7 to 22: 15 Years with ME
Posted: 23 November 2022
Authored by Steph Spearing
My name is Steph, I’m 22 years old.
15 years ago, I became too ill to go to school, which marked the moment I developed M.E.
Within a year I would go from having mild M.E. to severe M.E., because of harmful “treatments” like G.E.T (Graded Exercise Therapy) advised by doctors.
My body has never recovered from this.
I was severely ill for over 6 years; I teetered on the edge of very severe M.E. during the first 3 years. In those 6 years I experienced over 50 different symptoms, affecting pretty much every system in my body.
By 2015 I was improving into the moderate category of M.E.
I’ve now had moderate M.E. for over 7 years but this means I’m housebound & I have to rest all day to keep my symptoms stable.
I have found things I’m able to do & enjoy, to entertain myself, pass the time & to stay connected. One of those things is photography. In my mid-teens it became my main creative outlet.
In the warm months I go into our garden & take photos of flowers, trees & whatever else nature has to offer. In the winter it’s just too cold for me to venture out, so I take photos of our arctic like surroundings through our windows.
I would not have made the progress I have in last 15 years without the care & advocacy of my mum, she saw what the doctor’s “treatments” were doing to me & followed her instincts to go against them. She did countless hours of research to find the help that I needed. My mum found understanding doctors, who helped to improve the severe symptoms I had at the time & that put me on the path to getting to where my M.E. is today.