I've suffered many areas of loss because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'm one of the lucky ones who has been recovering, but it's anyone's guess as to how much of a life I'll be able to reclaim.
Here are some of the things I've lost to CFS.
1. Years of my kids' childhoods
This doesn't just affect me. This has short-changed my kids for years on end. I didn't go to soccer games. Couldn't take them places.
Never saw one of my daughter's homes two hours away, in the year she lived there. I couldn't go to my daughter's or daughter-in-law's college graduations. Managed to attend both of my kids' weddings but it was touch and go, and I had a CFS crash after each of them.
2. Special occasions
Family reunions, dinners out, parties, these were history for me. I hated to miss them. And felt sad that many folks must have assumed I just wasn't interested, because they didn't understand just how sick I was.
3. Church family
I hung on to my church long after I should have been hanging onto the sides of my bed. I'd gradually dropped out of every departments as I got sicker, and with each resignation I mourned. Eventually I had to quit going at all.
A few people sent cards at first. Then silence. Big, echoing, heart-breaking silence. For me, the Church Family proved to be a myth, like the unicorn.
4. Homeschool support
My husband and I led a homeschool support group before CFS disabled me. I was grief-stricken when, with one or two notable exceptions, the people I'd been devoted to lost interest in me. Quickly.
We'd been closely involved with 30 families. And now, we were alone.
5. My website, forums and search engine
My husband and I ran a website called Ncubator.com Christian Resource Directory in another life. We had 40 writers, forums and our own search engine. We got emails from around the world.
Eventually, though, I was vibrating too violently and my CFS brain was too fractured and we had to shut everything down.