15 Days To Freedom Blog Challenge

15 Days To Freedom Blog Challenge - Day 13 - M.E. Awareness Week


11th May - 17th May

I am not sure if you know but for the past week is National ME/CFS Awareness week, a week focusing on pushing this hidden illness into the spotlight. So what is ME/CFS and why all the fuss. ME/CFS is a long-term, often debilitating, illness that can affect every type of person, no matter their age, sex or race.  How do I know this, well I have had the illness for the past 16 years.  Yet it is one of those illnesses that most folk know so little about.

"So it is time to spread the word and shout to the hilltops about it" 

ME/CFS is most often triggered by a viral infection; I contracted the flu in my teens and then never got better. Other people develop the illness after operations or accidents and some experience a slow, insidious onset. The most common symptoms are severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, disordered sleep, gastric disturbances, light and sound sensitivity, poor memory and concentration.  In some the effects may be minimal but in a large number, lives are changed drastically. Schooling and higher education can be severely disrupted and employment can become impossible. As well as strained and restricted social and family lives. Many suffers become housebound or confined to bed for months or years. (ME Association, 2015).

The most frustrating part about the ME/CFS is that is fluctuates on a daily basis. A suffer can seemly look well one day and then be completely bed bound the next. It is this fluctuation that makes ME/CFS hard to control. A national support group called AYME produces the ME/CFS functional ability scale which helps describe and measure what a suffer can do and feels like in percentage terms. It ranges from 0% where you are very severely affected to 100% where you are fully recovered.  It is a vital tool for suffers, cares and educating friends and family alike.

For the last five years my ME/CFS has plateaued between the ranges of 70%-90%. I have learnt to deal with the fact that it fluctuates regularly and I try to maintain it with a daily nap, rest periods and eating clean.  While I could wallow in self-pity, which believe me I have done, especially in the beginning. I now try to stay as positive as I can. I whole hearty believe that suffering from ME/CFS, or any illness, can make you a stronger person with a unique passion to take on the world!

It is this belief that has pushed me to achieve all of the goals I have so far set my heart to, such as sitting my GCSEs, going to university and launching my own business. I have had a lot of naysayers along the way who have basically told me to give up and succumb to the illness. But I believe the only way to get better is to have dreams and take steps to achieve them.  They may not materialise as quickly as a healthy person, and you may have to do it in a slightly different way, but just because you have an illness it should not stop you from following you ambitions and living your life.

Do you have ME, or know someone who does? If this blog inspires you to leave a comment please feel free to do so below.

Best wishes,

Pia x

Some really useful websites if you would like to find out more about the illness:





Article in The Gloucestershire Echo, 16th May 2015

You Might Also Like



Like us on Facebook