I very recently got diagnosed with ME/chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s hard to understand, comprehend and talk about. But after finding out I’ve probably lived with this condition for a number of years, I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about this, and other similar ‘invisible illnesses’.
Good days –
As most people, there are good days and bad days. Except the bad days are like living in a state of tired confusion, unaware of where you are and wanting everyone to fuck off. Even the good days sometimes aren’t brilliant. It’s a bit like waking up after a night of shitty wetherspoons cocktail pitchers. Not ideal when you’re working in a hospital with patients demanding a cup of tea and asking to get up to the toilet every 2.4 seconds. Either leave me alone Barbara, or get out of that shitty hospital bed, and let me get in it.
Work it out –
I’m a big girl. ‘Big-boned’ you might lie. Now I’m not making excuses, I always despised PE and would get my mum to write regular notes about ‘hurting my ankle’ and the such. I’m now at a point where even if I wanted to exercise (which trust me, I don’t), I’d find it almost impossible. After running around a hospital for 10 hours a day, I can hardly stand up let alone go for a jog. I’ve had the term ‘lazy’ thrown around a lot in the past 4/5 years, and it’s difficult coming to terms that actually, I’m not. There is definitely more I could do to be proactive in becoming a size 12, but for now, I’m not going to let it eat me away that I am the way I am, because I’m careless and lethargic.
I’m not making it up, I promise –
I know, I could be making it all up. There’s no such thing, you’re just lazy and making excuses. I know what you mean. Up until recently I would’ve thought the same thing. A number of years ago, my mum was diagnosed with the similar condition – fibromyalgia. And yes, I thought it was just a fancy word for being a bit achey (sorry mum). But the more I learned and started experiencing myself, the more I realised. So if a family member/friend etc of yours gets diagnosed with something of the sort – try and support them, and believe how hard it is for them, even if it might be difficult for you to understand.
Lie in –
Now I know – we all like a good nap and a lie in, but as an 18 year old I was sleeping for over 12 hours a night and still feeling tired. I put it down to laziness, teenage hormones and not wanting to take any sort of responsibility over my life. This has got worse over recent years, and a lie in can become waking up at 2pm. Most nights I could happily sleep for 14 hours and still be absolutely knackered, which is obviously total bollocks, especially with having to get up for work at 7.30am.
The others –
As well as these massive impacts on life, other things do happen. I have back aches that feel like my spine has given up and weakness than makes it hard to open a slightly heavy door. I took over 50% of time off in sixth form because I felt so unwell. Who knows, if I’d been there for the entire time I could’ve been an astronaut (not that I’d want to be). I’m currently in the process of changing my full time contract to part-time, because I just can’t cope – meaning I will be poor (play the violins for me please).
So yes – these conditions make a hefty impact on your life. And no – I’m not making it up because I’m some edgy, Tumblr idiot who does it for attention and aesthetic. Well, not all of that, anyway.