The (Positive) Memory Book

During my absence of blogging, I have once again been indulging in my love of books and burying myself in the pages of the books that have been on my to-read list for some time.  Prior to this, reading had been somewhat problematic due to the severe dizziness and visual disturbances, that I have been experiencing, and for a while it seemed that my love of reading was another thing that my illness had taken away from me.

However, although the dizziness is still bad and still experiencing visual disturbances, they have eased enough for me to start reading again. ¬†One book that I have recently read was the excellent and highly emotional read, ‘The Memory Book’ by Rowan Coleman.

The gorgeous cover of a wonderful and moving book
The gorgeous cover of a wonderful and moving book

The book tells the story of Claire, a beautiful, intelligent¬†and vibrant forty-something. ¬†Mother to two wonderful children, Caitlin aged 20 and Esther aged 3, and married to Greg, the¬†man of her dreams. ¬†Claire, however is also living early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and after¬†watching her own father overcome to the disease, Claire is all too aware that life for her and her family will never be the same.

Greg, her husband then buys her a beautiful notebook, which becomes ‘The Memory Book’ in which Claire, and other members of her immediate family to record their own personal memories of the life that they had together, as well as mementos that have had significant meaning in their lives. ¬†The book is not only for Claire to use as a memory aid, but also for the entire family to cherish and remember the life that they all shared together.

The story made me think of my own life with chronic illness.  Living with a variety of symptoms  such as pain, fatigue, dizziness as well as the problems with my legs, all associated with the neurological condition I live with, I have no need for a book to help me remember my life with my condition.  However, often when we are struggling because of not only the physical effects of illness on our bodies but also the psychological effects on our minds, we are often however in need of positive reminders of life outside our bodies and outside the walls that chronic illness creates.

So, how about creating our own gorgeous notebooks, but instead of filling them with memories of our lives. we create pages of everything that help us to remain positive, mementos of happy times and everything else that makes us happy and fills our lives with joy!

Example of a beautiful memory book on Pinterest
Example of a beautiful memory book on Pinterest

Such items could include favourite uplifting and positive quotes and affirmations that bring comfort during difficult periods of your life.  Postcards, photographs and other mementos from holidays of a lifetime.  Letters and cards from friends and family including words of love and encouragement. Lyrics from your favourite song. Objects and pictures which evoke positivity and happiness or are reminders of achievements that have been gained despite illness; reminders that we are more than our illness.  Anything and everything that will help keep your spirits up during difficult periods in your life, such as during bad flares or relapses due to chronic illness.

Much research has shown the positive effects that writing and keeping a gratitude journal can have on our health, and in my opinion a memory book like the one I have described is a natural extension of that.  A  personal beautiful, hand-crafted positive memory book to look through when life with chronic illness feels like too much to handle, I think will help us bounce back from negative emotions and strengthen our happy memories.

The finished positivity book is not the only benefit, but the ability to become creative to produce something meaningful can also be therapeutic when living with the effects of chronic illness as it allows an outlet for all of our thoughts and feelings regarding life with chronic illness and the new limitations that it has placed in our lives.

I have been wanting to create my very own scrapbook for a while, to fill with all the beautiful quotes and affirmations that I have found during my days out with my carer, as well as the ones sent to me by other spoonies and after reading ‘The Memory Book’ it has inspired me to start my very own (positive) memory book!

Now I just need to buy all the materials I may need…

 

If you were to create your very own positive memory book, what items and mementos would you include? ¬†Have any ideas I could use for my own book, then shoot me a message as unfortunately I am not very artistic or creative so would like to make it as easy as possible! ¬†And for all you book-worms out there, then I would really recommend ‘The Memory Book’ by Rowan Coleman, it’s a wonderful read…

The Longest Ride…of life with Chronic Illness

Living with chronic dizziness is hell.  The unpleasant sensation of having your whole world constantly moving even when still takes everything away from you.  Your friends, social life, independence, career plans to name but a few are lost when chronic illness strikes.  Long-term illness pecks away at your identity; taking pieces of things that make you you: the friends you meet, the places you like to socialise and your hobbies and interests.

