I’ve mentioned that I have CFS many times on here. Following the gym session of which you can read in my last post, I feel like crap physically. Specifically, last night and previous night VERY poor sleep quality and duration, plus bad headaches and sore throat/glands, which are my usual physical manifestations
Time and again I get this pacing thing wrong. Then I feel guilty and so it goes on. I’m confuddled about this bloody illness at the moment (‘confuddled’ isn’t a word – it’s a Blusilkism, I think). Recently, more controversy over the symptomatic management – Professor Trudie Chalder of King’s College London has done a study showing the positive results of CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. That’s not particularly surprising – the way we think affects our mood and behaviour and this applies to how we perceive physical symptoms as much as mental ones.
What’s more frustrating is the to’ing and fro’ing between other elements, especially GET (Graded Exercise Therapy) and Pacing.
Pacing is the more recent of the two approaches and in a nutshell involves keeping your energy levels under control by only doing a level of activity that you can keep up whether you’re on a ‘good day’ or a ‘bad day’.
I don’t know as much about GET but I think it’s more radical than pacing (I can’t think of the word – I don’t mean radical – but I decided to leave it as is to illustrate one of the symptoms of CFS, which is word-finding/brain fog). GET pushes more; you increase your exercise levels incrementally and I think, but I’m not sure, that you do this despite any increase in symptoms you may feel. So it’s sort of pushing the barriers.
For ages GET was fashionable and then it wasn’t, as some patients reported worsening of their illness. Then pacing arrived, a middle ground. Now, recently it’s changed again and we’re told there’s benefit from pushing the physical/mental limits.
Sorry this post has been a bit vague and short on the source links for the research – I’m too tired right now to sort all that out, but it’s very confusing for people who want to improve more than anything and are given mixed messages.