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My Guide to having a nap?

Today we have a new post from a guest blogger. Todays post was written by Laura AKA Patti Smith, a long time M.E Sufferer and Board Member of the Sam and M.E Support Group. Laura has been coming to the group from day one and is an integral part of the running and organising the group along with being at the forefront of our campaign for charity status.  


I was inspired to write this after receiving a message from a fellow M.E. /C.F.C sufferer and a member of my support group let’s call her calamity Jane.

I received a text message saying “Help I am the designated driver at a night out and I’m Knackered”

My first thought was to ask where night out was happening, (as this would determine where it would be possible to go for a nap). I consider myself an authority on napping as I have been M.E/C.F.S napping since 1998. Turned out a dance in a hotel Ok, so there would not be a bed with coats on to hide under and have a nap (this I will explain later). So I then advised her to approach her friends and tell them you are going to the car and when they needed a lift home to come out to the car. I then said go to the car turn the engine on (to prevent her from freezing as your body temperature drops when you fall asleep) and recline the seat and using a coat to cover you have a nap while you wait for everyone else to finish having fun.

So here are a few tips on how to achieve a nap no matter where you are.


  1. House party:  the coats on the bed (as mention before)are a great place to nap because it is comfortable muffles the noise from the party and when everyone is leaving they will find you under the coats and wake you up to go home.
  2. Weddings:  find out which room the bride and groom have booked for their honeymoon (watch out for petals on the bed) and have a lie down in there. You will be awakened in good time to catch the organised bus home and you won’t miss the bride and groom leaving!
  3. Workplace:  now there are a few depending on where you work!!!!

Sales Rep, Clothes Boutique, Office, or House person.

I myself had a perfect set-up (or so I thought) of how to have a nap while I was employed as a field sales rep. I would find myself in need of a nap suddenly as anyone with ME/CFS will understand so I would need to find a parking space ASAP. This time I parked in a housing estate found a place where I thought looked like it was not busy without any double yellow lines. Here is what happened;

I had napped in this way many times so I had tried and tested a few methods and found this particular one perfect!!!!!I got my folder out and opened it up, balancing it on the steering wheel  then placing my elbow on the window edge (not the arm rest as in the past I realised that when I nodded off and my hand slipped from my chin I duntted my head off the window  ouch!!!!!!) So elbow on the window edge and placing my palm under my chin this held my head up even when I nodded off and if my boss passed by It would look as if I was working on my folder……This particular day I had set myself up as described above. It was a bit chilly so left the car running and turned the heater up; I nodded off in my “perfect” position. But with heater on I must have fallen into a deep sleep I was suddenly woken by a chapping on the window lifting my head off the steering wheel with slobbers running down my face I saw two wee old ladies with distressed looks on their face I rolled down the window and they looked at me and said “ you’re not dead”  I looked at them and rather indignant said “no I was sleeping” I realised that the little old ladies must have approached the car terrified  maybe they were neighbours telephoning each other and plucking up the courage to see if someone had committed suicide at their front door… here was I just having a ME Nap!!!!!!!

  1. Workplace clothes shop; This relates to another fellow M.E. sufferer and member of the support group let’s call her Lady Gaga (this is Sam Btw). My suggestion for having a nap here would be to tell your manager/work colleges that you have to do a stock take and you will be unavailable for an hour. Go to stock room find the sales items which are due to go out (they will already be creased so won’t matter if you lie on them) and make a nice bed with them and have a nap. Now after your nap return to shop floor and become irate at being unable to sort the stock room out and make everyone take a turn to sort it out. Adding those sales clothes really need fixed.
  2. Workplace office; (Using similar method to number 3 above) Position a book /folder on your desk and balancing your had on your chin have a wee nap making sure you do not have a hot coffee cup nearby just in case you do the sleep nod and spill the coffee scalding yourself.
  3. House person; You might think this would be the easiest of all naps to take but a everyone knows being at home your work is never done!!!!!! Also we do not want to been seen to be lazy…. So in order to get a nap in the house it must be a precision operation this comes with two options.

(a) No kids; You need to make sure you have the bottom floor of the house tidy for when hubby/partner comes home (the male species notice only the route to the telly, fridge and toilet so make sure this area looks tidy). Take all mess upstairs to a room and close the door make sure there is a coffee cup or tea cup all ready for his/her return and remote is to hand. Then you can go to the luxury of your own bed set the alarm for 15 minutes before he/she returns and have your nap. When he/she comes through the door allow him/her to get his tea/coffee and sit in front of the telly then wander down stairs with a pile of clothes saying” oh! I haven’t stopped all day” and put a washing on. Sorted!

