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Yearly Archives: 2017

December 2017 Chronic Voice Blog Link-up

Blog Link-up Dec

As this year draws to an end, I have decided to start something new here on the blog.  One of my favourite parts of blogging is taking part in link-ups or blog parties.

If you’ve never heard of them, they are basically the virtual equivalent of a meet-up in a coffee shop with other bloggers online. Usually hosted by one or more bloggers, it is a collection of links, which are really invitations, to come visit other blogs who all have something in common; it could be a hobby, the focus or niche of their blogs, or the fact that they are parents that connects these blogs.

It’s a great way to find new blogs to follow and make new connections with other bloggers as well as possibly gaining a few new readers yourself.  There are usually questions, prompts or a theme to help guide the participants.

The link-up or blog party is usually run on a regularly recurring basis, either every week or month and sometimes there will even be seasonal ones! The prompts for this month’s one aimed at bloggers with chronic illness are:

  1. Recovering
  2. Shopping
  3. Enjoying
  4. Reminiscing
  5. Preparing

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Coping with Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 BLOG

Christmas has changed so much over the years. From huge family get-togethers, to multinational bring-and-share gatherings of friends, to small meals with just my sister and I in my bedroom, to every combination in between! I think it’s safe to say that we don’t really have a typical Christmas tradition in our family.

This year we had a lovely quiet day at home, just the 4 of us. I was doing okay despite having had a bath the night before, I actually managed to spend most of Christmas upright with my family in the living room!

This post will be a recount of our celebration, but will also include tips on how I coped with the holiday chaos.Continue reading

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Chronically ill being stalked and denied benefits

Stalked and denied benefits BLOG

On this day last year something very wrong and so unfair came to my attention: People with disabilities, who are deemed unfit for work by doctors and occupational health assessors, are being denied benefits because of their Internet activity. They’re being stalked, not only online, but in real life too!

In this post I will elaborate on some of my thoughts I’d shared online at the time. My heart goes out to anybody who has suffered unnecessarily due to such corruption in the benefits systems, not only here in the UK, but abroad too. I have spent some time in various international support groups online over the years since the onset of my ME/CFS and was shocked to read about people’s experiences of surveillance through windows and being followed.

This means that if the chronically ill applicant dares venture out and is spotted, it could seriously affect their applications for benefits. This is simply wrong on so many levels.

Does this mean that since we are unable to work due to illness, we also no longer have the right to live? No longer have the right to enjoy a rare occasion out or join social media so we can connect with the outside world without the negative consequences of going out and exerting too much? Despite the discomfort and pain we will endure during and after the activity anyway.Continue reading

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Being declared unfit for work

The day I lost my job BLOG

I love Facebook memories. Each day you wake up to find a lovely look back at how much things have changed over the past year. Some people find this depressing or sad, but I love looking back. I don’t find it sad, I find it interesting and I enjoy being reminded of all I’ve made it through and how far I’ve come.

Even if I am still very ill and inactive, much has changed through the years, but it’s only with these reminders that I remember what I’ve gone through, what I’ve tried, what has worked and what hasn’t. It’s a great way to re-evaluate and keep track of things.Continue reading

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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

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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

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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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