Three years ago I was barely functional. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome had fractured my brain and ravaged my body. I had tendinitis in my shoulders, elbows and wrists. My hands were so crippled they were almost useless.
Standing for a few minutes made me pant for air and stagger from vertigo. My feet felt bruised and I limped from a swollen knee. Walking from my bedroom to the living room left me breathless and collapsing onto a recliner, eyes closed, spent from exertion.
I was in bed 16 hours a day. Naptime was 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. At 5 p.m. I'd drag out to be with my family for a few hours. Then I'd be back in bed reading till 11 p.m. Exhausted at that point, I'd sleep all night.
I'd cancelled once on my new naturopath, Dr. Kelly Upcott. A case of the flu had intensified my CFS symptoms, leaving me a vegetable. Eventually I made another appointment. My husband Alan drove me to her office and led me in by the hand.
Afterwards, I had a list of instructions Dr. Upcott wrote down since I wouldn't remember anything from the visit. Alan brought me home and I went to bed for two days, depleted.
Now here we are, three years later.
I no longer need to be chauffeured to appointments. I still have some pain in my arms and hands but it doesn't hold me captive. I no longer limp. And I'm no longer bedridden 16 hours a day. I lay down for a few hours most afternoons but the rest of my day is very different now.
My brain works better. I can put more than two thoughts together. In fact, I can put enough thoughts together to write articles, run a website, play administrator on a CFS forums, email friends, and fool around on Facebook. I still read during my quiet time, but instead of seven books a week, I'll only get through one. I'm just too busy doing the things I love.
Dr. Upcott's treatments have brought considerable healing to my broken-down body. Her confidence that I could heal encouraged me to expect something better.
I still visit her every month. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is devastating and the damage ran deep. But healing is ongoing, and its evidence is everywhere I look.