On the 12th Day of Christmas…

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Welcome to the 12th (and final day!) of the ’12 Days of Being Chronically Thankful’ a series of posts in which I divulge and explore all that for which i am thankful for whilst also living with a chronic illness.

And finally, on the ’12th Day of Christmas’ I was thankful for…a TV show!

The one TV show that I would say that I am thankful for is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ – one of the TV shows that I will watch when I am unwell, and especially on the days when I am so weak and dizzy that I am stuck in bed.  The show is incredibly dramatic for it to be gripping, but also has an incredible amount of humour thrown in for it to make me laugh and cheer me up when I am feeling down.

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

On the 11th Day of Christmas…

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Welcome again to the ’12 Days of Being Chronically Thankful’ in which I share all those things which I am thankful for whilst living with a chronic condition.

On the ’11th Day of Christmas’ I was thankful for…a photograph!  And this is the photograph that I have chosen to be thankful for:

My family and I at graduation

My family and I at graduation

 

I am grateful for this photograph as it is a reminder of my greatest achievement – that despite living with a chronic illness, although at that point it was still undiagnosed, I still managed to leave university with a degree!  A reminder that although I, and many people like me, are chronically ill, and although we may have more bad days than most other people, that does not mean that our lives has to be meaningless and empty, and that we are still capable of achieving our goals.

It’s also a reminder of a great day – graduating after 3 years of hard work and sharing that moment with the most important people in my life – my family.

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

On the 9th Day of Christmas…

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Welcome again readers, to another post for the ’12 Days of Christmas’ in which I divulge all the things that I am ‘chronically’ thankful for despite living with a chronic illness.

On the ’9 Day of Christmas’ I was thankful for…a painting!  Again, I am not a huge fan of art, and do not really have a favourite painting, but funnily enough I did fall in love with a painting which I saw whilst out on an outing with my personal assistant, and is by a local artist Sylvia Hughes Williams.

 

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I just love the incorporation of the inspiring quote with the gorgeous picture of the butterfly.  The quote reads:

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over…it became a butterfly”

 

I read this quote a while ago, and caught my eye, as not only because I love butterflies, but also I love the positivity of this quote.  In relation to living with a chronic illness, it reminds us that just because we have limitations due to whatever illness we may be living with does not mean our lives our over but instead something positive can come out with such illnesses…these positives may only be small but they still make life worth living.

So, as soon as I saw this picture, I really found myself resonating with the quote and the print itself, and at some point during the year I hope to even buy the print and place it in my bedroom, and can look at it on those bad days, and remind myself of the positives in life…because there are so many.

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

On the 8th Day of Christmas…

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Welcome everyone to another instalment of the ’12 Days of Being Chronically Thankful’ in which I share some of the things that I am thankful for (based on given categories – see above) despite living with a chronic illness.

Today, on the 8th Day of Christmas, I was thankful for…a poem!  Now I am not really a huge fan of poetry, and there are only a few that I am familiar with.  But if I were to choose one which inspires me then I would choose ‘If You Think You Are Beaten’ by the writer Walter D. Wintle:

If   an inspirational poem

I love the poem as it is a reminder that we must all believe in ourselves and how we see our selves is the most important – rather than believing in what other people think of us.  It is so easy when living with a chronic illness is to think and act like a victim, but as the poem suggests we should rather act like a victor and challenge aspects of ourselves and our conditions to be winners in whatever we do; to do things that we may never thought were possible due to certain limitations.  It’s all about attitude and our view of self as well as overcoming challenges that will inevitably face everyone.

And for that I am thankful!

On the 7th Day of Christmas…

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Again, I so sorry to have missed another day for the ’12 Days of Christmas’ – again, yesterday was a bad day so I was unable to get the opportunity to write a post.

The 7th ‘Day of Christmas’ asks us to write about a physical activity or sport that we are thankful for whilst living with a chronic illness.  I suppose for me, I am thankful for the ‘AeroPilates’ machine that I together with my Mum.  Conventional exercise such as aerobics, or even sports such as hockey, netball or football is no good for me due to the weakness in my legs, I am unable to stand or even walk for very long, so any forms of exercise is very difficult for me.

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This is why I am so grateful for the ‘AeroPilates’ machine as I am able to do exercise without worrying about my legs giving way, as all the exercises I am able to do whilst lying down.  The machine also comes with a rebounder, which is like a mini trampoline which fits at the bottom of the machine – with this, you are able to get a cardiovascular workout, and can even get your heart rate faster than jogging on a treadmill.

So, with the ‘AeroPilates’ machine I am able to get a full body workout with one machine without the worry of my legs giving way potentially causing a serious accident! This is especially important for a condition like mine, as without exercise, the muscles that are already weak can go into atrophy – making them even more weak, and leaving me with the inability to use these muscles.  As my doctor says ‘use it or lose it’!  Thanks to the ‘AeroPilates machine’ I can!!  I have seen no real improvement in terms of my legs becoming stronger, and have been getting worse, but hopefully with exercising regularly on the machine the weakness won’t progress even further.

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful’!

 

On the 6th Day of Christmas….

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Welcome to another post for the ’12 Days of being Chronically Thankful’, a revised version of the famous ’12 Days of Christmas’ for those living with chronic illness, like me.

On the ’6th Day of Christmas’ I was chronically thankful for…a theatre production!

