This post is being written in response to the following email I received today:
I came to you site via a search for something about chronic fatigue.
Based on your posts it seems your wife was doing pretty poorly and
over time has greatly improved. I also have CFS and it is really bad
right now. I wondered if you’d be willing to share with me anything
your wife did to help her improve (medical treatments and self care,
lifestyle changes etc.) I am desperate and rarely see anything posted
online about people who’ve improved so I really would love to know
what you wife did, didn’t do etc. I really appreciate the help if
you’re able to share some info. Thanks soooo much.
There were a lot of changes made in her lifestyle, my lifestyle and our family dynamic that have contributed to her (continuing) recovery. It would be unfair to say that she has completely recovered from this dastardly illness, but she has made huge improvements and advancements when it comes to her health. Several things have contributed to her improvement, some of which are:
- She saw a doctor who prescribed different medications for different symptoms of her illness. Out of respect for her I won’t go into that publicly (feel free to email robert [at] robert-gonzalez [dot] com) but the medications she took helped her tremendously in the way of sleep, piece of mind and overall physical health.
- She became more physically active. I don’t know if this was a matter of willpower or a renewed sense of energy but activity actually helped her get more active which continued to help her improve.
- She took on a hobby. Last summer she got bitten by the theater bug and began to devote an extraordinary amount of time to it. The demands of performing and rehearsing required her to devote all of her resources to it and, without really being able to NOT commit (without letting down her theater family) she just continued to indulge in her passion. This alone, I think, has sparked a tremendous amount of recovery for her.
- She has taken on a new outlook on what is and isn’t important in life. That might sound almost lame to have to say that, but one of the things that seemed to cause her a lot of stress was worry over the things that were going on at home, with the kids, with our money and with our family. As she began to find peace in where we were, right where we were, the stress that she was feeling began to gradually minimize, freeing her to live without the burden of having to “perform” in order to maintain order in her life.
- She prayed. A lot. And so did her friends and family. If you are a religious/spiritual person then prayer will be invaluable to you. It was to her, and she would attest to that fact.
- Lastly, and probably most importantly, she had help. Lots and lot of help. From her family (the kids and I), her extended family (sister, parents, in-laws) and her friends. Many a night were we served by friends bringing meals over for us or family helping us clean our home or take the kids somewhere. I’m sure it wasn’t easy or convenient for them, but in the end they showed our entire family what true love was all about by really stepping up and helping us out in pretty much any way we needed it.
I’m sure there is plenty more that has help contribute to my wife’s recovery over the last few years. And while she has made tremendous strides in healing, she will admit that she still has bad days here and there. Still, she has plenty more good days than bad and she strives everyday to make each day count. She has become incredibly active in the kids’ lives, education and hobbies. She has taken a renewed interest in learning and teaching and she has developed a penchant for spirited fun and adventure. She has also gotten some semblance of control over her sleeping patterns, started to watch her diet and began talking a lot with her friends and family.
Essentially she has gotten to the point where she is able to live life again in a healthier way that allows her to continue to live each day as fully as she can. Again, she still has bad days, but at the end of the day, she is doing worlds better now than she was just two years ago.
Thank you for the email asking this question. If you have any other questions feel free to email me directly at my email address that I posted inside of this post. Thanks.