Tag Archives: Faith Evans

“Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”

Today we have a very special post. This post had been written by the wonderful Faith Evans and is the first in our M.E from the other side series  

 

When Sam, Hilary and I were 13 years old, we held (and indeed perpetuated) many teenage misconceptions:

• Oral sex meant phone sex

• Breaking your ‘VL’ was an essential rite of passage

• Dying in a fire was preferable to being seen in ‘Hi-tech’ trainers

During one of our many girly sleepovers, in between scoffing pizza and popcorn, we’d discuss what the future held for us. Hilary would inevitably go on to be a top model, given her flowing blonde locks and beautiful eye make-up. Me, being the home-bird, would do the whole ‘job, marriage, 2.4 children, retirement, death’ routine. Finally, Sam would travel the world for years, living like a nomad, enjoying amazing and colourful adventures. Little did we know, these musings were nothing more than adolescent fallacy.

 

For those of you who do not know Sam, she is an extremely unique person. She has 100,000 friends from many different places. She does not like to do anything that people would consider ‘normal’. She is obsessed with Superman. She loves tattoos. She is a dreadful car owner. She is the most loyal person I know. She is energetic and loves to keep fit. A few years ago, it was not uncommon spot Sam jogging past in her converse trainers, barely breaking a sweat. It sounds cliché, but she’s the last person on earth I could’ve imagined this happening to.

 

Sam’s birthday arrived in October 2010. Hilary and I headed down to her house, pressies in tow, to celebrate her 23rd year on this planet. My first thought was, ‘Who is this corpse and what has it done with my friend?’ No offense intended Sam, but you looked so incredibly ill. Everyone continued to make conversation, expertly ignoring the massive elephant in the room – Sam’s ailing health. We’ve all known her long enough to understand that she is a proud individual who does not like to draw negative attention to herself, so we quietly respected her unspoken wishes.

 

A few weeks later, I popped into Sam’s work for an impromptu visit. I was met by her good friend Jennifer Gardner who explained that Sam had been taken to hospital that afternoon after taking a bad turn. I wasn’t even surprised that I found out in this manner as – in typical Samantha fashion – she never burdens other people with her problems. I immediately called Hilary to let her know. We exchanged worried conversation and tried to call Samantha – no reply. Sam eventually got in touch saying that her legs ‘were feeling a bit rubbish’ (euphemism anyone?) and that she was being kept in for tests.

 

The next time I saw Samantha, she was using crutches. Crutches. My fun-loving, energetic, weird, adventurous friend could barely walk. I didn’t show how I was feeling that day, but if I’m honest, I felt sick. I wanted to cry. She could barely put one foot in front of the other. It took about 5 minutes to walk 20 metres. Helpless – the only word that sums up how it feels to watch your closest friend succumb to a chronic illness. No amount of fluffy slippers and ‘Get Well Soon’ cards can make any real difference. You feel like a moron when you let it slip that you’re feeling particularly ‘knackered’ that day. You can’t even bring delicious junk food or choccies to cheer your friend up because of their dietary needs (Demi Moore would go spare!)

 

So Sam, you’re not travelling the world, Hilary is not modelling and I’m moving away from Scotland. Clearly, life had different plans for us. But I ask you, is this necessarily a bad thing? We are all heading down extremely distinctive, exciting and daunting paths. M.E may have taken away your physical health, but it has not conquered your spirit and amazing personality. You have an incredible ability to transform negatives into positives. You’ve actually used your illness to offer support and encouragement to others. I could burst with pride when I think about your achievements. We’ve been by each other’s sides through thick and thin over the past 20 years, and I will always be there to offer you unwavering support. You’re currently facing a massive hurdle, but never forget that your friends are right behind you, waiting give you a leg up!

Love you a ridiculous amount.

Faith Evans.

 

*Please note all the names of people in my blog have been changed to their celebrity or fictional character counter part to protect their identity. Under no circumstances should this be a reflection of the named celebrity or fictional character.
Title taken from the film “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”
 All content listed through the site is copyrighted. Unauthorised use, duplication or republication may result in legal action

Sam & M.E: The Podcast

It’s the first ever Sam & M.E Podcast! Click the link below to listen

 

Sam & M.E Podcast

 

*Please note all the names of people in my blog have been changed to their celebrity or fictional character counter part to protect their identity. Under no circumstances should this be a reflection of the named celebrity or fictional character.
 All content listed through the site is copyrighted. Unauthorised use, duplication or republication may result in legal action

“Both Sides Now”

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I usually start my blogs by writing a long-winded monologue about some random crap that seems to have nothing to do with the message I am trying to portray. But today is going to be different. Today I would like to start by showing you what my handsome and amazing brother in law wrote, to nominate me to run with the Olympic Torch.

