Inside I’m Dancing
by Chloe Leanne Brookes, May 2017.
I used to live by the motto “Don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain” – but unfortunately, in my life this is no longer the case.
My life is stormy. I can’t dance through this pain and heartache any more because my body is broken; it doesn’t function or co-operate with me. Why? Because I’m severely injured by a vaccine which triggered Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Throughout 2010/2011 I was given three doses of ‘Cervarix’, also known as the HPV or cervical “cancer vaccine.” I noticeably became unwell three to five days following the second injection in January 2011. Experiencing relentless fatigue, muscular pain and an overall unwell “something isn’t right” feeling. Yet doubtfully, without any hesitation or seeing the correlation, I (regrettably) continued to have my third and final injection which considerably worsened my already poor state of health.
My once-healthy body has attacked itself, resulting in an autoimmune response – causing autonomic dysfunction. I’ve lost my precious immunity. In February 2012 I was formally diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), a debilitating illness with no cure. This was only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak; lurking within deeper waters are hidden challenges, battles and hurdles and we will never know when or what will eventually surface.
Having to live with a long-lasting chronic condition is completely unpredictable, uncontrollable and extremely painful; M.E. can be so severe it can cause total automatic failure and what I call “secondary effects” – opening the patient up to a whole world of illness possibilities, such as: Fibromyalgia, POTS, Gastroparesis, Eosinophilic Colitis and Mast Cell AD. Within a body of an M.E. sufferer there are thousands of cells continuously damaging one another. Personally, thanks to the vaccine ingredients and active HPV proteins, my body is replicating foreign (unwanted) cells without a stimulus of a virus, or bacterial bug. The lack of healthy cells to fight back plus chemical changes/toxicity of any kind within the immune, endocrine or lymphatic systems can create a disease development tragedy. This has led to Central Sensitisation, a condition that is associated with the development and maintenance of chronic pain. When central sensitisation occurs, the nervous system goes through a process called “wind-up” and gets regulated in a persistent state of high reactivity – causing persistent widespread pain and malfunctioning organs.
In my mind, I was prepared for everything. But my body? It was getting weaker. The force of chronic illness grew within me.
I tried to hide the pain from others, covering it up with a smile, trying to live a normal life, which wasn’t at all easy. For the first three years, on the outside I “looked well;” with make-up on I could be mistaken for a normal healthy teenager, but the inside of me is a completely different story – there’s no way to escape it. I am a prisoner within my own body.
School was important to me; I never left the house for anything else due to the challenging process. Being able to attend school was a marathon and incredibly grueling despite my mild/moderate M.E. back then, yet school was so precious and the good moments are cherished.
I was deteriorating and all of a sudden I became home-bound, wheelchair-bound, then completely bed-bound. Now multiple simple day-to-day things have become impossible for me to do. I just want to be in a wheelchair and visit a shop; I haven’t seen a shop in almost three years.
The severity of my pain is getting worse. It’s beyond my control, and shoots up way over my tolerable pain barrier which I have strongly built up over the years. It’s not just an ache… it’s a bone crushing, deep, dull, stabbing, pulsating, musculoskeletal, hit by a bus, dragged along the motorway kind of pain, which even morphine-based drugs hardly touch. Just lying still causes agony. Not to mention the tonic clonic seizures which cause memory loss and loss of speech, the added fatigue which is not relieved after rest or sleep, the dizziness, fainting, embarrassing cognitive dysfunction, light, noise and smell sensitivity and severe nausea. An unwanted bundle of evil which I would never wish on my worst enemy. It is a lifelong illness, with no effective treatment. All these different pains are at war with each other – when the tingling and numbness collide with the migrating throbbing bone freeze-thawing type pain, the battle is at its peak. Ironically, neither of the pains ever die fighting, they usually come back and attack stronger.