Challenges are the greatest Teachings

Walking my road with Chronic illness has been one of the most humbling experiences I have been blessed to have. There are times and moments where the constant pain and endless infections feel overwhelming and all consuming. There are times when I feel so mad I want literally throw my toys out the cot like a petulant child and then you get to the place I am in today. The space of complete surrender and release.

Today I had the wind completely knocked out of my sails when I discovered that the 5th Biological drug I have been on can no longer be infused into my body. My lungs are taking too much strain and I am getting too many infections. When you have an auto immune disease basically your own immune system believes a part of your DNA is the enemy and your body produces these little soldiers to go and fight that enemy.

In my body I have 3 of these diseases so I have a whole bunch of crazy neurological signals and immune fighting going on. Over the last 9 years I have had a number of treatments both holistic and western medicine to combat what is going on in my body. My doctors have worked with a variation of treatments, diets and psychological approaches to get on top of what feels like a full blown assault at times.

I have had numerous surgeries and treatments and have survived some truly intense infections and today I start another journey as the last biological is now no longer working in my best interest but is causing major lung complications. You see with these diseases one of the approaches that has worked best to keep me moving has been to have immune suppressors. However when you are on Immune suppressors you switch off the immune system and are of course highly susceptible to infections and germs.

I am a positive upbeat person who will try and relay what it is like to people who have not walked this journey what it is like and that no I am not sick AGAIN, I have an autoimmune disease so I am just sick a lot and often. I don’t need to “just be positive” or reminded to look at the bright side. As I really do live that approach every day. Sometimes when you live with pain 24/7 you simply don’t have the energy to be upbeat.

I have also been pretty pissed off of late as I have been following all the diet programs for inflammation and leaky gut and doing all the protocols of awareness and I have still been floored and fallen ill. I am a spiritual being having a human experience and somedays I get truly Gatvol with it all.

So today when I sat down with the one doctor that I really trust who has my back and gives a shit and we discussed the results. I watched as he looked at me and said we’ve got this! I listened as he said we’ll find a way. And he said I know this because I know you and you are too determined to let this get the better of you. And as he said this I just smiled because I know that what will be will be.

This was a terrifying conversation as what now? How do we keep me moving? How do we keep the bones and joints from deforming what is going to happen to me when the pain is off the charts. How do I find the strength to put on the tap shoes and keep my chin up and keep doing all I can to be better. And the answer was simple really. Just surrender and let it be what it needs to be.

Now don’t get me wrong that in NO way means that I am giving up. You see the word surrender has been so misused and so misunderstood for so long that people think when you say you are surrendering you are giving up. All you are doing is not fighting with yourself and your mind and overthinking every decision every single thing and worrying about what you can and can’t control.

So today I am grateful again for the true blessing and teaching that is coming from this new challenge. I am thankful for being able to have the opportunity to be surrounded by friends, family and medical professionals who have my best interests at heart. And that is a whole lot to grateful for.

When you start your day ask yourself what can I be grateful and thankful for today? And how can I be more aware of what is great in my life. And focus on that. If we all just start looking at what to be thankful for I really do believe we can be the change we seek in the world.

Gratitude and Blessings

Today has been a truly contemplative day for me. I haven’t shared in a while because I have been working on finding the Gratitude and the Blessings in the traumatic 4 months I have experienced with my health.

It’s so important to be authentic and honest about where you are in your life and who you surround yourself with in your most trying times. One of my greatest goals is to always appreciate the teaching the dark and challenging times in our lives bring us.

I would not be authentic if I said I am finding that easy at the moment and on some days I really have to dig deep to find the joy and the blessings in situations that feel overwhelming. It’s ok though to get mad, to feel low and to honour all the myriad of emotions of living with Chronic illnesses is so important on this journey.

I find in today’s world people have lost touch with what’s real and what truly matters and let me tell you there really are only a few things that truly matter. For me these things begin with do you love yourself enough to accept, surrender and just feel all you choose to feel regardless of how scarey it is or what anyone else thinks.

