My name is me, and I have a disease called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). There are many different names given to this condition, but the most common is ME/CFS. It is important to note that there is a difference between the two conditions, which are recorded separately on World Health Organisation (WHO) databases.
I have a problem getting enough sleep, which means that I feel very tired most of the time, often even after a full night’s sleep! It can also affect my ability to concentrate and I have problems regulating my temperature.
You can learn more about ME/CFS and the symptoms it causes on our Action for M.E. website and in our ME/CFS factsheets.
There is no cure for ME/CFS, but there are treatments that can help reduce some of the symptoms and improve your quality of life. These include medications, sleep aids and exercise.
ME/CFS can also cause other illnesses, so it’s important to have a full diagnosis and get treatment for any other diseases you may have as well. It’s also important to make sure you have access to health and social care.
If you or someone you know has ME/CFS, there are plenty of organisations and resources available to support you. These include the charity #MEAction, which is a global network of patients and allies, and ALISS, a UK-based charity that provides information and signposts to support groups for people with ME/CFS and their families.
One of the most difficult aspects of living with ME/CFS is feeling like you aren’t quite right – especially when it’s your worst day or week. This can leave you feeling frustrated, anxious and depressed. Those with more severe ME/CFS need round the clock care, which can be very expensive.
The main symptoms of ME/CFS are post-exertional malaise (PEM), unrefreshing or disturbed sleep, trouble concentrating, dizziness, near fainting, periods of bloating and constipation, pain and problems regulating your temperature. PEM can occur after physical activity, such as going for a walk, or can be triggered by activities that require less energy, such as reading a book or brushing your teeth.
Your ME/CFS is a chronic, progressive illness that can affect your whole life and it’s hard to predict how long it will last. It can impact on your relationships, your job and your wellbeing.
It’s a game of “Who am I?”
When you are trying to figure out who you are, it can be helpful to do some self-assessments to find out which words best describe you. Try taking a quiz online or ask your friends and family for some advice.
Once you have a clear idea of who you are, it can be useful to think about how others see you. Doing this can help you to identify those parts of you that others don’t see, and give you a better understanding of yourself as a whole.
If you do this exercise, it can help you to develop a good understanding of yourself and make the most of your talents and interests. It will also give you a sense of empowerment when it comes to knowing who you are and what you want from your life.