Humans of ME/CFS
I got sick nearly a decade ago while I was still in college. Ironically, I was studying to be a doctor. I think the ME/CFS may have been triggered by a water-damaged and moldy dorm room. Although, my lack of proper nutrition and sleep probably didn’t help much either.
My family wasn’t happy with my “decision” to drop out of school and they cut me off entirely. They even refused to pay my doctors’ bills as further punishment. While I was allowed to live at home, I didn’t feel safe there. So, I often slept in my car and other rooms around my hometown. I contacted countless social agencies for support throughout this time, but everyone told me there was nothing they could do.
I ran out of money and was reduced to stealing over the counter medicine to treat my pain. It didn’t help much for the splitting headaches, but at least it got me high. I did visit an emergency room once. But, I got nothing but abuse and ignorance from the staff who were certain I was trolling for narcotics. I also received never-ending phone calls and harassment from bill collectors. (No one had told me that I should not to use my real phone number).
I grew tired of the strain of endless, chronic pain and I moved back home. Although I still couldn’t find a helpful general practitioner or doctor, I was at least able to refill my prescriptions. My brother moved back home too and began an unfortunate habit of punching me unconscious as it pleased him. Again, no one would do anything.
Finally, I decided to fight back. When the cops arrived on the scene, they blamed me, despite my brother being a former varsity wrestler and my own illness. I was too weak to walk a few blocks down the street to safety. Because I had a “psychiatric condition,” I had to spend three weeks in the psychiatric ward where I was medically abused. To be honest, the abuse which I witnessed others endure was much worse. I told them again and again that I was very sick. I reported that I was being battered and encouraged to commit suicide, but no one cared.
After that, I moved several thousand miles away. I had a very bad relapse, during which I nearly starved and froze to death because I was unable to care for myself. I was seeing a general practitioner at the time. I told him about these threats to my health, but he didn’t care. No thanks to him and many others, I am well again. Or rather, mostly well. I have a talent for biochemistry and use that knowledge to convince doctors of my needs, quite successfully. I am still waiting for a doctor to truly understand my illness.