Posted by: christinelaennec | September 7, 2014

The Dafter: progress report

Thank you to everyone who has been following the Dafter’s journey with ME/CFS for the past three years.  I’m pleased to be able to tell you that even with ups and downs, the Mickel Therapy has continued to be a huge help to her recovery.  Since our amazing family holiday on Arran, she has started school part-time.

The Dafter at Lochranza Castle, Isle of Arran, August 2014.

The Dafter at Lochranza Castle, Isle of Arran, August 2014.

She now goes for three hours (registration – break – 1 hour 40 minute lesson – lunch) three mornings a week.  As you might imagine, having spent the past three years mostly in bed and in sometimes near-total isolation from other kids her own age, starting back at school was really overwhelming for her.  Although she still finds it challenging, she’s settled in well.  She really enjoys being with other teenagers, and she enjoys her Art class too.

Her ME/CFS pains have begun to ease up a bit now that she’s been able to move about for a few months.  Do you remember that she did a 12-mile cycle ride on holiday?  I recently did a similar cycle myself, and asked her how on earth she managed it, because I was very sore indeed!  She said that really the muscle pains weren’t much different from a normal day for her, and she has just learned to “push through”.  The fact that I hadn’t even realised how much pain she’s still in shows you how brave she is, and how determined she is to focus on what is good in life rather than on her illness.

She is continuing to work a few hours a week in a charity shop, and she also helps with two small children who live close by.  She’s continuing to go to her own church, and to the youth group there.  She now has a bus pass and is working up to taking the bus by herself.  These may sound like quite ordinary things, but they require a lot of courage and strength.  She’s had one dip where she collapsed on the floor after breakfast and was hardly able to string a sentence together all day long.  But she came back from that, thank heavens.

When I think that four months ago she was spending almost all her time in bed, it is just incredible to me how far she has come in a relatively short space of time.  Back then, every day was a real struggle.  Every day is still a challenge, but there are many more hopeful and happy moments mixed in with moments of anxiety, overwhelmth and/or loneliness.  Being a teenager is hard enough when you have full health; it is no easy task figuring out who you are and where you belong in the world when you’ve been cut off from it for years.  She still spends a lot of her time with me, or with me nearby, but we get along very well together, and I enjoy her company hugely.

The Dafter at family ceilidh in Lochranza, Isle of Arran, August 2014.

The Dafter at family ceilidh in Lochranza, Isle of Arran, August 2014.

I am so very grateful for the healing she’s experienced.  I know there will be people who might read this and be very jealous, as I would have been six months ago myself. There are many people out there who have been ill for years, and tried everything, and are still terribly neglected in their suffering.

I am so proud of the Dafter, of her strength and her giving nature.  I’m staying focused on her being fully recovered and leading exactly the life she wants to lead someday.



  1. I have followed along on the Dafter’s journey with you and I remember well those long days of pain and isolation. I am so thankful for the progress she has made and I pray it continues on to total recovery! The pics of her are wonderful – she looks so beautiful and all grown up.

  2. This is absolutely marvelous news, Christine! I remember reading when she was first diagnosed, and how difficult and awful the days were then. What improvement and what blessings!

  3. This is such wonderful and positive news, Christine. The Dafter is an inspiration. And I have good memories of Arran. We were there in 1975, for about a week. I remember we took a woodland path to the coast from Kilmory, before camping on the beach. The woods were carpeted with bluebells and there were herons nesting in the treetops. Great place to recentre oneself.

  4. Wonderful news!

  5. This is so wonderful, Christine. I am quite happy for all of you.

  6. I’ve always marveled at your positive outlook despite the grim situation, but the feeling that you’re now in a phase of improvement must give even greater hope in your lives and make any setbacks seem much easier to face.

  7. Praise God!

    That bottom photo is a joy to look at – what a beautiful young woman and what a perfect smile!

  8. Such good news!

  9. Fantastic news about the Dafter!!!

  10. I am celebrating with you, Christine, and cheering you and yours on to continued healing and productivity! xx

  11. It’s wonderful to know that the Dafter is continuing to heal and getting
    her life back. I’m so proud of her! She has much courage and strength.
    I hope soon you will all be able to look back and sigh with relief….
    Many blessings to you all.

