29/05/2014

Thankful Thursday | 8

written by Laura.
Things have been a little rough the past week or so, meaning this Thankful Thursday is definitely needed. I really love doing these posts and I'd love if you shared with me what you're thankful for in the comments.

This week I am thankful for:
8 - LUSH being so damn inventive! This company have made some things so much easier for me. If you have severe M.E. and fibromyalgia like me then I suggest you try their massage bars (the oils help aches and pains), bath melts (no need to moisturise when you get out) and toothy tabs (just chew and spit). Even better, it's all cruelty free!


26/05/2014

2 Weeks Notice.

written by Laura.
I'm sorry that there wasn't many posts last week, M.E. Awareness Week really took it out of me and of course Michael had to be extra caring. To be totally honest I'm still not feeling too great but I love these link posts and I'm sure you guys do too. We have some real good un's this week...

  • I recently stumbled across a fellow M.E. sufferer who also writes a blog in the #lbloggers chat. Want to hear something even better? She's a youtuber! So now I have a load of videos to watch filmed by someone who is a spoonie too. That means a load of beauty videos with a chronic illness twist. Better start watching! Her YouTube channel is Wheelingalong (her latest video is above) and you can find her blog here.
  • Airbnb is a great site for finding great holiday destinations and accommodation straight from the owner. Buzzfeed (gotta love Buzzfeed) recently did an article on 27 Incredible Airbnb Locations In Europe which will get you desperate to leave right now for a stay in one of the most beautiful places in our area of the world.
  • How. Damn. Cute?! I am desperate to feed my own little bunny raspberries after watching the video above. If you don't want a bunny now, you must be satan.
  • Our dogs detest bath time, Scamp runs up the edge of the bath trying to get out and Izzy looks like you're torturing her (we're not, don't worry). Any dog owner will love to see these Dogs Who Really Hate Bathtime, bless them.
  • This song by Benjamin Franklin Leftwich is beautiful. Personally, I think it's a great song for us spoonies. His voice is so soft and calming, you'll be zoned out before you know it (though that's not hard for me!). 
  • My last link is of a tutorial on how to do an updo with short hair. I have very short hair but sometimes it's still nice to do something different with it. This Updo will be especially gorgeous for those hot summer months and I do love to whip out my vintage headscarfs!

25/05/2014

Bake of the week! GF & Vegan Blondie's.

Our first successful gf bake! Halleluiah. Unfortunately we weren't a big fan of it, however Laura's mum loved it so it didn't go to waste. We still recommend you try it but maybe stick to the original recipe (which we didn't). As you can see, Laura had it with a big ball of ice cream which she said was delicious. We added a handful of dessicated coconut and a handful of frozen blueberries but this changed the texture to a crumbly mess. You can find the original recipe here. Sorry if this post is a bit lacking, so was this bake.

22/05/2014

Thankful Thursday | 7

Woah, time's going so fast! I can't believe I'm on my 7th Thankful Thursday and I'm actually quite enjoying it. When you have an illness like M.E. it's very easy to get caught up in a downward spiral, so doing something like this just helps to show not everything's bad and keep your head above water. You can see my Thankful Thursday M.E. awareness week special here. Here goes...

This week I am thankful for:
7 - pancakes. Oh man, I do love me some pancakes! Crepes or American pancakes, I'll take 'em all. You can find the best GF and Vegan pancakes here, you need to try these beauties asap.




21/05/2014

A year on.

written by Laura & Michael.
A year ago today we started this little adventure with our very first post: The Fluffy Ones. We can't believe it's been one year, it's just sped past and we've progressed so much in that time. We're very proud of how well Me, Michael & M.E. has done considering we just started it to help other people living with M.E. and maybe spread the word around the non-M.E. community. And, we think we're definitely starting to achieve this! Thanks to you guys. 

We hope you enjoy all the shit we throw at you (we try our bests) and that you'll stay with us as we continue on blogging. Here's some of our most loved blog posts:
There's been a lot more posts than that but you'll just have to have a nose around won't you? Blogging's opened up so many things for us; we've made new friends, helped others with M.E. and raised awareness, and we now live like bloggers! Thank you guys for all your support (and putting up with our gobbledy gook), we're going to keep blogging as long as you lovely lot want us.


18/05/2014

Bake of the week! GF & Vegan Rhubarb Crumble.

written by Michael.
You may have noticed we're crumble royalty at the moment.. it's the fail safe for when gluten-free bakes turn sour. I'm really trying but i can't seem to get the hang of it. But fear not, there will be a flood of gf bakes coming your way soon! So yeah, if you haven't realised, it's another crumble this week. Rhubarb Crumble to be exact.

