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Monday, 18 September 2017

Brain Fog

Morning!

So, ME Foggy Dog got its name because of the ME symptom brain fog. That feeling of having to get thoughts through a cotton wool brain before being able to do anything with them. Just writing this blog is proving to be an effort today. Apologies if it is just waffle!

Some days, I could be asked what my age is and I wouldn't have a blooming clue! As I mentioned in an old blog post, my mum and I actually counted back the years on our fingers a few years ago as neither of us could remember how old I was!

As you probably know by now, I now run my own fledgling business from home. I get in a pickle fairly regularly, luckily I work alone so no one else realises that I have no clue what I am doing...oh bum...I've told you all now! Some days, I just sit and stare at my filing cabinet for a few minutes.
'Hide and Seek'
Trying to remember what work I need to be getting on with, or why I came to the other end of the dining room where my desk is! Us M.E peeps also suffer from poor memory issues but brain fog is slightly different. It's almost as if your brain knows what you need to be doing but it's running 2 minutes behind where it should be! I know that being the other side of a M.E affected encounter can be very frustrating as we flounder for words or actions that are required. Unfortunately, non-ME peeps are not mind-readers!

I am a people-pleaser. I worry that other people think I am stupid because I can't think straight! I find myself explaining about my M.E so they realise it's a health thing and not lack of intelligence. Why do I feel the need to do that?! Well, we all know that the reason M.E folk talk about their M.E ALL THE TIME is that it is an invisible illness. If we don't vocalise about it, no one would know that we are struggling.

Brain fog is always exceptionally bad at supermarket checkouts. Right when the cashier needs me to know whether I have a car park ticket, have bags, have a store points card or if I need help with packing. Normally, I just stand there...mute....while I struggle to answer their questions! I usually put items in the wrong bags (I shop with my Dad who is slightly anally retentive when it comes to packing shopping...hence the 'wrong bag'), forget to take my card, trip over the trolley wheels...etc etc...you get the idea. My brain kinda gets confused and causes me to become clumsy (probably why stairs and I have a bad relationship!). I can't judge distances or environment dimensions.

It's all fun and games isn't it?!

Love

Sally xxxx
(and Foggy OBVIOUSLY)

P.S.... Foggy is having a great time on board the Queen Elizabeth. The photo shows him playing 'Hide and seek' with Lizz and Hazel (Elektra Violin duo) this week.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Unrest

Morning All,

Foggy, lucky moo, is starting his week-long cruise on the Cunard Liner- the Queen Elizabeth today. He is going to touch his paws down in Sicily, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Split, Venice and the Messina Straits. Loads of mileage! Whoop!

While he is away I am working hard promoting my screening of Unrest on November 16th in Portsmouth. All information about the event can be found on mefoggydog.org. I felt I should write this blog as I am not sure some people know what to expect from the film. It has been hyped up by the M.E community, rightly so, but I feel that I should clarify that it is not a medical training video. It is not an A.B.C account of what M.E is.

It is a story. A love story. A love story between two people who are very much in love. One of those people has severe M.E. Yes, it is a documentary and everything you see on screen is factual but it is not rammed full of M.E clinical data or information.

Let me clarify, I have not seen the film yet. I have read a number of reviews and every reviewer has pointed out that it is a wonderful, visual, powerful film that may not meet the expectations of some M.E sufferers who are hoping that it will address some of the political rubbish that comes with M.E. I
*Foggy* I'm flying!!!
am glad that it isn't a hit you around the head with a bat, political blame-game movie. If it was, the M.E community wouldn't get much engagement with the wider public. I believe that Jen Brea is of the same mindset as me. Storytelling works. It draws people in and creates empathy and awareness. It creates an interest in people that may not know anything about M.E and could point them towards further learning and understanding.

On day one of being Foggy's P.A, I decided to avoid the political-ness that surrounds M.E. Personally, I don't read anything that is ranty or political. All that does is alienate people and won't lead to progress. Yes, I'm angry. I just choose to be outwardly positive and forward-thinking in the hope that it leads to progress. So, I built a story. Foggy's life story. He had a 'birth', he has a best friend, he has Team Foggy and I created a character who loves flying, has an ego, and loves cuppa teas (milk 2 sugars). I tell the M.E experience from a human perspective. I chose to run awareness content alongside that. So I avoided strong-arm tactics in terms of awareness but gently put nuggets of M.E info into followers minds as they followed Foggy's exploits. Videoing myself looking rubbish with a croaky voice is kinda the norm now. I might be verbalising about Foggy's latest exploits but how I LOOK is also telling a story. We don't have to be fact, fact, fact to get the message across. Visual representation of the illness is powerful...just as it is.

Think of Unrest in the same way as Philadelphia in the 80s. It was the story of a HIV/AIDS sufferer. There were no lectures, no scientists talking to cameras (Unrest has a bit of that). But, it was groundbreaking in terms of bringing the worlds attention to the HIV/AIDS issue. Philadelphia was a drama and not a documentary but the storytelling method is the same.

Please come along to the screening if you are able to. It will certainly be eye-opening for many in the audience.

Love Sally 
and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY)
xxx

Please donate via mefoggydog.org - All money raised goes to M.E research. Thank you x

Monday, 11 September 2017

M.E Pain - Describing the Indescribable

Hi,

One subject that I am unable to talk about is that of M.E pain. It isn't something I have any experience of....well, apart from a new development in the form of constant sharp pain in my little and fourth toes on my left foot ( POSSIBLY M.E related). This new pain does not make me an expert in M.E pain or how to manage it though! Anyway, earlier this week I was speaking to Ryn, a friend who I originally met through Foggy (she wrote a blog for Foggy during the first World Tour and Foggy rode her husband's motorbike...bucket list!!) but who has gone on to become a true friend and confidante. I have discovered that Ryn is the perfect person to go to for love-life advice...she is determined to help me 'see the light' and to convince me that my 'ideal man' is out there somewhere. Yeah yeah. Anyway, back to pain.... I asked Ryn if she could write about her own personal experience of M.E pain. As I have said before, there isn't a one type fits all description for any M.E symptom/experience, but this is hers. 

Me and my M.E / C.F.S  pain.

My pain is like varying levels of flu-like aches and pains which have been constant since I was G.P diagnosed with P.V.F.S February 2014 and later, a consultant confirmed a diagnosis of M.E/C.F.S./P.V.F.S  September 2014.

It is mainly joint and muscular pain and includes inflamed glands in my throat, armpits and groin. My pains are from my head to the tips of my fingers and toes. Sometimes it feels so
overwhelming and never-ending, I can’t help but give in to self-pity, tears and frustration.  But so what? A good cry does me good! Thankfully, ways of coping with my pain have come to me with the support and ideas of people close to me and from the twenty years I worked in the health care profession.    

