I haven't written for some years here. I do look back frequently and the cellular memories are strong. I remember the sensation of dragging a body around and perching an upright head full of protest when neither felt like my own. I remember the loss of identity and the panic that accompanies it.
And now here I am, with a 9 month old baby and well. He was 10Ib 3 at birth and it was a 26 hour hike up the proverbial mountain of motherhood with no intervention and I am STILL well; well and supremely grateful for my recovery which came after 5 years.
Now, I am ready to just begin to look back on those painful but illuminating times. I attribute my own recovery largely to the love and support of close family, friends and especially my partner, Alison, who as well as providing a loving and nurturing space for recovery, supported me in, amongst many things, exploring Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). There were also a few key medical professionals whose acknowledgement was a cornerstone and starting point for recovery. I hope that more GPs especially, can come to realise this as a crucial and useful part of their role, even when they don't have the answers. I have particularly to thank General Physician, Dr Oldmeadow who in lieu of all the answers, was able to offer not only the crucial acknowledgment to my partner and I of the veracity of my symptoms, but also suggestions for many alternative therapies that I might try.
As for what treatments finally worked and what helped manage symptoms, the list is long. Ayurvedic medicine, colonic irrigation, liver cleanse dieting, yoga therapy, visualistation and meditation, pranayama, raw juices, exercise physiology and graded exercise, Sukyo Mahikari, fasting, supplements, naturopathy, CBT, counselling, cupping, kinesiology, osteopathy and massage all featured in my explorations with varying degrees of success. What is clear is that some or all of these things combined, eventually helped to get me where I am today. I also refused any drugs to alleviate the symptoms. My rationale is that this immune disorder is connected with toxins, and more chemicals were likely to further clog an overloaded system. I hope more research can be done into CAM and its benefits for people with illnesses such as ME/CFS where conventional medicine does not currently have answers. There is no shame in not having the answers and much sense in exploring what might.
6 months after I gave birth, I was dressed in a Triathlon suit at the starting line breast-feeding my baby and while others were impressed, few would have suspected the satisfaction I felt. Only those suffering with the illness or close to someone who is/has could really have appreciated what it might feel like to make such a recovery from ME/CFS and FMS. Thank you Alison, my darling wife, and to every person working in the health field who is keeping an open mind to the possibilities of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. I finished that race and am poised to help others do the same.
To see details of some of my aids to recovery view my 2009 post 'How I have been getting better with CFIDS' Sophie Meredith