Living with ME/CFS is… Not realising you have the flu.

Dog [photo: dife88]

Since I have ME/CFS, I haven't had flu! No. Again: since I have ME/CFS, I don't notice when I have flu. Because to me the symptoms of the flu are so much like the symptoms of ME/CFS that I can't tell them apart. That is why it often takes a week before I realise I am not having a bad week, but I have flu.

In ME/CFS, it is normal for good and bad periods to alternate. Those fluctuations are part of it, and all people with ME/CFS recognise this. I also have worse periods from time to time. Then I have more pain, more gut rumbling and more exhaustion than usual.

If I am still feeling lethargic after a week, then I either have flu or a relapse. Which of the two it is, is a matter of exclusion. Is it the time of year when flu is rampant? Have I been in contact with people who have flu? In that case it is probably the flu.

Or have I done too much physically in the past period? Have I been mentally straining myself for too long? Or am I emotionally overcharged? Then a relapse is more likely and I have to take it easy for a few weeks, so that I can refuel.

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