Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Being Bullied and Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Let me shed some light on my experience with Chronic Fatigue. Firstly, my Chronic fatigue was brought about by intense stress. I was 11 years old when I was diagnosed. Therefore, my story begins in primary school. I am naturally a very anxious person, and as a child, I was shy and nervous. I found school to be incredibly stressful. I was not comfortable around teachers, and I detested having to answers questions in front of the class. Dam teachers would never leave me alone. They always tried to push me out of my comfort zone by swinging on-the-spot questions at me, especially in math class, which is not one of my strong suits.

The worst came in year 6. The teacher ruling the class was a narcissistic, power-hungry tyrant. She lacked empathy, had an excessive need to be in control, enjoyed belittling her students, and had an enormous sense of entitlement. I was not the first student she bullied, and I also wasn’t the last, but I was the one who got sick because of her. She prayed on her students, and I think she targeted me because I was shy and reserved. She would continuously yell at me in front of the class and name call, humiliate, and belittle. She made me feel stupid, worthless and that it was my fault.

My self-esteem was shot. I was constantly living in fear at school. I questioned myself as to whether it was as bad as I was making it out to be. I thought that perhaps it was my fault and that if I could do better at my work, answer my teacher’s questions in class and keep quiet, then she would stop targeting me, but she didn’t, and I couldn’t do any better, I just got sicker.

Thankfully, my parents are very protective. My mum was a permanent fixture at the school during this time. The staff scrambled to get away from her when she was on the warpath. She was forever going in to speak to my teacher about her behaviour, but my teacher would continuously deny any wrongdoing and insinuated that I was a liar.

After months of this stress, I began to feel fatigued. At first, I felt like I was coming down sick with a cold. My glands were swollen and sore, my nose was blocked, and I had razor blades in my throat. I felt extreme exhaustion, and my entire body ached. I felt lightheaded and had a persistent headache. I also had a temperature that would come and go. It felt similar to having Glandular fever. I found out that you are more likely to contract chronic fatigue syndrome if you’ve already had Glandular Fever. There is a link between the illnesses. Glandular fever is part of the Epstein-Barr family. Once you have been infected with these viruses, they lay dormant in your bloodstream for life. If your immune system is compromised, it can become active again. I thought that if I rested for a couple of days, it would give my body a chance to recover. At that point, I didn’t know that I would be resting for the next few months. I was about to become a permanent fixture of my bed.

After a fortnight of resting, I had grown worse. I now felt constant exhaustion and fatigued. My lymph nodes were always swollen. I was hurting all over, and I felt listless, malaise, and depleted of all energy. My Mum took me to the doctor’s clinic. My doctor told me that it was probably a viral infection of some sort. She told me to take some Panadol, go home, rest, and come back if it gets worse. So back we went for a blood test, which told us that it was a viral infection. Again, the doctor gave me no treatment, and yet again, I fell into bed and stayed there. I became neurotic and a vacant vessel for quite some time.

After having further blood tests, ruling out cancer and any other sinister illnesses, I went to see many specialists and after living in bed for many months. I was finally diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was told by my doctor that there was nothing that they could do to treat this illness. I was instructed to go home, rest, and move around on the days when I felt well enough. I was ailing and afflicted. I was malfunctioning as a human, and I was appalled by the whole ordeal. My durability was zilch. I managed to get in the car before I broke down. I was sobbing uncontrollably, and I felt such overwhelming sadness. I couldn’t see an end in sight. I felt like I had been given a life sentence. It all felt so unfair. I was 11 years old, and I was going to spend the rest of my life in this hellish state. I wasn’t living. I was surviving.

I spent further months living like a vegetable on the couch. I could put a sloth to shame. At times I didn’t even have the energy to wash my hair or even make toast. These were dark days, I had bad toast experiences, and I had to get my Mum to wash my hair.

During this time, my Mum was working as a residential house cleaner, and she was cleaning a doctor’s home. She told him of my diagnosis, and he said that there was a Naturopath in the area that had had great success with treating this illness. Thankfully, he had her number on hand. My Mum called the Naturopath and asked if she could treat Chronic Fatigue, and she said that she specializes in treating the debilitating illness. It was a glimmer of hope, and with that, we got an appointment to see her.

For a lot of us, when we hear about natural treatments, we become sceptical. It’s not the usual pathway for treatment, and not a great deal is known about the effects of natural medications. I questioned a doctor once to find out what the issue was with taking Naturopathic treatment. She replied that there wasn’t enough research or information on the success of taking natural medications. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t work. One of the best things you can do is keep an open mind when looking for treatment options. You won’t know if something will work or not until you give it a chance.

Moving forward, the Naturopath investigated and analysed my situation. She concluded that my body had been ravaged by stress which had depleted my immune system and had left me susceptible to Chronic Fatigue. I learned that enduring long periods of stress take everything good out of the body, leaving you with a compromised immune system. Therefore, I needed to boost my immune system so that it could fight the illness.

My Naturopath gave me a long list of natural medications from Metagenics that I started taking immediately. These included Immunocare, Fibroplex Magactive, Meta Zinc with vitamin C, Meta B Complex, Ultra Flora Immune Control, to name a few. You will need to see a Naturopath, to purchase these items. It’s best to get an individual treatment plan. What worked for me might not work for you. I must warn you, never take these natural medicines on an empty stomach. It will feel like a bomb has blown your insides to smithereens.

After roughly two weeks of taking these natural medications, I began to get my energy back. I was able to shower and wash my hair by myself. My engine was reeving again. I remember going to a family birthday party. There was a jumping castle, and I was up running around and jumping with all the other children. That was the first time that I remember feeling well. I only improved from there. After a couple of weeks, all my chronic fatigue symptoms had gone. That was eleven years ago now, and still to this day, I haven’t gotten those symptoms back. However, I now suffer from major stress and anxiety from the way I was treated. I still fear teachers, and I can’t enter a classroom without feeling panic. I will delve deeper into this issue another time.

I was fortunate that I found treatment early on in my illness. Otherwise, my recovery time would have been longer. The longer you’ve had chronic fatigue, the longer it will take to recover, even if you don’t fully recover after taking natural treatments. Hopefully, you will get a few more good days than bad, and you can begin living your life again.

I have a Naturopath that wants to work alongside doctors, and she creates treatment plans that work around the doctor’s medications. I wonder what the treatment rate would be if doctors and naturopaths worked together to treat their patients as a whole.

By Jasmine

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