May is #MEAwarenessMonth and I thought, since many of us cannot go to the live #MillionsMissing events in person, I'd like to help my fellow people with ME (pwME) to raise awareness online by offering you personalised Millions Missing posters!
I know you are an incredibly creative and driven group of people, but I also know that many are too ill to use their skills and talents as they would like to and cognitive dysfunction as well as physical incapacity often makes using a device or learning new things very difficult. So I hope this free community service will be helpful to you.
Have you been searching for graphics to easily share with friends and family what Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is really like? Would you like to share relevant and informative infographics about ME? Find pictures that will give visual impact and get the point across without wasting your energy and time explaining? I'm so excited to introduce ME Awareness Pictures to you today!
ME Awareness Pictures is a community resource where we can collect and share ME awareness pictures from all over the web. In this post I will tell you where you can find them and even how you can help to expand the collection. There is also an opportunity to be a featured ME warrior!
Have you ever been out in town and seen somebody who looks perfectly healthy get out of a car they had just parked in the spot for disabled people or seen somebody on a mobility scooter park outside and walk into the shop? If you are anything like I was before I fell ill, you might think these people are faking and milking the system for benefits and attention, but you'd be wrong, just like I was!
This week is Invisible Disabilities Week. An annual awareness campaign where patients and activists share their knowledge and experience of life with invisible illness and disability. In 2015 I became severely ill with an invisible chronic illness. Before that, I was very judgemental about others when it came to illness and disability.
I believed that if people ate healthy, did exercise and avoided cigarettes, drugs and alcohol that they'd not get sick and that wheelchairs were for people who couldn't walk - the real issue was that I was simply ignorant of the realities of chronic illness and invisible disabilities. I just didn't know any better.
Chronic illness has completely turned my life and the lives of my whole family upside down, restricting me to my house and often my bed for years, but if you ever saw me outside, you'd think I was still completely healthy because my condition doesn't cause any physical deformities and cannot be detected visually. I have an invisible disability.
Although May 12 is ME Awareness Day, a global day of "Millions Missing" protests and demonstrations by people with ME, their carers, family and friends, many patients are too ill to leave their beds and would be lost and hopeless if not for the able bodied supporters who take their places at these rallies and make some noise for those of us too ill to do it ourselves.
I have recently been asked by a few healthy friends how they could practically help our cause. So in this post I will list some ideas and links to other initiatives that would greatly benefit from any support you can give.
When I was first diagnosed with ME/CFS, I felt lost. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was a condition I had never heard of before and my doctor didn't seem to know much about it either. What got me through was the support of other patients I found online. And they continue to be my support as the years go by! For this reason I have created an ME/CFS community online.
It consists of a few places on social media where people with ME and their carers can share relevent content to help support the ME/CFS community.
My hope is that newly diagnosed patients, or anybody struggling to manage life with ME, would not struggle as much as some of us have to find the support and resources available to them.