In a Nutshell
In no particular order, I am a: health fanatic, ME/CFS survivor, Lightning Process graduate, loved up wife, avid yogi, food as medicine believer, ex-lawyer, Institute for Integrative Nutrition student, Chelsea FC supporter, cookbook collector, gluten & dairy free eater, West Wing addict and all round wellness and vitality seeker.
And the Longer Version
In 2010, aged 26, I was your average working girl, a solicitor specialising in corporate law in London, living with my boyfriend, Mr B, and generally trying to squeeze as much out of life as possible.
All that changed in December 2010 when I caught the flu bug doing the rounds at work and it totally knocked me out. I just never seemed to get over it. After a few months and every imaginable blood test, I was diagnosed with M.E. / C.F.S. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). My main symptoms? Crippling muscle and joint pain, migraines, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, dizziness, food intolerances, sound intolerance, body temperature imbalance, orthostatic intolerance and the worst of all? Exhaustion, crushing fatigue and a lack of energy so profound it’s hard to put into words.
In hindsight, I can see that I had already been suffering from this illness for at least a decade, if not longer, prior to diagnosis. I had often been ill and struggled with fatigue and lacked energy. I had, until 2010, somehow kept one step ahead of a serious crash, always managing to bounce back when illness caught up with me.
But 2011 began with me too ill to work or look after myself. I lived back with my parents for months at a time, with Mr B visiting me on weekends. I was largely housebound, with outings limited to avoid spikes in symptoms from the effort. When I did venture out, it was in a wheelchair and it would take several days of horizontal rest for me to recover. Life was restricted with my activity paced and hourly rests required. On bad days, showering left me in tears the pain was so bad. I was unable to sit upright at the dinner table for more than a few minutes I was just so tired. On better days I could read for 10 minutes or chop vegetables for dinner sitting in a chair or go for a short walk.
In October 2013 I finally found my magic bullet – the Lightning Process and I haven’t looked back since. It unlocked the door to recovery for me, giving me the tools I needed to stabilise my overactive nervous system and tame my stress response; which I came to see were at the heart of my problem. Slowly symptoms subsided and I was able to live back in London with Mr B. I was able to drive again, go for longer walks, cook dinner, go to the supermarket (yes that felt like an achievement), meet friends, watch TV for as long as I wanted without getting a headache, go out without a wheelchair. These are just a few of my recovery milestones, the list is long. It wasn’t overnight, it took time, patience and persistent handwork to rebuild my strength and stamina. But slowly I made real progress.
Just a few months after doing the LP course, Mr B and I planned a holiday in celebration of my new wellness. We went to America for three weeks, where, in Las Vegas, Mr B proposed. In August 2015 we got married, after 11 and a half years together. Me, as full of energy and health, as I had ever been.
Today I continue to strive for full health and wellness using the Lightning Process, nutrition and yoga. I have just begun a year long nutritional health coaching course and I am very much looking to the future. I’m most happy in the kitchen, on my yoga mat or enjoying walks in the English countryside with my hugely supportive husband, a.k.a. Mr B.
My blog catalogues my journey through ME/CFS. I hope it gives fellow sufferers hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. ME/CFS is still part of my life today; I imagine it always will be. I still have to watch my activity levels, but in a much, much less restrictive way. I know how to keep the illness in check. I am in control now. I largely feel free and most of all incredibly grateful that I have, touch wood, come out the other side.
If you would like to read my health journey in more detail, then please see these four posts: 2010 – Where It All Began; 2012 – Some Ups, More Downs, 2013 Turning the Corner and Living Recovery in 2014.
If you have any questions about my story, or anything on my site, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either by commenting on my blog posts or via email: myjourneythrume[@]yahoo.com.
Updated January 2016