I have become home/bedbound with M.E. (Myalgic Encelphalomyelitis), which is why my blogging has all but disappeared. When my energy allows, I have been writing a new entry bit-by-bit with the hope of getting it online soon. In the meantime, I must reblog this important entry by Sunshinebright about the MillionsMissing Project. I did manage to tweet in support on May 25th, so I feel good about participating in my own small way. Many thanks to all who made the Project a successful protest. Now the test is to see where we go from here: did the people we needed to reach listen? Time, and possibly continueing the MillionsMissing Mission, will tell…
Solve ME/CFS Initiative President Carol Head said that following last year’s Institute of Medicine report, there is no reason for the federal government to drag its feet on aggressively funding research on the disease.
“It is the role of NIH and CDC to care for the health of their citizens, and the health of those citizens is currently being funded by ourselves for ourselves,” Head said.
The protest included a series of demonstrations by ME/CFS patients and their loved ones at locations around the country and across the world, including: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia, London, Melbourne, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Raleigh, Canada, the Netherlands and Belfast. Protesters in D.C. assembled outside the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters. Other U.S. protesters assembled outside the regional HHS offices.
The shoes represent the active lives lost by the owners…
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From USA Today
Unconventional presidential hopeful Limberbutt McCubbins is throwing his tail in the race. He is 36 cat years old and, if elected, he would be the first neutered president (this could be a good thing.)
There are millions of people in this world who suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Many of them cannot leave their beds, as this chronic illness takes away the ability to function in the everyday world. Never heard of M.E.? Small wonder, as many in the medical and political communities refuse to believe in it or champion it.
My Story -Part I:
I have been “living the M.E. life” for over 20 years, with a big decline in my health the past two.
Initially, much of the first 15 years were spent with some interruption in my day-to-day lifestyle. I suffered migraines, fatigue, body aches and many of the other symptoms associated with M.E. There were times my body rebelled with a painful flare-up.
In the beginning, I would have long remission periods. These gradually became shorter and more infrequent, eventually stopping altogether.
I “doctor hopped” for years, receiving much abuse and incorrect treatment along the way. I never knew exactly what was going on until the correct diagnosis from a doctor whom I trusted about 4 years ago. The rheumatologist who gave me the diagnosis also stated that she could not help me and advised me to find a doctor who could. This, unfortunately, is like finding a needle in a haystack.
If you look up ME/CFS doctors in the United States (and the rest of the world), you will find a scattering of names. One name, Dr. Nancy Klimas, stood out to me. Her office was in South Florida and I lived in South Florida. Bingo!
Of course, that was too easy. Her clinic was not taking any new patients. It was suggested I try calling again in a few weeks. Weeks turned into years, with no change in the response I received.
In the meantime, I found another Rheumatologist who was very supportive, although she had no real knowledge of the illness. But we made a team, together trying to figure out what would work to help my multiplying symptoms. And we have made some progress.
The biggest issue facing me was a way to keep my job – a necessity as I am the breadwinner for my autistic daughter and myself.
When it got to the point that brain fog was impacting on even the smallest task, my doctor came up with using Adderall to stay focused. It turned out to be the difference between not being able to put two words together (never mind remembering how to spell them) and being able to manage doing my job., (Albeit much slower than before, as I need to concentrate harder and check my work at least two times for any errors.) We also found a mix of meds to somewhat diminish the increased pain, spasms and twitching I am now dealing with.
Good news came in February, when it was announced the Neuro-Immune Institute in Miami (which Dr. Klimas started) was adding new clinicians. I called and my name was put on a waiting list. After waiting what seemed like a long three months, they contacted me. The excitement and relief I felt at getting an appointment with Dr. Vera-Nunoz was palatable. It felt like winning the lottery.
