May 12 is ME Awareness Day. A global day of "Millions Missing" protests and demonstrations by people with ME, their carers, family and friends. Many patients are too ill to leave their beds and would be lost and hopeless if not for the able bodied supporters who take their places at these rallies and make some noise for those of us too ill to do it ourselves.
I have recently been asked by a few people how they could practically help our cause. I will attempt to list some ideas and links to other initiatives that would greatly benefit from any support you can give.
When I first got ME/CFS, I was so utterly exhausted, I slept many hours a day and I slept at night too. Later I was introduced to one of ME's most horrible symptoms: insomnia. I know the frustration and despair that comes from not getting sleep for nights on end, so in this post I will explain how I overcome insomnia whenever it creeps back into my life.
It's quite ironic that people think having ME/CFS means we sleep all day when really we're just utterly exhausted, mentally and physically drained, but unable to sleep, especially at night.
I found myself nodding off in the day, trying hard to stay awake, and then at night when it's finally okay to go to sleep, my body and mind are wide awake and in no mood for rest, buzzing and restless, despite still feeling utterly wrecked.
One thing that can really cause a lot of stress for people with Chronic illness is coping with Christmas and all that it entails. For us, Christmas has changed so much over the years. From huge family get-togethers, to multinational bring-and-share gatherings of friends, to small meals with just my sister and I in my bedroom, to every combination in between! I think it’s safe to say that we don’t really have a typical Christmas tradition in our family.
This year we had a lovely quiet day at home, just the 4 of us. I was doing okay despite having had a bath the night before, I actually managed to spend most of Christmas upright with my family in the living room!
This post will be a recount of our celebration, but will also include tips on how I coped with the holiday chaos.Continue reading
People with ME all suffer at varying degrees, we cannot compare our flares to somebody else’s. What one considers an ME/CFS flare another considers just another regular day with ME. What one person with ME considers a normal day, might be somebody else’s idea of torture. Once thing they all have in common is that everybody’s battle is devastating.
We learn to acknowledge and respect everybody’s pain and everybody’s victories, because despite not fully understanding each other’s experiences, we can all agree on a few things: ME/CFS is life draining, heavy, isolating, painful, lonely, misunderstood and just plain horrible to deal with. And none of us would ever choose to have it or wish it upon our worst enemy.Continue reading
In the chronic illness community, I have found some of the strongest people you will ever come across. They are warriors who fight many battles daily, often against their own bodies or minds, just to get through each day. As much as there is hope and strength, there is also a lot of neglect and isolation. It is natural in these lonely and scary times to feel like giving up.
I often come across people who are losing all hope, but there is so much support and love available to us if we just reach out or know where to look. I hope this post will help you to find the support you need.