The Mildness and Severity of M.E. / C.F.S...

"Yuppie Flu" was once frowned upon.. as an excuse for the high flyers to take time of work... it was poorly recognized.. and misunderstood... although the term of the condition has been changed.. and it has been recognized by the chief medical officer as a real illness... many people still face disbelief... from there healthcare providers... yipp!! they are just depressed...

To date.. which was once looked upon as being myth.. as turned out to be a very disabling.. and debilitating condition...

Although the health care provider... can presume a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... C.F.S only after ruling out all other known possible causes of fatigue, such as:

Once the above conditions have been ruled out.. the basic guidelines to being diagnosed are as follows...

The above information merely.. trivializes the concept of C.F.S and many... well after the onset of the illness... struggle to come to terms.. with the fact.. that there previous lifestyle.. and energy.. has been significantly been reduced... once an understanding is achieved.. yes, we tend to adopt coping mechanisms...

C.F.S can be categorized.. into 3 levels..

Many... that are mildly affected... continue to go to work... still have a level of socialization... etc... and rarely bother the medical profession at all... why??? because they know that something isn't quite right... they feel as if they are being hypochondriacs... they have had every blood test taken.. and they all come back fine... they tend to try and carry on.. with minor changes.. within there lifestyles.. combating the symptoms of C.F.S with little or no understanding...

Low motivation slowly sets in... as they have to address the factors... that there activity levels.. have been significantly reduced... any increased exertion starts to prove detrimental... and enhances the C.F.S symptoms.. accompanied with poor concentration... jelly legs.. panic attacks... brain fog... and various other misunderstood symptoms...

After a few months... the level of fatigue often changes and some suffers begin to feel normal until they are faced with any physical... intellectual... emotional... or sensory stress... this alone... leads to panic... unacceptence of the illness... and elevates the original symptoms... yes.. welcome.. to the wonderful world... of C.F.S It has been known... that those affected between one and two years can still improve but only a few ever return to any degree of normal function.

Thinking back.. when I first contracted C.F.S I felt that my whole world had collapsed around me.. I was struggling... with a huge variety of symptoms.. I knew that I wasn't a 100% but not terribly ill either... I continued to work, yes, it was a struggle... but I well.. think that I managed.. I just had to learn to deal with my lifestyle daily... at the end of the day... the symptoms of C.F.S vary.. throughout the day... on a good day.. yes, you seem to sail through the day.. the next.. you are anchored to either.. the house, your bed.. or the settee... for C.F.S to be properly diagnosed.. well in my opinion it should take the healthcare provider a few days... being with you.. 24/7 before they give a diagnose.. I had a doctor in my house.. for an hour.. she gave a report in saying.. that it was unlikely.. that I had C.F.S.. I had actually forgot to invite her for dinner a few hours a later.. to see what state I was in... hey, just think.. she could have helped to make it.. after all... the reality of the situation.. is at first.. you focus.. on a well what you believe to be a healthy person.. and hours.. later.. this healthy person.. then resembles.. a "blank faced zombie" it has been noted.. that this masque resembles.. that of one.. who has Parkinson's Disease...

The level of C.F.S leaning towards the moderate/severe side... becomes a whole new ball game... those that are severely affected... through no fault of there own.. become either housebound.. or bedridden.. they do not have the strength.. or the abilities.. to carry out... even with the simplest tasks... many rely on carers.. to help with there everyday needs... bathing.. dressing... making meals... they become.. totally reliant on a wheelchair... to get out and about... the people that I know.. within this category... have had to live with C.F.S for 10 to 15 years... they have suffered one relapse after another... bearing in mind.. yes, as mentioned earlier.. some people who suffer for 2 years or so.. after contracting C.F.S do get a bit better...but... after 10 to 15 years of suffering.. this highlights the 25% or so.. that do not.. I'm just praying that I will never be included in that percentage... although... I have to admit.. that I have crossed the path.. from being mildly affected.. to the side of severely... those of us who have reached this category.. tend to struggle with the slightest tasks... what appears to be a healthy person.. one minute... shortly after.. looks vacant... and disconcerting...

