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To Survive Chronic Illness, I Needed Permission To Grieve For Myself

Saturday 13 May 2017


From The Sydney Morning Herald:


Naomi Chainey
The author, Naomi Chainey, needed to grieve for
the woman she once was in order to accept the future
of the woman she became once she had ME/CFS.

To survive chronic illness, I needed permission to grieve for myself

Naomi Chainey
May 12, 2017
Copyright © 2017 Fairfax Media

I will never forget the abject fear I felt when I first fell ill with ME/CFS – the illness also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. My mind and body were losing function. The time I could spend on any given activity before collapsing was reducing rapidly. Everything was heavy, as though gravity had been dialled up to a thousand. My digestive system came close to a total halt. I was nauseated and dizzy and aching.

The world was louder and brighter and moving faster than I could physically process anymore, and everything from eggs to shampoo suddenly smelled awful. My throat and eye sockets hurt. I couldn't concentrate and struggled to recall numbers and names. I remember staring at my sister in horror one day, unable to put a name to her face.

I was genuinely afraid that I was dying, but the tests all came back normal and medical professionals were only able to offer a collective shrug. My distress was met with confusion rather than empathy. Screaming and waving for help in a crowded room, I was invisible and no one could hear.


Full article…



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