But that winter saw a rash of family stressors that leveled me, and I spent every afternoon in bed for months.
2005 - 2006
Funerals and weddings kicked off the spring and summer and left me broken down, with an additional cascade effect of joint pain and inflammation in my arms and hands, legs and feet. I spent most of the summer and autumn in my chair.
I still did not know what was wrong with me. All I knew was laying down and sleeping seemed to take the edge off. I felt my life was effectively over.
2006 - 2007
I was in bed most of the day, except to do some laundry and cook dinner. I spent an hour with my family after dinner then had to go to bed, sometimes with a book, because I had no energy left.
That winter my 15-year-old son was rushed to the hospital with complications from the flu. He has had CFS ever since.
My mother offered to send me to a naturopath she had seen. I said yes. But I had to cancel my first appointment because I was too sick to be able to go.
2007 - 2008
Visits to Dr. Kelly Upcott, my naturopath were the highlights of that year. She had me on supplements, and gave me acupuncture every month. By fall I could go for short walks, and run simple errands. This was a huge step forward.
That fall I had another crash. After reading about vitamin D, I began to take this supplement and for the first winter in years, I was up and about. I even drove the car. I was ecstatic.
2008 - 2009
I crawled forward in my recovery, with short term relapses, followed by small inroads once more. Crashes still came but they were less severe, and did not last so long as they used to.
2009 - 2010
My husband had bought me a laptop and I decided to see if I could earn a living online, since I was still too sick to handle a "real" job. I discovered in the process that I could have a virtual life, joining a few forums and Facebook.
My world expanded in a way that I had no longer held any hope for. I began my website, www.ncubator.ca and a blog. And I began to write for EmpowHER.