Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Chronic Fatigue and God’s Mercy

Preaching at Joint UBF Service 11:24:13Since 1998 I have struggled with a chronic illness that carries various labels and a wide variety of explanations. The American name is Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS).

Here is a medically acceptable description of this illness:

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and by other names, is a complex and debilitating chronic illness that affects the brain and multiple body systems. 

CFS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina) and problems with concentration and short-term memory. It is also accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as pain in the joints and muscles, un-refreshing sleep, tender lymph nodes, sore throat and headache. A distinctive characteristic of the illness is post-exertional malaise, a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion occurring within 12-48 hours of the exertion and requiring an extended recovery period. 

When I first received a proper diagnosis of this illness I was devastated. It sounded final and left me with little or

By |December 23rd, 2013|Categories: ACT 3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Love, Personal|

Chronic Fatigue and the Challenge to Education

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal underscored the problems schools and parents face whose children suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Amy Marcus tells the sad story of increased conflicts between parents and school districts as they seek to educate children with CFS who cannot cope with the daily routines of class and study.

By federal law public schools are required to provide a “free appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment” to children with special needs. But is CFS a “special need?” Most agree that it is. But it was not always this way. Until the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDPC) took CFS seriously this was not the case, perhaps for several decades at least. The CDCP estimates that one million Americans have CFS. As many of you know I am one of those Americans.

chronic-fatigue-syndrome-s4-four-defining-cfs-symptoms Amy Marcus correctly says CFS is a condition characterized by debilitating pain and severe fatigue, among a cluster of other related symptoms. These related symptoms include many

By |September 27th, 2011|Categories: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Personal|

New Hope for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

I’ve shared before that I have had a 13-year struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This is an illness that has no known cure and creates a pattern of physical breakdown that borders on complete exhaustion through the inflammation of the central nervous system. Personally, I can function at reduced capacity and must take breaks and rest at various times of the day. Some days are so-so and others are terrible. By God’s grace I have learned to deal with this illness (weakness) by developing an increasingly contemplative practice of Christian faith. Some of this appears in occasional blogs and some of it is too personal to share at this point.

A few months ago scientists discovered proteins in spinal fluid that can distinguish people with two different, but similar, mysterious illnesses that mimic one another – Lyme disease and CFS. The study earlier this year is small and needs further verification. But some see it as a promising start. The bottom line, however, is that there is still no good means of consistent diagnosis or treatment. Dr. Suzanne Vernon of the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction

Coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a Daily Reality Check

CFS Some have encouraged me to not talk openly about my struggle with CFS. Their intentions are right. They suggest that many people will not understand and that some might even conclude that my ministry is finished because of this illness. This will not inspire donors to support a work led by a sick person. These are all reasonable points. But I have chosen to err on the side of candor, hoping to serve some who struggle with chronic illness and to invite prayer and support while I press on in this wonderful work of “equipping leaders for unity in Christ’s mission” (The purpose statement of ACT 3.)

The truth is that I am still more active than a lot of people my age. But I do struggle every single day to remain as active and healthy as possible. The most important part of my health regimen is to take breaks, find ways to refresh my body, mind and soul, and to engage in activities that build me up.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An Illness Gone Political

CFSimageandmsg Some of you, especially close friends, know that I’ve struggled with a strange illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) since 1997-98. When I was initially diagnosed the illness was just beginning to get notice in the wider press. Now articles appear in the mainstream press routinely.

The very conservative Mayo Clinic, which for many years did not recognize the disease, says:

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest. Although there are many theories about what causes this condition — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress — in most cases the cause is still unknown.

Because its symptoms are difficult to measure, CFS wasn't widely accepted as a real medical condition for until about a decade ago. Today, however, doctors and researchers almost totally agree that this chronic condition should be taken very seriously.

The disease has also been referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a term used in the United Kingdom, or

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