So, I am tired…so utterly tired. I don’t mean sleepy…I mean, exhausted to the core. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” I find myself complaining – a lot. “I’m so tired” I say. “That’s because you have 3 little boys.” says just about everyone. I thought perhaps they are right, I mean, sure kinds are very tiring, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was much more than that.
It mostly started after having my third son last spring. My joints and body ached like a 90 year old woman, the tops of my feet burned and ached upon first standing up in the morning, and no matter how much sleep I got, I never really felt refreshed. I kept getting sinus infection after sinus infection. My mind became very foggy and my long-term issues with anxiety sky-rocketed. I started having anxiety attacks. I felt irritable and extremely overwhelmed. While I used to be excellent at multi-tasking, now I could barely do two things at once. Everyone with kids knows you have to have at least 5 balls in the air at all times to keep up with the littles and all the responsibilities.
I thought the tiredness would go away but as fall approached, I started to feel even worse. I finally went to the doctor and asked him to check everything he could, that I could feel that something wasn’t right with me.
Blood tests showed my thyroid was hyper to the extreme which explained all of the anxiety issues and possibly some of the joint pain. That was a relief, and an easy adjustment on my thyroid medication. The tests also revealed an extreme high level of EBV antibodies – the highest my doctor said he had seen. I had my blood redrawn a month later and my EBV number of antibodies had doubled. When I asked what it meant, he told me “It means the virus is really kicking your ass.” The doctor diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – which is generally unexplained exhaustion and joint pain. What helps? Sleep. Rest. We both laughed. With three little boys, there is no such thing.
I immediately googled about CFS when I got home and read a lot about how little is known about it, and that there is no known cure for CFS or EBV. I also read about how severely it can impact people’s lives – particularly women, some of who even become bedridden. Although I am very thankful I am not bedridden, I feel it is greatly affecting my energy, my ambition, and parenting my three little boys (4, 2, and 9 months).
For now, I am trying to mostly ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. I try to pretend I’m not exhausted and that this is just how everyone feels with three little boys. Being a mom is my greatest gift in life right now and I’m not going to let anything hinder it.
I have been researching herbal supplements to help fight the EBV virus and I’m hoping that if I can get my body to fight it off, perhaps the CFS will go dormant as well. More to come!