Sophie Crowley, Founder of Mummying and M.E.
Blogging through life with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
On my maternity leave, I was very active. Days were filled with Buggy Fit and baby sensory classes, and I’d speed-walk into town without a care in the world – enjoying time off with my newborn baby after a 10-year career in primary school teaching.
My childhood eczema, asthma and hay fever were ever-present, but for all intents and purposes I was fit, active and healthy; then I got a chest infection in November last year and everything changed… I just couldn’t shake it off. Every time was worse than the last, until I was hospitalised and signed off work for months.
I could barely walk; anything more than 20 metres left me on my knees. I had more energy nursing my daughter through countless sleepless nights when she was tiny! I started using a wheelchair so I could leave my front door. The fresh air was wonderful… I never realised how much I’d taken it for granted.
I had test after test as one illness after another was ruled out. Too tired to talk or stand, I had to accept that the teaching career I loved was over.
I was diagnosed with ME – also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – in April this year. It’s like running a marathon every day whilst you’ve got the flu and a hangover. The pain and exhaustion are insane!
It’s been shit… really shit… but I push on. My daughter is 22 months old now. She goes to nursery three days a week and my wonderful in-laws have her the other two. I’ve found a job I can do lying down on the sofa in my pyjamas: blogging!
I post three times a week – raising awareness of what it’s like to live with ME and to make others with chronic illness feel less alone. Two months in, I’m selling ads to monetise my platform and I’ve been featured in the ‘Metro’ newspaper.
I see the doctors on a regular basis and I’m on all sorts of medications, so writing has become a wonderful form of therapy that helps me to process what’s going on.
It’s easy to be all ‘doom and gloom’, but – finally – I’m at peace with this condition.