By Grant Davidson.
Life before me? I have little or no memory of how it feels.
I was a fit healthy football-mad teenager and I enjoyed other sports too. I was starting on the road most people do, working and starting to go out and try and get into pubs and clubs before I was legally entitled to but I looked older for my age and was able to enjoy lots of drinking and dancing and having fun with my mates, little did I know those days would be short lived.
I met my angel who worked in a bar I frequented, and life was very good. She is beautiful and intelligent and funny and the love of my life. We enjoyed going out to the ‘jigging’ as we called it in Glasgow (which to non-Glaswegians is going to the disco after her shift in the pub finished).
All seemed well but I caught scarlet fever and was ill for a good six weeks during which time and after lots of different antibiotics I got better but became allergic to the medicine I was taking. I did recover to the point where I was back working and doing normal stuff, but I was becoming increasingly tired after work and I stopped playing football and going out as much.
My girlfriend and I were together most nights and I was falling asleep when we were having a cuddle on the couch. I was going to work and noticing the fatigue was not the only thing which was happening as I was feeling dizzy and getting pains in my legs and feeling kind of spaced out. I was scared and did not tell anyone about how I was feeling.
During this time my girlfriend became my fiancé and we were going through the process of buying our first home together, but my weird symptoms were getting worse.
I still pushed through and kept working. We got our flat and moved in and started enjoying living together but my health really went downhill so much that I had to get my fiancé to come and get me at work as I could not drive.
I was feeling very ill by then, and this was the start of me becoming bedbound for a couple of years. My doctor did not know what was wrong with me or what to do with me but a professor at the hospital told me I had I thing called M.E. He prescribed anti-depressants and rest. There was little information out there on the subject at the time.
Since then I have tried lots of “cures” to little or no avail, but over time I have had periods of feeling well enough to be a househusband looking after our kids and all that entailed. I also managed to get back to part-time and then full-time work.
Over the years with periods of relapse and then feeling back to my 70 percent or so fitness I have coped to a certain degree. I have had lows in the past when I thought I would be better off not being here anymore but that was the selfish me. After all my wife and son have been through I could not do that to them.
I have come to realise that it’s the little things in life that help me through this illness and I enjoy being out listening to the birds in my garden, watching my flowers and plants grow and spring into life as we go through the seasons, and just being with my wife and son and of course my dog.
The last couple of years have been bad as my health dipped and I lost my job again. I am at the moment having some longer periods of good days and I hope this continues so I can get back to work of some sort – just to feel useful again.
I hope the research which is going on gets to the point of an effective treatment or even a cure, but I do not think it will come quick enough for me. I will be turning 50 this year and having had this awful illness for 30 years it may be just too long a wait.
I hope that future generations do not have to go through what all M.E. sufferers have been going over the last few decades. I will keep my fingers crossed for them.
The ME Association
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