Lara Kilner in The Mirror.
I was a healthy child, but everything changed when I was 14 and caught a virus. The weeks went by and I didn’t get better. I’d lie with my head on the desk in lessons, unable to move from the exhaustion. I was sleeping a lot, I had pain in the back of my legs and I’d feel sensitive to everything.
The first time I knew something was really wrong was when I couldn’t get up the stairs at school. I had to stop three times and I’d drop something so I could pretend I had a reason to pause. I tried to carry on, thinking, ‘It’ll go away’. I didn’t want to be ill, I wanted to live like a normal teenager.
I’d even try to hide it from my parents – I’d say I was upstairs doing homework when really I’d be asleep – but it got to a point where I couldn’t disguise how bad things were.
The doctor just prescribed painkillers and I was told to fight it. But gradually my world began to shut down. I had to stop going to school, and as the days went on I became more and more isolated. At first I’d sit on the sofa with the curtains open, then the curtains were shut, then I’d have to wear dark glasses as well. Then I couldn’t go downstairs any more, I was in my bedroom, unable to get out.
I went from being incredibly active to having nothing in six months. It was terrifying. And I still didn’t have a clue what was wrong with me.
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