The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

Hi! This is Angie. I want to share something with you. When I was 22 years old, I began having chronic joint pain. I was healthy, as far as I knew. I was at an appropriate weight, exercised regularly, and worked out at the gym. I even worked with a trainer and lifted weights. I loved to dance and hike.

Over the next five years, as symptoms increased in number and intensity, I sought medical intervention. The typical tests were conducted and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus were ruled out. There were no definitive answers. 

Finally, I was given the diagnosis of, what is now called, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Meanwhile, the severe joint pain and unrelenting fatigue had me confined to my bed or a warm bath for days on end. Debilitating brain fog forced me to withdraw from University. 

I battled with these symptoms for another five years. During that time, things slowly improved. I returned to University and work. By the time I reached my 35th birthday, I was officially in remission. I lost weight, resumed hiking, and took up kayking and mountain biking.

While I’ve been through lots of ups and downs healthwise, the ME/CFS has, for the most part, remained dormant. I had a few flare-ups over the years, but they were always mild and short-lived.

Here I find myself two decades later with the hormone fluctuations that are typical for a female in her early 50s. While I do not feel that I’m having a recurrence of ME/CFS, the drop in estrogen has brought about the all too familiar brain fog, fatigue, and joint pain. 

Dealing with these symptoms over the past month has had me thinking about supportive strategies I’ve learned over the years to improve quality of life for people with chronic pain. 

I’ll be sharing these strategies in my “Comfort Zone” posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google My Business pages. The material provided through these posts is intended to be used as general information based on my own personal experiences. This in no way should replace the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Always consult your medical provider for individual care.