Friday, 14 September 2007

Reality Check

A number of people when hearing about my health problems have said things like, "hope it hasn't stopped you getting out/climbing/walking/etc" because they know how much a part of my life that is/was.

However this I think shows that many people do not know what the reality of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is. You can read a leaflet about it here, however I thought I'd share with you what it is like for me...

I have a lot of pain in my joints and muscles- spending too long at the keyboard or simply holding my electric shaver is enough to give me pain/discomfort in my arm for several hours. I can't walk for more than a few hundred meters without getting tired. My legs then either get heavy and don't want to move or my muscles scream in pain. If I overdo it I can feel this for days. My sleep is disturbed- I go through phases of being unable to sleep at night for days. I get dizzy spells or feel disorientated (it can feel as if I'm drunk for hours). I get dizzy when I stand up. I get really painful headaches. My neck muscles twitch when I lie down. I keep having a sore throat. I get pins and needles in my fingers and toes- my hands and feet get very cold. I can find it difficult to concentrate and think clearly. My stomach gets bloated and I suffer from wind, my legs and arms are losing muscle because I can't exercise like I want to. I get depressed easily and very nervous and worried about things. And that's before we get to the matter of not being able to work since April (admittedly at first they thought it was a virus and they kept telling me it would get better and that I could work again soon... not anymore- my week in Denmark looks like it set me back months- if I know it was CFS I wouldn't have done what I did) and the fact that as of yet I haven't managed to get a penny of sick pay from my 'employers'.

So no, I haven't been climbing for a while (I went bouldering in Feb/April... nothing since), I haven't being going out for a while either.

Please I'm not trying to complain about how bad I have it, I'm trying to get through this. I have been so lucky with the support I receive from those closest to me- I really do understand how hard its been to have to live with me living with this... I just want to put this out there so that people understand what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is... after all its only been a few years since the medical world took it seriously.

4 comments:

Amber said...

It sounds to me like you need a good dose of California sunshine....but that is my bias talking. You and your stubborn spirit are in my prayers!

sylvia said...

Hi Andrew,just read your blog, I'm so sorry to hear about the CFS! It sounds like your feeling really rough. I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and praying for you, and hoping that you'll slowly start to feel more like your normal self. Take it easy, love Sylvia

Chantel said...

It´s taken me a while to find your blog, but here I am...
Yes, I know people who have, or have had, CFS, and it´s a long path to tread. We miss you in Edinburgh, and want to see you 100%.

Pleeeease take care of yourself...

Jean-Pierre said...

Hi Andrew,
I just found a minute to catch up on the blog and read all the good and bad news...
Even if I'm not quite good at it, I'll try to pray a little bit more including for you...
As usual, if you ever happen to cross Brussels, drop me a line!