When I first fell ill I didn't know what was happening to me.Within a few short weeks I had lost any resemblance to the human being I had comfortably inhabited for 39 years. I'd become completely alien to myself. My doctor didn't know what was happening any more than I did. So, he prescribed antidepressants - the all-purpose anodyne for doctors who haven't a clue. When I got worse, I went to an alternative clinic in Mexico that had "the cure." I was chelated for weeks, given daily enemas, enzymes, mysterious IVs, live cells, and lots of pills. I got much,much worse.
I came home emaciated, bedridden, fading away, and even more desperate. I took everything that anybody recommended - and I did it all, from laying on of hands, to narcotics. And slowly, inexorably, I slid into the abyss. The doctors washed their hands, told my family I was dying, and sent me off to my fate. I resigned myself and lay in bed, waiting for what I thought was the end.
To my surprise, I didn't die. As soon as I stopped trying to fix my body it began to heal. I realized I had gone about things all wrong: I had dumped too much into my ailing body, and it couldn't handle everything being thrown at it.
Don't do what I did.
If you want to get better - it will take time and patience. This is how you do it:
1) Start with the small guns. That is to say, find the things that will make your body work the least - suggestions rather than commands. For example, when you put an antidepressant into your body, it is a command that your body must obey. It will obey that command even if the result is to do itself harm. On the other hand, if you put vitamin C in your body, it will take what it needs and discard the rest. In most cases (and there are exceptions) a vitamin is a suggestion, not a command. You can work up to the "big guns" when your body has stabilized.
2) Start with low doses. Always begin at the lowest possible dose of anything, whether it's a supplement or a pharmaceutical. To test for tolerance, do the "toothpick test." Crush the tablet with the bottom of a glass. Lick the end of a toothpick, dip it into the crushed tablet, and put the toothpick under your tongue. Wait for a day. If nothing bad happens, then try a greater amount the next day. Don't work up to the full recommended dose, work up to a quarter (or less) and keep it at that level for a week before you increase it. If you can, buy supplements and pharmaceuticals in liquid form. You can take a single drop to start.
3) One at a time. Even if several supplements are recommended, only take one. Wait four days before you add a second supplement (or drug). Wait again. This will give your body time to adjust. It will also allow you time to accurately judge if the treatment is having a harmful effect. (Beneficial effects often take longer to notice.) If you take too many treatments at once, you will never be able to judge which ones have helped and which ones have not. Worse, you may throw the baby out with the bathwater and ditch them all if you have a bad reaction.
4) Recycle. What doesn't work at one stage of the illness may work at another. If you've spent your good money on something that is "neutral," that is, if it doesn't seem to be helping, don't throw it away. Put it in the fridge and save it for later. Even medications and supplements that may make you worse at one point can actually help at another stage of the illness. (Be sure to check for expiration dates if you've put something away for later use.)
5) Take with food. Unless the medication requires being taken on an empty stomach (such as levothyroxine), always take medications and supplements with food. This is how you do it: Eat a little, take the medication or supplement, eat a little more. Your stomach will move the medication along with your food. If you take a pill before or after you eat, it will simply float up to the top of your stomach where it will irritate your esophagus.
6) Make a plan. You may feel too exhausted, too ill, and too desperate to think about making a treatment plan. But this will save your life. Make a list of things you would like to try, put them in order - "small guns" (usually supplements) to "big guns" (usually pharmaceuticals). Then follow the plan. You will discard the plan every time it fails, every time your symptoms flare, and every time you feel hopeless. Don't quit! Make another plan.
How do you know what to put in your plan? Well, I have organized all the treatments used for CFS/ME for you very neatly in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition.
And no, I am not just selling you a "cure" - I am giving you a tool. Use it properly and you will feel better.
All my best wishes for your speedy recovery,
Picture credit: Sleeping Women by artist Yao Wu Zhang