• Dawnymarie - My Story

    Hi my name is Dawnymarie and I am now 38 years old, but very young at heart!

    In April 2002 I started nurse training, my dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and we were moving house. Three of the most stressful things I have ever been through and all at once.

    The house move eventually completed and all was well with my training. In January 2003 I lost my beloved dad, it was absolutely devastating and the grief process is horrendous but I got strength from somewhere and carried on with my training.

    In April 2005 I very proudly qualified with distinction as a staff nurse. I had done it! I had three job changes with different hospitals as there were problems with travel and staff shortages which made the job very tiring and stressful.

    In March 2006 I contracted a severe vomiting and diarrhoea virus and was off work for four weeks, after two weeks I attempted to go back but only lasted a couple of hours before being sent home. I was advised that I was severely dehydrated and suffering post viral fatigue by a locum gp. My gp thought it was probably the after effects of the virus with dehydration.

    I had a new job that was due to start so I pushed myself to start on time, thinking it was only induction for 6 weeks and I would be ok. How wrong I was, I was totally exhausted, experiencing near blackouts/collapse, dizzy and faint, jittery, aching and worst of all brain fog of which I knew nothing about at that time.

    I pushed myself in continuously aiming for my holiday in July, thinking that I could recover whist on holiday! I had access to a consultant at the hospital and my gp advised me to see him as he was at a loss as to what was wrong with me. I had every blood test available, ecg, chest x-ray and all normal. So at one point the consultant made me feel like he didn't believe there was anything was wrong with me as I read in my notes that he felt it could be 'psychosomatic' (in the head)!

    That was a bad day, I could not believe he thought that and luckily he asked for a second opinion from another of the consultants. How lucky I was to have an assessment from this consultant. He had some understanding and believed in ME/CFS and advised that he thought it most likely to be ME/CFS.

    Even though the consultants wrote to my gp with their findings he was adamant that he was not writing ME/CFS on my sick note for work until it was conclusive. This made me feel really upset as I thought that even he was thinking that there was nothing wrong with me. Since then a letter from both consultants has been sent to my gp with a diagnosis of ME/CFS. This is a relief but also not as there is not much help out there for this illness.

    I have been resting, pacing and being well looked after by my lovely hubby and daughter, mum, family and friends. I have experienced doubt and unknowledgable comments too. I am in the house most of the time, though am lucky in that I can mobilise a short distance if needed on a good day.

    I am trying to remain positive, majority of the time this is accomplished though it is only to be expected and understandable that I have an occasional bad day when I have a little cry. I am treating myself really at this time and waiting for a referral to a cfs/me clinic for specialist advice and help.

    I have benefited from time to enable me to rediscover me and realise what I want out of life. I appreciate simply 'being' rather than 'doing' in order to be happy. I am hopeful of a positive outcome sometime in the near future and will do whatever it takes to be better.