My Writing Year In Review

As Christmas and year end comes around, I’m in a reflective mood.

It’s been a great year for me from a writing perspective. I’ve enjoyed networking with other bloggers within the chronic illness blogging community.

I’ve also connected this year outside of the chronic illness world, with lovely Christian women through Grace Girls and the Salt and Light linkup group.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my story with others. Hopefully through my own experience of living with a chronic, debilitating disease, I’ve been able to impart some tips showing ways to live the best life possible, despite the restrictions and challenges of pain and disability.

As far as my blog is concerned, I thought I’d round off the year by sharing with you the 5 top posts, according to my readers.

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So Without Further Ado…

Here are the posts my readers likefld the best throughout 2018:

Musings And Plans

Chronic Illness Catastrophe Days

I Should, I Better, I Have To….No You Really Don’t

Embracing Chronic Illness In A Deliberate Way

Finding A Peaceful Kind Of Happiness In A Chronic Illness Life

Plus Two Of My Personal Favourites

These last two are special to me. The first one acknowledges my beautiful husband and his care for me.

The second one is on the subject of healing and how this can be found, not necessarily in a physical sense, but in finding strength to live well with your chronic disease.

Remember To Care For Our Carers…..They Are Hurting Too

Healing Comes In Many Forms…..Even With A Broken Body

The Most Popular “Mighty” Article

I’ve been writing for The Mighty for nearly two years now. Over that time I’ve written over 40 articles, many of them originate from a blog post.

At the beginning of the year I wrote a love letter to my amazing husband which was published by The Mighty. They continue to share it on their Facebook page and each time they do, the response is overwhelming.

This will always be my most favourite written piece and I couldn’t round off the year without sharing it here:

To The Amazing Husband Behind This Chronically Ill Wife

Thank You So Much

I want to thank you, my readers, for your love, encouragement and support during 2018. I have so enjoyed reading your comments and making new friends along the way.

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and relaxed Christmas and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2019 💗

Take care

Sam xx

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.

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network,  the  Grace Girls Facebook Group and Salt and Light Linkup Group

If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

The 2018 Event Of The Year is on It’s Way!

2018 RABlog Week Banner

2018 RDBlog Week Sign Up Page is ready!!

It’s nearly time for #RDblogweek. My FB Forum, Medical Musings with Friends, is very excited to be a sponsor this year.

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis and are a blogger, we’d love you to sign up and join in the fun!!💞💞

I’m re-blogging my round up of last years RA blog week. It might just help wet your appetite for this years event

Take care

Sam xx

http://www.radiabetes.com/2018-rdblog-week-sign-up-page/

My Medical Musings

AUTHOR 2017 -J

This week I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the Annual RA Blog Week. It’s a wonderful event for bloggers from around the world to share their insights on what it’s like living with Rheumatoid Arthritis & often other associated autoimmune diseases.

Each day of the week a topic is chosen for bloggers to write about. On the last day of the week we are asked to highlight some of the great blogs we have read during the blogging event.

This year I can’t choose. I was really impressed with the varying writing styles & insights that each blogger brought to the event.

So, I’ve decided to highlight & applaud everyone 😊

Below are the topics for each day of the week. If you click on the topic title for each day it will take you to the most inspiring & awesome blogs.

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  • Monday September 25, 2017

Mental Health –

View original post 425 more words

Living A “Simply Special” Life

Living with chronic and disabling disease requires a complete change of lifestyle, a complete change of thinking.

Gone are the days of waking up in the morning and jumping out of bed to have a quick breakfast, get showered and dressed, head to work or some fun planned day full of anticipated activities.

Losses are real and at times incredibly hard to come to terms with. There is no denying that.

However, chronic illness and disability doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Those old halcyon days can be replaced with a different kind of lifestyle. A more simpler, easier and less planned approach.

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A New Kind Of Special…Simply Special

A life with severe chronic disease can still be full of happy, special days and activities. They just need to be “Simply Special”

Over the past four years my life, on a physical level, has become more and more disabled. Even so my joy, my purpose and my love of life has actually increased as each year has passed.

A new life has gradually evolved and I honestly am at the point where I can’t imagine living any other way than how I do now.

I value everything. Every moment, every conversation and interaction is special.

Instead of fighting to hold onto my old life, I’m using my limited energy, my talents and anything I can muster, to carve a new manageable lifestyle. It’s unique to my needs but it’s perfectly formed.

My failing body can dictate a lot in terms of limiting physical activities but it doesn’t have to dictate my happiness.

I’m living, I’m alive and I count that as an enormous blessing. It’s a blessing I don’t want to squander in self-pity or in a state of permanent grief or denial.

Looking For The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Don’t get me wrong…..chronic illness is hard work and it will seek to take as much as it possibly can as it relentlessly attacks. We can easily find ourselves in a black hole that has no light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a light though. As a Christian I have my faith and that helps enormously but it doesn’t exempt me from feeling despair. I have those moments. I’ve lived through horrible mental battles that have made me question how I can possibly face day after day with my disease.

