138 days ago my life changed completely! Has it changed forever? Yes. Will I ever think the same way about my life, about what is important? Not a chance.
138 days ago I travelled from my home in Stratford upon Avon to New Milton in the New Forest to celebrate my father-in-law’s 65th birthday. I had begun to feel grotty during the day but hey I was a teacher and it was only October, plenty of those new kids’ illnesses to yet become immune to. By the time we got there all I could cope with was a lemsip and a cup of tea. Dancing seemed out of the question (and I love to dance!)
An hour and a half after getting there, we went back to my in-laws. I went straight to bed and straight asleep. The next morning I felt pants. I got up about 11 having slept through the morning, stayed downstairs briefly then was forced back to bed. Shortly after, my husband woke me up to say we were going home, I was too ill not to be in my own bed.
I don’t remember the drive home. Apparently I fell asleep within minutes and slept all the way to Warwick services. My husband, Chris, decided if I was sleeping this much then there was something seriously wrong, he stocked up on as much lemsip as he could and drove me home.
I slept all Saturday afternoon and all Sunday. I struggled through work on Monday, buoyed up on lemsips and on getting home went immediately to bed. I couldn’t cope with work Tues but felt I had no choice but to go to work on Wed. It was a Year 4 Open Evening and as Head of Department I felt it was my duty to be there.
What a fool I was! The receptionist kept me alive by feeding me lemsips bang on every four hours. By 7.30 having spent more than 12 hours at work , I didn’t feel bad, actually I think I was high! The next day I couldn’t make it in, I could barely get out of bed. I managed Friday at work but only just.
The following week was half term, I was exhausted but it was half-term, I had just been ill! Being tired made perfect sense.
After half-term however I began to worry, I was continuously tired, I just couldn’t cope. My marking went to pants, my planning was a real struggle. I found it very difficult to follow complex conversations and felt really emotional.
I had always started work at 7 and kept that up but noticed I had to sit in my car for 10 mins just to get over the drive, some mornings I cried. Instead of leaving at 6 every evening, I started leaving as soon as possible after the kids went home. This wasn’t me and I was beginning to get concerned.
The Sunday evening of Nov 17, 2013 everything finally really changed. I ended up in Warwick out of hours GP service because it felt like I was having a heart attack. All tests came back clear, there was nothing wrong with me.
To this day, there is still nothing wrong with me – at least according to the tests. Reality however couldn’t be more different. I, who always worked as hard as I could, haven’t worked since Nov 15th. I tried, I really did but it was a disaster.
So my question was – what had happened to me? M.E. had happened to me.
I have never written a blog before and I don’t know if M.E. will let me but if it does I hope it is cathartic and perhaps one person will read this and see part of themselves in it and feel slightly less alone. If they do, perhaps I will feel slightly less alone as well.