For Patients With CFS, Going To The Bathroom Is Similar To Running A Marathon.




By: Ellen de Visser.


Patient and doctor Mark Vink about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Having so little energy that you can only leave your bed twice a day: that’s what CFS can be like. Researchers suggest it’s a mental disease. Nonsense, says doctor and CFS-patient Mark Vink.

Mark Vink’s whole world consists of exactly one room: a small room on the first floor of his house, at the end of a blind alley. Daylight is kept out by curtains. In the half-dark appears a closet, photos on the wall, a table and then a bed on the left side. There he lies the whole day, for years on end, with sunglasses and ear protection to dampen the bits of light and sound he cannot deal with. He has so little energy in his body that he can only walk to the bathroom on the other side of the hallway twice a day.

After a few meters he is worn out, much worse than after the marathons he used to run. He was a triathlete, he earned a brown belt in judo, became Dutch champion in hockey, until he contracted pneumonia in 2005 and never recovered. Ever since, he has a headache, vertigo, and insomnia, but worst of all the fatigue: after minimal effort his muscles would lose all their strength and take days to recover. Only after a few years did he get a diagnosis: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).


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