My name is Emma, I'm 34 years old. I fell ill with suspected flu in January 2013, I had swam 50 lengths a few days earlier and had been in full time employment since I was 17.

I felt like a virus/bug was trying to come out for a month or so. I dragged myself to work that January morning after a bad nights sleep (I now know this is referred to as 'unrefreshing sleep'). Once I arrived I experienced the worst headache/migraine I've ever had. I had to leave work immediately and I'm not sure how I made it through the hour long journey home.

The doctor sent me away for weeks saying I had flu. I knew something was seriously wrong, I was getting worse not better each day. The level of tiredness is incomprehensible, the pain in my head/body, the worst I've ever felt. I was pretty much bed bound until April, my doctot said there was no more he could do for me.... however I finally saw a chronic fatigue specialist.

It's still a shock for me to say this, but its 7 months and I never recovered. I have been unable to function/ work since.

ME/CFS is so complex and different in each individual. But for me this is a journey to understand what put me here, and what I need to change to be able to get better.

I haven't been well for at least 9 years since my sleep had become so poor due to unfortunate life events.  My body and mind was breaking but I pushed on through for years. I also have had some physical symptoms since I was a child.

It is important to recognise the clearly physical symptoms of ME. But at the same time to embrace the psychological factors too.

I'm slowly getting better, I never want to run half marathons again or swim 50 lengths on top of 11 hour days with work. I'm imagining gentle exercise and a more balanced life when I recover.

It's a long tough road, the illness itself brings many stresses, when stress is the one thing you must avoid. The body cannot heal in a stressed state.  That is a daily battle for me - I'm a fighter by nature but this is my toughest challenge yet!


Jamison Hill
08/26/2013 9:01pm

Emma- It takes a strong person to show such optimism while still being realistic about her illness. Please keep us updated on your progress!

08/28/2013 1:37am

Thanks, I made sure I wrote this on a good day. That person is unrecognisable on a bad day. But I've learnt not to get into a downward spiral. Bad days will come and I rest / spend the day in bed, knowing a good day is round the corner. Progress is frustratingly slow but is it progress!

08/28/2013 8:46pm

I'm digging your attitude. You are right, and progress is only progress if you recognize it, so good for you for getting that far!

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