Before I fell ill with CFS I was a very active person, enjoying mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, walking and surfing.
I became ill with CFS in December 2006. It started off with me just lacking in energy and then I was finding myself having naps in my free time, I didn’t think anything of it as I had just moved, started a new job with a different shift pattern and thought I was just getting used to things. One day, while at work, I suddenly felt very unwell and went home early.
The next day was spent in bed and when I tried to get up I felt tired and light headed. The following day I felt much better and intended to go back to work, I went for a short walk to get some fresh air before getting ready. I was walking for less than ten minutes on flat ground but it exhausted me and I sat on the sofa out of breath and unable to get back up. This was so unlike me I phoned NHS direct and was advised to go to A&E.
I was admitted to hospital and discharged after 4 days with the doctors not knowing what was wrong with me. The next six months were spent house bound, as going out anywhere was just too exhausting and I felt so ill all the time. After 6 months I borrowed a wheelchair, enabling me to get out of the house with my family. I also worked on getting my sleep pattern back to normal and life improved slightly.
However, for 18 months I had no real enjoyment, I wasn’t able to go out on my own and felt permanently unwell. I lost touch with a lot of my friends as I just didn’t have the energy to go out and more often than not couldn’t speak to anyone on the phone. Being in isolation also caused me to loose a lot of confidence, resulting in me being anxious about going out even if I felt I had the energy.
Mickel Therapy was recommended to me by someone who it had worked for and, after researching it, my gut feeling was to give it a try (I had previously read about other therapies, but didn’t have the confidence in them to try them). I phoned Trevor and had a chat with him, he was brilliant and said he would lend me a Mickel Therapy book for me to read before I made up my mind. I read the book, which is written with CFS sufferers in mind and is easy to follow. It made my gut feeling stronger, so I phoned Trevor and he arranged to see me a couple of days later.
I was very anxious about the 150 mile round trip involved and thought it was going to absolutely exhaust me. My mum drove me to Trevor’s and told to me not to worry, if I was tired when I came out I could rest in the car before we started back. The appointment went really well and I was amazed when I came out and realised I had been chatting to Trevor for an hour and half, I felt like I’d been in there for ½ hour. I didn’t feel tired at all and didn’t need to rest before heading back.
On the way home we stopped off at a supermarket, I would normally have waited in the car but this time I decided to get out and stretch my legs. As I was walking into the supermarket I thought I felt funny, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong, then it hit me – I felt good! It had been such a long time since I had felt good that I didn’t recognise it at first.
From then on everything improved! I was able to go out on my own; I started to go out on my bike again; got back in contact and started seeing old friends and was able to cook my family dinner. While I was ill there was a time I thought I would never again be able to drive a distance, go out walking on the moors or go cycling.
After my first appointment I started to go out for regular short walks and was amazed at how quickly I could increase the distance I was walking. After my 3rd appointment (which I drove all the way back from) I was able to drive myself onto the moor and go for a walk, I had the biggest grin ever and was phoning people to say ‘guess where I am’. I drove myself to my sixth and final session on the 18th December 2008 and was able to finish the year by having a fantastic Christmas being able to go out and see friends. I went out for New Years Eve (the first time in 2 years) and found myself coming in at 3 in the morning, with no ill effects the next day (nothing serious anyway). If I hadn’t listened to my gut feeling I would still be unable to do anything and not be enjoying life at all. Thanks to Mickel Therapy and Trevor I am now enjoying life again and am even more motivated than I was before I became unwell.