By Skye Wheeler in HUFFPOST.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS/ME. These are just a few terms to describe one of the most destructive illnesses known to man. Manifesting as unrelenting fatigue and profound pain, ME/CFS is destroying the lives of 250,000 people in the UK. One in four are so severely affected that they are rendered house-bound or bed-bound with some even reliant on tube feeding. Sufferers are often confined to their beds, unable to walk and need help even to shower.
ME is a long-term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness. But this definition doesn’t even touch the surface. My life has been ripped to pieces and then burnt down into nothing. My life was planned out. My life had so much potential but now as I write this, I haven’t moved for hours, I am in extreme pain all over my body, I lay in the dark because of light sensitivity and wait for someone to return home to take me to the toilet. My bed is my world. My bed is my support. It has seen me through endless days of torturous pain, fatigue and inner turmoil.
“But isn’t everyone tired?” This fatigue is like no other. There is nothing I would give more than to transfer my symptoms to another person for just an hour. The fatigue we feel is like a thousand bricks being tied to your body. You can’t muster up the energy to put one foot in front of the other. You can’t get dressed without a blackness descending over your eyes. You can’t carry a conversation let alone even speak. The only thing you can do is lie and exist.
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