Aging and CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by begonia6, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. begonia6

    begonia6 New Member

    I am 62 and have had CFS since I was 41. So now I am dealing with both aging and CFS. I am on permanent disability for CFS and have a much slower lifestyle which I love, of course. I would like to hear from others who are coping with both at the same time.
  2. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    Hi Begonia welcome aboard.

    I am 58 altho with Post Polio(and CFS/ME Fibro Lyme etc)they say my body is actually 20 yrs older. So guess Im 78!!

    So I guess you could say Im "coping" with both. Also am on permanent disability since 1992. Can't say its been great but sometimes it has been. Like not having to worry about work but would like to be able to have more from life. Pretty much housebound now.

  3. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Hi Begonia6,

    I am 68, almost 69 and have had CFS since I was 38. I think the hardest part of having this for so many years is that it takes away so many stages of your life that you were looking forward to. When the kids were all grown, I went back to college and then got a good job. I had to quit in less than a year because I was in so much pain and so ill with the CFS/FM. I barely made it through college, took 7 years to get a two year degree!!

    Then, we were hoping to move to Fla. when my husband retired. Nope. Too ill and too little money.
    The pain does increase, the fatigue is worse , and other illnesses/conditions keep coming up. In spite of it all I am still hopeful and sometimes happy. Go figure. I have to look at what I have left and count my blessings daily. I do get down and hope with all my heart to be well one day. I want to see us all healthy again and living the life we hoped for. Hugs, GB66
  4. sascha

    sascha Member

    people in their 20's just getting going with cfids/fm, and it is so hard for them. i am 66, yikes almost 67, and have had cfids for 9 years. i've already done a lot of things in my life, so now the impact of cfids certainly is major, but i just feel so sorry for young people coping with being ill, wondering can they finish school, start a family, a career, travel- it's so hard for them

    i am frustrated there is so much i want to do and can't. i do what i can when i can and try to pace myself so that i don't overdo, but i do experience the push and crash cycle at times. i just cope as best i can. and i feel bad that i can't make plans with people- so often i have to cancel when the time comes. no fun at all. i look for compensations and try to make peace with my situation. sometimes this works, and sometimes not.

    it ain't easy! best, sascha
  5. LindaJones

    LindaJones New Member

    a slower lifestyle is important
  6. stschn

    stschn New Member

    What I've learned is that I don't push and crash anymore. I just stopped that 2 years ago I'm a slow learner. But reading that each push did permanent damage to my body sank in. My knees are also shot and I have bone spurs in my neck-the gift of ageing. I'm thankful for Dr. Montoya and Valcyte so I can balance my check book, understand my IRA, and enjoy reading a good book as it helps pass the time. Before this hit I was always on the go. Overworked never was able to sit still and I find my life with this to be very difficult. I was alway independent and knew I could take care of myself. Well guess what I got that one wrong and with out my wonderful husband I don't know where I'd be. I have much to be thankful for but I would love to be able to spend time with family and friends take a walk see a movie on the big screen see a live performance go dancing take a trip. All the thing that others do without thinking how fortunate they are. Who ever said old age isn't for whimps had no idea how right they were.
  7. romalaw

    romalaw Member

    I am 63 and have had cfs for 11 years. I was relieved to turn 60 because my age was finally catching up with my health! I also was very active and independent until I contracted a case of the flu from which I never recovered.

    It is often hard to distinquish what is the illness and what is the result of aging. It seems the two conditions compound each other. I have read that this illness excelerates the aging process and that has certainly been my experience. So many of my friends are so energetic and active. My envelope of activity is very narrow.

    In my better moments I also try to be grateful that I was able to live the majority of my life healthy. My heart goes out to all of the young people who have been stricken and whose life goals and dreams have been cut short.
  8. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Am trying to cope but it is so hard, I wanted my retirement years to be relaxing and being able to go and do. I did get my disability at 60 . I don't know how to grow old cause its so depressing when you feel so bad. Needless to say my retirement years have been a nightmare.

    I just try to go from day to day and to the best I can but there is so much I want to be able to do that I can't. Like spending time with the great grans, and just simple things. Can't give you any coping skills but can relate to aging and cfs.

    God Bless,
  9. mimbee17

    mimbee17 New Member

    I am 58 and have had CFS for 14 years. I can now work part time/casual from home in my own small business which doesn't earn me much but it is more than the pension, and I can still afford medical insurance.
    The thing that scares me about ageing is how will I be able to afford it? I won't be able to afford medical insurance on the pension and I spend a fortune on supplements/vitamins/hormones etc. Perhaps I won't live that long and it won't be a problem!
  10. Marlene35

    Marlene35 New Member

    You are right, it is not easy to deal with the problems of aging along with CFS. Throughout the 22 years I have normally remained hopeful. However, during the last 6 months I have had the worst relapse and I am starting to lose hope. I'm experiencing new symptoms that I have never had before and dealing with more fatigue, weakness and pain than ever before.

