I’ve written this testimony, hoping that it can help other people who look to these forums for guidance. I myself, used to go online, searching for any glimmer of hope or new piece of information I could find to help with the chronic fatigue I’d experienced for 15 years. Here is my story and how I have navigated my way back to a happier and healthy life.
- Source of the Story:
- My story
- Resource Type:
- Patient Story
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Disease Course Over Time:
- 15 years
- Type of Onset:
- acute flu-like
- Approximate Date of Illness Began:
- 16-20 years
- Functionality at it's Worst:
- Able to work full-time
- Fatigue, Brain Fog, Anxiety
- Positive Test Results:
- Glandular Fever
- Treatments That Made A Big Difference:
- Treatments That Helped:
- Treatments That Had No Effect:
- Treatments That Made You Worse:
- Present State of Health:
- Almost recovered - Able to lead norrmal lifestyle
- Practitioner Associated With Recovery:
- Words of Advice:
- Try homeopathy
I’m now a 33 year old man, I work full time and live a busy life like most people. But for 15 years I’ve struggled to overcome the worsening effects of CFS that was brought on by a series of illness when I was 17 years old. I can remember the day at college when I contracted a virus, to this day I’m not entirely sure what the initial virus was, but I believe it was glandular fever paired with tonsillitis.
I was at College and the most debilitating wave of tiredness came over me. My entire body felt like it had been drugged and I had to be helped down stairs to wait for my parents to pick me up and take me home. They literally had to help me into their car, where I immediately went to sleep and woke up again in bed.
I went to the doctor the next day, who prescribed antibiotics for the tonsillitis, but I was never tested for glandular fever or anything else. I was actually due to fly to Florida for a family holiday that week, so I remained off school until we flew to Florida. I was still taking antibiotics whilst I was away, but I didn’t feel any better. I was continually tired and roughly 4 days into my holiday I then became more ill, this time with bronchitis.
A Dr was called out, who prescribed more medication and I was left to get better in my hotel room. When I returned to the UK, I was better, in terms of I didn’t have tonsillitis or bronchitis. However I was continually tired. I would go to college and have to naps in the day. I’d then come home and have to study and almost every night I’d fall asleep on my bed without even eating dinner because I was too tired to stay awake. My mum would find me still fully clothed in my college clothes the next morning.
To be honest I don’t know why this didn’t raise any red flags with my family because that kind of tiredness isn’t normal and it had a negative effect on my A-Levels. I did do well enough to go to university to study geology and earth sciences, so off I went after completing college….
At uni I found that I had a fully packed 7/8 hour day, every day. I was still constantly tired, I had to come back to my dorm room every lunch time to sleep in between lectures. I think it was easy to disguise the tiredness issue with late nights and drinking at uni, but being young and care free I didn’t put any thought into why I was tired or the impact it was having on me. I lost interest in my studies and just barely made it through the course.
After this I moved to Spain for work and then later to Australia, where I stayed for 3 years. During my time in Australia, I realized that working full time was becoming increasingly difficult. I would be exhausted all day, like a brain fog that never lifted. I ate healthy and I did exercise, which did help.
My tiredness at that point was never really physical, it was more of a constant brain fatigue that no matter what I did, just would not go away. I eventually went to see a doctor in Australia to see whether he could run some blood tests and workout if there was any glaringly obvious reason why I was tired. Nothing came back out of the ordinary, apart from a low folic acid level (which is usually related to pregnant women…lucky me).
So I carried on as before and just accepted that I must just be a tired person. I found myself using exercise as a tonic to try and stave off the tiredness, which was great in one way because I was super fit and looked great, but it was a constant balance trying to not be tired, go to work, exercise and stave off the constant brain fog.
I actually went to a psychic convention in Australia for fun and during a reading the medium said “you’re always tired aren’t you”…to which I just nodded and she said “there’s something in your blood”… I didn’t really read into this much because at the end of the day she could have said anything and there was no medical proof to back it up.
When I returned to the UK I noticed a shift in my tiredness. London work life is busier and more stressful than Australia and it was starting to be more evident. The commute to and from work alone would leave me exhausted, not to mention having to do a full day’s work. I average around an hour door to door for my commute, so not much more (or less) than most people commuting to London, but it was a shift from my leisurely 30 minute drive in Australia.
To try and cope with the tiredness, I must have tried every supplement known to man…Vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, spirulina.. you name it, If It’s been mentioned on a health forum for tiredness, I’ve tried it! But nothing ever made a substantial beneficial impact on my tiredness.
I changed to a more stressful job (shorter commute though…bonus!) and it didn’t take long for that to take it’s toll. I definitely think stress has a massive influence on CFS and reducing stress is really important.
I was at work one day, so tired that all of a sudden I had a panic attack. I’d never had one before, so that was pretty scary and I had to leave the office for the day. I was pretty bad for 4 days…multiple panic attacks, to the point where I woke up and all my muscles were achy, it was as if my body had gone into shock and just felt exhausted.