GF/Vegan Rhubarb Crumble serves 4 hungry people

Ingedients:
Filling -
300g rhubarb
5tbsp sugar
5tbsp water

Topping -
200g all purpose gf flour
125g margarine
100g sugar
75g oats
handful of walnuts

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6.
  • Peel and chop the Rhubarb into chunks and chuck in an oven-proof dish. Evenly sprinkle the sugar and water over and put to one side.
  • Put the flour and margarine into a bowl together and rub between yours fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. 
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients into the bread crumb mixture, being careful to keep the texture.
  • Spread the topping over your fruit, place in oven, wait for goodness to happen. It should take around 45 minutes to an hour, until the fruit is bubbling and it's golden on top.

17/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: The round up.

written by Laura.
So, that's it. M.E. awareness week is done for another year, and to be quite honest i'm glad, i could no way do this every week. But, i am proud of myself. Yup, i am. I've posted every day (which is quite the feat when you have severe M.E.) and the feedback i've had is amazing. I even had a non-spoonie tell me that this blog was one of her favourite blogs of the week, and on M.E. awareness week when there all about illness! Sorry, i'm getting a little (maybe very) excited about this. You guys have inspired me to write many more M.E. posts, i was always scared before about how to write them and how they'd be perceived but now i know. Today's post is going to be full of the wonderful links i've found throughout M.E. awareness week from all the other lovely spoonie bloggers.

But, first i need to tell you about a charity that is trying to get more funding for research into this debilitating illness. They're called Invest In ME and they are doing everything they can to help all of us spoonies get more notice. Charities are so important to a number of causes but for M.E. it's even more important; most of us don't have the energy to get up in the morning, let alone campaign for awareness, we can't talk for hours on end and beg for your help. So, charities do this for us, they fight on our behalf when we're too tired to do it ourselves, that's why they're so important to people with this illness. Invest In ME don't just want your money, they want your support and to help them campaign. We need biomedical research into M.E. and these are the people trying to get it so please head over to their website and just have a look around, if nothing else. I also have a list of charities and a little bit about M.E. on the blog's M.E. page you can look at.

Now, onto those links:
  • First, Katherine wrote a very truthful but hard hitting post on what M.E. does to you. Her M.E. Awareness Day 2014 post actually very nearly brought a tear to my eye. If you read any of these links featured today, make it this one. You want to know what having M.E. is like? This is the cold, hard truth.
  • Anna from M.E. Myself and I has done a lot of work this past week and it has definitely paid off. If your not a spoonie then you won't know much about it but, Anna threw a tea party last Sunday (Blue Sunday) at her house and invited family and friends to raise awareness and money for the ME Association (another great charity, go have a look). But, so that all of us spoonies could be involved she also made it a virtual teaparty, all you had to do was grab a cup of tea and maybe a bit of cake (can't turn down cake) and post it online to be a part. Then you could donate (you still can here) what you would pay for that in a coffee shop and i must say that it went so well. Anna so far has raised 817% of her target and maybe if you donated she could make it a little more. She wrote a post on Blue Sunday too.
  • Anna also posted a few times throughout the week, and as always, they were spot on. The first was a post about young people living with M.E. which was supported by the charity for younger sufferers AYME (if you're under 25 i would strongly suggest becoming a member). The second post was titled Why is M.E. awareness so very important? and highlights how just a little awareness can make such a huge difference to a spoonies' life. Please, if you don't have M.E., read this post! It's so well written and will make you think twice about your view of M.E.
  • Then we have Hayley-Eszti and her M.E. awareness week visual campaign. Her photo's really capture the different sides of M.E., yes we need a wheelchair but sometimes we don't, please don't judge us. Go see for yourself by clicking the link above.
  • Meg wrote a post about a day in the life of an M.E. sufferer which i would recommend to any one who doesn't know that much about M.E. This post shows what M.E. is really like behind closed doors and what a bitch she can be. A lot of people only see the good things, really they only want to see the good things, but it's about time that people realised what M.E. is really like!
  • The lovely Louise started a blog chain called #ThisIsME. All you had to do was write a post answering the questions she had set out and post it in M.E. awareness week. It was a great success! Here is the link to her blog post featuring all the links to everyone's posts. You can also read mine here. Louise has had M.E. for 20 years so i would recommend her blog to any M.E. sufferers as she can offer a great insight.
  • There's also been things going on on Instagram, my pick would have to be Vicky Louise's #1weekaboutME photo challenge. To find all the photo's of everyone who's taken part just search the hashtag.
  • Sian wrote a post about what it's like for her living with M.E. I think posts like these are a really good way to show people outside of the M.E. community what it's like living with an invisible illness.Her blog is also another good 'un.
  • Next, we have Sally who set a May 12 Blog Bomb for bloggers with M.E. She wanted as amny people as possible to post about their illness on M.E. awareness day and flood twitter with all our link so we would be impossible to ignore. Ha! This was fun to do and i loved reading everyone else's posts, which you can read too by clicking on the link in bold.
  • Now, i've been chatting to Emma for a little while now and she is lovely. However, her blog isn't an M.E. lifestyle blog, it's more about fashion. But, for M.E. awareness week she moved away from the norm and wrote a very in depth personal post about her experience of M.E. that you need to read so that her stepping out of her comfort zone is worth it for raising awareness.
  • The ME/CFS Self-help Guru wrote a very simple and clear post on 10 Things Everyone Should Know About ME/CFS. Posts like this are great for non-spoonies because they're simple but let people know the truth. 
Right, that's me done now, all the blog posts for a while will be by Michael while i rest. I hope you've enjoyed reading my posts for M.E. Awareness Week and that i've educated at least a few people about what it's like being so poorly. And if you haven't read my posts... Do it now! Only joking. But, thank you for all the support i've had this week and showing me that people are starting to sit up and pay attention.

