Humans of ME/CFS
I was in such a happy place when ME/CFS struck. I was a stay-at-home Mom and military wife doing what I loved: being with my girls, reading, cooking and exercising. In 2007, I became what I call “systemically ill.” A month later, my doctor diagnosed me with a UTI and treated me with antibiotics. It took a few months for most symptoms to improve, but my energy never quite got back to normal. Then, in 2008, I was struck again by a cascade of neurological symptoms and debilitating fatigue. A few months later, as I was putting groceries away, I realized that everything I had purchased were things my then 5 and 7 year old children could make for themselves. Because I could no longer cook. It was at that moment that I realized that my life had irrevocably changed.
I had to admit that I could not care for my children on my own. My children are now 13 and 15 and can largely take care of themselves physically. But I have missed out on so much; they have missed out on so much. I can no longer run, or even do much beyond morning stretches. I can no longer cook for enjoyment; it is completely out of necessity and utilitarian. I still read, although much, much less. When I am tired and I want to read, I pick up a book that I have read before so that it will not exhaust me as much. This is what the ME/CFS community has to do to live with our “invisible illness.” Edit, re-edit and re-edit some more. And pray for the day when we are taken seriously and treatments are made available. And finally and hopefully, for the day there is a cure.