Taking Time To Understand Others

How many times have you jumped to a wrong conclusion about something?

How many times have you inadvertently assessed a situation from the entirely wrong angle?

How many times have you completely misjudged someone?

Without even realising it, we all easily do this on a regular basis.

Tiredness, busyness, listening to others views and opinions, are all factors that can colour our thinking, often in a subliminal way.

The Need to be Understood and Believed

One of our strongest themes on my chronic illness support forum, Medical Musings With Friends, is the desire for people with chronic illness, especially invisible illness, to be understood and believed.

The conversations are often about how others, who we deem “healthy”, have no idea of the pain and suffering someone with chronic illness deals with on a daily basis. The invisible illness so easily leads to misconceptions and hurtful misunderstandings.

In some cases we are probably right that others don’t understand what they haven’t experienced themselves, but are they being cruel for no “apparent” reason?

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Everyone Has a Story

Let’s for a moment flip that thought on its head.

What if the grumpy person behind the coffee counter questioning why you don’t work, or the person complaining that they wish they could lie in every morning like you do etc, actually were in pain too?

What if their pain was also invisible and they felt no one cared or understood them? What if they were suffering from depression, grief over the loss of a loved one or chronic fatigue?

What if they were undiagnosed and no one believed them? What if they felt resentment when they saw others who were acknowledged for their pain and suffering?

What if they were suffering domestic violence and felt helpless and hopeless? What if they were being harassed at work?

Every life, every person has their own story. It’s never simple. Even when someone appears to have everything and have it all together, they will still have layers of untold stories.

The Disgruntled Nurse

I had an extremely disgruntled nurse during one of my hospital stays. She felt more like a prison warden and she actually scared me. She was often on night duty which seemed to make her scarier.

On Day 3 of this particular hospital stay, I decided I needed to stop being so anxious about her being on duty. That night she came into my ward in her gruff manner. She was taking my obs and in order to break the wall of silence, I asked her how her day had been.

I got a grunt type answer.

I persevered and asked did she enjoy nursing? Well, that was the key question!!

Within moments she opened up her life story. She loved nursing but she had just broken up with her husband…..she was grieving so much. Her story was a complicated one.

I asked simple questions to keep the conversation going and she stayed sitting with me for 30 mins and we chatted like old friends.  Like me, she had also had broken bones but not as a result of a disease.

She told me she was so upset by my story she wasn’t sure how to talk to me about my disease and my non-healing fractures. It turned out it was why she had been so quiet over the previous days when she was around me.

I had no idea how deeply she cared. My own prejudices about her demeanor, had caused me to create a persona for her that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

From that point on she would pop into my room every afternoon, before her shift started, to say hello. We would chat about how I was but more importantly we’d chat about how she was.

My scary prison warden had softened. She still looked a little frightening but she was a scarred, flawed person…just like me, just like you, needing someone to take the time to understand her needs.

 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it”

Hebrews 13:2 New International Version (NIV)

Are You Ok?

If you are faced with animosity or misunderstanding from someone as you go about your daily life, try to stay calm and think about what might be going on in their lives. Ask them if they are ok?

It’s amazing how conversations between two strangers can evolve, full of genuine understanding, when we decide to turn our focus to caring for the other person.

By simply asking, “Are you ok?” when you feel someone is misunderstanding you, the real story behind the harsh comment might reveal a very real need, not dissimilar from your own.

Sam xx

Luke 6:31 New International Version (NIV)

Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

 

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

This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

 

 

 

 

Meet The Admin Team

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Medical Musings with Friends started in January 2017. I was resting one afternoon in my bedroom, contemplating the new year ahead and wondering what possible purpose my life could hold, as my body kept spectacularly attacking me from every angle.

I have a Rare Genetic Bone Disease with multiple bone breaks, ongoing surgeries, severe spinal stenosis compressing my lumbar spinal cord, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Permanent Colostomy due to a bowel prolapse, Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia, an Idiopathic Inflammatory Nerve Disease, plus a few other issues. It can be slightly overwhelming when the list adds up.

I suddenly had an idea, a slightly crazy idea, that maybe if I set up a closed forum for people with chronic, complex and rare diseases it could be an extension of my blog.

A place where a few people could gather to provide support and genuine understanding. A place where it was ok to “muse” about how complex life gets when you have more than one illness.

A place where you know others wouldn’t get scared by what they read but would feel your pain and understand your struggles. A place where other chronic illness bloggers and writers could share their work and words of wisdom.

