Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Princess Interview with Princess Emma

When were you diagnosed? Were you ill for long before then? I was officially diagnosed with ME in June 2013. I became poorly in 2005 when I got Glandular Fever halfway through university. I never felt "right" after that !
What did you do before you had ME? Before I had ME I was a primary school teacher. I had been teaching for 8 years.
How did ME first present itself in you?
After getting glandular fever in 2005 I seemed to pick up every bug and virus going including swine flu. I kept going to the doctors as I didn't feel well but didn't know why an the doctors seemed reluctant to help. I would always feel exhausted and aching but at first assumed it was the fact I was a teacher so I forced myself to keep going. I changed doctors and thankfully my new doctor actually listened to me and began running blood tests etc as he felt I had ME. In February 2013 I became very unwell at work and ended up going to hospital. My mum described all my symptoms to one of the doctors and she asked if I had ME.
What is the biggest thing that you miss that ME has stopped you from doing?
The biggest thing would be having to give up my teaching career. Working full time was impossible. I could just about manage part time which I was reluctantly given by my employer who was asked to follow my occupational health report. Sadly I was told I would have to return full time or there would be no job as they couldn't have me work part time (despite other staff being part time due to having babies) so I had to leave. While I miss my friends and the children, there are aspects I don't miss. I had no work life balance and in a strange way ME allowed me to get more of my life back (as crazy as that sounds). I now work in social media and blogging, working part time and from home. A complete change of job and for less money, but I am happier and the job suits my illness.
How do you remain hopeful and/or happy?
I remain hopeful and happy mainly due to the wonderful people I have in my life. My closest friends have been amazing and are always there for me and very understanding of my ME. They often spot I am flagging before I do (I'm stubborn) so they force me to pace myself and they plan regular stops for me if we have a trip out. As one friend said "I don't mind sitting down and drinking tea, we are getting old and it's a great excuse for a natter". What I also love is that they don't see me as their "sick friend". They treat me as they always have done so I feel equal and I am always included. My online friends are also a great support and I love catching up via Instagram etc. My two cats are a great comfort to me too.
What were your reasons for joining The Princesses and ME/ Team Princess?
Apart from the fact I love princesses, I thought it was a great way to raise awareness. I have also made some lovely friends as a result of being part of Team Princess and I hope when our health is better we can have a princess get together.
Do you have any specific plans for what you are going to do for the event?
I will be dressing up as a princess and may attempt photos of different princess eg sleeping beauty, Cinderella etc.
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
To find a cure for ME so my friends and I could be better.
To get married and have a family.
To be well enough to go on a roller coaster tour across America.
Which Disney Princess do you most relate to?
I always wanted to be Ariel when I was little, but I can't swim so I'd make a rubbish mermaid! I can relate to Beauty from Beauty and the Beast because I am caring and I like to see the good in people.

Thank you Emma for taking part in the interview. You can learn more about Emma and her story on her blog The Adventures of Little Me. This year Emma is raising funds for Invest in ME.

Get in touch if you would also like to join The Princesses and M.E this year and also if you would like to take part in an inerview to share your story.

Queenie x

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