I’ve been sick since Friday and I’m assuming it’s the flu bug that has been going around. I’ve been feeling semi-sick on my stomach and I have a cold and sinus headache and now it’s settled in my chest, so I’m coughing with it. When you add this on top of all of the stress from the holidays and trying to recover from the exhaustion of that, I haven’t been doing very well.
One thing I have discovered is that chronically ill patients like those of us with CFS & Fibromyalgia tend to remain sicker longer than a normal person does with the flu. I even had the flu shot and I still got sick. I am not having the severity of the acute symptoms that I’m hearing a lot of people at work say they have been having, but after a couple of days, most of them have been feeling better. Here it is five days later and I’m still sick.
I am extremely funny about germs and this is why. I try not to be around sick people but when you work with the public, you can’t avoid it. I am always using hand sanitizers and washing my hands at work, but there are too many people and too many germs – there’s no way to avoid them.
Getting something as simple as the flu can be really detrimental to someone with CFS or Fibromyalgia because it causes all of our other symptoms to flare. It makes the exhaustion of the CFS worse; it makes the pain of the Fibromyalgia worse; it makes the sleeping issues seen in both disorders worse; and it is overall just harder for our bodies to come back afterward. Our immune systems are already compromised so something as mild as a cold or a flu can wreak havoc on our entire system.
Have you been sick this winter with the cold or flu? How long has it taken you to recover?
Mrs C says
Wow, I have Fibro and the Flu too, I have the same problems as you describe in your post. This is my third week off sick, and I am frustrated by my symptoms and the feeling of being housebound. The pain and fatigue are so disabling! All I can say is stay warm and rest. Hope you feel better soon x
Mrs D says
I’m a Fibro sufferer also M.E. & Underactive Thyroide, I’ve been suffering with flu for 3 weeks now & can’t seem to get better!. This bout of flu as been the worse case for me to recover from. I have some idea how you are feeling. Wishing you well soon x
Greg S says
I guess I’m joining the flu “me too” movement with you. I got a simple stomach flu bug 3 weeks ago, and the stomach’s better but my CFS has really gotten on top of me, I’m trying to rest when I can, and drink more celery juice, maybe that will help.
I had the same experience this summer: had a flu shot in the fall, but I and hubby both got sick with the flu while travelling. He was sicker than I was: he vomited for the first time in the 28 years I’ve known him. But, he got better faster. Within a week, he was fine, while I was still struggling with nausea, cramps, aches, and such.
I had a flu shot again this year (as did hubby this time). We both got a stomach bug (not the flu) and again, he got better faster than I did. I think that fibro and chronic pain make our systems more vulnerable, and slower to “heal.”
Hope you and Mrs. C. get feeling better soon!
I have fms and am just getting over the flu. Almost 4 weeks since i got ill. Yhe chest inffection and stomach upset are much better but i still have a constant headache, sinus pain, earache and dizzy spells. Alongside the usual back and neck ache. Feeling really down and fed up.
I think you are righy about our systems being more vulnerable, i always seem to take longer than others to get over bugs and virus’s. At least i have my appetite back and am tring to eat myself well again! Hope you all feel better soon
I have been sick almost a week now, the worst was new years day had just gotten off the road from Mississippi to Michigan after spending the holidays with my family, I could barley walk. My pain brought me to tears. No vomiting, just feel weak and sick . Some congestion, sore throat and ears ache.
Camper Jen says
I think the most important thing is that each person finds a trusted provider (either western or natural or both) and make the decision based on their own research and gut feelings. I think it is important to not make decisions based on fear, paranoia and definitely not because “well the doctor told me to do it”. For many reasons, I choose not to get the flu shot. So far this season, my son has had the flu (H1N1) and my husband just had it (he didn’t feel like going to get the actual diagnosis). Interestingly enough, I haven’t gotten sick. I’m having some mild cold symptoms. At this point in my journey with chronic pain, I am convinced that it is because of my shift towards using CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Over the past 9 months, I have done several cleanses (liver, gallbladder and bowel) and I also take supplements etc.
