Muscle wilting meltdown, air gulping short of oxygen feeling, brain blood vessels flayed on a laundry line in the wind, metal rods in the back of head . . . someone crushing your ribcage, limbs giving out, mesh bag constricting head, ‘pingers’: those first small headaches that warn of bigger headaches, ‘back of head clamp’ headache, increased gravity feeling, being pushed backward into bed, temple-to-temple headache, weak arms as if bound down by stretchy ropes, eyes and brain blanking with a kind of pulse through the head . . . Harm and damage often come from these collapses, though on the outside they may look like ‘malaise.’
Post-exertional malaise or relapse is a hallmark symptom of CFS. In June 2010 we launched a series of articles to explore this disabling, and relatively unique, aspect of CFS. Writer Jennie M. Spotila, J.D., compiles research and experience to offer breadth and depth of understanding.
Unraveling Post-Exertional Malaise
Part 1: This article (from the June 2010 issue of CFIDSLink) examines the definition of PEM and how CFS patients experience it.
Post-Exertional Malaise: Perception and Reality
Part 2: This article (from the August 2010 issue of CFIDSLink) examines objective evidence of PEM and how it differs from fatigue in other illnesses.
Post-Exertional Malaise: Cause and Effect
Part 3: This article (from the August 2010 issue of CFIDSLink) examines the topic of kinesiophobia and what mechanisms may cause PEM.
Post-Exertional Malaise: Power to the People
Part 4: This article (from the September 2010 issue of CFIDSLink) examines what patients can do to cope with and avoid this incapacitating symptom.
Click here to download the entire PEM series in PDF format.
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