Education

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Self knowledge is the bond which holds recovery from chronic conditions on track. Whether you are monitoring your symptoms, being given advice from your doctor or scanning the internet, an ongoing knowledge base will guide you to the best path for your recovery.

You may be fortunate early in your recovery to find a holistic practitioner, doctor or friend who knows the complications associated with ME/CFS. However, you may not be so lucky and find the answers to your questions are either unanswered or worse are answered to late. When the damage is done it becomes more difficult to restore your health.

Harm reduction education is paramount in the early stages of ME/CFS. If you push too hard regarding over activity and ME/CFS you may soon find you have gone from a mild presentation to a moderate presentation. Combine this with a poor diet, increased unmanaged stress levels and unawareness of immune dysfunction, a mild/moderate presentation of ME/CFS may become severe.

The above progression is not always the case some unfortunate individuals develop severe ME/CFS immediately after illness or physiological stress without the chance to apply any remedies or harm reduction techniques. Remember there is no sense of blame when dealing with chronic illness just many steep learning curves.  

A good place to start your education is with your national ME/CFS Charities. Because the illness has been given little in the way of research funds and a biological marker has been overlooked. The ME/CFS Charities are well aware of what works well and what has proven to be a red herring. Charities are also involved in current ME/CFS research so any paradigm shifts will be represented within the charities literature and advice.

This does not mean that you should not use discretion when looking over presented information. Always relate what you are reading with your own experiences, what works for some does not always work for others.

The internet is a great tool to use when educating yourself with regard to your health. Try looking for some personal recovery stories. Blogs, which stand out are those individuals who have travelled a similar path to you and have found a recovery method which suited their recovery.

If we consider a personal blog the chances are there is no reason why someone would falsify the truth. This equates to a more factual account of what works for ME/CFS and what does not. Many of the claims made online are marketing tools used to pull you in for the next big thing. Use caution but don’t be put off trying new methods, which make sense to you.

One of the main considerations when educating yourself about your own health is keeping a balanced view. Look at both sides of any argument. Always relate what is written or spoken to your own experience and get to “Know Thy Self”.

Monitor any change in your condition and relate this to your support network. You do not have to do this on your own, if you don’t have a good support network around you presently then use the social media available today. Trust in the accounts of those who have or are going through the same experience as you.