Liverpool patient's plea:
don't ignore M.E.
"I have lost friends because they expect
me to feel as well as I've made myself look on the outside, and don't bother to
understand when I'm not able to do this." That's the experience of Janet Crawford, 55, of Liverpool, who has M.E., a
disabling, neurological condition that can affect anyone at any time.
Many people with M.E. face isolation and loneliness as friends, family and
professionals struggle to accept the true impact of the illness. By sharing her
story for M.E. Awareness Month in May, Janet is sending a simple message: don't
ignore M.E. "I'm socially isolated as my husband works full time, my
children have their own family and work commitments, and none of my so-called
friends have remained in contact." explains Janet.
People with M.E. experience severe, persistent fatigue associated with what's
called post exertional malaise (the body's inability to recover after expending
even small amounts of energy; sometimes also called:- 'payback') and
chronic pain. Any physical or mental activity can trigger a flare up in
symptoms. "I 1st became ill following an operation and several life stressors in
1999; I was diagnosed in 2002. My symptoms were at their
worst in August last year when I was signed off work. I had severe pain from any
activity, was mentally and physically fatigued, and had very poor cognition and
disturbed, un-refreshing sleep." said Janet.
There is currently no specific test that can detect M.E. and, like Janet, many
people wait a long time to be diagnosed. Around a quarter of people with M.E.
are so severely affected that they remain bed or housebound. "I am
currently housebound, living a very sedentary life to avoid any unpleasant
symptoms and becoming bedridden again; like I am if I do any physical activity
of daily living, like social family events, shopping or light housework." Janet added.
UK charity Action for M.E. is taking action to end the ignorance, injustice and
neglect experienced by people with M.E. Find out how you can make a difference
to the lives of people with M.E. right now at:-
ActionForme.Org.UK or call:- 0117 927 9551.