August 8th seems like an appropriate, if ironic, time for Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe ME. The month of August can be a time to take advantage of all the glories of summer ... if you're not ill and living in poverty.

People living with severe ME/CFS don't have that experience. For some, the heat and sunshine are a double whammy they must avoid. For others, looking out the window on a beautiful summer's day is something of a heartbreak.

Beautiful? Absolutely. Out of reach? Oh yeah.

Thinking about taking the family on vacation? Not if you have severe ME/CFS. You don't have the energy, the equilibrium, the neurological stability nor the money.

Summer is about the same as the rest of the year. Except that if you can't afford or can't handle air conditioning, it's harder to tolerate. And the frustration of having to lay back and watch the world go by without you can be worse this time of year.

Dream of going swimming? Fishing? Boating?

Nix, nix and nix.

What about a picnic? So many potential problems here. If someone else is preparing and packing it, then there might be a chance. Otherwise, you'll find yourself in bed before you've got the lid back on the mayo.

But maybe someone else is taking care of preparations. Then you've just got to be able to sit or lay in the car, walk to the picnic site and eat.

Now. Some people with severe ME/CFS can't sit, or lay, in the car -- they can't leave the house. Maybe they can't leave their bed. Walking anywhere is an ordeal. Eating may be chancy.

Does all the exertion destroy your appetite and stir up unpleasant ME/CFS symptoms? And are the few foods you are able to stomach portable to a picnic?

Never mind, it was just a thought.

No bike riding. No walking the dog in the cheery morning light.

While Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe ME is in August, it's not just about the summer, of course. ME/CFS is a year-round affair, and it can be just as bad the rest of the year.

I no longer have severe ME/CFS but I did for many years.