Do you feel like giving up?

Giving up?

In the chronic illness community, you will find some of the strongest people you will ever come across. They are warriors who fight many battles daily, often against their own bodies or minds, just to get through each day. As much as there is hope and strength, there is also a lot of neglect and isolation.

I often come across people who are losing all hope. They feel so alone in the world, disbelieved or misunderstood, but in reality there is so much support and love available to them if they just reach out or know where to look.Continue reading

Believe in yourself

Believe in yourself header

When living with a chronic illness, whether it’s a physiological or psychological condition, it is common to start doubting yourself. Your confidence dwindles as you lose the ability to function the way you once did. You might start to feel useless, helpless and hopeless, but there is so much you can still offer the world!

2 Timothy Spirit of Power and love

You have overcome so much already. Every day you wake up is a new victory and a clean page in your story on which you can write the next chapter. You’re brave and strong. Things that healthy people take for granted; their mental clarity, their energy, their physical strength – you fight for every little bit of it that you can find just to get through each day!Continue reading

Why I don’t go to A&E when my ME/CFS flares

waiting in the ER

I often see people with ME/CFS writing about how they have spent hours in the emergency room only to be completely disappointed, misunderstood or even disbelieved. They go to the emergency room because they are feeling so weak and exhausted that they don’t know where else to go or what to do, they’re scared because they feel so utterly ill. I understand the fear that leads you to that conclusion, it’s scary to lose control of your body, but it’s often an unnecessary risk to your own health. Let me explain why I think so…Continue reading

Are you struggling to adjust after an ME/CFS or PVFS diagnosis?

I am regularly contacted by people who have recently been diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They are often scared, worried and confused, but also hopeful and determined to return to their normal life. Their question is usually the same: what can I do?

Having a diagnosis of PVF or CFS is difficult to deal with because there is so little information out there and often doctors don’t know what to tell you. They haven’t been trained in the management of CFS and are often ill-equipped to give advice to newly diagnosed patients.

In this post, I will outline some of the main points you need to be aware of as a newly diagnosed patient. Things your GP might not tell you. I am not a doctor, but I am a patient, and I have spoken to many other patients with decades of experience in living with this condition.

Doctors call these long-term sufferers “expert patients” and the advice they gave was vital in my initial stages of PVF/CFS. I will summarise that wisdom below in the hopes that it will help many more.Continue reading

20 Fun facts about me

Throwback, Dad and I

I write a lot about my experience with chronic illness, my diet and my faith, but there are many things about me that you probably don’t know.

This is a fun post I wrote over on Instagram in April. I thought it would be fun to share it with my readers here and I think it’s a great way to kick off a new series I’m planning on sharing with you. I hope you enjoy it!

1. I was born and raised in South Africa, on the East Coast, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, also known as The Zulu Kingdom.

2. I remember the first black girl that came to our all-white school after apartheid was abolished and the transition began. That’s when I started noticing the inequality and separatedness around me… I was about 12.

3. We didn’t have lions roaming the streets, but we had visiting vervet monkeys, peacocks, a variety of snakes and there’d be a chorus of frogs and toads to sing us to sleep at night!Continue reading

Low Histamine Keto Meal Ideas, Week1, Oct 2017

Meal ideas wk1 Oct'17

It's that time of the week again! Time to start thinking about what we will eat in the week ahead. As most people who attempt a change in diet are aware, planning is essential if you want to minimise the chances of falling off the wagon.

In these posts, though, I do not plan ahead, but show you what I've eaten this week in the hope that thy will help you in your planning. These are my favourite meals from the past week, meals I can look back over in the future when I'm short on ideas. I hope they will inspire you too.

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Reflections: the wind in my sails

wind in my sails

Good morning friends, I’ve just woken up and it’s almost 11.30. I’m stiff and achy, was a little shaky upon waking, but I’m so happy!

I was brushing my teeth and realised I’ve been wearing the same clothes the whole week! Waking and sleeping. That grossed me out a bit, but it isn’t the first time this has happened and won’t be the last.

