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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


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Elisha steps back into life after waking from illness

Friday 12 February 2010 newspaper The Age reports on teenager Elisha Nardella and her life with ME/CFS:

Elisha steps back into life after waking from illness


February 7, 2010

A FEW months ago it was a challenge for Elisha Nardella to get out of bed in the morning. On the rare occasions when she made it to school she wouldn't last beyond lunchtime.

"It just felt like I couldn't do anything because I felt so run down. It was hard because my friends were out all the time," the 17-year-old says.

Elisha's battle with chronic fatigue began two years ago in year 10 after her second bout of glandular fever. Debilitated by the virus she struggled to get back on her feet. The once active teenager, who loved dancing and taekwondo, became lifeless. Her mother Trish knew something was very wrong.

"She would be tired just eating her dinner. She couldn't walk from the front door to the letterbox to get the mail. She would literally walk up a staircase and that would be it, she'd have to sit down, she'd be exhausted," Trish says.

"A normal teenager might sleep in til 11 o'clock but then would be up during the day and possibly half the night, but she struggled with everything."

In November, Elisha entered the chronic fatigue inpatient program at the Austin. A meticulously planned routine including hydrotherapy, gym training and cognitive behavioural therapy helped the teenager manage her illness and gradually increase her energy levels.

Meeting other teenagers who suffered from the condition was a huge confidence boost. "It was really good being able to relate to people who know what you're feeling because no-one else would understand. People would be like, 'Well, if you're tired why don't you just sleep?' Even teachers didn't really understand when I'd have to go home because I needed a sleep. It made me feel frustrated."

Since leaving the program, Elisha, who previously slept for up to four hours during the day, now has her energy back and is at school full time. She managed to keep up with her schoolwork despite prolonged absences and last year passed year 11, even sitting three exams while in hospital.

"I feel heaps better now. I don't sleep at all during the day any more, and if I'm feeling a bit tired I go for a walk instead of just lounging around. I feel like now that I can handle it better and that I don't need to just sleep it off, there's other ways to deal with it."

The above article originally appeared here.

Disclaimer: We must point out the CFS inpatient program mentioned in the article above involves activities such as hydrotherapy, gym training and cognitive behaviour therapy, all of which have been shown in many CFS patients to be ineffective and, in some cases, dangerously counterproductive, resulting in relapses. When embarking on any new treatment we advise caution as well as thorough consultation with medical professionals.



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