I live in Ireland, although I haven’t always done so. I have lead a highly pressured lifestyle in a high tech world which has gradually lead to my undoing. I have recently developed the symptoms of CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome otherwise known as Fibromyalgia/ME/Polymyalgia, etc.

There is a lot of speculation amongst the medical community as to whether CFS exists or if in fact it is psychosomatic, ie your feelings affect the way your body feels. I have it on good authority that CFS is an exclusion diagnosis, meaning that they couldn’t find anything else wrong with me, so they gave me a badge to wear.

CFS is not widely known of within the community at large. In fact it was a colleague of mine who introduced me to the concept of Fibromyalgia, which is what I prefer to call it. At that time I was riddled with chronic low grade, but persistant pain, especially in my feet and legs. I had also developed a long term headache, ie it lasted for over a week, and had suffered a number of acute problems with my back, pelvis, right knee, etc.

I now know, with the approval of my Rheumatologist that these symptoms, along with my inability to focus or concentrate on anything much (this is known as brain fog) were a part of the syndrome known collectively as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Following my friends diagnosis I did some considerable research on the condition and had already reached the conclusion that my problems were due to CFS before my initial consultation.

Following a whole gamut of blood tests, all of which were relatively normal, my Rheumatologist confirmed my suspicions. Rather than feeling a sense of relief, what followed was the overwhelming sense that this was going to be for the long run and that I wasn’t just going to get better overnight.

I didn’t leave his consulting room in tears, in fact there were none to be found that evening, but I did leave in the knowledge that at least one person believed this condition to be real and not psychosomatic or a fabrication of my mind. At least I knew that I wasn’t going mad; I was too far gone for that as I have been mad for most of my adult life anyway!

As it happens, I view this condition as a blessing, as it has forced me to take time out to spend it with my family and discover that there is a life outside of the workplace. The separation has been long and hard, with a lot of emotional and physical adjustments necessary, I hadn’t realised just how close I was to my career.

The divorce has been relatively painless and any day now I am expecting the final papers to come through, that is the divorce from my career; which I now realise cost me the best years of my life. My family and friends have been so supportive of what has probably been a difficult time for them too, and regardless of what happens in the future I will always have the priviledge of having had them in my life.

Today I am a maker of hand-made greeting cards. I love the creativity and the opportunity to work with my artistic self, a side of me which has been dormant for too long. I am a WAHM/SAHM, I have two boys, a gorgeous partner and soul mate, a rat and a ferret, I am a Mum and for the most part I love it.

Unfortunately, throughout my twenty-plus years as a small cog in the big wheel I have become institutionalised; my life ruled by routine and rota’s. Time management is one of my biggest challenges at the moment as are the Fibro flare-ups and the side effects of the medication I take to keep my symptoms under control.

Thanks for stopping by,

Polly Peirce


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