I'm Katie, don't let this picture fool you. I know things look quite peachy in the sun and tie dye. What this picture doesn't show is the constant daily struggle with Chronic Fatigue & Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction. If you have landed here you can probably relate to the common phrase, "Well you don't look sick". That's the thing with chronic mysterious illnesses you don't fit the traditional picture of "looking sick". To the general public there's no outward appearance there's no tidy diagnosis therefore it can't be that bad, but to you, you are trapped in a prison of your body's own revolt.
A bit of background to prove I'm not a lightweight. I was a Division I athlete in college, went on to become a lawyer, and have a career in finance. I'm used to high pressure situations and persevering at all costs (which may be part of the problem but more on that later).
I was quite unwell when this photo was taken and what it doesn't show:
- Doesn't show going from running 5 miles one day unable to walk 200 steps. This is not an exaggeration I could not walk 200 steps without needing to sit down.
- It doesn't show having to go to the emergency room because you have broken out into a sweat, racing heart, and dizziness.
- Doesn't show having to find escalators to get out of the subway because you can't walk up a flight of stairs.
- Doesn't show having to carry around salt and emergency snacks to spare you the embarrassment of potentially passing out in public.
- Doesn't show the planning out your food down to the minute hoping you can get from point A to B.
- Doesn't show you all the people telling you it is just stress and you need to relax
That is how sick I was. And the keyword is WAS. I had been to many doctors and specialists and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I live in Boston home to some of the best medical facilities in the world and no one could tell me what was going on. After reading hundreds of books and medical journal I was able to piece the puzzle together. I am here to share my story and everything I have learned to help any one who is suffering from Chronic Fatigue, ME, Long Covid, and Unexplained Illnesses. Even if it helps just one person even for one hour.
Day by day things get better. It's scary being unwell you can feel so isolated. This is here to show you are not alone.
With strength and perseverance,