For me, living with this neurological condition has taken a lot, and one example of something that it has taken for me is being able to go to the cinema and watch a film.  High ceilings, flashing strobe lights, fluorescent lights are just a few delights that can worsen the severity of the dizziness that I endure constantly.  Furthermore, they can also be triggers for other symptoms associated with the brain stem lesion such as vertigo and visual disturbances.  As someone who loves films this is an incredible loss; I mean sure, I can still watch them at home but there is nothing  like going to the cinema and watching films on the big screen, is there?

A couple of weeks ago, however saw the release of the new Nicholas Sparks film ‘The Longest Ride‘ and as a fan of his books and the adaptations that have been inspired by his works, I just had to try and push myself to go and see the movie.

My ticket for a showing of 'The Longest Ride'
My ticket for a showing of ‘The Longest Ride’

As a result, my carer and I attempted for the first time in several years to visit the cinema.  And I am happy to say that I managed it; successfully staying in the theatre to watch the entire film.  I would love to say it was easy, but like everything with living with a chronic condition  it was not.  The dizziness at times was so severe and my vision kept becoming blurry.  All my instincts was telling me to leave and go somewhere my symptoms although would still exist, would be less severe.  But the love of the film, and the beautiful story that unfolded during the two hours (and was also helped by the gorgeous Scott Eastwood).  The film was a beautiful love story about love itself but also the sacrifices that are made for it.

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This achievement may seem like a very small feat given the fact that going to the cinema is an activity that many people partake in everyday.  Healthy people often take being able to go to places such as the cinema for granted as for me living with a neurological condition, it was a big a challenge as someone attempting to scale an enormous mountain.  So, for me personally this was not a small feat, it was a huge win for me in the conflict that chronic illness has created inside my body.  During the course of watching the film it was not only dizziness, vertigo and the visual disturbances I had to contend with but also severe neuropathic pain in my legs (not helped by the lack of leg room) and the trembling in the legs made it difficult even being able to physically walk to the cinema itself.

I was thinking of the film long after it ended, and kept thinking of its title ‘The Longest Ride’. ¬†For me the title was defined by the enduring love between the two characters, Ruth and Ira. ¬†But it also got me thinking of its meaning in my life. ¬†Living with chronic illness in itself is a long ride. ¬†The term itself is clear¬†of this as the definition of the word can be used to refer to an illness which persists for a long-time or is constantly recurring.

From the onset of symptoms, living with a chronic illness is a long ride, consisting of endless doctor’s and hospital appointments, persistent and recurring symptoms (and often the onset of new ones) as well as the ceaseless days of feeling frail and sick. ¬† Imagine an extremely long and persistent road, well, living with a long-term condition is often like making the long ride down this road, and which often feels like there is no end. ¬†The journey towards diagnosis is even a long ride itself, with repetitive appointments with consultants leading to disappoint as medical tests fail to answer the one question we want answered – what is wrong with me?

Living with chronic illness can often feel like travelling on a long road with no end in sight...
Living with chronic illness can often feel like travelling on a long road with no end in sight…

And even after the diagnosis has been confirmed, chronic illness allows the long ride towards not only acceptance of the diagnosis but also to learn how to live with and manage the symptoms of said chronic illness.

Thinking back to the film, and the gargantuan achievement of going to the cinema despite experiencing such unpleasant symptoms that for one makes it extremely difficult to sit and watch a film but also has previously stopped me from enjoying such perks as trips to the cinema, has made me realise that we should not allow our conditions to take full control over our lives.  Yes, chronic illness is bound to take pieces of our old lives and identity and change them, however we should not allow our illness to stop us from doing things that we love.  Yes, the cinema trip was demanding on me physically, affecting me even days afterwards, experiencing a flare in severe symptoms, but it was still worth the trip.  Not only did I manage to watch a film that I desperately wanted to see, but I also defeated my condition reminding me that I am stronger my condition.

Now, I just need a little reminder of the film and the cinema trip to pin to my positivity board to serve as a reminder of the defeat over the dizziness and my neurological condition/ ¬†I was thinking of a postcard of the film poster or something so if anyone has any ideas or anything please get in touch! ¬†And if any of you, love romantic films then I would thoroughly recommend ‘The Longest Ride’.

Riding the waves of chronic illness…

Well this is my first post for well over a month.  I apologise for my long absence and lack of writing, but unfortunately once again I have been battling rough seas as a result of the symptoms associated with my neurological condition.

