A HEALTH and wellbeing programme run by staff at Dumfries House has enabled a Mauchline mum to better manage her chronic fatigue after five years battling with it.

Kara Galloway enrolled on a range of courses offered by The Prince’s Foundation’s Integrated Health and Wellbeing programme and now finally feels she has gained some control back in her life.

The 35-year-old mother of three took ill in April 2014, unable to keep water down. A year later, her condition was identified as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as she suffered from insomnia, muscle and joint pain, headaches and brain fog.

A change in diet and use of supplements proved futile in alleviating her tiredness, which prevented house-proud Kara from completing tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or caring for her family

The consequent feeling of uselessness and a lack of purpose led to mental ill-health.

“My main symptom is exhaustion but I do get pain in my legs and all over my body sometimes,” said Kara, originally from Catrine but who now lives with her husband and children in Mauchline.

“I’ve had to really adapt my life. Doing housework or going to the shops, I’d constantly have to take breaks, which left me frustrated as I’d be unable to finish what I’d started and keep the house nice and tidy.

“The alternative would be trying to do too much, which, when you have chronic fatigue, could result in a flare up that could leave me in bed for days.”

Cumnock Chronicle: Kara Galloway.Kara Galloway.

In late 2019, after more than five years of trying to deal with debilitating symptoms herself, Kara was referred by her local GP to the programme, based at Dumfries House but in recent months run online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was good to be able to chat freely and share experiences,” said Kara, who enrolled on the Chronic Pain Management course. “Living with chronic fatigue was quite isolating, but I knew there were other people in the group suffering from similar symptoms.

“In the first meeting, I was really nervous about going, but within 10 minutes everyone really opened up.

“I was a bit sceptical before about some practices and techniques that help you deal with mental issues. But, as part of the course, I got to try out reiki, mindfulness, and tai chi, and they really made a difference. I have carried on with mindfulness and signed up for the online sessions at Dumfries House, and I plan to carry on doing tai chi on my own.”

Those registered with an Ayrshire and Arran GP gain free access to the courses run as part of The Prince’s Foundation’s Integrated Health and Wellbeing programme. The 2021 programme has courses in fertility, menopause, chronic pain, health and wellbeing, and mindfulness.

Cumnock Chronicle: Shiona Johnston with Prince Charles.Shiona Johnston with Prince Charles.