Humans of ME/CFS
I am a warrior. I have been battling Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and the added comorbid conditions for the last decade now. Because I did not give up fighting, I was finally correctly diagnosed and started treatment in 2008. There were days that I spent in my bed watching the world and my teenagers’ lives go by. My husband stood by me, encouraged the numerous doctors’ visits, and then helped me with researching on my own. My family had made me hold unto hope and for a better day to come. Now, I tell others who suffer like me to “Keep Believing.”
I was given muscle relaxers and depression meds that helped with the fibro pain but have found nothing that can rid my body of this constant, draining, and unrelenting fatigue. If I can prepare a meal, I usually cannot hold my head up to eat it. This disease is isolating. With no strength to be out of the house, my friend circle has whittled down to one. I have one single girlfriend I have known most of my life who has been there for me. She accepts me as the injured warrior. She accepts that some days I cannot battle the fatigue.
I used to be a substitute teacher for special needs children. I used to feel like I was making a difference. I would sit in the stands and enjoy my children’s sports. I would cook dinners and bake cookies for my family and even for the teams. I used to be a wife in every way. I enjoyed cross country ski trips, bicycling, and power walking. I have grieved for the person I used to be.
Gradually, I have accepted very reluctantly that I can no longer be that person. The only way I have found to continue this life is to pace myself and expect to pay for simple things like a walk in the park by a day or two in bed. I have taken to the title of “warrior.” It makes me feel stronger and reminds me to keep fighting. I am thankful for the love and support of my family and friend. I am grateful to see the sunshine and to talk with my children. I am hopeful for a better tomorrow. I am an active advocate for all warriors. I am redefining who I am and who I will become, all while believing that someone out there is researching and working to find a way for us to live that better day. My mantra is not to keep looking back.