Tuesday, 4 October 2011
A new world
I managed to get to the outskirts of Chorley before I realised that it would be dangerous for me to go any further. My head felt heavy and it was a chore to hold it up, I was unable to concentrate and my reactions were scarily slow. My body ached everywhere as if I had the flu and all my limbs were heavy proving a struggle each time I needed to use them. After five days of resting and still not feeling any better I went to the doctors. I was petrified of what they might say as I had never felt so ill before. They took blood tests and explained it was a virus that was going round at the time. The blood tests came back and I was low in iron. I was relieved. I had been anaemic before and iron tablets had restored my energy. Believing anaemia was all I had I attempted to resume normal living and decided to go for a walk as it was a lovely day. As I stepped outside, the brightness hurt and my head started to ache. As I walked my body got heavier and it felt like I was wading in water. Three houses down there were kids playing in the garden, screaming and laughing. I couldn't stand the noise, I turned and went back to the house. Later that day I felt in such pain and walking had become even harder. I just had to lie down. It was even difficult to concentrate on watching the tv or talking to people. This was what life became for me. I also struggled to sleep. I would be awake for hours at night, desperately needing rest, but unable to get it. Numerous blood tests came back clear, so I went to the hospital to have more tests done, only for them to come back clear too. A friend mentioned M.E to me, and so I researched the condition and became fearful. The symptoms described what I was feeling,yet people were saying they had it for years. No, I did not want it be M.E. More doctors appointments, more tests, and they all came back clear. Luckily I had a family and a doctor who believed me and were supportive, or I would have felt crazy, guilty and would have pushed myself even further. After 6 months my doctor could finally diagnose me as my symptoms had not improved. She diagnosed me with M.E/CFS, and by that point I was so grateful to have a diagnosis that I no longer cared. It was a weight off my shoulders that I had a name for what I was feeling, and had come to accept the fact that I was in this for the long haul.
Posted by Jennifer Barber at 11:09