by Chrissy Russell.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Yuppy Flu, post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)… The list goes on. Each decade has seen a new name, but the erroneous perception of it remains the same. The Word Health Organisation classifies the disease as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a neurological disorder. Sadly, in the UK, it is still regarded by many, and treated as a psychological illness.
So how did it start for me?
Looking back, it probably started with a dose of glandular fever. I was just a few months off my 18th birthday in 1974. I still remember laying in that bed, the sweat drenching my bed sheets. For years I thought nothing more about it, although I had always known I was around 18 when I started getting ill. It was the headaches first, oh the headaches. Nothing would get rid of them. Memories of time spent in dark rooms, clutching my head. Thank God I have effective medication for them now. The fatigue, so tired all the time. I stumbled through life, marriage, parenthood, divorce, lone parenting, all the while incessantly asking my doctor why I was always so exhausted. “Hmmm you have a lot on your plate Christine”. “Do you think the pain is all in your mind Christine?” I don’t know Doc, you tell me, all I know is it HURTS!
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