Ive kind of debated if I should write this and what to call the thread. It covers several topics but I was hoping maybe some little morsel may help someone. Ive been through a whole lot of ups and downs in the past 30 years that I have been sick. My illness started with mono. I had been able to work full time and raise two girls in that time but always felt I may drop to the ground at any minute. I spent nearly every second I wasnt working or tending to my children on the couch or in bed. I believe I was able to mainly maintain a full time job due to a very healthy diet. (and random luck) I never really understood why some were bed bound and some were the walking dead like I was. I did however find out about 4 years ago that environment was huge in my illness. I had moved into a beautiful new condo in the wetlands of Florida and it truly left me housebound. I couldnt sleep no matter what concoction of meds I tried. I could not nap. I was too tired to drive. Even making a simple meal was exhausting. I got extreme vertigo. My legs were so week I could not walk down stairs. I had pins and needles and numbness that I could feel travel through my body. The list of physical ailments at that time were endless and the depression that accompanied the symptoms was beyond description. Within weeks of moving out of that condo and back to Orlando Florida I began to feel myself slowly improve. I mention this because I believe mold from living in the wetlands and or new building toxins almost killed me. It took me from working full time and being some what functional to totally non functional. My daughter manages these condos and lives there. I tried to go visit her for the weekend recently. Sometimes you second guess yourself and I thought maybe getting so sick when I lived there was just a downward random twist in this roller coaster of an illness. By day two I could feel the horrendous symptoms begin to return and it was NOT my imagination. My belief after this experience is that one of the aspects of this illness is bodies inability to detoxify toxins of all kinds. I know this is being researched and Im not saying I came up with the theory, I am just saying I lived it. I have been in Orlando and away from wetlands now for about 3 years. I have slowly been recovering but still far sicker than before I had the environmental issues. I started working part time and went from putting in 2 hrs here and there to 4 or 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I can drive again. Climb stairs etc. I still was left very fatigued though and with horrible bouts of vertigo. I started a product called Protandim. It is multi level and I would never had taken it but the lady who sells it was such a believer she traded me facials for the product. By my second month on it my vertigo was gone. When I got vertigo it would last for a week to a month and I would also be beyond exhausted. Basically vertigo spells left me bedbound. I would also get painful swollen areas on the same spots on my spine. I would get slightly dizzy while on Protandim and almost feel a vertigo episode coming on but they never fully did. After several months on the Protandim (I really dont remember if it was 4 or 5) I doubted the product and went off of it. After two months of being off of the product I got a horrible episode of vertigo and was bedbound. I called the lady who sold it to me crying. I told her I hated spending the money on product and still doubted that it worked but could not deal with one more day of this horrible vertigo. She hung the product on my door that day. That has been my last episode of full on Vertigo since resuming the product. You could not pry my Protandim away. I cannot say it has helped me in any other way or why it helped with the vertigo. I just know I HATE vertigo and will not chance ever again being without the product. I have been on anti virals for a few years now starting with Famvir at a very high dose and currently on Acyclovir at a very high dose. I have posted in many of the threads regarding anti-virals so I wont go on and on about it here. I do not know if they have helped me or not. I still take the Acyclovir and continue to stay on it just in case it is part of the combination that is helping me. I treated with abx for Mycoplasma infections for about 2 years and I am not sure if they helped me or not. I am not longer on any antibiotics and have been off of them for about 4 months. The last thing I did and the thing I think that has helped me the most hands down is oral Progesterone. I have used every Progesterone cream on the market in the past. Through this whole illness I have told doctors that I feel BETTER the day before my period. I cannot afford the hormone replacement specialists so I am telling regular docs about this and they just dont get it. My CFS symptoms all greatly subside the day before my period and increase ten fold the week after my period. About 2 months ago I asked my physician who has been treating me with anti virals if he would test my hormones. He said tests were not reliable and put me on a trial dose of progesterone from a compound pharmacy. I was not happy to find I had a pill that you swallow. I have done my research and was expecting a compounded cream. Within 3 days of taking oral Progesterone I was able to start working out. I started running with my daughter who was doing this very easy couch to 5k program. I have been able to do some weights over the years during better spells but NO CARDIO. I actually felt better after I ran. My tendons started hurting so I switched to a work out video I had been intrigued with on line. (Brazil butt lift of all things....) I have been doing that work out video at half hour once a day to twice a day for over 2 months now. I even do it before and sometimes after a work day!!! Never have I been able to maintain a work out program, especially cardio for that long. Working out now energizes me when it used to exhaust me. I believe that the lying around is a viscous cycle. I believe we are too tired and working out can do us more harm than good but with what ever has changed in my body, I can tell that working out is now good for me. I believe sweating is getting the toxins out and the exercise is moving my stagnant lymphatic system. It has become an upward spiral. I truly believe it is the Progesterone and it has to do with Estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance affects so many things including the immune system. Unfortunately I do not have the money now for hormone testing to adjust my level of Progesterone to fine tune this as I would like to. This is my next step of course. I have never taken anything in my life that has helped me like oral Progesterone. It is not an energy boost like coffee. I actually take it before bed and I sleep like a baby. Im sure THAT is helping too. You would have to kill me (really) to get my Progesterone pills away. At my last doctor visit I did not have a low grade fever and I have had one every day for the last 10 years. My resting heart rate is always around 120 (since getting sick 30 years ago) and it was just below 100. Those are physical markers that are measurable beyond symptoms. The last thing I am doing is not eating Gluten. I have attempted this many times in the past with not much luck. When I started working out, I eliminated all pasta and bread. I didnt eat much of it anyways because I eat very healthy but I totally eliminated it. When I have any gluten now I notice a dive in my energy levels within days. I avoid it like poison now. I am not well. I still am tired every single day but I am SO much better. I work about 30 hours a week. I still use the wrong words and forget the sentence I started but I some how manage. I still have a lot of my symptoms but they are at a mostly tolerable level. I have been sick for 30 years so in my world I am doing very good. I do not believe I have been cured or even close. I do however believe that the factors I have mentioned above have been huge in affecting my illness. I do not in any way believe I am going to crash and burn and that this is temporary. This is a slow steady improvement of strength and stamina. I may never get any improvement from here. I am still a long way from being healthy! I am SO much better though!! My hope is this LONG post may help some one in their attempt to put their puzzle of an illness together. Because I still have to carefully choose what I do with my energy, I rarely spend time on this site anymore. I will try to come back and check this post from time to time though.