By Victoria Fernando in The Mighty.
I have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and I am writing this post in honor of International ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, this Saturday, May 12th, 2018.
Kudos to all those surviving and doing their best whilst living with these diseases, and to the caregivers and loved ones who love and support them!
These diseases are disabling, invisible and poorly understood. Often the struggles of those who live with them is disenfranchised and goes unacknowledged and invalidated.
Here’s a brief overview of the diseases:
ME/CFS is a complex neurological, immune and inflammatory disease with myriad symptoms – mainly fatigue, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, headaches, sensory sensitivity, sleep problems, digestive problems, etc. These symptoms are all made worse by physical, mental or emotional exertion. This is called post-exertional malaise (PEM) and is the hallmark and major symptom. ME/CFS is also called systemic exertion intolerance disease. Relapses, crashes and flares are part of the reality of this disease and severity ranges from mild to very severe. Some people are even bedbound because of it.
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