16/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: Relationships.

written by Laura.
I am extremely proud of my successful relationship but i know that there are many of you out there who have had very bad luck in the relationship department. So, i thought i would do a little post of tips for having M.E. in a romantic relationship and holding on to that special someone. Let me tell you, me and Michael haven't always been so great and we've had our troubles but we managed to sort them all out, now we're so so so much stronger. Want to get started?

First, i'll give you a little background to our relationship. I got M.E. in September 2009 (around my 16th Birthday) whilst this was also the month that me and Michael became an item (after months of swooning over him!). Although, i'd just been told i had M.E and he was only 15 he didn't back off or run away. Then in September 2011, he just started an apprenticeship and i became housebound, he officially moved in which was awesome. After Christmas 2012, when i became bedbound, we decided that Michael would need to become my full time carer. Not how we expected things to but, at least we get to be together 24/7. And now, we're number 1 on the housing waiting list! Exciting right? Anyway, here goes...

  1. Most important of all, talk. For crying out loud, this fixes so much! I can't tell you how much of a difference this made. For the first 9 months of being together i didn't tell Michael anything, not when he'd pissed me off or when something had upset me, and it didn't end well. I'm still not the best at talking but i'm working on it and we're all the better for it.
  2. You don't have to be doing the same thing together all the damn time. I used to make myself feel worse because i always wanted to be doing something with him even when i was dead on my feet. Now, we're like a little old couple and sit in companionship. Michael will sit there playing all his little geeky game while i snuggle up to his side and either read my book/kindle or watch him (because i may be a geek too...). 
  3. Don't feel bad when you can't get up and get dressed. I am so guilty of this. Michael gets dressed and does his hair and that's it i want to have a wash, wash my hair, wash my face, put makeup on, get dressed, the lot. Not happening. I have a wash once a week, wash my hair once a week, get dressed some days, wash my face when i have a spare spoon and the same with makeup. So, why do i suddenly feel the need to do all these things at once? I want to look good for him, that's why. But, he still calls me beautiful when my hair looks wet it's so greasy and i'm covered in sweat. They love us for us and if they don't then they're not worth it.
  4. Remember that they want to be there. I know from other people's experiences that if they don't want to be there they wouldn't. Who would want to take someone to the toilet who they don't love?! Crazy right?
  5. Make time for the little romantic things.Yes, it might use up a fair few spoons but isn't keeping your relationship going worth it? Here are a few spoonie-friendly ideas: grab some popcorn and watch a movie, if you can make a meal together (you can do the easy bits), play a board game, just put on some music and have a good ol' chin wag, ask him/her to give you a massage, light some candles with your dinner, go sit in the garden for a bit and just hold hands.
  6. Tell your other half how you want to be treated. We might be ill but we still want to feel like a princess, even if it is Sleeping Beauty. Michael was so focused on caring for me that we ended up losing the little things, so i told him that even though i was ill we can still do little things to make each other feel special. Now, i don't just feel like a 'poorly person' but like i'm special to someone.
  7. Trust. There has to be trust. At the beginnning of our relationship Michael was [a nice way of putting it] a 'ladies man'. His childhood wasn't great either (we're just more determined to be amazing parents!) so he loved the attention from all the girls. Which doesn't make you feel better when you can't get dressed properly or put any make up on, and there's all these girls that are fawning over your boyfriend. I talked to Michael (well, maybe a little growling went on) but i left it too late and he'd got very cocky. In the end i gave him an ultimatum but i would avoid this at any costs by doing point number 1, talking! After this it took a while for me to trust him again but we've worked through it. He accepts that sometimes i worry because of how bad i feel and i know that he loves me utterly and completely (sticks finger down throat). I'm his only and that's that.
  8. And here's Michael's... 'Don't be a dick'. Aren't i lucky?
I hope this helps you in some way. I don't want to rub it in people's faces, i know i'm lucky. But, i wanted to help any of you out there that are in a relationship and maybe struggle a bit with it along side M.E. Spoonie hugs to you all :)

15/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: Thankful Thursday.

written by Laura.
Seeing as it's M.E. Awareness Week i thought i would do Thankful Thursday special, excited? You should be! The reason i started doing Thankful Thursday was that i wanted a way to see the positives when this illness seems to rip everything from you. Today, i'm going to give you 5 things that i am thankful for, even when having this devastating illness. And maybe you could leave me a comment below saying what you're thankful for. Always look on the bright side of life and all that jazz.