Take my legs for example, the trembling in my legs at times have felt so violent that everyday activities such as standing and walking has been particularly difficult.  Crippling fatigue has left me unable to function, and constantly finding myself falling asleep throughout the days but still finding myself with no energy no matter how much sleep that I had gotten!

Whilst experiencing these bad days however made me realise the importance of pacing. ¬†Those of us living with chronic illness often report experiencing an increase in the severity of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, dizziness and cognitive difficulties after physical activity, and in particular when these activities have resulted in over exertion. ¬†Doctors have named this phenomenon ‘post-exertional malaise’ and although is often reported in relation to myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, or CFS) many spoonies living with a variety of different chronic conditions also report experiencing post-exertional malaise.

Preventing post-exertional malaise therefore largely depends on limiting activity to a level that will not exacerbate symptoms.  Pacing oneself is not always easy our limits do not have clear, unchanging boundaries, in other words we may find we are able to tolerate certain activities on some days but not on others.  Despite this however pacing is often regarded as the most appropriate self-management strategy that help us remain as active as possible whilst avoiding overexertion.  On bad days, therefore we need to limit our energy expenditure to the energy we have available.

Sounds easy right?  But in reality it is far from easy, as is often difficult to know the amount of energy we actually have to spare, and especially difficult when living with a condition in which the severity of symptoms fluctuate, like mine.  Despite this however, the importance of pacing and not overexerting oneself to avoid a relapse of symptoms is a lesson that I have been learning the hard way.

Although pacing is important when living with chronic illness, sometimes it is just nice to get out and do something that would be completely normal if it weren't for our chronic conditions
Although pacing is important when living with chronic illness, sometimes it is just nice to get out and do something that would be completely normal if it weren’t for our chronic conditions

Take for instance, a trip to a retail park that I took with my carer.  A retail park with a plethora of shops to peruse at length.  This particular retail park is quite large and due to the severity of the dizziness of late, it was a difficult trip to undertake but I was determined to push through the uncomfortable feelings and enjoy a day away from the prison that my house had become due to my condition.  Regular readers of my blog will know that when the dizziness is particularly bad as it has been of late, being in my wheelchair is extremely difficult for me and can often make it worse.  As a result, I abandoned the wheelchair and used my two very wobbly legs to make my way around the shops.  The trip was actually a huge success, as after a difficult start due to unrelenting symptoms but despite this and due to my  sheer stubbornness and determination I managed to walk around the entire complex.

Retail Park just like the one I managed to visit - take that brain stem lesion!
Retail Park just like the one I managed to visit – take that brain stem lesion!

For me it was a huge achievement, and although I was proud and enjoyed the day immensely, the days that followed were extremely difficult due to the severe symptoms that arrived days after the shopping trip. ¬†Intense pain, severe trembling in the legs, dizziness and unrelenting fatigue arrived in full force just hours after arriving back at home. ¬†And why? ¬†I had exceeded my energy limit and overexerted my body’s limit. ¬†I had failed to listen to my body and did not use the wheelchair when I probably should have. ¬†And this is not the only example of times when I have failed to listen to my body which resulted in the increase of my symptoms.

Living with chronic illness is often like surfing.  When living with chronic illness, we often find that  severe and unrelenting symptoms including pain, dizziness and fatigue can knock us from being able to successfully live life, much in the same way large and violent waves swipe surfers from their surfboards into the deep waters below.  To live a successful life despite chronic illness therefore we must learn to ride the waves of life, learning to use self-management strategies to balance our lives against our conditions, and not let ourselves be overwhelmed by the waves that are our symptoms.

A new bracelet to remind myself to ride the waves of chronic illness and to not let it stop me from living my life
A new bracelet to remind myself to ride the waves of chronic illness and to not let it stop me from living my life

So let us all learn to ride the waves of chronic illness and live our lives despite the barriers that it can create.  To not be overwhelmed by our difficult circumstances and create a life that although may be different from the one we envisioned, be meaningful and joyful.  To not be defined by our condition but rather be defined by the successes that we achieve despite it.

HAWMC: I made it!

Friday 1st May: You did it!

