The CFS Experience

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” B. Franklin

I am dedicating this blog for my previous illness, a real story during my 4 months of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which I attributed of being caused by chronic infection on one of my upper 3rd molar — wisdom — tooth. The blog describes the full story, symptoms list — which I happen to wrote down in daily basis –, what I’ve learned, and my hypothesis on the illness. Hopefully this blog will be helpful for someone.

At the current moment of this post, I’m just over 8 weeks after the tooth extraction, with all secondary symptoms going away. At this point, I can feel that I am beginning to forget about the illness, and started losing interest on finding out more about CFS or hanging around some CFS forums. Of course, once you got recovered from any kind illness, you’ll get back to “normal” life, carried away with your usual activities. So, I’m actually trying hard on motivating myself on writing this blog. Really, documenting a previous illness isn’t a fun thing to do at all.

So let’s start with simple question and answers.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, what are its symptoms, what are yours?

It’s a condition in which your brain is in “survival mode”. At this point, your sleep, your ATP metabolism, your mood, your immune — in particular NK cells activities — are all impaired.

There are two types on the onset for CFS. The first is the one that suddenly came in. The second one is the one that gradually came in — this is how my CFS progresses. It was gradually starting as depression, long sleep, and muscle weakness. I was even up to the point of losing my energy to do my “normal” exercise which is actually nothing previously fatiguing.

The eight official symptoms of CFS are:
– Fatigue
– Loss of memory and concentration
– Sore throat
– Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
– Unexplained muscle pain
– Joint pain without swelling or redness
– Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
– Unrefreshing sleep
– Extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exercise

I had 3 missing symptoms — headache, sore throat, and enlarged lymph nodes. However, I didn’t specifically look for any enlarged lymph nodes during the illness, so I might be overlooking it.

Also, the diagnosis says that it had to persist for at least 6 months. Get real, of course if I didn’t extract the tooth, it could easily went years and years!

What makes you so sure that yours was CFS?

When you had 5 different doctors misdiagnosing your illness, you will know that there is something really wrong with yourself.

Apart of the missing symptoms, all of the symptoms are exactly the same as CFS. So even if this isn’t the “real” CFS, there could be some intersection on the causes. Or, this could be a milder case of CFS. “Mild” is misleading though, as I was barely functional later during the 4 months period, being bedridden most of the times. There was a very strong urge to rest at those times, though resting weren’t helping the symptoms.

Also, I never heard about CFS before the extraction, I was simply looking for the reason in which why my fatigue and sick feeling were suddenly gone after the extraction. At that time, I found someone posting that the extraction of his root canaled tooth cured his chronic fatigue, hence learning about the symptoms of CFS. It was surprising on how most of the symptoms matches what I previously experienced.

Why are you so sure about your wisdom tooth infection causing CFS?

Although the tooth wasn’t hurting — its nerve has been deadened 4 months prior extraction — the tooth extraction immediately cures the primary symptoms, which are fatigue and sleep problems, at the same day. Well, actually the sickness feeling is gone at the exact moment the tooth was out. Psychological? Definitely no.

I had a cavity on my canine, and it’s beginning to hurt. Would it cause CFS?


So are you saying that everyone that had wisdom tooth infection is in risk of CFS?

I strongly believe that this can happen to anyone. However, I also had a feeling that overreacting immune system also plays a role. So, if you think you had sensitive immune, then you have higher probability of getting it progressing to CFS.

Do you think anyone that is experiencing CFS should check their dental health?

Not really, there are lots of causes for CFS. But all hypothesis seems to point to a disturbance of a very specific part of the system.

There are hypothesis that it is a viral illness, but I am not a person that is fond of it. Research is poorly done due to lack of funding, and somehow I think there is a pressure from pharmacies to pinpoint that it is being caused by viruses.

So what’s your hypothesis that you wrote about on your CFS?

I’m not going to write the hypothesis in the front page, you’ll have to get to the full story pages to find it.

Well thank you, that’s pretty helpful.

I am, an intelligent person. However, I have to admit that this illness were insulting my analytical thinking.

I am perfectly aware that this illnes is not something that you could easily describe to others, not even doctors. Very few people experiences this. Not even 100 year-old people would have a big chance to experience this. I would think that there are only 3 kinds of people that could understand CFS; people who is actively suffering from it, people who experience it in the past and somehow recovered, and people who learned about CFS learning all the symptoms.

Of course, anyone can write anything. So, if you feel that my hypothesis was incorrect, feel free to send your disagreement comment!




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