Welcome to HealingWell and the CFS message board! I'm sorry to hear you are having so much trouble, both with your health, and with getting diagnosis and treatment. Don't worry, you don't sound foolish AT ALL. I've heard the same type of problem many, many times, so you are definitely not alone (although I know it seems like it sometimes).
While I'm not an expert or professional, your description of symptoms does sound like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which is also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) in the US and certain other countries. Also in the UK and Australia, it's called Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) although I might not have spelled that last one right. Another less common name is Post Viral Syndrome, or Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome. If you read enough research, you will notice certain combinations of symptoms associated with certain names. But in general, it is all the same illness.
There's no known cause, cure, or even very effective treatment for CFS. But research is ongoing which gives one hope....well, it gives me hope anyway. The key to getting appropriate treatment, in my experience, is to forget about trying to get a name put on your illness by a Dr. Most people drive themselves and their Drs nuts, trying to get a diagnosis, while Drs themselves have no intention of giving a diagnosis, once they realize "what they're dealing with". On the other hand, if you just present one symptom at a time to your Dr, your Dr will be much more willing to treat each symptom, than to give you a diagnosis (in my experience). CFS resembles a number of other illnesses, so it is important to have those illnesses ruled out (medical language which means make sure you don't have them). But as you present your symptoms to your Dr, your Dr will do whatever testing is necessary to make sure you don't have something else.
I'll post some links to a few organizations and websites, including HealingWell's CFS Resource page, where you can learn much more about CFS.
Ok, that should be plenty enough to start with!
Well, hang in there, unaware, and good luck! Hopefully you will soon turn that name around, as you become much more aware (regarding CFS)! LOL!! But seriously, educating oneself is the first step in getting the treatment that will help. If you have any questions, or information which you can't find, or don't understand, please feel free to ask. I'm not an expert or professional, but I've lived with CFS for almost 15 years. Plus other members may have answers, suggestions or support to offer.
Take good care.
Also, welcome deb! So kind of you to offer your support, and glad to meet you too
. All best.
Moderator for Chronic Pain forums and
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forums