Humans of ME/CFS
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with depleted energy levels. I used to lose concentration in school far too easily and could sometimes find the smallest amount of physical exertion exhausting. Of course, I was just labelled by those around me at the time as lazy; the fact that I have always been overweight did not do much for me either, if I am honest. I started to worry more later on in life when the fatigue would become a chronic migraine. I felt like I constantly needed to stretch to try and relieve the ache that was building up in my muscles and joints. I decided then it was time I saw a doctor. It took over two years, various tests, and failed medication for me to finally get the diagnosis I had been searching for: I was suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis. It has only been 10 months since I got my diagnosis and in that time my health has plummeted. I had to go off sick from my job, only to then have to leave all together which was heartbreaking. The pain in my joints has worsened; I cannot walk without using my walking stick, and I need a perching stool to help me carry out simple tasks. This illness has severely lowered my quality of life and it makes me so angry that it has managed to do it so easily. I used to walk everywhere. Now, I am lucky if I can make it to my local supermarket 2 minutes down the road. I love to read; I am a massive bookworm. Now, I cannot make it through a paragraph anymore without having to go back to reread it because the information is just not going in. And, I used to sing. My God, did I love it! My way of escaping anything and everything was to sing. Now, I barely have enough breath in me to form a coherent sentence and that is without having to stay on my feet for 3-5 minutes. I think the most heartbreaking part for me is that the illness has stolen what my marriage should have been. My husband and I were supposed to go out into the world, experience things, and live to the fullest. Now, we are lucky if I have enough energy or the pain has subsided enough for me to be able to get off the sofa to help with tea. My big wake-up call was falling trying to get out of the bath. I am not the able bodied 26-year-old I should be and that is a devastating thing to come to terms with.