ME Foggy Dog’s Highlights of 2021

Hi,

I don’t know about you but, for me, 2021 flew by!

I’ve not kept track of what month we are in throughout the entire year! It’s all been very same-y and seasons have all blended from one to the other. I haven’t had the usual Foggy ‘milestones’ to judge where I’m at. This is mostly due to shielding 98% of the time, my life has been devoid of social cues – other than those seen on social media or in private Whatsapp messages.

2021 has been a pretty rubbish year all-round but I’m going to squeeze my memory bank to come up with some positives.

My first post of 2021 (1st January 2021 at 08.15)

‘Morning all!
 
2021….hello ūüėä
 
My wish for 2021- bring about #socialchange for #pwme in terms of reducing stigma, improving the very poor knowledgebase, and getting our disease acknowledged.
 
I’m working on it with Foggy and Stripy Lightbulb CIC (stripylightbulb.com)
 
#2021makeawish #DreamsComeTrue #2021 #mecfs #chronicillness #myalgicencephalomyelitis #happynewyear’

Did our dreams come true?

Here are the highlights of 2021 for Team Foggy.

Awareness

‘What is M.E? (January 2021)

Watch   What is M.E?

Video recorded during lockdown, completely a DIY effort and from a very dodgy camera angle but….with the help of a ‘video-editor’ this video was produced. A combination of worsening illness and software no longer being available = my brain can’t cope with complicated video editing like it used to in 2014-2018! Long term Foggy Followers will know that my content has changed over recent years….in fact, since my Windows 7 died. RIP. You are missed!

Press Nonsense

There has been a LOT of reactive negative, but necessary, stuff that has had to be addressed over the past year. PG being on BBC Breakfast and being unchallenged after erroneous claims were made, inaccurate and downright offensive rubbish has been printed in the UK press ALL YEAR. My advocacy has reflected that. I started an ‘Online Journalist Resource’ but stopped my efforts when it became clear that other orgs were doing the same. As with all people with M.E, I have such limited energy, I don’t waste it on duplication. It’s wasted effort and energy.

Legal Fund

Then came the ‘Legal Fund’.

Blog post – M.E/C.F.S Patients’ Legal Fund. (Explainer video) I thought this was such a good idea but I found many M.E patients couldn’t understand what the money would be used for. I did as much as I could to increase understanding but this was another idea, start of a campaign, that came to nothing. Thank you to the MANY advocates and pwME that privately messaged me with support during these stressful weeks. There have been a few instances since where this legal fund would have been a great asset for our community to have but, that idea has now been and gone.

Fundraising

Watch this РHow we fundraise  THIS is the case whether Team Foggy are actively campaigning or not. You can donate all-year round via Paypal Рlink/button is on our home page Р mefoggydog.org .  Cure ME are currently requesting donations, they need funding. If you donate via Paypal through ME Foggy Dog please make it clear it is for Cure ME and we will allocate accordingly.

Team Foggy’s AWESOME friend Ryn and her husband John displayed fantastic entrepreneurial spirit during the summer and raised ¬£488 to be split 50/50 between¬† ¬†Cure ME and ME Foggy Dog. They had a flower stall outside their home for months and neighbours, family, and friends donated plants, pots, and other items to sell. Fantastic community spirit!! Ryn is already planning on repeating this mini-enterprise next year. All money raised for ME Foggy Dog will be put towards our future fundraising events for Cure ME.¬† Ryn and John’s ‘flower stall’ fundraising featured in a LSHTM blog post! ME Fundraiser¬† – Ryn Stevens.

Long Covid and M.E/C.F.S overlap

This is something that has been making my head hurt for over 18 months.¬† Watch – My recommendations for managing Long Covid. It’s been tough, HARD work trying to get local/central Government to listen. They are all stuck on the ‘it’s a completely new phenomenon’. Uh….nope. Extra frustrating given that we KNOW that many Long Covid cases are being diagnosed as M.E/C.F.S.

M.E Awareness Week 2021

Ha! The plan was to ‘cut back’ on my activities during our awareness week. I raise awareness all-year round so any increase wipes me out. I ended up doing more work than ever within a shorter period of time. As I said at the time, M.E patients were not my target audience (though I was grateful to all who tuned in) and so the length of the ‘talk’ was appropriate for ‘healthy’ people not M.E patients. As I’ve said a million times since 2014, we should always reach outside of our bubble with our awareness efforts. So, you can imagine how surprised I was to be criticised, by people within our community, for holding an awareness event that was 1 hr 15 minutes in length. Particularly given that most business webinars and online events I tune in to every week are the same length of time. It caused a significant crash but I was happy with the turnout and feedback from ‘healthies’.¬† Watch it here – in chunks if you have M.E! Read about how it went!

The NICE ‘Pause’

Blog  РThis was written BEFORE the nonsense started. So, this blog is a positive highlight!