 

“When I seen this opportunity, only one person came to mind. My sister in law Sam is the inspirational symbol you are looking for and her story is sure to enlighten everyone who hears it. Sam was an extremely active teenager and has climbing Mount Meru, to add to her list of achievements. However in the summer of 2010, Sam after a long period of illness was diagnosed with M.E. Whilst this may stop others, and has indeed reduced Sam to walking with sticks, she has tackled this head on and is fighting to beat this misunderstood disease. Sam has now defied belief and has started an online Blog to tell people her story and share her experiences. This has further led to her starting her own local support group and has appeared in local papers, magazines and radio stations to air her thoughts and broaden her ever widening audience. The feedback received is exceptional and with the support of her new found friends, is striving towards beating this illness. She has helped many people already, inspired many more, and is loved by all. The Olympic creed suggests the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, and Sam is living this fight. I hope that you share my views of this outstanding individual but should you need more convincing, please visit her blog, samandme.org” – Jack Branning

 

 

Not liking to do things by half, I decided once I got back from visiting Faith in Dubai, I was making it my mission in life to not just carry the Olympic Torch, but to run with it. I thought how good an ending to a rather shit time in my life will that be? M.E took away my ability to walk but after a year and a half of Physiotherapy and hard work and determination, I would close this chapter by running with the Olympic Torch a symbol of overcoming struggle to triumph. Only one problem I couldn’t actually run yet.

 

 

I used the rest of April and beginning of May to mentally prepare myself for this feat. Then two weeks before my “Moment to Shine” I decided it was time to face the truth. Did I have the ability to run for the whole 6 mins it would take me to pass on the Torch or was I going to be carrying the torch looking more like I was going a leisurely stroll down a busy duel carriage way?  There was only one way to find out. I put my short shorts on, stuck on my running shoes for the first time in three years, put my headphones in my ears and started to jog. I ran down the street and out along the crescent and thought to myself,  “you know what? I am doing not to bad here”.  In my head I was just imagining the shock on all my friends and families faces when as the Olympic flame was being passed to my torch I started to run. It would be just like the “miracles” you see on American TV when some crazy possessed looking man who is chanting shit about the devil, brings up a poor cripple boy, slaps him across the face and suddenly he’s cured. I was thinking people would be fainting by how epic this was going to be.

 

But just as I was getting into my stride I noticed a car I recognized coming up the street, it was Courtney’s mother, Sharon. Wanting it to remain a secret and surprise everyone on the day with my amazing accomplishment I only had one option. Dive behind a bush. Except there was no bush, so the only option I actually had was to dive into a ditch that was full of stones. And although slightly battered and bruised, I evaded Sharon’s eyes and continued on my epic miracle journey. After five and a half minuets I entered the field behind my house, which looks down into a valley. As I came to the top of the hill, I stopped to take in the view of the Campsie Hills, as I did this Joni Mitchells “Both Sides” came on ipod and it suddenly hit me. I Samantha McInnes who a year and a half ago could not walk had just ran, YES RAN for 5 whole minuets. I felt a sudden wave of emotion coming over me and my eyes started to fill up with tears of utter joy, as if the hand of God had just slapped me across the face.  I was taken aback by the emotion hitting me all at once, how it felt when a trip to Manchester resulted in my legs packing in, having to be bathed as a grown women, by a nurse in the hospital, needing to use a wheelchair to go anywhere that wasn’t two steps away, missing out on amazing experiences with my friends because my body was so shit and now I had overcame that and was bloody running. When I realised I had started to cry, I did want any self respecting Glaswegian would do. I stopped, dropped to my knees and shouted at the top of my lungs, “FUCKING YASSSSS!!!”. I imagine it would have been a much better Hollywood film moment without my Tourettes-esque out burst and the fact the valley the hill over looked was actually a motorway.

 

 

On June 9th 2012 I got up, dressed in my all white slightly see through Olympic Tracksuit, bleached my teeth, got in Jacks car and went to Clydebank where the Olympic Torch Relay bus picked me up and took me to my starting position on Garshake road, Dumbarton. Where not only did I carry the Olympic flame but I ran every step of the way, surrounded on either side by all my friends and family who have supported me, all through out my time with M.E.

 

Then I went home and slept for a long time.

*Please note all the names of people in my blog have been changed to their celebrity or fictional character counter part to protect their identity. Under no circumstances should this be a reflection of the named celebrity or fictional character.
Title taken from the song “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell
 All content listed through the site is copyrighted. Unauthorised use, duplication or republication may result in legal action