Do I have CFS? (First Post)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by newstarter, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. newstarter

    newstarter New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm a 33 year old professional managing to survive in San Francisco, but just barely. I've read quite a bit about CFS but am not sure if I "qualify".

    I've worked and lived in a few places around the City over the last ten years, but have always felt the same fatigue/malaise. I get off work on Friday, come home and collapse. I hang out in bed on Saturday (like I'm doing now), and by Sunday am feeling a bit better. Monday at work is OK, but Tuesdays onward are awful.

    I know my immune system is weak, and I always feel like I have some kind of bug. Symptoms include sore throats and stomach pains, but nothing completely debilitating. Exercising (bike rides, going to the gym) makes me feel awful. No depression or other mental issues whatsoever, and I don't get headaches or muscle soreness, and can usually sleep pretty well. Friends complain that I am “always sick”. Coworkers joke that I’m allergic to work. Increased stress worsens the symptoms. I did have a severe bought mono (Epstein Barr) in high school.

    I could go to the doctor about all this, but my health insurance is through a big HMO, and the doctors aren’t very good, and are not trained to spend much time on “soft” illnesses that can’t be easily treated.

    Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m considering abandoning my career and life and heading to some rural area where I can live simply and cheaply. But that seems like a drastic solution. OTOH I’m not sure how much longer I can continue this way.

    Nick
  2. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    I would recommend seeing a rheumatologist. If you check out the post "So nervous" there is a list of symptoms for you to discuss. If you do have CFS, there are treatments.

    Good luck and God Bless.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2006]
  3. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    Nick,
    Your symptoms could be CFS but they could be other things as well. You really should get them checked out. Try to find a Doctor who is 'CFS friendly'. There is a Doctor referral list at the top of this page. A Rheumatologist would help if you have pain but you say you don't so you likely don't have FM.

    I hope you can spend time reading posts here. You will learn so much. There is lots you can do on your own. One of the things that is crucial is to learn to pace yourself. If you do the right things early on in the llness, your chances of improvement are much better.

    Good Luck
    Kathy.
  4. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    It is possible that you do have chronic fatigue, but chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Chronic fatigue is a major symptom of many illnesses, including CFS, cancer, lupus, MS etc so I would suggest you try and find a good doctor to go to.

    I have CFS and the symptoms I experience are fatigue (the kind that feels like you body is shutting down - you would hardly be able to run out of the house if it were burning down), headaches, nausea, sore throat, muscle pain (mostly in the legs), brain fog (my head feels like its all glued up and I cant think straight), insomnia - I think those are the main ones.

    Typically, when someone first gets ill (eg a viral infection which they do not recover from), they have unbelievealbe fatigue and tend to be trying to sleep alot - personally, when I got sick I could hardly keep my eyes open, I was in bed 16 - 20 hours a day sometimes. However, what often happens over time, is this completely reverses itself and its common to see people who have had CFS for a number of years to have chronic insomnia - ironic isnt it?

    One of the hallmarks of CFS is "post exertional malaise" - this usually sets in 12 - 48 hours after the activity and it causes you to feel very very unwell - body pain, fatigue, nausea, just a feeling of complete sickness. When I get this I am pretty much bedridden or housebound for days or weeks. If you feel sick aftter exercise you could very well have CFS.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with finding a good doctor.

    Michelle
  5. kalina

    kalina New Member

    First of all, welcome to the board!

    I can't add much else to the good advice that has already been mentioned here.

    It does sound like you will have to go outside your HMO, at least to be worked up and diagnosed. The "Doctors" link in the purple bar at the top of this page has some great info and a list of doctors in your area who are probably able to help you better than your HMO docs. ;-)

    Hang in there. I know it's very frustrating not to be able to get a diagnosis. I hope you get some answers soon.

    Kalina