To be continued…
From Phoenix Rising:
Andrew Gladman brings coverage of the Understanding & Remembrance Day for Severe ME, airing the voice of patients (names have been changed for the sake of privacy) …
It leads to a loss of independence and leads to a life of a lot of uncertainty. I had worked for 10 years while ill, and am now trying to find my way in regards to supporting myself and applying for disability NOT via Social Security! My life is in limbo, but luckily I have had family to fall back onto to take me in. –GG
How lonely it is. –Sean
I think the worst things are losing your sense of identity, having to rely on others for basic help, but mostly not being able to produce energy on demand like the rest of the world and feeling resentful/jealous/fearful and emotions that you don’t want to feel. You just want to be healthy and participate in life as you knew it, but you can’t. There are so many more “Worst parts” that I don’t really know where to even begin! –Gingergrrl43
That it is an excruciatingly painful living death. –Min
What I would like the world to know about living with severe ME/CFS is that it comes with a lot of losses. The one that has the greatest impact on me personally is the loss of my dignity.
Suffering from a severe form of a chronic, debilitating disease for decades comes with many losses such as physical functionality, social activities, friends and even family members. It is painful and totally life altering. For me, specifically, I mourn my dignity.
Other devastating diseases come with the worldwide understanding of how impactful the disease really is. For example, in my community, when a woman recently was suffering with cancer, the community organized daily hot meals for her and her family as well as daily visits. She was being hailed as a hero for being so strong, dealing with such devastation.
I will never have the chance to be heroic.
When I first fell off the social grid, I received some phone calls to see how I was doing. After hearing that I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, those calls quickly dwindled down. This is because there is no understanding of the seriousness and devastation of this disease. The handful of people who still do call, tell me to go out because it’s a nice sunny day … as if it is a choice that I can make. I have been advised countless times to go for counseling as if it is just a mood thing. As far as my community is concerned, I am perceived as one who has been in a deep depression for 11 years and has become a hermit by choice!
Even though I have been suffering physically for so long, it is this loss of dignity that has been the most painful for me. –Gabby: 59 year old wife, mother and grandmother. I have been ill and disabled from work with ME for 11 years, fluctuating between severely and moderately affected.
People need to know about LOSS …
It’s as if a pause button has been pushed and some-one has forgotten to re-start it. The lives we wanted to lead have been lost to us. Yet I have lost less than those who are severe.
They need to know about PAIN, and GRIEF, and the PAIN OF GRIEF, and the GRIEF OF PAIN.
For those who are severe, they are caught in an endless cycle from which there appears no escape.
And they need to know how to CARE – not by constantly talking about the illness, but by finding little ways to show caring. A card, a flower, an email or Tweet … something that doesn’t require much response but shows that the individual is not FORGOTTEN! –Keela Too, moderate ME/CFS
The message I would like people to hear is that this disease should be avoidable and curable. It isn’t and it could happen to you next.
For the past 30 years I’ve had a disease that has had little research funding and when it has been funded it has often been siphoned off into other areas or gone to the wrong team.
We patients have had no control over this. Something rotten exists in the government bodies that control funding and the independent agencies.
If money had been allocated to this disease and to the right people then I don’t think there would be severely affected people with ME. –ukxmrv
Dear healthy people with busy lives.
I’d like you to know that I did nothing to encourage this illness upon myself.
To be clear, I did not ask for, encourage, give in to a mental desire for, choose for the sake of attention seeking to be housebound and isolated unable to do much of anything.
If you believe ME is not real I can assure you your belief is in error and probably derived with very little effort at uncovering the facts.
Nothing would make me happier than to be able to contribute what talents and skills I possessed to my family and my community. –Snowdrop, slow onset ME that has been steadily worsening for the past 9 years or so although I had experienced less severe symptoms for decades prior.
The one thing I would like people to know about ME is there nothing you can do about it once you get it. Nobody is going to like me for saying this.
Yes you can take medications, supplements, attempt to keep your body and mind in a healthy place, pray, scream, go from doctor to doctor searching after that bit of knowledge or that latest study; but unless there is a real cure for this horrible illness your body will have to deal with it to the best of its ability.
If you can find something to keep your body strong, that is good but keep looking because our bodies needs change and you are only treating symptoms. Accept it and learn to live your life from your house, your chair, your bed.
