Friday, 31 May 2013

Pause for thought

I found an article in an old Guardian magazine that I wish I had written myself. I just had to share it with you.


"What I'm really thinking: the survivor of serious illness
Anonymous
The Guardian, Saturday 23 February 2013

If you knew you were going to die at eight tonight, would you want to have spent today doing what you're doing? That's what I'm asking myself every day. All through my recovery people said, "Bet you can't wait until you can get back to work." No, I've no intention of ever going back to paid work. I'm 59 and I nearly died from a perforated bowel. Work isn't everything. Family, friends, films, art, literature, even TV soaps can turn out to be much more important than what you do to earn your living.

This could happen to you. One moment your life is routine, the next you're in intensive care and there's nothing you could have done to change that – it's an arbitrary and unexpected life event.

You tell me you're working an extra year to improve your pension, you're saving for all the exciting things you're planning for retirement, but the only time we have is now. How cross are you going to be when you realise you've had your last day and never reached your goal of retiring?

When I say I've retired now, a little early, you give me the look that says, "How sad – not tough like me." I'm really thinking you know nothing about me: the four surgeries, the five years getting my strength back.

I know you're judging me because my wounds aren't visible. But when I ask myself the question: if you knew you were going to die tonight, would you want to have spent today doing what you are doing? I can honestly say, yes."


What would your answer be? 
I believe that mine would be 'yes' but if it wasn't for the dramatic change of direction my life has taken, because of serious illness, I'm not sure that would be the case. I believe this article demonstrates a wonderful way to look at life but it can be a hard ideal to uphold. This new perspective is just one example of how I choose to see that every cloud has a silver lining. I feel so lucky that I can look at life in this way. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Blowing the cobwebs away

I try to get fresh air everyday, just to try to blow the cobwebs away. I'm not sure it does the trick but there's nothing better than few breaths of fresh air after yet another day of being imprisoned inside. Next time you go outside just try to appreciate how wonderful it is. 


My mum (aka Wonder Woman/my right hand woman/my carer...) makes sure I at least have my bedroom window open for a few minutes or stand/sit by the back door for a little bit. Rain or shine I'm to shuffle out, if I can, and get a blast of fresh air.


It has been absolutely pouring with rain for the last couple of days but still I followed my instructions, wrapped up in waterproofs and stood outside for a few seconds. 


We had glorious sunshine earlier in the week and I managed an hour sitting outside. I was also well enough to listen to some music. I've been in quite a bit of pain this week, particularly in my knees and left ankle, so it was nice to have an escape for a little bit. 

Being able to tolerate music today was wonderful! I was listening to my iPod and rediscovering some hidden gems. Music is a wonderful tool. It can relax you, get your adrenaline pumping (which is not a good idea for me as an ME sufferer; it's like poison), bring back the happiest of memories, allow you to get lost and escape...



I came across my old running/gym/workout playlist and got to wondering. Will I ever run again? If I had to run for my life right now I couldn't do it. That's a strange thing to think about. Will I ever dance? Dance like I used to; as if no one is watching? I used to have quite good rhythm (well I think so!) but I'm too slow to move in time with the music now. (The muscle twitches in my legs do resemble something of a jig though...)

I am optimistic about my recovery. I hope to one day be able to go for walks and not have to be confined to a wheelchair for outings, but will I ever run? Will I be too cautious and too scared of relapse to actually do it? 

Just innocent wonderings...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A change is as good as a rest?

Holidays and travel with M.E. myself and I  

Foreign travel is out of my reach at the moment, much to my sister's dismay. I'm not one of those people who has a burning desire to see the world and visit different countries anyway. Just getting through an airport would be too much for me. 

It's a mission at the best of times. If you take into consideration all that you have to do between getting out of the car and getting onto the plane it's actually quite easy to see why it's out of the question just now. There's the carrying of the bags, the weighing and checking in of the bags, the security checks, the passport checks, the hours of waiting, the queues, the crowds, the lights, the noise, the hustle and bustle, the lack of seating in the waiting area, the long walks... And all this is after you've endured the journey to the airport.