When I can, I‘ll use ‘distraction’ as a way of dealing with the pain.  I’ll read my kindle (it’s back-lit so it's perfect for my being light sensitive as I can adjust its light), or watch t.v etc.  Short visits from family and friends help, as does using social media…. when my head is clear enough from brain fog lol.   Feeling isolated doesn’t help my pain management. I generally take four pain relief tablets at a time, 2 x 30/500 Co-Codamol and 2 x 200mg Meptazinol – although together they can take the edge off the pain, it isn’t always enough.   At its worse, the pain down my spine radiates outwards.  I take my pain relief tablets and my husband rubs ‘Deep Heat’ into my back for me. As gentle as he can be, his touch / the application of the cream hurts me even more until it’s done, then I can rest and hopefully sleep the worst of the pain away.

Hot water bottles can be a true comfort to my joint and muscle pains.  I can’t make them up myself but if no one is there to help, I have a longer than average wheat bag (from Boots Chemist) which I can now often manage to heat in the microwave.  When I lay in bed (often on my side as easier breathing being Asthmatic), I use a pillow between my legs which takes the pressure and discomfort off my knees and ankles when they touch, skin to skin.   A ‘hot as I can handle it’ bubble bath is helpful too - I use a bath chair so can’t fully lay down and relax under the water but just to get the heat to my legs and hips seems to work wonders for them.   I use ‘Infa-care’ or ‘Sanex’ bubbles as are gentle to my skin.   A light weight blanket/shawl wrapped around my shoulders or one covering my hips to my toes helps ease my pain too. I believe it’s the warmth they generate that alleviates pain.  In bed, when my legs and feet are cold and painful, I use an incontinence sheet under the bed sheet, under my lower body.  They are plastic one side and quilted absorbent paper on the other.  The heat builds up quickly and is a more gentle heat than a hot water bottle (B&M sell ‘puppy pads’ which work the same as incontinence sheets and a fraction of the cost).

My pain levels dictate what I can do and when. I can't manage personal care as and when I use to or get out of bed when I'd like to. Today, it's been a couple hours at least since I've been awake but my pain reduced enough that I've only just managed my shower - still using a shower chair as the act of showering is still exhausting and my balance not great! Pain levels do control what I do and when, 24/7.

I’ve always said ‘I don’t do pain’, maybe I have a ridiculously low pain threshold, I don’t know.  But it’s amazing the levels of pain you learn to live with because you have no choice and I will do/take what I need to help my quality of life. In the past, pain has knocked me mentally and emotionally sideways so I try not to suffer in silence anymore…..it really isn’t healthy. Sharing my pain (yes really!) has allowed others to offer me their support and own ideas on how to get through it, some of those ideas have worked for me so I’m very happy to be able to share them with you too J    Please don’t suffer alone.

Ryn xx

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Fundraising

Hi,

I have always judged Foggy's success on the amount of money raised but that is going to change. I had an epiphany this week. All M.E fundraising efforts are asking for donations from the same M.E community pool. I fully appreciate that times are hard and that many M.E families are barely getting by on disability benefits. I'm sure we can all think of at least 15 M.E fundraising efforts currently asking for donations. People with little money can't support them all. I get that.

Without doing a statistical study, I would guess that 15% of Foggy's donations since Foggy's birth have come from non-sufferers. The rest have all come from the M.E community. I include carers and support networks within the M.E community. 85% has come from people who have personal contact with the illness. In fact, Foggy's first World Tour in 2014-15 was greatly helped by very generous donations from the family of one severe M.E sufferer. You know who you are and if you are reading this I am so, so grateful for your support. £300 ish was raised on Foggy's launch night. So, since then I have raised just over £200...that was 2 months ago. Heart-felt thanks to each and every person who has ever donated to Foggy's fund...£1 is just as important as £1000.

My brain can't compute why, when Foggy has over 6000 followers on social media, so few people
*Foggy* Plane!! 
donate. Yes, there have been tears. Lots of tears. On average, I do around 3 hours of work on brand Foggy every day. This isn't a marathon, when people do 6 months of training and then fundraise in one 3 hr long event. This is a 365 days a year fundraising EPIC. Some days, I can't understand why I do what I do. Yes, I get wonderful feedback from sufferers and families. But, what are they praising me for? I feel like I have failed them. I haven't managed to raise as much research funding as I had expected to raise on day one. I have raised a lot of awareness but it is impossible to measure how much. Is it the 10 people I have spoken to this week face-to-face about M.E who are now aware or the people that I hope are paying attention online?

If you are following Foggy, you will have seen that I am using every opportunity to reach as many non-sufferers as I can. I am still trying my best to get on to the Ellen Show. 1 million+ Americans are affected by M.E/CFS and so going on the biggest TV chat show in the world will help to spread awareness in Ellen's home country. This week, I tried to get on Davina McCall's new show which talks about life stories. I have joined my local Rotary group (new online social group), this will help me to raise awareness to a much wider audience. My School of Social Entrepreneurs work will add to my ability to reach a hell of a lot more people. See? Work, work, work. I am doing as much as I can. Which is why I get so upset when donations just don't happen.

I think that raising awareness to a much wider audience will, in the long-term, lead to many more donations. Why would non-sufferers donate to something they don't understand? A key message to get across is that M.E does not discriminate. Without scaremongering, it could happen to anyone at any time. Maybe once Joe Public understand that, they will understand the desperate need for M.E research funding.

I have created a Go Raise account (Link) specifically with M.E sufferers in mind. I have so many emails from people saying they would love to donate but can't afford to. As I have said many times before, I completely understand that. However, if you shop online already - groceries, presents, Ebay, car maintenance etc etc, retailers that you use will donate for you (You just need to specify that MEFoggyDog is your chosen cause). It doesn't cost you a penny extra. 3000 retailers in the UK have signed up. If you use a PC, Go Raise gets added to your browser. You automatically get notified if the retailer you are using is part of the scheme. It also tells you how much of your transaction (%) will be donated. It is VERY EASY to set up. If you shop using your tablet or phone you will have to access Go Raise before you purchase anything and then access the retailer from the site. Please use the opportunity to add money to Foggy's fund. 5 people have signed up so far. I know, for sure, that at least 200 of you buy your groceries online for home delivery - because supermarkets are soooo bad for causing M.E symptoms to flare. We are missing the opportunity!

