Living with an invisible illness is tough. In fact, to say it’s tough is an understatement. You get the usual “you don’t look sick” or “well, you look alright”, and whilst it’s quite reassuring to know that you look somewhat ‘normal’ and like everyone else, those words come to be the bane of your life. I’ve only suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalitis for little over a year, but in some ways I think it’s been harder to begin with as the days of being a healthy and active person are only recent memories and the sudden decline in my health and wellbeing have come as a shock to the system. I still feel like I can do all the things I used to and on good days I can remember what it was like to feel energised and strong.
My CFS/ME story began last year after I was hospitalised with Glandular Fever and Sepsis. (To read more up on my experience with Sepsis, blood poisoning, I have a post on my blog about it.) It was since these two horrible illnesses that I just never got better. It’s hard to explain it to people and I always feel that people don’t believe me, or if they do, they don’t understand how bad it is. But then again, how can I expect them to? CFS/ME is a grey area in the way of medicine. No one is really sure what causes it or how to cure it. It’s basically a condition where the body isn’t able to ‘recharge’ itself so sleep doesn’t feel refreshing and in turn a patient doesn’t have as much energy as a healthy person. Some common symptoms are fatigue, muscle and joint pain, concentration and memory problems, painful lymph nodes, sore throat, malaise, sensitivity to light and noise and psychological problems such as depression. Some people suffer with just fatigue and others have multiple symptoms (Unfortunately I am one of these people. I seem to have every symptoms of it!). Severities vary from mild, meaning a person can generally care for themselves and carry on as normal, to severe, where a patient could be wheelchair or bed bound.
Ive spent the last week in a terrible ‘flare up’ after a massage and have done almost nothing but rest. The day after the massage I physically couldn’t move at all. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that even something that is supposed to be relaxing and helpful puts such a strain on my body that I spend the next week paying for it. I’m trying so hard to pace myself in the hope that this will keep my body balanced and avoid any future relapses.
I spent a long time in and out of the doctors surgery trying to get to the bottom of what it was that was making me so I’ll. Blood test after blood test. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that it was CFS/ME and have referred me to a specialist in order to get help. Since then, I’ve decided I won’t let my condition get the better of me and I am trying and testing any method of easing the pain and fatigue and documenting it in my blog for others to read, and in the process hopefully help others suffering with the same illness.
The author of this post is a new blogger, Emilie.
Emilie is extending her hand to other sufferers of Chronic Illness and is happy to chat through her blog http://www.emiliecfsme.wordpress.com
On her blog you will find tried and tested coping methods and other information related to her Chronic Condition and others.
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