A few people, maybe 50, or so I thought.

Within 6 months we had over 1400 members and 7 moderators assisting me. We continue to grow our membership weekly which still amazes me.

Unbelievable!! What a blessing, what a purpose, what an honour and privilege, to be trusted to provide such a large group of people a place to find true friendship, support and understanding.

So, I thought it was time to introduce more formally my beautiful team of moderators. They have each provided a short bio to tell you in their own words a little about themselves, plus a photo.

I can’t thank them enough for their personal support and commitment in joining me in this crazy musings journey. They are just the best, most warmest, caring people you could meet and they all volunteer their time while living with their own complex chronic diseases.💗💗

Sam Moss

So, here’s me…I live with my beautiful husband Peter, who is also my full time carer. We live in a stunning Bayside village in South East Queensland, Australia. When I’m not busy chatting with you all on the forum, I’m usually found blogging here on “My Medical Musings”  or writing articles.

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

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

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

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Sam Moss – Founder/Administrator (Australia)

 

Nik Watson

I have lived with Auto Immune conditions since I was 11 years of age and they add up to SLE (Lupus), RA, Osteoporosis and Ménière’s disease.
I’m known as Nik Puppykins…lover of two fur baby dogs. I have two, which, in conjunction with my gorgeous Mum, light up my life every day.

(Yes… I live with my wacky, meddling, inspiring, gorgeous, loving Mum ❤️)
My life is positively wonderful and full,  despite many episodic hardships over the years.

My motto is:

“One life…live it now, well, with joy and love and inspire others to do the same”
Family, friends, puppy cuddling, photography, market wandering, coffee, sushi, blue cheese, travel (and probably a few other loves I’ve forgotten!)..complete me. 😘😘

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Nik Watson ( Australian Moderator)

 

Dave Head

Hello there my name is Dave, I’ve been married for 9 years, my wife and I have a 7 year old daughter as well as a 5 year old son.
Before the age of 21 I was rather healthy. In 2003 I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Ulceritive Colitis which after a few weeks in hospital it was determined I would require an Ileostomy. The Ileostomy is no permanent which is something I don’t mind at all.
In 2007 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This was a significant changing point in my life to say the least. I have been on three treatments for my MS, one of which did cause seizures at least one confirmed Gran Mal.
In 2012, I began to develop issues with my skin on both legs, arms as well as my back. After a number of doctors mis diagnosed the issue I was given the proper diagnosis of Pyoderma Gangrenosum. A very rare skin disease likened to having Ulceritive Colitis on the surface of the skin.
On a daily basis I have issues with my MS, my right shin has lifelong significant damage from the PG. I have come to a point I cannot work Full Time as it simply takes too much out of me. I began a blog in January 2017 in the hopes of sharing my experiences while helping others through their challenges and to understand they are not alone.
I am truly grateful for being a member of such an incredible group of individuals. We all have commonalities and are here to support, encourage and sometimes just listen.
Below are the links to my blog as well as Social Media feedsbforbthosebthat may be interested in learning or asking more.

https://livingyourlifethroughtime.wordpress.com
Instagram~ davehead40
Twitter~ @DaveHead40
Snapchat~ https://www.snapchat.com/add/davehead40

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Dave Head (Canadian/US Moderator)

 

Erin Scott

I’m originally from Southern Ontario, Canada, but moved to England almost 7 years ago, where I met my husband. I used to teach, and gained a MSc in Psychology, hoping to move into a field I could handle with my health. I’m not able to work right now though. I love tea, music, literature and writing, dogs, making cards, and I’ve recently started painting!
I have chronic pain issues, gastroparesis, and migraines with brainstem aura (basilar).

https://achronicspoonful.wordpress.com/

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Erin Scott ( Canadian/US Moderator)

Courtney Soutar

Hi Musers, I’m Courtney and I live in North East Victoria. I have Crohns (with an ileostomy) and Fibromyalgia. My loves include dogs, tea and my family. I try and live by the motto of ‘laughter is the best medicine’❣

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Courtney Soutar ( Australian Moderator)

 

Brigitte Oram

My name is Brigitte but everyone calls me Brig. I have 3 kids (2 teenagers and a tween going on twenty!)

I am generally a positive person, even though I deal with multiple health problems on a daily basis (including a Colostomy named Rosie, insulin dependent Type 2 Diabetes, Anxiety/Depression and the aftermath of Pulmonary Embolisms and an Ischemic Stroke).

