Last Thursday marked my 20th year anniversary since I awoke with all of the symptoms that were later diagnosed as CFIDS (now ME/CFS). For those of you who don't follow my blog, you can read the 'about me' page on my website for a description of my experience with the illness ( http://www.poeticinspire.com/aboutme.html This link opens in a new window. All I'll say here is that the first 9 years of this illness were terrifying. I had tremendous difficulty thinking and understanding. Light and sound made me shake. I couldn't read. I couldn't listen to music or watch tv. Never mind do more complex things. I made it through by pacing the house, lying down, pacing again to keep my body going, lying down....when I did pace it felt as if weights were attached to my limbs. My mantra was 'all I have to do is get through the next 15 minutes'. I decided that the POW's didn't know when or if they would be released until it happened and I hoped a door would open for better functioning for me.
That door finally did open. It didn't free me, but it allowed me to begin using a computer, writing poetry, reading very short things, and watching a movie on tv ever so often.
On Wednesday night, I was very bravado. I told myself that the 20 years marked 20 years of survival, that I'd made it. The fact that my mother had died 14 years ago on that same day, too, made it a double whammy but I still didn't think it would affect me. I woke up out of a sound sleep at 3 30 Thursday morning crying and I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stuff down the real grief over the losses that day represented. It was important for me to release that as well as recognize my strength in getting this far.
Fortunately, my college friend Marilyn was visiting this week. Even though it's been a rough period for me with the whiplash and lumbar strain from being rear-ended, we managed to drive over by the ocean I love so much for a 15 minute visit. The wind was blowing too hard to comfortably stay longer and I was tired from lack of sleep.
So.....here are a few photos from that day. I look at the photo of me and think what everybody who doesn't know this illness always says....'but you LOOK so good'......
My friend, Marilyn, below:
Click to enlarge.
Thanks for listening.