Coming to terms with a chronic illness

At some point, around 9 months in, I started to accept the fact that I had a chronic illness (although not the fact I wouldn’t recover from it). I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (I’ll refer to it as ME/CFS from now on, and can’t be bothered with the debate over what this illness should really be called – there’s plenty of that on other blogs if that’s what you’re into. If you want more information about the condition this is a great resource). I saw a specialist in Oxford who basically said ‘there is no cure. You’ll probably get better but it is important not to worry about it too much. Make sure you prioritise your family and if you lose your job that’s fine’. That didn’t quite work for me. To be fair, I’m sure it doesn’t work for most people who end up having to give up work (or who are forced to). I have read so many stories from successful, ambitious people who had to stop working and I know for most it’s always the worst possible outcome (although there are rather a high number of these stories which end with an epiphany that it was ultimately a great thing and now they are much happier running their dog walking business where they work 5 hours a week. Yes, but how do you pay your mortgage and buy shit????).

I came home from that appointment slightly hopeful of recovery, but resigned to the fact there was no magic pill, no quick answer.

It was probably around this time that a friend of mine posted a fabulous update on her blog A Life Less Physical, talking about the multiple treatment approach. This aligned with some of the things I was already trying so I decided to be a bit less scattergun and a bit more strategic about the things I was trying, and see what improvements I could make. My next few posts will focus on the different treatments I have tried, broken down into the different types – stress management, neurological, exercise, diet and nutrition and musculoskeletal.

I should probably add, at this point, as I haven’t really mentioned it so far, that I am a total movie nut. Horror is probably my genre of choice, closely followed by sci fi, action, thriller and slowly trickling down to rom com. And we have all the channels and streaming platforms. Plus a truly enormous TV. So, if nothing else, I was watching a fuck ton of movies (plus box sets and general daytime tv), which was at least keeping me distracted. At some point this blog will probably get very sidetracked on this subject, but the following is a movie so awesome, I obviously felt it was worthy of a picture of the title credits – so it gets to feature in this post…

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