Around 6 years ago, my world changed completely and was turned upside down by an illness known as ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/ Chronic fatigue Syndrome). It took a good few years, but I’m happy to say my health recovered from this illness. Unfortunately that’s not always the case for others that suffer with ME/CFS. It’s an illness that is complicated and hard to understand.
Every year in May, particularly on May 12th many people that have been affected by the illness like to share information to help raise awareness.
Since a lot of us in the world have been experiencing some sort of lock down due to COVID-19, let me paint a picture of what it can be like for those that suffer with ME/CFS.
Picture being in lockdown for years, only being able to visit your essential places like the supermarket and medical appointments, if you can manage it. Ok so maybe you have been managing that so far….. now lets add in the lovely ME/CFS symptoms:
– Extreme physical and mental fatigue
– Lack of concentration
– Brain fog
– Memory loss
– Sleep dysfunction
– Irritable bowel
– Stomach pain and cramps
– Muscle pain and aches
– Muscle twitching and spasms
– Joint pain and aches
– Tender lymph nodes
– Sore throat
– Dissociative symptoms (Feeling that you are disconnected from your body)
– Psychological symptoms (irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, depression)
– Difficulty sitting or standing straight up
– Respiratory problems
– Poor temperature control
– Dizziness and nausea
– Loss of balance
– Hyper-sensitivity to light,sound, people, products with chemicals, food
Wow, that’s full on, it certainly doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time! Sadly it is the reality of what people with ME/CFS can be experiencing. Sounds awful doesn’t it.
If you would like more information about ME/CFS or would like to find out how you can help, check out the New Zealand ME/CFS website anzmes.org.nz, Australian ME/CFS website emerge.org.au or you can read my previous awareness posts here 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Thanks for reading and supporting the ME/CFS community!