  12. What a relief for you. Such a wonderful gift to have some progress, albeit slowly.

  13. Amen. x

  14. Wonderful news, Christine! Continuing to pray for complete recovery.
    God bless,

  15. What a day-brightener! I’m so glad for all of you!

  16. This is such a wonderful report to read! I am so thankful that the Dafter has been blessed with so much progress. What a change in so few months!! I am so happy for her. I forgot about those feelings of guilt that come when you/she has progress and others you know don’t. Those are interesting emotions to process. How to live joyfully and gratefully with the return to health while being sympathetic to others because the last thing one should do is refuse to embrace and rejoice in the return to health. Lots of smiles to you both! planning to email soon…

  17. I’m glad to hear Dafter is continuing to enjoy good health and that the dip seems to have been a one off moment. Long may it continue. x

  18. I tear up with each one of these updates. Sometime around February or March, I wrote The Dafter’s name on a piece of paper and gave it to my friend Jennifer who was headed to a healing and miracles prayer service in Macon, Georgia. Please know that I don’t share this to take some sort of credit, but only to testify that great persistent, soaking prayer can move mountains. The Dafter’s situation gives me hope for the many, many mountains that have yet to budge. I am especially amazed at the strength of this young girl in the face of long term suffering. That’s a different type of miracle for sure.

  19. I am SO happy to hear that your daughter is making huge strides in feeling better! What a long ride it all has been for her, you and your entire family! (((HUGS))) and well wishes for her continued recovery!

  20. Thank you everyone. The Dafter is having another bad dip and another real struggle this week, so I feel I was premature in this post about her having settled well, but also I believe she will get there somehow and eventually. Please keep the prayers coming, those of you who pray!

  21. So delighted things are going better for Dafter, yeah there may be dips, but they are just that, dips. She has inspired me to get up and stop accepting the neglect, to that end turns out i was misdiagnosed and on steroid for 4 years with no reason. It was hell getting off them. I am now being signed up for a pain management programme very similar to the one she has been through. Damn its scary, wont start for a while yet, any words of wisdom from her would be great.

    • Dear Auchensugglegranny, it was great to read that you were inspired to sort out the misdiagnosis, and to try this new therapy. Here are the Dafter’s thoughts: Know that things will work out the way that they’re meant to. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t go as great as you might have hoped, that doesn’t mean you’re going downhill. Remember to look for the positives in everything, because they’re always there. Keep a hold in your mind of why you’re doing this therapy, what you hope to achieve from it, and don’t forget that. Make mental notes of all the good times, and go back over them during the bad times. Remember that every bad day is a day closer to a good day. Do not accept what somebody else says about you if you know it is not true. Stand up for yourself. Take good care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend. Let us know how you get on. We wish you all the best! Hugs from the Dafter

      • wow, Dafter you are as we say in these parts some woman. your kinds words and encouragement are much appreciated, I will keep you in the loop re my programme. Dafter, you really should consider psychology as a career, can see you directing this programme locally in the not too disant fututre. Many thanks

  22. There have been so many rough spots in the road for the Dafter and, no doubt, there will be some more…. hopefully fewer and fewer until she is completely recovered. Such progress she has made!

  23. This is absolutely wonderful, marvelous news! I couldn’t be happier for your sweet daughter and for your family. I know how difficult this journey has been for all of you and how hard you prayed for this very day. Your daughter is very brave and resilient and so are you, my Dear. I am just smiling from ear to ear. Such a happy blessing. She is lovely. xo Karen

  24. Fantastic news and I am sure that the dip will prove to be just that and she will recoup and move forward again. Thinking about you all.
    Sorry not to have been following your progress over the summer. I can’t face the internet at the moment – have just explained why in a blog post but after that I will probably disappear again. But I will still be thinking about you and sending healing thoughts across the 40 miles.

  25. Great news, so pleased to read this.

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