Post Viral Fatigue

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I Have felt unwell for the last few month Sometimes I get out of bed and my legs will not work. Walking up stairs is a mission.

By the time i reach the legs are throbbing, it hurts to even bend my fingers. Over tbe last few months i have got more and

down about how i feel as i was very sctive previously, runni g, working out etc head feels muffled, i cant concentrate and its as if i can hear people talking to me but nothing is going in. I went to the doctor and he did some blood test which showed that my white blood cells were high and folic acid low. He prescribed folic acid and told me i had post viral fatigue with overlying depression. Day by day i feel its getting worse. Yesterday i actually felt a little better so did the housework but by the evening i could hardly move and was incredibly tired i coukd hardly walk.i am becoming more and more depressed as i have always been a very strong active person. I work full time although have been signed off for 5 weeks. I am due to see the company occupational health person next week to see what the company can do to help. I cant afford to drop my hours so how will i cope? It scares me the thought of going back to work snd feeling like this.

Does this sound like post viral fatigue?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi jacqueline,

    Yes this does sound like post viral fatigue. I also had a this. I caught measles from the hospital I worked at and ended up in intensive care with pneumonia, very lucky to be alive.

    Since this I had suffered from cfs. I too saw OH, but I was constantly sick for months after that I was off for so long that I just decided to leave as I felt I needed to concentrate on my health.

    12 months after I got an easy little part time job but even this was too much for me, so in February I had to leave there, since then my fatigue has just got worse. It's an ongoing battle.

    They say you can recover from this and if you do then it is in the first 12 months. 3 years on and I'm still getting worse.

    My only advice is to rest when your body is telling you to, because if you don't then you will know about it.

    I do sincerely hope you feel better soon xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Gayle

      sounds like you have had an awful time. I really hope you get better too. This seems to have really taken its toll on me. I was so active before this and now it just seems that i am constantly moaning about how awful i feel. I dont even want to go out anymore.

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    • Posted

      That's exactly how I am. Moaning about every little thing. I did just read that you suffer with back ache too,? Has this been around since before you were ill? Because part of cfs is pain, and very often if you suffer with cfs you are more than likely to suffer with fybromyalgia, which is a very similar condition bit it's main effect is pain in the body.

      I'm pretty new to talking about all this as I've just sat at home feeling sorry for myself for the past 3 years trying to fight it on my mine. But now I realise it is so beneficial to have people to talk to, and everyone has so much knowledge.

      I really hope you recover soon and manage to get back to work.

      I went back on phased return but it was just too much, as I said before, I tried for about 6 months and then just gave up to concentrate on me.

      P.s all those jobs will still be there tomorrow , that's what I have to tell myself every day.

      Good luck to you


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    • Posted

      Hi Gayle

      I have had previous spinal surgery and due for more in

      september hence the back pain. This doesnt help my cause .

      you are right it makes a huge difference to talk to people that also suffer as they know exactly how you feel. Problem is because

      you look ok on the outside people dont realise how much pain

      you are o r how you are feeling so you can feel very isolated as

      I have done over the last few months. Best wishes to you I hope

      things improve for you x

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  • Posted

    It certainly sounds as though you have developed post viral fatigue which as you are finding out is totally debillitating. Coming to terms with the condition is probably the hardest part of the process now and you'll need to make radical changes to your lifestyle in order to give yourself the best chance of getting the optimum results out of any recovery.

    I've had this for fifteen years and am unable to work very many hours a week at all so it's that sort of change you're going to have to get used to unfortunately.

    You need to concentrate initially on doing as little as possible, so that you can establish a baseline from which you avoid the dreadful "boom and bust" that many of us have suffered, until we learn how to cope.

    It's a horrible condition to be faced with I know but you will with time almost certainly recover to some degree, if not always fully so. There is a large community of us out there with the same thing and you'll get good advice here as to how to cope with many of the problems that you'll come up with, from doctors and social services to family, on the route to improvement.

