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Cross Bike Collector.....
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Epstein Barr Virus, Chronic fatigue syndrome

Used to be a certified bike nut, (still am) I debated many times about actually putting this on RBR, but thought maybe someone else has gone through it.
I did it all, Mtn Bike, Cyclocross, Road. I road every second I could and beat myself up and road hard each time I got on the bike and loved every second of it. Loved to climb, and used to play games with my head seeing if my brain could outlast the lactic acid in my thighs. Lets just say I was in awesome shape, and pretty fast too. One day I was doing some training for and upcoming race and after the ride, around 2 hours later I crashed hard, very sick, unable to get up, with chest pain and everything, it took me days to get over it.
I went on riding and about a month later, after a routine ride that I had done a thousand times it happened again.
I of course went to see a doctor, and to be brief, after a dozen doctors, several days in the ER, including specialists: a cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist, and a sleep specialist, a surgery to repair my septum (nose) no one has found anything wrong with me other than a positive test for Epstein Barr, which after 15 months has become Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
For 15 months I go on this cycle of an upswing in which I try to get on the bike and ride a few miles and then inevitably, I crash, get sick, can’t work for several days, and then spend 3 weeks just trying to get through the day, much less get on the bike. Only to relive the cycle all over again. I get well enough to start riding again, and then it happens again.
I’m told these things can take years, but that eventually I will get over it.
I’ve had many bikes over the years, and spent a lot of money on custom bikes including an IF, Carl Strong, Dean, and Moots. It absolutely kills me to see my bikes not being ridden, especially after the monetary investment in them. I live to ride, so this is really hard on my mind; forget the physical part of it, not riding is killing me.
Have any of you ever gone thru this? Or know someone who has? And if so, how did you cope? And how long did it take you to get over it, and were you able to return to the form you once had?
I just want to ride my bikes, it's killin me.

168 Posts
Lots of people test positive for EBV, including people with and without Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Lots of people with CFS test negative for EBV. CFS is a very poorly understood disease, but current theory suggests that CFS is triggered in different people for different reasons. In some people, it's the psychological stress of the death of a loved one, in some people it's a physical stress like a bike race, and in some people, it's the immune stress of a viral infection, and lots of different viruses have been implicated.

CFS patients show abnormalities of immune function, metabolism, and neurocognition, so the disease is much more complex than a pernicious viral infection. The hallmark symptom is "fatigue," but it's a strange kind of fatigue - CFS fatigue gets much worse after exertion or stress, as do the rest of the symptoms.

As you may have guessed, I also have CFS, and it sucks, but I'm doing what I can to recover. The worst part about this ordeal is that cycling has been transformed from healthy exercise into something that has the potential to make me feel really, really awful.

Fortunately, one of the few effective therapies is Graded Exercise Therapy. Keep cycling, but take it easy, ride consistently, and sloooowly work up to where you were. If you have more questions, please feel free to send me a PM.
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