This week’s post is a day in the life of Bethany Dodgson, who has M.E (Myalgic Encephalopathy – aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and epilepsy.
This year will be 13 years since I first started getting symptoms of M.E.
All I can remember was wanting sleep and being in the most unbearable pain but nothing would get rid of it.
After almost a year of traveling backwards and forwards to doctors and hospitals, I was finally told what this condition was.
Even though I can’t remember much then I can remember the doctors words clear as day.
From the age of 11 to 18, I was always at the hospital every month as I was either underweight or in pain and the medication was only lasting for a few months before it was changed again.
But in between that time, when I was 13, I started suffering from seizures too.
After 2 seizures, I was diagnosed with generalised epilepsy – we thought that anything could trigger it.
So trying to balance two medical conditions and being a “normal” teenager wasn’t going to happen.
Once I reached 18 and had left school and transferred to the adult services, we noticed that my seizures were actually trigged by extreme tiredness, (not good with the M.E). One of the main concerns was getting the M.E under control and making sure it was drilled into me to not overdo it.
I am glad to say now that at the age of 23, I am on medication to control the pain as well as other symptoms that can arise with M.E – not sleeping, depression, asthma, hay fever, as well as wearing wrist and knee supports when I am at work so I can do my job as a waitress.
I still like to overdo things but not all the time.
I have had to give up a social life with friends but by doing that I am able to study, work and create awareness of this illness.
I used to be ashamed to say I had M.E but now I stand tall and say “yes I have M.E but M.E will never be me.”
I am still the same person that people knew I just have to balance things to try and continue with my life and not suffer setbacks with either the epilepsy or the M.E.