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CFS| Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 31st, 2010

After the most beautiful Sunday (this is the sunset from my balcony) with unseasonally fabulous weather, I awoke on Monday with a sore throat, ear ache and a very achy body. And truly felt as if I had expired! So on antibiotics, pain killers, decongestant, probiotics. SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate medication and I am back on the stuff again.

Anyway on the ‘expired’ tack … I have noticed recently that due to the Recession shops seem to be selling expired goods.

Okay, I hear you wondering, “What has this got to do with chronic fatigue?” Sorry for you, its got NOTHING to do with Chronic fatigue. I am just tired of buying expired goods. Oh and I am generally ‘sick and tired too’.

Anyways I think that because people are buying less, shops are selling less and so hanging on to goods longer than they normally do. Which has resulted in a large number of items expiring and shops are conveniently not removing them from the shelves. I mean do you ever check expiry dates? I have recently bought a new and helluva expensive moisturiser and when i got home discovered it expires next month.  Now there is no way I will finish this stuff in a month but can I go back and return it? Probably not. But in previous years when I have bought this product (and we were not in a recession) it would expire at least a year down the line.

Two months ago I got a repeat on a prescription med. This expired the month which I bought it in! The chemist reassured me it would work just fine!!! I did not feel reassured by his reassurances!@#$$

Likewise when buying imported food, like salsa for instance, check the dates. Imported foods which are generally more costly than local products are obviously not being sold as they did in previous years. So now that salsa is sitting and often past its expiry date. The last bottle I bought had nice green fungus on the top and had expired in March.

Okay now that you are bored beyond belief … whilst i was googling the word ‘Expired’ I found some interesting links. Check out this ‘newish’ movie trailer, called Expired. I kid you not. Actually looks quite sweet.

And how about a website on expired parking tickets called The Expired Meter.

Or a website on “all that’s fit and unfit in the world of food…”, called Expired Foods.

And lastly and more alarmingly read the article on expired medicines in Gaza.

As all things in life there is a funny and serious side …


Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 31st, 2010

Sutherlandia is one of the ‘medicines’ that have been suggested I take. I am not sure if it helps but its worth looking into.

Chronic Fatigues Syndrome and Sutherlandia
by Dr. Nigel Gericke

This brief document is intended to answer the frequent questions that get asked about the use of Sutherlandia tablets in people living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as M.E. Syndrome or Yuppie Flu .

There is a well-established present and historical folk-use of Sutherlandia in the treatment of chronic fatigue states. Indeed in the great ‘flu pandemic of 1918, Sutherlandia was used throughout its range of distribution by indigenous people and settlers to mange the acute illness, as well as he post-‘flu debility that was widespread.

We have received positive anecdotal reports that appropriate doses of Sutherlandia tablets have improved the quality of people living with CFS. This is one indication that should definitely be the subject of a clinical study in view of the limited treatment options available.

Case History
This abstracted case history, submitted by Dr Alta Smit, was included as part of a presentation made by Dr Nigel Gericke at the 4th International Conference on Phyto therapeutics 23-25 February 2001, Kurrajong NSW Australia.

Ms. —— , a 43 year old business person contracted CFS after a ‘flu like illness in 1996. She consulted me initially in 1999, at the time fulfilling the CDC and Oxford criteria for CFS. She was functioning on a Karnofsky scale of 70% at the time, being unable to fulfill a full day’s work.

Complicating the syndrome was an almost monthly recurrence of Type II herpes infection for which she was taking Zelitrex (Valaciclovir) constantly. We embarked on a pyramidal treatment program including enterohepatic, mitochondrial , neuroendocrine and immune support. She did well on the program over eight months, but still had significant recurrence of the Herpes lesions. She was able to go back to work but could not exercise without relapsing.

We commenced treatment with Sutherlandia in September 2000 after I heard about it at the South African Complementary Medicine Association (SACMA) conference. She had one more outbreak of herpes in October 2000 and since then had no recurrences. Her clinical condition also improved even further, notably improvements in the fatigue and her exercise tolerance. An Exercise test performed in a physiology lab show her to be only mildly exercise intolerant on the 24.October 2000. We have kept her on Sutherlandia, and to date the patient remains well-functioning with a Karnofsky scale of 90%.

