The initials stand for ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’. It is a condition that affects approximately 500k people in the United States alone. It generally precedes a bout with a viral infection, but others have been diagnosed with M.E. without having had a virus.
It is thought to possibly be related to autoimmune deficiencies, and hormone imbalances as well. M.E. also goes by the name of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Post Viral Fatigue (PVF). It is mostly known as CFS in the U.S., but goes mainly by M.E. in Europe.
Symptoms include: extreme fatigue (post exertion malaise)/Brain & Central Nervous System disorders (cognitive dysfunction, difficulty concentrating) dizziness-vertigo/ongoing flu-like symptoms, headache, joint pain, temperature control irregularities, swollen glands/sleep disturbances/IBS.
My M.E. is believed to have developed from a nasty encounter with Epstein Barr Virus many years ago. It comes and goes throughout the year. It seemingly wanes in the summer months only to pick up momentum as I head into the fall.
This is the one that kicks my butt more than the fibromyalgia does. My FMS can at times be bad, but is more of a painful nuisance than a serious debilitation (this is just me, there are people out there with FMS whose lives are severely affected ). But, the M.E. is the one that scares me. When I am in a full blown flare, I can be fairly low functioning. If it were to get worse it could really affect the day to day in a critical way. Right now, I would classify myself in the ‘mild’ category:
Yikes. This is why I continue to pursue immune boosting and overall improvement of general health through as natural means as possible. This is also why ‘self-care’ is vital to practice with M.E. as well as with all other chronic illnesses. It is not always selfish to say no to some of the things asked of you, knowing there will be ‘pay-back’ afterwards.
Understanding your limits is essential. Others often don’t understand why we look healthy but act as if we’re 20 years older than we are. Well, thank goodness the world doesn’t hinge on they’re comprehension of why we ‘can’t just be normal’. Seriously, aside from the condition itself, this is one of the most frustrating things we deal with: lack of understanding.
Continuing to educate and to bring awareness to invisible illness has become a goal of mine, and one of the driving forces behind this blog. People ‘get’ arthritis, people ‘get’ thyroid disorders, but they don’t ‘get’ Fibromyalgia/M.E./Lupus/Lyme disease, ect. Usually, it’s just a lack of general information (ignorance), or the insistence in parts of the medical community to deny these illnesses the legitimacy they deserve.
Now, enough of my rant. Last week I wrote a post on the benefits of pets in coping with chronic illness. I asked for photos and promised to feature them here this week:
Elizabeth Cause of ‘Hope In Pain’ sent me a picture of her precious pooch:
Such a good boy!!
If you missed out on this week’s ‘parade of pets’, send me a photo for next week’s post and I will feature your fabulous fur ball!
This weeks ‘Crafty Corner Concoction’~
~Painting Stones ~
~stones from the outdoors, shape/size/character, your preference
~various colors of acrylic paint, avail at any craft store
~acrylic painting brushes
~small can of polyurethane sealer
Clean your stones of any dirt or debris. Let imagination run wild. Seal final work with polyurethane.
(Click To Enlarge)