Pretty soon, I'll be off to Hoag Hospital to get blood drawn to send to Health Diagnostics laboratory in New Jersey. They'll run a methylation panel, which essentially tells you how well your body is eliminating waste from the blood stream, among other things. It is thought that defects in the methylation cycle are a key part of the problem for people with ME/CFS. Apparently Health Diagnostics is the only lab in the country that runs this particular panel. It will be an interesting experience: This is the first time I'll have ever shipped my blood across the country. I never thought I'd be doing that.
But in the mean time, I was thinking of two more things that I can look to as the "bright side" of my illness. Granted, they don't compare to having my health, but I try to focus on the positive.
1. My electric bill has been about half of what it was in previous summers. That's because, with my lower body temperature, we don't need to run the air conditioning. We simply keep the windows open. My wife was never as sensitive to the heat as me, so she doesn't mind keeping the A/C off.
While I originally got sick in the middle of last summer, I was still in the acute stage of the illness, so my body temperature hadn't dropped yet. This summer we're starting to see the savings, which has already been in the hundreds of dollars, and could be in the thousands by year's end.
2. I have a lot of favorite items of clothing lying around and in storage which, over the last five years, I've outgrown -- especially as I packed on weight around my torso. But I held onto these clothes anyway, perhaps because of their sentimental value or because they "just don't make 'em like that any more."
Now that I've lost 30 pounds because of the CFS, I'm suddenly able to fit in all these clothes again. I love it.
I actually think my ideal weight is somewhere between my current weight and what I weighed just before I got sick. I wouldn't mind gaining about 15 pounds back. But for now, I'm just happy to give these old comfortable clothes a second go-around.