In this patient we see the typical obstacle encountered in many CFS patients. She recovered very well on all counts except for the immune system, where we still see evidence of a Th 2 state with viral and fungal reactivation. This is often very difficult to treat except for treatment with expensive and potentially dangerous compounds like the mismatched RNA compound Poly I Poly12 CU( Ampligen) or other invasive treatments like Ultra Violet blood irradiation. Sutherlandia is a safe alternative which is easy to administer. I have subsequently used it in other CFS patients with promising results.

Quality-of-life Tonic
Sutherlandia is a quality-of-life tonic par excellence

  • Mood
    Sutherlandia decreases anxiety and irritability and it elevates mood.
  • Appetite and Weight
    Sutherlandia dramatically improves appetite, and weight-gain can be expected in wasted patients. The first 5 kg gain is common after six weeks of treatment. In people living with CFS who are not wasted, weight-gain is not usual.
  • Energy Levels and Exercise Tolerance
    Sutherlandia typically improves the energy levels and exercise tolerance of patients, and gives an enhanced sense of overall well-being.


  • Qualified Healthcare Professional
    It is recommended that all CFS patients get assessed and managed by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with recognized experience in investigating and managing this condition. The patient will need to make an informed decision about the treatment modalities to follow in his / her specific case. Sutherlandia and other natural approaches to managing CFS should be given a therapeutic trial.
  • Nutrition
    It is recommended that any CFS management programme should include meticulous attention to optimizing diet in consultation with a professional nutritionist with experience and interest in CFS.
  • Emotional, Cultural and Spiritual
    The participation of a psychologist, traditional healer and / or spiritual person should also be considered as part of the holistic team to provide support for the important but neglected emotional, cultural and spiritual aspects of the illness.

Dose of Sutherlandia
The recommended dose for enhanced quality-of-life is one tablet (300 mg) twice a day, after meals. This can be taken long-term.

It is not recommend that Sutherlandia be taken during pregnancy.

To date here have been minimal reported side-effects. Side-effects reported include occasional reports of dry mouth, occasional reports of mild diuretic effect; occasional reports of loose stool, occasional reports of constipation. Slight dizziness has been occasionally noted in very wasted and weak patients (e.g. in an ill adult weighing 35kg) who take Sutherlandia without meals. This is corrected by instructing wasted patients to take the product after meals.

Drug Interactions
As with most natural medicines on the world market, there are no scientific studies or reports on drug interactions with Sutherlandia ingestion.

Since common herbs such as garlic, ginkgo and ginseng have recently been thought to interfere with anesthesia and with blood clotting, it is recommended that patients should stop taking all herbal medication three weeks prior to elective surgery. It is likewise also advised not to take Sutherlandia with the anticoagulant drugs heparin and warfarin.

Patients taking Sutherlandia who are on anti-hypertensive or anti-diabetic medication may be able to reduce this medication under a doctors’ supervision.

Queen for a day

Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 28th, 2010

I think that each of us should be Queen for a day, or King for a hour, or at least a Sir for a second !!!!!! We should all find a Kingdom in which we reign. Now I don’t mean you should find a piece of land or a country and take it over by force declaring your self the monarchy! NO, we all need to find an area in our lives where we rule.

So where to start

  1. Decide what you are to be Queen of. Maybe its only your kitchen or maybe its in your car. You can even decide to be Queen in your imagination. Find a realm which you think you can be in charge of even if for only 15 minutes. You could be Drama Queen, a Drag Queen, a Beauty Queen…
  2. Get dressed for the part. If you’re Queen of your kitchen, don your oven gloves, apron and throw in a tiara and heels!!!!!!!! You could also go out and purchase that special “I am the Queen today” outfit.
  3. Now declare yourself Queen. Hear the applause; note the bowing; the ooohs the aaahs!
  4. Maybe you need a Royal anthem? Raid your music and find your favourite song. Play it loud and sing it loudly. Maybe you need a soundtrack or a Queen compilation?
  5. Bring in some rules.
  6. Get some courtiers/slaves/jesters/ladies in waiting. If at home rope in the dogs and cats. In your car – get those jiggling dog heads; a blow up doll!@#@$$#%#$
  7. Now the hard part … speak posh. You need to get some juicy, big, complicated words to throw into conversation. So if need be buy a thesaurus, which will give you dozens of options on the most mundane words.
  8. Start listening to only the intellectual radio and TV stations. Maybe even buy a intellectual magazine. You have to keep the role up.
  9. Make up your own set of rules and break the ones you don’t like! After all that’s what Queens do.
  10. Practise the royal wave, walk and smile! Royals are never in a hurry; they always look content and waving seems to be the national sport.