Car travelling-wise I'm a bit hit and miss. Yesterday was a hit. I travelled to Shropshire with my parents as it is their Half Term break from school. (They work in schools, not attend them as students.) I've come with them because, well who doesn't like a little holiday and a change of scenery? There was no one to 'babysit' me at home either. 

Travel can be tricky. If you take into consideration the position in which you have to sit for an extended period of time, plus the difficulties in adjusting to the different temperatures, the changes in light as the sun goes in and out, motion sickness, the vast amount of images you see, focus on and process, all while moving along at speed, the noises of traffic, the fact that you can't put your feet up or lie down...

Anyway, I made it! The weather is glorious at the moment and the views are even better. We're staying in a converted barn surrounded by sheep and goats and hills. It's so peaceful and if you ignore the fact that I jump or go on 'high-alert' everytime a sheep bleats it's really quite ME-friendly. 


Packing for holiday as a poorly person is how I imagine life would be with a newborn baby. You have to take everything but the kitchen sink! Anything I might possibly need at home needs to come with me; medication, painkillers, blankets, a warm hat, gloves, ear defenders, eye mask, sunglasses... You also need someone else to pack for you because that alone uses energy you need to preserve for the journey.


I slept relatively well which is great if you take into consideration that I was in a different house and different bed and there were new smells, blah blah blah. 

Today I've managed a shower and have sat outside in the sunshine for a little bit. Reading was beyond me today so I just listened to the birds and the sheep.


I've just done the usual battle between remaining calm and panicking about how poorly I feel. I think I'd just been sat up for too long and so I'm currently lying on the sofa under a blanket trying to get my breathing under control. Many people joke that they are vertically challenged (due to their height,) but we poorly people really are. 

So it's the same old poorliness but in a lovely location and four different walls to stare at. I hope to make it out and take in the scenery but this sofa is actually very comfy so if I don't make it I won't mind too much. :) 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Tears

This feels a bit silly.

I wrote it a while ago during a sad few minutes but didn't share it with you. These were just the things that popped into my head at that time. I don't think the list quite portrays how much I missed those things at that very moment. I'm not sure why I'm posting it now but perhaps gives an insight into all areas of life with a chronic illness...
  • I miss the freedom of a healthier life. 
  • I miss doing things for other people. 
  • I miss my work. 
  • I miss having the opportunity to go to the gym and to be athletic. 
  • I miss wearing trainers and sports gear and being healthy and spritely. 
  • I miss dancing even if nobody else was on the dance floor. 
  • I miss running for the train. 
  • I miss nipping to the supermarket. 
  • I miss impromptu nights out or days with friends that turn into nights of laughing and dancing. 
  • I miss staying up late to watch something on television.
  • I miss jogging with music blasting in my ears. 
  • I miss being able to pull my weight. 
  • I miss being Anna. 
  • I miss the time when people didn't have to adapt and tread on egg shells and bend over backwards for me
  • I miss unloading the dishwasher. 
  • I miss fending for myself. 
  • I miss being able to do things spur of the moment or last minute.
  • I miss my life. 
  • I miss my role.
  • I miss driving to see my friends. 
  • I miss having the freedom to stay out all day. 
  • I miss making plans. 
  • I miss being able to take things for granted.
  • I miss being able to keep plans and not having to worry whether I'll have to cancel them.
  • I miss being more than an illness. 
  • I miss that Friday feeling.
  • I miss running up the stairs or taking the stairs two at a time.
  • I miss having days that are more than managing to get out of bed. 
  • I miss being able to walk into town. 
  • I miss being able to do more than one thing a day, a week, a month. 
  • I miss wearing clothes that aren't super-baggy just because I have to go for comfort. 
  • I miss being able to multitask.
  • I miss being able. Full stop.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A few minutes of freedom


I started this post at the end of February! It's taken a while.

I wanted to share something with you. Something monumental. I have been out of the house on my own! Not out of the house and in the garden. Not out of the house and in the car. But out of the house and OUTSIDE. Amongst the normal people. I've managed it few times now. Leaving the house, driving for a couple of minutes, parking, getting out and sitting in the fresh air in the big, wide world. 



