All About ME

There’s a reason I’ve haven’t been updating my blog lately.

Twelve years ago, I got ME (also known as chronic fatigue, or post viral fatigue). I had it on and off for about 2 years. It’s not an illness with a regular pattern, there are good times when you feel completely normal, and bad times when you don’t have enough strength to open a window, or hold a telephone for more than a few minutes.

It’s a scary illness, often compounded by the attitude of the medical profession. Though I was lucky enough to have a supportive GP, others are given antidepressants and told to pull themselves together. And sad to say, well-intentioned family, friends and colleagues, who secretly (or not so secretly) believe that you’re not really ill only make things worse. Annoyingly, even Wikipedia imply that ME has its roots in depression, (but read carefully – a body of medical opinion is just an opinion).

After my two-year experience, I believed I’d completely recovered from ME. since then, I’ve led an active life that has included climbing mountains and running.

Aiguille du Tour summit
(That’s me on top of the Tour Noir)

So it’s come as a shock that for the past six weeks I can’t run, jump or sometimes even walk to the shops. I simply don’t have enough energy to cycle to work. Some days I can barely make it to the tram stop, but when I get in to work, I look healthy.

That’s possibly the most annoying aspect of this illness – you often don’t look sick, and there’s often a delayed reaction to activity people never see the effort you’ve made. Though your friends or colleagues might expect it, you probably won’t collapse in a heap while they’re around. That’s likely to come a few days later, when they’ve already decided that there’s really nothing wrong with you.

I’m lucky – the number of “good” days vastly outweigh the “bad” ones, and even the bad ones aren’t as bad as the last time round. I have a supportive partner and I know exactly what I need to recover.

So if you’ve come to this blog looking for my latest posts on chi running, you’re out of luck for the time being, at least.



  1. Hi Debra, really sorry to hear about this. It must have been a blow, given that you thought you were over it. I hope you’ll be feeling stronger very soon. Best wishes indeed, Roger.

  2. I wish you a speedy reversal of fate. Thought of you the other day when I started running again after a long time off. When the pain set in, I remember thinking, “Stop crying, Debra runs through the Alps faster than you can sprint down a hill at sea level.”

  3. Debra, I know what it’s like to be sick and have no one believe you. I was sick with low-level fevers and general fatigue for months about 10 years ago. One of the doctors I saw actually did put me on Prozac, just to get rid of me. I turned out to have a sneaky little infection that was hard to detect. I hope you get back to feeling normal again, and I’m sending positive energy your way.

  4. Thanks for your good wishes – they do mean a lot. I’m cautiously optimistic that things will improve soon.

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