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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Vertigo -- My Books Anchor Me

By HERWriter
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I hadn't had a stroke after all. Rather, I had a whammy of a case of vertigo.

I spent a lot of time in bed, lived in my nightgown and housecoat, and had bedhead all the time. I was a sorry mess for months. I started reading some books by L.M. Montgomery. I read Anne of Green Gables books, Emily books, Story Girl books and Pat of Silver Bush books. I've read through these many times since I was 11.

I noticed in the Pat books that Pat's mother was sick a long time. She spent her time in bed, and the family knew she couldn't be taxed or she would become more ill. Eventually, Pat's mother got better to the point that she could join the family, though she never became really strong again.

Hmm. That struck a chord.

One piece in particular stayed with me. Pat had been really ill, and eventually was well enough to sit up in bed. Then she could sit in a chair and look out the window, but recovery was painfully slow. Old Judy said to her, "Patsy, darlint, ye must be going careful. There's to be no running all over for a while yet. Just sit ye still and listen to yer hair growing."

That is what I did. And I related to what Old Judy said in a way that I never had before.

I finished the L.M. Montgomery books and found a Bobbsey Twins series, which I'd read as a child. I went through them all. I moved on to the Nancy Drew series, which I had actually never read before. I was very thankful to have them on my own bookshelves. Going to the library ... impossible.

These books got me through the winter months of illness.



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.

Add a Comment6 Comments


Sounds like the Bobbseys are the run-away favorites, but with many other runners-up in the matter. :-)

I was just so grateful at the time to have as many books in my bookshelves as I had. And that so many of them were sweet gentle stories (even with all the mysteries and stuff thrown in, they were still sweet).

It helped me float away for awhile, and be free from my circumstances for a time.

June 25, 2009 - 5:22pm

And I have to put in another vote for the Bobbseys. But I also loved the Henry, Beezus and Ramona books with a passion. And Madeleine L'Engle's books, especially "A Wrinkle in Time." They were good friends all. I like thinking about them as comfort food now. Perfect.

June 25, 2009 - 4:56pm

When a person is sick, thank goodness for books like that, low pressure, high yield. :-)

And yeah, the Bobbseys were the best.

June 24, 2009 - 5:32pm

Ah, yes. "The Bobbsey Twins and the Mystery of the Lost Memories."

There's a title for people with CFS. :-)

Those books helped save my bacon that winter. Too sick for anything that required much concentration, but with so much empty time on my hands, and the fear that it would always be this way.

They were the comfort food of books for me that winter. Just enough plot line to keep me reading without taxing my lumpy brain too much, and with nostalgic reminders of childhood and better days.

Thank goodness for Google is right. And thank goodness for the internet, an open window for chronic people into a world that is otherwise inaccessible.

Thanks for writing, Mr. B. Good to hear from you.


June 23, 2009 - 5:48pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Jody Smith)

Happy to see another Bobbsey fan. Seem like everyone preferred Hardy Boys or Nacy Drew.

"Just enough plot line to keep me reading without taxing my lumpy brain too much"
I know precisely what you mean.

June 24, 2009 - 2:32pm
EmpowHER Guest

I remember the Bobbsey twins fondly. Sadly I lack the memory to recall their names.

Googled them, Nan, Bert, Freddie and Flossie. I wanted to remember the villain/antagonist, without looking it up. Bugs Meany jumped into my consciousness, but he was in Encyclopedia Brown. Reginald feels somewhat right; but I know that he was from the comic strip Archie (Reginald "Reggie" Mantle III).

Wiki says Danny Rugg. That sounds right, especially the "r" sound. Googled around, and Rugg was indeed their nemesis.

I owned most of them, and I read them over and over. Now I can't even remember their names. Thank goodness for Google. I couldn't imagine trying to locate my dodgy memories without the use of a search engine.

I need the Bobseys to find my lost memories.

Mr. B (no relations to the Bobseys) lol

June 23, 2009 - 5:04pm
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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.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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