I've already posted about my few trips to the Post Office (the last of which I haven't shared yet because it was a bit too overwhelming.) But the outings I'm talking about in this post were different. They were relaxing. I didn't have to perform at task like posting a letter. I could just try to relax and enjoy my freedom. 

On the first of these outings (a few months ago) I wrapped up warm and shuffled out of the car, still in my slippers to sat by the River Wellend for no more than two minutes. It's a two minute drive from home. I'm very lucky to live so near to the river. 



Today I did it again but at a different part of the river. I've been desperate to get there for weeks to see the ducklings and today I finally did it. Sad I know but these are the goals I make these days. They fit my 'new life' much better. 

It's now the cognitive side of things that hold me back most with regards to driving. My arms and legs are still weak but they're stronger than there were when I had to stop driving back in October 2010. 

Today I was less foggy and able to safely drive to the river and then back again. 

There was hardly anyone about and I sat for a minute or two on a bench just happy to have a few minutes in the big wide world. As a bonus there were a couple of super-fluffy cygnets. I couldn't have walked the 70 odd metres to the other part of the river so I drove across the car park to where I guessed the ducklings would be. 



I was home safe and sound within 10 minutes. My few minutes of freedom for a while. 

I always take my phone but I've only once had to ring home during a drive because I'd suddenly started feeling more unwell. I sometimes stop and rest somewhere if I'm driving a ten minute journey but I rarely get out of the car like I did today. With Summer (hopefully) on its way maybe short drives with a few minutes of fresh air thrown in are the way forward. Especially as I'm not sure I can manage drives longer than five minutes just now. 

I must remind myself that at one time doing something like this was unimaginable. It was so out of reach I couldn't even dream about it. Even yesterday I couldn't have done it. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Catch 22

Days like this are tricky. They are the days when there is likely to be tears before bedtime. Tears of despair and frustration and desperation, not of sadness. 

I just cannot get going these days! The fatigue is horrendous and it's leading to a worsening in the visual disturbances and constant nausea. This is tough. 
My head feels foggy and cloudy and full of cotton wool. I'm struggling to speech coherently and form sentences out loud. I usually find it amusing but today it's frustrating and I just want to feel a little better than I have for the last couple of months. It's all come to a standstill and I seem to be going backwards. 

I'm blogging more frequently because I'm unable to do my little drives or my baking or glass painting. I can watch television and use my iPad most days though. 

Anyway, to the point of this post. On days like today I feel like I should maybe try to do something to distract from the poorliness and to help tire myself out for a better nights sleep. Alas I feel too exhausted and it's questionable as to whether it would be sensible to go ahead and do 'something'.

If I just sit here waiting for bedtime I am likely to feel low as well as poorly. 
If I do something I am likely to feel even poorlier but happier. 

Which is the lesser of two evils? 

Today I decided to go happiness and extra-poorliness over misery and poorliness.

I managed a bit of baking. I'm not sure how because I feel so bleurgh but I did it. That in itself is great isn't it? I pushed myself but only very gently. For once it was a culinary success! Recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie were a great find and today I made the Copycat Nature Valley Granola bars (which taste exactly the same as the real thing) and Lemon and Poppy seed muffins. It was great to have a distraction and achieve something. 


Eating my baked goods is a welcome bonus. 


 
It all feels so hard and tough at the moment. I know that things have been worse but I also know that they're not good. 

Here's to better times ahead. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Getting bigger in a slimming world

I think I am starting to come out the other side of the aftermath from Blue Sunday. Touch wood! 

I woke up this morning and felt a little disheartened that I was so weak and exhausted and sluggish and poorly. Then I remembered that THIS is normal. There is little point in putting 'life' on hold and waiting to feel fully 'recovered' from Blue Sunday. This is as good as it gets and I do have to remind myself sometimes. 

