Judith’s family have been very much part of her recovery. Salus encourages partners, friends and relatives to come along to Support Groups and share the journey.
I first became ill in December 2006 with a normal seeming viral infection. That led to being hospitalised as I had problems with tachycardia, shortness of breath and tiredness. Various tests led to an initial diagnosis of cardiomyopathy. Six months later, another viral infection led to hospital again but still no diagnosis.
I was eventually diagnosed in December 2007 with ME/CFS, at which point I was unable to work due to extreme fatigue and pain. At the time my children were 17, 15 and 13 and I was used to doing the usual things; working, going to football matches every weekend as both boys played, outings with family, everything usually taken for granted. All this stopped when I became ill.
“Luckily my daughter, Becca, had just passed her driving test and she was brilliant, taking the boys places and all of them doing the supermarket shopping for me. They were all fantastic.”
At that time I was living in Sunderland and was offered help for ME by the support service there. This took the form of a self-management course. You were basically given tools to help you manage the condition as best you could. It was felt that you couldn’t recover, so this management was all that was offered.