Overall Conclusions of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
Suffering with this disease doesn't make you totally dependent or powerless. You can do many things to help yourself get better and to live a somewhat normal life style. There will always be activities that you won't be able to participate in or places that you can't frequent but you can encourage yourself by acknowledging your fragility and focus in on your strengths. You have to begin the process of coping and healing yourself with being realistic about your encounter with CFIDS. You will change both inside and out as a result of tolerating this syndrome. There is no avoiding this side effect of having a chronic illness be it chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, or any other life-altering challenge. You are not the same person that you were before you became ill and have learned through fighting every step of the way that you are worthy of the experience called life. You are not CFS and this disorder is not you. Your perception of who you are and what your life's values are have altered yet your core personality hasn't. Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome is a disease that has one or more viruses as the culprits that cause such havoc in your body. This syndrome is a separate entity operating on its own within your body. It is as if you are a vessel or petri dish for this infection to grow and thrive. You are not made up of viruses and various body systems and the real you is beyond all of the flesh and bone. Your soul houses itself in your body just as the viruses do except your soul is beyond any physical manifestations. It is the true essence of who you are and what you envision yourself to be. You are your soul. This illness doesn't have any connection or relevance to who you are in your center-your soul. This disease is merely a viral distraction that has temporarily entered your life. You are who you are and have to be able to differentiate yourself from the sickness. CFIDS and you are two distinct living organisms that are flourishing at two different levels of being and are not one in the same. You should perceive this syndrome for what it is-an illness that is not unlike a flu. When you have a flu bug, you acknowledge its existence and know that it will eventually go away. All you can do in the meantime is to take care of your body, rest, eat right, and relax. Your bout with chronic fatigue syndrome is no different and there is no magical cure and it won't disappear because you desire it. You must apprehend this condition for what it is and to find positive in the negativity of dealing with it.
Coping with all aspects of this sickness will absorb every ounce of positive energy in your body. You must sustain a sense of balance in all that you think, say, or do in tolerating this syndrome. Since this ailment and its effects on the body are so individualized, you have to learn to cope with this disease in the best way that you know how. Some of the choices that you make in agonizing with this illness may not be what another person would choose, nevertheless, those options are your way of living with the realms of this syndrome. None are one hundred per cent right and none are one hundred per cent wrong. You have to do what you need to do for yourself-not what your doctor, significant other, family, or friends may demand that you do. You are the only one who knows what you require to try and survive within this abomination called CFS.
One way to help yourself cope easier is to perceive your future as being bright, happy, and full of good health. Visualize how wonderful you want your life to be and it eventually will be. Have faith in what can and will happen! You should focus on the positive aspects of getting sick and try to use as little energy as possible on the negative. Think about all of the benefits that you have gained from being ill. You might not be able to see these gains through the blurry eyes of sickness right now but when you can start to comprehend all the good that has come to you, there will be a sense of gratitude, recognition, and appreciation. Keep concentrating on when you are well in the future and acknowledge how much improvement that you have experienced already on your chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome path.
Another improvement strategy is to accept your disease as part of your life and stop fighting your reality. You have no choice but to adapt your life style to doing any and every thing in moderation. Tolerating this affliction means that you have to acknowledge and heed your "new" limits. Every little bit of energy has to be focused on your body fighting the disease so you have to find a way to regulate your energy to help heal you. You can no longer afford the luxury of wasting energy on inconsequential and unimportant issues in your life. Your priorities will shift into different directions and your life style will move right along with them. Your activity level will become the gauge to base your life choices. You are now cornered into planning any activities whereas you may have done a lot of spontaneous moving around before you got ill. Consideration for knowing how much energy you to have to expend on a particular activity plus the awareness of what does and doesn't make you feel sicker inform and help you make wiser choices for yourself. Your tolerance level can never be overwhelmed because you will pay the price for doing anything in excess. You have to concede to the fact that you will end up right back in bed at any time during the entire length of having CFIDS if you overdo. For the most part you will consistently strive to get better each day, so you should seriously consider the consequences of over stressing your energizing body. You will drain it of every ounce of precious healing energy if and when you feel or think that you are capable of overdoing something. Will it be worth the temporary pleasure to forego all of the hard work and sacrifice that you have made to this point in time? Recuperation is the end result for any kind of activity that you do. Yet, you have some control over how long that process will be. If you take care and monitor yourself, you won't have as long as a time to recover from your use of energy as compared to if you overdo it. Think before you act!
Stop comparing the old you to the "new and improved" you. The life that you led before you contracted chronic fatigue syndrome is no longer consequential to who you are now. Love yourself and realize that you are a very special person who is undergoing a difficult experience which very few people can comprehend. Remember that you will always benefit from any struggles or challenges in your life and this disease is no different than any other situation. You are who you are now. Relish in your individuality and zest for life. Never forget what it took for you to become who you are. You are a better person than you were and ever hoped to be.