What’s important is, is it authentic? Does it make your soul smile and if it doesn’t do you have the courage to do what best serves you and your wellbeing ? For a very long time in my life I have given generously and helped those less fortunate than me and I aspire to do more for people whenever I can. But right now my body is in crisis and I am having to learn a new way of being.

All that said and done there comes a time when you need to look at what is working for you, who’s got your back when you need it and who is just there when they need you. It’s the most brutal yet necessary teaching you can have. The day you wake up and realize that no amount of words make a difference but that action is what has the greatest impact.

Over the last 4 months my body has gone through an unbelievable amount of trauma and no matter how positive and mentally focused I have chosen to be, I have simply not been able to control the physical reaction to the trauma in my body. I am a truly strong willed individual and can generally, visualise, focus and pray my way through anything. But this has been next level for me.

My body is tired and I am tired and the reality is I can no longer move at the speed I am used to moving. The level of frustration I feel about this is incomprehensible. I am angry, sad, frustrated and grateful all at the same time.

On the outside I look like my normal self (baring some raw feet and cortisone bloat). On the inside I am like a ticking time bomb waiting for the next explosion. And a week ago today I dropped, my heart stopped and I stopped breathing. It took the medics 45 minutes to stabilise me and then a further 3 hours in hospital to get my breathing to return to normal.

From the trauma I have experienced in my body I have full blown PTSD and this has been my greatest challenge of all as I simply can not control how my body shakes, how emotional I am, my mood swings or the the emotional roller coaster I am on and that let me tell you for an OCD control freak is like living hell.

Sharing my story and helping people living with Chronic illness is something I am passionate about as so few people understand what it means to live like this. As someone with Chronic illness I can promise you that I am doing everything mentally, physically and emotionally possible to get better. I have read up on every possible treatment, miracle drug, meditation and holistic treatment out there.

I work with my nutrition and exercise and focus on being positive about what I am living with, however I have reached a stage where I am sick and tired of the “suggestions” from people who have NEVER experienced a full blown attack like this on their bodies and the condescending manner in which they deliver the “suggested approach”.

With this in mind as someone living it. I would simply like to say that the only real thing a Chronically Ill person really needs from the people who love them is understanding, a listening ear, an offer to make a meal or just a hug. They do not need to be lectured and told just be positive. Don’t make the assumption that you have any understanding of the journey being walked as you will NEVER understand it until you live it.

So as I end my blog today, I ask you to simply be present with yourself and those around you who may need your support. Don’t assume you know what anyone is dealing with as assumptions and expectations only create great disappointment. Just do what is best for you in the now and that is something that changes depending on where you are on that particular day. Don’t put yourself under pressure to be anything for anyone that does not ultimately serve your best interests first.

I am truly grateful for the teachings I have received from living with these challenges as through every darkness there is always light. As we face the challenges so we grow and learn how best to honour ourselves. I am grateful for every day I get to walk this earth and am at peace with my journey.

I am thankful and truly grateful for every nurse, medic and doctor that has worked with me and is doing their level best to help me heal. I am one very blessed human.

Understanding Chronic Illness

Being diagnosed with Chronic diseases is a truly challenging journey and one that has a number of elements that make it a real balance both mentally and physically. For me the hardest thing about coming to terms with the physical side of these diseases is coming to terms with the mental state of mind that comes with them.

Chronic pain is a thing that is truly difficult to explain to people who do not live with it and it is not something that anyone can understand until they live with it. The most challenging part of the process is people’s perceptions and often ignorance of what these diseases are and what it means to be in pain ALL the time.

As some of you know I was diagnosed 9 years ago with a combination of auto immune diseases. I am committed to being the best version of myself and work daily on doing what will best serve my body and soul at that time. I sometimes get it right an sometimes I just don’t. And that is what being human is about. It’s about acceptance that on some days you will be able to cope and can look at the bright side and some days you are going to be frustrated and pissed off.

I work hard at not allowing the pain and challenges to consume me. The most difficult thing for me often is that on the outside I look absolutely fine. A lot of the times these diseases are referred to as invisible illnesses as on the outside you look great but inside its a whole different thing. It’s a bit like the swan gliding gently on top of the water but under the surface it’s legs are moving at a rapid rate.

