CFIDS Profile: Jennifer
Coping with CFIDS
Originally published in Youth Allied By
I'm 16 years old and have
suffered from a
syndrome for two years now. I have the unwanted chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
When family and friends ask what's wrong with me I say that I have CFS and the
room grows silent. Their faces are blank, as in, "What?" I can see that from
their point of view I look fine, so why don't I feel fine? I'm not able to
attend school because I never feel well enough to get there. My school has been
very good about helping me out; they are now looking for a home tutor. I live in
a small town, so it has been a hard search.
My mom has been great about understanding,
helping, and caring for me. She and I have searched for doctors and as much
information as possible, while trying to cope with CFS in general. I try to deal
with the fact that I have been robbed of a normal life, robbed of good times
with friends, and robbed of my dreams. I wanted to share my story with you
because you know of the issues that surround CFS.
Some people say that my life will be
different because I don't go to school or feel well enough to spend time with
friends. Well, they are right. My life with CFS is different than healthy teens'
lives, but I shouldn't be punished just because I have CFS. I don't want
sympathy--all I want is understanding.
I think coping with CFS is enough for
present, without looking toward the future. Maybe having CFS has lead me to the
right path. My dream was to be a veterinarian, but maybe I'm meant to work with
people instead. I still would love to be a veterinarian, but I would also like
to be a rheumatologist so I can help children with CFS.
I hope my story has helped you all
way; we must stick together in the fight against CFS.
founder of CFS and
FMS Teen Mail Support, lives in Red Oak, Iowa.