My first experience of M.E. was watching my 11 year old daughter’s health gradually decline. She was an active, energetic young girl, the life and soul of every party, but following a bout of flu she slowly began to lose her stamina. Eventually she was housebound in bed with not even enough strength to wash herself. Gradually after 18 months of rest, pacing of gentle activity, online schooling and a lot of love and care she was able to return to school part-time. She spent the next three years building up her activity levels and having regular times of rest. Today she is 95% recovered.
My personal experience with M.E. started back in 2006, before my daughter became unwell, my health had begun to deteriorate and I had repeated digestive problems. I became very weak, lost a lot of weight and this affected my ability to concentrate and process information. I had to give up work and was ordered to rest, not something I liked to do as a person who loved to be active! In 2010, following repeated tests and a severe bout of fatigue that left me housebound, I was finally diagnosed with M.E. Gradually over the last five years I have learnt the art of balancing rest and activity, a very precarious juggling act that if not managed carefully leads to severe fatigue and months at home rebuilding my energy levels.
There is just one thing that I would like to ask of anyone who hasn’t experienced M.E. for themselves, and that is that you don’t judge those who are suffering with this illness. Its very easy to look on from the outside and think that a sufferer seems perfectly normal, what you don’t see are the days at home in agony that result from the few hours of being out in the world! Please bless those who are suffering by believing in them and stand alongside them in their fight.