|Ellen 's Story|
It was such a short time ago that I was a dancer with wild dreams and ambitions. My goals were fuelled by a selfish determination and an aggressive, attacking attitude. Yet suddenly my world became so distant even as I tried to hold on to it tightly with my hand.
I lived and breathed my identity through dance and strong physical prowess. It took years to sharpen my art - but it took only months of chronic disease to tear that world apart. My health had been poor for a number of years but nothing would prepare me for the pain and desperate fear that engulfed my body during and after my pregnancy.
It took my doctors far too long to finally come up with a diagnosis of chronic fatigue of the muscles – better known in the specialist field as ‘Fibro myalgia'. Some of the symptoms along with excruciating muscle tightness is sleeplessness, food intolerances, hormone imbalances that leads to depression, osteoporosis, inability to concentrate and many more things that are less recognisable but just as destroying.
Within a twelve-month period I had married, given birth to a beautiful baby girl and become so chronically ill that I struggled to care for my child. Until now I had not understood how one person could gain so much and lose so much in such a short space of time.
It now seems like a lifetime ago that this drive and aggression ruled my life, but it was indeed what led to the illness that crippled my body. I was a free spirit that was trapped and tormented.
The physical pain that I lived with dragged me to the end of myself. My lowest point was when I realised that I had lost ‘love'. I had lost myself in multiple, vast and dramatic changes that had emptied me of any emotion. I cared not for life and had no fear of death.
Today I realise that I have much to be grateful for. My healthy, happy daughter is a miracle given the conditions of my health during the pregnancy. I now have the opportunity for new hopes, dreams and goals. And, even though I mention him last, it is certainly not because he is least - my husband has been so much of my inspiration. Even in the times when I was too angry and bitter to want to go on, Mike carried a fire in his belly for me. He painted a hope that there would be an end to hard times. He gave me a picture of our future!