For many years, I’d experienced increasingly severe symptoms including immune system problems, fatigue, pain, migraines, and headaches with visual disturbances, and field of vision loss. I also developed extreme sensitivity to noise, light, smells, certain foods, medications, and many cosmetics and normal household products. Tests were inconclusive and symptoms continued.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with a benign cystic tumour on my pineal gland. I sought the advice of specialists Dr. Dong Kim in Houston Texas, and Dr. Sunil Patel, in Charleston, South Carolina, both of whom specialize in these types of lesions; both confirmed the tumour was causing many of my symptoms, but not all of them. Tests were inconclusive but it was clear something was making me ill. Without knowing what it was, it would be unwise to pursue surgical treatment, so I continued trying to piece the puzzle together.

Then on January 30th, 2015 my legs suddenly stopped working normally. It was like my brain and legs were suddenly unable to talk to each other. I ended up in hospital, and after seeing specialists and myriad tests and invasive and non-invasive procedures, eventually in March 2016 I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, (M.E)., also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Doctors also confirmed that I have Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and several other chronic conditions which affect my Immune, Endocrine and Neurological Systems. As a consequence of my health issues, I had to close my art and antiques store in September 2015.

Since then I’ve been disabled and unable to work. These days, I am mostly house-bound, although there are days or even weeks where things seem to improve, and equally other times when I am pretty much bed-bound for days or weeks at a time. Its not easy.

Thankfully, have been navigating all of this while living in the tiny house. People think that it’s got to be harder living in a small space but when you have M.E/CFS but it’s actually a lot easier because everything is so close together. In fact, the house was designed with aging in place, and disabilities in mind, so works well with my limited mobility, and other physical and sensory disabilities. Actually, it’s ideal. Something I’m grateful for every day.

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