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What It's Like To Travel Again After 14 Years Of Being Housebound

Saturday 11 November 2017


From UK newspaper The Telegraph:


Brecon Beacons
Brecon Beacons, in Wales
(Credit: Getty)

What it's like to travel again after 14 years of being housebound

By Juliette Llewellyn
10 November 2017
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017

It was the summer of 1995. I was 21 and in the GP surgery waiting room about to get travel vaccinations ahead of a year-long trip to Nepal and India, where I was planning to work as a tree-planting volunteer in Uttar Pradesh. I had never been and I couldn’t wait. Trekking in the Himalayas was at the top of my bucket list and I had already been imagining how I would capture the snow-capped mountains from atop the pinnacle. But the holiday never materialised.

My multiple jabs, which were administered over the course of two months, went terribly wrong. Instead of protecting me against infections, the cocktail of vaccinations triggered an adverse reaction. What should have helped me travel the world prevented me doing so – and no one could tell me for how long.

For the first few days following the initial set of jabs, I had severe muscular pain all over my body and was almost paralysed on my right side. Weak and fatigued, I stayed in bed for several days. I tried every painkiller available at the chemist’s but nothing was working. This obviously wasn’t just a simple case of the flu, so I went back to my GP, but he couldn’t work out what was wrong either. As a last resort, I saw other physicians for a second opinion but even they couldn’t establish an accurate prognosis.

Finally, one doctor referred me to the University Hospital of Wales where a consultant did an extensive investigation. I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia, and I also developed multiple chemical sensitivity or MCS, an allergic-type reaction to low levels of chemicals in everyday products, which is a symptom of ME. All these conditions combined meant that I was unable to lift my body off the bed or even feed myself.


Full article…


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