Martin: My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Story

It all started in autumn 2013. Suddenly there was this feeling as if I had the flu. At first, I was sure that I had caught something. After a while, however, I realized that I did not get a cold or cough - just a strong and debilitating feeling of the flu.

Time passed, the feeling didn't. I successfully graduated from law school and started working.  Every day was an immense challenge: I felt very ill and therefore had trouble concentrating.

 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

"I was hospitalized multiple times. They found nothing"

In August 2017 I flew to Croatia with a friend. On the day of the return flight, at the airport, I collapsed.

I was getting worse and worse. I was hospitalized multiple times. They found nothing. Gradually, I noticed that after any exertion, my condition worsened for days.

I had to quit my job because I couldn't keep up. Social contacts became exhausting;

After every meeting with friends, I would spend days in bed relaxing. I spent Christmas 2017 entirely in bed.

Fatigue Syndrome

"I had to isolate myself completely to avoid deterioration"

It was then until February 2018 that I couldn't do more than lie in bed. From there it went steeply downhill. I was now aware: I suffer from myalgic encephalitis (ME / CFS).

Soon I could no longer bear any sensory stimuli. No lights, no sounds, no visits, no touches.

I had to isolate myself completely to avoid deterioration. Every movement in bed had to be well thought out: one turn too fast and everything got worse.

What does everything mean? A whole bunch of symptoms:

  • Extreme weakness
  • Flu-like feeling
  • Tinnitus
  • Headache
  • Muscle twitching

Chronic Fatigue

"Still, I'm not giving up"

It went downhill until March 2019. I was no longer able to take in enough fluids and food. Since then I have been artificially fed, and for a while I also needed oxygen.

That has not changed to this day. I can't sit or get out of bed. Every effort leads to hellish agony.  There is no cure or therapy for ME / CFS. It is a state of relentless cruelty that turns every day into a struggle for survival.

Still, I'm not giving up.

I'll keep fighting.

For my fiancee, family, friends, and my own soul.