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Flu or ME/CFS/FMS/(and Gastroparesis) flare?

Posted Oct 27 2009 11:01pm

Good morning–It feels that way here…a morning that is “good” …following a string of day beginnings that I can’t remember.  We conjecture, my husband and I, that I have the flu (seasonal? H1N1? I do not know).

We conjecture rather than know, because living with ME/CFS/FMS is much like having the flu everyday.  There is pain, there is exhaustion, headaches, weakness, dysregulation of body temperature…that go with these illnesses. It is hard to tell that something isn’t a worsening of symptoms, a “crash” or “flare-up”, but is instead is a “normal people bug”.

In my memory the past days are blurred…my husband reminds me that I’ve been in bed, rather than on the sofa or recliner, that I haven’t been riding my waves…rest, get up and do a little something, rest, get up and do a little something…Instead it’s been a rest, get up and try to do a little something, rest, rest, rest, rest. The headache I had was different from the headaches that I normally deal with. I have a sore throat, which isn’t a usual symptom for me (though I know it is for some).

It is hard to tell by stomach symptoms if I have the flu, because Gastroparesis mimics it.  It causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and a need to eat foods that one eats when they have a bug, like white toast. Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is also a part of ME/CFS/FMS blurs the flu line too (I’ll spare you the details).

Sometimes it is when my child or husband gets the flu, soon after I’ve had a week like this past one, that I know for sure whether I had it.  Crossing my fingers that isn’t the case this time.

Another sign for me that I have a bug, is that I don’t want to ride along on an errand for days on end. Usually I will, any chance I get. Even if I’m pretty darn sick, I’ll take medicine to help me ride along, just to get out of the house and out into the world. I imagine it’s a bit like a caged birds response to her caretaker opening the door and beckoning her out for a short flight. Hard to pass up.

I need to rest this tiring brain of mine now. It too has been struggling more than normal…tiring more quickly, beset with pain following even a short “thinking period”. Is it because I have the flu or because I’m in a “flare-up”? Again, I don’t know.

I’m glad for the ability to get out of bed this morning and to write a bit. I hope this means I am starting to get over the flu…but it could mean, I’m just having a better early morning in the midst of a “flare-up”.  Either way, I’m happy to have had this good start to the day.

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