Up until 2 years ago, I worked as a Support Teacher specialising in learning support and special education. I absolutely loved it, but I became too unwell and was spending a lot of time in hospital.

I love to make others laugh and have been told I have a cheeky sense of humour. I also enjoy arts and crafts, board games, adding to my owl collection and listening to music.

I feel very blessed and proud to be a part of this awe-inspiring group, I think you’re all so brave and amazing. Thank you for entrusting us with your stories and I look forward to getting to know you all.

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Brigitte Oram (Australian Moderator)

Nicole Loffler

I’m Nicole, happily married wife to Ben and mother of two remarkable young people (18 + 21) from Western Australia. My health journey started over 20 years ago, when I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Ulcerative Colitis. I also have Gastroparesis, Fibromyalgia, Sciatica, Lung Disease and Functional Neurological Disorder.

I’m also in the unique position of being carer for my beautiful daughter Alysha, who has significant health issues as well. It is heartbreaking seeing her so unwell and in pain, but it has given us an extra special bond.

I’m an avid cook, addicted to cookbooks and am a huge MasterChef fan. I grew up on a farm and love animals, especially my beloved 17 year old cat. I enjoy scrapbooking, sewing and puzzles.

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Nicole Loffler ( Australian Moderator)

Clare Rayner

Hi, I’m Clare. I live in a suburb south of Manchester, England. I love Medical Musings with Friends because it is supportive, helpful, amusing at times and is so good to be in contact with other people with a lot of chronic conditions! I look forward to helping support you.
The list of my medical problems is getting too long but fundamentally, I have had bad infections since aged 19, was diagnosed with immunedeficiency at 30. By this time I had had a lot of surgery and lung damage. I was physically fit and used to bounce back. On intravenous treatment, I had far fewer infections. Then I developed ulcerative colitis. I also have Hypermobile Ehlers danlos  syndrome, causing spinal problems, mast cell activation disorder, low blood pressure, gut and bladder problems.  In recent years, I have had sepsis which at the moment has left me fighting infection all over the place. I don’t know how I’m alive sometimes, but I am, and I do understand the stress of living with and trying to juggle health problems! I am medically retired but I teach two half days a week in term-time at the university (communication skills etc-communication is one of my passions).
As some people have out written down their mottos, I thought I’d tell you mine: “never get up with the lark, get up for a lark.” That might be English slang, so fundamentally it means I don’t like getting up in the morning, but I do like to look for something funny  in each day. I love going out for coffee, occasionally visiting an art gallery, and visiting family and friends when I can. Love animals too especially dogs and cats. My hobbies are painting, playing the flute and going to the theatre. I haven’t been able to do them for years but I haven’t give up hope. That’s my other motto…”never give up!” .

 

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Clare Rayner – ( UK Moderator)

 

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join Medical Musings with Friends. Feel free to also share the link with any others you know who have a chronic illness and may benefit from a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

 

 

 

 

It’ OK To Take An Online Break

One of the wonderful things that has come from living with a chronic disease is finding new networks and friends in the chronic illness and blogging communities.

Before becoming disabled and unable to work, I had no idea about blogging and online support forums and believe it or not I never even had a Facebook account.

Fast forward to today and I am now fully entrenched in a whole new world of blogging network groups and online support groups, either as an active member or as an administrator/owner.

Not to forget Twitter accounts , Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook pages linked to my blog, my personal Facebook account, writing for The Mighty and other publications.

It’s A Full Time Job!

All of a sudden my sedentary, chronically diseased life, looks more like it did when I was working full time in an Executive Management role.

From morning ’til night I am involved in some way in one of these online activities. I love it. There is no denying that. I love sharing, learning and supporting. However, even when you enjoy something there is still the danger of overload and burnout.

I have to constantly rest my body because of my physical disability but what about my mind? Do I rest that enough?

I asked myself that question this morning  and very honestly answered, “No, I don’t”.

I wonder how many others in the chronic illness community who are bloggers/writers, administrators or active members of support groups, are feeling like their minds are just a little too full of chatter?

It’s Ok To Switch Off

As I “quietly “mused upon that question, clarity began to surface.

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It’s ok to switch off. It’s ok to have a “chronic illness” free day”.

In fact to do so will mean that you will add more value to conversations the following day. You’ll approach situations with better clarity.

It’s ok not to blog for a week or two.

It’s ok to step aside from forums that you perhaps feel are not right for you anymore or they have just served their purpose.

