It can be quite tricky deciding what to buy your friends with chronic illness because of all the limitations and intolerances we often have. What would be useful and not harmful in their condition?
There are many lists out there, and they're all slightly different depending on the condition they're tailored for, so I'm making a list of the things I would have loved to receive over the years of being housebound.
I have chronic fatigue and chronic pain as my main symptoms and I struggle with sensory over-stimulation and occasionally anxiety, so anybody with ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia and even those with Migraines and Arthritis might appreciate these items.
I was lying in the bath relaxing last night when I felt the shakes coming on… This is what I get for walking to the bathroom and getting undressed. I started feeling a bit of the internal tremors at this point, I imagined it might come to the shakes, and then as I lay in the tub to rest, before washing, they suddenly started up. (see the video clip below)
This is just the start, it then takes over my whole body and that’s when holding my phone, or anything else for that matter, becomes very hard.
As anybody with ME/CFS and their carers will know, many doctors and health care practitioners still treat ME as a psychological disorder, when in fact it has been proven to be physiological. Patients have been dismissed for decades, disbelieved, misunderstood and symptoms ignored.
The current treatment recommended for ME/CFS patients is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, a type of psychologically based talk therapy) and GET (Graded Exercise Therapy, a controlled exercise program). This came about due to findings that came out of the PACE Trial which has been reviewed recently and found to be based on flawed principles. The whole trial was unscientific and skewed, not at all a sound basis for deciding how to treat ME/CFS.Continue reading
As you might know by now, I spend every Wednesday evening on Twitter, along with many other ME/CFS warriors, taking part in ME Awareness Hour. It runs from 8-9pm (London time) every Wednesday evening.
We tweet about what life is like with this life draining illness. We tweet and retweet for an hour, hoping to to make our hashtags trend on the front page of Twitter so we can get the most attention possible. I hope you will join us, even if you only retweet other people’s tweets, every bit helps!
I have a date tonight – with Twitter! Every Wednesday evening I spend an hour on Twitter, along with a bunch of other ME/CFS warriors, taking part in ME Awareness Hour. It runs from 8-9pm (London time) every Wednesday evening. You can join in the fun too, we’d love to have more advocates taking part!
We post memes, links to research or media coverage, personal experience, all sorts of things that will help shed some light on what life is like with this debilitating illness. We tweet and retweet for an hour, our hope to to make #MECFS trend on the front page to get the most attention we can. I hope you will join us, even if you only retweet other people’s tweets. Come find me on Twitter at: chronic_hopeful
It’s hard to deal with these unexpected flares or relapses that seem to come out of the blue.
You end up asking yourself a million questions. What did I do wrong? Did I eat the wrong thing? What did I do yesterday or the day before to cause this much pain? Why am I so weak today, did I overdo it this week? Was the TV too loud? Did I miss the signs and push too hard? Did I get over excited about something?
It can be a bit worrying when you are sure you’ve done everything right, but your body fails you anyway. The key is to not get distressed, because that just makes things worse. Stress absolutely is your enemy. 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
Every Wednesday evening I take part in an online event called ME Awareness Hour. The event takes place on Twitter and it’s goal is to raise awareness for ME/CFS by tweeting and retweeting posts about life with ME/CFS and any recent scientific publications or media coverage on the illness.
I love being a part of something like this because it gets people’s attention when we work together and make some virtual noise all at the same time. Continue reading
I often see people with ME/CFS writing about how they have spent hours in the emergency room only to be completely disappointed, misunderstood or even disbelieved. They go to the emergency room because they are feeling so weak and exhausted that they don’t know where else to go or what to do, they’re scared because they feel so utterly ill. I understand the fear that leads you to that conclusion, it’s scary to lose control of your body, but it’s often an unnecessary risk to your own health. Let me explain why I think so…Continue reading
I am regularly contacted by people who have recently been diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They are often scared, worried and confused, but also hopeful and determined to return to their normal life. Their question is usually the same: what can I do?
Having a diagnosis of PVF or CFS is difficult to deal with because there is so little information out there and often doctors don’t know what to tell you. They haven’t been trained in the management of CFS and are often ill-equipped to give advice to newly diagnosed patients.
In this post, I will outline some of the main points you need to be aware of as a newly diagnosed patient. Things your GP might not tell you. I am not a doctor, but I am a patient, and I have spoken to many other patients with decades of experience in living with this condition.
Doctors call these long-term sufferers “expert patients” and the advice they gave was vital in my initial stages of PVF/CFS. I will summarise that wisdom below in the hopes that it will help many more.Continue reading