I have had FM for almost 20 years. In the past, I’ve been quite fortunate to have a major case of the flu (respiratory).
With FM, I have always hated the CFS. However, post flu, now 10 days, I have never felt so “washed out.” Also, my skin hurts.
Also, I’m so cold and feel like I have the chills; indicative of a fever. My temperature is normal. The main problem is that I cannot shake this ADDED fatigue. I can barely move.
Having FM and a virus is one bad combination!!!
Debbie King says
I have been diagnosed with FM in the last few months. I have been sick for three weeks I too, have found harder to kick flu and cold longer than norm. My daughter is getting married in a week and I am desperately trying to get better. I am limited to what the doctor can give me because I have no insurance. It’s so disheartening.
Sad in St. Petersburg
Kirstin Walden Crockford says
I’m on my 5/6th day of coping with Fibromyalgia, me/cfs and a flu/sore throat/cough attack… with no signs of it easing up.
My sore throat has improved as my flu has worsened, my fatigue & pain levels are through the roof & my temperature is still fluctuating nicely.
Too be honest I feel like taking to my bed and hibernating until its all over… it really is the pits but I was pleased to find these posts & blog as I now know it’s normal for someone with these conditions… so thanks 🙂
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2001. I experience much of the same as what you describe. 8 days ago I was diagnosed with the flu. I have done everything folks have told me to do to recover faster — took TamiFlu, drinking lots of liquids, LOTS of bed rest, etc. and I am still sick. The other folks I work with who have gotten this flu have returned to work within 3-5 days or so. Being on my 8th day, I got up, showered and decided I needed to get to work. I ended up right back in bed within 15 minutes due to exhaustion, shortness of breath and dizziness. Even though my fever broke 4 days ago, I can’t seem to get enough energy back to do ANYTHING. And the aches and pains are so frustrating. And no matter how much sleep I get, my body keeps telling me to get more! How can it need anymore rest? I’ve been in bed for 8 days?! It becomes embarrassing when other people can’t figure out why you aren’t “getting over it”. I just keep reminding myself that it could be so much worse – so I’m trying to be thankful that I have a nice cozy warm bed to recuperate in! (And family who are trying very hard to be understanding.)
I’m 25 and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 5 years ago. Whenever I get the flu, I’m practically bed-bound and it lasts for about 2 weeks. I had the flu and a sinus infection for 3 weeks. This is the 4th week… all my other flu symptoms are gone but I have a cough that I just can’t stand and I get shivers/dizziness throughout the whole day. My family and doctors (who believe it’s acid reflux) keep telling me that I’m lazy and that people always do stuff when they get sick. But I feel that something’s wrong… and I’m tired of feeling tired without any explanation.
sorry your not getting support – you’er sick and want anything more to feel well again keep thinking positive you’ll get better I understand .
Went in search of confirmation that someone with CFS/me takes longer to recover from the flu and voila! Thanks all of you for sharing. Am on day 8 of a flu and had been feeling relatively “good” with my CFS/me before I got sick. It has been discouraging to find myself lying down again most of the day without any reserve of energy AT ALL to do much of anything. Reminded to hang in there. This too shall pass. But feels like whatever progress I had made has been ripped away. There just is no option to “push” through, just have to surrender, accept, appreciate that I at least have a comfortable place to be!
