• RockBoy81 - My Story

    All my life I would say I have been happy or content, being fit, strong and confident and having suffered very little stress. Until one day...

    It started at a house party down in Oxford, shortly after the flooding hit the area. It was a warm evening; I was outside drinking with friends when we all noticed that there was a plague of large sized mosquitoes flying around biting us all indiscriminatively. I've been bitten by countless mosquitoes in my life - especially when I would visit my mum in Australia - but they have never made me ill.

    Towards the end of the night, I didn't feel that familiar sensation of pre-sobering drunkenness, but of only what I can describe as being drugged, like my drink was 'spiked'. I ruled it out, as I don't have the habit of leaving my drinks anywhere.

    I woke the next day feeling even worse; I just put it down to mixing my drinks with a bad case of the flu. Over the week my symptoms got worse, I had the headaches, very bad coordination, concentration and severe muscle aches - like I'd just had seven shades of excrement kicked out of me! It was topped off with a constant state of fatigue. I decided it was time to see the doctor.

    The first doctor gave me a full examination after I told him the story of the week prior, he noticed three of my mosquito bites on my back (I obviously couldn't see them, so I had not noticed them when I showered) hadn't healed, and there were large marks that looked like burns. What scared me was the look on the doctor’s face. "Do you have a health insurance?" he asked concerned. "You may be off of work for some time...” He knew the score; he knew what I was in for. After the first set of blood test results I was cleared of infections and diagnosed the following week with Post Viral Fatigue. I was given the correct advice from the beginning and most doctors and specialists I have seen thereafter have been very understanding and well informed of the very real disease that is CFS.

    It shocks me to think patients out there are being treated like there is nothing wrong with them. One thing that does irritate me though is that doctors reach straight for the anti depressants. I have been prescribed two types so far. I argued the fact I am not feeling depressed, just frustrated that I can't live my normal life. They like to insist that they help 'stabilise' the CFS, enabling me to do more. But I can't say now that my CFS is improving. Is it coincidence I am getting slightly better after taking a second course? Or are they actually working?

    For me, living with PVF/CFS has been a hindrance. To compare my symptoms to other sufferers makes me realise, I have it lucky. I can still walk to the shops, I can do my house chores and when I have a good day I can get out on the bike and ride for a mile or two. On a good day I won't suffer from immediate fatigue, it'll affect me the next day or two. Most days are random, so planning anything is out of the question for me, as a bad day will just be resting in bed, irritable. I just take what is given.

    As far as friends and family go, again, I am very lucky that they are all patient and understanding enough that I am able to back out of visiting them or offering help with the simplest of tasks.

    After 12 months my symptoms are only just improving. I have recently tried going back to work, but doing one or two days work will severely fatigue me, and I need to take a further three to four days off to recover. Sometimes a whole week. It's frustrating, but I am only just taking into account what my limits are and when I need to stop.