My body had last week off and now it is time to take the reigns again, sensibly of course! I'm not talking about going out for a run or something like that. Merely getting back some control and coaxing my body back into our routine. 

I have managed a shower and washed my hair (which is sadly getting too long for me to manage. Time for a trim. Sorry lovers of the long hair but needs must.) Fingers crossed I won't have to have bed rest for today's 'adventures'. 

I am changed out of my pyjamas. I've made myself a cup of coffee. That might be it for today though. I shouldn't try to run before I can walk, as they say. Too much too soon is never a good idea, as I was reminded last week. 

I'm wearing my pretty pandora rings because why save things for best or for days out? Instead I shall look fabulous, or my fingers shall, whenever I want. My clothes don't match and those of you who know me will not be surprised by this at all. I wanted to wear my birthday cardigan, so I did. I also wanted to wear a maxi dress, so I did. And no outfit of mine would be complete without a pair of cartoon socks. I often look like a bag lady...

Seeing myself in the mirror got me to thinking. I no longer have most of the clothes I wore pre-M.E. They don't fit. I've put on weight. Maybe two stone. Leading a sedentary life will do that to you. We are practically allergic to exercise afterall.

It can get you down. Especially in a society that is obsessed with diets and slimming and weight loss programmes. But I refuse to see myself as fat. I'm not. 

How do you lose weight when you cannot exercise? I don't have the answers. I have no idea! I don't eat excessively. Infact I eat far less than I used to. I eat the 'right stuff' for the majority of the time. At one time or another I've cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, eaten low GI... When I'm feeling particularly poorly I do comfort eat. There are also times when I want to snack because I'm desperate for an energy boost. Alas I don't get the energy boosts I'm expecting and hoping for. 

I go for comfort when choosing clothes now and it just so happens that those clothes are oversized and baggy. But these baggy clothes don't hide the fact that you can see the weight gain in my face. I've actually lost my jaw line. (If you find it please return it to me!) 

I'm trying to accept this new life warts and all. Or weight gain and all. I do miss my flat stomach though! 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Something a little different - VOTE Lacey!

Some of you may remember some lovely jubbly boys/men running for us to raise money for The ME Association last year?

Well they could do with a favour in return. 

They're in a band that are currently in the running to play at Download Festival this year but need our help to get them make the final leap and get there. We grew up with Josh (the guitarist) and he is my brother's best friend/other half/soul mate/true love...

This message is from their Facebook page from 2013.


"Guys! We NEED your help! We have made it from 700 bands to the last 15 of the Red Bull Studios Download Competition, and now we need your votes to get us into the final 8 and play at the legendary festival!


All you have to do is follow the link and click vote.

IT TAKES 10 SECONDS! Votes are also given for clicking 'Like' and 'Tweet' on the page, and leaving comments! Voting ends on Friday, and you can vote ONCE A DAY! 


We're so close to making it, it would mean the world to all of us to play at Download. We love our fans and we'll pay each of you back any way we can for getting us where we want to be.


Please spread the word, share every post, tweet and do whatever you can to get involved. LACEY LOVES YOU!" 


I don't imagine you know of another band in the running so why not vote for Lacey?
http://download.redbullstudios.com/band/lacey_top-15/
You can also find them on iTunes. They're serious stuff! 

Thanks in advance. 


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Human 'being' vs Human 'doing'

I was reminded back in early 2011 that we are "human beings not human doings." Life is lived at such a first pace these days and we have, apparently, become focused on what we 'should' be doing. "I should be able to do this..." "I should be able to do that..." 

The CFS/ME clinic advised us to ban the use of the word 'should'. Comparing oneself to ones peers was something else we were to stop doing. My friends were moving in with partners, getting new jobs, travelling the world, having babies... My outings were monthly and were usually trips to see a Doctor. 

For the most part I follow the clinic's advise and guidance to the letter but being confined to bed again this week has led me to feel a tad worthless. I am coming up to 25 years old. I have a good degree that I may never be able to use. (That's not me being pessimistic but realistic.) Financially I may never be able to move out of my family home, where I live now. What a I doing with my life? When I say this out loud the response is nearly always that I am poorly; It's not as if I have chosen this lifestyle. I know, I know. 

