Where I am at with my health journey / recovery from glandular fever / chronic fatigue syndrome (almost 3 years in).

31.7.18

To read all posts associated with CFS / my health journey click >here<

I am sure regular readers of my blog and social media accounts will know that my health hasn't been great for a while now. To summarise for newbies; I have aaaalways been a stressed out mess and have suffered with anxiety and periods of depression since I was a teenager. My anxiety was severe in 2015 following a sad breakup and calling off my wedding at the end of 2014, followed by moving house a couple of times, burning the candle at both ends, under-eating, over-exercising, and not getting enough sleep. I lived off strong coffee and the odd sandwich or bit of toast which probably explains why my adrenal function is f*cked. I became unwell in the summer of 2015 initially with a sore throat and fatigue. It wasn't too bad at first; it came and went, and I was still able to go to work and function but it was a struggle.

When it didn't shift I had a series of blood tests which revealed the Epstein Barr virus. The months that followed saw me take a considerable downhill stumble and I had time off work where I sat in my flat on my own with one visitor (my boyfriend at the time) who helped me to walk, cook, and take care of the dogs/myself.

After 6 months of this, and more blood tests, the doctors didn't know what to do with me so I was diagnosed with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) / PVFS (post viral fatigue syndrome) and told that it would work its way out of my system in time. I needed to reduce stress, take good care of myself, and liaise with a CFS clinic on how to manage it. To cut a long story short, the CFS clinic that I pinned all my hopes on was an absolute waste of space.

The years that followed have been a rollercoaster, with no real set pattern for recovery. I've had months and months on end of feeling absolutely atrocious, catching one cold and flu virus after another (which, on top of recovering from glandular fever, is no fun at all). I've had massive chunks of time off work, and spent a large proportion of my life in bed. But I have also had months at a time of managing a part time job, feeling okay enough to socialise (within reason) and do housework, and little bits of exercise here and there.

It's been 3 years since I first started showing those symptoms although October / November time will mark 3 years since I became severely unwell, and to be honest I can't quite believe it has been going on for all this time. People say "stay positive", "push through". Have you ever tried pushing through when you have flu? How about pushing through when you've had flu for almost 3 years with no way of knowing if it will ever leave your system? My outlook on life can be on the negative side and I do really nice to incorporate positive thinking and gratitude into my thoughts but it's really hard.
I have spent thousands of pounds of savings on different treatments and supplements, but nothing has helped significantly so far. I have been looking into Chinese Medicine, and have also been recommended a set of supplements that aid mitochondrial function, but without a job buying anything like this isn't an option at the moment. Kind of frustrating considering taking them would actually help me to be able to work. Catch 22 eh?!

I am definitely through the "push / crash" stage of recovery. I am able to do a fair bit without crashing or having payback but I definitely have to be careful. If I do too much I start to experience swollen tonsils, a fever, and severe fatigue, and that's when I know I have to reign things in.

I wake up each morning and I feel absolutely dreadful. After an hour or so this reduces slightly but my current daily symptoms are brain fog, disorientation, nausea, aches in my neck and back muscles, and fatigue. We're not talking just being a bit tired here.

So I guess, after a patch of consistency but not quite feeling as good as I had hoped I would by now, I am looking to move things forward. I feel like I am really close to this but it's not quite within reach at the moment. My personal life is quite stressful and I don't have much stability, so reducing my stress levels isn't easy but one thing I do want to work on is my daily meditation practice. It is something that has helped me in the past so I know I need to stop making excuses and get back into it.

If anyone has any advice no matter how small, please do share in the comments box below. If any sugar daddies are reading this and would like to buy me some supplements then please slide into my DMs (I joke but actually this would be awesome hehe).


4 comments:

  1. I have so much empathy for you. I too have had the Epstein Barr virus, I was later also diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, a form of Hypothyroidism. The advice is take the thyroid supplement and you'll be fine. Uh, no. It's a constant struggle, pacing yourself and working on reducing stress helps but it's a journey. I appreciate you sharing your journey and hope through trial and error we can all find a better quality of life.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I also send you lots of positivity and healing <3 xx

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  2. Hi Victoria, I’ve had cfs for four years and the only things that have helped and believe me I’ve tried everything are: Thorne adrenal cortex, licorice root, loads of salt and pacing. I think for me once I realised what was causing my cfs ( poor adrenal function ) it is easier to manage. I can literally feel the cortisol running low, and know to slow down before I crash.
    I noticed your from Leeds in your instagram profile, do you know of any cfs support/meet ups in the Bradford/Leeds area? I’ve never come across any yet.
    Jessica x

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    1. If you see this reply will you drop me an email? I'd love to chat more about this with you <3 xx

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