The clock is ticking and 2020 is fast approaching.
The arrival of a new year has caused me to ponder the past year. Alongside the fun and excitement there have been many negative aspects that, more often than not, I choose not to publicise as it would negatively impact the mood of Foggy’s Followers. Being an advocate requires a degree of responsibility and care. I deliberately steer clear of causing additional anxiety and dismay unless I feel there is a benefit to raising awareness of something that has happened.
Since The OT Show in November, I have debated about whether to mention something to Foggy’s Followers, many of whom have M.E themselves. Initially, I took it to heart and only saw the negativity in what was said. However, with time and with a fresh year approaching, I am able to put a positive spin on it.
So, here goes.
The Stripy Lightbulb team’s ‘hook’ to get people to talk to us was ‘What do you know about M.E/C.F.S?’ (Remember I do both names with Stripy Lightbulb as it is an online training platform – people need to know why we have more than one name. I now only use M.E with Foggy). The response was mixed as some admitted they didn’t know what M.E/C.F.S was but would be happy to learn, a few had personal knowledge with family members having the illness, a rare few fully understood what M.E/C.F.S was, and others simply ignored us and kept walking.
One particular Occupational Therapist answered me with ‘M.E? Oh yeah, that’s the trendy thing to care about now, isn’t it? I don’t need to know about that, it’s all a fuss about nothing, Occupational Therapists don’t need to know about M.E/C.F.S’. As a patient, I took that negatively, in my mind her response summed up how I had been treated by the majority of healthcare professionals over the past 13 years since I ‘contracted’ M.E. I was slightly flabbergasted and couldn’t think of a reply before she walked away. Why can I never come up with quick replies? Oh – could be because my M.E affects my brain! It has, clearly, stuck with me and it’s something that upset me.
However, over 5 weeks later, I can put a positive spin on what she said. ‘That’s the trendy thing to care about now, isn’t it?’ suggests that she is aware of M.E advocacy, possibly aware of the M.E debate in Parliament this year, it means that we are VISIBLE. Whether she chooses to accept M.E/C.F.S as real or not, her words have implied that she is aware of the hard work of the many advocates and charities who are working blooming hard to bring about change.
I’m not naive, she was deliberately choosing negativity but I choose not to be drawn into it. I/we are ‘trendy’! Can you feel the tide turning? Even a little bit? I can….ever so slightly….tiny ripples are starting to form. Her words have turned into a motivator, I’d like to thank her and everyone else who directs negativity in my direction. You spur me on and open my eyes to the fact that, although we are making tiny steps in terms of progress, we still have a long way to go.
Happy New Year to all of Foggy’s Followers! Foggy and I wish you all oodles of love and hope that 2020 brings better health, love (in whatever form it takes), and progress for us all xxxxxx
p.s Foggy has had an AWESOME time in Mexico – he loved the foam party! (see pic)
Don’t forget to donate. Foggy isn’t just for fun, he’s for fun-draising! Donate here> https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mefoggydog
Thank you x