Author and patient Naomi Whittingham shares her story on openDemocracy to raise awareness of ME / CFS:
I live in a world largely hidden from view. Most of my neighbours do not even know that I exist. I was last seen as a child walking home from school 26 years ago. In the decades since, I have rarely left my house; when I do, it is in a wheelchair.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) struck suddenly for me, with a viral infection, although for some the onset is more insidious.
Within a few months, it had stripped me of the ability to walk or talk, to move my arms or to open my eyes. It entombed me in such agonising pain that life was reduced to the drawing of each breath. My family and doctor expected me to die at any time.