Blogmas 2017 Christmas Tag!

Blogmas 2017 Christmas Tag

One of the things I love about blogging are all the community events. Things like monthly challenges, link-ups and interviews. Holiday link-ups are always fun!

I stumbled upon this fun Christmas link-up on the first of December after I'd already started writing my gift guide and my brain was thoroughly fried, so I have decided to take my time with it and just post it whenever I'm done.

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Gift guide: what to buy for your chronically ill friends, part 3

I'm so excited to share this third part of my spoonie gift guide, I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am! I only planned on 3 parts, but if I think of enough cool gift ideas, I might make more. I know it's Christmas season now, but these gifts would be great for birthdays or house warming too.

If you missed the previous gift guides, click here for part 1 and to catch up on part 2, click here. Happy shopping!

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Summertime Christmas in Africa

Christmas in Africa BLOG

When people think of Christmas, they think of snow, father Christmas or Santa Claus, Pine trees and funky Christmas sweaters. We also think about the birth of Jesus and the whole reason for the season. What many people don’t realise is that people on the other half of the planet celebrate Christmas during Summer!

I was one of these people. I was born and raised in South Africa where it’s Summer in December and Winter in July. Our school year started in January and ended the following December. I found it very strange to arrive in Italy as an adult to see that the other half of the world works very differently, but that’s for another blog post. Today I will focus on my Summertime Christmases in Africa.Continue reading

Gift guide: what to buy for your chronically ill friends, part 2

Gift guide, what to buy for spoonies, BLOG

I know many people find such joy in shopping for gifts. They start shopping months in advance and they buy the most thoughtful, personalised gifts anybody would love, that's not me. I'm so unorganised! 

If you're anything like me, you've waited till the last minute to do your gift shopping. Whether it's for a birthday, Christmas or a house warming gift, I just cannot get it done unless it's right around the corner and then I might just give up altogether because I'm useless at choosing gifts, it actually stresses me out.

I hope that this series will help any other hopeless gifters out there, I know these are things that I could use and would love to receive, and I know that other chronically ill people will love them too. Happy shopping!

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God will give you the desires of your heart

God gives us the desires of our heart BLOG

This verse is often misinterpreted and then people are discouraged and think God doesn’t keep His word.

It’s not saying God is a genie and will grant all your wishes, whatever they are, we know that not everything we lust after in this life is in alignment with God’s will or even part of the path He would like us to be on. I know my own desires were far from godly before I gave my life to Christ and our flesh will always crave things that aren’t good for us. That’s part of the human nature since our separation from God through disobedience in the Garden of Eden… it’s in our DNA now, we all have a hard time fighting our own nature.

That is the beauty of salvation through Christ, lives changed, character changed, desires changed – by Him, not by our own might.Continue reading

Gift guide: what to buy for your chronically ill friends

Gift guide, what to buy for spoonies, Christmas BLOG

It can be quite tricky deciding what to buy your friends with chronic illness because of all the limitations and intolerances we often have. What would be useful and not harmful in their condition?

There are many lists out there, and they're all slightly different depending on the condition they're tailored for, so I'm making a list of the things I would have loved to receive over the years of being housebound.

I have chronic fatigue and chronic pain as my main symptoms and I struggle with sensory over-stimulation and occasionally anxiety, so anybody with ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia and even those with Migraines and Arthritis might appreciate these items. 

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When moving to a foreign country feels like coming home

Moving to a foreign country, homecoming BLOG

It was an icy November evening in 2010, exactly 7 years ago today, when my best friend and I hopped on a plane to London from Milan. I had spent the past ten years living in Northern Italy, literally all of my adult life, and this was the beginning of a new chapter. We landed shortly before midnight.

We both had been unhappy in our jobs for various reasons for quite some time, so when we lost our jobs, which I now see as a blessing although at the time I was devastated, we started looking outside of Italy for new opportunities. By the time we flew over we had researched housing, grocery lists, medical services, transport and even further education. We felt we knew enough to get by and reach our goals and it helped that they speak English in England – that just makes everything easier!

What we didn’t have when we got on that plane was work or accommodation. We were arriving in a new country with only a cabin bag each and hope for a brighter future – a huge leap of faith.

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Shaking and trembling with ME/CFS

Shaking and Trembling with MECFS BLOG

I was lying in the bath relaxing last night when I felt the shakes coming on… This is what I get for walking to the bathroom and getting undressed. I started feeling a bit of the internal tremors at this point, I imagined it might come to the shakes, and then as I lay in the tub to rest, before washing, they suddenly started up. (see the video clip below)

This is just the start, it then takes over my whole body and that’s when holding my phone, or anything else for that matter, becomes very hard.

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Keeping an eternal perspective

praise you in this storm

I absolutely believe that we are safer with God in any storm than we would be anywhere else without Him.

It’s hard when you focus on the pain and suffering in this world or even your own personal trials to remember that this is just a fraction of eternity. This will eventually pass, it is only a temporary part of your life.

Keeping the eternal perspective allows you to see how small and temporary every trial is in the larger picture.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt or doesn’t scare you or make you feel helpless at times. It just means that you will never lose hope because you know that this too shall pass.

There have been a few occasions since the onset of my ME/CFS that I have broken down from frustration and utter physical weakness. I’ve even had a few panic attacks, and every time I have a breakdown or meltdown, I remember the first one because it was incredible.Continue reading

MAIMES: Medical Abuse in ME Sufferers

As anybody with ME/CFS and their carers will know, many doctors and health care practitioners still treat ME as a psychological disorder, when in fact it has been proven to be physiological. Patients have been dismissed for decades, disbelieved, misunderstood and symptoms ignored.

The current treatment recommended for ME/CFS patients is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, a type of psychologically based talk therapy) and GET (Graded Exercise Therapy, a controlled exercise program). This came about due to findings that came out of the PACE Trial which has been reviewed recently and found to be based on flawed principles. The whole trial was unscientific and skewed, not at all a sound basis for deciding how to treat ME/CFS.Continue reading

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