On the practical side of life, there are various things that you can do to instigate a healthier attitude towards yourself and surviving with this disease. Adjust your life style-your body now requires a major reduction in activity. Get plenty of rest whenever your body needs it. Don't try to keep yourself awake when you are so exhausted that you can't keep your eyes open any longer. Sleep as much as you can between nine p.m. and three a.m. to get the majority of rest that your body requires. If you don't sleep, your distressed liver will be overworked and you will get sicker. You are causing too much stress to your body when you don't allow it to rest and relax. You will naturally go through low periods where your body is over fatigued and necessitates more rest than normal. The sensation of needing to rest is apparent but your urgency to sleep may not be necessary. Resting is just as important because it gives your body an opportunity to loosen up and function at a slower rate which alleviates stress on your systems.
Be sensible about the amount of exercise that you require. Keep your movements down to a minimal level. Slow walks, swimming, yoga, and gentle stretching are your best bets to not over stressing your body. Remember that it won't take much exertion before your body could relapse and cause you to end up back in bed. The entire premise for being able to exercise is to keep your body as agile as you can and to work up to moving around more frequently for longer time frames. If you proceed slowly and keep your expectation level at a minimum, you will succeed in getting some regular exercise and have a pleasant experience at the same time.
You do require some help in your life now that you live with this disorder. If you deny this aspect of your reality, you are just hurting yourself. Think about it. If you try to do things alone that you aren't capable of handling, you will over stress yourself and your body to the point of relapse. You end up back in bed suffering and frustrated with yourself and your stubbornness. Trying to assert your independence didn't get you too far, did it? It would be much easier to accept your temporary weakness and ask for some aid and maintain the wonderful healthy progress that you have made to this point in time. You will need to involve individuals in your life who will support and sustain you. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, in fact, it is an indication of how intelligent and sensitive you have become to your own needs.
There are many programs that are in your community to aid people who are disabled. If you are house bound and can't live alone, contact an independent living center or home share program. These options allow you to habituate with others who are either in a similar situation as you or who may wish to share their home with you so that you won't have to be sick and alone. If you are capable of living alone but require some help taking care of personal hygiene issues, how about speaking to a personal care attendant? He can assist with personal problems and sustains a constant schedule so that you won't have to worry about reliability in a caretaker. If you are capable of maneuvering, feel able to do some of your own errands with minimal help, and can still drive, you will want to check out getting a handicapped license plate or parking sticker at the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need a note from your physician to validate your disability before you can get the plate and/or sticker. Having the capability of parking close to buildings that you have to frequent contributes to you saving valuable energy. If you find that you can no longer drive, you can consider subsidized transportation programs in your community. In some cases, these organizations provide a van or bus to come right to your door to bring you to your doctor's office for an appointment, etc. You may be lucky enough to have a person who is volunteering to be your errand person. If you are able to get out and go with this individual, be considerate to scheduling your errands to coordinate with your caregiver's time table. Consolidate all of your tasks so that you will not waste any energy on running here or there. If you live alone and/or don't have very many people that you can depend on, take advantage of delivery services, mail orders, and courier services. These businesses will save you lots of energy but will cost. You have no option in your situation.
Personally, you can do a lot for yourself to contribute to overall well being. Review your dietary habits and eat better. Eliminate alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Sit down whenever you can instead of standing so that you can conserve energy, avoid dizziness and a light-headed feeling. Your body doesn't have to strain itself as much when you are sitting as compared to standing. Change your perception of the way you should dress and wear clothes that are more comfortable. You may discover that you can no longer stand any tight necked shirts or body hugging clothing since you have been ill because you get a constricting sensation throughout your body. Circumvent any nonessential bending and stretching even if it means rearranging every closet, shelf, or bookcase in your home. You can get another person to help you with the lifting and rearranging process so that you will be organized.
Connect with a support group in your area to get the mental, emotional, and spiritual sustenance that you need while you are sick. If you don't have one in your area, seek one out and make the necessary connections with a physician, hospital, or national organization to find one. Your overall health is at stake in your set of circumstances. You are worth the efforts it will take to seek and reach out to some fellow sufferers.
Try to be good to yourself! You are chronically ill and do deserve some self-respect even if others in your life circle don't. Consolidate your energy on what you like to do or enjoy doing for yourself. You merit anything you desire from your life and no one should ever make you feel or think anything differently. You should have a focus to your life or a sense of purpose which encourages you to live as normal a life as possible in your predicament. Living a life full of hope and happiness can be a realistic goal for you.
Help others as much as you can to serve a dual purpose-one is for you to be charitable and the other is for you to think of other people's life issues before your own. If your mind is busy, you have less time to think about your own problems. Have as much fun as you can within reason! Your life has more than enough misery in it, so you should cherish any joy that you can get from it.
The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to keep laughing. A sense of humor throughout your entire CFS journey will help lighten the grave negativity about your situation. Recall the old adage "Laughter is the best medicine".