How do you solve a problem like…a high ceiling?

Sorry for the lack of an update this week – truth be told, I haven’t had the greatest weeks with most of it spent lying on the sofa with the comfort of a quilt and watching endless hours of television (or at least trying to!!) feeling particularly dizzy, weak, nauseous and with frequent episodes of the ‘room spinning’ motion.

It started Wednesday evening and I believe that the deterioration in my condition was due to the afternoon I spent at ‘Life 4 Living’; a local group I attend every week which promotes enjoyment, positivity and friendship.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my time at the group, and is something that I really look forward to, however, this week we had a local singer coming to the group to perform and so we left the confines of our usual room to conduct the session in the Day Centre’s Main Hall.

Now as I may have mentioned before that one of the triggers that seem to affect me much more than anything else are high ceilings.  The very first dizzy spell I experienced was in a DIY Superstore with vast ceilings and being in a place with high ceilings can bring on an attack of vertigo, causing my vision to become out of focus, balance becomes even more unsteady.  I have no idea why these places affect me so much but they just do – if anyone knows any such explanation I would love to know!!  The ceiling wasn’t particularly, much lower than what you would find to expect in a superstore for example, but as there was dips within the ceiling itself – progressing from higher to lower and so on just threw me for a loop – as if it was too much visual stimuli for my brain to process!

Unfortunately for me everywhere and every new store that is opening up seems to be big vast and open as well as the problematic high ceilings – as if the world I live in now no longer is fit for me, a lot of places coming out-of-bounds for me and my condition, nowhere being accessible for people ‘like’ me.

My Nemesis!

We had prior warning to the change of venue and knew what it was like in there beforehand so I was able to bring my Mum along for support and to help me if taken unwell. On a positive note, I did manage to stay in the hall for the entire group session (close to 3 hours) but even so I uncomfortable and unwell the entire time, and my balance was really bad also – thank god Mum was there to get me drinks and to help me get my food from the buffet.  As much as I did want there, I just wanted to enjoy myself with my Mum whom I do not get to go out with anymore on account with the severity of my symptoms as well as the awkwardness of spending a long amount of time out causes due to the weakness in my legs, and Mum was also looking forward to seeing the singer perform so didn’t want to spoil it for her.

The most embarrassing part came towards the end of the afternoon when coming to leave my legs seized up on me causing me to crash to the floor!! But still a good time was had by all!

And since then, I have really gone downhill, legs weak I have hardly been able to stand and generally feeling weak and lethargic – as if those three short hours just took everything out of me.  So here’s to a quick recovery in time for volunteering Monday and especially to the next meeting of ‘Life 4 Living’!!

What are you grateful for?

Time for a new post!

And today I will be talking about a subject we were discussing at yesterday’s ‘Life 4 Living’ – a group that I am member of in my local town, one which establishes fun, friendship and understanding.

Positive Psychology is a relatively new branch within psychology and is basically the study of happiness, and one in which scientifically examines how ordinary people can become happier and ultimately live a more fulfilled life.  Happiness is not something which makes us feel good but can also have a beneficial impact upon other areas of our lives such as social relationships, improved physical health and in a study amongst nuns it has even been found happiness can even help you live longer.

Image: http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/the-myth-of-positive-psychology-%E2%80%93-what-the-guru%E2%80%99s-don%E2%80%99t-want-you-to-know/

Many of us within the group suffer with chronic illness and find that we may feel unwell a lot of the time – these times, it often seems impossible to remain positive and upbeat…but that does not mean that we cannot find the beauty in life or still find joy in the little things which we enjoy.  Life is a fantastic journey – not always easy and some of us find we have to climb huge mountains but there are lessons with we can all learn from during the hard times.

As a piece of ‘homework’ we have been given an exercise to complete, a way in which we can all learn to become more positive – every day to write in a little notepad or journal 3 things that we have been grateful for – it could be absolutely anything!!  For example, it could be having a chat with a friend, or receiving a compliment from a stranger, it could even be grateful for being alive!!

Gratitude Diary – Image: www.paperchase.co.uk

At the moment, I think I would say that I am grateful for:

  • My Parents – such a great support system and have stuck by me through everything
  • My Dog – on a bad day it is wonderful just to have a cuddle from her
  • My online support system – these ladies are such a blessing, and find myself looking forward to our Skype Meetings every fortnight with joy

So, what are you grateful for?

                                                                                                                                                   

To learn more about the ‘Nun Study’, I have found a great resource which you can read here

Taking Part in a New Project!!

Hey Everyone

Hope you are all well, sorry I haven’t updated for a few days but again have not been feeling well – some were even spent bedridden as it was so bad, legs feeling so weak and every part of my body feeling so lethargic.  Also, have been quite busy – I have now for a couple of months have been attending a new group within my local area, many of the attendees like myself suffer with some form of disability or illness, or perhaps those who for a number of reasons find themselves stuck in the house alone.  The group, called ‘Life 4 Living is an initiative of the Pontypridd Disability Team, a branch of the RCT Social Services, the ethos of the group being to encourage friendships and for its members to spend time in a friendly, relaxed and fun environment, focusing on how to get the most out of life and to develop a positive attitude to living life to the full despite the circumstances that life has dealt you.

Anyway, recently we have formed what is called a ‘constituted group’ – to make the group more official, and hopefully be able to apply for some funding for trips for all the members – places of interest and fun activities that all members can partake in.  So, to form a constituted group, there needs to be a committee and I am happy to announce they have all voted for me to become secretary!!  So, in the times that I have not been so ill in bed, have been preparing for my new role!

And on to another piece of news…As some of you may remember, I took part in a challenge back in April called the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.  The organisation that ran the challenge is WEGO Health, a fantastic health online community that empowers health bloggers like myself to connect with audiences and each other to spread the word of the health cause or condition that we write about.  Well, they have just launched a brand new project entitled:

It’s called the ‘HealthSecret’ which is based upon a project, PostSecret by a man called Frank Warren whereby people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard.  So, WEGO Health are asking all health activists or bloggers to mail their secrets to them on a postcard, letter or note – just as long as it gets to them via ‘snail mail.’

They are not even looking for ‘secrets’ per se, they are asking for people to write about themselves, their health condition or health community that affects them and may not be widely known.  It could even be a letter telling others exactly what it is like to live with the condition they have, or even sharing knowledge with people who may have been recently diagnosed.  Basically anything that the health activist wants others to know about their particular health cause or condition.  And with all of the postcards, letters or notes sent in, the people at WEGO Health are going to compile them into a great e-book which you can sign up for here 

So, I think this is a wonderful idea, and gets us all to be a little creative and to spread the word about out particular health conditions – I personally love handwritten mail, they just seem so personal and a sense that a lot of time and thought has gone into writing it and I am looking forward to sending in my contribution.  I have even bought a new writing set especially for the project!!:

So, if you are someone perhaps with a condition which is uncommon or perhaps one which is misunderstood by the general public then get involved in HealthSecret and shine a light on the truth as it is for you!!

You can send all letters, postcards or notes to:

WEGO Health

180 Lincoln St.

5th Floor

Boston

MA, 02111