M.E. is is a long-term fluctuating neurological illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. Find out more about it in my article 10 myths about M.E….busted!
This short video by Action for M.E. features people with the illness talking about what isolation is like for them and what people can do to make a real difference:
You can find a top ten list of things suggested by people with the illness which you can do right now to reach out to your friend, family member or colleague with M.E. on Action for M.E.’s Don’t Ignore M.E. page , and there is further info on how to support a friend or loved one in the Living with M.E. section of their website .
Things that family and friends do which help me feel less isolated
We’re all different, with different degrees of M.E. severity, and we probably prefer different types of contact with people, but here are some of the things that my family, friends, neighbours and old colleagues do:
- I see my parents about once a week for a natter and Mum’s yum roast dinner always goes down well! My parents also help me with things like financial advice and Dad comes round to do DIY and mow my lawn.
- Bringing some nice lunch round is really lovely
- It’s always great to get a surprise card in the post for no particular reason
- Texting, messaging and Skyping me if I haven’t been in touch for a while is really appreciated. If we’ve lost touch it’s because I’m unwell, not because I don’t want to hear from you. Even if I can’t manage to reply the same day, it really makes me feel more connected to people
- A neighbour offered to get me some milk and told me that if I’m too unwell to see her she’d leave it on my doorstep
- Understanding that I need to plan my week out carefully so that I spread activities out with lots of rest in between and even reminding me when I’m doing too much. More about pacing
- It’s been really good when people have asked me what they could do to make it possible for me to go to something, like giving me a lift or helping out with taxi fares, making sure that there will be seating where we are going, and that it’s easy enough for me to get home on my own if I’m starting to feel unwell. It also helps if there’s a quiet place for me to have breaks.
- Family and friends adding a Twibbon and sharing social media posts about M.E. means so much to me, and it helps information about M.E. reach people who might not be aware of M.E. This is a good one to share: 10 myths about M.E….busted!
If you have M.E., what do you find helps you feel included and less isolated, or what would? You can let others know in the comment section below.