I’ve had ME 26 years and, being a former expeditor, I’m the type that looks for answers; something can always be done. My conclusion is that without a true cure we might as well just accept this disease and live the best life we can.
Unless the globe realizes that this is zapping incredible talent and costing money that could bankrupt governments and that people in power can get this disease themselves, we will never solve this. –PNR2008
I would like the world to know that this can happen to anyone, at any time …
The public has been told by the media and by the medical profession (excluding some exceptional doctors and researchers who specialize in ME and are usually ostracized by their peers as a result) that ME is not real, not serious, and something that the weak-minded somehow choose to develop or lack the will power to snap out of.
As you read this, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that this could not happen to you. I never thought this would happen to me.
Please open your eyes and your minds to see our reality.
Please try to understand our loss.
Please don’t knock what you don’t understand. We would not do that to you.
ME has cost me my career, my social life, my hobbies, and friendships. I hope for a better life. You could support that hope for all of those with ME.-Daisybell
Just for one week only, stay in your bed, and crawl on the floor to go to the bathroom.
Then we’ll talk. –Dr.Patient, Severe ME sufferer
Severe ME is an endless private torture of unbearable physical symptoms. For me *holding on* to my life and enduring the unbearable symptoms was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I understand how people with ME take their lives. It takes everything you have to get through severe ME. I am truthfully scarred by it, mentally and spiritually.
I fear going back to severe, I’m not sure I could do it a second time. I have nothing left. I used every ounce of will I had the first time round. I rest all afternoon and evening – I still live mainly in my bedroom, in bed 12 years on.
My hope is that one day no one will ever have to endure severe ME ever again. –Rosie26
With severe ME there are small margins, a huge risk of deterioration, and it makes medical treatment difficult due to side effects. Emergency care is a big risk, it’s not adjusted/adapted to severe ME and there’s very little acknowledgement of it among doctors and carers. –Lorene, 45 years old and I’ve had ME since childhood. Since age 25 it’s been moderate/severe and since two years ago it’s been severe, I’m bedbound/housebound.
ME doesn’t kill you, but it squeezes every drop of life from you. –Ecoclimber
ME is not only worse than you imagine, it is worse than you can imagine.-Forbin
I’d like people to know of the abuses we withstand, particularly from the medical community. It’s not “misdiagnosis” or “under treatment”. It’s abuse due to overwhelming ignorance: ignorance which is inexcusable and CAN be corrected if enough people give a damn.
Short of lie detector tests in every medical office, I don’t know what we have to do in order that we be believed for our suffering. –SD Sue
ME is a disease like no other. We’re told for most disease that we need to strive and push ourselves to get fit and healthy once more. ME doesn’t abide by these rules. Over time you come to learn to live an uneasy truce with the disease, to no longer fight it and succumb at the worst times in the hopes of better days to come. Nothing else in my life has tested me this much and given such little ground in the process. –Andrew
This disease has wrecked my health, but it is society that has wrecked my life. The disease has confined me to the house, but a culture of cruelty has confined me to poverty and isolation. Illness stops me from growing food, while official gatekeepers tell me I don’t deserve any. Illness means I still feel cold under all the blankets, while public policy says I don’t need heat.
It wasn’t disease that physically and emotionally abandoned me, forced me into bankruptcy, sued to take my house, claimed I just need exercise and therapy, and constantly forces me to prove I’m poor and sick. It was people who did all that.
In the US and many other “civilized” societies it is a Crime Against Capitalists to be permanently sick. It’s acceptable to be sick for a week. After that, we’re depriving The Economy of a chance to exploit our labor and enrich Our Dear Leaders and their wealthy handlers.
This situation will not change until many, many more people, both sick and well, come to understand what modern social institutions are really about and who they serve. Here’s a hint: they aren’t here to serve working people.
The horrendous, barbaric treatment we receive is not unique to this illness, and the attitudes we experience will not change if the puzzle of ME is solved. Patients of the next mysterious, potentially expensive illness will have to go through this misery as well. AIDS patients were not the first group of sick people to be brutalized, insulted and ostracized, and we won’t be the last.
