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Friday, 9 June 2017

Whirlwind!

Hello!

So much has been happening in the past couple of weeks. I figured it was time to let you all know about all of the small, but significant, developments made getting ready for Foggy's launch on 5th July.

So, where to begin! I guess many of you will have seen Foggy's logo? He's not had one before so
Team Foggy is very excited! It will be great to add to the 'brand' and it will make anything Foggy does instantly recognisable. So you should see this logo everywhere! Thank you to Ali Schillemore (Twitter @AliSchillemore) for donating her time, energy and expertise for free to help our cause.

Now I have the logo sorted, I will be sorting Foggy's business cards, flyers, global travel bag etc.

Foggy LOVES cake. One of the first things he asked me to organise for his launch was a yummy dog-themed cake for his partygoers to enjoy. So, I contacted Jack Preston at Sweet Science Patisserie. You can see from his Facebook page - his cakes are delicious creations! Jack is donating this cake to our cause. Thank you Jack.

I want the launch party to be great fun with fantastic music. A young singer called Chloe Anne was recommended to me. She is a local Portsmouth musician and is extremely talented. She has also volunteered her services for free. She will be performing with my friend Ian Thomas who will accompany her on Saxophone. It will be great live music! Take a look at Chloe Anne's Facebook page.

I want the launch party to be great fun! With that in mind, my friend Laura Rose has offered the use of her vintage VW camper/photo booth services for the evening. She owns Lulubelle's Limousine, her camper is usually used at weddings and events to add photo fun! So, come along and play around with photos and props!

Next, the raffle had to be organised. I figured it was a good/simple way to raise cash on the night to get Foggy's fund off to a great start. I underestimated how much work is involved when trying to get businesses to donate prizes. It is particularly tricky when the cause is an invisible illness that is rarely understood! I listed the donors in my previous blog so won't do that again here. But, I would like to say again how grateful I am for their generosity. I have a number of supermarket and Amazon vouchers so will be able to buy prizes closer to the event too. Today, a bottle of London Dry Gin arrived in the post, not for my own personal consumption unfortunately! Thank you to Sipsmith for the donation (Found on NotontheHighStreet).

I am not liking promoting the launch party. It reminds me of past birthday parties - personality contest! Free tickets are being booked slowly and steadily but there are still a lot left. Book tickets HERE!  Please share this blog and encourage friends and family to attend. It would be an awful shame if not many people came after all of this effort! I have promoted it everywhere I can think of so now Team Foggy have to keep their paws crossed!

One bit of fab news is that Foggy will have an official promo video. Susan from Elephant in Scarlett, a local video production business, came to Foggy HQ last week and filmed Foggy and I. Footage will be turned into a short clip explaining what ME Foggy Dog is, for anyone who hasn't come across us before. This is a fab development and will certainly help to promote the Foggy 'brand'. Susan will also be filming the launch party and broadcast the event on Facebook Live. I had planned on filming it on my phone but, thanks to Susan, footage will now be of a good quality! However, the venue doesn't have wifi.......  Another issue to be overcome but... it'll be fine!

Finally....MERCHANDISE!! I have discovered bulk shipping. This will make selling stuff a lot simpler and I won't have to sell a certain amount before having them printed and shipped. My last venture into merchandise was a bit of a nightmare. This new way will be sooo much better! I will be launching the merchandise during the launch party. Foggy's 'shop' will be 'opened' on the website, mefoggydog.org, on the day of the launch! I will set prices low enough to make £1.50 profit on each item. That profit will be added to Foggy's fund. You can choose from mugs, t-shirts, vests and hoodies. At the moment, there are 3 different designs that cater for men and women.

There is also something top secret going on that COULD be very exciting. More info to come if I am successful.

Phew! This blog sums up my past month or so! 

Thank you for following Foggy....July 5th here he comes!

Sally (and Foggy....obviously)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Charity Raffle Prize Donations

Hello,

As you will probably be aware, I have spent quite a lot of time over the past month or so contacting various businesses asking if they would like to donate a raffle prize for Foggy's raffle in return for free promotion on Foggy's online stuff.

I have had a great response from supermarkets to beauty salons. Foggy Followers and my own family members have donated vouchers for me to buy prizes for the raffle. I am very grateful for everyone's generosity. However, I wanted to write this blog because a number of businesses have said that they only support children's charities, I want to explain something.

