John Copes with Illness and Looks to the Future
John Blundell was forced to give up his career as a systems software expert when ME took hold after years of growing ill health. John, now 50, of Stevenage, made his own diagnosis after studying the symptoms on the Internet - his doctor thought he was depressed. With help from other sufferers he was able to learn about the disease and get support before getting a formal diagnosis.
He had been bewildered when he first became ill. He could no longer study the technical manuals he had understood easily before. He was exhausted all the time, had pains in his joints and muscles and his temperature went up and down.
Seeing the symptoms out-lined on the Internet was astonishing. "I had never heard of ME and then I found it matched so closely what I was experiencing," he said.
The formal diagnosis by a consultant was still a shock though. "I was hoping it was something that could be cured but I had to face that I had got an incurable disease," he said.
However, several years later, he is progressing and hopes that one day he will lead a normal life. "People do recover, sometimes very quickly, sometimes slowly. The hope is there," he said.
ME is a potentially severe disabling condition affecting the immune and central nervous systems. There is no cure although some people make a full recovery and others improve substantially.