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Living With Chronic Illnesses A Daily Battle

Thursday 10 September 2020


From New Zealand news outlet SunLive:


Arlene Olson and daughter
Arlene Olson with her daughter who
also lives with the same illnesses.
(Supplied photo.)

Living with chronic illnesses a daily battle

Wednesday 2 September 2020
Copyright © Sun Media Ltd 2020.

There are tears in Arlene Olson’s eyes as she describes the past few years she’s been through.

“My mother died, then my sister and brother in law died, I got diagnosed with my illnesses, and now I could be losing my job because of that.”

Arlene was diagnosed in June with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia. They’re not well known, but they are lifelong conditions that are often debilitating, and invisible to the world.

Arlene has lived with them for around 10 years. She describes the symptoms as like having a constant flu.

“I can’t control my body temperature, I can’t breathe properly, I have no energy, I get extremely shaky and dizzy, and I’m in constant pain – it’s like there are metal rods jabbing into my muscles.”

Only recently with the stress of the family deaths have the symptoms become unbearable and she’s crashed. Now, she is struggling to get back up.

With her sick days racking up, her employer has become concerned that she is taking too much time off, and could now face losing her job. Arlene says it feels like she is being constantly judged.


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