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Chronic Fatigue Message Board

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Hi everyone,

I had malaria (p falciarum) in India in 2008 and was in hospital for a few days - I'd had it nearly two months by the time I got to hospital. On arriving back in England I found out I was pregnant and had an abortion. I tried to move to London and got a job but was dizzy and exhausted and had to come home - the dr said it was the aftereffects of the malaria and I should rest for a month. I did, but as soon as I was able I was back on my feet, starting my new job and moving to London. My job was miserable and stressful, I was depressed after the abortion, and my physical health was poor- periods of weakness and dizziness.

I was in a traffic accident, quit my job, started a new job, and was getting on better for a bit but I would still have periods of extreme dizziness and exhaustion every few weeks, where all I could do is sleep until it passes.

I left London after 6 months and moved to Edinburgh, where I started working for a Rape Crisis charity. This brought up a lot of emotional issues and I had to leave. I also started counselling. And this was punctuated by the same periods of dizziness and exhaustion. I was unemployed for a long time, but as soon as I started work I got ill- its' as if my immune system is blitzed; every time I get a cold I have to spend three days minimum in bed, sometimes more. And I could have a week off with a cold (which goes down great with employers, I can tell you!) and then need another week off with this random exhaustion.

I was working as a support worker for three months and got signed off with stress at the end of it for a month. I then started a new job and after only three weeks, was starting to feel run down and like I was going to get sick again. Then my references came back and suggested I wouldnt be able to cope with the stress of the job, and I was unemployed again.

Basically, my immune system can't seem to keep me well enough to stay in work. Even when I don't have any actual illness, as soon as my life starts filling up with normal activities, like having a job, I get this weird dizziness and exhaustion. I'm dizzy a lot of the time in fact, even when I'm in good health, sometimes it feels like I'm trying to think through treacle. When I get like this, all I can do is sleep till it goes away. I get these crazy intense sugar cravings, where it feels as if the only thing that will give me energy to function is eating sugar and I have to do that or sleep, RIGHT NOW. My moods are totally erratic too - not like mood swings, but I can suddenly feel overwhelmed and burst into tears over totally random and irrational things - and it's not part of longer term mental health issues, it feels different.

I've been depressed and had panic attacks before when I was quite young, I'm now very good at monitoring my mental health and I see a counsellor - I know I'm not depressed. My main course of stress is not knowing what's wrong with me! It's ok now because I'm unemployed so I *Can* rest, but I need to get a job and I'm not sure I'm well enough to keep one! The problem is it's so sporadic - sometimes I have to rest for ten minutes on a twenty minute walk, but then I can also force myself to keep going on say a night out, virtually on will power alone.

I keep thinking it could be CFS, but then surely I would have more pain, be more consistently tired, and I wouldn't be able to force myself to keep going the way I do?

I've been to the dr but blood tests for diabetes, aneamia,liver, kidney and thyroid problems all came back negative. She thinks I am depressed; I know I'm not. I'm scared I won't be able to work, I just want to feel normal or for someone to tell me what's wrong with me. What do you guys think?

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