Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a serious long-term illness that affects many body systems. People suffering with ME/CFS have severe fatigue and sleep problems, and symptoms can get much worse even after minor physical, mental and emotional effort (a phenomenon known as post-exertional malaise). Fibromyalgia is a similar chronic condition that causes pain all over the body.
May 12th is the birthday of nurse Florence Nightingale, but did you know she suffered from a debilitating illness resembling ME or fibromyalgia? In honour of her achievements even though she struggled with fatigue, the day has been designated an international awareness day for these conditions and other chronic immunological and neurological diseases.
On May 12th, take the time to learn more about these poorly understood conditions and listen to the stories of people who suffer with them. Wear blue to raise awareness and show support for people with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, their families and caregivers, and researchers studying these illnesses.
For more information on ME/CFS, visit meassociation.org.uk, and visit fmauk.org to learn more about fibromyalgia.