Springingtiger's Blog


Up and About Again!

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Today I have got things done. I know almost everyone has, but I’ve finally shrugged off a stinker of a virus and I’m feeling human again after weeks of unremitting yuckiness. Today I have been catching up on tasks that have been in abeyance for weeks, the fridge no longer smells funny! I find it strange how lightly we treat the Common Cold and Influenza when they can so horribly debilitating. I suppose it is because they are of generally short duration we tend to be dismissive of them, I am not sure we should be.

I used to be one of those people who never took time off for little things like the Cold or Flu. If things were bad there were hot lemon drinks and paracetamol. I used to be very proud of my ability to sweat the flu out of my body within my couple of days off. I was not stopped by illness until the day I was. I was combining being a Trades Union official, a team manager and a Trainer, travelling all around the country. I worked on my days off. In my late thirties I started being hit by one bout of flu after another and I continued to struggle through because I loved my work. Eventually I reached the point where I just could not recover and I lost a whole year of work. My doctor after some time and various tests diagnosed Chronic fatigue and Immuno Dysfunction Syndrome. I spent months in bed sleeping, unable to read, to bear noise, or to do anything much. After some months I started to get out a little, but I was permanently tired. People thought I was my daughter’s grandfather. These days I treat every illness with respect.

I am not encouraging people to take unnecessary time off work. However I am aware that my CFIDS was to a great extent my own fault. When our bodies manifest symptoms they are sending a message to which we would be well advised to attend. I refused to listen to my body and I paid for it. Even after I had my CFIDS under control where once I had been able to work through anything I found myself easily floored by illness and much slower to recover than before. I had what appeared to be a post-viral depression for years. Had I known in my thirties what I know now I might have taken time off when ill so that I could function better overall. I believe now that it is important to listen to my body, but listen honestly and do what needs to be done. I try not to be over cautious and sometimes I suffer for it. However on the whole I am finding that by being less gung-ho about my body I am getting better use of it. Post-viral debility and depression is a real problem, so be gentle with yourself when you need to.

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