There are currently between 80 and 100 identified Auto Immune diseases in the world and 293 Million people have been diagnosed with these diseases. And these are just the stats on the people who have been diagnosed. It’s a very real crisis in our world at the moment.

Most if not all these diseases are genetically based diseases that require a trigger to switch them on in the body. These triggers normally incorporate trauma or stress in the body to switch them on. Once they are switched on in the body they can create absolute havoc as you can’t mentally figure out why you feel so shit all the time. Logically illnesses normally have a timeline to them and a simple pill or rest or combination of things can “heal” the disease and life goes on as normal.

Chronic illness don’t generally work like that. Chronic illnesses are a complex thing as everyone’s DNA is different and therefore some treatments that work for some folk don’t work for other folk. A lot of what impacts on theses diseases is based on nutrition, stress environment and mental attitude. However while eating clean and reducing stress and getting rest helps it doesn’t always fix or cure the disease. In some cases it has shown amazing results and other cases people have seen little or no change.

Most people who live with chronic pain will agree that you just don’t even bother telling people you are in pain anymore as they just don’t understand it or get irritated with the fact that you are “sick again”.

I must say that for me personally that is my greatest frustration. If someone calls me and they hear that I have a chest infection or I am not upbeat and they ask me “Are you sick again” I literally want to slap them in the face. It is probably the WORST most annoying thing you can say to someone with chronic diseases. They are not sick again they have an auto immune disease which mean they often have some form of infection or pain as a result of the disease they have.

I know that there is NOTHING I want more than to be well and back to my old self. I have tried every “special” supplement, diet and even mentally have done and continue to do a lot of work to get my body to respond. The reality is that it is just what it is and surrendering to the process and resting when I need to and doing my best to just show up every day is all I can do. I eat clean, I exercise as much as I can and I do the work needed to stay on track.

Since the 17th of December last year I have been in a complete nightmare of infections, pneumonia and have had a few surgeries and a whole bunch of body trauma. It’s been the most challenging experience I have had since living with these diseases and believe me I have survived some crazy shit over the last 9 years.

The greatest challenge this time round is that I feel like my body is on load shedding. I have a few hours a day where I can function and focus and concentrate and then out of nowhere it literally feels like someone switched the power off and I want to collapse onto my bed and sleep for hours. When this happens I feel like I have done the iron man or something and that pisses me off to no end.

This time round my body has suffered such intense trauma that I have full blown PTSD which has been a complete mind fuck. I am annoyed, impatient and OVER being tired and feeling like hell. Being a type A personality I don’t have a lot of patience as I just want to get up and go 300kms an hour.

The greatest blessing however, and there are ALWAYS blessings and teachings in every situation, is that this time round I have finally learnt my boundaries and limitations and am working with them instead of fighting them. I am choosing who and what I give my valuable energy to and am putting my needs first. We all tend to think that if we put our needs first we are being selfish. When actually that’s a load of rubbish and simply a belief system that has been programmed into our minds by society.

Self love and healing begins with putting yourself first. Listening to what your bodies messages are and loving yourself enough to do what it is asking. The stress levels in the world at the moment are off the charts and people are mentally and physically in crisis. To bring about healing and change the first thing we need to do is start from within. Start with ourselves and then we can help others.

So as you start your day today I ask that you do something for you first and foremost. If you feel you need to have a lie in and just take the day off, then do that. Do what makes your soul smile and what feeds your body and soul the most. Stop doing things in life because you feel you don’t have a choice. We always have a choice, we have just been programmed to believe that putting ourself first is selfish when in fact it’s the most selfless thing you can do.

