Upwell teen speaks out about struggle with M.E. in bid to raise awareness of the neurological condition

Annie Fowler, 15, has M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

Annie Fowler, 15, has M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) - Credit: Archant

A teenager from Upwell who suffers from a neurological condition that affects around 20,000 youngsters in the UK has spoken out to raise awareness.

Annie Fowler, 15, has M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and experiences severe, persistent fatigue.

It is different from ordinary tiredness and the body and brain can find it hard to recover after expending even small amounts of energy.

This leads to a flare-up in symptoms including chronic pain, difficulties with concentration, thinking and memory and problems with the nervous and digestive system.

Annie is now sharing her story as part of Action for M.E.’s 2018 M.E. Awareness Month campaign, This is M.E.

“Life is very different now”, explains Annie. “I can’t do as much as I used to, I constantly have to watch what I do.

“I don’t have an appetite like I did. I never feel like myself, and other people notice that too.

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“There are odd days when I feel like myself and sound more like myself, but it never lasts as long as I want it to.”

One in four people with M.E. are so severely affected that they remain bed or housebound.

There is currently no specific test that can detect M.E. and no pharmacological cure.

Annie hopes she will be able to lead a normal life one day.

She continued: “My mum is a massive help, she makes sure I do everything I can to help myself get better. She always believes in me, that I will recover, even if it’s not 100 per cent, and that I will do everything I want to in my life.”

Sonya Chowdhury, chief executive of Action for M.E. added: “It’s so important to raise awareness and understanding of the unique impact of M.E., to tackle the ignorance, injustice and neglect experienced by thousands of adults, young people and families, like Annie, whose lives have been stolen by this horrible illness.

“We want to show that M.E. is different for everyone – and that everyone with M.E. matters, whatever their experience.”

For more information visit www.actionforme.org.uk/meam2018

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