I have been so tired and gross-feeling the last few days, and imagining myself with millions of illnesses. Because I am in a grumpy mood, I have therefore decided to educate you - because of course I can't feel sick because of anything normal, like the flu or the mumps. That would be too common. If you are not in a mood to be bored, skip this blog entry right now.
1) M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) - otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome, my sister had this for two years in her teens. This website defines it as "a serious and complex illness characterised by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina), neurological problems and certain other symptoms." It's difficult to diagnose, so as well as feeling horrible, you have to put up with doctors telling you that it's all in your head. It was a really crap experience for her and she still has poor health, probably in a large part because of the illness. Apparently there's some genetic reason for it somewhere, so whenever I get tired I tend to jump to conclusions. Luckily I think there's about a one in a billion likelihood of me having M.E. (no pun intended).
2) Coeliacs Disease - according to this website, it is "an inflammatory disease of the upper small intestine and results from gluten ingestion in genetically susceptible individuals". Another sister and a niece have this, and my father thinks his mother probably died of it, although the doctors told her she had stomach ulcers. It is fatal if undiscovered, but basically if it's discovered, you simply stop eating food with gluten in it, and you'll be okay, although it can lead to other medical problems like rheumatoid arthritis. Since it is in the family, I have a higher chance of getting it, so I have a little panic every now and then, whenever I have a sore tummy, that I'll never be able to eat bread again.
Oh, no. I just realised that I'm turning into Mrs Bennet (for the heathen among you, she's from Pride and Prejudice and is a bit of a hypochondriac). I'm going to stop right here.