So now that your are Queen throw in phrases like “Let them eat cake!” and “Off with there heads!”.

Well I am off to my little Kingdom. So goodbye faithful followers and await the next Royal Decree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Queen slowly walks away; gentle wave of her hand and contented smile upon her lips……)


Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 26th, 2010

You would think that after suffering from CF for almost 2 years I would have learnt that you have to bank energy. What I mean for those who are not CF sufferers or are new to this thing, is that when you have a good day don’t go balls to the walls and use all that energy. You must quit when you are feeling GOOD and thereby stock up that excess petrol.

I guess its like gambling, quit while you are winning

Or like that sayings

“Save a penny for a rainy day”

“Quit whilst you are ahead”

Anyway yesterday was a superb sunny day and I got up early. Had good news as I have been accepted as a counsellor and the rest of the day was a blur of activity. Lunch with a friend, worked on my blog, walked the dogs, yoga. This is probably the most I have done in forever and I should have known better…

Today I couldn’t get out of bed. Cold weather, feel dizzy, nauseous, dragged my self to breakfast. Now on the couch with my cat, Black. Well she is also called Hat as she looks like a furry Russian hat when she is curled up or Stone-wash when she goes a grey-black colour.

But I digress. Please God tell me why I cant learn to say “When”. Why is there this insane , suicidal tendancy to just screw up all the good of the last weeks. Clearly my illuminated soul has not manifested itself yet.

Here’s me praying for divine intervention!

My Fair Lady

Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 24th, 2010

My Fair Lady … do you know this classic musical?

Okay I am having a senior moment and you are wondering why on earth would anyone watch this crap!!! And willingly.

My point is that this classic tale is about a uncultured girl who is taught the rules and etiquette of a Lady by an elderly admirer and then she goes on to trick all and sundry. And believe it or not gets this fabulous educated well to do man and goes off into the sunset. Do I hear men all over the world squirming with anguish and all the gals sighing with the pure fantasy of it all…

Why I bring this up is a continuation of my post on euphemisms. Because My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, etc are really just stories about skanky trailer park chicks, who meet a good looking dirty old man and are forever liberated from a life of sloth. I mean really when does this happen??? And when will we tell it like it is?

And TV is littered with these euphemistic shows:

  • Rock of Love
  • Tough Love
  • For the love of Ray J…

Now sadly because I have CF and a load of time on my hands I watch this inane crap!      Rock of Love is about an aging rock star with fake hair, fake tan and too tight leather pants who gets to pick from 12 plus pole dancing, alcoholic, tattooed, silicone enhanced ex hookers a permanent girlfriend. Who are they kidding. This show should be called Rock of Sex. And worse its in its 3rd season.     And then there’s Tough Love!  Here we have the expert host who is going to help 8 disaster chicks find a man. I mean these girls are scary and a bit of advice isn’t going to help them … maybe electro shock therapy?                  And finally For the love of Ray J . Ray J is quoted as saying “‘Ive been in this game a long time… I’ve been with a lot of women but I’m ready to get out. I want to do this show to find a ride or die chick, a chick that makes me want to get out of the game”. His real name is William Raymond Norwood. So not a cool star name. And his claim to fame is his sister, the singer Brandy. He gets to pick a life partner from a selection of girls. Clearly the first season didnt do it because its on its second. And quite honestly what male would ever pick a partner when he gets to try a whole new batch every season. And this genius also gets to rename each of the girls. So he renames them = Chardonnay, Hot Cocoa, Cocktail, Atomic Bomb, etc!!!

So why name these shows Tough Love, For the Love of Ray J or Rock of Love. Dont put everything in the veil of euphemisms. Be honest and tell it like it easy -

Crazy bitches looking to get hitched

Infamous singer looking to get laid            and

Famous singer looking to get laid by multiple hookers.

Anyway my tirade has side tracked me from the point I want to make again, Chronic Fatigue is a euphemism.

Euphemistically speaking …

Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 21st, 2010

A euphemism is a substitution of an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver with an agreeable or less offensive expression,[1] or to make it less troublesome for the speaker, as in the case of doublespeak. The deployment of euphemisms is a central aspect within the public application of political correctness. In other words in stead of saying the person is a moron or idiot, you would say they are mentally challenged.

