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Tips for surviving post-viral fatigue

(7 Posts)
Oddsocks2 Mon 15-Jun-15 20:29:51

I have just been diagnosed with post-viral fatigue. I've been feeling exhausted for 3 months now, since I had scarlet fever. It affects my legs the most so I've had trouble with stairs etc & I can't drive. I have had to stop working (am a freelancer so could, in theory, pick up again on recovery). I have 3 ds, aged 7, 5 & 2.
It's frustrating because on bad days I can't do things like lift my toddler into his cot. I can't take the boys to the park like I used to.
I'm lucky because I have a v supportive dh & a cleaner, which takes the pressure off. But I was thinking today, this doesn't look like it's going away in the near future & how can I make the best of my life? I want to help myself & am not sure where to start.
Is there anyone out there who's got some helpful survival tips, big or small?

Snugglepiggy Mon 15-Jun-15 21:11:24

Poor you.I had this seventeen years ago when my 3 DCs were small after a mystery virus that targeted my joints.I was so wiped out and had aching joints for months ,and remember feeling desperate and that I would never get better.But I did.But if I recall it was about 9 months before I felt back to normal.
After my initial frustration and trying to rush recovery I just had to go with it.I had a nap every afternoon,took any offer of help from friends to have the girls so I could rest.Tried to build in small treats each day to keep my spirits up.A soak in the bath with a lovely scented candle.A massage when I could afford.A trip to the cinema with DH for a bit if escapism.And I consulted a homeopath.Although now I think acupuncture would be my chosen therapy to boost the immune system.Plus I took a good quality Echianacea supplement.Once the worst of the exhaustion wore off and I was driving I found going for a gentle swim very restorative.So much so that a year later I joined an adult improvers class and mastered front crawl and was powering up and down the pool,which considering a year previously I could barely walk upstairs felt amazing.
I hope you soon feel some improvement.Now whenever I get a bug /cold / flu whatever I take great care to slow right down and give myself chance to rest and recover.I never want to experience that kind of post viral fatigue again.

Oddsocks2 Mon 15-Jun-15 21:45:08

That is encouraging that you recovered. I'm having to do the midday lie-down to get through the day too. And sometimes a pre dinner time lie-down too! Small treats are a good idea. My downfall is reaching for the chocolate treats & im trying to avoid weight gain, but finding a different sort of treat could be helpful. I'd like to say more but am now too tired! That's the problem! Thanks for your reply.

Love51 Mon 15-Jun-15 21:51:54

I had this as a teenager. Just rest when you can, anyone who offers to help, give them a job. The more you rest the quicker you recover (i think, it was 20 yrs ago). Do you have a garden you can sit in while the kids play? Good luck!

SargeantAngua Mon 15-Jun-15 22:46:02

Be really really really careful to not overdo things. Listen to your body, pace yourself and take rests during the day. I have ME, it started with a virus. I slowly recovered from what was initially post viral fatigue, went back to work too soon, pushed myself too hard and completely crashed about 5 months after getting the initial virus. That was 2 years ago. I've never got back to being as well as I was before I pushed myself too hard and I bitterly regret it.

It's my understanding that the first 6 months are critical to recovery. The people who push themselves too hard in those first 6 months (like I did, like many do when they don't realise what's going on) are the ones who stay ill.

Split your day up so you do a bit then rest a bit. Learn your 'I've done too much' warnings and listen to them. Don't stop everything completely, but just be careful and listen to your body. Invest the time now and hopefully you'll manage to recover. The basics of a good night's sleep, eating regularly, low GI foods, help. A doctor suggested one of those multivitamin recovery tonic things to me (metatone?) - didn't do any good for me but perhaps worth a try.

Hope some of that might help.

Good luck flowers

Oddsocks2 Tue 16-Jun-15 13:25:59

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I am so sorry to hear your story, SargaentAngua flowers. I hope that this isn't the end of hope for any sort of improvement for you. I have tried to rest, but, even without attempting to return to work, I've had a couple of set-backs when I've got a little over enthusiastic about what I could do. I'm taking your warnings very seriously, frustrating as it is to put everything on hold.
I'm considering some sort of therapy, as you suggested, Snugglepiggy (love the name btw). I used to see a chiropractor but for some reason I've been feeling a bit funny about someone touching me. This is not normal for me - maybe a hangover from the scarlet fever. I might just have to bite the bullet.

CFSKate Tue 16-Jun-15 22:02:05

Rest before you get tired.

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