I will try to keep this short and here is the very short version – Thank you, Dr Sarah Myhill.
Here is the much longer version, where I will quickly run through the symptoms I have suffered (if you want to you can also read these two long write-ups of my last nearly four years here: I’m Broken and A New Year’s … Solution):
Pain in feet: I would say like Plantar fasciitis. So painful that I sometimes had to crawl to the toilet or down the stairs first thing in the morning.
Middle ear infection: Constant sharp stabbing pain in ears and totally blocked nose and sinuses, when really bad I had problem with seeing. Even in summer I had to wear ear warmers or it would become much worse.
Feeling cold: Just feeling cold all the time, had to wear long trousers, jumpers and ear warmers most of last year. And for people who know me, long trousers are unheard of as I always lived in shorts.
Pain in hands and arms: Imagine the worst hit on your funny bone you ever had, constantly. All the way from your fingers, up to your shoulders, into your neck. Lack of strength in hands and arms, numbness, sharp pins and needles. I could feel that I had touched something but had no feedback whether I had applied enough pressure to lift it.
Fatigue and tiredness: Totally utterly drained from doing simple chores, need days not hours of rest after doing anything. Weak and tired, just like when you have a really bad flu that knocked you out for 12. Yes I know the saying goes knocked out for six – but I was even more drained, weak and beaten, a proper flu. Brain fogs, where just trying to think about a simple task drained me and I lost my train of thought fast. Good days were a 15 minute slow dog walk, that took everything out of me so that was it for the day.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not figure out what was wrong. Two specialists/consultants declared that the best they could do for me was pain killing drugs. Which of course just masks the pain, rather than finding out what caused the pain and fatigue. I tried one, Amitriptyline, which sent me utterly doolally. I had no clue who I was, no control over my functions, didn’t dare leave the bed.
So after the last visit to a specialist, we decided to do our own research. We had discovered Dr Sarah Myhill’s website a while back, but hadn’t considered it in earnest until yet another Consultant said to me, “There’s nothing I can do to help you”. That was it. We decided to look into Myhill’s recommendations in detail and bought her book about CFS. Dr Sarah Myhill recommendations and ordered in:
Vitamins A, D2, E, C, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), B6, Folic Acid, B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Chromium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Inositol, PABA, Neem, Niacinamide (B3), B12, Magnesium citrate, Acetyl l-carnitine, Hemp oil, D-ribose, Co-enzyme Q10, Turmeric. And breathe … The above is a combination of Myhill’s “daily package” for everyday health, and extra supplements directed at the symptoms of CFS.
I started to take this early December 2015. Over Christmas and New Year I could feel something was afoot. Hard to describe it really. It was a bit like when you are just coming down with a bug – am I getting sick or will this pass?
The pressure in my head from the middle ear infection subsided, and my head became much clearer.
The pain in the arms and hands felt much less, was much much less, and I started to sleep through the night without waking up in agony because of the pins and needles in the arms and hands.
I didn’t have to hold on to walls and banisters while walking first steps in the morning, for the first time in years.
I didn’t feel so fatigued or tired. I felt like I could finally go for a walk.
The brain fog just left. I could watch telly or read past the first paragraph without being drained.
Oh, and an added bonus was that my tinnitus hasn’t shown its face since Christmas 2015.
Come the end of January, I was out walking Tilley, our dog, and suddenly found myself about a mile and a half further down the canal than I have ever been. I just strolled along and didn’t feel tired. Yes, when I got home I could feel it, but it didn’t take two days get over either.
We started Pilates in about March and I was grinning my head off during the first class as I was able to lift my arms past 45 degrees and above my head without any pain at all. I have also started to work a few hours a week.
And best of all I’m cycling again !!!
Yes, I feel tired, but it is a “I’m out of shape tired”, not fatigued. It’s a tiredness like I haven’t cycled for three or more years. Oh, wait… I haven’t!
Along with following the Whole30 diet as much we can. We did a very strict 2-3 months. We found that processed food and sugar, I react to, so no more junk or pre-made sauces for me. This have caused me to lose over 3 stones/19Kg/41 pounds since August last year and feel so much better for it. It is funny to look down my body and see my feet – Feet, I have feet!?! – to quote Garfield.
So I’m building it up slowly. After a few days working in a row, I felt the warmth and weakness in my hands coming along. These are the early warning signs for the next steps – tingling, numbness and then the pins and needles, then the pain. So yes, I have hit the wall once or twice. But, the good news is that a good kip was all that was needed to get over it.
I know that whatever I suffer from is still there, but all the supplements I take on Dr Sarah Myhill‘s list, definitely work for me. For example, I ran out of Niacinamide (B3) and after a few days I could feel I got weaker and it was harder to get going in the morning. After a restock and a few days I started to feel better again.
If this is a dream, please don’t pinch me awake. I like having my life back!