Back in my original post about my electric bike conversion I mentioned that I had CFS, aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS is a poorly defined health condition that in my opinion actually covers a number of very different health conditions. I’m glad I never really accepted it as a diagnosis from the rheumatologist that mentioned it to me, but instead kept scouring my life and health for anything that could impact my energy level.
I’m happy to say I no longer suffer from it.
While it was a slow slide, it hit me hard in the fall of 2008. I just had my first big release as a new engineering manager; planned a wedding and got married; and I started flight training that summer. By the time the wedding rolled around I was beat in a way I had never been tired before. No amount of coffee or sleep would help.
It took me 4 years to figure out all the contributing factors and rehabilitate myself. During that time I met with 7 different doctors trying to get a handle on all the different causes that would contribute to being run down.
I can be a tenacious bastard when I have a goal in sight.
At one point I was working with an endocrinologist and still couldn’t handle aerobic exercise. 10 minutes with my heart rate above 105 bpm and I would need to sleep a couple of hours later. I had to ask him “Do you have any more ideas, is there anything else _you_ can do for me now?” after a long pause he admitted no.
Which was a good thing because then I went searching for more answers. In the end I had to address the following things to get my energy back:
- Sleep Apnea
- Stress Management
- Sleep Quality
- Vitamin D levels (I was near the level that causes rickets)
- Stress response to exercise