Learning to manage activity levels is vital to managing the illness itself. Because of the remitting-relapsing pattern of symptoms that is common, patients often exert themselves on a “good” day to make up for days lost, followed by many days of post-exertion malaise/relapse.
This cycle, referred to as push-crash, can have detrimental physical and emotional consequences. Educating patients about this tendency and helping them to establish more stable patterns of planned activity followed by planned rest can be therapeutic.
Establishing an “energy envelope” that sets boundaries and limits is one approach to pacing shown to be successful.
Typically for people with CFS, obtaining a diagnosis can be a frustrating experience and you are not alone in your frustration!
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fortunately, my story is one of success. After approximately 10 years of suffering and working through the symptoms, I am happy to say I now play tennis three days per week, swim on a regular basis and maintain a healthy diet.
*Common symptoms of CFS include:
- Sudden severe fatigue, especially following a flu-like illness
- Sleep that isn’t refreshing
- Muscle and joint aches without swelling
- Intense or changing patterns of headaches
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph glands
- Memory problems/inability to concentrate
I hope you are able to create an ‘energy envelope’ to help set some daily boundaries for yourself so you can improve your quality of life and get back to enjoying the activities you love.