Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Okay, so, i said i would do a post on anxiety, and this is it.
I've always been shy and was quiet at school, but i started having anxiety problems when i was 9 or 10 years old. I remember having my first panic attack when i was 10. I was at a summer fate, and it was hot. There were lots of people, sounds, smells and voices. People hustling and bustling all around me. I was sweating, and the crowds became too much for me.
Anxiety is scary. Especially when it is new and you don't know why you are feeling this way.

Anxiety is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern. Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to most people. A lot of people become anxious before an exam or test, but when you are anxious all the time, about everything. That is when you know you have a anxiety disorder or problem. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a generalised mood that can occur for no reason.
The physical effects of anxiety may include heart palpitations, tachycardia, muscle weakness and tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headaches. As the body prepares to deal with a threat, blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, blood flow to the major muscle groups are increased, while immune and digestive functions are inhibited (the fight or flight response). External signs of anxiety may include pallor, sweating, trembling, and pupillary dilation. Someone who has anxiety might also experience it subjectively as a sense of dread or panic.
Although panic attacks are not experienced by every person who has anxiety, they are a common symptom. Panic attacks usually come without warning and although the fear is generally irrational, the subjective perception of danger is very real. A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or lose consciousness. Between panic attacks, people with panic disorder tend to suffer from anticipated anxiety- a fear of having a panic attack may lead to the development of phobias.
The emotional effects of anxiety may include "feelings of apprehension or dread, trouble concentrating, feeling tense or jumpy, anticipating the worst, irritability, restlessness, watching (and waiting) for signs (and occurrences) of danger, and, feeling like your mind's gone blank" as well as "nightmares/bad dreams, obsessions about sensations, deja vu, a trapped in your mind feeling, and feeling like everything is scary."
The cognitive effects of anxiety may include thoughts about suspected dangers, such as fear of dying. "You may... fear that the chest pains are a deadly heart attack or that the shooting pains in your head are the result of a tumor or something serious!!. You feel an intense fear when you think of dying, or you may think of it more often than normal, or can’t get it out of your mind."
There is loads of help out there for people with anxiety problems. There are various books, websites, and you can also see your GP about it too. One common treatment for anxiety, is for the patient to take anti-depressants. I am not sure why they called them that because they are given to just as many anxiety patients as they are, to depressed patients. I am currently taking Sertraline for my anxiety. Your GP can also refer you to a councillor or mental health specialist. 'Mental Health' sounds really bad. It sounds like they are implying that you have gone mad of something, but don't worry! I see a doctor at CAMHS, which is the Child and Adolescent Metal Health Service. They haven't been very helpful to me but they do help some people :)

Anyway, i think that's enough for now!
Goodnight xx

P>S no idea why some of it is unlined and it wouldnt let me type a full stop then either! Computer gone wrong! Will fix it when i can!
Thursday, 16 February 2012


Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine, called Elaine. I was telling her how I really want to get out more and do all the things that normal teenagers do. I explained how I felt and realised that I feel a bit like Rapunzel. Stuck inside. I like to think of myalgic encephalomyelitis as my 'four walls'. Rapunzels four Walls were literal and although some cannot see mine, they are very much still there. I have no choice but to sit, looking at the same four Walls everyday. Not being able to go out, enjoy life, see the world. Spending a lot of time wondering, dreaming about things I could do. Looking out the window, watching the world go by. The only thing is, Rapunzel escaped. At the end of her story, she is free and lives happily ever after. But I don't know where abouts in my story, I am. I might be at the beginning. I might be near the end. But I guess, I'll never know. My story hasn't ended happily ever after, I am not free from my 'four walls' but someday I will be.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012


