Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever get better. If I believed that 100%, I don’t think I could keep going, but sometimes — maybe 3 or 4 times each week — I am hit by the thought that this illness might actually never go away. It hits me like a freight train. What if I can never do the things I want to do again? And my desires are pretty simple. I want to be able to sit and have dinner with my father, husband, sister and her boyfriend and not feel sick. I want to be able to engage in a conversation with my family (or to laugh — imagine!) for longer than an hour without feeling like death. I want my body to not get so chilled to the bone that I can barely form sentences — when everyone else is in tshirts. I want to be able to hug people and sit near people without being afraid that they are going to get me sick(er). Is that too much to ask? Is it too much to hope that I will one day be well enough to engage in those simple pleasures? It’s not like I want to climb mountains or deep sea dive or walk the Wall of China. I just want to be able to enjoy time with those I love.
Today I took it easy all day, stored my energy up so I could visit with my Dad this evening. I sat in the sun, letting it bake me, hoping it could scorch my very bones, heat my body up enough to keep my core smoldering into the evening… I meditated, felt pretty good…. Within half an hour of visiting with my family, the chill came on, then the headache, sore throat, nose started running, chest got tight… My nightly flu. I think I lasted two hours and then abruptly left. Thank god for my husband, I wouldn’t have been able to drive. I took a hot Epsom salt bath and I feel better, more stable, but I have to go straight to bed now. And I’m sad. It makes me so sad. All the people in my immediate family — Mother, Father, Brothers, Sister — are healthy. There may be things I don’t know, but, nothing major. My Dad is going to be 70 next month — he looks great. My Mom is going to be 68 in a few months — she is more physically active than I am. I had recurrent pneumonias as an infant and asthma as a toddler and an undiagnosed thyroid problem as an adult. Is that what set me up for this nonsense? Or is it my Type A, perfectionist, workaholic, control-freak personality, coupled with a high-stress, long-houred job, coupled with the fact that I never exercised, didn’t eat too well and never slept?
Genetic predisposition + unfortunate lifestyle + poor career choice + a brain that never shuts off = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Lucky me.
It’s been two weeks — why isn’t the low-dose naltrexone my miracle drug?
Almost forgot: Gratitude.
I am grateful for my amazing, brilliant, witty, intelligent, savvy, caring, supportive FAMILY. Lucky me (no sarcasm this time).