Coping With ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Doing Something You Love - Debbie's Tale
by Debbie Brown
(Somerset., in the west country of England.)
I am 38 years old and have had ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for quite a while now. It all started about 3 years ago when I got the flu. I don't think I ever got over it properly because I always felt quite tired after that.
Two years ago, I got the mumps. Three months after it had developed, I was still dead on my feet (or flat on my back).
After many blood tests the doctors and specialist said that I must have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I've been pretty much housebound for the last 2 years. I can now manage to get out of bed after lunch most days and get up and properly dressed about 4 days a week. I've got to the stage now where I can even do a little housework (I never thought i'd be happy to do housework).
I also go on a jewellery making course for 2 hours on a Tuesday evening. It makes me very tired for the next day or 2 but it is so worth it.
I think the key to getting better is to relax and accept that you have a chronic illness. I think you must rest much more than you think you need, but I also think you should push yourself a little tiny bit every now and again.
I like to make jewellery when I'm in bed in the mornings, only for an hour and then I close my eyes and have a rest. Some days it can totally tire me out but I think I need the exercise (if you can call being propped up in bed playing with beads exercise). Other days I can easily do the hour but I try not to do more because I know I still need the rest.
I think everyone should find something they like to do, whether they have M.E. or not. When you find a hobby you love, it can become a therapy for you. It could be something physical or something spiritual but when you find what it is, that thing becomes important to your healing. I know it has been that way for me.
I also now know that if I never get any better than I am right now, that is ok. I am fine the way I am. I would love to be 100% better but it doesn't matter if I don't get there.
I wish that everyone with a chronic illness could feel that way.
Of course I still have my bad days and sad days but I think it is healthy to have them sometimes.
I hope that someone reading this can gain a little peace of mind and acceptance the same way that I did reading other peoples stories.
Peace and love to everyone