Saturday, December 05, 2009

ME and my body

Yesterday morning, right on time, received a 'phone call from my GP. "It's good news and bad news", he said, "first, the blood tests showed no abnormalities". A mixed blessing that, at least nothing sinister has been spotted but, I'm no wiser as to the cause of my current downturn in the health and stamina stakes. "The chest X-ray was clear", once again a sense of relief as I start wondering what the bad news is. "It seems as if the symptoms you're experiencing are part of your ongoing condition. If things don't improve or, get any worse, don't hesitate to contact me but, there's nothing I can offer you at the moment".

The problem, and indeed danger, when suffering with a chronic neurological codition such as M.E., is that one tends to assume any extremely discomfortingly exhausting ailment they experience is simply part and parcel of the overall condition. One becomes so used to living with pain that their pain threshold is increased and, excruciating symptoms that would have previously been a cause for alarm are accepted as "normality". (This was very much the case around this time last year when, for far too long, I assumed that the extreme pain emanating from a herniated disc was yet another manifestation of my underlying condition).

Periods of remission are by no means unusual and, when these occur, the greatest danger then is to push oneself and, as a (sometimes belated) result find themselves once more painfully out of it. These are the times when I find concentration diminishing, tetchiness increasing and, that old (sadly familiar) enemy, sensory overload, recurring. The most frustrating thing of all is the impossibility of knowing if one is "ill", beyond the parameters of the resident disabling condition.

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