This was the scariest point I’d reached, I’d always manged my tiredness, but this was my body (and mind) saying it wasn’t coping any longer. My partner (whom I’m now married to), was amazing and supported me getting some additional help…he’d had panic attacks before so he was able to reassure me when he could see I was worried.
I went to my GP and explained all my symptoms, my story about having a virus when I was 17 and not feeling the same since. He was sympathetic and offered to do some blood tests to reassure me that nothing was wrong. I think at the time, he thought I was suffering from anxiety and depression, but the only thing I was anxious about was the constant feeling of being tired and not being able to go to work and live properly. I had a good job, loving partner, a house, great friends, wonderful family….i had nothing to feel depressed about.
The GP initially put me on antidepressants, which I reluctantly tried. I took them for 2 weeks and stopped..they were awful… completely numbing. The numb feeling was more frightening than worrying about being tired! He told me to hang in there until my system adjusted, but I didn’t feel like that was the solution, so I stopped taking them and asked to see him again.
The GP said that he would refer me to a specialist, a neurologist to be precise. I was lucky because I had private health care, so I was able to have all of this paid for very easily. I found a good neurologist close by and started to see him every 4 months. He did another round of blood tests, more in depth than the NHS tests. This time he tested for glandular fever – it leaves a marker in your blood, which can be detected. The results came back with the marker, which was almost cathartic because I’d never had any proper proof until then.
However, his solution was to carry on exercising and managing my tiredness (which is what I’d been doing for years). He also asked me to take Amitriptyline, which is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor… I was on such a low dose (10mg) I didn’t mind trying it. In all fairness, for a year I did feel better. The amitriptyline must have helped rebalance my brain in some way, allowing me a second wind to cope with the tiredness. I’d take them at night, which meant I would sleep well…funny thing is when you have CFS you don’t really sleep that well despite being tired all the time! I also used to suffer with restless leg, which would drive me insane. So for a year I felt like I was coping better, but it wasn’t a fix.
I started to struggle with my tiredness again and it started to impact me at work. I started taking days off because I just felt exhausted. I actually wound up in such a state that I had to go and see a private doctor one day because I felt like I was having a breakdown. She upped my amitriptyline, which just medicated me more.
I realised that medicating myself wasn’t the cure, it was just masking everything. I started to look at natural remedies and a good friend of mine recommended I go to see her Chinese acupuncturist. I explained my symptoms to him and he suggested I have cupping, which is where they put warm suction cups onto your back to draw out toxins from the blood.
After the first session of acupuncture and cupping, I was very very emotional. The entire way home I was on the brink of tears and then when I got home I immediately had to sleep, which I did for about 11 hours afterwards. I did up the next day feeling great, I had a bounce of energy and felt like a cloud had been lifted. I carried on with acupuncture and cupping for about 6 weeks (weekly) an then once every few weeks after that. I believe it did help to clear up toxins and help my immune system, but it didn’t have a lasting effect and I would feel the tiredness and brain fog creeping back.
I struggled to balance working and life at the weekend, If I had a party or something at the weekend I would have to have an afternoon nap to make sure I would have enough energy to go and enjoy myself.
This in itself was a bit soul destroying… I was 30 and having to take naps to have fun, while all my other friends were drinking heavily and out until 5am. I got to the stage where I would come home from work and feel so tired and upset that I would cry. I walked in one day and my partner could see I was emotionally spent. I’m not an emotional person, so for him to see me like that, was quite upsetting for him. I actually said that I wished I had cancer because at least people would know what’s wrong with me and they could treat me. That was a really low point.
I got engaged about 4 months after that, whilst we were on a trip to Paris. The trip was broken up with frequent afternoon naps, but I was over the moon that we were getting married. But, I was immediately scared, questioning how I would cope with my wedding day and the lead up to it…. would I have to have a nap on my wedding day, will I have a meltdown beforehand from all the stress? I knew at that point I had to try something else.
A good friend of mine struggles with psoriasis on her skin, very badly as well, she’s not had an easy ride with it. She told me to give homeopathy a go because it’s helped her immensely. what did I have to lose in trying? I initially went to see a homeopath close to Harley Street, who I’m sad to say was very expensive and very very ineffective and from what I know now, she didn’t practice properly. I kind of knew she was treating me wrong from what my friend said it should involve. So I stopped seeing her... I go a local osteopath clinic to keep my back in check every now and again and by chance there was an advert for a local homeopath. She worked out of the clinic for when you needed to see her, so I contacted her and asked for an appointment.
The homeopath I see is an Indian lady, whom I’ve got to know well. Homeopathy is well practiced in india, pretty much to the same degree as a medical doctor in western culture. When you first see a homeopath, they interview you for almost an hour. At first I thought it was unnerving and at times, quite intrusive. They ask a lot of personal questions about your childhood, family, your life in general to understand what may have affected you and to establish what type of person you are and what medicines will be best suited to you. I told her my story and she was confident that she could help.
