Thursday

Hello// Me, Michael & M.E

Today I introduce to you a very lovely blogger who's blog inspires me so. Her positivity and smiley face is beyond amazing when you hear more about her. Also she has the cutest pups!
Anyway enough from me... over to Laura.
Me, Michael & M.E is a lifestyle blog that I write with my fiance Michael based around living with the chronic illness M.E, with posts on how I deal with being ill and posts hopefully helping others to cope with their own lives.

How long have you been blogging for?
We've just reached 2 years of blogging! We started the blog after nearly a year of being bed bound and Michael having to be my carer. I felt useless and didn't have any medical help so I wanted to try to help others in the same situation. I couldn't imagine life without blogging now and I've met so many wonderful people since I started.
I only knew a small amount about M.E before reading your blog. Please tell us more.
M.E (also known as CFS) stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a chronic neuro immune disease which is thought to affect around 250,000 people in the UK. You can get M.E at any range, young or old, and even children as young as 5 years old have been to know to suffer from this horrible illness. We also call ourselves Spoonies because of Spoon Theory which is a great way of describing what chronic illnesses is like to a well person. The list of symptoms is long, and add to that the fact that most people with M.E go on to get other illnesses because of M.E. The main symptoms are; headaches, muscle pain, extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, insomnia, light/noise/smell sensitivities, brain fog, dizziness, IBS, joint pain, lack of temperature control, sore throat, feeling sick, bloating. Basically, imagine having done a marathon, add to that the flu and then going to the gym everyday and you've got MILD M.E Unfortunately I suffer from severe M.E (I've been severe for 3 years and had M.E a total of 6) which means I am permanently bed bound, have to use a commode in my bedroom, can't lift my head up and sometimes have to be spoon fed. I'm lucky i have such a wonderful man who doesn't mind being my carer and doing all the rubbish jobs. But, that's not the worst of it, some people are even worse than me and have to be fed through a tube and use a catheter! Even worse than that, most of us have experienced people, even Doctors and health workers, who believe M.E. is all in the mind and a few people have even been put in psychiatric hospitals, who later died because of mistreatment. Yes, people die from M.E  You can find out more on my M.E page and see what it's like to live with severe M.E here.
For M.E awareness month, you have been blogging every day- how have you found it?
When I came up with the idea of posting everyday for M.E Awareness Month I knew it was going to be a huge challenge, but I didn't quite realise how much. Luckily, i'd been squirreling away posts since the new year, and nagging Michael to get writing so I could dip into them. For someone who can't sit up, let alone walk, this month has been incredibly hard for me. But, it's important to me that I raise awareness and show people how poorly M.E can make you. I've had such wonderful support though, lots of lovely comments and so many people sharing my posts. I also set up a Just Giving page so people could sponsor me throughout M.E Awareness Month and I've already passed my target!
Michael makes the yummiest treats. What is your favourite dish he makes you?
Oh god. I can't answer that! I'm vegan and gluten-free (since having M.E I have developed intolerances to wheat and dairy, though I've always been a veggie and wanted to be vegan) so there's no meat in sight. I love Michael's ratatouille, and it's easy to eat, bonus! But, I have a really big sweet tooth so of course I love cake. My favourite would have to be this Avocado Polenta Cake, it sounds weird but it's absolutely delicious. Eating is such a challenge when you're ill and I have suffered from Anorexia for 10 years so it's important to Michael that he makes me lots of yummy foods that I enjoy and are easy to get down to keep me eating. I have to mention when Michael carves a melon up too, our dog loves it and it's fun to share with her and make her prance about for a slice . Michael never eats anything he makes me as he's the biggest carnivore I've ever met, hates most fruit and veg, and lives off meat, pasta and sweets.
What is your favourite tea?
I love tea. I used to drink a lot of Earl Grey as my family all drink it and it's still one of my favourites because it reminds me of my Nan and Pamp and their house. And, I use herbal teas to help with symptoms, like chamomile to help with insomnia, fennel to help with digestion and bloating or ginger to help with nausea. But, my favourite tea would have to be raspberry tea or green tea. I love any green tea, but it's nicest when it's flavoured. Twinings do a great collection of flavoured green teas. My Mum is obsessed with tea sets (she probably has around 15 tea cups) but she never uses them! If that was me, i'd have a different tea cup for each tea.
Which three blogs are your favourite & why?
I love this blog (I mean, it's called The Tea Drinking English Rose, you got me at the title) but i guess i'm not allowed to count that so... 
My lovely friend writes the blog Katharine and M.E and she really gets across what we go through and she's the nicest girl. I also did an interview with her on my blog for M.E Awareness Day. 
And Winding Ridge Lane as we're a dog house, I love reading about Piri's place and showing Michael all the amazing photographs of the sweet dogs. I also really love Jane's writing and we love rooting for Pirri as he gets older. 
And From Roses because I love how Rebecca writes and her photo's are always beautifully shot. She's also such a lovely genuine person who doesn't completely ignore me when I ask about things from an M.E sufferers point of view. 
I read so many blogs that I absolutely love, reading blogs for a bit everyday keeps me sane and gives me a link to the outside world. I've also written a post about all the other M.E bloggers and written a little about each one, they're all such wonderful girls with great blogs.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about Laura, her wonderful positivity and her lovely blog as much as I have.
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