I've been hesitant to share about my experience with myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), especially professionally, because, I've worried people will doubt my abilities and strength. I am realizing, however, that people can just as well see my abilities and strength as incredible and perhaps even be inspired!
As a person with such a potentially debilitating condition as M.E., I am doing very well. Most people do not even know I have a chronic health condition. There is value in sharing about our difficulties. Being vulnerable in safe ways helps us relate to and learn from each other, manage and heal.
The following excerpt describes a part of myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) called post exertional malaise (P.E.M.) or 'crashing'. For years, before anyone could give me a name for it, I had experiences like this, almost daily and lasting hours. Learning what I can about M.E. and sharing awareness seems important for several reasons. As best I can, I prevent P.E.M. with preemptive resting, pacing activity and taking specific supplements.
My spine aches. My legs are heavy and sore on the inside. My cells hurt. My bones ache. I can’t move easily. It feels like I’ve been buried alive and my cells are breaking. As if my bones are crumbling slightly and something heavy, like dirt, makes its way in. Breathing is difficult, especially the inhale. A strong force drives me to keep still. I have no energy to move even though I am hungry and want to get food. I stay still to conserve every bit of energy my body makes. I lay flat, saving up energy so that I will eventually be able to chew and digest. My body is so tired, I hurt all over but I am not sleepy. As if staying still will save my life, I do it with fierce commitment.
I find some distraction watching the micro movements of my nearby Asparagus Fern as the message over my ‘PA system’ continues its urgency: Code blue! Something is seriously wrong. Stay still. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move. I try to reassure myself, this will pass.
I've lost so much due to these frequent 'crash' episodes. Even so, I’ve created a beautiful path for myself that I cherish and am beyond grateful for. I have developed a depth of surrender and perseverance that many would find difficult to comprehend. I’m aligned with spirit and hold onto dreams....