Team Foggy had T-shirts  and a strong opinion about the delay!

Read our article in Posability Magazine (Pgs 48-49)¬† ‘An Unprecedented Pause’

The NICE Publication!

29th October 2021, not as all-changing as we would have liked and it is increasingly clear that many medics/NHS/Department of Health and Social Care simply will not budge with their false beliefs re. exercise and CBT for M.E.

So…..

ME Foggy Dog launched a petition…..and then a wider campaign.

Shake It Up!

This has kept me busy and out of trouble for the past 4 months, the petition was launched on 2nd November and the wider campaign, with the help of Kat Gower, went ‘live’ on 25th November 2021. I’m in no doubt that this will be a hard slog and may well be ongoing over Summer 2022 and beyond. It will involve a complete 180 degree turn in mindset.

Podcast – ‘Shake It Up’! (available for 90 days) I was joined by Kat Gower, Linda Hending, and Steve Topple for a chat about the need for this new system. Also available in our Patreon channel podcast ‘archive’.

Transcript – FogPod ‘Shake It Up”

Please do sign the petition and take part in the ‘Shake It UP’ campaign. Every signature (anyone, anywhere, can sign) and/or email to your MP and Lord Kamall (UK residents only) counts and matter to me personally (Thank you).

Steve Topple (The Canary) wrote this article about the issue we are tackling with ‘Shake It Up’. Thanks again Steve.

There are more ‘phases’ of this campaign to come in 2022, please do keep your eyes peeled for the latest developments on whatever social media channel you use.

ME Foggy Dog has a presence online in a lot of different places!

Our website – mefoggydog.org

E-newsletter (sign up in  the footer of the website)

Twitter – @mefoggydog

Facebook – @FoggyDog

Instagram – @mefoggydog

Spotify

Buzzsprout

Google My Business – If you are a fan of Team Foggy, could you leave us a review? Let people know how awesome we are? Review us

We Are A Social Enterprise!

ME Foggy Dog has been a social enterprise since September 2018, it became one at the same time that I launched Stripy Lightbulb CIC. ME Foggy Dog has won awards as a social enterprise. But…..I forgot to become a member of Social Enterprise UK until this week. MY M.E brain thought that I did this years ago as I have participated in SEUK campaigns and won an ‘award’ from them…doh. So, Foggy now has a couple of shiny new badges on his website. Social Enterprise UK has been very supportive of all of my M.E work for a few years now…I can’t believe (I have M.E – it’s easy to believe!)¬† I forgot to join their membership.

Shiny new badges –

Social Enterprise UK Certified Member

Anyone unsure of what a social enterprise is?

It’s a not-for-profit business that works for the benefit of a cause or community. There are different business models within the term ‘social enterprise’, ME Foggy Dog is a sole trader model.¬† I run it like a normal ‘sole trader’ business but 50% of our surplus (AKA profit), when we make some, will go to Cure ME for biomedical research. We are continuing with our fun fundraising campaigns too so from the outside it doesn’t look like we’ve changed much over the years but….we have! It doesn’t help that one year into becoming a business,¬† I had put ME Foggy Dog to one side while I concentrated on Stripy Lightbulb CIC for the first year, the pandemic hit and most of our revenue streams were not possible. That’s why we haven’t made a surplus (profit) YET. It’ll happen…..one day!

In our case, we work for the benefit of the M.E/C.F.S community.

Always have, always will.

2022….here we come!

We are reeeeeeeeally looking forward to injecting a bit of fun and globetrotting back into our lives. Hopefully, that will be possible in 2022. As I have said a number of times during the pandemic, our usual ‘World Tour’ activities are simply too risky given that ‘Foggy-sitting’ involves trips out and taking Foggy to the ‘Departure Lounge’ (Post Office). That’s simply not possible when so many countries are intermittently in lockdown and I wouldn’t ask an M.E patient or their family to put themselves at risk of catching COVID19 so Foggy can get home.

If you have any ideas re. fundraising during the pandemic please let me know!! It’s frustrating as in February 2020 I had MANY plans afoot in terms of face-to-face fundraising events. All scrapped/on hold.

That’s it.

That’s our 2021 wrapped up in blog form.

We hope you have enjoyed following us this year, it’s certainly been a rollercoaster!!

I’ll be stepping away from ME Foggy Dog between 21st December 2021 and 2nd January 2022. I need to recharge and reset ready to tackle whatever 2022 throws at us!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and, whatever you are able to manage, we hope that you are able to take some joy from the Christmas period. Please know that if you do find you are struggling in terms of your mental health there will be organisations available 24/7 to help and support you. You are not alone.

Ho ho ho!!

Love

Sally

and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY)

xxxxxxx

Foggy HQ has been twinkly light and glitter-bombed!
Foggy HQ has been twinkly light and glitter-bombed!