This is Whitney Dafoe. He is 36 and has Very Severe ME. In this photo he is being taken to hosptial to have his feeding tube changed. I think he was briefly lifting his arms up at the pleasure of actually feeling fresh air on his skin.

This is a post from Whitney which was put on Facebook on 7th August 2020 for Severe ME Awareness Day. I think it was typed by his sister. As follows :

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” I haven’t left my room for 7 years except when I have to go to the hospital to change my J-tube feeding tube out of medical necessity. I am only able to do this without dying by being sedated with Ativan the entire time as well as Fentanyl during the procedure.

I haven’t been touched by another human being without it hurting me in 7 years.

I haven’t been able to speak for 7 years. I haven’t had a conversation with another human being in 8 years.

I haven’t eaten a crumb of food or felt a drop of water in my mouth in 6 years. I’m alive because of nutrients being pumped into my body with machines and tubes.

I haven’t taken a shower in 7 years. I clean the most needed parts of myself with baby wipes every day and it absolutely exhausts me. I can’t handle having someone else clean me.

I haven’t cut my own toe nails in 7 years.

I haven’t been able to hold or even touch my camera in 7 years (photography is my passion and my life).

I haven’t peed standing up in 9 years. I haven’t walked to the bathroom to pee in 7 years. I pee in a urinal in bed.

I haven’t made love to a woman in 9 years. I haven’t been sexual in any way in 5 years.

I haven’t brushed my teeth in 6 years. It hurts my stomach, making it worse and putting my ability to tolerate the feeding tube at risk. Which puts my life at risk.

I haven’t seen a dentist in 9 years.

I haven’t been able to tolerate the sound of another person’s voice without being sedated in 7 years. I wear heavy duty earmuffs whenever my caregivers are in my room for the bare minimum of time. They can’t talk and have to be as quiet and gentle as possible.

I haven’t felt like a human being in 7 years. All humanity has been taken from me by ME/CFS. I live only to continue living. There is no love, joy, passion, creation. Only endless numbered days.

I fight to survive for all those living and dying in silence and darkness. ”

End of post

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I hope some people out there who do not have ME themselves, and are ignorant about how bad it can be, read this.

Please read it again. And try to imagine your own life being like this. For at least 7 years. With no end in sight. And the world not interested. Imagine how strong mentally you would need to be to cope?