It's so frustrating

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
Chris Walden, 13, tries to attend Year 8 chemistry, English and music lessons at the John Henry Newman school in Stevenage. He has suffered from fatigue since he was 10 and was diagnosed with ME a year ago.

"When I started secondary school I was missing about every alternate day and then every alternate week. The teachers got angry with me because I didn't do as well as they thought I could.

I'm at home with Mum during the day. I can't sleep at night so I get up about one. The school pays for a taxi for me to go in. Sometimes I go in for lunch so I can see my friends, though it's tiring standing in a queue.

I have three or four friends, but the other kids make jokes like, "Oh Chris, you're in today."

I've just started having a home tutor every Monday and Wednesday. He comes for an hour; he's going to help me keep up with chemistry and maths. Some teachers send me work home. I read Horrible Histories and play Xbox.

You have no idea how frustrating it is. I want to go to school, so I rest for a couple of days, then I go in for a day, and I get ill again. I don't rest at school because when I'm at school I'm never tired. While I'm doing something it's fine; when I stop I go zonk.

I've moved down a set in maths. That was the first time I've ever moved down. I wasn't there for the test so I got a zero.

I don't know what I'll do when I'm older, because I don't know how long I'll be ill. Hopefully not too long. It feels like I've been ill for a very long time."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today