Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E has really made me feel like a 90 year old woman and at 23 it’s a bit disheartening to feel like you’re an old woman already. It’s not just the relentless fatigue which makes me sleep half my days away but the pain I feel for no physical reason. It’s hard going to the doctors and being referred for so many tests and scans to find there is nothing that can explain the pain I feel. Of course it’s a good thing that my bones and everything are physically fine but at times I wish I could just be diagnosed with something that can be seen and dealt with instead of being told there isn’t anything that can be done apart from managing the pain.
I get the worst pain in my back and when it hits, it’s hard to do anything. And the smallest thing can trigger it, I can be picking up my niece, bending over or trying to hoover and it starts up and forces me to quit what I’m doing and rest. I’ve tried heat pads, heat gel, cold pads and even a massaging pillow but nothing helps. For a long time I was told to just take paracetamol but it didn’t help at all so I was given naproxen and various other painkillers which didn’t seem to touch the pain at all. I take codeine now and it helps with the rest of my aches and pains and numbs down the pain in my back but it doesn’t rid me of it. I’ve been doing physiotherapy which I initially thought was helping but seems to have been overruled by the pain in my body.
I’m 23 and I see women my age going for nights out, dancing, doing sports, going to the gym and just enjoying activities and it’s hard to not be able to do those things. My anxiety stops me going on nights out and limits my social activities but i’d still like to be physically able to do these things. I used to love wearing heels, it made me feel feminine and sexy, now my ankles are so weak they just give way.
Most days I just sit and internally scream at my body to sort itself out. I try to overpower it with my mind, maybe if I can just make my brain understand that I’m 23 and there is no reason to be in pain then it will send a memo to my body. It’s the most frustrating thing, I’ve been told that it’s mental and not physical and that my brain is just telling me to feel pain when there isn’t any but it just seems like a copout, because the pain I feel is real and telling me it’s not really there doesn’t help me.
All I can hope for is that one day my body wakes up and realises that it’s young and agile and not old and frail. I wish that day would come soon because it’s hard spending every day in a constant state of exhaustion and pain.