I have become a human 'being'. I consider myself to be quite good at 'living in the now' but it is only natural to look at what may, or may not, lie ahead. There are aspects of my new life that I hope will stay with me forever. I am more laid back and carefree. I worry less about the 'little' things and have a new found perspective that is favourable to how I saw things before. Alas, I so badly want to be more of a human doing than I am. 

I don't want my days to centre around medication and whether or not I can achieve having a shower and getting dressed. It's a wonderful sense of achievement when I can put my own laundry away but I want more than that. Who wouldn't? 

I'm not asking or wishing for the earth. I'd just like a little more than 'this'. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Guess who went wild and attempted too much too soon?

I did! 

Being the optimist that I am I thought having a shower last night would be a good idea. Clean Ann. Clean pjs. Clean bed sheets (courtesy of Mum)

Today it doesn't seem like such a good idea. How wild of me to think I could have a shower...

I've had at least two hours of nothing but good quality 'purple time' and it hasn't made me feel any better. It hasn't made me feel any worse either though. 

This is what awesome looks like! 
      
I'm not going to list the symptoms or try to describe the horribleness. 

I think it's reading posts like this and seeing these photos that make people sad. I'm just being honest. They want to help in some way; to do something, ANYTHING. They feel guilty for being able to do the things that make me so ill and the things that I can't even dream of. 

The best way to help me is to appreciate what you have. Good health is so underrated. That's not me saying that my life is so much worse than yours and so you should be grateful. That's not what I mean at all. It is not a competition. I just hope that you can learn to appreciate the blessings and accept the less-lovely aspects of your own life. 

Don't feel sad for me. I don't feel sad for me! Not today anyway...My life may not be as we'd expected it to be but I am okay, just not physically. I am content. I rarely feel like I am missing out and I honestly have no idea what it's like to feel healthy. This is my normal. I've made my peace with it. I was lying here today trying to make myself feel angry or sad but I just couldn't. Not because I was numb or disinterested but because I was content. It's a wonderful feeling. I was safe in my bed and able to hear the birds outside and the lambs in the field. I have my family here and I've had a text from a friend. It really isn't all bad. 

Don't feel guilty, feel blessed. Don't compare, accept. 

I don't need happiness; I have that. I just might need to borrow some strength when the road gets rough(er!) Let me know you're thinking of me from time to time. That's really the only thing you can say really. It won't fix anything but it will most likely make my day. Also I ask that you remember my friends who have more days like this than I do. I'm lucky that I now have less of these days a month than I do more of them. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Payback

Well, we all knew it was coming. 


My brother tells me I'm acting like I'm stoned. Of course I'm not! I'm Anna Jones! I do imagine this is what it would be like though. I'm so 'out of it' from over-exertion. It's been an incredibly uncomfortable day. I can't lie on my back because it makes the room spin. It can't sit up straight because I feel dizzy. The nausea is horrendous. It feels like I've run a marathon without having trained for it beforehand. 

The first day after doing something is always the calm before the storm. My body tries to lure me into a false sense of security and them BAM! Day Two is unimaginable. You couldn't make this stuff up. Day Two is always when the fun really begins. NOT! At least I can see a pattern now, two and a half years in. 

You never quite get used to the worst of it though. Even when you prepare yourself for it and anticipate its arrival, it takes you by surprise and dampens your spirit. Remember when you were little and you'd cry when you felt poorly? I do that now. I'm not sad, just so desperately unwell and so sometimes I cry. Poor old me! 

M.E is different to most other illnesses. I believe you can't fight it. You have to let it win. You have to give in and listen to your body instead of soldiering on. And then you work with it to recover. So that's where I'm at today. My body and brain served me so well over the weekend and now I'm showing my appreciation by letting it do as it wishes, namely collapse in a heap. Mr Body is having the mother of all tantrums after being made to do so much in just one day. It's too early to try to appease the situation. I'm just letting them throw all of their toys out of the pram for now. They did me proud. We really are like three separate entities now that M.E has come along. The three of us are rarely on the same page. 