You’ve crossed the #HAWMC finish line. Recap the past month for us. ¬†What did you enjoy, what didn’t you enjoy? ¬†Favourite prompt?

Well, I have come to the end of the road of this year’s Health Activist Writing Month Challenge.

As in previous years, it has been a challenge.  After receiving the prompts, there was a moment of mild panic, wondering how on earth I was going to write meaningful and relatable blog posts that people will want to read, be able to relate to, as well as writing something original especially as some posts were from previous years.  Have I done this?  I am not sure, only the readers can answer that question!

I needn’t have worried however, once I got started, the words just came out on paper, like it was an involuntary response. ¬†Some days I could not even stop writing and desperately tried to shorten my posts! ¬†I rediscovered a passion for writing, which illness had taken away recently due to the worsening of some of the symptoms I experience daily.

Writing during this challenge however has provided respite from the debilitating symptoms; an outlet for everything that I have experienced and feeling as a person living with chronic illness.  I hope that through writing, I can be an advocate for those also living with neurological conditions and highlight the impact that these can have on those living with them.

Some of the¬†prompts were more challenging than others, and often struggled with the appropriate way to tackle the question. ¬†I felt a deep sense of accomplishment and pride when completing those challenging prompts, and was just one of the many achievements that happened during this year’s HAWMC.

Other milestones included publishing my 300th post, and an increase of traffic and likes on my blog, which is a real validation of the work that I have done.  But again, one of my favourite aspect of this annual writing challenge is reading the entries from the other participants in the writing challenge.  To learn about other conditions other than my own, and the impact that they have on the lives of the writers.  It is interesting to hear other perspectives on what it is like to live with a chronic illness, and furthermore it is always a surprise on the similarities in our lives with chronic illnesses despite being diagnosed with very different conditions.

The only disappointment of the challenge was not being able to complete one of the posts.  I was experiencing a very bad day and was therefore unable to write anything.  Instead I shared the post that I had written the previous year, but at the time I felt like I had failed in the challenge.  But the support I had from fellow participants and readers of my blog, made me see that I had not failed and needed the day to recuperate and reset my body.  It made me see the importance of self-care and the need of rest when we are not feeling our best.  To put ourselves before other commitments.

I would not say there were any prompts that I didn’t like; I really enjoyed them all, particularly writing about the positive impact that my dog Honey has had on my life. ¬†Which of this month’s posts have you had enjoyed reading?

As ever I would really love your comments and thoughts of this year’s HAWMC! ¬†Get in touch through the comment section below or through my Twitter or Facebook pages (links in the header).

HAWMC Day 30: Through Illness You Find Out Who Your True Friends Are…

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Welcome to the Health Activist Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health ‚Äď a social network for all health activists. ¬†Again, I am participating in the annual Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon¬†given prompts.

Thursday 30th April: I wish I would have known…¬†

There’s a reason why we have the saying, “Hindsight is 20/20″. ¬†What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your patient journey that would have made it easier and less scary?

Those of you that have been following my blog posts for #HAWMC (Health Activists’ Writing Month Challenge) will know the struggles I faced during my life prior to chronic illness (well, in my case it was not really prior illness just that I was unaware of the condition) with the name-calling and isolation that I experienced at school. ¬†The excruciating loneliness and struggling with feeling so different from my peers.

After being diagnosed with the neurological condition, however, did nothing to help those feeling of loneliness and isolation.  In some ways, these feelings seemed to multiply.  And as the condition deteriorated and facing difficulties with mobility and going out, the friends I had made since school seemed to vanish and was once again facing hours of being alone, stuck inside the same four walls.  The isolation and loneliness were deafening, and all I wanted was strong and unwavering friendships to silence them.

Facing an uncertain future, with a permanent neurological condition and a life-time of symptoms as a result, felt incredibly lonely in itself, but was further exacerbated by a lack of support system outside of my family.

Therefore, the one wish that I would have known at the beginning of my patient journey is the wonderful support system and the chronic illness community that exists online and the presence of the many wonderful people who blog and help raise awareness of chronic conditions on social media.

I wish I had known about the ‘Spoon Theory‘ a wonderful theory coined by fellow Health Activist Christine Miserandino; a thread which unites everyone living with a chronic illness regardless of the diagnosis, and whether it be a physical or mental condition. ¬†It’s a theory which encompasses everyone with a chronic illness, and has grown into a large and beautiful community.

