May 12th marks several days this year. International Nurses Day as well as ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia International Awareness Day.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a condition that affects more than one million American. Less than 20% are actually diagnosed with the condition.
The major symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue that is not relieved by rest. Fatigue differs from tiredness in that when you are tired you become sleepy. With fatigue, energy levels are very low and tiredness may not be present.
- Cognitive problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings
- Pain, chronic and widespread; varies in intensity.
At this time there is no known cause for the disease. Because the symptoms change and are unpredictable, they interfere with daily life. Most common in women, it can affect people of any race or any age, including children. Because of concentration and memory problems, it causes problems with work and school performance.
Many diagnosed find that their relationships with family and friends change. They are no longer able to do the things they were once capable of. It can lead to loss of independence and livelihood. More information can be found here about chronic fatigue syndrome and how if affects those who suffer from it.
This day also marks International Nurses Day, celebrating the worldwide contribution of nurses to society. The International Council of Nurses has celebrated this day since 1965. In January, 1974, the 12th of May was chosen to celebrate this day as it was the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
This year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.