Even though i have M.E. i am thankful for...
  1. being able to see and hear. Yes, my sight may not be the best and anything too loud makes me want to cement my ears up but i can still see my family, can still hear Michael sing to me, can still watch my animals being cute.
  2. having someone who loves me. With M.E. it can be extremely hard to be in a relationship, your partner misses out on things because they want to look after you and you're too tired to even talk to them sometimes.  But, despite Michael being 15 when i got M.E., he's stuck by me and i'm so lucky to have someone who completely understands me and would do anything for me.
  3. this blog. Starting Me, Michael & M.E. has changed so much of my life for the better. It's made me a lot more confident around other people; i now tell people to shut up when they start talking over me because i'm quiet and it's easy too. Go me! This blog has also enabled me to meet a whole new bunch of people who are going through the same thing as me, when for 4 years before i'd never spoken to anyone else with M.E.
  4. my animals. I have 3 dogs (2 family dogs, 1 mine and Michael's) and a rabbit and they're all so lovely. My dogs don't leave my side, will lick me until the cows come home thinking they can make me better and they always do as i say (even if they ignore everyone else). 
  5. being allowed to wear pyjamas all the time. If a healthy person wore PJ's all day they would be called a slob and told to stop being lazy. But, the up side of being ill is that you can wear the comfiest clothes known to man and no-one will blink an eyelid. Awesome right?  

14/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: Can you imagine...

  • waking up every single day feeling the worst you've ever felt?
  • knowing that tomorrow won't be any better?
  • not being able to go to the toilet without help?
  • telling your family that you're too tired to have anything to do with them today?
  • having no alcohol but feeling like you have the hangover of your life?
  • collapsing every time you try to stand alone?
  • needing to be pushed everywhere in a wheelchair?
  • never being able to cook or look after the love of your life?
  • having to depend on someone for every single thing?
  • knowing that you might never get better?
  • being abandoned by your friends because you can't do the things you used to?
  • knowing that you will probably have this horrid illness for the rest of your life?
  • being confined to one room for nearly every day of the year?
  • not being able to eat some of your favourite things because you have new allergies?
  • losing your voice after talking to someone for just 10 minutes?
  • waking up in pain again and again every night?
  • never feeling the sun on your back or the wind in your hair?
  • having to have your boyfriend help you with that time of the month?
  • every single damn movement feeling like the Hulk's got hold of you?
  • knowing that when you have a child you may not be able to look after them properly?
  • never being able to run through the fields with your dogs?
  • feeling like you have 1000 weight vests strapped to every part of your body?
  • living in a muffled world when your brain just can't take it?
  • never listening to your favourite song for fear of what it will do to your head?
  • wanting to cry all day because your body is broken?
  • being absolutely knackered every second of every day?
  • hearing all these amazing stories but never being a part of them?
  • missing out on your baby sisters birthday or last school play?
  • not getting help from anyone medical even though sometimes your heart struggles to pump?
  • hearing people say 'you should be doing ...' even though it's impossible?
  • being stared at when you leave the house in your wheel chair with the head rest?
  • your dog leaving the room because you can't give him the attention he craves?
  • needing someone else to do every single thing for you?
  • not even being able to have the curtains open because it's just too bright?
  • curling up in the worst pain imaginable? 
  • being so tired that the room moves but when you try to sleep it won't happen?
  • having to wear the same clothes a few days in a row because it's tiring to change?
  • feeling like you've done nothing with your life?
  • thinking everyone would be better off if you weren't around to be cared for?
  • being scared that this illness just might kill you in the end?

13/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: Anorexia & M.E.

written by Laura.
This is something i feel i can give a unique perspective on. After all, i have never met/heard of anyone with Anorexia as well as M.E. I know that there's most definitely some of you out there but we are not well known about, or easy to treat at that! So, as part of M.E./CFS awareness week i thought i'd share how they both play a massive part with each other, ways you can deal with it and hopefully raise a little awareness in the process.

At both the CFS clinic i went to (it was for the whole of Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight) and the Eating Disorder clinic i went to neither of them had ever dealt with or heard of problems such as mine. But, as the personalities of people with M.E. are very determined and lived very hectic lives before getting ill, there's probably quite a few of you out there that are dealing with an ED alongside M.E. Boy, i know, it isn't easy. Though, having M.E. may have actually saved my life!

I can't go into it because of legal matters but i had a very abuse-filled childhood which meant i started getting anorexic tenancies at the age of 11. I coped with it ok and stayed on the edge of a healthy weigh up until i turned 15 (year10/2008). I don't know what set it off really but at 15 a lot of problems and past issues rose to the surface again which meant i started to struggle. At this point i was in the netball team, helping coach the younger netball team, in the rounders team, going running and swimming nearly every day and eating less and less. Not a good mix. Then in the September i turned 16 (year11/2009) i got M.E. This is what the Doctors think lead to the virus which lead to me getting M.E.

