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Jan 272015
 

 

When I was very ill and sleeping for 22 hours a day, there was absolutely no way in the world that I could have even lifted a book, let alone read one. Even when my health improved, I would manage about 3 minutes of reading with a book propped up in front me before giving in and just lying in bed exhausted (I’d been reading the same line for the last 2 minutes of those 3 anyway!) I am an unashamed bookworm and always have been from an early age, so not being able to read was absolutely heartbreaking for me. I’m pretty sure that if you’d put a toddler’s bath-time book in front of me, I would’ve struggled to get through it all.

books

Image taken from here

So, when I was recovering and getting to the stage where I wanted to read more, I jumped on board and went for it. The vast majority of all the resources I looked at came from the internet. The internet is pretty flippin’ amazing- let’s be honest (you wouldn’t be reading this now for a start if it weren’t!) It’s easy, it’s fast and you can usually get exactly what you’re looking for with a quick Google and a crossing of fingers.

I had to get to the bottom of this CFS thing- there had to be something out there, someone who had all the answers or the one quick trick that worked for them. I searched and searched and searched…and became more upset, confused and fearful than ever before. The constant tales of hopelessness and articles about what doctors may or may not to be close to uncovering was just too much for me while I was recovering. When I was feeling hopeless, all of these articles reflected back to me exactly what I was thinking, which was that I was never in a million years going to get out of this thing. If leading scientists and researchers didn’t get it, then what hope did I have?…cue feeling lost, listless and incredibly anxious. So, I decided I had to stop reading CFS medical articles and focus on more uplifting things instead, things that gave me hope and told me that there was a way out.

reading

Image taken from here

How CFS Medical Articles Can Help You

As you know, I’m not here to bash the medical profession and tell you how terrible they are- we are incredibly lucky to have a healthcare system at all, one which is hygienic, forward-moving and proactive. They’ve helped myself and my family a lot during the years and I’m incredibly grateful to them.

Looking at Medical Articles might help you to:

  • know that this illness is a big mystery to everyone, so you’re not alone
  • know that scientists and doctors are looking into the causes and treatment of the illness (Woohoo! Light at the end of the tunnel!)
  • connect with others who are looking for the same answers as you
  • get specific advice on any medications you’re taking
  • understand what the medications you are prescribed do, why they’ve been prescribed and the effects they might have on your body

So, all in all, not bad, ey?! These articles are especially useful for side-effects and might draw your attention to symptoms you’re experiencing that you can go back to you doctor with next time. These articles broaden your horizons and make you see things in a different way.

How Medical Articles Might Hinder You

If you’re finding that you’re feeling down and deflated after reading medical journals and articles, here are a few things to consider.

Stopping looking at medical-based things (even for a short time) might help you to:

  • be ok with not understanding or getting your head around 27- syllable latin words that only a few people comprehend(!)
  • understand the illness for yourself and what is means to you, instead of someone else’s interpretation of it
  • get out of your head and stop thinking about how rubbish things are for a little bit
  • give yourself a much-needed break
  • focus on the positive and not the negative
  • give yourself permission and time to focus on fun things in life instead of constantly drawing yourself back to you illness (yes, you are allowed to do that- grab that box-set!)
  • stay away from the feeling of hopelessness some of these articles can bring, so you can use your energy to focus on recovery rather than negativity

Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing CFS/Fibromyalgia websites out there who are doing amazing work and I’m grateful to them for raising awareness and campaigning for more funding and research into the illness- it’s exactly what we need at a time when the needs of M.E/CFS and Fibromyalgia patients are often over-looked. But if you’ve been feeling negative and hopeless after reading this article, take a break from them for a while (this goes for my website too by the way- if it’s making you feel uncomfortable, log off for a while!)

Choose what you read carefully, as thoughts and words can quickly become feelings, and the less we step on the emotional roller-coaster sometimes, the better!

Over to you my lovelies- do you read medical websites? Which ones help you the most? Have you been temped to have a break from them?

Love and learning,

Katie     xxx

 

  2 Responses to “Why I Had to Stop Reading CFS Medical Articles”

  1. I don’t tend to read medical articles. They mostly go over my head and I don’t really feel they contribute to my life. That said, I have write quite a few ME/CFS/fibro books which range from more medical focus through to more practical living tips. It’s hard, because I know that there’s information and advice in there that can help me, but I also have to sift through more depressing stuff about how I’m unlikely to get better, etc etc. Online I’m part of quite a few ME/CFS/chronic health communities (facebook, tumblr, etc) and sometimes I have to take a break from them as it all gets a bit depressing and bleak. I try to be a supportive member of these communities, but also know I need to keep them at arms length for my own sanity and recovery. Your site was the first in a long trail of starting to thing maybe I can recover from this and maybe surrounding myself with positivity and inspiration will help. I can’t say my ME/CFS is any better yet, but my mental health has certainly improved drastically and I’ve got a lot more ‘cope’ for my ME/CFS :)

  2. I had to stop reading those articles, too. I even had to unsubscribe to some of the support-type groups that I was a part of online because they were a source of sadness and anxiety for me. In the beginning, medical articles and the internet in general were what helped me to understand more about my body and what could possibly be going on. After awhile though, I just felt weighed down by the uncertainty of it all and depressed because of all of the hopeless people out there who had been struggling with my symptoms for years and years with no change. I naturally shifted towards more positive people and things. I read about all things healthy living whether it had to do with chronic illness or not. Also, seeking out those who healed themselves, whether it was finding an underlying cause of their illness or a miraculous recovery, filled me with hope that I, too, could overcome my health challenges.

    It’s been 3 years and I’m still recovering, but I’ve made so much progress. I think that limiting my exposure to all the downer stuff really helped put me in the mindset needed to overcome a lot of my physical problems. This article definitely hit home. Thanks!