Bedbound mum’s heartbreak as illness ‘ruins’ relationship with daughter

A mum left bedridden for more than a decade has revealed how her illness has "ruined" her relationship with her daughter.

Carol Davis, 54, once enjoyed an active life filled with travelling, parties and regular shopping trips until she was struck down with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as ME.

The former nursery manager claims the condition has "destroyed" her life, leaving her unable to leave her house and suffering from chronic fatigue bouts so severe she is unable to walk or talk, Wales Online reports.

She also told how the illness had a devastating impact on her 24-year-old daughter, who she says has only ever known her as her ‘sick mum’.

Carol, from Cardiff, said: “It has destroyed my life.

“My bed is like my office. I cannot cook for myself, change my bed, or do my own washing. My partner does everything for me.

“I have packets of jellies and bananas by the side of my bed as I’m too afraid to get out of bed.

“I have not been outside my house since last summer.

"I used to love shopping in Cardiff city centre but I don’t think I’ve been there for 15 years.”

Carol said she experienced her first ME symptoms following the birth of her daughter in 1995.

“I contracted a virus in the hospital and I was in there for a few weeks.

"After that I slept a lot of the time and the doctors thought I was experiencing postnatal depression.

“I kept going back to my GP as nothing was changing. I was tested for everything, including loads of different viruses, and they came to the conclusion that I had chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

“But there are differences between ME and CFS.”

She said if she has the energy to exert herself she often finds herself unable to talk or move just 20 minutes later.

“It has ruined my relationship with my daughter who’s only ever known me as the ‘sick’ mum who’s in hospital and always misses her school plays,” she added.

“She’s moved to Australia now so I never get to see her.

"She’s 24 now and I want to see her get married. My ME has broken our relationship down.

"I’ve lost all my friends and support network.”

Carol, who believes ME is a physical rather than mental condition, said her body feels like a heavy weight when the illness takes hold and makes her detached from her surroundings.

She also says nausea, tremors and intolerance to light are very common traits in people with ME.

And she said the only treatments she had been given were graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – both of which she claims have had no effect on her.

“My room is like a prison. I want to be able to go to the seaside and I’d love to go to Tenby again,” she added.

“I haven’t been on holiday for 20 years.”

According to the ME Association there are around 250,000 people across the UK affected by this illness.

Carol says the huge stigma around the condition has prevented more biomedical research being carried out.

“There are at least 20 people I know of in Cardiff who have ME and we speak regularly on social media, which has been a lifesaver for me.”

She is promoting the organisation Invest in ME which is running the campaign #haveacuppaforme to raise funds for ME research.

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