The thought that has always got me through is;

“I’m still alive…there must be a reason for that”.

The day my femur broke I was told it was a miracle that my femoral artery wasn’t severed. Apparently the way it broke it was so close to the artery, I was so close to death. I had no idea….thankgoodness!

I can’t take this life for granted. It’s a gift, even if it is in a crippled state.

A simple life it may be but it’s a “Simply Special” life and I love it.

A Few Of My “Simply Special” Things

I enjoy pottering around my home and cleaning in a super paced way. It takes me all week to get through the weekly tasks but I feel a huge sense of achievement. Yes it hurts but the pain isn’t going to kill me. Not trying to move my crippled body might, so for as long as I possibly can I’m going to keep up my simple pottering.

I enjoy watching TV in an entirely different way. I really listen to the words spoken, I follow the plot and I analyse the script writing and the scenery. I love documentaries about nature. I never used to watch them in my past life. I love travel shows that are not about advertising holidays but about travel through countries with amazing culture and history through the eyes of adventurers. I soak it up.

I’ve always loved learning. Something will spark my attention and I now have time to research topics of interest and really learn about them in depth.

It’s no secret that I love writing. I’ve always written in a journal but now I can indulge in blogging and writing articles whenever I feel inspired. As a result of my blog and online support forum I have connected with people from all around the world.

I enjoy listening to music every day. I can play music while I’m getting dressed and can take as much time as I like (just as well as it’s a slow process). I have learned to savour this time everyday.

These are a few of my favourite things. There are more and they are all “Simply Special”

Where Did That Week Go?

My life is full and my days speed by in a blink of an eye. I’m never bored and mostly I feel like I need an extra day in the week.

So gone are my days of physically running around but those days are well and truly replaced with “Simply Special” things that I can manage lying on my bed or sitting in my lounge room. They can be done at 2pm in the afternoon or 8pm at night. It doesn’t matter. They are not agenda or time driven.

If you have found yourself severely disabled by your chronic illness and are still trying to live a semblance of your “healthy days” life……. STOP!!

Stop what you are doing and think about how you can find joy in “Simply Special” things.

They might be activities that are very different to mine but they will be unique to you. They need to be special to you.

I hope you can find joy and purpose in a “Simply Special” life. It might take time but it can happen despite chronic disease.

Don’t lose hope💗

Take care

Sam xx

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”

Proverbs 13v7 (The MSG)

 

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.

This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

 

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and the  Grace Girls Facebook Group

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

 

 

The Joy of Journaling

It’s no secret I love writing. Throughout my career the thing I loved the most was communication, both written and verbal. To me it’s about connecting, making connections, renewing connections, allowing people into my life.

That’s certainly been my goal with blogging and writing articles for a number of publications, including The Mighty and  Blogs by Christian Women.

My public writing is centred around my health journey, the mystery of it all, the onslaught of it all, the victories and the set backs.

Trying To Make Sense Of It All

Writing helps me to make sense of all the challenges my health issues throw at me, something even my Specialists are battling to do!

During one of my hospital admissions, my Specialist came into my room with a concerned look on his face and asked,

” Did you murder someone in a past life because it doesn’t seem fair to me that such a lovely lady should have to deal with so much”?

He was right, it doesn’t make sense that many, not just me, suffer from horrific chronic diseases. There is no rhyme or reason as to why one person has perfect health and another doesn’t.

“For God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5 v 45 NKJV Bible

So to think in terms of fair or unfair is not helpful.

In my mind to be proactive in the midst of the suffering is helpful. That’s where writing comes in.

The Difference Between Blogging and Journaling

Blogging is like my work, my new career. It’s a place to record “My Medical Musings” and share with others the coping mechanisms I have discovered through my own experiences.

It’s a style of writing that connects me with others, through social media, linking with other bloggers and engaging with comments on my blog posts from my readers.

The blogging world is a writing community and it’s wonderful to be a part of it.

I’m actively involved with the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, where we share our latest health journey article weekly.  More recently I’ve joined Christian blogger networks, like Grace Girls and Salt and Light Link Up, where faith stories are regularly shared and writers encouraged in their work.

There is another kind of important writing that I do that I find incredibly healing….Journaling.

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The Joy Of Journaling

My journal is private. It’s where I bear my soul. I tell my journal anything and everything. I write frequently but not regularly. Sometimes once a month, then maybe every week for a while or I might put it aside for six months. It’s where I go when I need to release how I really feel.

It captures my highest joys, my deepest hurts, my dreams, my hopes. It is healing.

There are no rules to journaling. You can write in any style you like. No one will edit it or comment on it. It doesn’t matter if it has spelling errors or illegible writing.

You can draw in it, record favourite quotes, keep special cards or notes from friends to look back on when you need encouragement.

It is your own special world and it is a wonderful thing.