It’s ok to say “No” if asked to be involved in something new within the chronic illness community that would just over stretch you.

It’s ok to commit to one or two things solely and just give them your all. In fact it’s probably better to do that.

Switch off your phone, tablet, laptop. Listen to the quietness when you do that. Take a deep breath and just enjoy that moment when you let your mind rest from the social media world.

Ahhh…it’s so refreshing. Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Give Yourself Permission

I’m going to make some changes. I love my forum and that’s my number one priority. I do though need a day off once a week and I’m going to take it. No set day as I want the freedom to go with the flow a little, after all I’m medically retired so surely the regimented lifestyle should be a thing of the past.

I want more time to quietly write. Writing helps me relax. For me it is a reflective process but when there is too much filling my mind it’s hard to listen to any inspirational ideas that might be lurking in the recesses of my brain. Thinking  time is essential for clarity to emerge and writers block to be broken.

So I shall still happily emmerse myself in the chatter of the chronic illness networks and blogging communities that I love. However, I will now also be making every effort to ensure I take time out each week, to clear my mind and enjoy some clarity of thoughts.

If you are feeling like your blogging or online work is overwhelming you, I’d encourage you to switch off for a moment. Think about how you can better manage your time and involvement in social media activities and  networks.

Assess what’s working for you. Is it still relevant to your needs? Do you need to make changes? Is it adversely affecting your health?

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

Genesis 2 v 2 NIV

Give yourself permission to seek some quiet space. I’m so glad I have. It has been such a refreshing experience to have a reality check and make changes to how I manage my writing commitments, my blog and forum.

I still haven’t quite got my online/real life balanced yet but I’m on the right track and that’s got to be a good start.

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.

This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

 

I’m 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

 

 

Climbing Mountains With My Chronic Illness Friends

As I mused this morning about my day ahead, it was a blank page. I breathed a sigh of relief.  Most of my days are a blank page. I need to live this way.

No planning ahead, no great expectations, just living moment by moment. It’s a relief that I can live my life in this way. The thought of having to do it another way is unimaginable, especially as my disease progresses.

The Rat Race Is Over

So different to my previous life of constant meetings, appointments, phone calls, emails, texts, long working days etc. I’m ok with that though. When I was in the rat race I would dream of having a blank calendar day.

Funny how life works out isn’t it.

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Medical Musings With Friends, my online support forum,  is my main daily focus now (next to my hubby of course).

I love that despite my own health limitations, I can muse daily with others living with chronic illness across the globe. It is such a joy and honour for me to see friendships form and burdens shared as we muse together.

Walking A Fine Line

It is a fine line we walk when living with a chronic disease.

If we are not careful we can become defined as the girl or guy with lupus or multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis or a rare disease, etc.

We are so much more than our diseases. It’s OK to show others our strength of character, our funny side, our happy side, our lighter side, our talents.

It’s OK to share our hopes and our dreams for the future.

That’s what I love about my forum. I love that the members share the highs and the lows. The challenges and the triumphs.

I love that we laugh together and cry together. I love that we are free to express to each other our deepest thoughts in a way that is raw and real.

We share our love of books, music, movies. We share our faith. We share our hopes and our dreams and when these are crushed, as they often are, we pick each other up.

We help each other re-build their lives with new hopes and dreams.

Climbing Mountains

Most of our members can’t do great “so-called” physical inspiring things like climbing bridges or mountains or running in marathons.

Our members climb mountains daily though.

In the midst of their pain and disability they look after families. They clean a room in their homes. They manage to get showered and dressed on their own. They make it out to a cafe. They comfort another despite their own suffering.

None of these things are easy. Each activity represents Mount Everest.

Our forum members are so inspiring.

Every person, living with a chronic disease, achieves more than they realise, every day.

So if you have a chronic illness and have woken to a “blank calendar day”, remember that your day will be full of climbing mountains.

You will be achieving so much. You are amazing and it’s a privilege to climb alongside you all ❤

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 and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m 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

Sorry, I’m Still Sick

I love that friends, family and even neighbours often think of me and ask how I am, or say they hope I am feeling better.

It lets me know that I am cared for and not forgotten, even though my disease has pretty much caused me to live the life of a recluse over recent years.

An Unexpected Emotional Response

However, it also conjures an unexpected emotional response in me. A response that I am sure many others with chronic diseases will relate to. It conjures a feeling of guilt.

Why?

