Today I am honoured to share Sarah's chronic illness story. She has been battling Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, also referred to as ADEM, for decades. This interview is part of an ongoing series where we meet warriors from around the world who share their struggles and victories as they navigate life with various chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities.
I hope this series will encourage you and help you to find answers and community. I know that many of the things which I now rely on to manage my condition came from other patients with more experience. I hope that, by sharing these stories, newly diagnosed warriors will feel supported and less alone.
This week I'm sharing Nicole's story. This incredible warrior lives with multiple chronic illnesses including Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder as well as undiagnosed chronic pain and fatigue.
Her interview is part of our ongoing series featuring spoonie warriors from around the world, each highlighting the realities of life with chronic illness and invisible disability and how they celebrate life in spite of it all.
I hope their stories will encourage you and help you to see that whatever you are going through, you are not alone. There is an incredibly supportive community of chronic illness warriors online - and I can't wait to introduce them to you!
I'm Brittany. I have suffered with ME since September 2013. It started 2 weeks before my 19th birthday. I was a University student studying psychology and linguistics, working a part time job at a restaurant and had a booming social life.
One morning I woke up and felt that something was very wrong, I blamed it on exhaustion and not taking care of myself... I thought it would go away in a day or two, 6 years later it’s still here.
In this new series I will be sharing stories from our beautifully resilient ME community. These chronic illness warriors are not only battling crippling symptoms everyday as they adjust to life with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, but are also finding ways to continue dreaming, creating beauty and supporting each other, despite their debilitating illness. I hope their stories will help you better understand this life-altering condition, raise awareness and eliminate the stigma that still surrounds ME.
I started becoming ill with multiple infections in 2014 and no one knew what was causing it. An ENT told me I’d have to just live with the symptoms. Then in 2015 I had a head injury and it all spiralled downwards from there.
Today I am sharing a guest post by Shona Smith. I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this topic, but it is an important issue and needs to be addressed. It is not just a few isolated cases, pastoral care in the church is something that is in desperate need of an overhaul. This shouldn't be an issue, but sadly it is and Shona is working hard to find solutions.
I hope you do not relate to our shared experience, but if you do or know of somebody who might, please participate in the surveys and help us move towards better pastoral care in the church.
So many of us with chronic illness were leading such busy active lives full of people and places and we were church members, regularly enjoying spending time and energy with like minded friends and often serving and caring for each other in the crises of life. BUT when we have been absent for a while it seems like we are easily forgotten. Do you recognise your experience in the musings below?