Foggy is currently travelling first class surrounded by bubbles (post/jiffy bag) and will be cruising around Europe on board the Queen Elizabeth Cunard liner next week. How exciting! It is possible to track his progress on the Q.E's website. I'll share the link on Tuesday. It'll be a bit like the Santa tracker! Thank you Lizz Lipscombe/Elektra for taking Foggy with you.

Love,

Sally xxx 

(I haven't checked spelling etc, apologies if it's rubbish...brain fog today)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.....what?!

Hi,

Shocking confession coming up......  When I started ME Foggy Dog I knew NOTHING about M.E. Well, nothing apart from my own personal symptoms, many of which had never been explained by doctors as being part of M.E. I went through seven years of suffering and not having a clue what was happening or what to expect. I had never sought help from any M.E charities or support groups because I didn't realise that M.E was a global issue or that the support was available if you knew where to look. In my defence, social media wasn't huge back in 2009 when I was finally diagnosed. I had been dealing with symptoms for so long on my own, with little support from healthcare professionals (CBT was their limit)  I just didn't look for help. I even had to Google what the M.E abbreviation stood for when I started Foggy, how ridiculous is that?!

When I had the idea to send a soft toy around the globe I figured it made sense to find a charity to fundraise for. I literally typed in M.E charity and the ME Association was at the top of the search
*Foggy* No....it's Foggy Dog!  (Foggy during his Ireland trip)
results. The word 'Association' made it seem to be the leading organisation so I chose them as the benefactor of my charity work. With hindsight, it could have been any one of a number of fabulous M.E charities in the UK. All M.E charities are working hard towards the same aims. Research, fundraising, awareness.

If I could start over with my illness, I think I would look for help as soon as I could. The constant process of new symptoms appearing often freaked me out! Having a support network would have been very helpful. New sufferers, I suggest you find your nearest support group (The ME Association will be able to point you in the right direction if you have no luck on Google).

Starting, and then managing, Foggy was a steep learning curve in terms of learning about M.E. I had previously had no idea that the individual conditions that had hindered my life up to that point could now be brought together under the same umbrella of M.E. These being Hypermobility, IBS, Migraines, light sensitivity, joint pain, poor memory, low blood pressure to name a few. I made it my mission to learn as much about M.E as I could. Thank you to all sufferers and support networks on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Through you, I now understand the weird, complex and individual nature of M.E. I 'get' the symptoms that I am not afflicted by. This knowledge makes me realise how 'lucky' I am to only have mild/moderate M.E. There are millions of people who have much worse symptoms than I do, and that drives me to do as much as I can for the M.E community. It's a massive frustration that my own M.E often gets in the way of helping as much as I would like to. So many ideas that I have for Foggy simply can't happen because of flagging energy levels, poor concentration or brain fog. I am a one-woman band and if I don't do it, it doesn't get done.

The fact that I wasn't an 'expert' at the beginning gives me hope that non-sufferers can also learn and become aware of the complexities of M.E. I keep my awareness raising simple and easy to understand so that the wider general public are able to understand our cause. Personally, I don't understand medical jargon that relates to my condition so how can I expect Joe Public to?

This is currently a period of change for ME Foggy Dog. I have successfully applied for a School of Social Entrepreneurs scheme. This means a grant (for Foggy's expenses) and one-years' worth of business training. All wonderful! BUT, I am slightly terrified. I want to throw myself in, embrace being a Social Entrepreneur and make massive progress for the M.E community. But, I have to keep reminding myself that I have M.E! I am going to be shown how to recruit people to help me with my workload so that is something to look forward to! It is a wonderful opportunity but one massive downside is the impact it will have on my energy levels. Lots and lots...and lots of pacing coming up!

Foggy news - He is back at Foggy HQ having just been on a cruise around Ireland on the P&O cruise ship Oriana. He is off travelling again on the 14th September. He will be going on a European cruise on the Queen Elizabeth! A lovely lady called Lizz is Foggy-sitting. She is a very talented violinist who is going to be performing on board during the trip. She is part of a group called Elektra Website. Foggy is a very lucky dog!

Love Sally
and Foggy OBVIOUSLY
xxxxx

Please donate via mefoggydog.org and help Foggy fund M.E research.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Technology and Self-Employment

Hi,

Foggy is cruising around Ireland on-board the P& O ship Oriana as I type this. He is in Dublin today, Linda will have her work cut out trying to stop him from indulging in pints of the black stuff! Linda has promised lots of photos of his exploits but, understandably, may have wifi issues on the ship. So, photos will be uploaded after their trip. Looking forward to seeing what he got up to!

I wrote this blog back in 2015 - http://mefoggydog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/buttons.html, in it I explain how technology, phones and social media, is draining. My life has changed significantly since then so I am going to explain how technology affects my life now.

I have my own business...wooo get me! (see wordsangel.co.uk)  I offer social media marketing and proofreading to businesses (and students).  Initially, on the surface, self-employment seems a good choice for someone with a chronic illness who struggles to work full time for employers. I work from home, set my own hours and can take as many rest breaks as I need. However, it also means I can't share my workload on my bad M.E days. The work still needs to be done. I am now the whole package: IT dept, finance, HR, social media, marketing etc etc. I LOVE it. But, there is a lot of screen work involved in my day to day life and it does catch up with me.

As I said in my 2015 blog, social media is incredibly draining. I do it because I love it, but it takes a phenomenal amount of energy. So, I post at least 5 times a day for each client. I have to research what to post, think about how to
convey the message, search for website URLs to post, design content, schedule posts etc. All of which require brain cells to be alive and kicking! I am finding that by 2pm every day, I have to take a very long 'power nap'. I restart work in the evening after I have rested. 

It is tricky to explain what brain drain feels like but I'll give it a go. So, imagine you have an acorn sized 'hub' in the centre of your brain. When it is working correctly you can't feel it. But, as time goes on, with lots of looking at blue-lit screens, it feels like the acorn is throbbing and causing waves within your brain. The acorn becomes painful and starts to cause puffy/painful glands, a sore throat, slurred speech, headache and neck pain. It becomes exceptionally difficult to process thoughts and body functions get slower and slower. It is 100% impossible to push through. My body is telling me to stop. I can't ignore it as I am grinding to a halt whether I want to or not.

I dream of having a phone with buttons again, but know that is impossible now. I am on call 24/7 online. I now have 10 different social media accounts linked to my phone. I have set my phone settings to have a minimum amount of alerts, otherwise I think I would go slightly potty! But, I still have alerts through every 5 minutes or so. In theory, this is great because it means I am good at my job! But, when I have been hit by a tsunami of M.E-ness...it's not so good. I have become very good at turning my phone off at 9pm though. Thus giving myself an hour to wind down as much as possible before bed at 10pm. I also try not to do client work post-6pm. Because that work pays my bills it is done first thing in the morning when I have the most energy. My own business and Foggy gets done later in the day. Energy levels dictate my daily routine and work schedule. If I have a networking event to go to, usually 6pm-8.30pm, I have to restrict activities for a couple of days before and meticulously plan my workload so that I have the energy to schmooze with other business people effectively. As we all know, I know, to the hour, that my M.E payback will hit 2 days after the networking event so plan my workload accordingly.