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Proud to be part of the ‘spoonie’ community!

 

I really wish that I utilised social media, in particular Twitter sooner, as the support from fellow ‘spoonies’ has been and continues to be overwhelming. ¬†I have received many lovely messages from people I have never met on those many bad days; just little messages to serve as a reminder that I am not alone. I do not walk alone on the journey of living with chronic illness.

I have made some special and life-long friendships with women I have met through social media and through this blog and other projects. ¬†¬†In many ways these friendships are stronger and more meaningful than any other friendships I’ve ever had before, despite never having met in person. ¬†It is true that friends are like stars; the distance between two people does not diminish the strength of the friendship. ¬†The test of a true friendship, is whether they are there for you when you need them, and with the friends I have made online, I found that they are, and are true friends. ¬†Something I have never found in friends I have made close to home.

Through living with illness, you really find out who your true friends are
Through living with illness, you really find out who your true friends are

I found myself listening to a song Gavin DeGraw entitled ‘Fire’ and there was a line in the song that I felt really summed up the experience of being a part of the ‘spoonie’ community:

Oh ever since the dawn of mankind

Yes, life with chronic illness is difficult, unrelenting and painful. ¬†But it’s easier to carry on living when you are part of a community of other people who are sadly also living with the effects, supporting and commiserating each other through the difficult times and celebrating the triumphs. ¬†It is a comfort in the knowledge that there are people who understand what it is that I am going through and the difficulties that I face as a result of living with a neurological condition. ¬†This is clear¬†from emails and messages I have received as a result of writing this blog; they thank me for sharing the post and writing words that they cannot express themselves.

Our bodies may be weak; some perhaps are even failing but standing together, we are stronger.

HAWMC Day 29: Massaging the Pain Away…

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Welcome to the Health Activist Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health ‚Äď a social network for all health activists. ¬†Again, I am participating in the annual Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon¬†given prompts.

Wednesday 29th April: Product Review

What’s your favourite health-related product? ¬†Share it with your community and tell them why you love it so much and how it has helped you on your patient journey.

The pain that I experience in legs as a result of the spastic paraparesis (stiffness and weakness in the muscles of the legs) is severe and unrelenting.  The medication, pregablin that I take to control these symptoms, however only seem to dull the pain somewhat and as a result I still live with these debilitating symptoms everyday.

Last year, whilst on the cruise, the intensity of the pain had increased prior to leaving for the holiday.  I was prescribed co-codamol on top of the existing medication, but it only helped somewhat, and found that it helped more with the insomnia that I was experiencing as a result of the pain.  My Mum, decided to book a spa treatment for her and myself; a luxurious 60 minute full-body massage.

Research has shown that massage is effective at helping to relieve and reduce pain.  Studies suggest that there are several ways that it does just that.  For instance, massage is thought to increase blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles, which are warmed by the extra circulation.  Furthermore, massage also triggers the brain to release natural painkillers as well as helping to speed the flow of oxytocin.  Oxytocin is a hormone that relaxes muscles as well as promoting feelings of calm and contentment.

It was pure bliss! After the massage had ended, I felt incredibly relaxed and found it also lessened the pain also! Bonus! The combination of the massage itself, and the oils used, which is said to ease pain (the masseur asked of any medical issues prior to starting the massage to tailor it to my needs) really helped to ease the severe discomfort in my legs.  We were also if we would like to purchase the oils that were used during our massage, Mum purchased,  to use them at home to massage my legs when the pain was at its worst.

Massages, as I am sure you are well aware of, are incredibly expensive and as I an unable to work because of my condition, it is therefore not an alternative therapy that I can afford.  Obviously we still had the massage oils to use, but as Mum has never been trained as a masseur, the effects was not the same!  After doing some research and after talking to people also experiencing chronic pain, I thought about buying an electric body massager to see if it would work in helping to ease some of the pain.  It would also allow me to massage my legs by myself without relying on another person, especially as I am often on my own in the house.  Being able to do it myself would allow me to be able to massage my legs when I really am in the need of one.

After a lot of online research, I purchased the Homedics Perfect Reach Massager.

