Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also called:
• Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
• Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS)
• Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)
• And there are other names.
The problem with CFS is its variability and the lack of any specific test for its diagnosis. It can come on suddenly, or as in my case, gradually. The symptoms can be varied such as:
• Severe exhaustion.
• Overwhelming fatigue after minimum effort.
• Un-refreshed sleep and sleep disturbance.
• Painful muscles, weakness and aching joints.
• Muscle twitching.
• Mood swings.
• Fluctuations in body temperature.
• Tender swollen lymph glands (neck, armpits and groin).
• Intolerance to alcohol, certain medications and foods such as dairy or wheat.
• Sensitivity to chemicals and electricity.
• Poor concentration.
For some it can be very debilitating to the extent that they have to stay in bed most of the time.
In my case, as I indicated above, my symptoms came on gradually over a long period of time i.e. just over a year. My symptoms also changed over that period of time.
Initially I thought I might be a bit rundown as I described feeling as if I was “running on empty” and I also felt more emotional. Other symptoms and events occurred as I will explain later until I arrived at a point where I would have a full night’s sleep but wake up feeling like a zombie. I would then have to go back to bed after breakfast and sleep for several more hours, only to wake up still feeling un-refreshed. This was the worst it got for me, but I was not like this every day, as I indicated symptoms and their effects were very variable. But there was this constant problem of feeling low in energy, drive, motivation and general impaired mental ability.
Drive and motivation is something you normally never think of much, you just take it for granted as it has always been there, causing you to just get on with each day. When it is low or impaired for some reason it is very frustrating, because you still want to get on with things but it now takes so much more effort. Perhaps you have been compensating by using more and more effort but now even the energy for effort has run low.
Go to Part3. When might my CFS have started?