I’ve been contemplating that question for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s because I feel like I’m letting everyone down.

People generally like to read a good story with an introduction, a middle with a climax that is often dramatic but has a conclusion with a happy ending.

It’s like that in real life too. If we hear someone is sick we like to hear soon after that they’re better.

If we hear someone has a terminal illness or chronic disease that will progress rather than improve……well, what do you do with that? How do you find the right emotional response to the person living with those circumstances?

The natural response is to feel sadness,  fear or even anger. In some people the response is to withdraw or run from the situation.

How Are You? Any Better?

The chronic disease sufferer, who is so often weighed down by their pain and disease symptoms, can find it hard to decipher why friends and family respond in certain ways to their illness.

Those around us, searching for an emotional, appropriate response to our disease and circumstances, have little choice but to ask,  ” How are you today?” or to say, “I hope you’re feeling better”.

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So Why The Guilt?

I think the guilt felt by the chronic disease sufferer, is rooted in the fact it’s unlikely we are feeling any better than they did yesterday, or the day before.

It’s likely we’ll be on a path of getting progressively worse.

No one wants to hear that and no one wants to say that. It all sounds a little…well, too dismal!

I don’t like giving dismal news so I start to feel bad that I have to. It’s either tell the truth (or a dulled down version) or lie.

I’ve always been such a strong advocate of openness and honesty so, if I did lie, I would still feel overwhelming guilt.

Finding A Place of Understanding

So how do we, the chronic disease sufferer and the caring friend or family member, live happily ever after with a situation that is ongoing and let’s face it, burdensome to everyone.

We just need to keep trying to understand each other. The chronic disease sufferer needs to understand that people really can’t find the right thing to say….. because what can you say?

The caring friend or family member also need to understand that your response may simply be,

” thanks for asking, still no change”

or

” things are getting a little worse”.

Depending on who you are talking to, you may feel comfortable to expand with a few details.

At the end of the day contact with others is so important for our overall wellbeing.

So, my tip is, once that awkward “hope you’re feeling better today” moment is out of the way, simply ask the caring enquirer how they are. That usually helps get a conversation flowing that makes everyone comfortable.

PS: In the spirit of guilt free openess and honesty… I’m not doing all that great physically today but I’m feeling relaxed and hopeful tomorrow will be a little better

Take care

Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and 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 and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

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

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

 

Musings and Plans

Every Sunday, I have a “what’s on this week?” segment on my Facebook Forum, Medical Musings with Friends.

The idea is to start the week taking a quiet moment, to think about what lies ahead. We muse about how we are feeling, what we are concerned about, what we are excited about.

Appointments, celebrations and milestones are shared by members so together we can, support and encourage each other.

Sharing those thoughts in a safe place, like an online chronic illness group, is really cathartic. Writing down your thoughts and speaking about them, can help provide clarity in the midst of pain and disease.

Uncertainty often encompasses life at every turn when living with chronic disease. Having friends to turn to, online or otherwise, who are walking in your shoes, can provide so much comfort.

The Chronic Disease Curveball

Sometimes though, when our pain or disease throws us a curveball, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. We can feel anxious and afraid. We often feel isolated as we struggle with worrying symptoms, even though we may be surrounded and supported by friends and loved ones.

All of those feelings are so normal. Partly we feel them because we are experiencing more change. Changes in disease symptoms often results in changing how we need to manage our daily life. Change then causes the grief process to start again.

My pain has escalated to a new level over recent weeks. I know that’s going to happen as my disease progresses. It’s my reality and I can curl up in a ball and give up, or I can take some control over my circumstances.

Like so many of us living with chronic disease, there are often no solutions when my disease progresses, other than making further life changes to accommodate the worsening disability.

I’m a born Leader, planner and organiser, so when changes occur I start automatically thinking about what I can do to accommodate those changes. I was born feet first and my family always joked that I arrived ready for action. That’s not such a bad thing given my life’s circumstances.

The Plan and Review Process

If you’re finding that your disease is worsening and there are little treatment options available, or perhaps you’ve gone into sudden remission, I’d really encourage you to take time to start or review your Chronic Disease Management plan.

If nothing else it will give you a sense of taking some control, in a situation that can feel like a ship in a storm without a captain.

It’s your life, you can be the Captain.

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Your Chronic Disease Management Plan can include whatever you want but as a starting point some key areas to consider are:

Activities – What you can do, what do you need help with and what can’t you do?

