Wednesday, 4 March 2009


One of the most difficult things about chronic illnesses I think can be acknowledging and accepting just how ill you really are.  Today I am forced to do this.  Today my illness cost me the job I really wanted.  The job in Switzerland that I mentioned last time.  The job that would have (amazingly) required the complete combination of education, experience and skills that I have acquired to date.  A job that, although unusual, would have been challenging and stimulating and even well paid.  

Somehow it is losing something I never had that forces me to face my reality.  A world where in all likelihood I will be unable to work even part-time for at least 6 months, perhaps even a year or more, even if I rest intensively.  A world where I have to learn to be grateful for each small improvement that I make, where I must appreciate the little things around me, like the sun breaking through the clouds or the time I get to spend with my family, if I am to be happy during this time.  

So what happened?  Well I passed the telephone interview stage and was put through to the assessment centre which was to take place in Zurich.  Unfortunately for me the assessment centre they wanted me to go to was just one week after the telephone interview - nowhere near enough time for me to recover adequately.  I told them that I was unwell so they decided they would need a doctors note to say I was fit enough to be there - of course I wasn't fit enough to go anywhere, I could barely walk from one end of the house to the other let alone trundle a suitcase onto a plane!  They said they would see if they could put me in to a later assessment centre.  Today I discovered that this will not happen.  It seems that by this stage I was competing against only one other person and unfortunately not only did that person pass the assessment centre which I could not attend but they also must have accepted the job offer.

I am bitterly disappointed of course.  How could I not be?  But whether I like it or not this is probably for the best.  If I had been put through to a later assessment centre and been well enough to go, it would doubtless have set me back dramatically.  How can one go from not being able to tolerate any light or noise to suddenly flying to another country and doing an intensive day of testing and interviewing without consequence?  I was naive I know, but at least I tried, and I tried in a sensible way.  


  1. Hi -

    I noticed you'd started following my blog, so I thought I'd check out yours as well. I'm so sorry to hear that you've become so ill and that you missed out on your dream job for now. It sounds as if you have a good attitude, though, and know what you need to do. And how wonderful that you have such an understanding and supportive family! You're absolutely right about resting. No matter how good a day I'm having or what else is going on, I lie down in a dark, quiet room and take a nap every afternoon. It definitely helps.

    I'm curious - how long was your sister sick before she recovered? And was there anything in particular she did or medications she took that helped her to recover? I'm intrigued because we hear so few stories of CFS/ME recovery.

    I'm also curious whether you've recently been tested for viruses. If you suddenly got much worse (or suddenly got ME), it's very likely you've encountered some sort of viral trigger and anti-virals might be very helpful to you at this stage.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  2. Hi Sue,
    Thank you for visiting my blog - as I'm new at this I only just saw your comment I'm afraid. I must say I think you're really courageous. We are finding it hard enough just dealing with my illness and yet you are looking after two little ones as well!

    I have just written a new post about my sister's illness which I hope is of interest. I have again emphasised rest, mainly because this is really what she believes got her better, but also in case there are people out there who don't fully understand its necessity. I am glad to hear that you also find it is helpful on a daily basis. :) For me at present I have to rest roughly double the length of time that I do anything which isn't resting in order to be safely within my limitations.

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. Unfortunately my first doctor on getting back to the UK was completely clueless so I have just switched to a new doctor. He is currently testing for autoimmune diseases and vitamin B12 deficiency. The only virus that has been tested as yet is glandular fever (Epstein barr) and that was negative. Did you have any specific viruses in mind that I should request they check?

    Many thanks for brightening up my day. :) I hope your herx reactions aren't too awful and that you feel much better soon!