I suffer from an illness which is called M.E.(myalgic encephalopathy) in the UK, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in North America. You can read about the science on wikipedia

My Main Symptoms

Firstly, I don't have it as badly as many people do. A lot of people are bed-ridden with it, whereas I can still play football (after a fashion).

I was diagnosed with it around the start of 2005. My main symptom revolves around an inability to wake up in the morning. I almost invariably wake up more tired than when I went to sleep. I can get up before 9AM when pushed, but not regularly, and it usually means I am worse for a few days. In the two hours before I wake up I have strangely realistic dreams in a semi-awake state. Details below.

I can work late, when required, but a week of work usually means that I need the weekend just to recover

Additionally, I get:

I used to get:

Psychological factors and other theories

There is a theory that M.E. is largely caused by depression. This is doesn't match up with my experience - my M.E. was at its worst when I was at my happiest, and better when I was at my unhappiest. However, recently I have noticed a bit of a correlation - I am more likely to feel depressed when I am tired from my ME.

Personally, I am tempted to believe the theory that it's a latent stomach virus, but I'll leave that to the scientists.

Occupational Health Report

BT carried out an occupational health review, which you can see here

What Helps

Moderate exercise. Playing football twice a week seems ideal, although the 24 hours after the game itself are unpleasant. Cycling and walking also help.

Regular sleeping patterns

Breathing exercises - imagining a river running through me.

What Hinders

Weird Dreams

I was married ... to a slice of garlic bread. We were enjoying our honeymoon (alas I have no recollection of having consumated our holy union), and I had gone for a walk alone along the beach. It was then I heard shouting. My darling wife had drowned. as I held her sodden body in my hands, the central portion, i.e. the garlicky bit, became detached from her crust, her beautiful crust, and plopped upon the sand.

In another early dream I believed my head was made of butter. I spent several hours (this was back when I didn't get in to work till about 12:30 most days and sat there is a daze for few hours before going home) ostensibly awake in bed, trying to come to terms with having a head made of butter. I concluded that I could still play football as long as I didn't go up for headers. I had been up and walking around for 15 or 20 minutes before it really dawned on me that it was just a dream.

I also have "dreams" where one side of my brain repeats particular words over and over again, which the other side of brain gets upset thinking, "bean nets? what the hell are bean nets? that doesn't make any sense!"