Welcome to my fundraising page. Basically, I'm doing a sponsored silence for AYME (Association of Young People with ME). As those of you who know me will realise, this is going to be a massive challenge for me as I find it very difficult to shut up! I'm doing this not only to raise money for a fantastic charity but also to raise awareness of ME.
As many of you know, I suffer from severe ME myself. My life isn't complete doom and gloom as I have some amazing people around me who keep me going- I'm very lucky. But it is very difficult. I spend a lot of my time too ill to get out of bed, and I can only leave the house very rarely. I rely on my wonderful boyfriend Rob and my carers who visit me 3 times a day to do everything for me- I'm completely unable to look after myself. I have to use a wheelchair and crutches to get around, even in the house, but even on a good day I'm only able to walk at the most a few metres with my crutches or walking frame. On bad days I just can't move at all. Infact, my ME has become so severe that I was recently hospitalised for 3 weeks- not fun at all, although I did meet some amazing people there and have some good laughs with them. Despite struggling to finish my PGCE but qualifying as an English teacher earlier this year, teaching (or working at all) is completely out of the question at the moment. Although it's something that I'm determined to get back to eventually.
I'm not telling you this because I want sympathy- I really don't. I'm just trying to get you to understand that ME isn't just a case of being tired all the time. Physical and mental exhaustion is only one part of it, and it's a lot different to what you'd normally class as 'tired'. But I and many others also suffer from horrendous joint and muscle pain, really nasty headaches, nausea, intolerance of light/ sound/ smell/ touch (all I want to do so badly is give Rob a hug, but I can't!), heart problems, breathing problems, really bad dizziness, sleep difficulties, not being able to control body temperature, blackouts/ fainting, what's known as 'brain fog'; not being able to concentrate/ find words/ remember things. Even watching TV is very difficult for me because of the inability to concentrate and also the intolerance to sound/ light. There are more symptoms but I won't carry on. My symptoms all get a lot worse a day or two after the simplest of mental or physical activities, and make me very ill for days. The main problem is that you don't look ill at all with ME, so people think you're faking it or using it as an excuse to get out of work. That is completely not the case- I would give anything in the world to work. And if I was faking it, well, you could give me a BAFTA right now!
I've chosen to raise money for AYME because they provide a phenomenal amount of support to people under 26 with ME. They are always there, not only to help you through the bad times but also to celebrate your achievements with you. I've made some fantastic friends through AYME who are so lovely and inspirational- they and the charity are literally my lifeline. I want to say thank you to AYME for everything they do and to give something back. So please dig deep and sponsor me! If 100 of you give a pound then that'll be amazing- that'll be £100 of loveliness! And any more will be brilliant! I'll let you know when my 24 hour shut-up-a-thon with be, in November sometime, but I'll make sure it's on a good day so it's more of a challenge!
Thank you for reading this and sponsoring me! :) xxxx