The level of severity... consists of.. well if the sufferer was to be observed.. . they would be found to be slow, clumsy.. struggle with even the slightest task... have difficulties.. rising from being seated... especially after being seated for a prolonged period of time... walk in a particular clumsy fashion.. or at times... be unable to walk, for several hours... even the event of a conversation.. this alone will quickly tire them out... and they do not seem to respond to what has been said... to be honest.. my step dad has Parkinson's Disease... and when speaking.. we come across similar symptoms... but one that drove home.. was that of.. for weeks.. I had been unable to lift my foot from the ground... I did try.. but it was going nowhere... he told me that it was better known as "foot drop" yes, this was only short term.. but it proved to be awkward.. especially trying to walk... it caused me to trip.. and every footstep that I took.. instead of lifting my foot as normal.. I found it slapping of the ground...

To date.. the severity of my situation is one of... that I am no longer able to work... I get easily tired.. even with the slightest conversation... my concentration factor... at times is zero... I forget to turn cookers of... I take shaking episodes... at times my arms give way.. and I drop what I'm holding.. I'm unable to walk at times... and at other times.. my legs become wobbly and weak.. I lose the ability to speak.. then frustration sets in... I'm either suffering from dizzy spells.. or feelings of unreality... my mobility has decreased... significantly.. to the extent that most days, I'm unable to go out... and I do and I reach my destination.. I'm having to get help to return home... The best one is yet to come.. now I have found.. well at the time, I thought that I had been taking some sort of fit... my vision has been affected... everything around me is in a haze.. I'm unable to move period.. as I do not realise that I have arms and legs.. . at these times.. they feel so detached from my body... yes, I went to the doctors, I have been told.. that it is a basic case of, my body giving up on me... great!!! What next!!!!

And to think that once upon a time... I was struggling with the mild characteristics... of C.F.S and so are millions of others...from the mild... to the severely affected!!!!

But.. to be honest... at times we can be selfish of our own needs.. and start to dwell on our own.. unforeseen circumstances....

But regardless... please try and give a thought to those less fortunate...

Below is a table of severity.. which outlines the various disabilities suffered.. by each sufferer...


M.E/C.F.S Disability Scale

0% Fit and well for at least the past three months. No symptoms at rest or following activity. Capable of full-time employment.

10% Generally well. No symptoms at rest. Occasional mild symptoms may follow activity. Capable of most forms of full-time employment.

20% Occasional mild symptoms at rest. More noticeable symptoms following activity. Some restriction of capabilities which require physical exertion. Able to work full-time but difficulty with work that requires physical exertion.

30% Mild symptoms at rest. Limited ability to carry out some tasks which require physical exertion. May be able to work full-time.

40% Mild or moderate symptoms at rest. Variable ability to carry out tasks associated with normal daily living. Unable to work part-time in a job involving frequent physical exertion. May be able to work. May be able to work part-time in other types of employment.

50% Mild to moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to more severe exacerbation of symptoms following physical and/or mental exertion. Unable to carry out strenuous physical tasks. Able to perform light duties or desk work for several hours a day, provided adequate rest periods are provided.

60% Moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to sever symptoms following any form of physical or mental exertion. Unable to carry out strenuous duties. Able to carry out light duties/desk work for one to three hours a day, provided adequate rest periods are available. Generally not confined to the house.

70% Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Severe symptoms follow any physical or mental activity. Able to perform desk work or light duties for one or two hours during the day. Often confined to the house and may require wheelchair assistance at times.

80% Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. May only be able to carry out a minimal range of physical activities relating to personal care (e.g. washing, bathing) Frequently unable to leave the house an may be confined to a wheelchair or bed for much of the day. Unable to concentrate for more than short periods of time.

90% Severe symptoms at rest. Bedridden and housebound for much of the time. Experiences considerable difficulties with many aspects of personal care. Marked problems with mental functioning (e.g. memory, concentration). Requires a great deal of practical support.

100% Severe symptoms on a continual basis. Bedridden and incapable of living independently. Requires a great deal of practical social support.

(extract taken from Dr Charles Sheppard's book "Living with M.E..")

Living with M.E.