I am no medical expert, but I am an expert about
what I deal with on a daily basis. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome for at least 3 years now. Yes, it started for me after a sore throat/cold/virus in the spring of 2003. Major symptoms for over a week, then somewhat better for a week or so, then reoccuring symptoms, then a very noticable change in my energy levels. I was lucky because I had a friend/coworker who had CFS and recognize the symptoms in me.
Since then I have at least one time that I remember clearly when I had lumps on the left side of my back/shoulder about
1-2 inches below where my neck becomes my back. There were about
2-3 lumps that ached and were very sensitive to the touch. They went away. My lumps didn't last 4-5 months, but then most of my symptoms are different in some way from others who have CFS. They did occur during a very stressful time of year for me and stress definitely exacerbates the multitude of symptoms associated with CFS.
The traditional medical community has not been very helpful or supportive. During the year and a half of various blood tests recommended by an alternative medicine nurse practitioner, trying lots of supplements recommended by the alternative clinic (not covered by insurance), my psychiatrist just insisting that I exercise more, and my GP doctor continuing to recheck my thyroid TSH levels every 3-4 months with or without changes in my thyroid medicine, I finally got in to see both of the 2 doctors of rheumatology in our city. Both of them looked at all of the lab work I had done and made a diagonis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They didnt' have much to offer in the way of treatment.
My counselor has been the most helpful in helping me deal with living with a chronic illness. The positive side of having CFS is you probably won't die from it. Your life style will just be very different.
Look for the good in life. Enjoy what you can do. Know that even when you are feeling really lousy, the lousy days will pass. Rest, be kind to yourself.
I hope you find something helpful in my ramblings. The mind does get "foggy" with this syndrome.
The last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances ...
-Victor Frank, **** Death Camp Survivor