Basic Stuff

  • Name: Azalea
  • Country: United States
  • State: Washington
  • City: Pullman
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 59
  • Education: Masters Degree
  • Primary Illness: Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS)
  • Diagnosis:
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
    • Fibromyalgia (FM)
    • Migraine
    • Hypertension
  • Year Illness Began: 2009

Functioning Interrupted

Former Level of Functionality: 100
(No symptoms at rest; no symptoms with exercise; normal overall activity level; able to work full-time without difficulty.)
Current Level of Functionality: 20
(Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Unable to perform strenuous activity; overall activity 30%-50% of expected. Unable to leave house except rarely; confined to bed most of day; unable to concentrate for more than 1 hour a day.)

Work Interrupted

  • Former Occupation: IT-Project Manager
  • Job Responsibilities at Former Occupation:

    Managing an intranet IT-project from initial surveys, call for tenders, negotiation, and design to implementation and deployment in a large energy corporation. Teaching 35 local intranet editors to operate the new software. Migrating data from old platform to new intranet. Project economy. Procurement. LEAN / Business Process Reengineering.

  • Years of Work Lost: 10
  • Current Work Status: Retired

Income Interrupted

  • Year Retired: 2020
  • Minimum Annual Income Loss at Retirement:  


  • Total Projected Economic Losses For Years Not Worked:


Other Interruptions

Certified Disabled: Yes

  • This illness has severely impacted my ability to financially prepare for retirement
  • I was unable to attend college/university as I had planned
  • I reduced my work hours
  • I left my job or retired early
  • I took on jobs with less responsibilities than I otherwise would have
  • I have been unable to or found it very difficult to date

Most Impactful Loss

I consider the loss of my health and thus my freedom to work, travel, date, and do sports and cultural activities as my greatest loss. Also loss of friendships and previously frequent contact with nature and the ocean are quite painful.

My Story

In the fall of 2009 my former employer strongly encouraged all their employees to have a flu vaccination (offered and paid for by the company) in order to bring down the number of sick leave days. I've never had such a vaccination before, but I accepted anyway.

Well, twenty minutes after I got the injection I started to feel flu-like sick, and I developed a headache, muscle ache, nausea, and a high fever. At lunch the fever was so high I had to go home. Then followed four weeks with a chronic horrible headache, constant high fever, an upper respiratory infection, and very unpleasant GI problems.

When the fever finally got back to normal, I still felt flu-like sick and feverish - and I had also all the classic ME-symptoms, and I have never recovered. Six months after I became sick I resigned in order to focus on getting better. Sadly, that has not been feasible - and I have tried everything under the sun. Instead, the ME has gradually exacerbated to the level of severity where I am 95% bed bound.

Although I have a masters degree, I enrolled at the university again in order to improve my qualifications i.e. in the initial years after I got ME. Unfortunately, I was way too ill to accomplish the curriculum, so I had to give up.

It has not been possible to get any compensation from the responsible pharmaceutical company pertaining to the adverse reaction, despite the fact that their product has ruined my life. The vaccine's name is Vaxigrib and is manufactored by Sanofi Pasteur (France). So my advice is to stay away from all products this corporation produces - and Vaxigrib in particular. Look them up at YouTube. Their products have hurt and ruined so many lifes incl. infants.

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