Humans of ME/CFS
CFS is an invisible disability. When you look at me, you won't see my broken aerobic metabolism that has cost me my muscle strength, flexibility and endurance. You won't see that taking a shower or preparing a simple meal causes me to exceed my anaerobic threshold, creating lactic acid build-up, exhaustion and pain. You won't see how my sleep is disrupted every night, restless and unrefreshing. You won't see the chronic and debilitating muscle and joint pain, headaches, sore throat. Or the intolerance to noise, bright lights, chemicals and foods that were easily tolerated before CFS. You won't see my lost sense of productivity, accomplishment and contribution that I got from career that I loved and was so much of my identity. Or my lost sense of connection with others because socializing exceeds my energy limits. Or that I can no longer be counted on to help family or friends in need, or be an equal partner and companion to my husband. You can't see my uncertainty about the future. You can't see my heart yearning to live fully, while my body and brain deteriorate. But it's real, and it's my CFS story.