It's not all bad. I'm looking through the photos from the weekend and able to use my iPad in short stints. I'm also in the middle of a Shrek Marathon (I think I'm starting to find him attractive. I've clearly been out of the dating game for too long!) and I'm sporting a lovely pair of Christmas socks. They rarely fail at lifting my spirits. Here's to a better day tomorrow, and then a better day after that...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Alive and kicking?


It would have been silly not to have cake for breakfast...
 I am somehow alive after yesterday. I admit that the first words that came to mind when I woke up were "Holy Cow!" I don't feel wonderful but we knew I wouldn't. 

I'm in a bit of a daze and can't clearly remember yesterday very well. I'm wondering whether I managed to chat to all the guests? Was I a good host? Did I juggle the virtual and real parties well enough? Do people think I'm milking the illness now that they've seen I can throw a tea party? The usual wonderings of Anna Jones post social interaction...

My head feels like it's been stamped on and my legs are shaking from the over-exertion but the aftermath and post-exertional horribleness won't take away from Blue Sunday. People are saying I did a great job by thinking up the idea and that I should be proud of myself. I think I will be when it's all sunk in. We raised £200 by eating cake!

I'm not going to have complete rest because that would be counterproductive and not unlike the boom and bust cycle that I am to avoid. Instead I shuffled downstairs to get myself a drink, checked my emails and now I might recline in bed with an easy-to-watch DVD. It's back to listening to Mr Body now. No showering or reading or anything 'extra' for me for a while but I did it! I managed to go to my own party and I had a lovely time! 

It's all a bit overwhelming. So many people and so much to take in. I don't think I yet appreciate what I managed to do. This is also my 100th blog post. Thank you for reading sharing and following my journey. I would be so lost without you. 

Blue Sunday - M.E Awareness Day

So the weather would not cooperate and the tea urn refused to play ball at first but we prevailed. Operation Blue Sunday was a success!

 

We ditched the Garden Party idea and moved everything inside. Nearly 30 of our closest friends and family gathered together to drink copious cups of tea and scoff ridiculous amounts of cake, all in aid of The M.E. Association.




Sunday 12th May = M.E. Awareness Day. I went all out and embraced the colour scheme. 

The virtual party went down well too! Lots of people entered the little quiz I'd posted earlier in the week and I'll get the scores added up and let you know who the winner is later this week. 

I can't thank you all enough. Not just for yesterday but for your continued love and support and friendship. 

I'm not sure how I imagined yesterday would go but with a total of over £200 raised, just from eating cake, well it's just wonderful!




I think I was more interested in the raising awareness side of things. By hosting a charity event I think it brought it home to people that M.E. IS a real, worthy cause. I felt a bit miffed after I'd managed to have a shower and get dressed (for the first time in a few days) because my body decided that it was done for the day. The party hadn't even started! I don't think the nerves and adrenaline and anticipated helpedd. But a bit of purple time later and I was able to enjoy the day. I think I even came across as a normal, functioning human being. I had a wonderful day with my favourite people. Let's not dwell on the payback just yet...




I tried to do an informative video post last night but, after many attempts at forming coherent sentences, this was the best I could do, tired, croaky voice and all!

Thank you all so much for being there, either virtually or physically. 


Blue Sunday on YouTube

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Adventures of Anna Jones - Operation Blue Sunday



Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine


As you probably already know, I'm having a couple of parties to 'celebrate' M.E. Awareness Day; one 'real life' garden party, the other an online virtual party. It's all I can talk about. I'm rather excited! 

I'm almost imagining that it's my birthday. I've always wanted a summery garden party! Maybe I should adopt the 12th May and have a second birthday like the Queen does? 

The virtual party is something that everyone can join in regardless of where they are in the country, or the world; regardless of whether they are housebound or bedbound or have other engagements. I plan to post photos of the garden party onto the virtual party events page on facebook so even if you're enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the comfort of your own home, the internet allows you to be with us in my back garden.