At first, she gave me KaliPhos..which she said would act as a cleansing agent to my body, to rebalance it. Before they do anything they like to work from a clean slate, so this was the preparation tonic. I found the Kaliphos to have a real calming effect on me. When I was over tired, I would feel myself getting anxious because I’d worry about being able to cope at work or doing something after work. Now I could feel myself feeling more at ease and my anxiety levels dropped.
She then gave me Ignatia – This was a bit of a shock to my system, I took it every few days for two weeks and I could feel my mood dropping. It was a strange sensation, almost like I was hacked off or feeling low for two weeks… then one day I woke up and the only way I can explain it, was dread. I went into work and the entire tube ride in, I was close to tears, but I couldn’t even focus on what was making me feel that way.
Over the day, I felt awful, the sense of sadness and dread was so heightened I literally had to sit in the loo at work and cry, just so I had a release. Like I said, I’m not an emotional person, so this freaked me out.
I started to think about things that had happened in the past, like unresolved breakups with ex’s… events in Australia that were sad….things I hadn’t really thought of or processed since they happened.
I rang Asha (my homeopath) and she said to stop taking the ignatia and that it had done it’s job…. She said it’s used to induce unresolved emotion and sadness from a traumatic event. I literally did now know this, so It was all a bit confusing. I stopped taking the ignatia and other next couple of days my mood returned to normal (I'm generally happy and good fun when I'm not exhausted!).
Next – Asha then gave me Gelsemium. She said Gelsemium is used to help the body’s immune system after a virus. I didn’t have any adverse side effects and took it for roughly a week…then it happened.
Almost one week after I started taking the gelsemium, I started to feel unwell. I had friends over for dinner and I had to leave the dinner table to lay down. I felt sick and had a bit of a fever. The next day my throat was sore, but I went to work anyway.
The next day, I had to travel up to the lake district for a friends child’s christening. By the time id reached the lakes after a 5 hour drive, I had full blown tonsillitis. My tonsils were so infected, my friends were gobsmacked. Luckily I wasn’t driving and we were staying the night, so I had time to rest.
I got home and had to see the GP for an emergency appointment to get antibiotics. She took one look and said I had a really bad case of tonsillitis and I needed to keep in touch with them in case it got worse. I was unwell for 10 days and I’m not great taking antibiotics, I’m allergic to penicillin, so they all make me feel sick and worse than most people taking them.
I contacted Asha and told her I was really unwell with tonsillitis…she seemed excited! She asked how long I’d taken the gelsemium for, before I got sick. I said a week, to which she replied that this was really good. She explained that the gelsemium had forced my body to recognise the virus that had been lying dormant in my body for all these years and I was finally purging it. She advised to take the antibiotics and then she’d give me something else to ensure that my body would properly recover.
After the tonsillitis, despite feeling better after having 10 days of being bed bound, I did feel much better. My energy levels were up, I didn’t feel that toxic fatigue feeling that plagued me for so long. Asha then cave me Calc Carb, which is used after an illness like I had. The Calc Carb was pretty amazing…. It eliminated the brain fog I’d been experiencing for so many years. I called her to say how good I was feeling.
From that point, my health has been on the up…When I was really bad, I had to stop exercising because it taxed my body too much. But once I’d released the virus and I was on the calc carb, I felt like I could start to exercise again. By the time of my wedding, it was stressful (as all weddings are)….
We had family from Australia staying with us, young kids up at 4 am, while I was sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor to accommodate them all. I had such a renewed state of energy, I was up at 4:30am doing a 4km run and then doing a full day’s work. I could have never have done that before I started homeopathy. My energy was so much better and my state of mind was massively improved.
I’m still seeing Asha and still taking homeopathic medication… we’re in the process of weaning off of the medication, which she thinks will happen in the next 4 months. I’ve been seeing Asha for roughly a year and half and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in trying to help my CFS. It’s not a quick fix and it’s not a straight road with definite outcomes, but it’s the only thing that has virtually restored me to a life before perpetual tiredness.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my days where I am tired and I want to sleep for hours…. But everyone does. I feel about 80% cured from what I was and for me, this has changed how I’m living. I feel like I have control of my life and I’m not in constant fear of being tired. I would search for CFS cures for hours, taking whatever supplement I could, hoping it would magically cure me.
I don’t fully understand how homeopathy works, but I can 100% say that without it, I would not be as healthy as I am today. There’s a lot of people that don’t believe in it, which is up to them. But I can’t deny the fact that since I have had taken homeopathic medicine, my health has dramatically improved. I also find it a massive indicator that one week after taking gelsemium, I suddenly fell ill with the virus that started my post viral fatigue. That to me isn’t just a random coincidence.
For anyone, who like me has tried everything…every supplement, every diet, exercise, antidepressant, everything to try and rid themselves of the fatigue and failed… Please try homeopathy – what else have you got to lose?
Homeopathy - My Cure after 15 years
My story to beat the tiredness