I’m Cassandra Jade Foxley I live in rural Cheshire in the United Kingdom. I was virtually bedridden for two years before being diagnosed in 1994 with ME/CFS. Without statutory healthcare or community care services available to meet the needs of my condition; living in a chronic fatigued state insidiously became, for 13 exhausting years, an accepted way of being.
In 2005 I was refused, on health grounds, a parent visa to go and live with my daughter in Melbourne Australia. This devastating blow provoked me to seek a professional health prognosis, revisit and wider research healthier lifestyles including undergoing some alternative treatments. It was time to prioritise what is important in my life; taking responsibility for my own health and wellbeing.
The choices I made almost 19 years ago in 1994 were for sound reasons. On reflection and in all honesty, I don’t think they were for the right reasons. The details of my activities are outlined in ‘My Relevant Work History’. Although, I don’t consider my choice of focus at that time and the consequent direction I took regrettable it likely impacted my prognosis, probably made my already chronic condition more complex and undoubtedly delayed my potential recovery.
From 1994 I worked for 12 years based at home and ‘managed’ my health. On reflection, without psychologically beating myself up; my ‘work’ choice and chosen lifestyle for over a decade had certainly exacerbated my fatigued state. I had mistakenly accepted that my condition was a long term condition instead of a chronic condition. I had ‘shrewdly’ skipped around it, or so I thought. Improving my health, well-being and quality of life had become at best ‘a wing and a prayer approach’ but in all honesty I had side lined it. Prolonging the agony comes to mind!
My message to you is that now is important. This is your life, your health, your well-being and it is happening today. Ask yourself whether you are prepared to just exist or whether you are going to endeavour to improve the quality of your life. If that sounds selfish to those of you with dependants, partners, wives, husbands, friends and colleagues; if you choose to merely exist it will noticeably change or potentially have an impact effect on relationships.
Attempting to re-energise, maintain and restore natural vigour proved complex. Accepting the consequences and learning from trying to run before I could walk was challenging.The benefits I experienced from my approach became life changing. My intention is to live in Australia; it appears that by choice I’m taking the scenic route!
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Editor: Cass Jade Foxley
Updated: 19 January 2017