Every Wednesday the ME community comes together on Twitter to raise awareness of this debilitating chronic illness. We share recent media coverage, research news, our personal experiences and more. Making new connections and supporting each other.
I will post the graphics I shared during the last ME Awareness Hour below. I hope this will help you understand what life is like with ME/CFS. If you have learned something new or find this post might be helpful in any way, please share it or download the images to share on social media and help raise awareness.
A year ago today I got my wheelchair! I was almost completely bedridden at the time. Walking just a few steps every hour or two just to keep circulation and muscles alive was a chore.
As a family we were house-sitting in the Lake District at the time. It was a long term arrangement, so was kind of our home away from home, but I had been confined to an upstairs bedroom and was unable to get out to see the countryside around me.
I would enjoy, for a few minutes, watching the birds at the feeders outside my window and the gorgeous orchids that adorned every windowsill. Although it was a freezing cold winter, I longed to go out and explore.
Sandwiched between 2 hot water bottles, under layers of clothes and blankets, medicated - multiple times, in the dark with sunglasses on, my phone's screen dimmed and the blue light filter on so that I can bear looking at it for a few minutes at a time.
This was me yesterday after I had a nap on the sofa where I toppled over after lunch, in a bundle of pain and tears as the previous night's insomnia caught up with me and my body was flooded with pain in every muscle and every bone.
On this day last year something very wrong and so unfair came to my attention: People with disabilities, who are deemed unfit for work by doctors and occupational health assessors, are being denied benefits because of their Internet activity. They’re being stalked, not only online, but in real life too!
In this post I will elaborate on some of my thoughts I’d shared online at the time. My heart goes out to anybody who has suffered unnecessarily due to such corruption in the benefits systems, not only here in the UK, but abroad too. I have spent some time in various international support groups online over the years since the onset of my ME/CFS and was shocked to read about people’s experiences of surveillance through windows and being followed.
This means that if the chronically ill applicant dares venture out and is spotted, it could seriously affect their applications for benefits. This is simply wrong on so many levels.
Does this mean that since we are unable to work due to illness, we also no longer have the right to live? No longer have the right to enjoy a rare occasion out or join social media so we can connect with the outside world without the negative consequences of going out and exerting too much? Despite the discomfort and pain we will endure during and after the activity anyway.Continue reading
I'm so excited to share this third part of my spoonie gift guide, I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am! I only planned on 3 parts, but if I think of enough cool gift ideas, I might make more. I know it's Christmas season now, but these gifts would be great for birthdays or house warming too.
I know many people find such joy in shopping for gifts. They start shopping months in advance and they buy the most thoughtful, personalised gifts anybody would love, that's not me. I'm so unorganised!
If you're anything like me, you've waited till the last minute to do your gift shopping. Whether it's for a birthday, Christmas or a house warming gift, I just cannot get it done unless it's right around the corner and then I might just give up altogether because I'm useless at choosing gifts, it actually stresses me out.
I hope that this series will help any other hopeless gifters out there, I know these are things that I could use and would love to receive, and I know that other chronically ill people will love them too. Happy shopping!
It can be quite tricky deciding what to buy your friends with chronic illness because of all the limitations and intolerances we often have. What would be useful and not harmful in their condition?
There are many lists out there, and they're all slightly different depending on the condition they're tailored for, so I'm making a list of the things I would have loved to receive over the years of being housebound.
I have chronic fatigue and chronic pain as my main symptoms and I struggle with sensory over-stimulation and occasionally anxiety, so anybody with ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia and even those with Migraines and Arthritis might appreciate these items.
As anybody with ME/CFS and their carers will know, many doctors and health care practitioners still treat ME as a psychological disorder, when in fact it has been proven to be physiological. Patients have been dismissed for decades, disbelieved, misunderstood and symptoms ignored.
The current treatment recommended for ME/CFS patients is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, a type of psychologically based talk therapy) and GET (Graded Exercise Therapy, a controlled exercise program). This came about due to findings that came out of the PACE Trial which has been reviewed recently and found to be based on flawed principles. The whole trial was unscientific and skewed, not at all a sound basis for deciding how to treat ME/CFS.Continue reading
As you might know by now, I spend every Wednesday evening on Twitter, along with many other ME/CFS warriors, taking part in ME Awareness Hour. It runs from 8-9pm (London time) every Wednesday evening.
We tweet about what life is like with this life draining illness. We tweet and retweet for an hour, hoping to to make our hashtags trend on the front page of Twitter so we can get the most attention possible. I hope you will join us, even if you only retweet other people’s tweets, every bit helps!
It’s easy to get caught up in all the negatives that happen in life. Things don’t go your way, you fall ill, you lose people or your job, you feel sick, there are just so many things that can bring us down, but this is just part of life.
The minute we stop expecting life to be a fairytale and accept reality, that’s the moment we open ourselves up to the truth and the freedom that comes with it. It’s hard to expect perfection at all times. It’s hard on ourselves and on those around us. Nobody can live up to that expectation. Life doesn’t work that way.Continue reading