Megan Schartner wrote Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang based on her own experiences with chronic illness. This is her story in her own words…
I have always been a bright and bubbly young woman. Up until April 2013, I was completely engrossed in my life. Trying to save the environment from a local level and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. I was enjoying all the challenges and fun activities life was throwing at me professionally and at home with my husband, E.
Overall, I was trying to enjoy life as much as I could.
Unfortunately, life had other plans for me.
The morning of 9 April 2013, I was woken early by extreme stomach cramps. I tried everything I could think of to stop them, but they wouldn’t go away. I decided that I’d go to work and see if they stopped, but by the time I was dressed I’d woken E up. He told me to go to the doctors.
So I did…
Getting a Diagnosis
I still thought at this stage that I’d be heading to work after visiting the doctor. Unfortunately, he told me to go straight to emergency at the hospital. That’s where I ended up spending the whole day.
This was the start of something that I now know I have to learn to live with. The doctors at the hospital couldn’t work out what was wrong with me so they sent me home saying to come in if it got worse…
It didn’t, but it wasn’t getting better either, and I was suddenly extremely fatigued (sleeping around 22 hours a day) and all my muscles were sore as well.
Where am I at now?
Having built myself a team of medical professionals, we have been trying different medicines and alternative treatments. The aim is not to cure me but to minimise the impact of each of these conditions. I’m currently at a much better point than I have been at any time in the past 3 years. I still need to pace myself, but I’ve been able to add back in some physical activity and mental work.
People who know me would confirm that I am the type of person who always sees the positive in any situation. I am viewing this situation as an opportunity to explore activities I’ve always wanted to try but was always “too busy”, things like card making, sewing, baking, yoga and meditation. I’ve also been raising awareness for invisible illnesses through the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Campaign.
How can you participate?
I’d love to learn more about you as well and what journey you are on, whether it’s a life with chronic illness or not. You can do this by commenting on posts, or by filling in the form on our contact us page.