Humans of ME/CFS
In 2009, whilst working at a nursery school, I contracted swine flu. Little did I know then that within six months I would start a battle that has, so far, lasted six years! February 2010, my 22-year old daughter found out that she was expecting a baby, a surprise as we thought that should could not have children due to medical conditions. She also has type 1 diabetes. Within weeks, she was very ill with excessive morning sickness and was hospitalized 14 times during her 8-month pregnancy. This obviously caused me a lot of stress. I was trying to work full time and within weeks I was in the hospital having a lumbar puncture and MRI to see if I had a brain bleed. Fortunately, it was only a cluster migraine! Things went from bad to worse and I was taking so much time off of work thinking I had various viruses. By April, I was unable to work any longer and started my long term sick leave, certified with anxiety/depression. I received an appointment at our local hospital with a rheumatologist as my GP thought I may have fibromyalgia, but the appointment was in October so I paid to go private. In July 2010 I was diagnosed with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.
In November 2010, I lost my lovely job. I was devastated as it was the perfect job for me: multi-tasking, diverse. I got to see children all day and work with many people who, at the time, I considered friends! I socialized with many of them outside of work.
I now only see one person who I worked with! In June 2009, I had a party to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. I invited 100 friends! Funny that now I can count my friends on one hand!
This awful illness has stripped me of friends, work, socializing, exercising, seeing family, shopping, dancing, painting, photography—all of which were part of my life back before 2010!
I now have 12 grandchildren who I hardly see. I can only see my mum who lives 40 miles away if my sister or my husband take me because I cannot drive that far due to lack of concentration and fatigue. When I do go to visit her (3 times a year), I have to bed rest the day before and a few days after and I will ache more from sitting in the car for so long.
I worked in finance, but now I can barely add up a simple sum. My brain that used to multi-function as second nature now cannot remember simple things like birthdays and anniversaries and my long-term memory is now affected too.
I am now trying new treatment for ME/CFS called Perrin Treatment, I am 5 months in, at the moment not feeling better, maybe worse but was told that this can happen before getting better! I hope and pray that it works and I get my life back.