Wednesday, December 27, 2006

STRESS is NOT the cause of Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)

Parents suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome are often made to feel as if it is all in their heads. Family, friends, co-workers, employers, and even health care providers seem to believe that those with chronic fatigue syndrome are just not handling stress well.

I do not remember where I read this, however, this is what was stated: A March 2001 consensus panel, convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (
CFIDS) Association of America, proclaimed that stress is not the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Instead, the syndrome appears to be a hormonal/neurological problem. It is highly probable that an infection could trigger chronic fatigue syndrome, perhaps through a problem with the immune response to the infection.

Personally, I know my stress level has gone up with this illness. However, my stress is the inability to complete simple household tasks or even ability to work anymore. Your self-esteem is crushed and you feel so inadequate. These are feelings we have to work out and understand that we are doing the best that we can under these conditions. I know it is easier said than done. Try to give yourself a break, and do not be so hard on yourself.

I am blessed to have people around me understand that it is not in my head. Also, when I did work, I could work under pressure and enjoyed it. It was invigorating, like imparting strength and vitality. I have also read articles where it states that most people that end up with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are "A" type personalities.

I hope this information is helpful to someone out there.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

CFIDS doesn't just impact the life of the people who have the illness. It affects everyone who cares for them.

I know from my own experience that this illness affects your family, friends and lifestyle. You have to learn to PACE yourself. The main challenge I have found is accepting my fatigue and pain. I lost the ability to continue working and doing simple household shores. You have no choice but to accept it because you are unable to complete simple tasks and the fatigue is chronic.

I have not been able to spend as much time with my extended family because I am always fatigue. It is not always visible to everyone. This is what makes it hard to accept, not only your co-workers, but friends and family see you and say "You look great". I may look great to them, but I do not feel great. I try to pretend nothing is wrong, but my own body fails me when I am trying to clean my room, make my bed, etc.

I am blessed with family and friends that have taken the time to read up on my illness and have tried to understand how difficult it is to just get out of bed on a daily basis.
I pray that anyone suffering from this illness has the same type of support system.

Please share your story.