Have you ever wondered how to diagnose something you can’t see with a scan, can’t physically touch, or can’t prove? The answer to that is by trial and error. The trial part being a lot of different drugs meant to help. The error part being those (expensive) drugs not working for you.

I’ve been battling something for years now. It’s been worsening in recent months, to the point where some days I do not rise from my bed. As an active type-A personality, this is frustrating for me in the extreme. As someone who wants to find out what in the hell is wrong and get it fixed, the lack of desire to leave my room in search of answers is puzzling.

Since Doctor Google is never wrong, I have self-diagnosed myself with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I have five out of the list of symptoms they list as criteria, with four symptoms being the minimum threshold to “having” CFS. As I lay here in my bed with my laptop, I wonder if it really matters if I am diagnosed with CFS. After all, I’m already taking the medication typically prescribed to help with CFS. It’s not like there’s a lot of options with regard to treatment. Many of the home remedies I already employ just to get through my day. I don’t think I need an “official” diagnosis just to have an “A-Ha!” moment.

So how, then, does one live with something so physically draining and so mentally crippling as CFS? How do you explain to your employer that you’d really like to get out of bed but that today it just doesn’t seem possible? How do you fix this? I need to know because I emphatically refuse to move through life like this. I won’t even call it living, because it isn’t. It’s existing. Coping. Managing. At least guys in the military sign up to be assigned to wear their fatigues. For me, I can’t wait to get rid of them. I’m tired of wearing them day after day with nothing else to change into.

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