Who is Char?
My name is Charlene and I'm 36 years old.
I was born and raised in South Africa, lived in Italy for ten years and now call England home. What an adventure it has been!
I am a Bible-believing Christian, a creative and love all things health and nutrition related.
You might enjoy: 20 Fun facts about me!
Why Did I Create ChronicallyHopeful.com?
I have always enjoyed writing and sharing any knowledge I learn. So when I found myself being asked many questions regarding my chronic illnesses and how I manage them, I decided it would be a good idea to collect all the useful information in one place I could direct people to.
This blog serves as a collection of useful information, as well as a type of journal documenting my condition and faith through chronic illness. I would like this website to be a place where healthy people can be informed on the struggles of people with invisible chronic illness, as well as sharing helpful practical advice and encouragement for those dealing with such conditions.
As you can see from the Categories on the right and the Menu at the top of each page, I cover a variety of topics.
Faith Notes - reflections on scripture and the Christian faith.
Spoonie Life - all about living life with an invisible chronic illness. Includes practical help, my personal journey, as well as raising awareness and sharing encouragement.
* I hope to include guest posts in the near future.
Nemo's Kitchen - all about the ketogenic way of eating which I'm using to manage my ME/CFS, includes occasional recipes and meal ideas.
Arts and Crafts - here you will find posts about my creative projects, Bullet Journal, etc.
Freebies - the newest section, free graphics to download. More goodies to come!
I would love to share your story on my blog!
If you'd like to be featured on my blog, please contact me with your story and related pictures. I'm interested in your diagnosis and how it affects your life, your faith, how you are managing with home and family responsibilities, any words of wisdom or encouragement you'd like to share, and if you've had any improvements from changing your diet, I'd like to hear from you too. Visit my guidelines page for details!
POF - In 2014 I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. It is essentially early menopause. My ovaries just stopped producing eggs and I haven't had a period in years. I had an extremely rough couple of years initially, the menopausal symptoms were intense and constant. It became quite debilitating. I have now been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for about 4 years and am doing much better.
ME/CFS - In 2015 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is a complex neurological disease which affects all body systems. It has had many names over the decades, but is now most commonly referred to as ME/CFS. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
My most persistent symptoms are widespread pain in muscles and joints, excessive fatigue and weakness upon exertion (mental, emotional or physical exertion), cognitive dysfunction, unrefreshing sleep, shaking and tremors, tingling pins and needles and numbness of the limbs as well as heart palpitations, breathlessness and sensory sensitivity. These are only the constant companions, there are many more unpredictable symptoms that come and go and they all vary in intensity daily.
I am now also dealing with Histamine Intolerance, since the start of 2017.
Fundraising for ME research
I am raising funds for ME/CFS research with a challenge I have set for myself since experiencing improvements through the ketogenic diet I'm on: I'm aiming to walk 1000 steps a day to raise £1000 for Invest In ME Research.
IiMEr is a UK based charity that is investing in biomedical research into ME as well as educating the public and medical professionals and supporting patients and their families. It is an extremely worthy cause.
If you'd like to sponsor my efforts to regain strength and muscle tone after spending 2 years in bed with this illness, please visit justgiving.com/chronicallyhopeful where you can make a donation safely and securely. You can remain anonymous if you choose to.
All donations go directly to the charity. Thank you for supporting this chronically hopeful spoonie!
I am a member of the Amazon EU Associates Programme as well as some other affiliate programmes by companies I trust and use. Affiliate advertising programmes are designed to provide a way for sites to earn a little money by advertising and linking to companies or their products.
I only link to products I believe would be beneficial to my readers. If you use my links, I will get a small reward, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!