It all started in 1996 though in 1978 I caught glandular fever and just
afterwards in my nurse training found I was always getting tonsillitis. In 1996
I came down with a serious set of symptoms which included palpitations, chest
pains and very sore joints. I was so ill that I was admitted to hospital with
I was unable to walk for 6 weeks. I took ages to respond to treatment and
over the next few months I was given so many blood tests which eventually
concluded I had a virus from the enteroviral family related to polio.
More weird symptoms started that year. Firstly I was unable to remember how to
spell simple words. I had to eat carbohydrates or I became very weak. I had
panic attacks, night sweats, muscle twitching, bloating and IBS symptoms. There
were also problems with my temperature control and more often than not it was
subnormal. I felt wired like I had been pumped full of adrenaline but hopelessly
shattered and lethargic. The palpitations continued and fuelled this feeling.
Even a phone ringing would set them off. I suffered dreadfully with insomnia.
Over the four years from 1996 to 2000 I recovered to about 80%. I then started
to see an increase in symptoms again until in 1995 I collapsed again from which
I am still recovering. I have a few other strange symptoms such as constant
sinus stuffiness. I have had phantom toothaches but the dentist can't find
anything wrong. I get dreadful nightmares and I have had some severe migraine
headaches. My hay fever is so much worse. I also find standing up in one
position very difficult and I have had bouts of vertigo.
So now it looks like I will have this illness forever. It has taken some of my
personality away but I fight each day to preserve the bit of me I still have. I
try to live for the moment and I try to do things even though the payback can be
hard. I know I am lucky as I was 36 when I became ill and had my family by then.
It is a cruel and life changing disease but I have had good days in between the
showers and storms.