Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
I love Catherine's poignant and sensitive blog on her ten years with ME/CFS. She's now 27 - it started when she was 17. It turns out that her family is loaded with ME/CFS!
What amazing stories from the ME/CFS community....At the cruel age of 17, I began developing physical symptoms that gradually restricted me. My days of unbridled living and having free range roaming Adelaide were no more. I began studying astrophysics at university however my muddled brain started to become as nebulous as the stars I was studying. I switched courses to focus on the less intense universe of philosophy. After six months I became a university dropout.
From another section of her website this is what happened to her:
During June of 2005, my first symptom emerged- coughing up mucus. This remained an isolated symptom until I began feeling increasingly fatigued during September 2005. I experienced reoccurring tonsillitis (four infections) from December 2005 until January 2006, which resulted in a tonsillectomy. Severe headaches then became prevalent in April 2006. I was diagnosed with ‘CFS’ in July 2006 and with ‘severe CFS’ during August 2008. Since the onset of my illness in June 2005, my health has steadily declined, almost uniformly. I now spend 23 hours a day in bed (the other 1 hour lying in a chair next to my bed) and struggle to leave my home without ‘crashing.’ I have over 40 symptoms and I haven’t been able to walk 100 metres since 2008, as this will also cause me to ‘crash.’ Prior to my illness, I was a healthy, middle and long distance runner, almost 18 and about to study astrophysics at university.
Specialised testing ascertained that the blood wasn’t flowing freely around my brain and my immune system was impaired. I was thus diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME.) This name was all too familiar to me. I was the sixth person on my maternal side to be given a similar diagnosis. I had a list of symptoms that couldn’t be contained to an A4 page and this tally has only extended to the present.
She is quite ill yet she is not depressed!
Despite my disability, I am seldom bored and often recall Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” I am in constant pain but despite this, I am joyous. My upbeat attitude living with a chronic illness is partly due to the hedonic adaptation of having become accustomed to suffering. I survive in some way due to living at home with a supportive family, having a dedicated doctor and living drenched in positivity.
Each day as the sun sinks, I hear the same echoes of runner’s footsteps outside my home. I look up to only catch a shadow- soon that will be my shadow again.
Check out the entire blog here: https://livingwithchronicfatiguesyndrome.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/ten-years-of-m-e/