26 May 2014

Me and ME

I mentioned in my 25 Facts About Me Tag that I had a condition called ME so I thought I would tell you a bit more about it. 

ME (also knows as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS) is a disease described as having neurological symptoms, muscle pain and intense fatigue and exhaustion. To put that in more simple terms, it makes you feel absolutely exhausted no matter how much you rest and you're in pain pretty much all the time. I think the most challenging aspect of this disease is that not much is known about it, there's no cure and some people (even doctors) don't know it exists.

I've had ME for nearly 4 years after getting a really bad virus. When it first started, I was in Year 11 and on my last year of GSCE's so it pretty much awful timing. No one (including doctors) knew what was going on with my health. I was having pretty much every test under the sun at two different hospitals done and they still had no idea what was wrong. After just under a year of tests, both hospitals came to the conclusion of ME/CFS. You're probably wondering why it took so long and that's because the symptoms mimic a lot of diseases and to get a diagnosis, it's a process of elimination. I'm not going to lie, that year of hospital appointments and sitting my GCSE's was hard. I was extremely exhausted and the pain really bad. My upper back, arms and hands would all swell if I did anything. The summer after my GCSE's, I went onto Sixth Form but after a couple of months I made a decision with my parents to give up school. This was the hardest decision I've ever had to make because I'd worked really hard to get to where I was. My school was amazing at helping me through everything and I honestly don't know what I would have done without their support.

I've been out of school for around 3 years and it's the best decision I've made. It's allowed me to focus on my recovery and I'm in a much better position then I was when I first got ME. I've had a treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which helps you increase your daily activity at a very small rate. It really helped me break through some of the boundaries and I'm glad I was able to do it. It wasn't easy and I am still in the same amount of pain,  however, I'm much better at managing it. 

I guess the reason that I'm telling you about this is because beauty blogs and videos were my only escape throughout my illness. I stumbled across the beauty community accidentally but I'm so glad I did. Watching tutorials and reading blogs has helped me realise a dream I didn't know I had; to be a makeup artist.

I started this blog because I wanted to get more involved in something that I love. I just want to thank all of you who read my blog too. I've only been blogging for a short time but I love it and I'm really grateful to everyone who reads it. I will probably always struggle with ME but I will also always have this community to turn to. 

I know this has been a long post and we will return to all things beauty on Wednesday. I wanted to write this because ME effects me everyday. You've probably noticed that I've stopped posting everyday and only post three times a week which is down to my ME. My symptoms were really flaring up doing this everyday and whilst I love it, I have to think about my health too. I also want to put out great content for you all to read and if I continued to blog everyday, I don't think I would have been able to. 

If you have or know anyone that has ME/CFS and want some advice, you can always tweet me @livinginmakeup or email me at beautydreamer95@gmail.com. If you do have ME, I just want to say that it will get better. I never thought I'd get to where I am today but it can and will happen. 

Thanks for reading,