In this era of online sharing where nothing seems to be “off-limits”, it is so important to keep some essence of privacy. Some place where you can just shut the door on the noise of life and allow your innermost thoughts to be heard.

Journaling allows you to do that.

It’s like a form of prayer for me. Only God knows what’s in my journal unless I choose to share it with someone else. That’s a precious, special thing.

You don’t even need to be a “Writer” to journal. It’s for anyone.

Buying a new journal could be a little treat to yourself.

As you open the first page and record the day and date, an opportunity awaits to express yourself like never before. An opportunity to find a sense of peace. An opportunity to start the process of emotional healing and well-being.

Happy Journaling 💗

Sam xx

 

 

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.

 

This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and the  Grace Girls Facebook Group

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

I Love My Phone! It’s A Chronic Illness Lifeline.

When I was working my husband always used to stir me about having my iPhone strapped to my ear almost 24/7. He wasn’t exaggerating either!

The other night while I was sitting up in bed frantically tapping away on my phone screen, I paused for a moment and looked up at my husband who was enjoying a show on TV.  I must add, we were both supposed to be watching it.

I was listening to it but I definitely wasn’t watching it in the relaxed manner I should be as a person “medically retired”. Life in my phone was just way too exciting and compelling to put it down.

I laughed and said, “Do you know what, I’ve just realised I have a whole world inside this phone that is buzzing with activity and I think it’s even busier in there than my life was when I was working”. Thankfully he laughed too!

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It got me thinking though about whether that is a good thing or not. So, I started to do a pros and cons list in my head as I do when I am grappling with something.

Good news is, for me anyway, the pros list won! Under normal circumstances, with a healthy body, I would probably recommend to put the phone down, go out and do something wonderful and live a full active life, minus your phone.

Who am I kidding……I was never without my phone even when I was healthy and enjoying a full and physically active life. My excuse then was it was necessary in case of an important call, text, PM, Facebook message etc, etc 🙂

The Pro List

A physically active life is no longer possible now due to my chronic diseases and disability. The life within my phone opens a whole world for me that is exciting.

I can, in a virtual context, sail across the ocean and speak to others in different countries, or chat with friends close by or interstate. All from my bed when necessary.

I can connect with others battling serious and complex diseases through my forum and provide them comfort, while also finding comfort from their words of wisdom and kindness to me.

That kind of connection is priceless and so special. In online support forums for chronic illness, we probably share more with each other than we do with our closest friends and family. The connections are genuine, raw and real.

I feel blessed to be living with a disability in an era where this kind of connection is possible. Imagine the isolation others felt in times past, not really all that long ago,without the kind of communications we have at our fingertips today.

The pro list is definitely strong.

The Con List

The con list does exist though. There is one major con…EXHAUSTION!

I get way too tired as I get so involved in what I’m doing in my “Life in my phone”. I struggle to put it away and just stop and allow my brain and body to completely rest.

I always thought if I was resting my body it would be fine to keep my brain super active but I’ve actually found, if my brain gets too tired, my physical pain increases, so a balance is really important. I now realise “burn out” is a real danger.

Tips to get the balance right

I do have a few tips to hopefully try and get the balance right. Remember though that these are tips for those of us with Chronic Diseases who are disabled to a point where getting out and about is difficult. Many of us can no longer work and have given up exciting and rewarding careers because of our health.

Our new life of blogging, writing and managing online forums, is in essence our work. It’s like a new career choice and we are passionate about it and committed to it.

It’s a positive and essential life activity for those of  us living with chronic disease!

The balancing act is a work in progress for me, so if any of my Chronic Illness friends and colleagues have tips to add, please let me know.

Tip One: Schedule quiet rest times that are phone free during the day. Even 30mins is enough just to rest your brain and dial down physical pain levels;

Tip Two: Get your head out of the phone at least for every 15 mins in an hour. If able use this time to stretch your body, go into the garden, speak to your partner ( oops, probably should have put that first ), make a cuppa etc;

Tip Three: Don’t feel guilty about using your phone. It’s how those of us with chronic debilitating disease can best connect with others, in what would otherwise be a pretty lonely existence. Think of it as your work, your new career. It’s a positive tool in many circumstances in life but particularly under these circumstances;

Tip Four: When you are ready to turn the lights out at night or even 30mins before that time, turn your phone to silent. I have my phone beside my bed so that when I do wake up in the morning, I can start checking emails, messages,  Facebook forums, Twitter etc while I’m waiting for my pain meds to kick in. You don’t want a buzzing phone by your ear during the night. Remember many Chronic Illness sufferers can’t sleep well and will be quite active on their phones during the night, so if you are able to sleep and don’t want to be disturbed, definitely make sure your phone is on silent. Your partner will thank you too!

Above all, enjoy the wonderful connections that await us each and every day in the “land of our phones”.

Now it’s time for me to put the phone down and have a good 30min rest.

I’ll definitely be back soon though xx

 

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.

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and the  Grace Girls Facebook Group

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy