ME/CFS: Marla's recovery journey

Dr. Martina Melzer, published: 12/11/2022

 

Deutsche Version

 

Marla Menn is a dancer, an actress, a student. In 2019 she has a lot of stress, is under pressure, wants to perform a lot. Suddenly she has bad herpes infections, EBV reactivation and also gets scratched by a bat. She therefore gets several vaccinations against rabies and tetanus. The perfect storm. She feels like "constant flu" afterwards, has many other symptoms. Some time later she feels better, does more again, and crashes at the end of 2020. For several months she is practically completely bedridden. The diagnosis of ME/CFS is made.

Find out how the now 25-year-old went from bedridden to 60 to 70 percent recovered in the video interview (video is in German, please activate subtitle to watch in your language):

 

Key points about the recovery journey from the interview:

  • From her perspective, there is no one solution to overcoming ME/CFS. She believes a holistic approach makes sense.
  • Mindset: In the beginning of her journey, it was especially important to change the focus from "not curable" to "recovery is possible." This gave her hope. She left her passive role, actively looking for ways out of the disease. So mindset played a big role.
  • She found Raelan Agle's YouTube channel helpful:

         https://www.youtube.com/c/RaelanAgle

  • She got vitamin infusions and took supplements (you can find more on her YouTube channel in German). She gave her body and mind rest and "fed the body with good stuff that way," she says.

         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCXSJkqcGI8

  • Marla has had an anxiety disorder since childhood, some with fears of death. ME/CFS made this worse. She learned to resolve her fears, visualized a lot, walked through the fear, gave herself safety. She says that's not just positive thinking, but hard work.
  • She participated in the CFS Health recovery program for six months and found it helpful in finding a better balance between activity and rest. It improved her condition.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTNtFZFCMGM
        https://www.cfshealth.com/

  • She said in the interview "healing is my job now." Every day she did (and does) things that are important to her healing. It's a priority.
  • She doesn't like the word "pacing." To her, it means "reducing oneself," limiting oneself, perceiving what one can no longer do. So she prefers to talk about baseline (like Toby Morrison in the CFS Health program) and focus on "starting from baseline, I build up." That, she says, makes a huge difference for her, mentally.
  • When she got back to taking small walks, she mentally recited affirmations like "I am strong" to herself to lose the fear of activity.
  • She also did the „Lightning Process“ recovery program, but can't recommend it and didn't find it helpful. More in her video about it (German):

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQh1LZhLpuA

  • Buteyko breathing has helped her a lot. More in a video about it as well:

         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdSwBVGXV_M

  • Audio books she recommends:

         Alex Howard: Decode your Fatigue
         Gabor Maté: When the body says No
         Kyle L. Davis: The intelligent body
         Dale Carnegie: How to stop worrying and start living (this was her first book when she was still bedridden, they were  stories of encouragement)

  • Her message: keep the focus on the ways you can get well again!


Here's how to find Marla Menn (German):

Website: https://raus-aus-mecfs.my.canva.site/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX5K1qgLh5vZ-uO0QjuLU-g

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mecfs_recovery/

 

 

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Translated with the help of DeepL

Important: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for talking to your doctor or other therapist. The content reflects my personal experiences, research and findings that have helped me and that I therefore want to share. However, in your personal case, completely different things may play a role and other things may help. Please talk to your doctor or therapist before making any decisions that affect your physical or mental health. Also important: I don't want to convince anyone of anything here. Rather, I want to point out possible ways that hopefully can help some people to improve or overcome their Fatigue or ME/CFS. This applies for Marla Menn too.