Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Guest post by Kat: How M.E. has changed my life

I asked Kat to write a blog post for M.E. awareness month on the impact that M.E. has had on her life. The aim of this was to show that M.E. can affect anyone, and can strike at any age.  Kat and I have had a very different life experience however we are united by the same symptoms.  Here is what she has written. 

I came down with M.E. when I was 13. Unfortunately I was told by a paediatrician to keep pushing myself until I was back to normal. It was only later we found out that his advice was completely the opposite of what I should have done and I very quickly spiralled downhill until  I was practically bedbound.  Fourteen years later my health has improved significantly, but I still struggle with M.E. on a daily basis.  It’s changed my life in so many ways.  These are just a few:

Appreciating the Little Things

When I was first ill the most energetic thing I was capable of was brushing my teeth. Sometimes (even now) I'm too exhausted to watch TV. It means that now I'm well enough to wash my hair and do something else on the same day that that’s a really big deal. When I have energy I make the most of it and spend it on something worthwhile like my Open University Degree, volunteering for the Association of Young People with M.E. or doing things with friends and family. However much energy you've got, make the most of it.

Real Friends

On a good day I could send one text message. That was it. As you can imagine, that meant I didn't have much of a social life. Sadly many people with M.E. become isolated and lose most, if not all, of their friends. Unfortunately I was one of them. I found that out of sight was out of mind and that if I didn't contact people first they almost never contacted me. People stopped inviting me to things because they assumed I wouldn't be well enough to go. They were probably right, but it was painful that they didn't even bother to ask and never organised anything they knew that I would be able to join in with. Although I lost many of my best friends, I did find others who were more understanding and supportive. I'm still in touch with them and I think I always will be.

Powers of Organisation

People with M.E. often have super-human powers of organisation. They have to. If we want to do something or go out it has to be planned with military precision so it takes as little energy as possible. If I have an essay due in I can’t pull an all-nighter and get it all done at the last minute. I have to start over a week in advance to make sure I can get it in on time. If you want something organised, then ask someone with M.E.!


My brother went to Cambridge University. I was gutted that I not only didn't get to go to Cambridge, but I didn't get to go away to any university at all. However, as one door closes another door opens. I'm now studying a Degree in Psychology with the Open University which I absolutely love. I would never have studied Psychology if I hadn't got M.E. as it wasn't offered by my school. After I had to take a year out of education because of my M.E. I went to a local college which did offer Psychology. I've also been volunteering for the Association of Young People with M.E. for over a decade. I've made so many new friends through AYME and really enjoyed volunteering with them. I was even nominated for a Young Achievers’ Award because of it.  It’s difficult to imagine my life without AYME now.

There are a lot of downsides to M.E. and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It’s frustrating dealing with people who just don’t understand and having to put up with strangers telling you to try some weird treatment. On bad days it makes you want to cry your eyes out and even on the good days you can’t do half as much as you want to as you just don’t have the energy. There are good points though and as my health improves I’m certainly making the most of it.

Please help raise awareness of M.E. by taking a selfie holding up the words #NowYouSeeME and text ‘AYME01’ followed by your donation to 70070. Or you can donate via AYME’s website (www.ayme.org.uk).

Thank you Jenny for inviting me to do this guest blog post J

1 comment :

  1. Than you for your comment, I will make sure that Kat sees it. xx


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