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The unending non-holiday
Losing a beloved pet is heart-breaking for anyone, but even more so for someone who has already lost so much to years of being sick. Even when you have a neurological illness that few people understand, animals can provide unconditional love and support.
Helen still has her other bichon frisé dog Snuffe, but the recent loss of "her little shadow" Lillen (pictured) dealt a devastating blow, especially since any stress tends to make chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) even worse.
Helen studied Swedish and English, became a librarian and had three children in just over three years. For several years she was effectively a single parent, as her husband worked in a different city, and she had no family members around to help.
Then, when the children went to school and she was planning to return to work, Helen got sick. She was constantly suffering from colds and flus and ran a fever for many months. After that she never recovered.
That was 16 years ago. Helen, 57
Where there is will...
Where there is will, there is pain
Timo is 22. He used to do gymnastics in the Finnish national team. He wouldn't let something little come in the way. It's not that he is a perfectionist, he just wanted everything. Or at least a Masters of Science and to be a top athlete.
Then Timo got an ear infection, not exactly a major illness, but that's when things started to go wrong. After a few weeks of tinnitus and antibiotics he got well again. Almost. He was more tired than usual and started struggling with brainfog.
Six months later the doctor of the Olympic committee diagnosed Timo with mycoplasma, a bacterial infection which is usually only a short-lived problem, but sometimes becomes chronic. The first round of antibiotics tided him over for 2-3 months, the second for a month. The third one no longer did anything.
This was in 2007. Despite not feeling well Timo spent the summer training, hoping to be among the three athletes to gain the coveted spot in the Word Championship team. Train
FlickerWaking up is simply a transformation into another dream. Even in the dark I can make out fuzzy outlines of familiar things in the room: the poster with cats, the wooden chair, the nightstand and the clock on it, all shaking back and forth with the jitter in my eyes.
Through the hazy lines pain seeps into my consciousness. My shins are bursting with a dull throbbing feeling, which turns into a searing ache as it approaches the knee. The knees, like every joint in my body, are being rubbed with caustics. As you go higher, the legs, especially the right one, have a deep gnawing inside of them, occasionally like squirming maggots but recently more like rats, or perhaps boars.
My arms, shoulders and upper back are being pounded with incessant piano hammers that occasionally hit the perfect key to sear a nerve. My stomach is filled with boiling liquid, which I guess is needed to power the steamroller that keeps flattening my head. Even my eyes and mouth are smoldering like hot coals. My hand
Mind gamesAt first it was known as atypical polio or epidemic neuromyasthenia (myasthenia means muscle weakness). Epidemics were first reported in the 1930s and from the beginning it was clear this was an infectious neurological illness. In the 1950s most doctors started using the name myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, for a painful inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord.
In the 1980s multiple epidemics took place in the United States. There had just been a major scare about AIDS and the authorities didn't want to frighten people with another mysterious illness. ME was reborn under the laughable name of chronic fatigue syndrome. Soon it became known as "yuppie flu", suggested to be neurotic workaholics' overreaction to normal everyday ailments.
Many still believe that frantic and perfectionistic "type A" personality is a risk factor for CFS/ME, even though research does not support this idea. One study found CFS/ME as common in Nigeria as in the Western world. Still, considering that rest
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Lilyas has dedicated herself to making our community a brighter place with her vibrant artwork and infectious enthusiasm for interacting with others in our community. It has certainly paid off, as many deviants flock to her page on a daily basis to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. We absolutely agree, and couldn't let all that hard work go without recognition, so it's with great pride that we bestow the Deviousness Award for March 2014, to ... Read More