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Chronic Fatigue Message Board

Chronic Fatigue Board Index

So a little back story: My girlfriend (of nearly a year), has been experiencing serious symptoms of CFS for many years. They seem to have started after she suffered a serious case of mono. Over the past year of being together there have been lots of stressful life changes that may have intensified the symptoms and caused flare ups more frequently. Her symptoms include: extreme fatigue that seems to worsen when she is more stressed and after cardio exercise or long days of work, trouble staying asleep when she does finally get to sleep, the amount of sleep doesn't affect her level of fatigue and she is still exhausted even after sleeping in or taking naps, joint and muscle pain predominately in the lower back, some vision problems, headaches, nausea and stomach issues during times of stress and extreme fatigue, mood swings, irritability, trouble focusing when fatigued, sensitive stomach, low grade fever, depression, anxiety, cold/hot flashes...

From what I have read these seem to line up perfectly with her symptoms. She has been to multiple doctors since high school about the individual symptoms but non have suggested CFS, and she wasn't aware of the syndrome until recently. Only now she isn't able to afford to go to multiple doctors and chase down a diagnosis. So basically we are at a point where this seems to be definitely what she has and we now need to figure out a way to cope with it.

It has also affected our relationship substantially. Because of her irritability and mood swings and depression we have had some pretty serious arguments and rough patches in our relationship. I know part of it was that I didn't fully understand what she was experiencing until recently, or just how seriously it can cause these symptoms. So now that I am aware, I am trying my best to compensate for things in the relationship, so that she feels taken care of and not responsible for everything. This has helped some, but the irritability and constant fights over seemingly insignificant things can be really exhausting for both of us. I now know that it is, in large part, due to CFS.

So where to go from here? How do I help her? What can I do to be supportive? What should I do to keep our relationship healthy while coping with this? Are there any treatments that people have tried which have been successful, even moderately so? I would love to hear from other people who have the perspective of being a partner to someone who has CFS and how you have coped yourself and adjusted to it. Thanks!

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