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Last change: September 1, 1996.

Personal Account

Especially the onset of my disease is very good characterised by I'm Going Slightly Mad (midifile) (Queen).

February 1994 my colleagues noticed a sudden and sustained change of mood. They described it as a kind of holiday feeling. They liked it, I liked it, and after all I like to see life as one big holiday.

From then on I had problems getting up and organising myself. I didn't see much harm in it and explained it away with a combination of tropical change of seasons and being somehow bored with my work. The latter wasn't really that good an explanation, being at work I liked it too much to go home again. I also had slightly swollen lymph's which I attributed to a stuffy ear.

Onset

April 1994 I went to the Netherlands to visit my parents and my friends. I planned to stay two months but have never left my parents house since. And I still have to see my friends.

Finally, end of august a doctor told me I had mono. She recommended plenty of rest. I collapsed completely. For more than a half year I slept about 15 hours a day and didn't leave my bed most of the remaining hours. I just couldn't stand up. When up, I hardly could read, write, talk or think. People and even the thought of people became a horror. Many of the basic cognitive functions seemed to have gone. But strangely, I felt very comfortable though. The brainfog simply prevented me from worrying or being sad about my situation.

One of the consequences of getting sick without knowing this, is that you feel as if you go slightly mad. After the collapse the madness disappeared. It was replaced with a severe identity crisis.

I can think of several reasons for this identity crisis. First, you start questioning your past. You can't remember exactly where you started getting ill. And you doubt your mental abilities. Clearly, you made a big mistake by not adding two and two together. Your faith in how you understand the world goes. Nothing seems to be sure anymore. And don't forget that changed emotional make-up. I had become a different person. Second, you lose the future. Normally you tend to identify with your abilities, the things you like to do, your interests, passions, dislikes, etc. They were all gone.

Good new, bad news

Update October 1995

It's October 1995 now. My condition has much improved. The new shock is that I'm not able to do something like a little biking. Even a relaxed easy ride around the block has me exhausted for a something between an hour to a few days. A few days! But I can (slowly) read and write again and I'm up the whole afternoon.

Update February 1996 - August 1996

Someone wrote me that I hadn't updated this page for nearly a year. Several visitors have expressed their unbelief with my ability to distribute a softwareprogram like my HTML-editor Anansi. So what's up?

My condition has slightly improved. This means I take it for granted that I can sit up straight for the whole afternoon. I can concentrate on reading and writing for longer periods, say an average of 3 hours a day. I still can't exercise and I need up to a week to recuperate from doing some shopping. I still can't stand company very well, it exhausts just me as much as shopping. And especially when you already at a very slow pace, you don't want to loose a week everytime someone stops by.

The good news bad news cartoon was donated by RandyZ.

Harry Bosma is looking forward to comments or suggestions at hbosma@xs4all.nl. He does not give dream interpretations.

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