I'm supporting the ME Association to raise awareness and funds for M.E. which is a hugely debilitating disease sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I do not suffer from M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) myself, but I see how it affects my wife, Sarah, who is one of the 250,000 people in the UK, who does.
As a disease M.E. leads to the dysfunction of several major body systems. That results in a lot of symptoms placing restrictions on activities that most of us can take for granted when it comes to day to day living. A few of these symptoms are chronic fatigue, poor concentration and aching all over. Every movement can feel like a huge effort - as though you are ‘wading through treacle’ - hence the wading challenge!
I wanted to do something that replicated, to some extent, the symptoms that many people with M.E. experience when carrying out simple tasks. We have all felt extremely tired at various times in our lives, yet can you imagine feeling that way day after day . . . . . for years?
As yet there is no known cure for M.E. so to help raise funds for on-going research I plan to wade about 320 lengths of a swimming pool, at a depth varying from 0.9m to 1.5m, in 4 hours and hope to cover 6.4km. Yes, that is 6.4km (just over 4 miles)! Despite trying to 'sprint' I achieve a pace of about 1 mile per hour!
Wading alone gives the feeling of 'getting nowhere fast', even with a lot of effort. At 1.5m depth I am still able to walk (not swim) but, because of natural buoyancy, there is the additional feeling of not being fully in control despite my effort and best intentions. As well as tiredness, these are feelings experienced by M.E. sufferers. For me, to lose that feeling all I have to do is get out of the pool; it is not that easy for someone who has M.E..
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