Self Love and Respect

  • This week has been a true test of my will and a real journey into Self Love and Respect. The journey of Self Love and Respect is a journey that every single one of us on this planet are walking everyday of our lives. I honestly believe it’s the greatest challenge of daily life for everyone.
  • Part of this journey is to understand that putting yourself and your well-being first is not a selfish act, it is the most loving and healing thing you can do for both you and all those that surround you.
  • We live in a society of expectation, pressure and an underlying sense of entitlement. There are so many people in this world that have truly lost touch with what is really important in life and have become consumed by “Stuff”.
  • Surviving the last 7 weeks of infections, surgeries, and a number of complications has taught me the greatest lesson of all. I have been learning this lesson regularly for the last 12 years and have slowly but surely been shifting and changing my life to a space where “Stuff” and “Things” have very little relevance to me and how I live my life.
  • No material thing is ever going to make or break you as a person. Connection, experiences and conversations are what matters. Spending time with people that are important to you and doing things that support your highest good are the “things” and “stuff” that matters.
  • What you earn, where you live, what car you drive and the things you “own” don’t define you or your worth. Integrity, authenticity, respect, kindness and actions define who you are in this world. How you treat yourself and the people you engage with on a daily basis is key to living a good life.
  • I have had the opportunity to observe and reflect a lot over the last 7 weeks and have realised how important it is to listen to your intuition and to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
  • One of the greatest gifts we have been given in this lifetime is that gut feeling. The feeling we often get when something feels out of place of off kilter. Often I have ignored those feelings as I think I am being silly or over sensitive and yet every time I have ignored the feeling my intuition has been right.
  • Self love and respect is so key to survival as if we do not have enough of this in our lives we really can’t offer the world the best version of ourselves. If in life we constantly put everyone’s needs above our own we will land up being completely depleted and worn out.
  • So today as you start your day think about what will make your soul smile and do that. Think about who you care about and let them know. Be kind to yourself and people around you, kindness doesn’t cost you a thing but it could make the biggest difference in someone’s life without you even knowing it.

    Know your Limits

    One of the greatest lessons I am learning at the moment is to be able to truly understand what my capacity as a person is right now in the current place my body is at. For the last 9 years since I was diagnosed I have been trying so hard to do what I believed was best serving my body. I have gotten up and shown up every day as I truly do want to be well and “normal” again. I have worked with exercise, nutrition and cognitive behavioural therapy. I have well and truly gone to places I never thought a person could go and I have dug deep on many days to just keep the focus.

    The one key thing that I have not always done though is just know my limits in the now. I have been on some level of complete denial that when my body has been screaming at me to stop and rest that I just need to focus and push through. While it is true that focus, determination and true belief can get you through most if not all things, sometimes what you really need is to just stop and rest.

    Our bodies are the most amazing things and all the stuff that operates in our bodies ultimately comes from the brain. It is the message centre that sends off all the messages down the spinal cord and ultimately alerts us to where the pain of problem is.

    When these message centres are interrupted or not “firing” like they should normally be it can be a complete shit storm in your body. I know this storm I live it every day of my life and I am doing all I can to get it back on track. The one area I have been most challenged in is communicating when I have been in too much pain to really push myself in a healthy nurturing way.

    The way we communicate with ourselves and nurture ourselves is so important in daily living as at the end of the day only you as an individual can be the protector of your own body and wellbeing. The current pace of life and constant expectation of the world as a whole to be connected, available and responsive 24/7 has meant more more people are pushing their bodies beyond what is naturally, healthy and nurturing for our bodies and overall wellness.

    Setting boundaries and understanding your limits is essential to life. I have personally struggled with this for years. I am a complete empath and if someone or something is in need I automatically want to help and solve, save or rescue the person, animal or situation. The reality is I will always be that type of person BUT the most important thing to remember if this is you is to check in with YOU first. Ask yourself can I give this my energy and do I have the capacity to help without putting myself at risk.

    Boundaries are healthy and completely necessary for daily survival. Boundaries are about self love, selflessness and being the best version of who you can be. I have done a lot of work on learning how to be kinder to myself and aware of my personal needs over the last 12 years but have still pushed myself beyond my limits many times due to unrealistic expectations of myself.

    The key here is that no one and no situation is responsible for this except me. No one can MAKE us feel anything or do anything in life as we ALWAYS have a choice. That is how we were made. As human beings one of the greatest gifts we have been blessed with is Choice and the right to choose.