When a reporter asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of western civilization, his response was, “I think it would be a good idea”. –Jim, 58
If you haven’t suffered, you can’t understand the exhaustion and the frustration over the changes in your life, personality, circumstances. –Karen
There is just too much good stuff going on at Crowdwish, so I will pick the one I felt was “up there” (besides the one that was actioned for my friend*)
April 24th’s Crowdwish was ‘I could find an online job that actually pays’.
You totally can.
Remote working is a huge industry, easily worth in excess of $150 billion a year. There is a wealth of sites offering online work, but inevitably many of them are slightly dodgy and best avoided.
As a rule of thumb, here are the things that should ring alarm bells if you are looking to make money ‘remote working’ from home:
- If it all feels a bit too good to be true. If someone’s offering untold riches for doing comparatively little, then use your abundant common sense. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, if you can forgive the incredibly vacuous cliché.
- If the contracting company asks you to pay for their services upfront. If people are demanding an advance payment, don’t ever make it. It undoubtedly signifies an arrangement that is not designed to benefit you.
- If they ask you to provide confidential information. Do not disclose bank account details, national insurance or social security details to anybody. Obvs.
- If their mails come from a personal account. If an email that you receive doesn’t contain a business email and phone number, it’s worth avoiding. ‘Real’ businesses rarely use hotmail.
- If you get the ‘job’ incredibly easily. Not intended as a diss on your undoubted abilities but be aware of being accepted too readily.
There are however a lot of sites which offer legitimate methods of remote employment, pay reasonable wages and have structured processes in place that ensure nobody gets fleeced.
If you have skills and abilities in almost any area, from copywriting to accountancy, mobile app designing to translating, there are jobs posted on these sites every minute of every day, many of which pay reasonable wages of $30 an hour or more.
From reliable sources that use them frequently, these are the world’s best and most trustworthy remote working sites, which can genuinely be trusted to provide alternative sources of income for anyone with skills to offer. None of these require upfront funds to register:
oDesk. The world’s largest online workplace.
Elance. Members have earned in excess of $1bn to date.
MyCrowd. Ten million freelancers can’t be wrong.
Freelancer.co.uk. Almost 6 million available projects currently.
Peopleperhour. Particularly strong on design based jobs.
Guru.com. 800,000 jobs successfully completed to date
*And, just to replay the wonderful video Crowdwish helped put together for my friend:
Please watch this video about my childhood friend and visit http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8 for more information on how to help. Re-blogging is wonderful! Heartfelt thanks. ❤
First of all, Happy Easter -hope the bunny was good to all out there!
Secondly, I am re-posting this video because I care deeply about my friend. I am asking people to re-blog this video -on your blog, on facebook, on twitter, etc. Please spread the word, as I am hoping to reach our goal.
If this seems pushy, I apologize. Being aware there are many things going on in this world and everyone can do so much, this is one thing I can do to make SG’s life a little easier, and so I am trying. If you would like to donate, even as little as $5.00, please go to http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8
It is much appreciated! ❤
Many thanks again to Bill Griffin and his team at Crowdwish.com.
Please don’t skip the Thursday wish!
Last Monday the most popular wish was simple – free coffee. We persuaded a coffee shop to give their customers free coffee whenever it rained on the day, which as it transpired was a lot. We also gave away free coffee pots to those who couldn’t be there.
On Tuesday people wanted to ‘play guitar’ – so we asked them to email us their favourite songs, then sent back to them the sheet music for the guitar part and DVDs of ‘Almost Famous’, as we’re unhealthily obsessed with the scene in the back of the RV when they’re singing Tiny Dancer.
On Wednesday the most popular wish was ‘That I could find it easier to talk to people’. We provided a simple technique for overcoming shyness and gave away classic books featuring legendary outsiders, from Eeyore to Holden Caulfield.
They are all great, but this next one is mine! Please check it out, pass it on, re-blog, etc. I really appreciate it! 🙂
On Thursday a woman in Florida had her wish ‘actioned’. She had asked for help on behalf of a friend (and her beloved pets -pictured is Pepita) who was about to lose her house after the death of her husband. The story was a very moving one, so we helped set up a fund to help. So far just shy of $1,000 has been donated – if you have a spare £5 or dollar, she would be incredibly appreciative.