I couldn't exercise any more but that was the way i dealt with all my problems. I could walk out the front door and run for as long as i wanted. So, food became the thing i could control, which i'm sure many of you can understand with the way M.E. rips away all control you had over your life. My eating got much much worse, putting my weight down to around 4-5 stone. Not a good look.

at the beach a year after getting M.E.
In the years between then and now, i gradually put weight on until 2012 when it dropped again due to M.E. getting worse. From then until now i have been gradually loosing weight, but due to M.E. not Anorexia.

By no means am i 'cured' of Anorexia, i struggle with it every single day. Michael can tell you that. A day doesn't go by where i don't ask him questions about my body. It's tough. It's tough on Michael when he just wants to help me. But, by me asking him questions i'm letting him in.

I have Body Dismorphia. I have this kinda bad habit of comparing myself to other people that i think are 'beautiful. But, i also use it to try and work out what size i really am; i'll pick a person and ask if i'm bigger or smaller than them so i can put them on a line to try to work out where i fit in.

taken from the NHS website
So, that's me done. Now i'm going to give you some tips with how to deal with Anorexia and tricks you can do to make sure your M.E. isn't affected.
  • Get rid of those damn scales! Seriously, throw them out. Nothing good ever comes from stressing over a few numbers. And remember, you could look very slim and fit but weigh more than average. Bone density counts folks.
  • Take back control in a new way. Do your make up every day. It might tire you out and 'waste' a spoon but in the long run you're saving energy by changing what your controlling from something destructive to something which makes you feel much better.
  • Talk about it. I know it's not always that easy. Believe me, i know. Michael was the first person i ever told and he helped me through it for  a year until i was ready to get help. You'd be surprised how supportive people can be (though the older generation might not 'get it').
  • Get dressed. Again, i can't do this myself most days (i probably get properly dressed once every 2 weeks) but it makes such a difference. I put my pretty clothes on and i feel so much better, not quite beautiful, but good enough. 
  • When you're bedbound people can't always see how little you are, my nurse even told me i was overweight when my size 6 clothes are getting too big after wrapping a tape measure round my arm! WTF! Seriously! Others might not notice things are going on under the covers so ask for help and be honest.
  • You're ill, your weight will go up and down. I am bloated 24/7 since i've been completely bedbound. But, there is nothing you can do about it. Don't poke or prod your bloated belly (guilty), don't stare at your body if it makes you feel bad (guilty again), don't worry if your clothes are a bit tight (very guilty). You have a chronic illness which is comparable to HIV, MS and cancer!
I hope this helps. This was quite a hard post to write considering i don't really talk about Anorexia, but i think i did okay. If you are having trouble with anything i've talked about then email me at: laurabrockway1993@gmail.com or even if you just feel a little low about your body and feel it could spiral out of control you can talk to me. I've been dealing with Anorexia for 10 and M.E. for 5 so i know what you're going through.
 

12/05/2014

M.E. Awareness Week: #May12BlogBomb

written by Laura.
Wow, M.E. awareness week really got off to a flying start yesterday; We got more than 6x the amount of views we get on a good day! Hmmm... i think you're all trying to tell me something. Anyway today is in fact M.E. awareness day so i am taking part in Sally's May 12 Blog Bomb, exciting right? Of course, me being me, i wanted to put my own little spin on it by writing about my illness in the form of a letter to all you other poorlies out there. Stop yabbing and get on with it.


Dear Spoonies,

My name's Laura and i have M.E. (jokes, we're not at an AA meeting). I've had this stupid illness for nearly 5 years now and let me tell you, it sucks, though if you're a spoonie you already know that. So, i shall tell you my M.E. journey, how it started and how it's progressed/changed.

I was at the end of year 10 at school when i got knocked out by this awful virus, basically, i was in and out of hospital for a couple of weeks with it doing things to my blood and organs yet they were never able to work out what it was. So, i gradually felt a bit better and thought things were going back to normal. But, it got to September 2009 (2 months after the virus) and i was getting very dizzy, sometimes even fainting. This was all around my 16th Birthday. My 16th Birthday was in fact when me and Michael became an item after years of being very close friends. Great timing on M.E.'s part ehh? I was alright for a week after my birthday, but then things started to get worse, so much so that i couldn't go to school (in the last year of my GCSE's, lucky i was such a swot the year before!). Luckily, i already had a hospital appointment with a new lovely Doctor who was following up after my virus who had no clue what was going on with me. So, there came the tests, i won't bore you with the specifics as i'm sure most of you have gone through the same, but basically i had an ultrasound, barium mill, CT scan (i think), bone check (weren't sure if it could be cancer, scared the crap out of me), a million blood tests (though i'd already had thousands of those throughout my childhood), you know the drill.

