I've been tagged by Mary. Here are the rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.
OK, my facts are not very random (but it is my blog after all :-)
1. I got myself an education. I worked hard and enjoyed it. Life was hectic, exciting, stressful, and interesting (although I didn’t knit). This is what life used to be:
2. August 31st, 2001, this happened:
I would like to encourage all readers of this blog to concentrate (don’t knit!) when driving a car. Being hit from behind by a car driving in 43.5 mph/ 70 km/t is so incredibly unpleasant.
This was the result:
3. I felt like this for 1,5 years:
That is, until I got an interest in gardening, then I started feeling like this:
Due to a lot of help and support from family and friends, I was fortunate enough to also feel like this:
The three pictures above show how it feels to live with ME/CFS (at least from my point of view). Although at that point in time, nobody knew what was wrong with me. I could only state the facts: All energy seemed to be drained out of my body, and in addition, there was a long, long list of other symptoms. I was barely able to leave the house at all, and got sicker and sicker every time I did.
4. After about 18 months, I got this message:
Great news! At that point I had tried all sorts of hobbies, all of them just making me even more exhausted. When getting the great news, I suddenly remembered that I used to knit when I was a teenager. OK, one more thing to try, maybe it wouldn’t be to energy consuming to knit? It was energy consuming, and it took me 7 months to knit a small jacket, a dress, babysocks and a hat for my little niece. But it was less energy consuming than all the other hobbies I had tried, so I continued. And continued, and continued, and still continues (Thank you, little sister!)
5. Then I got more great news in 2003. After two years of wandering in a desert of a health care system, a doctor finally took interest in my “case”. He sent me to another doctor, who finally diagnosed me. Getting a ME/CFS diagnose is not something to wish for, but it’s better than being undiagnosed. In addition, this doctor enrolled me as a “guinea pig” in a scientific project, using experimental medication. These happenings made me feel like this:
I had started the road to recovery. Recovery is slow. Very, very slow. Oh my God it is slow. But slowly getting better, is better than not getting better at all.
(The scientific project does no longer exist due to lack of funding.)
My partner helps me a lot. He bought me a green house. Every spring he goes out, digs and carries compost, and makes me a blank canvas to work on:
6. So I got a new life. I didn’t want it, but you can’t appeal to life. Life does as it pleases. My new life is not a hectic one. ME/CFS patients are unable to tolerate much stress. So out of an old hectic life, grew a new and very peaceful one:
7. It is now 5 years, 8 months, and 28 days since the car accident, and now I feel like this most of the time:
I hope to feel like this (at least once in a while):
Before I reach this stage:
If I ever get well enough, I plan on turning into some kind of anti-stress-guru. I will publish books with titles like these:
“How to relax while finding 55 ways to photograph a Dandelion”
“How to relax while your partner does all the digging in the garden”
“How to relax while knitting a scarf”
“How to relax while crocheting a hat”
“How to relax while blogging”
And if I still got any energy left after that, I’ll start a knitting factory ;-)
You would do me, and all the other thousands of ME/CFS patients, a great favor if you spend a few minutes on educating yourself on what ME/CFS is. There is a severe lack of knowledge, both among medical personnel and laypersons. Having an invisible and unknown illness makes life so much harder for all of us. Every time I meet someone who says they’ve heard about ME/CFS, it makes me so incredibly happy. It somehow makes me feel that I don’t have to fight so hard to get them to believe me.
This is the only post where I’ll write about this. I have defined this blog to be a corner of my life where illness is not allowed in. I guess this post is just the exception to the rule :-)
Links concerning ME/CFS:
YouTube: CFS 2006 awareness Campaign CDC (7,33 minutes long)
YouTube: Sleepydust - About M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (9,16 minutes long)
Informasjon på norsk (Information in Norwegian)
I’m not tagging anyone, but feel free to list 7 random facts about yourself if you wish to do so :-)