After reading Sara Whitestones brilliant post about her 'Ball and Chain', it has given me the confidence to write about one of my feelings in particular. Guilt.
I do feel guilty that i have put my parents through a lot of worry and stress. Since I got ill, they have had to do so much and sacrifice a lot for me and my health. Our whole family has changed. We cant do the things we used to, and i feel guilty, it is all my fault. I feel like a failure. I feel unworthy. Undeserving..
Before i got ill, i went to Grammar school. One of the best in the area. I was bright, and did really well, getting nothing less than A's and B's. I got high grades and was making my parents proud. But now i am forced to be okay with what i've got. I have to accept that i am only getting C's because i have missed a lot of school. C is still average but i know that if it wasnt for M.E, i could be geting a lot higher. I have had to lower my exectations of my mind, and my body, and set more acheivable goals.
I do get disappointed with my body. I get angry if i cant do something or go somewhere, and if my legs dont work. I get upset, and cry and i feel like a burden. I feel like a burden on my family. I feel like my parents deserve a fun, hapy, energntic daughter who makes them laugh. They deserve more. They dont deserve me........
Or maybe i dont deserve them. I dont know?? Maybe they are just too good for me.
I feel that i am in the way. That i am an inconvience. I feel that maybe their lives would be better if i was dead. But, i guess, theyre my family, and they have to stick by me.
But what about my best friend. Lucy. We've known each other since we were 7. She doesnt owe me anything. She doesnt have to stick by me. It hurts me to think of all the things i used to be able to do with her, the things that i cant do anymore. I know that i cant be a brilliant best friend for her all the time, but she is still amazing to me. She has to allow me to have naps. She has to come to visit me cos i cant come visit her. We cant go shopping or out too far together. But she still supports me, which i really dont understand! Why would anyone want to be best friends with me??! Its hard to get my head around why she would want to stand by me. I wouldnt blame her if she walks away. If she doesnt want to be my friend anymore. We've been through so much together, but how can she love me?

How can anyone love me?
Love and rainbows xx
Friday, 10 February 2012

How to help a friend with M.E.

The hardest thing about having ME/CFS is that, for a lot of people, it is chronic. And, because you are sick all the time, you get nothing, whereas your friend who has been in bed with flu for a week, is suffocated with flowers and ‘get well soon’ cards! I get nothing. Am I any less, sick, sad, frustrated, lonely or bored? NO. I need your love, and support now more than ever. When everyone else forgets that I am in this situation, that I struggle with my illness… please remember. It didn’t go away, I didn’t forget, I need you to be my friend.
I dont want sympathy, just empathy.

Things to buy and ways the cheer your friend with, M.E, up:
1.) Buy them some nice pajamas, bedsocks or slippers! These will be well used as a lot of M.E suffers are bed-bound or cannot get dressed somedays. They are also really comfy!
2.) Rent or buy them a DVD or two, and maybe a portable DVD player if they cant get up to sit on the sofa to watch the TV, and dont have one in their bedroom.

3.) Buy them a novelty or funny pillow or cushion! This will make them smile and cheer them up, and everytime they look at it, they will remember that they are not alone! It is also useful and can be used to prop them up or for them to lean against.
4.) Buy them some cute socks with non-stick bottoms! These are cheap, and practical! Think about the person you are buying for. Do they have a particular interest  or hobby? Is their a specific cartoon character or colour that they like?
5.) Offer to put some new music or an audiobook on their ipod for them!
6.) Buy them a crossword puzzle/suduko/game book or magazine, great for kids, and adults too!
7.) Buy or lend them them a deck of cards. Although, i expect they will have some lying around the house from christmas crackers! If so, dig 'em out and have a game of snap!
8.) Buy or lend them a rubix cube
9.) Buy them a held electronic game, i.e. a Nintendo DS. You can get a variety or games for all ages!
10.) Magazines that are personalized to the patients hobbies, tastes etc. E.g. crafting books, politics, fashion etc.
11.) Buy them a tube of unscented hand lotion and some unscented antibacterial hand gel, two things that you can never have enough of. Lots of medications dry out the skin.
12.) Also, baby wipes come in helpful too, if you cant get to the bathroom for a quick freshen up! check out your local supermarkets ‘baby’ toiletry range too, as they are kind to the skin and wont irritate!
13.) A pretty diary or notebook. Spend time, deciding on the cover etc to suit the patient – really good for writing down whats going on, doctors instructions, goals, when to take tablets or medication and things to do! This is also great for writing down goals and aims, things that they want to achieve in the future.
14.) A ready-to-use craft kit, such as a cross stitch set or scrapbook. It is good to feel productive or creative even if you cant leave bed.
15.) If the patient is not restricted with their diet, bring them a  treat! Their favourite snack, chocolates or cakes are great or order them their favorite takeaway!
16.) Buy them flowers! Simple, but effective!!
17.) Bring them some note-cards with pre-stamped envelopes, this way, they can write to whoever they want!
18.) Offer to do their nails or hair! Make them feel special, and pampered!
19.) Offer to do something for them, around the house! Clean, cook, go to the supermarket and stock up on bread and milk for them?
20.) Cook dinners for them, that are easy to freeze and defrost
21.) If the patient has kids, offer to take them out or baby-sit for the day!
22.) Ask what you can do to help, or if they need anything! Sounds silly but is really helpful!
23.) Bring them a selection of board games over
24.) Offer to take care of pets, walk the dog!
25.) Send them a card, get well soon or thinking of you!! It will really cheer them up and put them in a good mood for the rest of the day!
26.) Ring them up, everyday at roughly the same time, to ask how they are
27.) Send them a care package. Get a box and fill it up with goodies. You don’t have to fill it with anything expensive; you can go to the pound shop if you like! Just fun little things, to make the patient smile! Add a note, with a funny message or something to add a personal touch!!
28.) Send them a text or an email to show that you have been thinking of them!
29.) Offer to go with your friend to their hospital or doctors’ appointments!
30.) Help them with everyday tasks. When I am sick, sometimes I am overwhelmed with everyday jobs and errands that I no longer have the energy to do.
31.) Just sit and chat to them for a bit!
These are just a few things that i have thought of.....
Thanks for reading!
Chloe xxx
Thursday, 9 February 2012