This is when they said there was 'nothing' wrong with me. Hmmmm. Apart from the Doc who was treating me, who was also the sweetest Doc i've ever had. He then tells me it's M.E. How many of us actually have any idea what M.E. is before we get told we have it? This is where things get a little messy. He has to send me to a pediatrician who knows about M.E., he just doesn't tell me this new Doctor's going to be an utter A-hole. I'm sure at least half of you out there have had to deal with that right? You look at them and think 'how on earth are you a specialist in M.E.?

Meanwhile, i'm missing a lot of school, though Michael would come to see me almost every night straight after school, sometimes bringing our friends. But, in November, after half term, i decided to go back to school for my most important lessons. Mr Andrews (a life saver, if ever there was one) organised it all for me so that i could choose when i came to and from school. So, i chose to try and go in around lunch breaks just so i could socialize a bit (and see my man of course) and always in my new wheelchair. Though, it wasn't exactly new, the hospital wouldn't give me one but luckily my Pamp (grandad) works for Dial-a-ride and they had a spare wheelchair they said i could have. Now, not all my teachers were supportive, if you had M.E. whilst at school i'm sure you know what i mean. But, i gradually dragged myself through school and managed to get 5 A's, 4 B's and a C! I don't mean to gloat but 'bloody hell!', and with very little help. 

This is when i had to decide where to go next. So, i chose the college closest to my house (Colin Firth went there, don't ya know) and we started organising things. Around this time, i got an occupational therapist, they're bloody hard to get hold of too! We went to all these meetings with the college to set things up to be manageable for me, i can't say they actually payed any attention though. I was meant to have a reduced time table, i had the exact same timetable as one of our friends (who was fully well might i add). I was meant to have all my lessons grouped together so i didn't have to be in college all day, oh no, they spread my lessons out as far as they possibly could. My teachers were meant to give me work before everyone else so i had more time, they ended up giving it to me later, yes later, than everybody else. College did not go well for me. I was using a walking stick to get around at college but i was gradually getting more and more wiped out. It didn't help that the doors weighed a ton and nobody helped me, and that i got thrown about like a leaf in the wind. This meant halfway through my first year i couldn't attend anymore, i just went in for exams and the teachers sent me work home. I didn't do well in my exams, i took 3 subjects, i got a U in 2 and then an A in the other (which i'm very proud of).

This was half way 2011 and Michael was starting to move in with me. He'd just got an apprenticeship with an I.T company thingy and boy, he looked good in a suit ;). I wasn't doing too well on the other hand. Around my 18th Birthday (there goes M.E.'s timing again) i got a very nasty bug which resulted in my body eating itself, delish. So, i ended up bedbound for the first time with my Nan having to look after me while Mum was at work. I started to feel a little better but i had to quit college (not a choice taken lightly, i tell you) and was still house bound. I was a little depressed around here, and i know i'm not the only one who's felt that, it sucks. And this is how it stayed until the end of 2012, a very long time. In this time, i could get out of the house regularly and i could leave my room, we even went on holiday with Michael's dad (spoonie's on holiday? hard work). 

Just let me tell you something quick, Christmas hates me. Yup, sad but true. Huge argument, tick. Someone ill, tick. Overdone food, tick. Christmas 2012 went the same. I woke up with a ridiculous belly ache and couldn't eat my roast dinner (though i sure did find room for Christmas pudding). This poorliness carried on until the end of January, when we decided it would be best if Michael stopped looking for work and became my carer. What girl wouldn't want ot be waited on hand and foot? Me, and most of you spoonies out there, i know. I was bedbound and couldn't do much for myself, after a few months of this is when i started this here blog. And, boy oh boy, it has been a life saver.

Basically, from Christmas 2012 i have been completely bedbound, only leaving the house when absolutely necessary. Michael now has to help me to the toilet, wash me, dress me, brush my teeth, sometimes he has to feed me, etc, you get the gist. The one thing i can do myself is our blog. And we write this blog for you. Soppy, but true. I haven't had any help apart from the stupid pediatrician for the first 6 months of my illness and a useless OT who didn't actually get me that much. I now get progressively worse every single day; I'm able to do less and less, Michael has to do more and more. My stomach will take less and less food but that's put down to the anorexia i've suffered from for 10 years, i know my body. I'm scared, terrified even, of what's happening to me. Some days I can't even breath. I know what it's like to feel alone, to have no-one that understands what we're going through. God, i'd never even spoken to someone else with M.E. until i started this blog, and now i even made a best friend through it. Which is why i'm here for you, if you need to talk here's my email: laurabrockway1993@gmail.com if you need a friend anytime i'm on Twitter 

Love x


So, that's my letter done. I hope it's okay and i hope it reaches as many people as possible. Personally, i'm off to read others May 12 Blog Bomb which you can do by searching the hashtag '#May12BlogBomb'. I hope you're all as well as can be and raising awareness as much to your ability.