I was diagnosed with Fibro in 2012, and unfortunately the last year has seen me becoming severe. I am into my 3rd week of flu and bronchitis, and am experiencing hell. Apart from my FM symptoms shooting through the roof, my chest burning and aching constantly and the horrible persistent headache, the worst is that it’s just not getting better. My family has run out of the “How are you feeling today?”‘s and “Can I get you anything?”‘s and basically ignores me having flu as it seems like just another inconvenience me being sick has on them. I was told sarcastically “Enjoy your lazy day” when I was feeling seriously horrible yesterday, and it left me hurt and speechless. I know to put on a thick skin most of the time, but dealing with this crazy flu, hectic Fibro flare-up and negativity on top of it, is getting me really down. I would give anything to be “normal” again. 🙁
I most likely have CFS or adrenal exhaustion & I get bugs more often and it takes me longer than the average person to recover. I had a blood test which revealed that I’m on the borderline for having a connective tissue disorder. My doctor told me from information in a medical book she has that people with a connective tissue disorder and who are on the borderline are more likely to have chronic fatigue. My naturopath has made up a tonic which assists my immune system and circulation & it has improved by quality of life, even if my energy levels are not what they used to be. I’ve had to give up eating foods with much sugar as these bring my immune system down & it will be very easy for me to catch a bug. I generally have to limit my time and/or avoid places where people have bugs during high cold & flu times. I’ve found that getting enough rest, including during the day when I need it, really helps my immune system to be stronger.
Mrs H says
I had the flu jab on Thursday before New Year’s Day and started to feel so unwell with flu on the Friday afternoon. Ended up with bronchitis and now left with temperature after nearly 2 weeks. Didn’t realise how much longer it takes to get over viruses with cfs. Now that I know I just have to go with the flow and be patient. Wow that’s so hard as I was feeling so well before I got ill and I have just started a new job that I love.
Sandy Russell says
I have ME/CFS. I’ve had the current flu virus for five weeks now and feel no better today than I did five weeks ago. Occasionally I feel a bit better and go outside for a five minute stroll and it’s always followed by a relapse. No cough but hot and cold, pain in head and sinuses, stomach and muscle aches. The worst is feeling so dreadful and the fatigue is the same as I suffered for many years when I was bedridden and ‘ severely affected’.
This virus has hit many people with strong immune systems really hard so I’m wondering if my immune system is actually strong enough to throw it off. And if so – will I get post viral fatigue for months on end. Before getting this virus I had my best spell of relatively good health for many years !
Great to find this forum. Thanks everyone. The best thing knowing you’re not alone.
Kathy L. says
I’ve been diagnosed with FM for 10 yrs. I just had type A flu and I was really sick for 4 weeks. I’ve been over the flu symptoms but the fatigue is terrible and I’ve now been off work 7 1/2 wks. I sleep all the time. I’m on 3 meds for my FM, but they don’t really help fatigue. The pain and achiness and headaches have been terrible too. I’ve had blood work done to check for any other issues and it’s basically fine. How long does this fatigue drag on?? I need to get back to work.
I don’t know how half these people work. I’m a Master Plumber and was diagnosed with FMS 3.5 years ago. I take 3 different meds. But still have really bad days. I was raised not to take time off. Ive always had hard labor jobs. I would literally almost have to sit at a desk all day. But I just got over some kind of bug. I haven’t vomited from a bug in over 25 years but I was vomiting my heart out yesterday. This is like day 4 and I still feel like dog shit! I’m also not getting any younger. I’m a 43 year old male with FMS. And if anyone wants good advice stay away from tamiflu. I was on that 2 years ago and still haven’t got my taste back fully. And I never have any side effects from anything. I’m also not allergic to anything, at least nothing I’ve come into contact with in my 43 years?
I have just had the flu, fevers, runs, whole skin hurt, joint aches, near vomiting. Was so unwell I wondered if I was having a C.F revisit. The worst symptom was constant pain from the fibromyalgia intensified, the pain making me have times sitting in the shower to ease pain. Was weak for about a month, but thought that was a bit good for me. Still copping spasms… and as always have my unpredictable days Still, after 3 years. Have hope to eventually get some sort of normal life back. For faster recovery after an illness I use Astragalus+8 in liquid form by Oriental Botanics. Don’t take while still sick, will aid the bugs, but strengthens you faster.
