You may or may not know that it is *ME Awareness Week. If you’re a regular reader, you will already know that I have M.E. If you’re not, and want to know a bit more about the illness, I’ve written about that here. The purpose of ME Awareness Week is literally that – to raise awareness of this often very misunderstood chronic illness. As the charity Action for ME say, “While we work to increase understanding of M.E. throughout the year, M.E. Awareness Month offers an opportunity to really highlight the impact of the condition in the press and among professionals and the general public”.
The reason that awareness is so important is that it’s an invisible illness – it is misunderstood, hard to diagnose, and there is currently no cure (or even effective treatment). As ME can make you so unwell, sufferers often stop being able to spend time with family and friends, and may have to stop working. We can become isolated as we are stuck at home and don’t really get to be out in society. This means that others often don’t see the true toll the illness takes on their loved one. I went from working full time, exercising regularly, training with a roller derby team and spending lots of time socialising to being bedridden in a fairly short period of time. If you want to read last year’s ME Awareness Week post, you can find it here. I explain more of my story, from my symptoms, how my life was affected and how I imagine my future without chronic illness.