You look at your body in shock and fear. \n\nThis is insane, [[how can this have happened|Invisible]]?
You have a chronic illness called ME which is sometimes known as chronic fatigue syndrome. \n\nIt makes life hard and frustrating. It causes severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, disordered sleep, gastric disturbances, poor memory and concentration.\n\nNot many people understand this illness, including medical professionals. But you will fight it. You have hope for the future. You will not let it beat you.\n\n[[Click here to learn more about ME|]]
You try to sit up in bed and work out what has happened to you, but the stiffness in your bound joints makes it hard to move. What has held you captive in your own bed? You open your mouth to speak. Your brain feels fuzzy, you find it hard to form words. The best you can manage is something like "whhaaa?"\n\n[[You silently scream in frustration|Decision]]
You actually wish that the simple answer was that you had a hard day at work. What you wouldn't give to be chasing your career dreams. Working hard and achieving everything you wanted to when you were younger, and healthy.\nBut sadly that isn't the case. You are far too sick to have a job, even a part time job. You get fatigued through mental as well as physical exertion, so you can quite literally get tired just by thinking. This makes it pretty hard to work, or study, or do much at all. Sometimes you feel like a vegetable. \n<<set $work=true>>\n<<display 'ill choices'>>
You need to decide what to do, and fast. Who knows what horror will occur next? \n\nYou either start [[panicking|Panic]], or you carefully shift your body round and [[try and get out of whatever shackles hold you|Think]].
You prise your heavy eyelids open. The world is blurry and you feel disorientated. Where are you? What on earth has happened? You turn your head to look around and feel a searing pain.\n\nIt takes a few seconds for you to realise you are actually at home in your own bed.\n\nYou try to [[move|Move]].
Sadly, you don't really have any choice. You are out of energy, despite only justs having woken up. You take your morning medication (around 8 different variations of tablets and capsules), plus some heavy duty painkillers. You consume the tea and toast brought to you by a caring family member, and slip into an agitated and restless sleep.\n\n[[What is this mysterious illness?|ME]]\n
If you go get some more rest, even if that means going straight back to sleep and getting up in the afternoon, you might just be able to do something today. \n\nSo the question is [[what do you do now?|What now]]
Did you scale the heights of mount everest? Well, not quite. But, you did tackle that rather large mountain of washing up that has been building up over the past week. You usually do not have enough energy to wash up so it tends to pile up. Yesterday you felt like you had a bit more energy, so you attempted to scale the mountain. You got half way through before the pain got too unbearable, and you had to sit down. Mystery solved. This small task is what led you to wake up in such a state.\n<<set $everest=true>>\n<<display 'ill choices'>>
You wake up in pain. Your joints feel like they are tightly bound. Your muscles scream in agony. You feel like you have one a hangover, and possibly been hit by a double decker bus. You slowly [[open your eyes|Open your eyes]].
Then slowly, in your foggy mind, realisation dawns. You have not been the victim of some evil magic wielding villain. This is just a typical day for you. The pain, the stiffness, the confusion, the immobilisation...all of it. \n\nThis is not a new experience. You have a debilitating medical condition that affects many people around the world. \n\nThere is no cure. \n\nIt is relatively common, but shockingly little is known about it. Doctors don't even know what causes it, let alone a good way of treating it.\n\nYou are [[ill|Ill]].
Don't be ridiculous! Your illness does not allow you to run around the block, let alone a marathon. You can't remember the last time you ran, except in your dreams, where you ran free, and it felt like you were flying.\n\nThe sad fact is that yesterday, the only marathon you undertook was the shambling walk to and from the bathroom, and possibly downstairs to the kitchen. You haven't managed to get outside for a good few days now. When you do go out you can't walk very far, so running anywhere is completely out of the question.\n<<set $marathon=true>>\n<<display 'ill choices'>>
#passages { width: 500px; }
by Emily
Its like whatever is binding your joints and causing you so much pain and stiffness is invisible! \n\nWhat sort of [[dark magic|Illness]] is this?
You didn't really do anything at all.\n\nWhat will today bring? Will pain levels and fatigue levels be low enough so you can tolerate having a nice catch up with a friend on the phone? Perhaps you will manage to cook a simple dinner. If you have enough energy to concentrate you might be able to read a bit of the book you are dying to finish. Or perhaps you will simply stay in bed and rest, because today is one of those sad days when it is difficult to leave the bed.\n\n[[But there is hope|Hope]]. \n
Your heart is thumping loudly, getting faster and faster. You panic. The pain is intense and you are so confused. Why is it so hard to move? \n\nYou scream. Well, you try to, but your throat is scratchy, dry, and sore, and a strangled mewl escapes your lips instead.\n\nYou [[look down|Body]] at your body to work out what contraption is holding you down.
You try and think back to last night, trying to work out what has happened. If someone had hurt you and tied you down, why would you be in your own bed? Your head is groggy, and it is really hard to think. What is happening to you?\n\nYou [[look down|Body]] at your body to try and figure out how to get out of the bindings that are holding you down.
You feel like you have flu. Proper flu, not just a bad cold. Your body hurts like you have been running a marathon. Perhaps you over did it yesterday? What did you do yesterday? Think back. Maybe you can come up with an explanation?\n\n<<display 'ill choices'>>
<<if not $marathon>>[[Did you in fact run a marathon|Marathon]]?<html><br></html>\n<<endif>><<if not $everest>>[[Did you tackle mount everest|Everest]]?<html><br></html>\n<<endif>><<if not $work>>[[Perhaps its because you had a really hard day at work|Work]]?<<endif>><<if $marathon and $everest and $work>>[[So what did you do?|today]]<<endif>>