I’m so agree with everything you have said , I’ve had ME 10 yrs and my immune system is shot completey, I to work full time with the public but in a desk placed job , my colleagues that work a few hrs a day or just a couple of days a week had nasty coughs and I was begging them to stay away from me basically saying it would just finish me off well 4 days later I had to leave work I had a slight cough but the fatigue hit in badly ended bed bound with the hacking cough for 5 days and basically couldn’t even drink water , after a week I went to the doctors and virtually broke down , I had blood test and my red blood cells was slightly enlarged and I went on antibiotics and week after that the cough had gone but I could barely move every muscle in my body ached and my vision kept going blurred I went back to the doctors and he referred me to a rhuemotolist who said I had post viral fatigue syndrome and on top of having the ME he could see I was in a bad way , he said I was to carry on with my pain meds and basically do nothing just relax and allow my body to heel and this could take a month or 2 more but it would get better he was writing to my employers to explain this , I’ve been off work 5 weeks and I so need to get better 2 more months of this omg I was so managing my ME and this has just knocked me for 6, The doctor suggest once I’m feeling a bit stronger we retest my bloods and look as some help with my immune system and I’ve asked to go back for some CBT help as I feel this has knocked my management of my ME backwards and he has agreed . I do hope there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel .
I need a letter from my Dr explaining this for my family.
I caught the flue sometime early October this year…I’m still fighting it. Today, my eyes hurting from being opened, my body totally sore, and I just want to crawl in to bed. My fatigue, swelling of lymph nodes, body soreness, vertigo, and then some are just draining me. even my fingers hurt typing this. I’m already contemplating either calling in sick or working from home tomorrow (which I’ve already done several times over the last few months). I just want to be “healthy.” It takes forever, and unfortunately with the Flu, there is no treatment that a doctor could subscribe to help me other than rest and anti inflammatories. Stupid flu for causing my CFS, stupid flu for not letting me just live life.
Linda Foley says
Thank you, thank you for verify what I am going through.
Diane Irwin says
I feel your pain : ( I have had the flu dragged myself kicking and screaming back to work. I ended up feeling worse that night. Felt awful that I contaminated everybody around me. The problem is when are you well enough not to be contagious when you don’t run a fever and your going to feel like carp whenever you go back.. I was so weak like everybody is talking about. I cannot afford to be off longer. It’s an awful cycle of can’t work full time because of being sick. Yet can’t make it on part time pay. So glad I found this post. Looking for is this weakness lasting this long normal with fibro and the flu. I feel weak and light headed everyday with my crud but this was ridiculous ! Prayers for those fighting this awful battle nobody gets unless you get “It “.
I feel exactly the same and used the same search
. I haven’t been able to work full time since 2012. Just recently I took a part time job to help my friend out and get the pressure off my back to help out around here. I just went back one the third week of flu symptoms, but am so weak and tired that I can’t work long so the cut in pay isn’t worth it. I have to bite the bullet and tell my family and my employer that I can’t do this. They just don’t understand because they don’t have “It” Thanks for the prayers.
Tony Coleman says
Ive had M.e. for past 30 years. Recently been diagnosed with iron overload and had to have venesection and have pint of blood taken. This caused me to have a major relapse. Was just getting over this then went down with the Flu. Again M.E. symptoms flared up.
We have to remain positive and have hope that remission is not far away.
Kathleen Berry says
Yes had it for 6 weeks, feel so tired and unwell,had blood transfusions not got over it yet now this ahhhhhh
I became ill with the flu 4 1/2 weeks ago. I had fever, chills and horrible nausea for several days. As they began to lessen the unfaltering fatique never ceased. My family worried and I could see it on their face. I returned to my friends horse farm to try and work at the end of week three. I have no strength or endurance and have been pushing myself. I am not dong myself any favors. I am going to the Dr today to get my thyroid level check as I have hypothyroidism too. My daily headache and tinnitis and fatigue and pain have to get better. I am thinking I may need to stop helping my friend at her farm even though my family think I have had enough down time and need to get back at it. They don’t understand how debilitating this FM is especially after an illness. My stress is only adding to it. I know I’m not alone as I read all of your responses. Now just to get the nerve up to tell my family and my friend that I need more rest. If only they could understand
Gail Sutherland says
I’ve had FM for almost twenty years and hadn’t had a bad case of the flu during that time — until this winter. Despite having the shot (which apparently was only about 10% effective), I did get a pretty bad case of the flu. I was coughing my head off for three weeks and then started feeling somewhat better. However, I have still felt like a zombie for a further two weeks (and counting). I am exhausted and dizzy all the time, with no motivation and extreme depression. Fortunately, I am retired and don’t have to go to work and I have a very understanding husband who keeps reassuring me that I will get better. I just have to trust that he’s right. It’s so good to read about others’ experiences, to know I’m not alone. Be well, everyone!
