to me.

7) I had forgotten what it felt like to be able to write all day long.

I used to write a couple of articles a day for my website and a couple of newsletters I also helped to edit. I kept a couple of different kinds of journals every day.

It made me feel alive in a way that has been out of reach for years. But it is just there, at my fingertips, once again. Me, being me again.

8) I had forgotten how wonderful it is to make my own decisions and carry them out.

That was an old memory, one which I am recently dusting off and becoming familiar with once more. What an amazing thing to be able to prefer, to choose, and to act. How I've missed it! And I am enjoying the baby steps I'm taking in that direction now.

9) I had forgotten what it's like to guide and guard my family.

Before I got kicked in the teeth by CFS, I was very involved with my husband and children. We homeschooled our five kids and made them the central priority of our lives.

And then I just kind of ... disappeared. Our kids have mostly spent their teens without me as an active presence in their lives. Those years can't be retrieved, but I am back now.

10) I had forgotten how to hope for a better future.

When all I could do was white-knuckle it from one day to the next, when I was limp and bed-bound, and could only watch my days slide away like beads from a broken necklace, hope was an alien concept. It was a bad joke, and the joke was on me.

But as I have been recovering, I have been able to grasp the handle on hope that had previously been out of my reach.

I spent 15 years losing the battle against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Four years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.

http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Add a Comment2 Comments

HERWriter

I'm sorry to hear how long this has been going on for you. You are strong to have persevered in the face of this all this time.

I hope your homeopathic journey takes you in an entirely new direction. Don't let go of the hope. It will help bring you through.

Thank you for sharing this.

Jody

October 26, 2011 - 9:41am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

i actually cried as i read through your "10 things i had forgotten". i'm still walking in the fog - 30 years and counting - getting foggier. just started my own homeopathic journey - i have hope. your article increased that hope. thank you!

October 26, 2011 - 9:22am
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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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