2009-10-19

An old problem

I ran across this article a couple of days ago. The very short summary is that there is new but as of yet unconfirmed evidence that a certain virus causes what has come to be known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

This topic is of particular interest to me because I had it, and I can't say that it ever really went away.

In August of 2001 I was sick with a fever over a weekend immediately following a hard training session, and my post-sickness fatigue didn't go away for a few years. No amount of sleep, change in diet, rest, doctors' visits, or research could provide a cure for my tiredness. One thing I did know was that the antibodies related to the Epstein-Barr virus showed the pattern particular to people who were recovering from mononucleosis. Other than that, I knew nothing.

But, in May 2005 I found myself suddenly feeling better, and since then I've lived in a delicate balance between near-normalcy and recurrence of symptoms if I overstress myself by running too much, not sleeping enough, or doing other generally unhealthy things.

Of course I resent my condition for basically ruining the second half of my college running career, but dealing with it has also changed my perspective, in some cases for the better. I can name a few things that I would never have done had I not been prevented from running, and had I not been extremely tired for months on end. It wasn't all bad, but I still would rather be without it. That's why it's exciting for me to hear about possible progress in the research, and the founding of an institute for related research.

Go science.

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