Tuesday, 28 January 2020



As this is my first blog of 2020 I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and for one of better health. 

Sadly I've been in a relapse since christmas day. It's the worst for a long time and is probably because of a number of reasons. So I've been reviewing and trying to learn from my recent relapse. I hope the following guidelines not only help me but you as well. 

What is a relapse? 

Very often people with M.E. say and feel that they have gone into a 'relapse'. 
The terms 'flare up' or 'crash' are also used 
Some say that a flare up is a worsening of symptoms for a few days; a crash by some is considered a temporary shift of baseline activity which could last from days to weeks; a relapse seems to be more severe and seems to be when things have shifted so much that one is unsure of ever improving again or not and there's a completely new baseline going back to where one was in the past. This relapse may last for years.  

So what causes relapses in M.E.? 

Some relapse triggers are 
  • overactivity 'living outside the energy envelope', sometimes as a consequence of a life event
  • poor sleep which can intensify symptoms
  • a secondary illness or infection 
  • stress of some kind such as emotionally charged events, financial problems, family conflict or a disability review
  • do not ascribe all new symptoms to a relapse and seek a medical opinion if possible as you may have developed another treatable condition 
  • more than one trigger could result in a severe relapse
How to manage a relapse 
  • take extra and prolonged rest and listen to your body 
  • go to bed, lie down, draw the curtains and maybe practice some deep breathing
  • postpone, delegate or eliminate tasks 
  • ask for extra help and support in order to remove all stresses (physical, mental, emotional, intellectual)
  • let go of unnecessary and unimportant things 
  • talk to someone who may be helpful and supportive 
  • make sure as far as possible that you are prepared for any relapse e.g. have a large supply of food and medication 
  • arrange your bedroom so that you have all that you need close at hand 
How can we recover from a relapse? 

  • be patient and do not resume a normal activity level before your body is ready as this could lead to another relapse
  • return gradually to your normal level of activity 
  • do not despair as by surviving a relapse you will learn about self-management and how to avoid a future relapse
How to limit or avoid relapses
  • identify relapse triggers 
  • pace yourself
  • schedule rests on a regular basis 
  • keep a health log
  • accept your limits and lower your expectations
  • learn to listen to your body
  • be assertive and put yourself and your needs first
  • time alone can reduce stress and recharge your batteries
  • find some activity that you can enjoy 
I don't have all the answers and sometimes a relapse can happen suddenly and without warning, as was the case for me this time. 

I am slowly recovering and improving my baseline of activity but have pushed myself to write this blog as I want to help and warn others. 

This photo is a before and after my relapse. I'm sure you can see the difference. 


I’m in a relapse
I feel like I’m dying
I’m confined to my bed
and I can’t stop crying
I’m in a relapse
it’s all so frightening
all my energy gone
and hard to keep breathing
I’m in a relapse
my head is just splitting
it makes me feel so sick
each time I try moving 
I’m in a relapse
all symptoms worsening
somehow I must survive
despite how I’m feeling
I’m in a relapse
it’s a dreadful feeling
there’s nothing I can do
but to keep on resting 

Well that's more than enough for now! I need to go and lie down. 

À bientôt

from the French Femme


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