Tomorrow I start the last level of Phase 2. Hopefully it will last only 40 days.
The past 40 days, as time has worn on, life has become increasingly like the CFS relapses I remember. It's not as bad as when I first got sick (that was like having mono for two years) but it is almost as bad as--to pick a couple of relapses at random--my first 2005 relapse (when I stopped working) and the second one that year (after Hurricane Rita). The main symptoms, besides fatigue, are a heaviness in my chest and limbs, some joint pain, some muscular pain, brain fog, and not really caring about much of anything. Sometimes, usually late at night and depending on the dosage schedule, I get this itchy feeling all over my body under my skin, which usually makes me anxious and restless for a little while. And for the past few days I've been seeing some edema, craving salty foods, and a bit grumpy. The latter could of course be plain, old-fashioned PMS--it's hard for me to judge. In the olden days I used to gain (and lose) as much as seven pounds every month--which at my height and weight is a full clothing size or more.
Although some of these symptoms are annoying, there's nothing truly dreadful. I think the most important thing right now in fact is to maintain an awareness of the symptoms, especially the neurological ones, because as the MP starts killing bugs in my brain it will probably become harder to see the forest for the trees and so keep my perspective.
The most significant thing is that despite the fact I'm "as sick as I was" instead of "feeling better," I know that with the Marshall Protocl, there is an endpoint. It may be years from now, but it will get here. After literally a full decade of blindly hoping that tomorrow, next week, next month, next year I would feel better and be able to live a normal life, it is so much easier now because I know that eventually I WILL be able to live a normal life. There is certainty, not just helpless wishing.