    Depression initially is a perfectly normal reaction to getting hit with this, but with time you'll learn to cope and hopefully, those on here will give all the help they can..... :-)


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    • Posted

      Thanks, for the information. I am finding this all incredibly

      tough right now. I feel like a different person .I am trying to

      stay positive but its so hard when you feel like crap everyday

      and not knowing if I will recover or not.

      im due to have spine surgery in September too which doesnt

      help as suffer with terrible back pain too.

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  • Posted

    I know just what you mean as I was a very active person but I do have good news after many years of trying to fight this condition I am now feeling the best I have felt in a long time and no more days in bed.

    The key to my success is learning to live with this condition was pacing. However like you as soon as I felt good I would do all those jobs which had stacked up, WRONG!!

    I started treating my condition like someone who wants to cycle 100 miles. You don't go out the first day and ride 100 miles you work up to it. The first challenge was to learn just how much I could do without ending up in bed. My GP encouraged me to take 30min rest periods doing absolutely nothing. I got a yoga mat and just lay on the floor.

    If you discuss this approach with your OH dept then it means you can do some work and at least having some money coming in. Its better to do 1hr a day then do 3hrs the first day and then can't work again for the rest of the week. I would say don't rush into increasing your energy levels and if you have family get them to help get those jobs done.

    Bets of luck

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I will try pacing. I just find it difficult to sit and look at things that need doing. I know i have to go back to work at

      some point im just worried about how I will cope as its quite a demanding stressful role.

      hopefully occ health will be supportive.

      good luck to you

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  • Posted

    In a word, yes. It sounds like ME/CFS. Assuming you do have this illness, there are a few words of advice I'd give you, as a long-term sufferer. First, don't let your doctors fob this off as depression. Yes, it's normal to feel depressed as a result of being ill, but a person could also be depressed because of any other illness, like, say, cancer. It doesn't negate the fact of a serious illness. Also, take it easy and be very careful of overdoing it. That can result in worsening of symptoms and even in severe relapse. I know the work situation is very difficult to resolve. But if you continue to work while being ill, you can eventually become so ill that you simply can't work, period. That happened to me. Also, if you're in the U.K., beware of the NHS system's program of graded exercise. That is widely questioned and can result in a crash. You can maximize your chances of getting better if you pace yourself, get lots of rest, destress as best you can, and eat healthfully. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Jacqueline, I am so sorry to hear how you are feeling.  I am in my 7th year of this condition.  When first diagnosed I was able to continue working part time for 4 years.  However, my role changed and I was not supported as I should have been and I had a major crash in 2013 and have not been able to work since.  I suffer with pain in my body all the time and yes the stairs can feel like a mountain.  I have been bedbound, housebound, and had to use a wheelchair over the last few years.  I am back on my feet but walk with stick or crutch.  You really need to listen to your body and accept where you are at present.  When you have accepted, you then can move on very slowly.  There is no point in worrying about work, as stress will make you 10 times worse and you will crash anyway. 

    If you are unable to work and have to give up and have been diagnosed, you are entitled to PIP and ESA.  If you have been diagnosed and want to drop your hours, you can still claim PIP.  This benefit you can get whether your work or not. Please visit Action for ME site where you can find out all sorts of information and guidance and they have their own welfare helpline.

    I wish you all the very best, but please remember if you continue to stress and work when you are unable to then you will be in for a very long hard journey, so look after  yourself, you and your health come first.


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    • Posted

      Hi Tina

      thank you so much for your advice, I know you are right about pacing myself and I guess I will learn in time. Im finding this so difficult to cope with at the moment as I have always been so active. This has come out of the blue so am not coping too

      well with it all.

      I didnt realize there were so many sufferers out there until I

      started reading in forums such as this.

      I guess work will have to be a phased return and I will have to learn not to stress but I am not sure how I will cope with it.

      thanks agin and good luck to you x

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