When I found out I had Chronic Fatigue, I was manager of a small family owned grocery store. Even though the store was small, the hours were indeed long and it seemed no matter how hard I worked, it was never enough for the owner, who of course, was never there.
When I had my first big setback, I was off work for a few weeks and then was only allowed to go back 20 hours a week over the next several months. Eventually, though I did go back to working 40 hours a week.
Because of all of the heavy lifting and bending that came with the job, I was also having very severe back pain and my grandmother at the time could have walked better and faster than me. The doctor that first diagnosed my Chronic Fatigue was prescribing me Valium and some other pain pills and I quickly became a walking zombie. I was in terrible pain and I can’t believe I was still able to put in a full-time schedule. I was going through about 90 valiums a week and the pharmacist was getting to know me very well, and I can remember him showing concern for me when he would see me. I know I was miserable and I was making others around me miserable as well. I think back now and ask myself all of the time, “What were you thinking, woman? Why did you put yourself through all of that for a stupid grocery store management job?”
I put myself through that because I felt that I had to prove my worthiness through accomplishments. I just did not think I was worth taking care of and my self-esteem was very low.
My physician, the one prescribing me endless amounts of Valium and other pills, eventually lost his medical practice and license for not monitoring the prescriptions he was writing out and also for insurance fraud. Lucky for me this happened or God only knows where I would be now – probably dead from all of the Valium.
I continued to work and I continued on my search for a doctor that could help me. I saw an endless amount of doctors who all said that I was depressed, I needed to find a hobby, you all know the drill. I would take my list with my symptoms and would hear over and over that “there is nothing we can do for you because all of your tests come out normal.” A lot of the other physicians I saw did not believe in Chronic Fatigue, so I had hit a brick wall. I was also seen by several neurologists for my back pain would run into another brick wall.
I had gotten married in 1990 to my first husband and our marriage only lasted 3 years. My ex-husband didn’t even believe that I was sick. He could not understand how one day I could not do anything, but then the next day, or next week I would be fine. This just goes to show the type of person he was. I looked awful, I was losing tremendous amounts of weight, but as long as he had his beer, that’s all that mattered. Anyway, I got rid of him!