On Friday the most popular wish was ‘For the media to focus on positive as well as negative stories’. We make a faux-marble sign lampooning The Daily Mail and sent someone to fix it to the side of their building in Kensington. You can see it above; it stayed there for an hour before they clocked it. It has been re-tweeted hundreds and hundreds of times since then.
On Saturday the top wish was ‘I could make my own clothes’. We organised a free clothes-making class featuring expert tuition, white wine, sharp scissors, salty snacks, and an overwhelming sense of personal pride. You can be part of that whole thing; send us an email to book a place.
Yesterday’s wish was ‘That celebrities would endorse small businesses’. The person who made this wish owns a brilliant photography business: so we promised help with marketing and agreed to send out sample photo portfolios to celebrities.
Today’s Crowdwish was ‘I wish that my friend would not have to face losing her home after the death of her husband’.
We completely appreciate that there are many, many people in the world faced with appalling sets of circumstances, and many incredible charities doing fantastic work to alleviate as far as possible the difficulties those people face.
So to be clear, we are not attempting to subjectively decide this is a more deserving case than any other; but it is one that has come to the top of the list on Crowdwish and so we are compelled to help, and happy to do so.
Whilst preserving the anonymity of the individual concerned, here’s the reality of their very difficult and delicate situation.
A woman is recovering from an abusive history; so abusive that she is suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For years she cares for her husband who has Multiple Sclerosis.
The small savings pot they had accumulated becomes rapidly depleted by unavoidable medical bills.
Her husband dies and her reason for being and daily purpose are shattered. With the savings gone, she can no longer afford the mortgage repayments.
The acute nature of the PTSD means that – despite her intelligence and ability – it is not viable for her to hold down a regular job and generate a consistent income.
Further complications relating to confusing state benefits mean that statutory welfare payments are not forthcoming.
The bank starts to get increasingly less tolerant and they send representatives to her house explaining that it must be repossessed.
The remaining ‘family’ that she has are two cats and a dog that she rescued from a shelter. Their companionship that has meant so much is jeopardised by the likely loss of the home, exacerbating her anxiety and underlying mental health issues.
It seems likely now that she will lose her house, but friends are rallying round to see whether they can work out a way in which she might be able to move into an apartment and get to keep her pets.
One of those friends – Fern Mulholland – put the wish on Crowdwish some weeks ago, and that’s how we got involved.
We have helped Fern set up a page on Gofundme – a brilliant site in the US that has had lots of success in raising money for people in stricken circumstances – explaining the situation as we have above and asking for donations for her friend. We have donated $250 to get things going, and Fern has made a generous contribution herself.
At Crowdwish, we are really grateful for the many, many emails and messages we receive from people asking how they can help with the wishes, make contributions, ‘give back’ and so forth; so we hope this will be an opportunity for people to do just that. Here’s the link again. Gofundme
As some of you may know, I suffer from ME, which is a chronic illness. What you may not know is that I have family and friends who suffer from mental illness and PTSD. The following re-blog is written from the heart of a beautiful soul. Please read to better understand and empathize with the world of people with mental illness and PTSD.
Not the music variety, which is, clearly, totally awesome.
I’m talking about the PTSD variety of funk that I’ve been graced with since a monster sexually assaulted me as a child. Mingle PTSD with Major Depressive Disorder–which I may or may not have had regardless of sexual abuse based on my genetics and other factors–and you’ve got the ingredients for a major funk. I can’t seem to shake this latest funk. It’s been with me for a few months now. No matter what I do, it clings to me like a sheen of sweat.
I am depressed. That blows. It’s not all the time anymore, but it is persistent. It is an ever-present niggling little parasite gnawing on my brain.
Mental disorders are obnoxious. They are not easily diagnosed. If you go into a hospital with a broken arm, it’s fairly evident what’s wrong with you and what needs to…
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