What is NORMAL

After suffering with the mostly unknown for many years without a proper dx, I focused on managing symptoms. Which I still do. At my age I am not interested in becoming a guinea pig but I applaud those who do, in the most genuine way. If I were younger . . . . . . . . . . .

I began to question "normal". Just what is normal. To my way of thinking it is those of us on the fringes who help identify what is considered normal, or the median.

My former Nebraska, small town, all knowing PCP agreed with me. We both felt that normal would be a person with no recognized diseases, and especially unrecognized. That led me to believe I was on the right track when it came to vitamins and supplements, and he agreed. He was my age and he felt that especially as we age, we do need higher doses. Lack of absorption, lack of appetite, etc. all play a role.

I especially notice that with this disease and sensory changes I totally lose appetite. I don't have the energy at some times to even lift a fork, or the energy to even chew. And I do feel that digestion even consumes energy in addition to frequently feeling flu like and nauseous. I pay attention to denser nutrition. I also listen to my body.

People in certain parts of the country, such as areas where most of the year the sun is seldom seen (Western Washington where I now live) need more Vit D. I grew up in the Midwestern US where oily fish was only available in cans, and even then a luxury, hence the addition of iodine to salt.

I feel this is something we all need to pay attention to. And I know those with CFS are attentive to supplemental and vitamin therapy. However, the right combinations are definitely needed for proper absorption, and that information is not hard to come by.

I have been a lifelong unprofessional student of good eating habits and nutrition. Forbidding processed, pre-packaged foods in my home except for rare occasions. I was so very fortunate to grow up cooking from scratch. I do have salty snack addiction. I also enjoy a good burger and French fries, but these items are seldom enjoyed, making it all the more enjoyable. I never use sugar substitutes - they are poison to my body, a total intolerance. I don't use enough sugar to make it an issue. Other food additives are often a problem. I cannot in any way tolerate spicy food, not even pepper. When eating out if my food is over spiced or even pre-peppered, I return it saying I am perfectly capable of seasoning my own food. Sadly, many restaurants promote their "home made food" which turns out to be a mix, already seasoned and they claim there is nothing they can do about it.

I have wandered into the area of just sayin'. Sorry:redface:

I am not afraid to double or even triple minimum daily requirements, which are apparently aimed at so called "normal" people. Most vitamins are water soluble, anyway. The oils are more of a problem. Like they say, if you are starving at the North Pole, never eat a polar bear liver.

I promote cooking and preparing your own food, or insisting your care-taker do the same. It also saves a lot of money. I am certainly a proponent of supplements, especially those deemed priority with our disease.

Most of all, I am not "normal".


I grew up with home cooking, also. Poverty's good for many things...especially no money to buy sodas, candies, have dessert & even canned food (think of early Italian for the masses - 'Chef Boyardee'). Everything we had was fresh & fed a lot of people. I still don't miss sodas, most candies, although I like a taste of something sweet at the end of a meal.

Like you, vitamins & supplements have been a way of life for more than 30 yrs. I wouldn't even eat if it wasn't prepared for me. I find eating a chore &, for perhaps the first time in my life, began to understand anorexics about 10 yrs. ago. Food isn't something I want in any form. I forced myself forkful by forkful to get over that after having had 3 rounds of shingles (4 in total..but the first was easy compared to the later ones). I rarely eat out as I can't have food after 4-5:00 p.m. I save myself for my husband & my family. Bear in mind that while our girls know what's going on, I especially want them to have their own lives for as long as possible. It can be a lonely world that we inhabit. We can still be inquisitive & interesting. As we surely know, there are plenty of people who aren't normal that we would never believe it of. One sees it especially as we age and we're not the only ones who have something/plenty amiss.

Being a grandmother was/is always trying to do the very best that I can. I couldn't hold them as babies, but now that the first 2 are in their teens things are better. I'm odd, I know it, but I do like teenagers, their thoughts, what makes them tick, etc. Now that didn't always extend to our own chldren as teens,

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