There are perks to being self-employed but be warned the workload can be overwhelming. Being able to rest regularly and not having to fit in with someone else's timetable is worth its weight in gold though.

Love,

Sally (and Foggy OBVIOUSLY)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Question

Hi,

So, I asked Foggy's Followers to send questions for me to answer in a blog. They could be about M.E/CFS, Foggy's campaign, or about me personally. I'm an open book so happy to answer whatever is thrown at me. I received a question from Megan.Rose06 on Instagram. She asked:

When were you diagnosed with M.E and how long did it take to be diagnosed?

This is a tricky one to answer as I have actually had M.E twice. I had M.E symptoms initially when I was in secondary school. I was aged 13 (ish) and it
was during my 'options' years. I missed 18 months of school, had dozens and dozens of tests but never received a diagnosis. Then one day, it had gone...I was better.

The second round of M.E started 2 weeks after my 30th birthday. It started shortly after an ear infection (Labyrinthitis). It took 3-4 years to get a diagnosis. I wasn't taken seriously and my diagnosis came about in a conversation with a locum GP that went something like this...' You have M.E, but don't worry about it'. So far, I have had this bout of M.E for 10 years and the only treatment/management support I have ever received is CBT. I go through periods of 'remission', where I have a few months with more energy and can push myself to achieve more on a daily basis. But, I haven't had a period of remission for at least 3 years now.

I hope that answers the question. Any more? Contact me via mefoggydog.org anytime.

Love,

Sally xx

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Inconsistency

Hello,

Sometimes, reading other people's accounts of their M.E experience is like reading a foreign language. In the 10 years since my diagnosis, I have only ever received a CBT referral. Despite having a wide range of symptoms, for which there are specialists, I have never been referred. So
when other M.E sufferers talk about appointments with neurologists, endocrinologists, gastro-people, physiotherapists, etc etc.... I find myself wondering why their experience is so different to mine. My orthostatic intolerance has never been addressed by GPs, nor my light sensitivity, IBS or hearing issues. It's all just lumped together under the label of untreatable M.E.

Sometimes, these other sufferers live in other countries and so that explains why their healthcare differs. However, I am increasingly finding that UK sufferers are treated differently depending on their postcode or whether they are treated by the NHS or privately. Some take part in medical trials or drug trials, others don't get the opportunity. I can fully understand why this breeds resentment within the M.E community.

It's all a bit of a mess really isn't it? Not only is there no treatment for M.E but there isn't even consistency when trying to deal with individual symptoms of the condition.

There are three things that we are now striving for....treatment, awareness, and consistency!

Love,

Sally (and Foggy OBVIOUSLY)

Friday, 18 August 2017

'Of course that happens...it's your M.E'

Hi,

How many of us have visited chiropractors, dentists, physios etc and been fobbed off with 'Of course that happens, it's your M.E'? It's happened to me hundreds of times!

I'm writing this blog because it seems bizarre to me that we are always being told that the healthcare profession either doesn't believe it's a real illness OR that they don't understand it. And yet, it's the first thing that springs to their minds when offering a possible diagnosis for a random ailment.

For example, every couple of months I have painful lesions (2 cms long - like little worms) on the roof of my mouth. They baffled
my usual dentists so I was referred to a gum specialist. He had a look and said it was because of my M.E. HOWEVER, a few weeks ago, I saw a Facebook article that had been commented on by Dr Charles Shepherd (ME Association) and he said M.E is not the cause for any mouth related stuff. News to me! So now I am wondering what else is up?! What if there is an other ailment that needs treatment but has been neglected because it has been brushed off as 'just an M.E thing?' I am using common sense though and I think they are probably a bit like a cold sore but inside my mouth, they flare up when I am run down so it kinda makes sense.

I just wish they would hold their hands up and admit that they don't have a clue what our random symptom is, but do as much as they can to find out what it is! Making stuff up doesn't help!

Love

Sally (and Foggy obviously) xxx

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Dentist - Death by Lighting!

Hi,

Foggy is currently in Disneyland and is still looking for Goofy, his doggy idol. he is away for another week or so. In his absence, I thought I'd write this blog post.

This post is about a visit to my dentist yesterday, I felt fine when I arrived at the dental surgery but half an hour of sitting in a waiting room that was so bright it was as if it had come from the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I felt as if my spine was soft spaghetti and I could barely hold my head up. As the minutes ticked by I could feel my energy oozing out of my pores. My head felt so heavy I had to slump over, elbows on knees with my hands holding my head up.

After 30 minutes of light torture, my saviour, in the form of a dental nurse, came to rescue me. I explained why I was talking and walking slow and she was sympathetic as I joked I would lay in the seat, close my eyes and snooze while they worked. I was slurring my speech now and was struggling to explain the reason for my visit (mouth guard issue) to the dentist.
*Foggy* He has dark glasses on....grrrrrr

BOOM..... the overhead light was turned on, 2 ft from my face and straight into my eyes. I
understand why they need light to see into the deep crevices of mouths but.....why have they not twigged that some patients might need dark glasses to counteract the harsh lighting? I needed to keep my eyes open to communicate effectively with the dentist and so my eyes were being assaulted! My glands were enlarging at a rate of knots and I felt as if my weary body was now melting into the dentist chair. My body was trying to regulate itself and was fighting against my light sensitivity.

By the time I walked through Reception and exited the building, I felt like vapour. All this by 9.50am thanks to the over-use of harsh fluorescent lighting. The reception area has a glass wall, high ceiling and is light and airy. There is no need for 20 or so bright lights! Natural light with a bit of additional lighting should be plenty.

I am happy to help dental practices in an advisory capacity to make sure they are doing all they can to make dental treatment easily accessible and a non-challenging experience for all!

Love,

Sally (and Foggy obviously) xxxx

Apologies if this blog is a bit waffley - brain fog today xxx

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Invisible Disability

Apologies, I have had to take my eye off the M.E ball for the past 6 days.  I have been doing the bare minimum for Foggy and I feel bad for it. As you may or may not be aware, my dad has been exceptionally ill since Monday and his diagnosis required ambulances, A & E and a hospital stay. He is now medicating at home and is on the mend so hopefully, I can get back to normal now! My mum doesn't drive so I have been the taxi driver taking him to and from various hospitals for tests, appointments and overnight stays. That, when added to the stress of having an ill loved one, has wiped me out! Since 11 am yesterday, I have slept for 15 hours.....that is a record for me! Do I feel refreshed? As if!

