Have you ever been out in town and seen somebody who looks perfectly healthy get out of a car they had just parked in the spot for disabled people or seen somebody on a mobility scooter park outside and walk into the shop? If you are anything like I was before I fell ill, you might think these people are faking and milking the system for benefits and attention, but you'd be wrong, just like I was!
This week is Invisible Disabilities Week. An annual awareness campaign where patients and activists share their knowledge and experience of life with invisible illness and disability. In 2015 I became severely ill with an invisible chronic illness. Before that, I was very judgemental about others when it came to illness and disability.
I believed that if people ate healthy, did exercise and avoided cigarettes, drugs and alcohol that they'd not get sick and that wheelchairs were for people who couldn't walk - the real issue was that I was simply ignorant of the realities of chronic illness and invisible disabilities. I just didn't know any better.
Chronic illness has completely turned my life and the lives of my whole family upside down, restricting me to my house and often my bed for years, but if you ever saw me outside, you'd think I was still completely healthy because my condition doesn't cause any physical deformities and cannot be detected visually. I have an invisible disability.
Most people with chronic illness have experienced anxiety or panic at some point. It's not always a condition on it's own, but commonly is a symptom of other illnesses that affect the autonomic nervous system. There are many ways to reduce anxiety and stress, but today I will be sharing a fun and creative craft project that will help you restore calm to your world - the Twiddle Muff!
If you've ever met somebody with mental health or even chronic pain conditions, you have likely noticed that they tend to have habits like fidgeting or making repetitive movements or sounds. These actions are called stimming, they are an automatic response to stress or pain and they have a specific purpose. A Twiddle Muff can be a great tool in helping with this need.
After almost a year of severe, chronic migraines, I am happy to announce that I am finally feeling better. I’m not 100% yet, but I have had several pain-free days for the first time in ten months.
I am over-the-moon excited and thankful for the relief.
But as much as I clung to God over the past year, I’m sad to say that my faith still suffered.
For months I was unable to read my Bible (or anything else for that matter), and I am struggling to get back into the groove.
I came across this fantastic list of guidelines for how to live successfully with ME and just had to share it. So here they are, the 11 Rules For Having ME Successfully:
* Do not consider having M.E. unless you have a downstairs toilet.
* In order to have M.E. successfully you should acquire a cleaner, gardener, cook and a general handyman. If this is impossible, you should find a rich, devoted, non-talkative partner with few outside interests.
After moving to our new house last week, we hung our first bird feeder out on Monday and waited (im)patiently for the birds to come eat, but they didn't. No birds to be seen at all. We were disappointed, but I knew that they would come - they just had to discover the spread first.
After days of silence and stillness in the garden, on Wednesday morning a brave little birdie came hopping along the fence to inspect the spread. He was very nervous and dashed away at the slightest noise or movement.
He came back though. A few times throughout the day. And then he brought a friend.