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It’s great as its light-weight which allows you to be able to hard to reach areas, and as someone who struggles holding heavy items, it’s light enough for me to be able to massage all areas of my legs. ¬†The massager also has two different speed settings; which allows you to either choose a low setting for a relaxing massage or the high for a more invigorating massage. ¬†I have found that on days where the pain is not quite as intense, the low setting is appropriate speed to relax the muscles in my legs; whereas the more invigorating setting really helps knead the muscles, allowing them to relax and to alleviate some of the pain.

The device also has 3 custom attachments, which includes an attachment which has a wide area for comforting larger muscles (very useful for the legs, I have found), a roller for kneading massage and a spot for targeted relief.

Using it has helped alleviate some of the pain that I experience, obviously it isn’t a magic wand and therefore it still a symptom that I live with constantly, but is a tool that I find helps when the pain is at its worse. ¬†And I have found that its positive effects does not just include pain management, but I have found that after having a massage I am more relaxed and less affected by stress. ¬†I personally love the product and has a place in my comfort box as just one tool in my battle against chronic pain. ¬†And it allows me to be able to have a regular massage without the hefty¬†price tag!

 

 

HAWMC Day 28: H.E.A.L.T.H

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Welcome to the Health Activist Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health ‚Äď a social network for all health activists. ¬†Again, I am participating in the annual Writer‚Äôs Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon¬†given prompts.

Tuesday 28th April: H.E.A.L.T.H 

Use ‘health’ as an acronym and come up with words that represent your Health Activist journey.

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H is for HOPE

As I have written in earlier posts, hope is a vital ingredient for life with a chronic illness.  Hope acts as a survival mechanism for when we are at our lowest ebb.  It is what motivates us to overcome the obstacles blocking our path, to push forward and carry on living.  Hope is the line between creating and maintaining a happy and meaningful life despite chronic illness or being consumed by the negativity that illness can create.  Hope allows us to have something look forward to when it seems our future looks bleak.

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E is for EDUCATING

The aspect I love is the reciprocal nature of being a ‘health activist’. ¬†As much as my blog and my writing as well as my presence on social media helps to educate and inform others of neurological conditions such as the brain stem lesion I live with or the impact of chronic illness in general, I also enjoy learning of other chronic conditions and the impact that these creates in the lives of the individuals living with them. ¬†I have learnt so much about other chronic illnesses from reading various blogs that I love reading and by getting to know others on social media; in fact, I have even been known to diagnose patients on certain medical dramas from what I have learnt from other bloggers and health activists!

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A is for AWARENESS

An important part of living with a long-term health condition is self-management.  Therefore, to be able to implement a self-management programme it is important to be aware of every aspect of your particular chronic condition.  We need to be aware of potential triggers that can induce symptoms, so we can stay away from them as much as possible and not exacerbate the condition.  It is important to also be aware of anything that eases symptoms for when they do occur.  It is about making positive conscious decisions to help ease symptoms as much as possible and to improve quality of life.

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L is for LISTENING

It is so important to listen to our bodies.  Your body knows what it is capable of, and so we need to be listen to them, especially if your condition is one which tends to fluctuate.  In order to be as well as possible we need to be aware of any changes in symptoms and act accordingly.  An example, and one which I have done a lot lately, after listening more to my body, is taking a rest when needed.

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T is for TWITTER

I have come to absolutely love Twitter and use it a lot to communicate and connect with other health advocates, bloggers and spoonies in general.  As well as using it as a tool to promote my blog and the writing I do as a result, but I have also built a lovely support network with others who or have had experiences with chronic illness.  It is a great tool to use as a way of sustaining a role in health activism, by tweeting information, links and sharing other blogs regarding the condition being represented.

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H is for Hobbies

Living with a chronic illness, it seems can often take over our entire lives. ¬†It really does, everyday symptoms dictate to us how our day is going, what we can and cannot do, and so on. It can make us feel that sometimes we have no control over our own lives. ¬†It is important therefore to have a life outside of illness. ¬† One way to do that is to find hobbies and interests away from illness. ¬† It is great to have hobbies as away of distracting oneself from debilitating symptoms and helps alleviate the effect of them on our lives. ¬†Don’t let what you can can’t do interfere from doing what you can do!