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - M.E.
The Symptoms:
    1. Persistent fatigue that does not improve with bed rest or sleep and is severe enough to reduce average daily activity by at least 50% for at least six months.
    2. Muscle weakness and pain, especially in the shoulders, upper arms, thighs
    3. Muscle twitching
    4. Blurred vision
    5. Numbness/pins and needles
    6. Tender swollen lymph nodes, particularly underarms and neck
    7. Joint pain
    8. Poor circulation (cold hands and feet)
    9. Chronic sore throat, often with recurrent flu-like symptoms
    10. Irritable bowel syndrome
    11. Sensitivities (to light, touch, food, chemicals, perfume, paint etc.)
    12. Alteration of taste and smell
    13. Headaches
    14. Rashes
    15. Dryness of mucous membranes (throat, mouth ,eyes)
    16. Mouth ulcers
    17. Uncomfortable or frequent urination
    18. Poor concentration
    19. 'Foggy' thinking
    20. Difficulty speaking and choosing words appropriately (for example saying, black when you mean white)
    21. Poor memory
    22. Interrupted sleep patterns
    23. Depression
    24. Mood swings, anxiety
    25. Brain fog
    26. Inability to control your temperature
Not everyone with ME experiences every single one of these symptoms and there may be a few that i have missed out.
Thank you for reading xx
Sunday, 5 February 2012


Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you are all okay! It started snowing about 8;30pm yesterday evening and carried on, all through the night. There is approx 4 inches out there now, which is quite a lot! At the moment i am not well enough to go out and enjoy the snow properly but i may go out in the back garden for 5 or 10 minutes if i feel up to it, this afternoon.
Okay, so, today i thought I'd do a quick post about blogging. Just to let you know how i blog, why i blog and the format in which i do things. Okay, so, to be honest, i just write. I don't plan ahead, read through, or write out a draft. I think, sometimes that is the best way to do things. If i sat here and planned it all out, worried about grammar etc, then i think it would be boring and would just end up a mess! I honestly just write from the heart and I am sorry if i ramble on sometimes. I have no idea if you guys want to read what i write, or if you'd like me to explain something a bit more, or if you have any questions, please comment or contact me on twitter, @ChloeStickings! I need advice and suggestions! Um...I blog for something to do. To let you guys know what living with ME is like and also to record my process and to raise awarness of ME so that hopefully, people out htere, can see how bad it can be and how much it has changed my life. To be honest, i think my 73 year old nan can go out and do more stuff than i can. She goes shopping into town once a week, looks after my 3 year old cousin at least 4 or 5 times a week. She goes out to visit friends and relatives and has more energy than her 14 year old granddaughter!! Which, really, is not right at all. Things are supposed to be the other way round. Yestetday, i had to get my dad to carry my own handbag because it was too heavy for me. And it takes me at the an hour to write this everyday as i keep having to stop to rest because i am tired, dizzy, in pain or my eyes hurt from looking at the screen.
okay, so, i have rambled on and i have no idea what i have written but yunoe!! Also, i have really bad brain fog, bad memory and bad concentration (one of the symptoms of ME) so i applogise if i repeat myself or dont make much sense! Thanks for reading!
Chloe xxx
Thursday, 2 February 2012

