Who am I?
My name is Charlene, Char for short, 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. I'm also a dreamer and love all things creative and health or nutrition related!
You might enjoy: 20 Fun facts about me!
Why am I blogging?
I have always enjoyed writing and sharing the knowledge I have learned. I would like this website to be a place where healthy people can be educated on the struggles of people with chronic illness, but also a place where I share my experience with you and celebrate the small victories each day. I hope you will find helpful advice, encouragement and hope in these pages.
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.
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've been posting regularly online for quite some time, mainly on Instagram, but recently also on a Facebook page and Twitter. Connect with me here:
Instagram: @chronicallyhopefulblog | https://www.instagram.com/chronicallyhopefulblog/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chronicallyhopefulblog
Twitter: @chronic_hopeful | https://twitter.com/chronic_hopeful
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 through it all, 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 to low carb / keto, I'd like to hear from you too!
I am a member of the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a way for sites to earn a little money by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. The price of the items are the same to you, but if you use my links to Amazon, I will get a small reward which will help me to maintain this website. If I ever manage to earn more through the affiliate program than I need to run the website, I will donate it to ME/CFS research.
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!