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Gary Burgess: How I've learnt to live with an invisible illness

Credit: ITV Channel TV

"Imagine your worst hangover combined with the flu permanently".

That is our how ITV Channel TV reporter Gary Burgess has described living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a medical condition characterised by long-term fatigue and other persistent symptoms that limit a person's ability to carry out ordinary daily activities.

Gary was in the middle of a live news broadcast when he had what he described as an "out-of-body experience". Following this, he says his body came to a crashing halt.

He went to see his GP assuming he would be signed off work for a few weeks, but this led to almost two years.

Being diagnosed with ME was like a grieving process, grieving for the old me. Until I had it myself I didn't quite understand what a hidden disability is and how all-encompassing these symptoms are because you simply can't see them.

– Gary Burgess
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Since his diagnosis, Gary has set up an online support network called "Zonked Club", which aims to offer support for people with fatigue-linked illnesses.

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