Anyway, I thought I would write about an experience I had in A & E on Wednesday evening. I drove
*Foggy* Where is Goofy?!
up to the hospital at 9.30 pm and we were whisked straight into A & E (we had been called and asked to go up ASAP due to blood results). Whilst my dad was being taken care of my mum and I were shown the seating area. Each patient is allocated 2 seats. One for the patient and one for a visitor. I am 100% appreciative that priority should be given to patients and so seating for visitors is not a top priority. That is not what this blog is about. This blog is about M.E being an invisible disability.

In between tests, and being prodded and poked, my Dad came and sat with us in the seating area. Now, I've already said that there were only 2 seats.  My mum uses a walking stick. She doesn't have a disability but she does have joint pain and uses the stick for balance. I don't have a walking stick.

I was stood for around 20 minutes. I couldn't pull over a chair as beds were being wheeled past that area and space was limited. I was dying on the inside! My head felt like it was going to hit the floor at some point and my spine felt floppy. My mum offered to give up her seat (cue funny looks from the people in the bay next to us). Within 1 minute....yes...1 minute, the people next to us moved along to free up a seat for my mum...who is NOT disabled. I could feel the disapproval from the seat-movers coming in my direction. Could I be bothered to explain that I have M.E, that it is a real condition and that it is a disability? No.

Let me clarify - My mum is in her late 60s and I wanted her to be sat down but in that situation, who would benefit the most from the seat? I would have to drive us home and so needed to preserve energy. As we moved to other areas, more standing was required as there was no seating available. AGAIN, I understand that in an area where crash teams are usually present, seating for visitors is not a priority! I ended up leaning on a sink to try and stay upright! My words became more and more slurred and we had to leave early (12.30 am) to make sure I was safe to drive. My Dad was happy in the knowledge that he was being taken up to a ward for an overnight stay so I didn't feel TOO bad for leaving him!

This is the second seat incident in about a month. The other was during our trip to Winchester. My dad had driven us from Portsmouth to Winchester as he understood that I needed as much energy as possible for my important Foggy-related meeting. We got on the Park and Ride bus to go into the city centre.  My Mum could sit in the 'limited mobility' seating but I couldn't. Foggy was not impressed - he wondered why his disabled P.A was not eligible for special seating even though moving around is difficult due to energy and not pain.

I am actually considering taking some kind of prop on similar occasions. Purely because I don't want to experience the stigma surrounding invisible disabilities. I don't think walking sticks or other mobility aides are a badge of honour or anything but at least they are a visible indicator of impairment.

Love,
Sally (and Foggy obviously)

p.s Foggy is currently in Orlando on the hunt for Goofy!
p.p.s...Excluding this latest trip - his mileage stands at 9010 miles!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Open Letter to Eastenders

Hello,

I have a question.

Why has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) not been represented in any of your storylines since your show started in 1985? It affects 250,000 people here in the UK and EVERYONE knows someone who has the illness.

I am asking you to be brave and bold, highlight an enormously misunderstood life-altering illness and help the M.E community to raise awareness. It is a highly complex illness but with subtlety and a long-term plotline, I feel it would be possible to truly represent this invisible disability.
This is me. I don't LOOK sick do I?

You were groundbreaking back in the 80's/90's with Mark Fowler's HIV/AIDS diagnosis. Do the same again with M.E. HIV/AIDS affects 101,000 people here in the UK (2015 rough estimate). M.E affects more than double that and yet receives a very small percentage of the recognition and research funding that HIV/AIDS receives.

Nancy Klimas, MD, has more than 30 years of professional experience (see biography below). She has previously stated:

“My H.I.V. patients for the most part, are hale and hearty thanks to three decades of intense and excellent research and billions of dollars invested. Many of my C.F.S. patients, on the other hand, are terribly ill and unable to work or participate in the care of their families.I split my clinical time between the two illnesses, and I can tell you if I had to choose between the two illnesses (in 2009) I would rather have H.I.V. But C.F.S., which impacts a million people in the United States alone, has had a small fraction of the research dollars directed towards it.”

The same can be said for the M.E situation in the UK.

M.E has never been given more than a fleeting mention in mainstream dramas (Doctors, last year). This is your chance. Be the first, again...be bold!

You have highlighted Stroke, Post Partum Psychosis, PTSD, Dementia, blindness, a restricted growth condition, Head Injury, Miscarriage and Breast Cancer to name a few, and yet you haven't represented a large segment of society by not dramatising a chronic illness that destroys lives and affects people of any age, race or gender. You are not truly representing society by omitting us.

I have ideas as to how M.E could be included within your show, I'm happy to share if you are interested. As I have said, it will need to be subtle and long term but I believe it IS possible to act out an invisible disability.

Kind regards,

Sally
Founder of ME Foggy Dog - see mefoggydog.org.

P.s. I have posted a hard copy of this letter to you.

Biography - Nancy Klimas, MD, has more than 30 years of professional experience. M.D Director, Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Director, Clinical Immunology Research, Miami VAMC, Professor of Medicine, Department of Clinical Immunology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Chair, Department of Clinical Immunology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University,Professor Emerita, University of Miami, School of Medicine).

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Read Cat's M.E story

Foggy has asked M.E sufferers to write him a blog post on their own personal M.E story. This lovely lady called Cat met Foggy at his launch and has written this blog post for him. Please read how M.E has affected her life.

Hello Foggy,

I would say my M.E journey has been a slow one because I think it started back in 2009 when I had decompression sickness after scuba diving. I never felt fully recovered and started becoming tired or ill easily and not able to concentrate as much.

I caught a virus in 2012 and became very sick, soon spending most of my time after work either sleeping or staring into space in a fog of confusion. I had the brain power to make it through work and get home and that was about it! In 2015 was diagnosed as having hypothyroidism and felt like
Cat xx
my body was slowly shutting down. When medication did not help I kept returning to the doctors saying my symptoms were worsening, they would send me away saying there was nothing physically wrong with me as blood tests showed my thyroid was now fine with medication.

I changed doctors several times and in 2016 one suggested Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. I had no idea what it was but I guessed from the name! When I read the symptoms on the pamphlet it was a light bulb moment. “Great, they'll diagnose me and I'll pop a few pills and I'll be cured!”

