Guest post: What It’s Like Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Tanya. Originally posted on georginabanks.com.
My name is Tanya and I’m living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME. I’ve been sick for 27 years. It started shortly after my first child was born.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalitis (ME), is a condition that causes many symptoms, the most common one being extreme tiredness (fatigue). There’s no specific test for CFS/ME, so it’s diagnosed based on symptoms and ruling out other illnesses. CFS/ME doesn’t have a specific treatment, either. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Some of the common treatments are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), an exercise programme called graded exercise therapy (GET) and medication to help control symptoms.
How CFS Affects Daily Living
My worst symptoms are brain fog, severe fatigue and light-headedness. These have drastically affected my life. Unfortunately, I have not been able to work for the past few years except babysitting here and there. I have tried to start a part-time tutoring business but have had no luck with customers. In the past, I worked as a preschool teacher and a part-time nanny. I was hoping my blog would bring in some income but that hasn’t been the case. This can be very discouraging. I’m in the middle of filing for disability. I spend a lot of time home alone and miss being social with friends as much as I would like to be. I used to be able to get out of the house more but the past year my brain fog and severe fatigue have gotten worse. I’m not able to drive at times. The only time I get out of the house is if I go to church or am able to drive my son to work. I also try to make it to the grocery store once a week.
Because of this increased time at home I have been feeling discouraged and lonely lately. I do have a good friend I talk to on the phone and I also talk to my parents on the phone several times a week. They are very supportive. I’m able to visit family once in a while if my husband drives. Usually, I try to keep an upbeat attitude as much as I can. I like to do creative things like painting, decorating, scrapbooking and bible journaling. Also, I enjoy decorating my planner. I try to do these things as often as I’m able.
The Impact of CFS on My Relationships
I’m blessed to have a very supportive extended family. They don’t live really close, though. This makes it hard to see them, but we do have many phone conversations. Occasionally I’m able to visit family, but I often have to rest if I’m there. It’s been hard on my husband because I have been sick our whole marriage. Some of my friends left me at the beginning of my illness. This was hard, but unfortunately, it’s quite common amongst the chronic illness community. I go out with my friends who stuck by me from time to time, but lately it has decreased due to my health.
Where to Find Tanya Online
Tanya runs a blog called My Fruitful Home, which is a blog for chronically ill people who are looking for encouragement, inspiration, creativity and support. You can reach it through the following link: myfruitfulhome.com.
You can also find her on social media through these links: