A few months in and after all tests had been exhuasted and I had been sent home to recover, I started to research alternative therapies. I found I wasn’t very good at sitting around waiting to get better, I had to be doing something, trying something, to increase my chances of getting better. I read books on post viral / chronic fatigue and went on forums (which obviously terrified me as they are full of people who have tried EVERYTHING and have been ill for years or even decades and now couldn’t get out of bed). I was still convinced this wouldn’t become chronic (i.e. pass the 6 month mark) and I would be better soon and committed myself to an extensive, and expensive, regime of vitamins and supplements. I can’t remember what was in my first round but think it included B12, B6, magnesium, milk thistle, rhodium complex, D-Ribose, L-carnitine and possibly a bunch more. I was a walking pill bottle with very expensive pee. I also started seeing my chiropractor again, started acupuncture plus cupping and began meditating and doing gentle yoga whilst eating a refined sugar free diet with limited carbs and mostly whole plant foods. I’m not one for doing things by halves.
A few more months passed and things got a bit better. The shut down episodes weren’t happening and I started feeling like I should try and get back to work. My job is pretty senior and manages a team which still seemed like too much of a challenge but they suggested I lead a project for a few months and let my deputy continue to cover my role so I had chance to ease in slowly. They were brilliant at supporting me through this and in late September I started back with an extended phasing programme, just 2 hours a day at first. If I’m honest, it was too soon to go back. I was still struggling massively with the fatigue, with brain fog and just generally feeling horrific and all my energy was spent desperately trying to appear normal, to convince myself and everyone else I was on the mend. It had been over 4 months, surely I was getting better? I suppose I was, technically – I was better than I had been a few months ago at least. But nowhere near where I had been before the illness started. The next few months are a bit of a blur. Trying to work, trying to parent, not doing either particularly well..