Nope. No known cause means no known cure. So I began counseling to help manage my symptoms and I am doing a course of Graded Exercise Therapy. The idea being I slowly get used to being more active and my symptoms will improve. So far I can't say it's working but I'm still hoping something will change. (*Sally* Cat is aware of the current controversy surrounding GET but is giving it a try. She will stop if she feels it has a detrimental affect on her symptoms).

I have had mixed reactions from people when I tell them I have M.E; some are aware of it and understand when I frequently cancel plans or leave places early with pain or fatigue. Some don't know what it is, do a bit of research and then are ok about it. But sadly some are unaware that it is a 'real' illness and appear to disbelieve me, which is really upsetting. I know its hard not to judge a person on their outside looks but it is hurtful when people say things like “well, you look fine to me” or “Ooh, I'd love to not have to work”. I have been called lazy a few times and told I'm not trying hard enough but I have learned to ignore those people and spend my time with the good ones!

My husband, my family, and my friends are fantastic. Whether its helping me climb the stairs each night, coming over and cutting the lawn, washing up, giving me a shoulder to cry on or just sitting together in calm quiet so there is someone to help if I need something and can't do it myself.

I have been off work now for 9 months because of M.E and am just beginning to go back, doing a few short shifts each week but it is difficult as it has exacerbated my symptoms again. My most common ones being exhaustion, pain, migraine, sensory sensitivity and inability to concentrate. (So I'm glad I could write this without it turning to gobbledegook!)

I am still in touch with the other participants of the counseling group I attended and we talk about things that help us, we vent our frustrations and we support each other when things can get a bit rough. I think the most important thing for any long term condition is support and I am so glad I have my close circle of family and friends. Without them I'd be worse off for sure.


Cat xx


Please donate to Foggy's Fund. Every penny goes to M.E medical research. Donate via mefoggydog.org. Thank you.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Crazy What Ifs!

Hi,

Foggy is in Tuscany! He had his first plane flight of this World Tour yesterday and loved every minute...I'm sure his tail will have wagged throughout the journey....;)

This blog post was inspired by a Sunday afternoon chat I had with my Mum about our thoughts and guilt about the possible causes of my ill health since birth. We hadn't really spoken fully about it until then and our conversation surprised me. I have so many what if? questions, I thought I would address some of them now.

I mentioned in a previous blog, a few years ago, that I have had A LOT of health issues since birth.
Probably completely unrelated to my current health, but there are times when I ruminate (I learned that word at counselling ๐Ÿ˜„ ) and have the same negative thoughts going round and round in my head. What if I had done that? What if I had taken that life path instead? Would I still be in the same unhealthy position?

My Mum told me, for the first time, that when she was pregnant with me, her bump was very small for the first 7 months and midwives were worried that I wasn't growing properly. Luckily, she/I had a growth spurt in the last 6 weeks and I was a 'normal' size when I popped out. She worries that maybe something happened in the womb during that time and that caused later ill health - we will never know so there is no point thinking it! I
My Mum and Moi xxx
have an 'outie' belly button, caused by the midwife pulling the umbilical cord and giving me a mini-hernia (Did you know that that is what an 'outie' is? I didn't until I had an operation and the surgeon asked why I hadn't mentioned having a hernia...um...?) My crazy what if? brain wonders if this action, of getting a hernia/outie when I was born, caused some kind of internal problem....again...we'll never know! Like many babies, I had jaundice when I was born but that was the least of my problems! I couldn't tolerate breast milk. I had constant vomiting and diarrhea for months. Midwives told my Mum to give me formula instead. My Mum worries that I missed out on valuable nutrients. I had colic for a long time and was also tested for Coeliac disease. Something was wrong in my digestive system - doctors never worked out what the problem was, it just got better over time. The current train of thought is that M.E is caused by something in the gut. This is why my Mum and I were wondering if my baby health is somehow linked to my current health.


Another what if? What if the growth I have on the sole of my left foot is was caused by a virus and subsequently triggered M.E? I have had the lump since my teenage years, it has been checked by GPs, Chiropodists and Dermatologists. No one knows what it is but they just reassure me that it 'isn't harmful'. It's slightly tender but doesn't cause me any problems so they said to not worry about it. Again - what if?! 

What if there is something in my house that causes my M.E? This is a crazy one, let me explain. I had M.E aged 13-15, we moved into our current house a year before that. I moved to Plymouth in my 20s and was healthy and yet when I moved back into the family home aged 29 and a half I was struck down with M.E within 6 months. See?? Crazy! Conspiracy theory alert!

Would I have M.E if I hadn't pushed myself to study for a degree, relocate and start a postgraduate degree all in a short time frame? Was that too much for my body to handle? What if?! Did I push myself to go back to work/study too soon after my ear infection (the trigger of my second bout of M.E)? Is that why I didn't recover fully, like many other 'normal' people?

There are so many what ifs? An M.E sufferer could drive themselves crazy trying to work out what their cause/trigger was. Until a lovely person in a white lab coat tells us what causes Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, I'm sure my crazy brain will come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful theories!

Love,

Sally
and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY)
xxxx


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Not doing as I'm told!

Morning!

So, Foggy is currently on his way to Bristol to meet up with Poppy, who will be taking him to Tuscany for an Italian adventure in a few days. I'm awake at stupid o'clock again so thought I would write you lovely people a blog!

For the past 6 weeks or so, my life has been a bit topsy-turvy. I have been doing the complete opposite of pacing (as hard as I tried, it just wasn't happening). I knew Foggy was coming back and was trying to get stuff done in slow time so I wouldn't have a mountain to do when his campaigning started again. All I've actually done is found a mountain-sized lump of stuff to do each day over a longer time-frame! I kept finding more....and more...stuff to do! 

I've been trying to find a way to step Foggy up to the next level. I've applied for schemes and awards. Not for recognition but for additional publicity and awareness-raising. This has meant networking and awards events (I was unsuccessful - sorry! I tried) and applications for proper grown-up stuff that mean days out and lots of travel (by my standards anyway!). 

This extra activity has meant I have been experiencing 'crash and burn'. When I crash...I CRASH. I am finding that the symptom of disequilibrium is quite bad at the moment. Feeling very disconnected from everything. When I am stumbling, zombie-like, to my bed at around 2pm every day for a 'power nap (HA!) I feel as if my head isn't quite connected to my body. I can't string a coherent thought together and if there was anyone around to talk to I think I would just grunt because of a temporary lack of brain power. I have complete zero energy at that point. My body has been melting into the mattress as I sink into oblivion for a few hours. Despite my nap, I am still exhausted by 9.30pm with the desperate need to get horizontal. Anyone who doesn't know what that feels like..... it's as if your head is a bowling ball on a toothpick and the weight is too much for your neck/spine to bear and you need to lay down flat to alleviate that feeling. 