So pleased to find this site. Had cold, sinus infection for 5 weeks. Tried to get back to my normal and have ended up dizzy and sleeping 16-18 hours a day, for last 4 days. Was really worrying until I came upon your comments. Even though I’ve had cfs for 30 yrs and fibro for 12 yrs, I forget just how Ill an infection can make me. Thanks
Lucy, yes, I am the same, had a really nasty throat virus, for 5 weeks, and all I want to do is sleep, also been dizzy, unbalanced, lots of pain and nausea, I dread getting a cold etc., they knock me for six, this time I am worse than ever, I feel for you and all the others, I am sick of being sick.
Christina Sterkel says
I don’t know the reason behind it but… Am I the only one who experiences more intense random pain sensations when having chills related to illness. As if being sick weren’t enough. Sharp stabbing sensations that roam about randomly. Chills started a cpl hours ago and I feel like a prisoner of these random pains that elicit a litany of squeaks and gasps which annoy my sleeping husband and frankly myself as well. Is there anything that might give some relief
Nancy Calabro says
I have suffered from CFIDs and Fibromyalgia for many yrs. When I was diagnoised both were considered a syndrome. I had a wonderful Dr. who was associated with many other Drs. involved in many aspects of these conditions. He understood what supplements, vitamins etc. I needed and I can honestly say he helped me. After many yrs.. he retired. and most of the Drs. he knew that were involved in research were doing their work in other countries. where funding was much more available. . I was peer councelor in N.J. for my Dr. who worked out of Temple Un. hospital in Philadelphia Pa.
It has been years since I have had a Dr. who takes these conditions seriously. I have asked my P.C.P. to help me to no avail. It seems that Drs. in my area know less than I do.. You would think that since the CDC now confirms that these conditions are indeed DISEASES that Drs. would have some knowledge as to how to help us. Sadly not the case in my area. Does anyone in S. Jersey know of any Drs. who do. I am 15yrs. older and have had no remission.. I wish I could say it gets easier but it does not.. I would really appreciate any advice.
Oh, by the way any illness you have takes at least twice as long to recover from.. I also had the Flu shot and ended up with the Flu two mos. later.. I thought I was feeling a little better after three weeks and within three days I had the whole mess all over again., still recovering.
Thanks. This is the first site that has helped. I’ve managed M.E/fibromyalgia for many years now. Usually, l hide and avoid people during “the season” and do alot of hand washing if l must go out. Dont get the flu jab–the doctor’s surgery is a hot bed for germs. I’m on day 14 of a cold.It started with a sore throat.Now a cough ,l can’t shake. I use Restavit (1/4 to a 1/2 tab) to sleep–it helps.But have just realized –it is a histamine. ..it drys mucous-does not help to clear thechest
.Teas.Soups.No red meat, helps.Cut back on bread, diary too…use steam. Sip hot lemon/ginger with honey. Rest. Have patience. We will feel better one day.
Charlene Strand says
I am very relieved to have found this site. I’ve been disabled with CFS/ME since 1993. I caught the flu 8 days ago. I was beating myself up and pushing myself thinking I should be better. But the pain, dizziness, headache and exhaustion is still with me. I can barely take a shower. I found the more you push yourself, the worse you feel. Being a type “A” person is of no help. This site helps me understand that you have to just ride it out and take care of yourself. I sucks always being on the side lines. I’m a very social person and my friends try to understand. But they don’t. But you all here do. God bless you all.