I completely understand what they mean by 'children's charities' but, do they know that M.E (or the
ridiculous C.F.S) is the major cause of childhood school absenteeism in the UK? M.E IS a childhood illness (in part). So, we may not be a neo-natal unit or be specifically aimed at children but the ME Association does support children with their work.

I have contacted well over 150 organisations and had positive replies from 10. M.E is not a trendy illness. We are invisible and misunderstood, and so getting positive responses was always going to be an uphill struggle.

Other news - 
The launch is getting bigger!!
We will have live music from a very talented young lady called Chloe Anne -Click the link to see her Facebook page.Chloe Anne She will be supported by Ian Thomas, a friend of mine, Former RM Musician and great Saxophonist.

The event will be screened live on Facebook Live. I was going to film it via my phone but after meeting up with Sue from Elephant in Scarlett (a video production company who is generously going to film a Foggy promo video free of charge) it will now be filmed using a top quality camera to make sure it's of a decent quality. So, if you can't come on the night you can watch it from home (Please come if you can though)!

My friend Laura Rose owns a campervan/limousine business and has offered the use of her gorgeous red vintage camper van at the start of the evening. So, anyone who attends the launch can have their photo taken with Foggy inside/outside of the van when they arrive. Great fun! Laura will also be bringing her photo booth (usually used at weddings) so we can all have fun with photos on the night. I'll be supplying props etc.

There will be a 20 minute talk from me OBVIOUSLY. I want to raise some awareness as well as raise money.

The charity raffle will have a minimum of 15 quality prizes so it will be well worth buying a ticket or 10! You've got to be in it to win it!

There will be a cake! Sweet Science Patisserie is donating a dog themed cake for the event. Foggy LOVES cake! Thank you, Jack, for your generosity.

Here is the link to Foggy's Launch Party - He hopes you can come!! It'll be a lot of fun!
'Buy' your free ticket by clicking the link and booking.  Foggy's Launch Party The venue has allowed 120 guests. I want to fill that room!

Love,

Sally xx


Friday, 21 October 2016

It has not exactly been 'restful'!

Hello!

Foggy is enjoying his well-earned break in Foggy HQ and while he is snoring I thought I'd write this blog to tell you how I have been health-wise to since the last campaign ended.

My 'vertigo' lasted 3 and a half months before it was finally diagnosed as chronic migraines. Which is EXACTLY what happened at the start of my M.E experience. So, after a few weeks of beta-blockers, my symptoms eased and I was able to get back to living my life. However, my body had different plans!

One week after my dizziness stopped, I travelled to Surrey for a much needed catch up/girl's
weekend. I had paced myself to make sure I was fit and well (ha!) for the drive and arrived there excited for the weekend ahead. We had a glass of wine while we were getting ready to go out on the town, ordered a taxi and headed down the stairs. Da da dahhhhhhh, I fell down the last 3 steps and landed on all fours on HARD laminated flooring. My friend, who is a nurse, was concerned and asked if I was ok, I assured her that I was. Purely because it had been so long since my last night out (probably about 9 months), I was determined to go out come hell or high water. At that point, my legs/feet had gone numb and I wasn't in pain. I was wearing heels..... we ventured out to local pubs. My mentality was to grit my teeth, hobble and get on with having a good time. Unfortunately for me, a couple of pubs had wooden floors and my, now very unstable ankles, didn't want to keep me upright. I slipped at least 3 times. As the drinks flowed more and more I started to find my clumsiness funny....I didn't laugh for long!

We ended up dancing in a club at about 11pm. I kept attempting to dance and lost count of the number of times I slipped. Thank goodness for low-level sofas breaking my fall as I toppled backwards! Luckily (?), the alcohol was acting as a kind of anaesthetic and the pain, at that point, wasn't overwhelming. However, one last stop at the bar to buy drinks put an end to the evening's frivolity. Someone had spilled drink on the floor and I slipped AGAIN, this time my, already weakened, ankle was wrenched sideways. My friend realised that I had reached my limit and bundled me outside.

