Reflect and Restart

I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to reflect on 2017. Was it worth reflecting on my life with chronic disease? Did I achieve anything? Did I want to relive what at times felt like days and months of overwhelming pain?

One of my coping mechanisms, that helps me live well with my rare disease, is to live in the moment. I forget about the pain of yesterday and start each day looking forward to a better day or, at the very least, good moments within the day.

I have been encouraging my Forum members to reflect on the past year and think about the year ahead. I really do believe that it’s helpful to do that in preparation for a New Year.

I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions, particularly when living with chronic disease, as life is just unpredictable with so many things out of our control.

I am however a fan of being open minded to possibilities to grow and learn. I’m  really happy to get involved in new adventures, especially if opportunities present that are within my capabilities.

So, given I’d asked others to reflect, I couldn’t, in all fairness, expect them to do that if I wasn’t prepared to.

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With some trepidation I started reflecting and jotting down the highs and lows of my year. I decided to start with the good points and I was pleasantly surprised, as I walked back through 2017, at just how much I had achieved.

When living with chronic disease, we are so often overwhelmed with brain numbing pain, we can feel quite useless. The reality can be so different. Much to my surprise, reflecting on my past year revealed a very different reality to the one I had running around my head.

It’s been a good year overall:

The Highs

✔ Launched my online support forum, Medical Musings with Friends (my biggest achievement since being medically retired)
✔ Started writing for The Mighty
✔ Joined Chronic Illness Bloggers Network
✔ Further developed & expanded my blog
✔ Accepted as a permanent Writer for Blogs by Christian Women **Check out my latest article –  A New Year Promise
✔ Met so many amazing people from the confines of my home through all of the above…such a blessing
✔ No major surgeries for the first time in 6 years.
✔ Approved for a Level 4 care package… I’m on the national register waiting list
✔ Received interim Level 2 care package approval to be put it place by Feb 2018 ( I just received the letter advising me) This is to ensure I can get some care while waiting for the full Level 4 package to become available.

The Lows                                                 

✖ My November Hospital Stay  and Ketamine infusion. It didn’t work and if anything made me worse
✖ Came down with severe viral infection post infusion /hospital stay that I still can’t fully shake
✖ Bone/ Fracture pain remains my constant battle

My 2017 Takeaway…..Just because you are in pain and homebound, it doesn’t mean your life can’t have purpose. It doesn’t mean you can’t have realistic dreams and with passion, find ways to step out in faith and make them happen.



I have no idea and I actually quite like that. I’ll continue to blog and write and dedicate my time to administering my wonderful forum. Outside of that, I’m just going to take one day at a time and if opportunities present to do more, and I feel they are right for me, I’ll grab them and enjoy them.

So my 2018 is a case of “watch this space”. We’ll find out together how this next chapter of my life unfolds. I’m actually feeling excited about a new year. It’s the perfect time to push the restart button and create new achievements and experience special moments.

Happy New Year Everyone!


If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.



16 thoughts on “Reflect and Restart

  1. Sam, I am glad to hear about the extra care. That will allow you to spend your energy on what you love and your time with hubby. It’s an amazing list of accomplishment considering your limitations. I’m so happy to be your forum friend and look forward to your postings. I pray they will find a way to help your pain. Happy New Year! Sincerely, Marla

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ever since I was lucky enough to meet you all those years ago you have always achieved each and every year.. now out of the corporate environment you have found a way to influence and touch others with the same understanding, compassion and non judgement like you always have… your body has changed but your mind, determination, grace and faith has remained unwaivered… bless you and Peter for the year ahead and I wish you many pleasant surprises for 2018 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so beautiful Kaye.💗 Thank you so much for your friendship, encouragement & endless support. I hope you & Graham have the best year ever with more amazing adventures that create cherished lifelong memories that you can reminisce about in old age together💗. Lots of love always xx


  3. Wow, you achieved so much than you didn’t. It made me think about my highs and lows this year and you are right just because you have a chronic illness doesn’t mean you can’t contribute and achieve goals! Looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings! Happy new year! X


    1. Thanks Laura. I’m hoping 2018 will be a fulfilling year too for all of us trying to live well with chronic illness. I hope you were pleasantly surprised by the “highs” on your list. Happy New Year xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely post that I have shared on PainPals feature “Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs to start 2018!”. Thank you for including me in your support network – so nice to have another ex medic who understands being disabled off work! Happy New Year, C x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Claire for sharing my post. I love your Monday Magic blog & look forward to it each week.
      You just made me smile…..I’m an ex “Executive Manager”not an ex “medic” but definitely understand being unable to work in a profession I loved. Thanks for the vote of confidence though…an ex medic sounds much more interesting & was a path I considered taking in my younger years. Life’s circumstances headed me down the financial services road 😕
      Happy New Year xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is a fantastic post, and you’ve done a brilliant job at summing up 2017. For 2018, I haven’t actually given it any proper thought yet (been avoiding it for similar reasons), but I will have to sit down to go through at least some ideas of what I’d like to do, things I’d like to tick off my bucket list etc. Approaching the year with an open mind and flexibility is the best way, especially when dealing with chronic illness. And we must have hope, hope for brighter days. Wishing you a healthier, positive New Year Sam. xx
    Caz 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Caz, I hope your 2018 is really fulfilling no matter what you decide to achieve. I love your blog which is an amazing achievement in itself.
    I don’t actually have a “bucket list”. Maybe I should think about that. You’ll have to write about what’s on yours 😊
    Happy New Year xx

    Liked by 1 person

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