• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Sat's Telegraph: What it is like to travel again after 14 yrs of being housebound


Senior Member

What it's like to travel again after 14 years of being housebound


Brecon Beacons, in Wales CREDIT: GETTY 
Juliette Llewellyn
10 NOVEMBER 2017 • 11:15AM
It was the summer of 1995. I was 24 and in the GP surgery waiting room about to get travel vaccinations ahead of a year-long trip to Nepal and India, where I was planning to work as a tree-planting volunteer in Uttar Pradesh. I had never been and I couldn’t wait. Trekking in the Himalayas was at the top of my bucket list and I had already been imagining how I would capture the snow-capped mountains from atop the pinnacle. But the holiday never materialised.

My multiple jabs, which were administered over the course of two months, went terribly wrong. Instead of protecting me against infections, the cocktail of vaccinations triggered an adverse reaction. What should have helped me travel the world prevented me doing so – and no one could tell me for how long.

For the first few days following the initial set of jabs, I had severe muscular pain all over my body and was almost paralysed on my right side. Weak and fatigued, I stayed in bed for several days. I tried every painkiller available at the chemist’s but nothing was working. This obviously wasn’t just a simple case of the flu, so I went back to my GP, but he couldn’t work out what was wrong either. As a last resort, I saw other physicians for a second opinion but even they couldn’t establish an accurate prognosis.

Finally, one doctor referred me to the University Hospital of Wales where a consultant did an extensive investigation. I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia, and I also developed multiple chemical sensitivity or MCS, an allergic-type reaction to low levels of chemicals in everyday products, which is a symptom of ME. All these conditions combined meant that I was unable to lift my body off the bed or even feed myself.
Last edited: