During your final years of high school, milestones take place, people grow up and you learn more about yourself than you ever have before.
But for me, being diagnosed with a chronic illness significantly impacted my life for five years.
And yes, I did experience many of those milestones when I was able to, but for most of the time, I was tired and in a lot of pain.
Here’s how you’re coping in isolation according to your star sign. Post continues below.
During the past few months of COVID-19, there have been moments that have triggered memories of this time and forced me to confront my experience; how large of a role it played it my life.
This is a small glimpse into what I lived with.
It was 2014, I was 17 years old and suddenly I was tired and sore all the time.
Simple things like stacking this dishwasher, vacuuming the house or typing a late-night essay were all near-impossible tasks.
My joints would ache to the point where I was left feeling like I had run a marathon (no, I cannot and do not run). I would sleep for hours because my body desperately needed it. I barely ate.
During the first year, I had various specialists on rotation and we tried many medications to manage the pain but nothing seemed to work.
And after feeling mentally and physically defeated from constant pain and having no understanding as to why this was happening, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia come under the umbrella of chronic illness. They can both be long-lasting but the severity, symptoms and timeline of both illnesses vary from person to person.
Chronic fatigue is an illness that affects a person’s nervous system, causing pain in the muscles and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. For many people, it can be triggered by an earlier infection and can develop and worsen over time. For me, it was off the back of a strep infection and left me with extreme aches and exhaustion, all the time.