Environment – Is there anything in your home that is impacting your pain/disease and requires changing? (ie: position of items in cupboards or more major household changes)

Rest Periods – How often do you need them and when? What impedes you having them and what can you do to fix that?

Medical Reviews –  Are you happy with your current medical team? Do you need to make any changes? Are you happy with how often you see them? Do you need to increase or reduce your number of appointments?

Leisure -What are the things that help you relax? How can you make sure you do more of these things?

Family / Friends – Setting boundaries. How often can you cope with visitors etc? Do you need to remove toxic relationships?

Goals – Are there things you really want to achieve (eg: getting out for coffee or maybe a travel goal) How will you do that? What support will you need?

You get the idea. Hopefully these suggestions will get you started or help you update your existing plan. You’ll definitely come up with other things as you start thinking about your own life.

Taking Time to Review

I’m taking time this week to re-evaluate my activities. I’m reviewing what I do now, what can I do differently and asking myself what shouldn’t I be doing at all?

That last question will be the hardest as I love what I’m doing now but I know I have to find more time to rest my body and my mind.

I’ll let you know how I get on with that process. Might take me a little while to work through it 😊.💞

Love & hugs
Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and 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 and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

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

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

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

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

awards_Community_(2)

WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

True Friends In Unexpected Places

When we think of friendship, we usually think of the people in our lives who have seen us through thick and thin. The people who we have perhaps grown up with, gone to school or university with, travelled with, played sports with or worked with for years.

We think of the people who we expect will always be there for us.

The truth is that friends often come and go. Sometimes that’s because we have relocated or had a difference of opinion or have just naturally grown apart.

We grow up, we change, we get married, have kids and often we find new friends.

The memories of special friendships stay with us though, as a photograph album in our mind to look back over when we want to be reminded of happy times spent together.

Chronic Disease Changes Everything

Sometimes, health issues can remove us from a “normal” social life that is often necessary to hold friendships together.

Sometimes health can get so complex that friends no longer know what to say, what to ask,  or are so distressed about what is happening to their friend that it becomes easier to slowly let the friendship slip.

We might think that sounds terrible but I think it’s also understandable.

Chronic disease changes everything, for everyone, just like other life changing moments can do.

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As a new life evolves for the person with the chronic disease, around medical appointments and accepting new ways of living with a disability, some beautiful friends will remain but more than likely new, special friendships will emerge….if we let them.

It can be all too easy as a chronic disease sufferer to feel hard done by and that response is also completely understandable.

Life is often changing at an accelerating rate, let’s face it… life is changing forever!

We Do Have Choices

Grieving over friendships that are drifting or are lost, needs to happen.

Once we have done the grieving, there comes a time to reach out and connect again, within our new limitations and with new expectations, of ourselves and others.

My online support forum celebrated it’s first anniversary on the 14th January 2018. I’m so excited that it’s survived and thrived through its first year.

I’m so excited to see such meaningful conversations daily and beautiful friendships and connections being made.

My aim in creating this forum over 12 months ago, was simply to help others as that’s what I love to do. I’ve always believed caring for others is what I’ve been called to do…it’s my life’s purpose.

Caring was at the centre of my work and life before chronic illness came along. Continuing to care in some purposeful way, now helps me make sense of this new phase of my life.

New Connections

The added bonus of the support forum, has not only been connecting others but also finding my own connections with like minded beautiful people, who I now call “true friends”. Such a blessing!

I’m so looking forward to sharing life’s adventures with true friends old and new, both in person and online.

Sam xx

 A FRIEND IS A GIFT OF GOD

 A poem from “Someone Cares” by Helen Steiner Rice

 Among the great and glorious gifts Our Heavenly Father sends

Is the gift of understanding that we find in loving friends

For in this world of trouble that is filled with anxious care

Everyone needs a friend in whom they’re free to share

The little secret heartaches that lay heavy on their mind,

Not just a mere acquaintance but someone who’s “JUST OUR KIND“

For somehow, in the generous heart of loving, faithful friends

The good GOD in his charity and wisdom always sends

A sense of understanding and the power of perception

And mixes these fine qualities with kindness and affection

So when we need some sympathy or a friendly hand to touch,

Or an ear that listens tenderly and speaks words that mean so much,

We seek our true and trusted friend in the knowledge that we’ll find

A heart that sympathetic and an understanding mind………

And often just without a word There seems to be a union

Of thoughts and kindred feelings for GOD gives TRUE FRIENDS communion.

 

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

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women