Post Viral Fatigue/Debility

I'm having a real stuggle at the moment and would love to hear any encouraging stories of people who have 'come out the other side' of post-viral fatigue.

As soon as I feel I have some energy, I try and do a tiny bit of exercise, only to be left completely and utterly drained. It IS getting better (after about 3 or 4 months) but would love to hear any success stories....



  • Boing!

    No success story for you Het but hope it comes right for you soon babe :o)
  • Thanks Jobes...

  • Hetfinch...I suffered badly early in 2003 and ended up starting but not finishing at London...gutted.

    Anyway, for a few months I felt crap and was advised only to exercise gently but "not too tiredness"...I then had acupuncture and a homeoptahic consultation (potions in water for weeks!) and remedial massage. So, no control as to what worked the best but my money would be on the acupuncture.

    I would say though that I'm still not 100% and can't do the training I used to but it's bearable (well sort of). Some days I wonder if it's all in my head and I'm just not as fit, or older, or have lost the mental toughness I used to have...but then I change my mind and think I'm still not over it. My physio reckons these virus things never actually fully clear up but lie dormant and can still affect you years down the line, especially when tired or run down.

    SO, that's not hugely encouraging is it?! But, I ran a marathon in October and will run London in April plus maybe a trail ultra in the summer...just slower than I used to and with longer recovery after.

    Hope this helps? Amanda
  • Thanks Amanda, that does help! A lot.

    At the worst of my illness, I couldn't even walk, let alone run, so I am thankful that I can at least run for a mile or so now.

    If you're marathoning and even considering an ulta, you have given me hope.

    It's interesting what you say about acupuncture and homeopathy. Even my doctor, who admits to being stumped as to recovery patterns of viral illness like this, suggested they could help.

    Will have to look into it.

    Thank you!
  • Email me if you need any information about the remedies I tried...

    Good will improve.
  • I went through 2 years of hell with some kind of post viral condition. Prior to the illness I was an overweight couch potato. I lost the weight due to the illness, but as I started to get better I started to put the weight back on. I started exercising gently to combat this (didn't want to be fat again) with a few miles on a bike. Started running a month later.

    Two and a half years later I am doing 60-70miles/week and have recently finished 7th out of 2000+ in a half marathon in 1:14

    Stick with it.
  • Brian - that's great news. I can live with the poor running performance if I believe there will be an end to it...12 months in and I'm sure it is improving, just sometimes hard to feel positive about things.

    I think this summer I might try some tris - no PB's or previous history to compare to and get depressed about.

    Thanks, Amanda
  • I caught glandular fever in my first term at Uni - god only knows how I struggled through the rest of that year - I remember going home at Xmas and being slumped in front of the fire, unable to ask someone to help me move because I was overheating, as I was too tired to talk.

    It's easy to say just try and accept that you need more sleep and recovery from things than other people do... as you're bound to get angry and depressed at times because it's all so frustrating.

    But despite it seeming a painfully slow process you'll eventually notice that you can do more... people who don't see you so often will see the difference more than youself, as you're the one who'll be there stuggling through it everyday.

    I spent alot of time planning all the things I'd do when I'd finally have the energy. I didn't want to get complacent when I got better... though as a result I probably take on far too much these days!

    So, it'll take time, but I'm sure that finally there will be a PB for you at the end of the tunnel!

  • Brian and Treefrog, thank you too.

    I am improving, slowly, but as you say, it is very gradual (and very frustrating).

    Treefrog - your post brought back lots of not particularly pleasant memories of being so completely exhausted, I couldn't think, let alone have the energy to form words.

    I thought there must be some encouraging stories - thank you!

  • Hetfinch, sorry to bring bad nasty memories like that, though I hope they've only helped make you see how well you're doing. Even if you feel that you've got a long way to go, it sounds like you've improved lots already.

    One day you'll turn around and realise that you made it to the end of a week and feel fine!... I really hope that comes soon for you.
  • Yes, it was a positive thing to remember, Treefrog!

    I actually managed to get out for a run last night that felt good. I walked when I needed to, but it felt that some strength was building up in my legs.

    Promptly fell asleep when I got in, but it was worth it :o)
  • Hi, I was rushed into hospital in November 1993, diagnosed as having post viral fatigue syndrome in April 1004. Qualified for a disabled badge/ higher rate of disabiliity allowence for three years after that.

    Started getting fit by floating 4 lengths of the local pool (anymore and it killed me) with the odd kick. Also did a gym routine without any weights (so just moving arms as though there were weights ) or the absolute lowest)

    In 1998 - went to do a full time degree + part time work. Mainly swam and did the gym. Did the flora light challenge as a joke on the basis I could walk it if nec - ran 1 mile, walked 1 and then ran the other. Got into running that way.

    Trained for FLM in 2002 - had to give up as came down with hacking cough after a bad cold - but got to half marathon stage.(made a choice that masters was more important as well as part time job than running)

    Now, injured foot means can't run (waiting to go to uk and get decent trainers) but have full time job, go to the gym most days (I live in Botswana so too hot to train outside)

    Therapy - cognitive behavioural/ diet - very horrible and restrictive/ supplements esp fish oils/ learning to balance energy - very difficult. The idea is you push slightly on bad days and ease up on good days - think I only really got the hang of it in the fourth/fifth year.

    It does get better - my attitude was that I was going to be better in 3 months - long enough away but also short enough. It lasted for 5 years in total - but no-one who knows me now believes that I was ill so..

    Email me if you want more details of what I did
    (and I forgot the cold showers - just two/three mins of freezing cold to increase circulation)
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