Some of her medical friends saw us sitting outside the club (think '24 hours at A&E' and you can
imagine what we looked like!) and checked my foot over. A consultant friend said he would drive us to A&E to be checked over. So off we went.... 6 hours later.....
I was told I had a badly sprained ankle that would take 6 weeks to heal. However, subsequent consultants have said I chipped 3 pieces of bone off the top of my foot. I am 100% sure that I have internal broken bones but as the treatment would be the same it makes no odds now.

Anyway, I wanted to use this blog to show how M.E affects the healing process. I had my accident at the end of July and am still healing. I saw a physio consultant a month ago and I mentioned that I do M.E advocacy and asked her if me having M.E is the reason healing was taking so long. She said probably, but that there was no specific research to draw on. She said that using common sense and knowing a bit about the condition would lead her to say that it was the reason it was taking so long. Purely because M.E slows everything down and so something that would usually heal in 6 weeks could take up to 3 times longer in an M.E patient. I am currently doing hydrotherapy to try and build my muscle strength and balance but, as I didn't have good balance before the accident, I am not sure how they will gauge my progress!

While all this has been going on I have also been experiencing double vision. Now, this could 'just' be a symptom of M.E. but I went to the opticians to get it checked. they sent me for an emergency eye appointment. After a Saturday afternoon full of eye tests, the consultant said he believed my beta-blockers, which I was taking for my Migraines, were weakening the muscles in my eyes, making focusing my eyes more difficult and slower. He believed that drug sensitivity (a M.E symptom) was the cause.  He said 'what would you rather have? Migraines or very temporary double vision?'. Oooh, I get to choose?! I have decided to come off the beta-blockers as I don't like flooding my body with drugs. So, now it's a case of wait and see. I'll have to decide what action to take if the dizziness/migraines return...if they ever do.

I had planned on taking time out from Foggy to de-stress and sort my own life out but my efforts have been massively limited due to being on crutches for 10 weeks (VERY TIRING!). I still can't drive or walk far. As I type this I have an ice-pack on my foot as walking today has made my foot swell up again.

M.E affects all systems and aspects of bodies and our bodies don't stick to the medical profession's timetable. I think it's also evident that medication for M.E symptoms can lead to other problems that can also be confused with M.E symptoms.

The biggest drawback? I had to wear flat shoes to my 40th birthday party! #badtiming!


Happy birthday to me :)

Love,

Sally xxx

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Clarity

Hi!

I just feel the need to clear up some confusion. Foggy's campaigning finished yesterday. However, his 'Wrap Party', otherwise known as Canada Day, was last night. Due to the time difference, photos haven't been received yet. I should get some really good photos of festivities later today.

Foggy's Fund is remaining open until Monday 4th July.

So, if you love the 'Wrap Party' photos and want to donate you are able to do so. Foggy's hard work over the past 5 months can be seen in all of his social media streams (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram - account names are either ME Foggy Dog OR Sally Callow). Please take a look at what he has got up to and if you appreciate his efforts please donate via mefoggydog.org.

I am anticipating more funds to be donated and so I won't know the final total until Monday. I'll let you all know what the grand total is asap.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated. Your support is greatly appreciated. The need for research funding is so great Foggy is hoping that the fundraising baton will be picked up by lots more people during his absence.

As I have already said, I am giving myself a complete break from Foggy for a year. I was told by a counsellor yesterday that I need to learn about Pacing....ha!! I know all about Pacing, I'm just not very good at holding my enthusiasm in check! My body has started to react to the additional brain power needed to run this global campaign and so I need to take a step back to take care of myself. That said, I may not be visible on social media but am still contactable by email if you need support, advice or have a Foggy related query. Email me via the website mefoggydog,org OR direct using mefoggydog@gmail.com.

I hope you enjoy looking at Foggy's party photos! I can't wait to see what he got up to!

Take care of yourselves.

Love,

Sally xxxx

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Ouch

Hi,

Throughout Foggy's life I have made a point of saying I am lucky enough to not suffer from M.E chronic pain. However, things have started to change over the past 3 months. I am currently undergoing tests and physio to try to deal with an extremely painful right arm. RSI, Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis have been ruled out and the physio believes it to be a nerve issue. I know this doesn't 100% mean that it is yet another M.E symptom to deal with but the odds are quite high! Obviously, having Hypermobility Syndrome confuses things even further when added to the mix!

