A BRAVE girl with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis has told her story about living with the condition to support the ‘This is M.E’ campaign and raise awareness.
Rosa Zagurskas, aged 16, from Studley, suffers every day with the chronic neurological condition which is often shortened to ‘M.E’ by many.
It can affect anyone of any age, at any time and in lots of different ways.
Common symptoms include severe and persistent fatigue, inability to recover, low energy, problems with the digestive system and difficulties with concentration, thinking and memory.
May 2018 is M.E awareness month and the campaign, which gives people like Rosa a voice, inspired her to talk about the illness.
Rosa said: “I am almost always in a wheelchair and I can’t walk or see very well. I am always in pain and I often vomit and feel sick.
“Before my illness I was very active. I was a dancer and gymnast and I’ve always been very ambitious.
“The first three years of having M.E left me bedridden. I was completely isolated and had no friends. It felt like I’d lost everything.”
People’s experience with M.E and how long their symptoms last differs from person to person.
Some make good progress and may improve, or recover, while others can remain ill for a number of years and may never get better.
Thankfully Rosa’s condition has improved recently which has enabled her to attend college for a few hours each week.
She said: “I love to be doing work and to play music. I get all excited when I have a new assignment or learn a new song.
“But I get so frustrated when everyone is ahead of me. It can take me a week to learn a new song or 45 minutes to just write one paragraph.
“I am still a keen musician and play flute, guitar, bass, piano and try to remain positive.”
Rosa was keen to point out that, since going to college, she has made great friends on her course.
“They don’t care that I’m ill and see me as a normal girl. They help me out when I’m struggling without any fuss.
“I’m at my absolute happiest when I’m with my friends or I’m playing music.”
Sonya Chowhury, Chief Executive of Action for M.E, said: “It’s important to raise awareness and understanding of the unique impact of M.E.
“Tackling the ignorance, injustice and neglect experienced by thousands of people, like Rosa, whose lives have been stolen by this horrible illness.”
Visit https://www.actionforme.org.uk for more information.