As I was filling in my journal last night, I noticed that every day this past week, except my birthday on Friday (Yay!), was marked as a flare day. Every single day.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, we just flare amyway, I can’t even remember what might have caused this week long flare.

I didn’t even realise it had already been so long. It’s like my memory resets when I have a good day and I am emotionally energised by the good days for quite some time after.

It’s like that good day will stay in my memory and the joy it gave me will just last, like a gust of wind in my sails, pushing me ahead until the next one. Despite actually paying for it physically for some time after.

It doesn’t even have to be a good day really, it could be a good meal or a fun chat with a friend or a beautiful comment from somebody I’ve never even met who connected over something I shared online.

These are all small things to the heathly person, but they are accomplishments worth celebrating if you’re chronically ill and housebound.

The good experiences we have daily fill our sails and can carry us forward to the next port. That could be a celebration, a visitor, an outing – any of those beautiful occasions that are rare and exciting, but also potentially difficult exhausting.

The effects of such occasions are often quite positive on us emotionally and are great for out mental health, but can be quite draining or even painful physically, which will mean once again focusing on the small blessings each day brings until we’re able to enjoy the celebration at the next port.

So you can see how the small things in life are so important. When you’re stuck in bed paying for some semblance of normality you tried to experience, it’s those little things that can mean so much: a text or a card in the mail, the sunshine on your face, the sound of birds outside, a delicious meal, a soak in the bath, clean sheets, a quiet neighbourhood, the view from your bedroom window…

Search for the beauty, the joy, the silver lining in every day. Focus on the good. Practice gratitude over every small gift that each day brings and let that feeling fill your sails like a gust of wind until the next one comes.

Life is going to be full of waves and high waters, specially if you’re ill, it affects every aspect of your life: physical ability, relationships, finances, confidence, faith, mental health, your independence, etc.

However, you can focus on the waves and let fear, anger, anxiety and panic set in, or you can focus on the fluffy clouds above, the blue sky, the sunshine, the fresh air, and be grateful for the shelter and protection you have and for every gust of wind that fills your sails, even just a little, pushing you forward and closer to your next port.

My weight loss journey

How I lost 24kg BLOG

People with chronic illness often find it hard to lose weight and many wrongly believe that it’s useless changing their diet because they cannot exercise.

Most of my weight loss journey was without exercise, mostly bedridden, but still consuming decent meals daily. At one point even three cooked meals daily! It’s a slow process that requires commitment and consistency and I haven’t only lost weight, with diet changes, I am also no longer bedridden!

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Isolation: where did all my friends go?

Trust Him and let go

Sometimes it’s hard to accept that when you’re living with a chronic illness, people fall away, but it is something that commonly happens after a period of time, and it might even be beneficial.

Initially, once people are made aware of your struggles, you might have an outpouring of support and practical help from many around you, but over time, when you don’t improve, most people will inevitably drift away as they are unable to make taking care of you a permanent fixture in their lives. They have their own lives to navigate.

When you’re no longer in the same circles, no longer going out, no longer socialising, you’re no longer in their life unless an effort is consciously made on both sides to stay in touch and make things happen. I have seen this happen over and over again with so many people who fall ill. That’s why I don’t believe you should take it personally, it’s just a fact of life – only a precious few will remain, if you’re lucky.Continue reading

Low Histamine Keto Meal Ideas, Sep 2017

Sept 2017 meal ideas

This is the first of what I hope will become a regular series on my blog: low histamine ketogenic meal ideas!

I had initially thought of doing weekly meal plans in advance and sharing them here with you, but my health doesn't allow for consistency like that and I've only ever managed the first post. So I have decided to rather post a round-up of past meals which you and I can scroll through for inspiration whenever we're short on foodie ideas. 

I hope that you will find this series useful, I was relieved to discover I'm not the only one who is in need of low histamine ketogenic meal ideas, there seem to be many people out there with similar issues. You are not alone!

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