"I gave you the wrong advice, I think you need to get to A+E, NOW because it could be a stroke." My first ever experience of being admitted into a hospital came completely out of the blue. That morning I had woken to find the left side of my body had completely stopped working.
Terrified, I was suddenly thrown into various MRI and CAT scan machines and was ferociously poked and prodded with multiple needles for multiple tests.
3 days later I got told I had 'Multiple Sclerosis' and was told to go home and GOOGLE IT by a doctor to learn for myself what it was.
As you can imagine, what came up on my Google search were very scary images of people in wheelchairs and horror stories about treatments. I fell into a deep cycle of depression where I just couldn't come to terms with what had happened.
How could I be a perfectly healthy 22-year-old female one minute but then have a degenerative health condition where I'd need a wheelchair and be forever known as 'DISabled' the next?
It didn't make sense. I knew nobody my own age with an illness let alone this illness. I couldn't find a single 'positivity story' about MS at the time. I was put on an injectable treatment right off the bat - despite being terrified of needles. I was kept in the dark for 4 months with no medical advice about what my condition meant and where I go from here.
It took a long time to come to terms with it. God bless my close family, friends and boyfriend because they were the ones that got me through.
6 years on I have learnt so much about MS and other invisible illnesses. It's like a new world has opened for me.
I started the DISabled to ENabled podcast because like a lot of people diagnosed with an invisible illness - I was labelled 'DISabled' but didn't feel 'DISabled'. It felt like the wrong term. I could still just about walk without the need of a walking device so I didn't understand.
Somedays I'm more 'creatively abled' so I call myself 'ENabled'. 'ENable' meaning to activate, to give power or to 'switch on'. I believe I am 'switching on' part of myself I never knew existed. Switching on strength in me I never thought I'd have to.
I found other people who thought like me through the podcast. I found people that were pushing the limits of their conditions, saying 'no' to the label of being 'DISabled'. They were climbing mountains, running marathons in every continent and improving other peoples lives for the better. They were incredibly inspiring. They got me out of a dark place that I'd got lost in.
The DISabled to ENabled podcast is for everyone that has ever been diagnosed with an invisible illness or anyone that knows someone with an invisible illness. This podcast shares the stories of people going through heartbreaking situations and coming out the other side of it a stronger, braver person. There are children as young as 7 who have been diagnosed with an invisible illness, young people told they probably have 'brain tumours' just by being looked at by a doctor, people who have been discriminated against on a daily basis because others can't see their illness and therefore don't understand why they are using a disabled permit badge. I also share stories from people going through groundbreaking treatments like HSCT or 'Stem Cell treatment' which involves some heavy chemotherapy.
I need your help to carry on this podcast, to reach more people who are suffering in silence with invisible illnesses like MS, fibromyalgia, lupus, ME, MD, Crohns, colitis etc. etc. We provide support for those people by sharing amazing stories of people like them living their best lives despite their health conditions. We ENcourage their strength and give them hope and purpose. We ENable their mentality into a strong warrior who isn't afraid of what could happen in the future but just enjoys fighting through the present alongside other amazing warriors.
I need urgent help to make our podcast as accessible as possible so that I can help more people who are suffering. I need your help to be able to add captions to my Youtube interviews so that people who are hard of hearing or deaf can read what is being said. I need your help to fund the hard work that goes into putting this podcast together. My body's inconsistent energy levels, pain and weakness make it difficult to put together the podcast without help so it would allow me to outsource the parts that take a long time, like the editing and the sourcing and booking of guests, programs to help me automate my emails so my reach can go further without relying on my forgetfully, speckled memory.
Making this podcast the most accessible and organised as it can be is crucial and urgent. An amazing podcast is on the line and I don't want it to disappear. I need to help as many people as possible.
Would it be unreasonable to ask you to help me to help people who are alone, confused and suffering?