    I try to count my blessings. My husband is very good about helping me with things that I cannot do. I really don't know what I would do without him. Recently I feel as though I am grieving for the life that I once had. It seems that most of my friends have moved on and I feel very lonely for friendship. Our son and his family live 5 hours away and we don't see them often. Our daughter and family live nearby and we see them fairly often so that helps.

    Hopefully soon there will be a cure for this debilitating illness and we can all have a life again!

  11. Misfit101

    Misfit101 New Member

    I turned 52 in march of this year. Thanks to a car accident at 16, and not taking care of my body during my life the way I should have, the majority of my life has been spent dealing with severe back problems. Everything else paled in comparison to that, and was awarded disability at aged 38. That in itself was difficult enough.

    I was dx'ed with FM 5 years ago. Initially I didn't think too much about it, b/c as I said...the back problems superceded anything else I might have been dealing with. And whomever said that Fibro does not progress is, IMHO, wrong. It has gotten my attention in ways I never dreamed, and the CFS is keeping it great company.

    The last 3 years have been particularly difficult. No sleep. I am extremely sensitive to the common sleep aid prescriptions, and have resorted to taking a bit of melatonin at night to be SOME sleep. I find it curious that my symptoms increased in intensity and frequency after a very personal traumatic experience.

    This board and these posts have been invaluable to me. I so appreciate all the information gathering and sharing that others do. I've gained a wealth of knowledge just from this site alone, and now understand why I am the way I am. I should have taken it more seriously when I was first dx'ed. My bad. Not sure what I would have done differently, but I'd like to THINK that I'd have made some changes. One major change I'd have made would have been eliminating as much stress from my life as possible. I now know it to be a major trigger.

    Some day...hope for us all....

  12. spacee

    spacee Member

    If anyone would like to join us on the ChitChat Board, our name is the Loungers.

    We talk about our lives and sometimes it gets pretty funny!

    It has helped me so much to have friends online.

    I'm 60 and disabled since age 36. Some things like Transfer Factors have helped
    otherwise, I don't know if I would be alive. I had a very severe case of it (couldn't
    sit up to eat for 6 months, yada, yada).

    At some point when DH retires, I will cut out most of my supplements. Don't know
    anything else to do there.

  13. MsE

    MsE New Member

    I'm 75 and was diagnosed with CFS in 1997--maybe it was 1998. Dealing with one is rough;with both is miserable. Ever since getting the CFS diagnosis, I've gone downhill, bit by bit.

    However, I recently read a book on aging that contained an idea that I think I'll try to put to use. The author points out that until we leave our 30's, we are referred to as "developing." From then on we are considered "aging." The author believes we can help ourselves a lot if we refuse to accept society's stereotypes of what older people should understand about themselves. Instead of thinking of ourselves as "aging," why not hang on to the term "developing"? We are developing new ways to manage. We are continuing to learn and to grow.

    For instance, society expects us to become feeble as we age--so many of us seniors become feeble as we age. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Hey, we can believe that, or we can learn adaptive techniques. The writer tells about one older woman who had trouble getting her key in the lock when she had a bag of groceries to hold, and putting down the bag of groceries and picking it up again was difficult because she had arthritis. The solution? A shelf by the front door!

    Also, society says as we age our memories become weak. The author says that perhaps it is just that we remember different things than we used to because different things become important and a lot of other stuff doesn't seem all that important. She also says that most of the tests written to measure memory are written by relatively young people. Many of the things they find important, we don't. For example, they would think it a sign of a slipping memory if we didn't respond to "Game Boy," but these youngsters probably wouldn't respond to "mah jong." What is included on these so-called tests makes a difference.

    So, yes, my lifestyle is definitely reduced by CFS and also by my age; however, I like the idea of continuing to think of myself as developing new skills, coping techniques, and interests that I CAN manage. I used to dance. Loved it, but quit because of aches and pains and exhaustion. So, thinking in this new way of "development" instead of "aging," I'm going to start doing a few hula steps each day--just a few--because I miss it so much. It will have to be one of the slower dances, but hey! For a few minutes each day, or some days, I'll be dancing again.

    Do I believe in mind over matter? Not really. But I do believe that I have been guilty of accepting some of the stereotypical ideas that society--including doctors--have fostered about me as my years advance. I'm through with that. I may be slower, but I ain't dead yet. CFS may land me on the couch more often than I would like, and I may have to find new ways to do some things, but after reading that book (with the aid of magnifying glasses) I have decided I'm no longer "aging!" I am still "developing"!

    Hope this post doesn't sound so much like Pollyanna that it makes you gag. :) MsE

  14. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Couldn't find an "edit" button, so am adding this notation: the book I referred to is Ellen J. Langer's "Counter Clockwise."