(b) With Kids;  This is a bit trickier as we all know if a kid knows a mother is around they will just shout and shout until they get a response. So! you need to set the hubby/partner up with remote control, kids need to be sat in front of a DVD/game console with enough supplies of crisps and juice for at least 30 min’s and then you say you’re going for a bath (this will give you 20 min’s tops of peace if you’re lucky!!!!) Make sure the bath is not too deep (prevent drowning) then get a bath pillow and prop your head up and take a nap you will not need an alarm for this nap as husband/partner will stir when programme is having an advert and kids will run out of supplies so your guaranteed not to drown or over sleep.

I know 6 (a) is a bit sexist but hey these are tried and tested and it will work with all partners of any gender I promise.

The following are not tried and tested but think they might work.

  1.  Cinema; Easy 1hr and a half nap (fanbloodytastic) make sure you don’t sit next to a chatty person!!!!!!!!
  2.  Church; As above!!!!
  3. Old folks home; No one would notice having your nap as most of the residents will be having a nap too so you will blend in he he!

10. Bed shop;  I like this one would the sales assistant dare wake you up? The way I see it would be a great advert for their beds when other shoppers come in.

Ok now as you can see there are many places and situations where us M.E/ C.F.S can get a nap without disturbing or anyone noticing you’re doing it.

So let’s go we can nap anywhere, anyhow, anytime…

Enjoy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


*Please note that all names have been changed to a character or celebrity pseudonyms to protect identities.
*All material on the Sam and M.E site and Blog is copyrighted. Unauthorised use of any material will be not tolerated.


“And she lived happily ever after”

Today I am in a reflective frame of mind. Possibly because I have just realised it’s been exactly three years since that fateful trip to Manchester that resulted in my legs giving up on me.


It’s strange because looking back now, it seems as if it all happened to someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I still remember vividly what it was like to struggle to walk the shortest distance to the toilet, relying on walking aids and wheelchairs, the muscle pain that became all too familiar and the pitiful look in strangers eyes when they seen a young girl with walking sticks struggle down the street. But now my life is so different. I get to live life instead of just getting by, and I mean LIVE. I don’t do things my half and take full advantage of every opportunity presented to me. I work full time in a job that I love, which at times is very physical and touch wood so far I have been fine.


Last year for 6 months I took a job in a Call Centre, as I wanted to work full time but not be on my feet 24/7. Anyone who has ever worked in a call Centre will know how soul destroying it can be. I hated it. And I was very vocal to many of my friends about it; to the point they were all like, “Sam I think you are over exaggerating just how bad this place is.” But to me the issue wasn’t sitting on the phone all day pretending to be nice to folk who were arseholes with no manners. It was the fact that I had worked so hard to get back on my feet, and I hadn’t given everything I had, to then spend the next few years doing something when the only passion I had for it, was hate. So I got out faster than a speeding bullet, took the risk of doing something more manual and it paid off. And to top it all off in September I am starting another degree relating to my new chosen career, as I said I don’t do things by half.


I get to go out with my friends, party and do crazy adventures stuff and not have to think all the time, “ will this put me in my bed for a couple of months?” and my legs are feeling better than they have ever been. The pain has gone, I exercise and I don’t mean low impact gentle stuff, I run, hike, swim, do yoga, fly. Well I don’t actually fly I just wish I did. Anything a healthy person does I can do, my life is once again limitless. Well that’s not technically true, I probably couldn’t be a drag queen seeing as I don’t have a penis but you get what I mean.


I wouldn’t say I no longer have M.E it still rears its ugly head now and then, especially when I over do it but its now very mild. It’s all about “everything in moderation, even moderation”. I listen to my body, slow down when needed and if I need to stop and rest, I don’t just push through.


A lot of people ask me, “Sam what’s your secret? How are you now doing so well?” and honestly I don’t have one, I just consider myself extremely lucky to have amazing friends and family that helped me through the bad times. I met I boy I knew from school in the summer, whose mum has ME and he said to me, “You may be doing great now but is a relapse not eventually inevitable?” The thought that I could go back to how poorly I once was, scares me everyday. Every time I am overly tired, my body aches or are I am just feeling under the weather, I think is this it? I know I was very positive and coped extremely well the last time, but I am under no illusions that if it all happened again my positive, can do attitude would not be there to push me through a second time.


But you can’t go through life worrying about what may or may not happen. I could get hit by a tram before my ME ever has a chance to floor me again or I could be one of the few a sufferers who continue to get better until one day they don’t have ME anymore.


A few months ago I bought a new car, after having it for 3 weeks I was driving on a country road singing along to Adele at the top of my voice when a stone came up and cracked my windscreen. When I told my mum about this she said, “Jesus Samantha! You must be the unluckiest lassie I know. I swear if it wasn’t for bad luck you’d have no luck.”  I remember at the time thinking that’s strange, because thinking back to where I was and knowing where I am now, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.


Me and My sisters