Anyway, now that the merchandise is sorted (Don't forget to check out Foggy's shop on mefoggydog.org! All designed by moi - all profits will be going to the ME Association for research purposes), Foggy's itinerary is slowly being filled (details below) and many of my appointments have been and gone, hopefully I
can settle back into 'normality' now! I've been trying to explain to non-Foggy Followers exactly what it is that Foggy and I actually DO. They initially say 'so you are a fundraiser?'. I suppose on paper it might seem that way but I think we are soooooooo...ooooooo much more than that! Aren't we? I'm putting at least 2 hours work in per day to keep Foggy working at full steam ahead pace. I don't know how I would describe our voluntary work, it's hard work but very rewarding...whatever people want to call it.

So, this is Foggy's itinerary from today's date - 

TUSCANY - Back to Foggy HQ around 7th August
7th August - 19th August -AVAILABLE
23rd August - 3rd September - IRELAND
3rd September - 10th September - AVAILABLE
14th September - 22nd September - QE2
25th September - 6th October - CALIFORNIA
10th October - 19th October - PORTUGAL
25th October - 18th November - CUBA
19th November - 15th December - AVAILABLE
16th December - 17th December - THAILAND (dates to be confirmed)

Foggy has nothing booked in for 2018 yet. Get in touch if you would like to Foggy-sit! 250,000 miles here he comes! Foggy has only been globetrotting for a couple of weeks and has already visited the Netherlands and Iceland so we are off to a great start! I don't know his current mileage as I've not had travel info from his Iceland sitter (I think they may have ventured to Norway too if the photos are anything to go by...the photo on this blog was taken in Bergen - I Googled it...that's in Norway ๐Ÿ‘€.) . I'll update his mileage when I can.

We have had one online donation since this campaign started, and that was from my Auntie, please do donate and make our hard work worthwhile. I know it's a year-long campaign but please don't leave donating until the end! Donate via mefoggydog.org. If you live in the UK you can also donate by text. If you would like to donate £5 simply text FDWT52 5 to 70070 (you can donate £1, £3, £5, or £10 - alter your text accordingly).

Thank you!

Love

Sally xxx
and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY) xx

Rhia's M.E Story

My name is Rhia. I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with M.E in November 2016.

I've had a lot of my symptoms for a few years, but they really started to show in 2015.

M.E is a variable illness. Sometimes I can be absolutely fine and other times I feel so rubbish that being in bed for hours seems like the best option for me. Having said that, my 'good days' now are still not how I used to be, but getting there I think.  I am lucky enough to have a mum who runs her own business. I now work for her and am able to tailor my hours to suit my health and how well I am feeling.

A few months back, I was desperate to just be completely cured. Whereas now, I try to just deal with my symptoms on a day-to-day basis.  Having spoken to other members  on a  course I took ,that taught us how to deal with the illness and how to 'pace' , I know that not everyone has the same symptoms. 

My most severe symptoms include: muscle aches/burning, jumbling my words, feeling like I can't connect fully with what is happening around me , memory problems and nausea/dizziness. Luckily I don't get all of these symptoms ALL of the time, unless I am really wiped out! 

I think support is key to handling M.E. I have been lucky to have the support from my family , partner and friends, but have found that I have to 'prove' to medical professionals that I am unwell. I have also had to go through various processes just to prove I cannot work full time and am entitled to some financial support. I am still in the process of 'proving' I am unwell, but do just about get by on my 10-15 hours paid work a week. 

I sometimes use a crutch to walk if I am having a bad day and am out in public. This helps others to be aware that I am a little unstable on my feet, and they then don't get angry at me for walking slowly!
It took a lot of courage for me to start using the crutch because many can't see why I need to use it if I am ''just feeling tired''. I don't tend to use it much, but do find that a visual sign of someone being unwell really helps people to be more understanding.
If I am doing well for a few weeks I do actually tend to think "maybe I'm not unwell after all and was just being dramatic/making it up in my head" but it quite often comes back and hits me in the face when I do too much and need to recover! 

My aims for the future are;

- To be more confident in myself, and not be embarrassed or ashamed of being unwell and telling others about it.

- To increase my work hours gradually so that I am able to support myself in the future, and so that I am able to do the social and active things that I enjoy.

- To keep a diary (which I keep meaning to start!) of my M.E experiences.

- To listen to my body and to learn when it needs to rest, even if I feel like i can carry on and use up that last bit of energy.

Love,

Rhia x

Monday, 17 July 2017

Can't tell you much but....

*Foggy* Hello!

Team Foggy went to Winchester this morning. I only got back from Iceland late last night so it's all been a blur since I got back!

Sally doesn't want to tell you too much about what we got up to today, just in case we aren't
successful in our attempts. BUT, she will say that IF we are successful then my mission and adventures will get bigger and we will be able to help the lives of so many more sufferers and their support networks than we are able to at the moment. Think of it as a kind of job interview, today was the second stage. We will find out how we did on at a later date. We'll keep you posted.

Because Sally is now self-employed and is steadily building her business, she doesn't have the money to help me do lots of fun stuff like I did in the first 2 campaigns. That's why she asked for business sponsorship. We haven't managed to get any so we (my campaigns) are now living off of Sally's 'Bank of Mum and Dad'. Thank you Bank of Mum and Dad whoever you are!

Our round trip added 60 miles to my mileage. We don't know how many miles I travelled during my Iceland trip yet, details and photos to come.

Love,

Foggy xxx

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Noise Sensitivity

Hello!
Sally is having another one of her 'I've been awake since 2.30am so will get up and do Foggy admin' mornings. I'm on a cruise ship heading for Iceland but have just spoken to Sally via face time (;). Here is a blog about how my best friend Patch is not helping one of her M.E symptoms at the moment.

Hi,
So, I know 100% that Patch loves me from his paw pads to the tips of his beautiful ears. But, he now has doggy dementia and is barking A LOT and it is causing my symptom of noise sensitivity to flare. I completely understand that he can't help it. Because he is 75% blind, 80% deaf and has mobility issues he gets anxious easily. Hence the barking. Patch has always had one of those really deep 'manly', loud barks, I think in his head he is a butch Alsation or Doberman and not the Jack Russell that he is! Now that he can't hear himself 'talking' he is even louder!
Patch xx

My family and I could be chilling out watching TV, not doing anything special and he starts barking...for no reason. He can't hear us telling him to be quiet and can't see us using body language to calm him so my senses are in tatters after about 30 seconds!

