By Ruth Ketnor, Customer Advisor, London
In 1997 I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. I had had the symptoms for several years before diagnosis but it wasn’t recognized. Even when diagnosed, there was little known about how to manage or treat it and to a large part this remains the case today.
At this time in 1997, I had a trauma that I felt I couldn’t cope with, my trust plummeted, with little awareness I withdrew … I gave up and my day to day living with the ‘normal’ exhaustion of life became fatigue, then … Chronic Fatigue. My body became depleted and my lymph glands enlarged. I dropped lots of weight in a short amount of time and became very thin. I stopped trusting the world and more importantly myself.
My energy was on the floor way beyond exhaustion, my body ached deeply all over, as did my joints. I regularly had intense stinging in my muscles such that I just had to lie still because any slight movement made it worse, they would feel stiff and as if they were full of something that shouldn’t be there. It was difficult to breathe as even this would make it worse. My sleep pattern was very disturbed and I had intense anxiety. My lymph glands were swollen and painful a lot of the time and I often had a sore throat. I had regular infections and viruses. My mind was very dull, I was unable to think straight or keep up with anyone, physically or mentally. I couldn’t listen to the radio or watch TV as my mind was too dull to process the information. My senses were heightened, so most of the time I had the curtains shut because I was sensitive to light, and I couldn’t tolerate sounds, smells or many foods.