I'm a Fibromyalgia/ME/Chronic Fatigue Wellness Coach who can help you improve the way you're currently living with this condition, and ultimately move you towards recovery. Visit http://www.pamelarose.co.uk to read more about how I can help, and to read previous blogs.
This is a question that I get asked often. Probably more than any other. And it’s not difficult to figure out why: one of the most upsetting things when we’re first diagnosed with ME/CFS is that the medical profession can't give any type of prognosis around how long it will take to recover. Or whether recovery is even possible. Which leaves us feeling incredibly hopeless and very scared.
So is recovery possible? The honest answer is: I don’t know. And I’m someone who considers herself fully recovered!
The one thing I do know, is that it very much is possible for your symptoms to improve. Often quite dramatically. But it does seem that the numbers of people who claim that they have fully recovered are low. I have two theories about why this might be:
My first theory is that once people have found the right recovery path for them and have returned to some semblance of a normal life, they go off and start living that life! They stop hanging around the Facebook groups and discussion boards, because they’re so busy enjoying the feeling of being able to live energetically again.
I’m guilty of this myself - I remember back in 2010 when I was first diagnosed, those of us who were regulars on the ME/CFS message boards would jump on anyone who gave even a hint that they were starting to feel markedly better. We’d soak up any pearls of wisdom they could give, and desperately extract as much information from them as possible. But then they’d disappear, and we could only hope that it was because they’d achieved the holy grail of recovery, and that we’d also discover the secret cure that would lead us back to full health. And then when I did successfully get my life back, I disappeared too! And I wish I hadn’t.
My second theory - which was definitely the case for me - is that those who have beaten ME/CFS are too scared to say that we’ve recovered, in case it’s not true. A sort of ‘tempting fate’ type of superstition I suppose. I haven’t had a crash in over 3 years. I can run 5km, and enjoy a 45 minute spin class at my local gym with no bad effects at all. But I can never quite shake the concern that something is still lurking and could reappear. I do now openly say that I’ve recovered, but I suspect many don’t.
So there ARE some of us out there who have recovered. There definitely are. And if you’re tackling recovery yourself and have concerns about the fact that there are hardly any success stories online - don’t let that destroy your hope and positivity (which are two of the most important factors, I have no doubt).
Use the online groups for support when you need it, but stay true to your recovery plan and never give up hope. And if you feel that you need a little extra support from someone who’s been there and can help guide you through your chosen approach, get in touch. I’d love to help.
Please note: the views and opinions mentioned above are my own, based on my own recovery experience. I’m not a medical practitioner and any concerns you have should be discussed with your GP/Practitioner.