I’m writing this post during what will most likely be my last chronic fatigue flare of 2017. Even though I’ve lived with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue (CFS) since 2010; every major flare seems like the first and even though mentally I handle them much better than I did in the past, it’s still difficult not to feel a surreal sense of death, doom, and despair.
It’s difficult not to feel a surreal sense of death, doom, and despair
The mental anguish and feeling that life simply cannot continue is what’s most difficult. Even though you know it will subside there’s always this feeling that maybe it won’t. This is what scares you the most.
Chronic fatigue is difficult to live with and live through but it is even more challenging to explain to others. It is so much more than just being tired, even more than being exhausted, and unless you’ve experienced it for yourself; you can never fully understand what it is like to live through an intense-severe chronic fatigue flare. Still it is my hope that through this post you might be understand the illness a little better and have an ounce more empathy for those of us living with these debilitating invisible illnesses.
What is Chronic Fatigue?
To be diagnosed with this condition, tiredness must be severe enough to decrease an individual’s ability to participate in ordinary activities by 50 percent. Chronic fatigue syndrome is much more than just feeling tired often. People with CFS are so run down that it interferes with their lives and can make it hard to function at all.
What is A Chronic Fatigue Flare?
So take all the information above and multiply it times one hundred and you essentially have what a CFS flare is. “A flare is the worsening or exacerbation of symptoms that already exist,” says Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Patients use different time frames for what they consider a flare, but it’s generally several days or weeks of worsening symptoms. Anything shorter is considered normal waxing and waning of symptoms that someone with fibromyalgia can expect.”
When I’m in a fare I can literally sleep for 10-14 hours on end without let up. My entire body is weighed down and the entire experience is quite frightening. Imagine that someone has drugged you against your will and no matter how hard you try you simply cannot wake up.
Imagine that someone has drugged you against your will and no matter how hard you try you simply cannot wake up.
These sleep spells can last a few days, several days, or several weeks. Usually the sleep will let up slightly during the day to allow you to use the bathroom or maybe eat a bowl of cereal but for the most part any activity that requires any type of extensive brain or physical work
- Taking a shower
- Doing laundry
are completely out of the question. At its worst, even getting out of the bed can literally takes hours upon hours. Other symptoms can include:
- Internal fevers
- Sweating spells
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and more
But the #1 symptom is the exhaustion. Endless mind numbing exhaustion.
Getting out of the bed can literally takes hours upon hours.
So you seen CFS is no laughing matter. It is a real, tangible, debilitating illness that so far has o cure. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy and I pray for the day that it will be a thing of the past. Until then I share my experiences, spread awareness, and take one day, one flare at a time.
To learn more about chronic fatigue click here
Source: Medical News Today
My youngest daughter was recently diagnosed with CFS. Thank you for this post; it is informative without too much technical jargon, and that’s exactly what I’m looking to share with her. – Selena
Thank you for sharing your story.