Feeling better during infectious illness
river last edited by
Does anyone else feel like their ME/CFS symptoms improve or even go away completely when they have an infection?
I had the flu this week. (not covid)
It's the first time I've had any sort of respiratory virus in over 3 years, and the first time being ill since my ME/CFS has been severe. So I didn't know what to expect. I've had flu twice in the past, before I got ME, and I remember it feeling like what ME feels like now. This was very different.
The week prior to getting the flu I was in one of my longest running and worst crashes ever. I was sleeping almost all day, I couldn't type, read or listen to music, and I was mostly bedbound because I got dizzy trying to move. I had just started to come out of the crash when I was struck down by the flu. My symptoms were a dry cough, intermittent high fever, appetite loss, severe tachycardia and intermittent headache. I expected that my heart rate being consistently over 100 for 4 days would make me much sicker but it seems I was wrong.
Within a few days of getting the flu, all my ME/CFS symptoms went away. No fatigue, no brain fog, no dizziness. When I went to hospital to get the fever checked out, they kept saying that I must feel "generally unwell" and I was like... No, you don't understand, I feel better than I have in years! This is great! I'm having so much fun! (apart from my temperature going up and down all the time, which was not fun)
It's now been a week since I got the flu and I still have minimal ME symptoms, though I can feel the fatigue beginning to creep back. I had one day of my chronic tonsillitis flaring up very badly while I was recovering, now it has resolved completely for the first time since this summer's hayfever. I'm also sleeping incredibly well.
I don't expect this to last, I'll probably wake up tomorrow in a crash again. But it's interesting. I'd love to know if anyone else has experienced something like this.
Dot last edited by Dot
@river Wow, that is amazing!
Fingers crossed it lasts after your recovery from that virus.
I haven't heard anything like it, but I can imagine your body's inflammatory and other defenses, finally working on a true enemy (hello Flu) instead of uselessly vibrating away to your detriment.
(When I was sickest I went for years without getting any cold or flu, I presume my immune system was continually on top volume, making me feel rotten, but not letting anything else in. Then when my health improved slightly... BAM! I got every cold and flu that went past. Sigh.)
I hope you can make the most of this little miracle, and do all the good things to try and avoid the ME/CFS pinball game ricocheting around your body so badly again.
Adventurous Anne last edited by
@river Yes! I love feeling invincibly well for a day or two after any infection. Exactly as Dot said, it's as if my immune system is fighting a baddie instead of me, for a change. I keep hoping it might 'flick the switch' and turn off my ME/CFS for good, but not yet...
Jeshyr last edited by
It isn't something I've personally experienced, but certainly after 25+ years hanging around ME/CFS online forums, I've seen a significant minority of people say that they experience exactly what you described. I don't know how many, but enough that it's definitely a "known thing"