11/05/2014

Bake of the week! 11/05/2014

Finally! Success. And at a gluten free bake (though... kinda cheated...). This No Bake Carrot Cake is super quick and easy, so if you don't have time to stand there whipping up a storm, or you just don't have the energy to stand, then this is for you. It's all done in a food processor so no exertion needed, which sounds good to me! 

Laura loved it, doesn't last long sat in front of her (there may even have been some plate licking...) It's easy to eat for someone with not much energy and won't leave you feeling bloated since it's nice and light. The only alteration we made was changing the icing to Orange water icing, which consists of icing sugar and orange juice, yum!


M.E. Awareness Week: This is M.E.

For the first post for M.E. awareness week I am writing a few little things about myself to with/out M.E. in the style of The Get Up And Go Guru's blog post train. If you're new to this blog you might not know that I have very severe M.E. and Michael is my carer full time so I am writing a post every day of M.E. awareness week centred around getting more notice for this horrible illness. Tomorrow there will be a post about my M.E., what it's like and how it's changed my life. And, if you want to know more here is a link to my M.E. blog page. So, on to today, I'm going to write 5 general things you might not know about me and 5 things to do with M.E.

What is your name and how long have you had M.E./CFS?
I'm Laura and I've had M.E for 4 1/2 years.

Where do you live?
I live in a crappy town called Eastleigh in between the cities of Winchester and Southampton in Hampshire, which is on the South East coast of England.

Age? ( if you're willing to share)
I'm 20, soon to be 21!

Tell us 5 things about you that the people in your life probably don't know (non-illness related).
  • I play the piano, pretty well too. Michael has promised that when we move out (minding space) I can have a piano! A piano!
  • When I was little I used to write plays and try to get my 5 younger brothers and sisters to perform them for our parents. Never. Ever. Worked.
  • I know every single word to Wham's Christma hit 'Last Christmas'. Cringe.
  • I still have a rabbit but I've already named the next two I will get when he's gone; Bramble & Bumble. It stops me thinking about how old my bunny is (his name's Barley).
  • I love sweet corn and will eat it a tin at a time.

Tell us 5 things about you that the people in your life probably don't know about your life with CFS/M.E.
  • I don't remember what it feels like to feel 'well'. Yes, this makes me cry. But, at least I don't know what I'm missing, I won't always be looking for the feeling of well and when it does happen I'll be knocked off my feet.
  • I wear my boyfriends clothes nearly every day, I have my own but when I'm in so much pain it's comforting to have something that reminds you so strongly of the person you're living through the pain for.
  • My legs are the Worst part of my M.E. and some days I want to just saw them off and be done with it. I can't explain the pain, so much so that some days I wish I could give my legs to someone else for an hour, just so they could understand. My doctor won't help me with it but everyone who I speak to thinks it's fibromyalgia.
  • I shout at Michael for no reason sometimes, because I can't work out why I feel so upset due to my stupid muddled M.E. brain. It takes me crying for half an hour for me to work out what's really wrong and then we talk through it. He's so good to me and puts up with a lot.
  • I am a good listener (ooh, the secrets I hold) but I hate it when people start to whinge and moan. Especially after they've done something for the day when I'm stuck in my bed. Appreciate what you have.
What one thing do you think most people wouldn't know about living with M.E./CFS that you'd like them to know?
You don't always feel that tired. M.E. is more centred around all the different symptoms that everyone gets, even not being able to sleep. Everyone's M.E. is different, my Mum says M.E. really does mean 'me' because everyone's illness is unique to them.

What is the most frustrating aspect for you of living with CFS/M.E.?
The way it affects my relationship. It's so hard when you can't do anything for the one you love. Michael doesn't mind but I do. I'm just saving it all up for one huge love explosion. Hmmm, that sounds a little dodgy.

Is there anything you'd like to say before finishing?
M.E. has changed me beyond belief. If I hadn't got I'll and been forced to stop I don't know what mental state I'd be in now.

Done. If you've taken the time to read this then thank you very much! You can also find more of these posts under the hash tag #ThisIsME on Twitter. Thank you to Louise for organising this post, please head to her blog and have a read, she's had M.E. for 21 years now and will probably give a very good insight into what it's like.

10/05/2014

Prepping for M.E. Awareness Week.

