When The ‘Holiday Season’ Is No Holiday At All For Those With ME/CFS



By Jody Smith in Phoenix Rising.


The holiday season just doesn’t live up to the hype, especially for the chronically ill and their caregivers. You people with ME/CFS know all too well what I’m talking about.

I am one of the lucky ones, and I know it. My symptoms are generally mild and while they keep my life small, I’m able to do more than many who have ME/CFS.

Today I drove for 20 minutes to a shopping plaza and picked up a few things for Christmas, then drove back home. For some people, this sounds like no big deal but for many in the ME/CFS community, such short jaunts are not possible.

Maybe there’s no car, or you aren’t able to drive it. Or you’re too ill to even be a passenger. Maybe there’s no money for gifts — maybe there’s no money for food or bills either. Maybe you’re finding it a major challenge trying to lift your head off the pillow.

Lots of us are isolated during this holiday season. This can be because our friends or families have drifted away and we are alone in the world. Or maybe friends and family are around, and as involved as our illness allows them to be — but sensory overload from too much noise, too much visual stimulus forces us to keep them at a distance.

Conversation — speaking or understanding — may be difficult or even impossible. And unless you have ME/CFS, you have no conception of just how utterly draining this can be. I could go brain-dead in about five seconds flat under the right circumstances — if “right” is the correct term here.


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