Monday, 21 November 2016

Be There or Be Flare

I was talking to my wonderful Mum today about family, and poor health, and flapper dresses amongst other things. But rather than dedicate my blog to the beauty of a fringed frock, I should probably focus my attentions on the former.
Family and the opinions of my family and friends have always been very important to me. They have been the ones to whom I would turn when I had a huge decision to make, or when I’ve made the wrong decision and need a shoulder to cry on or a cave to retreat into. Of course the older we get the more decisions we must make on our own, often without input (and the harder these become). The love and support of family and friends is generally what gives us the confidence to make these decisions and have the confidence in our own choices.

Some of these choices are hard. Possibly none more so than when we are in poor health and must make decisions that may literally be life or death. When I was advised I should have life-threatening surgery, the consequences of such an undertaking didn’t factor into my decision. Maybe they should have; but if I were to consider I might’ve left my mother without a daughter, I wouldn’t have been able to go under the knife at all.

You see my health affects the people I love. I wish that weren’t true but it is. The same way that any of us being ill affects people who love us; the decisions I make about my health are essentially mine, but will affect the lives of others regardless.

Were I a ‘healthy’ woman, I wouldn’t have to worry a lot of things. I wouldn’t have to worry that I was causing stress and upset to those who love me. I wouldn’t have to worry that I am unable to provide for my little family and that my partner may be forced to pick up the slack. I wouldn’t have to worry that I’m making others unhappy because I can’t do this, that, or the next thing.
I wouldn’t have to worry about living and I could focus on doing just that. But I do, and I have to face that day in day out – as do you. We all make the best of the hand we’ve been dealt and I no longer wallow in the occasional misery of my situation as I once did. I suppose this is just a meandering post really, but at the heart of it it’s a reminder that the people who love us are SO important to our recovery and general health-maintenance. Support and love is a boon to us and although it may often seem we take you for granted, we appreciate you more than you can know.

Often we just have a lot of worry spinning around in our heads and we forget to say thanks for being there. So I think I speak for every ‘sick’ person when I say THANKS FOR BEING THERE xo

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

#HAWMC - Day 1

It’s the first day of this year’s WEGO Health Writing Challenge (#HAWMC)! I wasn’t too keen on taking part this year as I’m working on a new book alongside my full time ‘proper’ job and have been feeling physically lower than a worms bra strap. But I figured it might be a good way to keep the writing momentum going as well as getting some much needed inspiration from my fellow health writers taking part!
So anyways todays writing prompt is as follows: 

Let’s get to know one another! What drives you to write about your health? What do you want other activists to know about your condition and activism?

Well if you are reading this chances are you already know a little bit about me and my writing (HI MUM), but if not then allow me to inform you of what you have SORELY missed. I live with several chronic conditions, the most prevalent being Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed with arthritis age 25 then Crohn’s shortly after – since then I’ve developed chronic migraines, nerve damage,  Gilbert syndrome, anaemia, low blood pressure, anxiety etc etc to infinity.

I started blogging about my experiences of life with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 shortly after my first surgery. Since then I’ve been nominated for/been finalist in several blog awards, and have had my first book based loosely on my blog published in May of this year! (it's called Go Your Crohn Way and availability from all good retailers FYI) ;) 

But coming back to the prompt: what I’d ideally like others to take from my writing would be a feeling of comfort, camaraderie and a decent laugh every now and then. I’ve always written in the hope that I can help educate and inform people on how it feels (physically and mentally) to live with incurable illness. I want to remind patients and their families it’s possible to thrive despite a chronic condition and not just ‘survive’. My drive to keep writing comes from hearing and seeing others stories, and just how difficult they find adapting to illness. There is always, ALWAYS someone who needs a little kindness. Incurable illness never ends so I keep writing for myself and for others in the hope some of that kindness rubs off. Pass it on, it feels great! X