So, tomorrow begins M.E. awareness week! And there's so many wonderful things going on to raise awareness, I just hope I can educate a few people then I'll be content. But before all this starts I want to give you some links to other M.E. bloggers and outline what they'll be doing for M.E. Ooh, i have found some good 'uns, I've been searching high and low to give you as many M.E. blogs as i can find in the hope that [if you have M.E.] it might help you in yourself and [if you don't] give you a greater insight into life with this beast of an illness. Here goes:
  • First, me! I'll be joining in on a few of the events listed below over the next few days. Also, I'll be posting an M.E. related post everyday which I'm very nervous about as I am very severe at the moment and my posts might not make much sense but I hope you'll all understand. Michael's even setting up a speach-type thingy on the laptop to help me, so I hope I can keep up with it and raise as much awareness as possible.
  • The lovely Hayley from Hayley-Eszti will be sharing her story Of M.E. on Monday and then later in the week she's got a real treat for us all; Hayley's been working on an M.E. photoshoot campaign to raise awareness for chronic illness. Personally, I can't wait to see it!
  • Anna over at M.E. Myself and I is on the ball this year! This is the chronic illness blog i have been following the longest and she has helped me so much with how i feel about myself and my illness, so if you have M.E. i really recommend heading over to have a read. Anna is throwing a Blue Sunday tea party to raise money for the M.E. Association, which you can join in with online by having your own little afternoon tea (just a cup of tea and a slice of cake will do) and upload a photo of this under the hashtag #Bluesunday on Instagram or Twitter. You can find out more and how to get involved in this post.
  • Meg from Meg Says will be firing a flurry of posts you way and joining in with a few of the events/blog posts created by some other lovely bloggers. You should definitely hit follow on her blog, she posts nearly every day and gives a much better insight into the minds of a 'spoonie' that i can give at the moment.
  • Sally who writes the blog Just ME (also click the link to find out more about her event) has set up a May 12th Blog Bomb, sounds interesting right? Well, if you have M.E./CFS and own a blog she wants all of us (if you're able) to write a blog post about our own M.E. story and how it has impacted on certain parts of our lives. Also, even if you don't have a blog but want to join in she will post your own story on her website alongside her own. All you have to do is publish your post on Monday 12th and share it under the hashtag '#May12BlogBomb'. I'll be really looking forward to reading all of your posts! 
  • The Get Up and Go Guru has started a blog post chain of writing 5 things about yourself, first without M.E. being involved and then things to do with M.E. I've already written my post and will be scheduling it to be posted tomorrow morning as the first of my posts for awareness week. This one's hard to explain so i suggest you go have a read of this post if you want to find out more.
  • Sian from Me, myself and M.E has decided on a little theme for The Big Sleep For M.E. on Monday 12th May. The Big Sleep is a findraising event that everyone can join in with, all you have to do is lie down and even snore your head off if you like all in the name of raising awareness (just click the sleep for M.E. link above for more info). Sian has started a little theme for this event called 'The Princess and M.E' where you become a Princess for the day! You can find out how to join in by reading this post.
Here is a list of M.E. blogs for you to start reading (just don't forget about me!):
Wow, that was a lot. I can see this week is going to wipe me out but it'll be worth it if it means i can raise awareness and maybe help a few of you out there.

08/05/2014

Thankful Thursday | 6

written by Laura.
It's that time again! Time to be sappy and think about all the lovely things going on in our worlds. Yeah. Anyway, let's get on with it.


This week I am thankful for:
6 - the fact that there is an actual M.E. awareness week. We're still not well known but thanks to things like this awareness is being spread. M.E. awareness week starts this Sunday until the following Saturday, and the specific M.E. awareness day is Monday the 12th. I'll be doing a post everyday so please keep popping back to have a read.


05/05/2014

1 Weeks Notice (sorry guys)

We have great neighbours. Not. Well, a few are nice but the rest [excuse my language] are A-holes. Last night they decided to keep Laura up until half 6 so she is pooped and this post is going to be a little one of a few links. We know it's meant to be a picture post but as Laura's been so ill there haven't been many photo opportunities, although we do post on our Instagram when we like.


  • This post on Lauren Conrad's blog tells of 10 spices that are really beneficial to our health, there's even one for chronic illnesses!
  • Laura will be taking part in this blog post chain next week for M.E. awareness (and lots of other things so stick around), maybe you could join in too, I'm sure you don't need a blog.
  • If you're a frequent reader here, then you'll know Laura's Vegan so we were excited to see a post on Buzzfeed of creamy vegan pasta recipes, it would be nice to eat the same thing for once!

04/05/2014

Bake of the week! 04/05/2014

Oh lordy lord. Yup, another duff bake. I am trying very hard guys, but this gluten free stuff does not like me. Although, we're slowly getting the hang of it and the bakes should get progressively better (fingers crossed). So, this week, i attempted English Muffins, seeing as their one of Laura's favourites. We're not going to include the recipe as we don't think it was very good and we don't want to share anything with you that we're no sure on.

Hmmm... They weren't too bad fresh but by the end of the day they were like cow hyde. No joke. The recipe we used probably wasn't the best either (don't you just hate it when there's no photo's?) so we'll try again one day when we've got the hang of gluten-free dough's. We're glad you don't mind joining us for the journey and we promise, one day, there will be a successful bake!

01/05/2014

Thankful Thursday | 5

written by Laura.
Today is sooo not a good day so when better than today to do a Thankful Thursday? On this really crappy day maybe you could comment what you're thankful for so I can see them all.


This week I am thankful for:

5 - for the lovely ladies who invented Lipstick Tuesdays (it's #lipsticktuesday on Instagram), especially the amazing Anna from M.E. Myself and I.