The Space Between Zero and One
The first time I heard about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) and OMF was about a month or so into dating my current girlfriend of 2 years.
I had heard about ME / CFS previously from people such as my neighbor, but I had no idea the extent of what the disease was. It doesn’t become real, until it becomes personal.
Although I met my girlfriend after she got sick, I know her life looked starkly different before ME / CFS. Her life was more adventurous, exciting, and she enjoyed her routine of exercise. Since her onset of ME / CFS, I have watched her struggle to even walk with the dog for a few blocks at a time. I know this is a huge loss for her, and all ME / CFS patients. Movement and exercise is something I often take for granted as a healthy person.
As a couple, we try and work around the limitations that ME / CFS imposes, and we focus on making the best of life within the confines of her energy levels. It may be a big world out there, but people forget that there is an infinite amount of space between zero and one. Until the cure is found, we enjoy being able to spend time together in whatever capacity we have.
Beyond my girlfriend’s experience, I’ve encountered a lot of people that seem to have similar stories of falling ill with a virus or infection and ending up with unrelenting exhaustion and other symptoms long after the initial infection has cleared. Unfortunately, they aren’t quite sure of what’s going on with their own body, as it’s not easy to get a diagnosis or treatment.
That’s why OMF’s mission is so important: They seek to change this by finding diagnostic tools, treatments, and ultimately, a cure.
Not only is OMF working to find treatments, but they are also working to increase awareness of the disease within the medical community. One of their big objectives is supporting health care education about the disease and advancing information-based research into clinical medicine.
This provides hope for a lot of patients, as it will help them to gain validation and support from the medical community that they deserve.
Nowadays, the work of ME / CFS is even more relevant with the rise of coronavirus. If patients contract coronavirus, there is a chance they may fall ill with ME / CFS in the aftermath. It’s more important now than ever to understand ME / CFS and find treatments, so patients can return to their healthy lives even after the virus is gone.