So what has this got to do with CF?? Well before CF/CFS was called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it was called =


Now you have to admit that sounds serious, mysterious. A illness with street cred!!! If you want to be ill this sounds like something that is interesting; that you want to be diagnosed with; and friends and family will be suitably impressed!!

But somewhere in the medical world it go changed and now its called


What does this word say to you? Does it sound like you are suffering from

I mean seriously, all those symptoms and they came up with CHRONIC FATIGUE!@##$%%^ Give me a break, … no wonder no one takes me seriously. I mean who doesn’t suffer from chronic fatigue in a society where we have non stop info overload. We have Internet, cellphones, faxes, regular phones, pagers, beepers,. We exercise and work at the same time; we take more work home because there are not enough hours in the day to complete what we have on our plates.

So yes, it irritates me just a LITTLE (note the euphemism) that what I have is called CF.

Unlimited options and this is what they chose.

Well more later, I need to get horizontal – just in case ‘sleep’ sounds too harsh for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clouds and Sun – and lifes about loving both!

Posted by amber | Portfolio | Posted on August 18th, 2010

Clouds and Sun

The Doldrums

Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 18th, 2010

I am in that space which I have for the past couple of days referred to as “The Doldrums”. I am sort of neither great nor crap; neither comfortable or totally at odds; not starving or satiated!@#$#$%#$

I am not sure if all CF sufferers get this but its when you are feeling better enough to get up with a bit of a bounce but not really good enough to actually continue with your life. I also start wondering if I will improve or get worse again … What can I say, always the optimist!!

I love this pic and saying next door because its exactly that for me.

I do all the calming,


deep breathing,

non stressful,

correct drug taking stuff and I still am not sure what actually works. But I still keep at it. The human condition is weird!!

The other weird thing about CF is how friends and family react to it. I have probably mentioned before that I don’t look ill and when I am home 90% of the time I am lying down and feeling mediocre to say the least. This they don’t see, so I imagine they go home and think I am an absolute nutter who is depressed and therefore feeling this way. I don’t believe they honestly physically believe I am ill with an actual diagnosed thing. Even weirder is that there is no cure???? I mean quite honestly if I didn’t suffer from this I would probably also say “She needs to see a good psychologist and take an anti depressant!” Friends and family also have short term memory loss with regard to CF. It seems that anything that you sufferer from that lasts longer than a month is not fathomable. So one  month down the line they will say, “So ‘you’re better.” Statement.

The other day I was sitting with some friends of mine and the one asked me how I was. I explained the WHOLE story AGAIN. And at the end he said, ” So you’re back at work then.”

Which begs the question “DOES ANYONE EVER TRULY LISTEN!!!!!!!”

On that note a newpice from Pravs World:

Everything Passes By

Everything in life is temporary. Darkness of the night; or a bright day. Even sunrise is temporary; so is sunset.

So if things are going good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And if things are going bad, don’t worry. Because it won’t last forever either.

Everything passes by.

Does all this help or am I a junkie!!!!!

Posted by amber | My Diary | Posted on August 14th, 2010

I thought it would be good for me to look back on the medication, doctor, health practitioner route I have taken.

Oct-Nov 2008 = B12 injections twice a week. It made no difference.

Nov 2008 – March 2009 = psychologist. No I am not imagining what I have and its not in my mind. So I stay the same.

Jan 2009 = specialist physician. “You are fine and healthy. Come back and see me in 6 months.

April 2009 = sports physician. I have intravenous potassium or something. Cant even remember now. Still no change.

April 2009 – May 2009= Chinese professor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I have acupuncture twice a week, take 2 different herbal tabs and a gross tea – still no difference.

End April 2009 – May 2009 = dietitian. I take multi alkaline powder, echinacea, pantothenic acid and probiotics and follow a low acid diet. No change.

May 2009 = cranio sacral therapist. No change.

August 2009 = homeopath. More weird potions and acupuncture. NO CHANGE!

September 2009 = specialist physician. I am diagnosed with an under active thyroid, scleroderma and chronic fatigue. I take eltroxin. No change. But I am excited because I can now name some things I have ! Sad but true.

October 2009 = stress doctor. He has dealt with people like me so he helps. I don’t feel so alone and isolated. I start take omega 3, 6 and 9; vit c and echinacea. No change but mentally I feel better.

January 2010 = homepath, chiropractor, ect. I get tablets for candida, parasites, insulin problem, adrenals and drops for CF. No change .

February 2010 = acupuncture. This seems to help but when I hit a really bad patch we call it a day because she can not make things any better.

