Over ten years ago, shortly after the birth of our second child, my world collapsed. I had to excuse myself from a meeting to rush to the toilet. What happened next became a regular daily occurrence. I had regular panic attacks, bouts of diarrhoea, severe burning around my head and body, migraines, photophobia, pins and needles, muscle spasms, muscle pain, pain around my neck and throat, unbearably cold feet and extreme fluctuations in temperature that I just couldn’t regulate. In fact, I would sleep with three duvets on me and still not get warm. I was riddled with extreme fatigue, that ultimately resulted in me being bed and house bound for three years and requiring the use of a wheelchair.
Regular trips to the doctors’ surgery couple with various blood tests, MRI scans and x-ray’s got me no closer to understanding this ‘mystery illness’. Apart from looking tired, I looked ‘normal’ yet I felt so far from my ‘normal self’. I knew something was wrong, yet all my blood tests came back as normal. Sadly, the doctors just labelled me as depressed and prescribed anti-depressants.
It felt like I had lost everything, my career, role as mother, wife and woman. Even the seemingly easy tasks of reading Thomas the Tank Engine to my then two-year old son felt impossible. I was unable to get up to look after our baby girl and the fatigue and brain-fog was so debilitating that even simple tasks, such as brushing my teeth felt impossible. Those days were very dark and I felt so incredibly lost. I was desperate to be the mum I dreamt of and go to the park and enjoy the early days with my kids. Instead I was crippled with fatigue, pain, insomnia, brain-fog and no explanation as to why?!
The only way I could get through each day was to ensure that I spent hours lying in dark room devoid of noise. Life was reduced to nothing.