When noise sensitivity kicks in I can literally feel my energy slipping away. Almost as if my energy levels were a bath full of water and someone has just pulled the plug. My brain is working so hard to overcome the sensitivity to noise that it uses all of my energy. Just lately, I might have a half-full energy 'battery' at the start of the day but by 10am, thanks to Patch's barking, I have flatlined. I'm also
finding that my neck glands, which are always slightly tender, flare instantly and get very painful. Again, because my body is trying to counteract against the noise sensitivity. My entire body, because of the depletion of energy, goes a little bit floppy and slow. My speech starts to slur and it's all bit of a mess really.

I work from home and often sit at my desk wearing noise cancellation headphones. I can still hear him. I also work listening to the radio, the combination of Katy Perry and dog barking is enough to send me into meltdown!

We have bought him some calming herbal medication so hopefully he will feel less anxious soon. I know my ears, energy levels and sanity will be grateful!

Love Sally
and Foggy (Obviously)

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Lynne's M.E story

*Foggy* Hello! I have asked my fabulous Followers if they could write a guest blog post for me about their own personal M.E story. This is the first of this campaign. Please read this blog post from Lynne, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, UK.

Being diagnosed with an invisible illness has to be one of the weirdest things that has happened to me and I've experienced some weird stuff!
 
You have all of these symptoms and you feel the pain but all of the tests come back saying you're fine! The doctors send you home and you move no further forward. After 5 months of going to the GP in tears on a weekly basis, I was eventually referred to the Tropical and Infectious Disease ward at the local
Lynne -
 Doesn't look sick does she?!
hospital. Sat there silently playing a game of "what does this person have?" in my head...I mean who wouldn't be wondering.... It's the Tropical and Infectious Disease ward! Then I realised someone will be doing the same to me. You get sent there when the GP has no idea what's wrong with you. They take about 8 vials of blood and test you for HIV, Hepatitis etc... I mean, I suppose it's good to know I don't have any of those things. My poor arm was black and blue from the prodding about trying to find a vein. 

Everyone around you becomes a doctor. Telling you to "think positive and ignore the pain" (REALLY!!!) and their sympathy runs out pretty quick! So, I try to avoid being off sick. Sometimes it's unavoidable. Like when you try to stand up out of bed and drop faster than a brick from a roof, but other times my good friend Tramadol helps me through the day! It's great stuff for taking the edge off the pain and it took a lot of begging my GP to prescribe it so this stuff is like gold dust!  Tramadol sometimes makes being at work entertaining! I am able to function, although when I first started taking it my memory was shocking. I asked one of my colleagues what time she came into work as I hadn't seen her all day, only to be met with a puzzled face and her telling me I had spoken to her an hour earlier! Oops! 

Brain fog....nothing seems to work for this little gem. I recently bought a new car...It's pink so you'd think I would remember this, but no, I was stood in the car park confused and panicking that someone had stole my car....Nope, I had forgotten that I had a new car! I swear people turn my memory issues against me when they forget to tell me  something. I'm looking in your direction Mum! My tolerance to alcohol is non existent now. I was blaming getting older but its a symptom and no lie, I was relieved to find out this wasn't because I just turned 30! 

It's not all bad though...Even if I am in bed by 9pm every night. I really do believe that if everyone who is struggling with invisible illnesses keep talking, sharing and making people see it's not our imagination, Maybe something can be done to help us. My illness was brought on by Tonsillitis a year ago.If anyone around me has any sort of Strep infection I literally run away from them. I hope that this can be cured or at least begin getting some sympathy for those of us who are suffering. I doubt anyone truly gets how hard it is to smile daily and power though the pain. No one wants to be sick. I don't want daily pats on the head or anything, but a little bit of understanding will go a long way. 

If anyone reading this is newly diagnosed like myself...Keep going! It takes a while to learn your limits, I often ignore my body and regret it for about 3 days after! We are stronger than we think.

Lynne xx

Friday, 7 July 2017

Here we go again!

*Foggy* Hello!

Sally is waiting for her payback to kick in today (today is 2 days after MASSIVE exertion at the launch party) So she is settled back, taking things nice and easy and is writing this blog to let you all know what to expect from my 2017-18 World Tour! I'm resting my paws in the sunshine today.....off to the Netherlands later today!

Hi,

So, off we go again! Foggy and I enjoyed the launch party immensely. We met lots of new people that live in Portsmouth and had not heard of Foggy before. I definitely raised awareness with 2 people! One person
has known me since I was 16 and yet he 1. did not know I had an invisible illness and 2. didn't know anything about M.E - he does now! There were 4 M.E sufferers present, it felt like a great mini-community and we are hoping to keep that going now that we have met in person.

Here are some launch party related links for you to take a peek at.
Launch party talk!
T-shirt offer...
Photos of the launch party!

So, Foggy is off to the Netherlands this weekend for a Roman re-enactment weekend. For Foggy's Followers who have known about him for a while, he is having adventures with Aunty Sharon again. They have so much fun together, this will be their third adventure. Here is a bit of info about the re-enactment group - Ermine Street Guard Foggy will arrive back at Foggy HQ early next week. Then it's straight off to Iceland, on a cruise with Sue Turner from Elephant in Scarlet. Sue video'd the launch party - Foggy snogs Sue xx

Tuscany comes after Iceland! Poppy will be taking him away for an Italian adventure! Foggy LOVES Italy, he has never been to Tuscany before so is looking forward to it!

Foggy needs a Foggy-sitter for August. He is free from 5th August to the end of the month. Get in touch if  a. you are from the UK and are going overseas on holiday or B. You live somewhere non-UK and would like to have him posted to you for an adventure!

Foggy has a shop! Check it out and see what goodies he is selling!

https://www.mefoggydog.org/shop/ Top tip - Measure yourself before ordering. The sizing is on the small side so you should allow an extra couple of cms just to be sure. I hope you like them - I designed them myself. Not bad considering I am not a designer! All profits will go to Foggy's Fund for ME research.

ME Foggy Dog raises awareness of M.E by concentrating on the human perspective. With that in
mind, I have been asking for other sufferers to write Foggy a blog post about their own personal experience of M.E. I want blogs from people whose story hasn't been told before. I have been sent a number - thank you. However, all blogs have been written by Caucasian women. M.E does not discriminate in terms of race or gender. If you are not Caucasian/female, please consider writing Foggy a blog post. I want to show that M.E can affect anyone, anywhere, at any age. I would like that to be reflected in these guest blog posts. Please contact me via mefoggydog.org if you would like to tell your M.E story.

That's it for now...eyelids are starting to droop. I hope you all have a good day by your own standards.

Love,

Sally (and Foggy...obviously!)