Organising a charity party when you're poorly is like a military operation! It's probably like a military operation even if you're well! This will be my final post before International M.E. Awareness Day on Sunday  because I have to save my 'spoons'.



All things blue - party prep



My clothes are laid out ready. My nails are painted, my legs are fuzz free (or as fuzz free as my legs will ever be!) My beauty products are out so I don't have to waste any precious energy opening draws or faffing around. All the decorations are ready to be put up on the day. The cups and saucers, plates and cutlery are all clean and ready. I have to be super organised like this to give myself the best chance of feeling relatively 'alive' on the day. 

Some people are worried about how poorly I'll be on, and then after, Sunday. I will suffer for all of this. That is a given when you have CFS/ME. I suffer for having a shower and getting changed everyday so why not go all out for just a couple of hours every once in a while! 

I just wanted to do something, anything, for M.E. Awareness Day this year. All I ask is for the price you'd pay in a cafe and maybe a little extra to enter the raffle.

I'm being as sensible as possible. I'm not doing any of the baking myself, much to everyone's relief probably! My mum and sister will probably assume the role of host and my friends are incredibly good at stepping up and taking over when I start to flag. My family and friends don't let me overdo it so they'll be the ones pouring people cups of tea and cutting slices of cake. I'll just be doing the eating and drinking. Such a hard life! ;-) Maybe life as a sloth isn't so bad afterall...

My biggest fear, if it is even a fear at all, is that I will feel too poorly on Sunday. I don't feel overly enthusiastic about so many people seeing me like that; floating around the house like a zombie in my pjs with a grubby pale face and barely able to string a sentence together. Alas, the good thing about being so honest and open about my illness is that nobody would be taken by surprise if I were to be Zombie Anna on the day. They would just carry on around me, holding a drink up to my mouth for me to drink through a straw. If my arms weren't cooperating they'd spoon feed me cake. That's the wonderful thing and my family and friends. They're with me through thick and thin. I suppose it's unconditional love and I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be loved by these people. 

Actually thinking about it I'm probably more worried about how to answer if someone asks me "What is M.E?" I still don't know how to answer after two and half years. Answering "It's a pile of s*#t" isn't very helpful...

It has been wonderful to have a focus and to have something to look forward to. It's been wonderful to have achieved something by planning this charity party. 

See you all on Sunday!


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

M.E. Awareness week 'celebrations' - Quiz time!

Happy M.E. Awareness week! This year I have decided to do something for it and so I'm hosting a couple of parties, one virtual and one real, on M.E. Awareness day this Sunday 12th May. More information about the virtual party can be found by visiting the event page on Facebook.

A donation of the price of a cup of coffee/tea and a slice of cake would be gratefully received and can be made by visiting my JustGiving page (click on the icon in the top right hand corner.) There will be collection boxes on Sunday for those coming to the 'real' party.

To make things a little more worth your while I've made a, rather rubbish, short quiz. Now no cheating or googling for answers! It's just a bit of easy fun to keep you out of trouble.

In the event of a tie, the winners' names will be put into and hat and the winner chosen at random. I will need your address so that I can send your prize to you. 

Sunday 12th May will be the last day you can enter. I'll let you all know who the winner is as soon as I can after that. 

Go on, give it a go! It is for charity afterall. 
Good luck.

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Q1 What type of sandwiches were Paddington's favourite?

Q2 What was the name of Fred Flinstone's daughter?

Q3 In which country is the Louvre museum?

Q4 What is the name given to a group of Lions?

Q5 Who took a Snow Patrol song to number 1 in 2008?

Q6 Who is the father of Spice Girl Mel B's second child?

Q7 Is it ever acceptable to wear socks with sandals? 

Q8 What is the name of Peppa Pig's brother?

Q9 Name the brand/logo

Q10 Name the brand/logo

Q11 Name the brand/logo

Q12 Name the brand/logo

Q13 Name three signs of Spring.

Q14 What was the name of the boyband Justin Timberlake belonged to? 

Q15 What colour do you get if you mix blue and yellow?