    I know there are many situations in real life where we feel we don’t have choice and there are many stressful situations globally right now where people’s right to choose has been taken away or controlled by outside people and things. In these situations however we do still have a choice as small as it sounds and as irrelevant as it may seem to some of you we always have the choice on how we react or respond to the situation.

    Yes there are many stressful influencing factors in our daily lives, far too many in comparison for how we as human beings were created to be. There is too much noise, too much “plugging in” too much clutter and too many expectations from outside factors on what we BELIEVE is needed or required from us in order to validate our existence on some level.

    Over the last 5 weeks my body has faced so much trauma, so much pain and so much discomfort that I have had to simply STOP on all levels and just listen. I have had to face my mortality head on and truly get perspective of what is real and what is necessary in life for my own survival and it is really very simple.

    It all just boils down to knowing your limits. It’s about putting stress and pressure into perspective and managing how you respond to outside demands and the “urgent” needs of others with clarity and perspective.

    The language we use daily has a massive impact on us too as we take on pressure or create additional pressure when we think that if we don’t do something or respond to someone’s demands that it’s in some way going to be the end of the world. The reality is nothing is the end of the world and no meeting, client, expectation or demand is the end of the world or worth putting you and your health at risk for.

    The reality is living in these current frenetic times requires time to stop, breathe and consider what will best serve you as an individual. It requires you to think of how you can best resolve the problem, how you can best spread the load in order to get the solution needed. Without judgment, without drama and without buying into chaos.

    So as you start your day today take time to plan it and put into place realistic goals on what is possible for you to achieve. Take time to remember you have the choice on how you respond to pressure and you have the right to set boundaries for your own well being.

    Nothing is the end of the world and nothing is so important that it is worth your personal well being. Everything has a solution sometimes you just need to ask for help or spread the load. It really really is that simple.

    Love your Tribe

    I truly believe in life we all have a Tribe that help us learn, grow and believe in what’s possible. This Tribe comes in many forms they are family, friends, colleagues, doctors and even sometimes foes. They are the people who are your teachers and are there to remind us that every second and every moment in life is to be revered and appreciated and never taken for granted.

    I am so utterly blessed to have such an amazing Tribe of people in my life who have helped me to just keep my mind focused and remember that every second of every day is a blessing. I have learnt an immeasurable amount over the last 46 years of my life and an so thankful for the teachers that have come in so many forms.

    The last month has been my toughest month living with this combination of auto-immune diseases and it has taken me to some of the darkest, scariest places I have ever been. I have experienced trauma to my body that has literally had my nerve endings shaking uncontrollably. When something like this happens however it brings such clarity and awareness to what is real and what you will and won’t spend your valuable energy on And that all you can really do is be utterly grateful for the teaching.

    I am a Warrior and people know me that way. I am the person who will always stand up and face what comes at me. I have had the honor of walking the Beautiful Red Road for the last 12 years and have learnt so much from these ancient Native American Teachings on what is truly important and how to connect deeply with what is being taught to you.

    I have taken part in something called the Dance to Heal the Earth for 4 years now and in my first year I was given a Native American Name and it is Standing Tree Heart. My roots reach deep into the ground and my branches reach high into the universe connecting me to all that is and all that is possible. I was created to be the change I want to see in world, we all were actually but we all just connect with this in different ways.

    I am a person who believes that you have the right to connect with life in whatever way works best for you and in some people that is through a chosen religion and some people it’s no religion or belief in religion and all of it is ok and exactly as it should be.

    I do not push my beliefs or way of connecting onto anyone as that is not my right or responsibility. I do not judge anyone for what they choose or don’t choose to believe as again that’s not my business or right. But I do have an incredible connection with God and the higher power I call Great Spirit and I am utterly grateful for this relationship as it just gives me a sense of true love and understanding.

    I love my Tribe of diverse special people that fill my heart with joy and bring so much to my world. I have an amazing Tribe that help me remember every day that there is SO much life to live and be appreciative for. I have a Tribe made up of eclectic personalities, religious preferences, sexual preferences and races and I LOVE that I have that, it is such a blessing.

