My second bout of CFS, first of depression..

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My second bout of CFS, first of depression..

Postby WeAreTheCosmos on April 15th, 2013, 7:05 pm

I guess it first hit me about 4 years ago. At the time I was a big 230lbs bodybuilder. I worked out 364 days a year, and it was a pretty big part of my life. It was upsetting when I got an abnormally lengthy(for me) sinus infection and had to take a week off. There was an unusually intense fatigue following the illness, which just went on and on. But after about two weeks, the sinus infection had resolved... I tried a workout. It destroyed me. I felt like hell the next day, and the sinus infection returned within a few days.

A few weeks later, I tried a very light workout again. I gassed out within a few minutes and couldn't continue.

A month and a half after first getting sick, the twitches started. I remember when I first felt them. I woke up to what I thought was an earthquake. My bed was shaking... Looking around, I noticed that nothing else was. When I realized it was my quadriceps twitching like crazy, it really freaked me out. I massaged them, and they stopped. I should have taken a moment to enjoy that peace, but I went back to sleep. Ever since waking up that next morning, I've been twitching... I haven't gone a single waking minute without a fasciculation SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE in my body.

I was tormented by them for a month before something worse started turning the twitches into mere annoyances. I started to get painful cramps in any muscles that were being used for more than a few seconds. I started to move like a fluid... Just flowing around, making as few unnecessary movements as possible; trying to avoid the cramps.

Fast forward two years: I wasn't working anymore. It was impossible to get through a meal without my face cramping up. I couldn't climb the stairs to bed, though I slept all the time. The only thing keeping me going was reading. I read 3 books a week for over 2 years. Mostly science and math; anything with educational value. It kept me feeling accomplished and really changed my view of the universe.

About a year ago, my symptoms started to get better, and within a few weeks last spring, they almost completely disappeared. I say almost, because the twitches NEVER go away. They didn't bug me anymore, but they were the constant reminder that this thing was still with me... The symptoms had lessened every summer and gotten worse each winter, but I had never had them go so far as to allow me full freedom of movement.

I was able to DO things again. I started running, which I never cared much for... but now it seems sooooo good, just because I can. I started working out again. Not like before, not overdoing it. I worked out to be healthy, and I have shifted to a healthier weight. I really want to put an emphasis on how amazing it feels to be able to run, bike, climb... even smile without painful cramps. The ONLY addiction I ever had was exercise, and I was able to release the endorphins again!

Well, that lasted for 9 months...

I got a respiratory tract infection at the end of January. The infection wasn't even a big deal... But the fatigue was familiar. Sure enough, two weeks later, the cramps were back... It was bad the first time, but I managed to avoid depression by reading. But now that I've been SO happy for this short time, the contrast is too much to handle. Why do I get a taste of freedom, and then thrown back in the cage? I don't know if I can do this again... not for another 3 years. Still, I try to count myself lucky that I have never felt the anxiety and worry associated with the disorder...

Does anyone else notice improved symptoms through the summer? I take vitamin D throughout the winter, magnesium, multi, and omegas... And I use a humidifier and a heated blanket, but still the summer usually brings some relief.
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Re: My second bout of CFS, first of depression..

Postby SecretAgentMan on April 16th, 2013, 9:00 am

First off I just want to say I like your screen name, WeAreTheCosmos. :)

Second I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you have been doing because it obviously got you into an improved mental and physical state the last time. The first time after the infection you learned the hard way how to cope with stress and how to take care of your body so that you were not overdoing it. It is possible that once you started feeling better and you got back into exercise you may have started to overdo it again. Test your limits slowly and take it easy. Continue to manage your stress and anxiety and you'll get over this second hump much, much quicker. You already know the ropes! This is familiar territory for you now! You know this isn't a deadly condition. You did an awesome job the first time by turning your energy into a positive and useful outlet, reading and educating yourself. So many people don't know what to do with their nervous energy other than worry and work themselves up. You already know what to do, I guess we just need to encourage you that you've done it before and it will be easy for you to do it again. Hang in there!
If your mind is your own worst enemy, why not make friends with it and turn it into your greatest ally? Mental discipline is achievable and there is help available. Learn what works for you, practice, and change your life for the better.
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Re: My second bout of CFS, first of depression..

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