Tuesday, 10 May 2011

M.E. Awareness Week - 8th - 15th May 2011

Today I am taking a detour from cupcaking (slightly) to tell you about a very misunderstood and badly publicised illness, M.E (also known by some as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I toyed up with publishing this as I didn't want people to look at me differently but then, I thought hey the more good press on this illness the better!

I have had M.E. for over 11 years and it has caused a lot of problems but has also helped me overcome these problems and has not stopped me from achieving what I have today - a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and now my own business. Of course, I have had to adapt my lifestyle and make sacrifices - it has been, by no means easy. But I have peservered and I have never given up on the thought that some day I will get better.

So, what is M.E. you ask? Well the problem with M.E. is that as of yet, there is no known cause or cure so it is just something that most doctors say 'sorry, there's nothing we can do. You just have to live with it.' It is an extremely debilitating illness which causes extreme fatigue, migraines, muscle pain and spasms, light sensitivity, nausea, brain fog (confusion/slow working brain!!) and a miriad of other life altering symptoms. A good analogy would be to imagine you had an all night drinking and dancing session, followed by a bout of the flu and a hangover but that it lasted 11 years (and counting!)

The problem with M.E. is that people see you on a 'good' day and think you're fine, but most people with M.E. don't let you see them on a 'bad' day when they are too tired to move or in too much pain to get out of bed. Just like you wouldn't want people to see you with a hangover!

If you would like more information on this misunderstood illness please do visit  http://www.meassociation.org.uk/ or http://www.ayme.org.uk/ (a website for young people with M.E. who without I would have felt even more isolated.)

Now for the positives! Yes, I have a debilitating illness, yes, I find day to day life a struggle but no, I am NOT going to let it stop me. In a way, I am one of the lucky ones, I am able to live a relatively 'normal' life in comparison to some of my very dear friends who are housebound and are too ill to leave. This blog is for them as much as it is for me.

Due to my illness, I found that a 'regular' job would just not cut it. People do not understand that I am not 'lazy' or 'depressed' but that I have a physical illness that affects my ability to do a normal job if I do not take certain measures. With cupcaking, I can work around my illness whilst doing something I love. I can take rests when I need to, I don't have to worry about the boss not believing me and I can work to my own schedule. I do a lot of my admin in bed so I can save my energy for the things that are important to me - making the best tasting and looking cupcakes in Hertfordshire (and who knows, maybe one day the world ;). M.E. has made me even more determined to be the best and to achieve everything I want to. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I love my job and I love making people happy and perhaps without this illness I may not have gone into cupcaking. I could be sitting in an office falling asleep from boredom opposed to from having made 100 cupcakes for someone's special day!

So please, before you go to call someone lazy think of me and the thousands of other sufferers who battle everyday against prejudices and this illness to try to live a normal life. Oh and have a cupcake ;) This May I will be selling M.E. Awareness cupcakes for £2.00 each with 50p per cupcake going to M.E. charities - so do spread the word! And please do have a look at this short video that my friend and fellow sufferer Daisy Hill made for MEAW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDttA7kN-30&feature=share

I hope this blog has been informative and helped raise some awareness. Please comment, share and smile :) Normal cupcaking will resume very shortly!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

My First Wedding Order

So not long after celebrating my first year of business, I get to celebrate my first wedding order and I'm pleased to say it went very well. And I thought the whole set up looked very beautiful and the cakes went really well. It was a perfect day for a wedding and the groom said they had an amazing day and absolutely adored the cakes. So now for what you've been waiting for... the photos!

Until next time, Happy Cupcaking!