Now, living with a chronic condition like mine, I am unable to attend a theatre production in person – most theatres are very big with high ceilings, as most of you are aware, high ceilings, and flashing fluorescent lights are a trigger for the episodes of severe vertigo that I often experience, and hence going to see a theatre production would make me extremely unwell.

However, a few weeks back, during one of my first trips out with my P.A, we visited my local library, and lo and behold I found a copy of a DVD of a production of ‘Les Misèrables’ that was filmed at the O2 for the show’s 25 year Anniversary.  I was so excited as  it is a show that I haven’t wanted to see for years, but because of my condition I have been unable to go and see it in London.

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As a result, I instantly decided that I would rent it from the library, and on a day in which I felt really bad, leaving me unable to get out of bed, I managed to watch it on my computer.  And I instantly fell in love with the musical – the story, the songs just everything about it!  And for a couple of hours, I forgot about how bad I felt, I was still aware of the dizziness and vertigo as they are hard to ignore!  However, I was so engrossed with the production of this amazing musical that I was able to ignore it, and just really enjoy the DVD!

And now I am equally excited for the film version of Les Misérables, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway among others – and perhaps even planning a trip to the cinema with my Personal Assistant, it will be difficult for me being in the building but I am determined to achieve this feat!

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

On the 5th Day of Christmas….

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Welcome again to the ’12 Days Of Christmas – a celebration of everything that I am thankful for whilst living with a chronic illness.  On the 5th Day of Christmas…I was thankful for an object!

The object that I am thankful for?  Well definitely lately it has been my crutch.  An object that comes with me wherever I go, and as in my opinion, symptoms have become worse lately, I find that I am needing it more and more whilst in the house.  I rely on this crutch, especially when out, as it often prevents me from experiencing falls ( sometimes falls are very bad, that even the crutch will not prevent them – but for the most part, it saves me!).  It basically just helps me to keep my balance and to help me walk everyday.

And not only is it extremely useful in helping me live my life with the condition, but the crutch is not one of those boring crutches that are provided by the NHS.  Oh no, my crutch is bright pink, is lighter and much quieter than the grey standard crutches (great for when Dad is on nights and is in bed during the day!!) – the crutch feels funky and chronically awesome.  Even when living with a chronic illness, it doesn’t have to stop you from being fashionable!

 

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A picture of what my ‘cool’ crutch looks like!

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

 

To find out more about the crutch that I own and others in the range, then visit their website at:

www.coolcrutches.com/

 

On the 4th Day of Christmas….

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Welcome to the 4th Day of this re-working of the ’12 Days of Christmas’ chronically ill style – where we share for 12 days what we are ‘chronically’ thankful for twelve days using given categories (as shown above).

So on the 4th day of Christmas….I was given a book.  Just like with films, I am a huge book lover, some might even say a complete book-worm (seriously I have just finished a book which I only started under 24 hours ago!).   So, choosing just one book to say that I am thankful for is so tough!!

One of the most inspirational books that I personally, have ever read is that of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.  Of course, everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, and how her entire family and other Jewish associates were held up in a small flat in Amsterdam for over two years, in hiding from the Nazi’s.  This book, is a true testament to the strength of a young girl and other just like her, whilst also telling the horrors of the Holocaust.  The book is a great example, which demonstrates everything we often take for granted – freedom being the most obvious theme.  It is a book which is though-provoking and makes us thankful for everything in our own lives.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas….

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I am so sorry everyone for missing yesterday and the 3rd Day of Christmas!  I had yet another bad day so really didn’t feel like writing, instead comforting myself with a night in front of the television, snuggling up with a blanket.  So today is a catch-up day with Days 3 and 4 of the 12 Days of being ‘Chronically’ thankful!

So, on the 3rd day, we are asked to write about a person we are thankful.  Normally, I would write about my Mum or dad but I have written about how I much I am grateful for them before.  So, I was instead asking myself who else I am thankful for?  And the answer would be my new Personal Assistant.

Before employing my personal assistant, my days were mostly the same – being stuck inside the house, staring at the same four walls, even doing all the same things.  I was definitely stuck in a rut.  Now at least once a week, my P.A takes me out, and not only to places where I am familiar – I have even started visiting new places, experiencing different new ventures.  And not only is my P.A opening new worlds to me but she is even committed to finding different clubs or associations that caters for people around my age in similar circumstances, to provide me with new opportunities to socialise with others as well as gaining new support and information on anything which can benefit me and improve my overall quality of life.

And for that I am thankful!

 

On the 2nd Day of Christmas…

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Time for the ‘Second Day of Being Chronically Thankful’, and today’s category is…film.

This is a really hard category for me as I am a bit of a film lover, and have many DVD’s in my collection – some for thrills, lots of laughs and many filled with much drama too!  So selecting just one is really difficult!

But I would say that I am ‘chronically thankful’ for one of my favourites – ‘The Proposal’ starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.  A romantic comedy telling the story of Canadian boom editor Margret (Bullock), who after finding out she is due to be deported from the United States as her Visa has expired concocts a hilarious scheme to pretend to be engaged to her long-suffering assistant Andrew (Reynolds)….

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This film is so funny, and never fails to make me laugh, even on those days when the symptoms are making my life hell, instantly cheering me up and putting a great big smile on my face!!

I’m ‘chronically thankful’ for that….

 

What films are you thankful for?…