The sick girl

I don’t want to be the 'sick girl'. Just because I’ve been diagnosed with something, it doesn’t mean that I am defined by it. I am my own person, and yes, I have ME but I am my own person, I have a personality and likes and dislikes.
I was me, before ME came along. It is simply, something that i have, not something that i am.
ME is sometimes known as the 'invisable illness'.
I know that I sometimes don’t look ill but believe, me, I feel it! ME is an invisible illness and not everyone understands that. Sometimes I wish that I had a broken leg or something more visible so that others would understand a bit better. I know that I look completely normal but I do have ME. It is surprising how many people give you strange looks when you tell them, they look at you, as if to say, “You don’t look ill”, no, maybe I don’t, but I am and looks aren’t everything.
As a girl, i think its probably easier for us females to hide how we feel. We can slap on a bit of make-up on, and get help with doing our hair. We look completey normal, and most of all, healthy. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Even if you see me out, at the shops, or in a cafe, it doesn't mean that i am back to normal. This is probably the first time i have been out the house in weeks, or maybe months. I will probably spend the next week bed-bound, and in servere pain and discomfort. Please remember that.

This disease is limiting. And it's a disadvantage I might have for the rest of my life. (Hopefully not!! Fingers crossed) But I know that I can get through this. I am trying to smile through this. I'm getting through this. I really do believe that staying positive is an important part of getting better and recovering from my illness.
It upsets me, and weighs me down to think about the things I once was capable of, and all the things that my friends are able to do on a daily basis that i cant.  The things that i used to do everyday, without even thinking about. I feel like i have taken advantage of my body and underestimated how much energy it takes to get up in the morning, make and eat breakfast, get dressed, clean my teeth, climb the stairs. I think about how much I've missed out on... How much has been stolen, and taken away from me...  This past year was one I never would have expected. I never imagined that i would get ill. I think, its one of those things that you are aware of. You know that things like this happen in the world but you never imagine them happening to you. This year has been the most scary, painful, exhausting, upsetting, and trying times for me. Times of unending struggle, pain, and fatigue. And i know, at the moment, that its not going to end. No matter how much i hope, and pray that it does.

Chloe xx
Please comment, what can i improve on?
Sorry if ive made any spelinglol
Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it"

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it" is a common phrase used by me and my family.
ME is an unpredictable illness, and you dont know how you're going to feel in a few hours, let alone a few days. In a week, i roughly have, 2 'good' days, 2 'bad' days and 3 'average' days. But it could change, from one week, to the next.
We cant plan ahead. As a family, we cant orginise a trip to the coast, or wildlife park, because we dont know how i am going to feel. I may have a good day, be able to walk a short way, and be out for 2 or 3 hours. But then again, i might have a bad day, bed-bound, unable to swing my legs over the side of the bed to get out; hardly able to walk downstairs or to the toliet.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it"'What' and 'if' are two perfectly ordinairy words, you probably use them at least once or twice, everyday. Two words, as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together, side-by-side and they have the power to leave you wondering, and haunt you for the rest of your life. What if. What if?
What if I had been well enough? What if i had been able to walk? What if i wasnt ill? What if i had gone out?
These are questions that i frequently ask myself, and sometimes even my parents.

Me, "What if i'm not well enough to go out tomorrow?"
Mum, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it,"
This is a common coversation between me and my mum. With ME, you just have to take everyday as a new one. Enjoy every good moment, and get through every bad one. You cant paln ahead or make decisions too far into the future because you dont know how ill or how well you are going to be.

Thank you for reading, please comment if you have any advice, suggestions or questions for me. Or follow me on twitter @ChloeStickings
Thank you!
Love, Chloe xx