Are you spending your time feeling like death, no energy for the basics in life let alone the fun stuff? Are you unable to spend time with the people you love, unable to work or do hobbies? Do you have to drag yourself out of bed to do the most basic of tasks? Do you rely on others to care for you?
I know how it feels, I’ve been there. When I was diagnosed with ME/CFS in April 2012 I had symptoms in 7 of the 8 categories in the CDC criteria and I also met the more stringent Canada working case definition. I had so many symptoms and didn’t understand what had happened to the body I had always been able to rely on.
If I turned up at your house and offered you this deal, would you take it?
The Deal: You could have your life back, including energy for socialising, working, hobbies. Whatever it is you want to do with your life, you’ll have the energy to do it in. However, in return you have to:
- Make sure you get a regular 8-9 hours of sleep a night,
- Change your diet and take supplements
- Get adequate good quality rest throughout the day
- Learn how to meditate and practise it daily
- Don’t try to do too much too soon. Recovery will take time and you need to not push your body when it doesn’t have the energy for it.
- You have to do this consistently, every day for months and possibly years.
What would you say if I offered you that deal?
I know if someone had offered me that I would have bitten their hands off. I was desperate to recover. I used a program called Secrets to Recovery from the Optimum Health Clinic, which gave me information about all of the above, and built my belief in recovery. I used this programme a lot in my first 18 months of illness, and with this and the advice of my nutritionist I have recovered substantially.
When I first found out the recommendations of the OHC revolved around psychology and nutrition I was disappointed. How could this deal with my symptoms? I felt like death; I felt more ill than I ever had in my life. I thought I needed more than this to regain my health. However, the results of all my googling didn’t turn up any better ideas to try, so I tried these, and slowly, ever so slowly, they have worked.
I know not everyone can afford the OHC programme or a nutritionist, and that’s why I set up this blog. To share what has helped me recover in the hope that it will help others.
If you have been ill a long time (or even if you’ve only just been diagnosed), take a look at how you’re living. It’s not easy to change your life, but I believe it’s essential to recovery. The changes are hard at first, but tend to get easier with time, and if there is a chance that you too could recover by making these changes what have you got to lose?
My life now is different to pre-illness. This is because I’ve recognised that how I was living before was not good for my health. However, I am building a new, happy, healthy life. I hope you can too.