Key Resources for CFS Recovery

Solving my recovery puzzle has been a slog!

Yesterday I began reading “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Redefining an Illness“. This was a report released in February 2015 by the Institute of Medicine which had been commissioned by the United States Government to examine the evidence base for ME/CFS. Merely getting through the report brief reduced me to hot tears and I’ve spent the past 24 hours wondering why.

One of many reasons might be that they were describing things I’ve had to figure out on my own in the midst of both medical misunderstanding and social isolation. So I began to wonder, how would I have told myself to pursue recovery given what I know today? Since my case has been unusually severe, I suspect that at least some of the advice that I’m about to give to my past self would be useful for many ME/CFS patients today.  Continue reading

I Write About My Health Because…

At first I wrote about my health because it was clear I was on some sort of frontier. It had taken more than two years to get diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and even that doctor wasn’t sure how to proceed. “Find an internist who understands Chronic Fatigue,” he’d said.

Sure, no problem. I found just such an internist. Two years later.  Continue reading

The Cause of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

There are regular reports in the media asserting that the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is unknown. In my humble but strong opinion, they’re wrong.

For example, National Public Radio asserted that …

Researchers still are not sure why people suffer pain, exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia and other symptoms, sometimes for years. They have suspected viruses, but have not proven which one.


Actually, Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., has shown that a variety of physical and emotional triggers can lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia Syndrome (CFS/FMS). I’m using a term he coined, because he has also demonstrated that Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are in fact the same underlying condition.  Continue reading

The Courage of My Liver

There is a pain in my torso as I write this. Last week, one of the liver support supplements I take ran out before I ordered a new jar. “It’ll be fine,” I thought to myself. I was wrong.

As I placed my order online, I realized that this thread of recovery regarding my liver perfectly reflected the overall tapestry of my experience with Chronic Fatigue.

First nobody knew what was causing the pain in my side. Then a doctor in 2008 figured out that it was my liver. Looking back I realize that when I was on a daily regimen in 2006 which included inhaling glutathione and N-Acetyl-Cysteine as prescribed by Dr. Young, this must have really helped my liver. But after keeping up being on a nebulizer every day for over a year, I couldn’t make myself go back. Continue reading

The Story of D-Ribose

In the Fall of 2010, my supply of D-Ribose lapsed for a few days. I’d been taking it every day since July 2008 and was surprised to see how much I deteriorated without it. My mental stamina tanked, I began to feel increasingly disoriented, and my body was hurting and stiffening, more and more. I’d forgotten how bad, bad used to be!

Then I remembered what I had read about D-Ribose and realized I needed to ask for help. A very kind friend drove to Whole Foods and got me an expensive jar of the white powder to tide me over until my online order arrived. Here’s the story, extracted from an article by Dr. Teitelbaum, that led to my trying D-Ribose in the first place. It may seem a little technical at first but it gets really good.

D-Ribose – A Very Powerful and Natural Body Energizer

by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

Continue reading

One Liter, Three Scoops, Ten Drops

The secret to a diet that allows me the most energy seems to be eating mostly vegetables, especially the green ones. Add a number of energy supplements, the most important of which is d-ribose, and presto: I am nutritionally supported for CFS/FMS recovery!

It’s such a simple idea but the execution of my diet gets complicated when you consider the fact that I’m talking seventy percent vegetables on my plate. Those are vegetables that need to be bought, washed, stored and prepared. This requires coordinating and surviving MISSION GROCERY STORE; standing long enough in the kitchen to wash, chop, blend, steam or cook them in broth; cleaning up after eating.  Continue reading

What is Grace?

The winds of grace are blowing perpetually; we have just to raise our sails. –Ramakrishna

I heard somewhere that if you do the work of getting 51% of the way to your goal, grace will carry you the rest of the way. Aren’t I there yet? Grace, where are you? By the way, what is grace?

After my life narrowed to trying to get out of bed, I went through a few medical doctors, then a few naturopathic doctors. Then I went for something radical and tried Dr. Young’s pH miracle protocol. I improved and thought that was the final answer. Sadly, no. Not exactly.  Continue reading

Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

Or, Forgiveness Part VI

Am I Crazy? Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in CFS/Fibromyalgia

by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

The first half of this article was reprinted here last week.

The Mind-Body Connection

All illnesses have a psychological component. Although the highly stressed executive may have a bacterial infection such as Helicobacter pylori or excess acid causing his or her ulcer, it helps to remove the three telephones from his or her ear while treating the infections and excess acid.

I find that I, and most people with CFS/FMS, are mega-type-A overachievers. As a group, our sensitivity and intuitive abilities are high. We often had low self-esteem as children and tended to seek approval, sometimes from someone who simply was not going to give it. This, combined with our sensitivity to the feelings of others, caused us to avoid conflict and to try to meet other people’s needs—at the expense of our own. Many of us closed off our feelings and our empathic nature for a while because we were too young to handle their intensity. Because of our approval-seeking and low self-esteem, we often drove ourselves to being the best at what we did, or to try to be all things to all people. Not being able to say no because we wanted to avoid conflict or loss of approval led us to feel as though we could not defend our emotional boundaries, and left us feeling drained. We responded to fatigue by redoubling our efforts, instead of resting, as our bodies tried to tell us to do. As we depleted our energy reserves—sometimes while feeling great on an adrenaline “high”—we encountered the physical trigger to our disease (“blew our fuse”), whether it was an infection, an injury, childbirth, or something else. This trigger, combined with physical problems such as yeast overgrowth or hormonal deficiencies and, often, a genetic tendency to the disease, set the process in motion. Continue reading

Am I Crazy?

Or, Forgiveness Part V

Am I Crazy? Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in CFS/Fibromyalgia

by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

In medicine, we have a bad habit. If a doctor cannot figure out what is wrong with the patient, the doctor brands that patient a “turkey.” Imagine calling an electrician because your lights do not work. The electrician checks all the wiring, can’t find the problem, and says, “You’re crazy. There’s nothing wrong with your lights.” You flip the switches and they still do not work, but the electrician just says, “I’ve looked. There’s no problem here,” and walks out the door. This is analogous to what many CFS patients experience. I apologize for the medical profession’s calling you crazy just because we cannot determine the cause of your problem. It is inappropriate and cruel.

Fortunately the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), one of the major governmental agencies responsible for CFS (and other) research, is spending millions of dollars on advertising to dispel the misconception that CFS is all in your mind. They are working hard to teach both doctors and the public that CFS is both a very physical and devastating illness. Hopefully, getting treatment will be easier in the future. Continue reading

Princess Lab Rat, I Presume?

Or, Forgiveness Part I

The rumor was that the woman my father married used to be a prostitute. “Look her up,” someone apparently said, giving father a note as he prepared to leave my mother at home and fly to New York. “She’ll show you a good time.” Wink, wink.

I couldn’t care less about race, class, or social status. And anyway, I wonder now about the word “prostitute.” If the person speaking English also speaks Yoruba, perhaps they are referring to another meaning. The Yoruba translation for prostitute is ashewo which also means woman with loose morals. Maybe my father’s set just didn’t like her.

My prejudices generally lie around things like pronouncing nuclear NUKE-U-LAR. I also never got over the guy who put his fork and his knife in his mouth at dinner. I probably didn’t look too good myself as my mouth fell open with food in it! Continue reading