June 2010 = doctor. I get Gericomplex, Sutherlandia, Akrinor (for low blood pressure), Vit C, echinacea. No change … surprise, surprise.

June 2009 = Synexa labs. I get my adrenals tested. They are all messed up. I take cortisone. Feel much better.

August 2010 = I am a work in process.

I have spent an obscene amount of money;

I have seen numerous medical practitioners;

I have consumed vast amount of tablets, potions and drops;

I have had pins stuck all over me;

AND FUCK ALL HAS CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (for the sensitive viewers = sorry)

Which begs the question, am I addicted to getting better?

Is this a bad thing?

And for Gods sake, will anything actually work???????????

Chronic Fatigue – what is that?

Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 14th, 2010

Morning all

Thought I would get going on another explanation of CF , for those who have and those who need to understand.

Here is a brief excerpt from the
Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

In the past, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was associated with significant controversy among doctors, researchers, and patients. The major areas of disagreement were attributed to the lack of a standard definition for the disorder; the unknown etiology (cause) of the disorder; the absence of specific criteria to establish the diagnosis; and the lack of effective treatments for the disorder. In fact, until recently many health care providers believed that chronic fatigue syndrome was a “psychological” rather than a “physiological” (organic) disorder.

In 1994, an expert panel convened by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) proposed a case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome that since has become widely accepted as the “standard”. According to the CDCP, the primary feature of chronic fatigue syndrome is persistent or relapsing fatigue which is characterized by the following:

  • Lasts for 6 months or longer
  • Is not due to another underlying medical condition
  • Is not due to continuous exertion
  • Is not relieved by resting
  • Interferes with the patient’s overall function and quality of life
  • In addition to chronic fatigue, the patient must exhibit 4 or more of the following symptoms that have lasted for 6 months or longer:
    • difficulty with concentration and/or memory
    • sore throat
    • tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit region
    • myalgia (muscle pain)
    • arthralgia (joint pain)
    • lack of refreshing sleep
    • new onset of headaches
    • a vague feeling of bodily discomfort (malaise) after exertion

What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome has become the focus of considerable research since the 1980s, especially with respect to its underlying cause which is as yet unknown, although the cause is thought to be multifactorial. Research is devoted to uncovering a possible link to an infectious organism, among other possible causes, because of the typical “flu-like” symptoms that many patients experience with the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome being investigated include:

  • Viral infections
  • Immune disorders
  • Neuroendocrine disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Psychological disorders with a possible link to depressive disorders
  • Psychologically predisposed response to infection or other stimuli occurring in “vulnerable” individuals
  • Impaired hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation
  • Primary sleep disorder
  • Neurally-mediated hypotension (NMH) – dramatic drop in blood pressure upon standing
  • Cortisol deficiency – cortisol is a natural stress-fighting and anti-inlammatory hormone produced by the adrenal glands

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The diagnostic criteria for CFS, established in 1994 by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, are as follows:

  1. Clinically evaluated, unexplained persistent or relapsing fatigue that:
    • lasts for 6 months or longer
    • is not due to another underlying medical condition
    • is not due to continuous exertion
    • is not relieved by rest
    • interferes with the patient’s overall function and quality of life
  2. Four or more of the following concurrent and persistent symptoms:
    • difficulty with concentration and/or memory
    • sore throat
    • tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit region
    • myalgia (muscle pain)
    • arthralgia (joint pain)
    • lack of refreshing sleep
    • new onset of headaches
    • a vague feeling of bodily discomfort (malaise) after exertion
  3. The diagnosis of CFS is excluded if any of the following applies:
    • active medical condition that may explain the fatigue
    • previously diagnosed medical conditions that have not fully resolved, such as previously treated malignancies or unresolved cases of hepatitis infection
    • any past or current major depressive disorder with psychotic or melancholic features, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorders, dementia, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia
    • alcohol or other substance abuse within two years before the onset of chronic fatigue and at any time afterward

Goals of Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Because the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, currently there is no know cure for this disorder. Consequently, treatment is primarily aimed at better controlling the symptoms of the syndrome. The goals of treatment include:

  • Reducing the severity of fatigue and controlling other symptoms
  • Helping patients gradually increase their level of activity
  • Helping patients to improve their quality of life so that they can better participate in social, recreational, and work-related activities

In general, the treatment options for people with chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Drug therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Nutritional and lifestyle interventions
  • Complementary and alternative therapies