Today is International Chronic Fatigue Day.
I tend not to write too much here about personal stuff because, well, its personal. I’ve got a residual Presbyterian inhibition about letting out that sort of thing. Besides, I don’t want to bore people.
Not sure why today is different, but it is. My Other Half has chronic fatigue, and has had it now for, I think, 10 years. She had to sell her business after she got the condition. For now, she can’t work.
I was diagnosed with it myself when I was at University. I’d never heard of the condition at the time. Things like that happened to other people as far as I was concerned. I’d had glandular fever the previous year: had hepatitis simultaneously, which can happen. Bounced back and felt fantastic: I was warned by the doctor it would take me to 2 years to get back to my previous level of health but I didn’t take much notice. I felt fine. But nearly a year later it was like slowly walking into a swamp. Each day I was more and more stuffed. I’d come home and just crash. Eventually I started crashing in the library.
I was one of the lucky ones – I got over it. Slowly. But the years 1990-94 are years I was only half there, it seems.
I’ve never had quite the same amount of energy I used to have, but of course at least some of that could just be the aging process.
Oddly enough, I’m glad I had it. Partly because I think it’s a good thing for people who have had a pretty charmed life (and in retrospect I think had, up to that point) to get a knock-back or two.
It meant I canned the law degree I had started and went back to journalism, which I’d done for four years before going to Uni. I think I’d have hated being a lawyer.
Most importantly though (and this is perhaps linked to the first reason) it means I can understand what my other half is going through. A lot of people who have chronic fatigue lose their partner as well: it’s a difficult condition to cope with.
Since then I’ve met quite a few people with it. There’s also a couple of reasonably high powered people around town who have had it and recovered, which is kind of comforting.