An interview I carried out with a member of the public for an article this week in one of the FFP’s sister newspapers has really made me stop and think.
The piece is about a woman who wanted to share her experiences of living with the every day struggle of ME with readers in a bid to dispel the many myths about the condition.
It’s an illness where knowledge and understanding on the whole is limited, even within the health profession, yet it has a huge impact on the lives of those who suffer from it and of course their families.
The woman I spoke to is just 41 years old and her symptoms of the condition began six years ago, a week after she celebrated her daughter’s first birthday.
She told me that within seven months her whole world had been turned upside down – she went from being a fit and healthy new mum who was loving life, to someone who was in constant pain and unable to leave her house unassisted.
As a result she has missed out on many things in her life, particularly those things involving her young daughter, and she feels like she is fighting a constant battle on a daily basis with even the simplest of tasks becoming a real challenge without help.
She describes her situation as more of an existence than a life.
The level of strength and support she receives from her family was evident and she is extremely lucky to have that.
However, learning more about her situation and the struggles she faces every day has definitely made me stop and think.
Her symptoms started out of the blue after she’d been ill with a virus and very quickly spiralled into something completely life changing.
When this happened she was around the same age as I am now.
It’s a really scary prospect that something which can have such a massive impact on your life can come from nowhere without any warning.
These days there’s so much talk about cancer and how many people it affects, however after speaking to this lady about her illness it has made me realise that there’s so much more than just the big C to worry about.
There’s other things out there too that can get you, it’s just they are not spoken about as much.
But whatever it is, whether it’s cancer or a condition like ME, for me the big realisation is that there’s no time like the present.
We should all be living every day to the full, as you never know what’s just around the corner and what life has in store for you.
There are some things in life that you can control, but there’s so much more that you cannot.
It’s time to take stock and make the most of what we have in our lives – we shouldn’t be taking anything for granted.
Going forward I’ll certainly be hugging my loved ones tighter and making the most of all the moments we share as a family.
It’s not just the big things that need cherished, even the little things are important as you never know if or when it might be taken from you.