When moving to a foreign country feels like coming home

Moving to a foreign country, homecoming BLOG

It was an icy November evening in 2010, exactly 7 years ago today, when my best friend and I hopped on a plane to London from Milan. I had spent the past ten years living in Northern Italy, literally all of my adult life, and this was the beginning of a new chapter. We landed shortly before midnight.

We both had been unhappy in our jobs for various reasons for quite some time, so when we lost our jobs, which I now see as a blessing although at the time I was devastated, we started looking outside of Italy for new opportunities. By the time we flew over we had researched housing, grocery lists, medical services, transport and even further education. We felt we knew enough to get by and reach our goals and it helped that they speak English in England – that just makes everything easier!

What we didn’t have when we got on that plane was work or accommodation. We were arriving in a new country with only a cabin bag each and hope for a brighter future – a huge leap of faith.

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Shaking and trembling with ME/CFS

Shaking and Trembling with MECFS BLOG

I was lying in the bath relaxing last night when I felt the shakes coming on… This is what I get for walking to the bathroom and getting undressed. I started feeling a bit of the internal tremors at this point, I imagined it might come to the shakes, and then as I lay in the tub to rest, before washing, they suddenly started up. (see the video clip below)

This is just the start, it then takes over my whole body and that’s when holding my phone, or anything else for that matter, becomes very hard.

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Keeping an eternal perspective

Keeping an eternal perspective BLOG

I absolutely believe that we are safer with God in any storm than we would be anywhere else without Him.

It’s hard when you focus on the pain and suffering in this world or even your own personal trials to remember that this is just a fraction of eternity. This will eventually pass, it is only a temporary part of your life.

Keeping the eternal perspective allows you to see how small and temporary every trial is in the larger picture.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt or doesn’t scare you or make you feel helpless at times. It just means that you will never lose hope because you know that this too shall pass.

There have been a few occasions since the onset of my ME/CFS that I have broken down from frustration and utter physical weakness. I’ve even had a few panic attacks, and every time I have a breakdown or meltdown, I remember the first one because it was incredible.Continue reading

MAIMES: Medical Abuse in ME Sufferers

As anybody with ME/CFS and their carers will know, many doctors and health care practitioners still treat ME as a psychological disorder, when in fact it has been proven to be physiological. Patients have been dismissed for decades, disbelieved, misunderstood and symptoms ignored.

The current treatment recommended for ME/CFS patients is CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, a type of psychologically based talk therapy) and GET (Graded Exercise Therapy, a controlled exercise program). This came about due to findings that came out of the PACE Trial which has been reviewed recently and found to be based on flawed principles. The whole trial was unscientific and skewed, not at all a sound basis for deciding how to treat ME/CFS.Continue reading

ME/CFS Awareness, 15 Nov 2017

ME Awareness Hour

As you might know by now, I spend every Wednesday evening on Twitter, along with many other ME/CFS warriors, taking part in ME Awareness Hour. It runs from 8-9pm (London time) every Wednesday evening.

We tweet about what life is like with this life draining illness. We tweet and retweet for an hour, hoping to to make our hashtags trend on the front page of Twitter so we can get the most attention possible. I hope you will join us, even if you only retweet other people’s tweets, every bit helps!

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Bullet Journal: When time passes you by

Empty Bujo spread

Have you ever opened your journal to find you’ve skipped a whole week of your life? I did that today. I was expecting to open my journal to the next clean page, so I could set up this week’s spread and discovered that last week’s spread was still completely empty. Not only was is empty, but I hadn’t even finished setting it up!

If you have a chronic illness, you can probably relate. Flares can be so draining that you don’t even manage the simplistic of tasks like picking up your book to read, or opening your journal to see what’s on your to-do list. Partly because the book is just too heavy and partly because having things not ticked is hard to accept sometimes. We don’t like all those lists of undone tasks.Continue reading

Recipe for Fat Head, Keto Pizza & Toppings

Can you really have a movie night without a pizza? For months after I had transitioned to keto, I didn’t have any pizza. The crusts are loaded with grains which just don’t work for the ketogenic diet, so I was very happy when I stumbled upon this recipe. When I tasted it for the first time I almost cried. This recipe is flop-proof and tastes so good!Continue reading

Life is like a twisting roller-coaster ride

It’s easy to get caught up in all the negatives that happen in life. Things don’t go your way, you fall ill, you lose people or your job, you feel sick, there are just so many things that can bring us down, but this is just part of life.

The minute we stop expecting life to be a fairytale and accept reality, that’s the moment we open ourselves up to the truth and the freedom that comes with it. It’s hard to expect perfection at all times. It’s hard on ourselves and on those around us. Nobody can live up to that expectation. Life doesn’t work that way.Continue reading

ME/CFS Awareness, 8 Nov 2017

ME Awareness Hour

I have a date tonight – with Twitter! Every Wednesday evening I spend an hour on Twitter, along with a bunch of other ME/CFS warriors, taking part in ME Awareness Hour. It runs from 8-9pm (London time) every Wednesday evening. You can join in the fun too, we’d love to have more advocates taking part!

We post memes, links to research or media coverage, personal experience, all sorts of things that will help shed some light on what life is like with this debilitating illness. We tweet and retweet for an hour, our hope to to make #MECFS trend on the front page to get the most attention we can. I hope you will join us, even if you only retweet other people’s tweets. Come find me on Twitter at: chronic_hopeful

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Update: current ME/CFS flare is slowing me down

It’s hard to deal with these unexpected flares or relapses that seem to come out of the blue.

You end up asking yourself a million questions. What did I do wrong? Did I eat the wrong thing? What did I do yesterday or the day before to cause this much pain? Why am I so weak today, did I overdo it this week? Was the TV too loud? Did I miss the signs and push too hard? Did I get over excited about something?

It can be a bit worrying when you are sure you’ve done everything right, but your body fails you anyway. The key is to not get distressed, because that just makes things worse. Stress absolutely is your enemy. Continue reading

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