I am writing this blog today because my initial physio assessment yesterday 
was quite amusing. He ran through a list of questions to rule out possibilities. However, I answered every question with 'I have that every day with my M.E so I don't know if this problem is adding to that!'. So then we moved on to 'No, my arm issue does not make that symptom any worse than usual'. A few of
the questions were as follows:


- Do you experience dizziness?
- Do you experience balance issues?
- Do you experience nausea?
- Do you experience blurred vision?....

It was a long list so I won't go through all of it, I'm sure you get the idea!

It struck me that I could have an underlying illness, not connected to M.E. but we (combination of doctors and myself) wouldn't be able to tell as M.E overlaps EVERYTHING! So much health stuff can be found under the umbrella of M.E it is difficult to estimate where M.E stops and something else takes over.

At the moment, my right arm hurts from my hand up to my armpit. Most of the pain is in the crook of my elbow though and so any time I bend my arm - typing on my mobile phone is EXCRUCIATING -  I am in pain. I have decided that once Foggy finishes on Friday I am going to remove social media from my phone. The combination of less mobile use and less laptop work for Foggy will hopefully help the problem. It won't fix it though.

It is slightly worrying that my M.E is changing/getting worse but I am altering my lifestyle to adapt to the changes. My GP has said the best approach is physio and painkillers. I am not keen to start on more medication but sometimes the pain takes my breath away so it's a case of needs must. I am hopeful that a year long break from Foggy will allow my body the chance to settle down and rest properly. My current situation is not helping my severity level either. Being unemployed and actively looking for work is stressful....stress and M.E do not work well together!

Love,

Sally xx

p.s. There are 2 days left! Please donate if you haven't done so already! Donate via mefoggydog.org. Thank you xx

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Plea

Hello,

There are now just 3 days to go until Foggy's Wrap Party (AKA Canada Day).

Foggy is very upset that only around £30 has been raised in the past month (excluding the donation from his Canadian sitters). He has done so much fun sporty stuff in that time in the hope that humans might be inspired to donate towards M.E medical research. He's done Ice Hockey (been interviewed!), watched an American Football game, tried Longboarding and been Cycling. A few photos and videos are below to show you how hard Foggy has been working.

Foggy at the Stanley Cup Playoff Final! Click to watch the short videos.
Longboarding!

*Foggy* Go Penguins!

Foggy loved watching American Football....in Canada
*Foggy* Let's go!

Foggy's PA would like to thank Kathryn, 'D' and Chris for all of their efforts in helping Foggy raise awareness and money for the ME Association. They have exceeded what was anticipated and for that Sally will be eternally grateful xxx Click here to see all of Foggy's Americas photos

Sally knows it is a problem many charities face. Followers/audiences engage with the fun stuff that is done to raise money for a cause but are reluctant to donate. Foggy has DONE sport for the past 6 months (What Foggy has done so far!) and feels his Foggy's Fund should be a little bigger than it is at present. His balance stands at £508 plus gift aid. His tiny Foggy brain doesn't think that number matches the amount of work Team Foggy has put into this campaign. The average cost of an M.E research study is £30,000.....

Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to donate so far, you have helped in the quest for research funding.

This is a plea to everyone who has enjoyed Foggy's exploits - please donate and help to make Foggy's dream of funding research come true. Donate whatever you can afford, in whatever currency you use. This is a global campaign because M.E is a global illness.

Donate via mefoggydog.org

17 million people around the globe say thank you.

Love

Sally xxx


Sunday, 26 June 2016

'Foggy DOES Sport' Photograph Competition!

Hi,

It's that time of the campaign again.

As with 'Foggy's World Tour', I have chosen my favourite photographs for you to choose the best overall winner from. I haven't stuck to one per continent but simply chosen the ones that made me laugh out loud. There have been so many great photos from all over the globe - thank you to all of Foggy's 'sitters' for their efforts for a great cause.
Please take part in the survey below. Simply take a look at the photographs, Choose your favourite and add your vote to the survey. The winning photograph will be announced on July 1st. It's just for fun!

1

2

3
  
4

5

Click to vote for your favourite photograph.

It's not too late to donate. Foggy DOES Sport ends at the end of this week. Please donate via mefoggydog.org. Thank you xx