About Me

Gday!  My name is Mel, I’m an Environmental Scientist now living on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – quite a beautiful area of the world!

I’ve been working in the environment industry for the last 12 years. Unfortunately I was infected with the Ross River Virus early 2009.  Think of feeling completely knocked down by a virus and then let that kick on for an indefinite period of time.

I struggled along and it seemed that after a year and a half I had somewhat conquered it.  But I started to go back to some of my old habits of partying up, not eating properly and doing way too much with little regard for rest!  Around mid 2010 I crashed and the bounce back never came, well not for a very long time.  I wasn’t diagnosed by a doctor as I frequented my naturopath more and it was her that informed me that the illness had change from Ross River to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  This was when the nightmare really began!

Before Ross River and CFS I was living a fun and busy life of working hard, socialising and enjoying the great outdoors.  I had a pretty active social life to say the least, and these illnesses changed my life around completely for at least three years.

It really wasn’t until I was struck down by CFS that I started to take my recovery seriously, and actually it took a while of having CFS before I reached a state of acceptance, and truly start the recovery process.  The initial months were terrifying and very emotionally draining.  I expected it would lift within a week, or at least within the month, and when it didn’t I had to face the reality that I didn’t really know how long I would be sick for.  It is especially distressing when you read that many people don’t recover from CFS!

I tried to go back to work a couple of days a week for four hours a day, but I would get foggy, dizzy and anxious and eventually I just gave that up.  A natural therapist / GP advised me to take six months off work.  That was probably the start of acceptance, although at the time I was horrified and cried a lot.  I had a mortgage and had just started a new job.  I was on my own and really couldn’t see how I could survive without working.

Eventually I was able to come to terms with the fact that I was too ill to work and that worrying about it all was not going to get me well.  I was also very lucky as my mother stepped in and offered me whatever I needed financially.  Her and her partner are not wealthy people, they are just very loving and generous.  How amazingly supported that made me feel, and free to concentrate on my own recovery.  Actually many things worked out financially without help from my mother. Once I handed over to the universal force and really felt that I was being looked after, great things just kept happening.

Free of the mental burdens about work and finances I was able to concentrate on my recovery.  I read a lot about CFS and how to recover and tried many different things, oh and I also taught myself a bit about website development and blogging to pass the time, thus the development of this site!  At first I was only able to read small amounts in bed, but slowly that become more and more time each day and eventually I was able to read at my computer.

I’ve tried many things and eventually settled into a routine around what worked for me.  The things I did fairly religiously included:

  • Ensure good sleep
  • Pacing myself by not doing too much at any one time, listening to my body
  • Graded exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Take a good multivitamin and various other supplements
  • Juice vegetables regularly in the morning
  • Try to get protein in each meal (5-6 times per day)
  • Try to keep sugar and flour to a minimum
  • Keep stress at bay
  • Keep a positive outlook and have faith that its all being looked after for me

They are the main things.  I found it really important to stay focused on the hope for recovery, as with hope I took positive steps and also felt much better emotionally.  So thus the focus of this site is to inspire hope for recovery.

I started to feel a lot better around December 2011 and noticed how I was able to do things that I couldn’t previously have done, without getting knocked back for days.  Since then I have been able to get back into things that I enjoy like socialising, seeing live music, dancing, regular exercise and much more.  I still keep a close eye on my body’s energy levels and keep up good food and rest, and avoid toxic situations and substances.

My life is not how it use to be pre-illness, but to be honest I think it is much healthier and that I am a much more balanced person.

I have now started my own business, working from home doing grant writing, communications and marketing.  I’m being supported by a great Aussie Government Program – New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).  It helps those people who have been unemployed to start their own business and provides you with a safety net for the first 12 months of operation.

I have pretty much stopped blogging as all my energy is going into my new business and keeping a balanced life.  But I continue to respond to comments and messages, so feel free to drop me a line.  I think it is really important to stay connected and feel part of a community, especially when you are cut-off from the world due to illness.

So go ahead and comment on my blog posts, connect with me on facebook or twitter and feel free to email me anytime.  I really enjoy connecting with those of you still battling, and I love to hear about your progress. 

I wish you all the best for your recovery.

Mel

x

Me, fit and healthy before the Ross River, alongside the Mitchell River, North Queensland on a research trip.


Me, getting back out there in March 2012. This was for a photo shoot for my new business website.


 

 

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