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 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 information in one place I could direct people to.
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.
Faith Notes - reflections on scripture and the Christian faith, includes guest posts.
Chronic Life - all about living with an invisible chronic illness. Includes practical help, my personal journey, guest posts and activism.
Nemo's Kitchen - my experience of the ketogenic and low histamine ways of eating which I'm using to manage my ME/CFS and intolerances, includes occasional recipes, meal ideas and guest posts.
My Home Life - all about my life, past and present, family, memories, garden and home.
Art - take a look at my creative projects, paintings, journal layouts and digital graphics to share.
Blogging - here you will find blogging or social media tools and tips, my blog awards and link-ups.
I would love to share your story on my blog!
If you'd like to be featured on my blog, visit this page to find out how you can contribute. There are currently 3 campaigns open: A Day In My Life, Eat To Heal and Faith Through Illness. 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.
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 have now been on Hormone Replacement Therapy since 2014 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.
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!