CFS relapse for 4 months - please help

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After 10 years of pretty good health, I have been in a CFS relapse for the past 4 months following a virus and a new very demanding full-time job. I had a relapse 3 years ago which lasted 9 weeks and I was then able to go back to work part-time. However, this time it is just not shifting yet. I resigned from my job 2 months ago and have been resting up pretty well since then, but am still having horrible symptoms - muscle weakness and pain, painful glands, sweats, sore throat, pins and needles, insomnia and terrible anxiety at times. Even a short walk up the road and back makes my symptoms flare. I am not yet at a solid baseline yet from which to build up activity. Considering I did a cycle tour in June and had a walking holiday in Cumbria in July, this is pretty depressing. I am terrified that this will develop into the long illness I had initially 23 years ago where I became virtually housebound for 6 years and it took me another 6 years to be well again. I haven't helped matters by struggling into a tough new job for a month with a virus before finally admitting I had to stop. I would welcome any tips or encouragement please. I know what to do - rest, small activities within my limits, eat well, keep well supported by friends and family, read and watch tv to distract, meditate. I am taking hot baths and using arnica oil on my muscles. But sometimes I can't stand it! Wakefulness in the night is the worst because that is when the fear sets in. I have just started HRT patches because some of the insomnia and sweating at night will be due to menopause. Please remind me I will get better and offer hope. Thank you 😊

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  • Posted

    It is so clear from your past that you know what you are doing, you are educated and experienced. You have done this before. You have recovered before. THIS is what you need to remind yourself. You know you can do this because you have done it already. I'm sure you had all the same "what if I never get better" "what if I get worse" type fears back then too? These are just thoughts, not reality. You will recover, we know you will because you have done before. Trust it.

    When you're in a good place, I would suggest writing out the things you need to hear when you're having those 3am wobbles. I would also go a step further and write out a few intentions like "I am a healthy person" "I am full of energy" "I am loving my life fully" I find things like this so powerful, especially when I'm really fatigued, as all my brain seems to think is "I'm so tired" constantly! But if I make myself think those types of intentions, I do feel lifted.

    Just be kind to that poor worn out body and mind. It'll all come together. You just need to trust in yourself.

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    • Posted

      Hi Betty, thank you so much for your wise, strong words. You are so right. Of course I will get better from this relapse. I recovered from all previous ones. This is taking time because I pushed myself through a virus, something I vowed I would never do! I guess I still have a lot to learn about self-acceptance and living within my means, energy-wise. This is a shocker and I hope it heralds a new, better way of living and working. After all previous relapses I have gone on to enjoy better health because I have learned and made adjustments. I got so well last time I thought I could manage a new challenging job - how wrong I was! The worst thing is beating myself up about it, and so your reminder to write things down and use positive affirmations is a brilliant counter-balance to that. I am fortunate in many ways and I will look back on this blip and see how much wiser and stronger it made me. Thank you again, Betty!
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    • Posted

      Hi Emma,

      Sorry you're suffering more than usual post virus, just to add to Betty's post that one affirmation I used to use when I was really ill was: "Every day in every way I am feeling better".

      Don't be hard on yourself either, be your own best friend

      Take care of yourself and hope you feel stronger soon

      Liz

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  • Posted

    The reason you don't seem to have picked up as quickly you normally would could be down to the menopause as unfortunately one of the side effects of it can be fatigue. My energy levels started to go downhill when I started going through it and I couldn't understand why although I feel I have improved slightly now the hot flushes aren't so bad. Hopefully the HRT patches will help and if you are able to sleep better your energy levels will pick up again. You could also try a fan by the bed to cool you down. Be kind to yourself - lots of rest and healthy eating (magnesium might be worth a try as it's good for both CFS and the menopause). Hope things pick up for you soon. You did it before - you can did it again!!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Elaine. I agree the menopause changes things and it will now be a consideration in all my future life decisions, especially around work. Being kind to myself is definitely the number one priority at the moment. I have been on the patches for 3 days, so early days. I know I will get better from this, as I have with all previous episodes. Thank you for taking the time to reply and for your supportive words.

      Emma

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  • Posted

    I am dealing with something similar as you. I developed CFS 25 yrs ago following a viral onset, & symptoms lasted 9 months. Then, in Dec of 2017 I contracted a cold/ flu virus & it appears that I am also in CFS relapse. The 3 main symptoms are loss of appetite, difficulty staying asleep, & loss of sexual desire. My Dr gave me anti-depressant pills for the anxiety & they are helpful. Just gotta ride it out again, & remind yourself that you WILL get better with time

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    • Posted

      Hi Ron, it is quite a shock when something which you thought was in your past returns with such vehemence, but you are right, it is a question of riding it out. It is giving me time to re-think my life and work out how it needs to be in future, especially in terms of how I make a living. Thanks for the support. Emma.
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  • Posted

    Hi. Sorry to bother you. I appreciate this thread is old but I was wondering how you got on with this relapse and your HRT? I see it was 4 years ago so hopefully things improved. I'm going through the same as you did and thought I'd see how you are? I hope you don't mind. Thank you.

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