Who is Chronically Hopeful Char?
My name is Charlene. I was born and raised in South Africa, lived in Italy for ten years and now call England home.
Before falling ill I was a Teaching Assistant supporting children with Special Needs and a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Now I am housebound, reclined on my bed or sofa, resting, blogging, painting, drawing, watching nature through our windows and raising awareness of invisible illness online.
Why Did I Create ChronicallyHopeful.com?
I am often asked about my conditions and how I manage them, so I decided it would be a good idea to collect all the relevant information in one place I could direct people to.
I love helping others adjust to their new normal, sharing helpful information, empowering them to help themselves. I am also passionate about raising awareness and being a patient advocate, giving a voice to those who are too weak to speak up and advocate for themselves.
Chronically Hopeful is a place for:
- healthy people to be informed on the struggles of people with invisible chronic illness and hopefully be inspired to help support somebody in their community.
- patients to find resources, support and encouragement as well as ideas on how to adjust to their new normal and housebound life.
- me to share my personal journey through faith, chronic illness, art, home life and more. A sort of online diary recording my progress as I aim for recovery.
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.
Invisible Illness - all about living with chronic illness - practical help, guest posts and advocacy.
Eat To Heal - I share my keto journey, recipes, meal ideas and guest posts.
My Chronic Life - all about my life - health, faith, hobbies, family, memories, blogging and more.
If you'd like to be featured on my blog, visit this page to find out how you can contribute. I would love to share your story here!
I am passionate about raising awareness and helping others feel less alone in their struggle and I believe that sharing our stories is the best way to do that.
There are currently 3 campaigns open:
Celebrating Life, Eat To Heal and Faith Through Illness. There's also an interview for carers.
If you prefer to not do a Q&A style interview, I am happy to share your completed guest post at Chronically Hopeful. Do get in touch and let me know what you have in mind!
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 was then put on Hormone Replacement Therapy in 2014 and was doing much better. After 4 years on HRT I decided to ween myself off them and am happy to discover that my menopausal symptoms are not as bad as they were initially. Mainly just a few hot flushes daily.
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, profound exhaustion and weakness upon exertion (whether 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 sensitivities. These are only the constant companions, there are many more unpredictable symptoms that come and go and they all vary in intensity daily. You can read my ME story here.
I have also been dealing with Histamine Intolerance, since the start of 2017. The main symptoms being itching, rashes and hives upon eating or drinking certain foods, accompanied by hot flushes and burning, swollen joints. It is also triggered by heat. You can read all about it over here.
I am a member of the Amazon Associates Programme as well as some other affiliate programmes by companies I trust and use regularly. 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!
Blogging Community Link-ups
On the right you will find the badges of some lovely blogging communities I am a member of. If you are a blogger and would like to meet other bloggers or need support, make sure to visit these great pages!
Like My Theme & Page Layouts?
This blog is running on WordPress using Thrive Themes. They have fantastic tools for building pages and posts, sign up forms and more. Allowing you to personalise just about every aspect of your blog without needing to know any code. They have a brilliant theme builder called Thrive Architect, which is similar to the new WordPress Gutenberg, but way more advanced in terms of capabilities and the variety of tools available as they've been at it for years.
Click here to see what Thrive Themes is all about!