This is what healing from ME/CFS/CIRS looks like. Sometimes the non-quantifiable is actually quantified. These are the results of my C4a blood test from the Stanford Chronic Fatigue Clinic. C4a proteins are an indication of inflammation in the body, and are being investigated as a possible blood test to diagnose ME/CFS, as many patients have high C4a levels. The speculation at Stanford is that the interaction of inflammation and viruses cause ME/CFS symptoms. I had high levels of antibodies for five viruses, including Epstein-Barr, as well as elevated C4a levels. Normal range for C4a is between 0 and 2800. Last August my C4a was over 7500. C4a is also an indicator of exposure to toxic mold, and a possible indicator of the HLA-DR gene, which causes the immune system to not recognize biotoxins. ::
Tests are not proof of illness or disability, not when illness and disability have been stigmatized as "psychosomatic" and "illigitimate." As of this writing my application for disability benefits is still pending, and it will likely be complicated by my recovery even though I am on doctor's orders to not resume full-time employment, maybe for years, due to the danger of relapse. ::
But the reality of this graph is the beauty of the present moment, where my functional immune system keeps inflammation to a minimum. My C4a levels at my follow-up appointment at Stanford are now a low 660. The treatment that got me here? Mold free housing, daily detox with binders like chlorella and saunas, low-dowse naltrexone to manage inflammation, Lauricidin (monolaurin) as an antiviral/antibacterial/antifungal. Plus regular exercise, therapy to deal with trauma, anxiety and grief, good food and a willingness to go slow, be slow.
Healing is magic. And it is also science. It is imperfect, nonlinear, and only rarely visible in such a profound way. But this profundity made me cry. Because it shows both how sick I was, and how well I am. A blessing. Holy holy health.