Hello, My name is Zoe Brown and I believe I have been suffering with ME/CFS since my early teens. I am now almost 25 and have been taking anti-depressants and regular pain medication for years to try to battle my illness which has only recently been diagnosed.
My parents had a difficult divorce and I feel this negatively effected my psychological development. I saw various doctors and was diagnosed with 'fatigue' and 'stress', having regular nose bleeds, thinning hair and 'black outs'. I was always a sickly child and seemed to contract every illness going, many members of my family saw me as a hypocondriac and I felt that maybe I was just 'making it up'.
As I got older I began to suffer with palpitations and anxiety attacks, I had uncomfortable feelings as if something bad was going to happen and ended up sitting in my GP surgery 'just incase' as I thought I was going to have a heart attack and die.
I was diagnosed with depression, IBS and was suffering with severe migranes to the point where I was losing my speech at times. I was advised to have an aspirin and go to bed as having an MRI scan was far too expensive to have on the NHS.
I started my nurse training at University in September 2007 and found it difficult to get out of bed to go to classes. I had a lot of time off sick and did not have the energy to get out of bed to feed myself. I lost alot of weight and my family began to worry that there really was something wrong. My boyfriend asked me to move in with him which was a blessing. He was brilliant and supported me to look after myself and get through university.
I recently changed my GP and asked to change my anti-depressants as I felt they were not working for me and I was tired all of the time. I had the usual blood tests and everything came back clear but I felt that I had a constant cold, aches, headaches etc. I really had to push for him to refer me to see a specialist but when I did eventually get to see one I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I have been diagnosed with ME/CFS after all of these years and I can now prove to my family that I am not a 'drama queen' as they thought. I feel happier knowing I have a formal diagnosis, but I still feel very ill alot of the time. Knowing that ME/CFS has no known cure at present really scares me and I worry that I am going to feel this way for a very long time. I have in the past felt suicidal as I felt that I couldn't handle feeling so ill for the rest of my life. I take so much comfort in being asleep as when I dream I have no symptoms.
I have good days and bad days. Some days I am up early and have the energy to clean up the house, then I crash and end up in bed all day. I don't feel that I have worked out how to pace myself yet, but I have found support websites such as this one very helpful. I one day hope to be a Mum, but I know at this moment in time I couldn't manage to look after someone else aswell as myself. I am hopeful that I can learn to manage my illness and live a fulfilled life to the best of my abilities. I have to just accept that this is me :)
Name: Zoe Brown
Added: 6th July 2011