Sally is always looking for guest bloggers to demonstrate the wide spectrum of M.E. severity. Today’s blog has been written by Kristina who lives in British Columbia. Not only does she have this dreadful illness; she also runs her own chronic illness support network called Chronic Pain Heroes.
Foggy Followers who have been following since the start of the campaign may remember Kristina from an insomnia lead You Tube clip! (click the link) https://youtu.be/1zbxGeDfXwc. Here is her blog.
My journey with chronic illness started with a minor ankle sprain in 2008, which was diagnosed as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This turned into a rabbit hole I never could have imagined (definitely not as fun as what Alice in Wonderland experienced). After spending two years trying to get my ankle “fixed”, I ended up having to take time off work, but managed to be back full-time by June 2010. However, it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was getting harder and harder to push myself. I think I had a bad flu in October, but I can’t remember. That’s another feature of ME-CFS – short-term memory loss. But, whether I got sick or not, I do remember my energy steadily declining. I began falling asleep in the supply room during my breaks. I, of course, continued tackling this in my typical “Type A” fashion (if you don’t know what I mean by “type A”, then you aren’t one). Basically, I kept trying to push myself harder to get through the day. Then, one fateful night in January 2011, the right side of my face exploded with pain. That was my initiation into the world of ME-CFS. It was also the last time I went to work. To say ME-CFS makes you “tired” is incredibly offensive. It is so much more than that; though I do have a rather severe case of it. I can remember one day when I felt too exhausted to exist. Just breathing became a monumental task. My body had been pushed for 2-1/2 years, and it was done. Here we are in 2015 and I’m still learning to manage my symptoms; though thankfully I’m no longer afraid of them. Flare-ups come and go in cycles. I’m learning to rest when my body says to rest. So, where is the bright light in all this? I thought you would never ask!
I began reaching out to online communities early on. I have met the most amazing people – many have become good friends, even though we have never met. I have also seen how much my husband loves me. This is hard on any relationship. In fact, I think it’s worse for him in many ways. I don’t have the energy to do much. Oddly enough, this causes my days to fly by (I’m still trying to figure that one out). But he is strong and healthy. All our plans and activities are out of the picture – for now. Instead, he has become my caregiver, and he does it all without complaint – wow! I have also discovered how much God loves me. I know that sounds absurd, but stay with me. Until all this happened, I could take care of myself, thank you very much. However, when my body fell spectacularly apart, I cried out to Him in desperation – and He met me where I was. My husband and I now enjoy a rich faith and we love exploring it together. Yes, my days are still hard at times, but now I have hope! My husband and I are studying the field of Apologetics and I’m enrolled in a Certificate in Theology program starting this Fall. Given my severe cognitive issues, my success relies fully on God, and my commitment to follow through… especially since I just told all of you! So please don’t give up hope. You will make it!