The lack of a proper label that conveys the vicious severity of this condition is an ever-present stone in our collective shoe. There are a few different names out there, each with something going for it.
The most commonly used ones are myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and the combination ME/CFS.
The term "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" is an insulting and odious dismissal of a life-throttling disaster. So why do I keep using it? Because I don't have ME, from what I can gather.
From what I've read, people with ME will have physiological abnormalities showing up in brain scans. And my CT scan and MRI have indicated that I have what was intriguingly labelled as a "Routine Brain".
Actually I think it was the test that was considered routine but since my brain was in riotous disorder, or felt like it, during that time I rather clung to the absurd notion that I had a routine brain.
I think that what I have been slowly recovering from these past four years since hooking up with my naturopath Dr. Kelly Upcott, is ... well, a syndrome. A grab bag of food sensitivities, malnutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, hormones out of whack, and a haywire immune system due to stress the size of the White Cliffs of Dover.
My adrenals were decimated by stressors of the financial, environmental, nutritional, hormonal kind. By my perimenopausal years I was a train waiting to wreck.
And wreck I did. I was the type of person who pushed, who couldn't say no, who was way too busy way too much of the time. Even when I was vibrating from CFS I could still (for a few years) go about my business.
It wasn't till a decade later that it occurred to me that this encapsulated who I was back then. Who keeps going at a break-neck pace when they feel like they are vibrating from head to toe and can hardly think?
Yeah, something had to give. In fact, just about everything eventually had to give. And I have been very slowly and painstakingly putting the pieces of my life back together.
They don't fit the same way they used to. It is a different kind of life.
I don't eat the same as I used to. I stay away from grains and sugars for the most part. I eat more protein and healthy fats.
This may not work for someone else dealing with similar symptoms. But finding the right foods for me has made a huge difference.
I take vitamin D and B12. I take omega-3 oil. I drink water with a lemon slice rather than the carbonated soft drink I crave.
I take a tincture with adaptogens, natural antibacterials and antivirals and vitamins in it. I get acupuncture once a month. I try to avoid chemicals in my foods and my home.
I have learned that it is vital that I take breaks through the day, that I say no from time to time. I have learned the hard way that it is possible to be deconstructed down to next to nothing and I am doing my best to never go there again.
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.
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