Thirteen years ago, I knew something was very wrong with my body. I had set out on my typical walking path but my stamina was not there, each step felt like I was lifting a huge weight. I became so exhausted I laid right down on the dirt trail, afraid I would not make it back. I just needed to sleep. That day set me on a journey that left me isolated, tired always and numerous doctor visits. I was fortunate to be diagnosed by the fifth doctor, who now is my primary care physician. I had a positive Epstein Barr blood test.
Chronic fatigue Syndrome ruled my life. It affected every aspect. I had to leave my teaching position when I could no longer keep up with third graders. I would prepare dinner, only to just sit holding my head up, with no energy or desire to eat. It was quite a learning process to try to accept what my body could or would not let me do. I spent entire days resting in bed. I felt useless and lost.
In the midst of grieving all I use to do and be, I realized I had to bring something good from the losses. I kept my faith and eventually built my abilities back slowly step by painful step.
I began to feel in order to make sense of what I endured, I needed to reach out to others. I needed to help create awareness and knowledge of this invisible disease. I searched for a valid resource that I could get behind, and accomplish…bringing hope to others. It saved my life. I no longer felt alone.
Everyday is a battle determining what I may or may not be able to do. However, I learned I could use my experience and voice in a way to reach others. It was overwhelming at first, but then became empowering. I advocate at a local and state level. I feel my CFS battle is justified when I make that contact or connection. I fight for all us.