    Today I woke up in my own bed for the first time in 3 weeks feeling like I can REALLY do this. I can get back up and moving and heal and that it may have to be at a slower pace than I normally like to move but I can do it and it is because I have the most amazing Tribe who have my back. I accepted that my body has taken a hammering and I need to be gentle and patient and just do what I can when I can and that’s ok.

    It’s called loving yourself enough to listen to what you need. It’s so important to remember that NOTHING is the end of the world or so important that you need to put yourself in harms way. That trying to keep everyone happy at your own expense is going only damage you and only you will pay the price. So stop worrying about what people think of you, stop worrying about other people’s perceptions of what they need you to be. And start focusing on how you can best be of service to the world in an authentic way from a place of love.

    Today as you start your day, be honest and check in with yourself and see if you are doing what you choose to do to have an impact on the world authentically. Check in and give yourself permission to slow down or speed up if it is what you ultimately need. You see the only way we really are going to Heal this earth and this planet is to do the work internally first. The only way we are going to be the change we seek in the world is to literally and physically BE that change. It is all possible and totally achievable as long as we BELIEVE it is.

    Don’t make Assumptions

    Today I start my morning with another one of Don Miguel Ruiz Four Agreements as inspiration.

    Don’t make assumptions – “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

    Walking my journey with chronic pain and illness has taught me a lot about this particular agreement and the danger of buying into the full blown drama of making an assumption about anyone or anything.

    You see my greatest bug bear on my path has has been my relationship with my body and how I come to terms with the weight fluctuations due to the medications and imbalances that are part and parcel of what I am challenged with with my disease and drug protocols.

    In the “real world” however people mostly live their lives based on what they assume or perceive to be the truth without understanding or taking the time to get to know you. You are judged on how you look, what you earn and how you fit into their little box of perception. The foundation based of pure assumption unless they take the time to ask you who you are and what makes you tick. Which I am sad to say is not often the case.

    One of the most challenges issues for me walking with this myriad of diseases and living in a world filled with judgement and preconceived ideas of acceptance and perfection has been learning to just love and appreciate my body for what it is in the now. I have wasted too many hours , too many tears and too much valuable energy on what people think of me and assume about my weight and my body.

    I am a powerful, beautiful, intelligent women walking a journey that requires my full energy and focus on getting better. What people think of me has nothing to do with me. Any assumption by anyone not living my reality and judgement thereon is literally their movie and their “Stuff”.

    Part of my challenge with my illness is that often due to lung infections and other complications I have to take large doses of cortisone and I blow up and pick up weight which frustrates the hell out of me. What I have realised in this latest 3 week journey in hospital is that I simply choose to surrender to the process and do the best I can under the current circumstances. I have had time to accept that I no longer choose to associate or be around people who make judgements or assumptions about who I am based on what I look like or how I conveniently fit into their world.

    Don’t get me wrong I am very blessed to be surrounded by many wonderful, genuine people who get me and take time and care to understand my journey. I also have friends who don’t get the reality or complexity of my journey as it is just too much to understand but it doesn’t make them love or care for me any less. So in essence my biggest challenge is with acceptance of the “is-ness” of whatever space I am in in that moment is me and how I choose to work with it in that moment.

    I choose to accept that I have a few rather challenging results that are complicated and frustrating and need to be balanced with all my focus and care if u am able to survive and thrive through this.

    I choose my well being as the priority and to honour my needs in the present moment one day at a time. I choose to be body positive and just love every curve, every bump and ever part of the body I have in the now as I am Alive and that after the last 3 weeks is the real miracle.

    I ask you today as you start your day to take a second and think before you make and assumption about anyone and the journey they may be walking. Just take the time to be kind or smile at someone or smile at yourself and just love yourself as you are as that really is all that matters.

    Always do your best

    To quote Don Miguel Ruiz

    “Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.” This is one of my favourite of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

    Today I found myself in a space where I literally felt like a dark toxic cloud had descended on my head. Like I was in a straight jacket and I wanted to run down the passage screaming ENOUGH!!! And in the same breathe I heard myself saying suck it up buttercup this is NOT the end of the world.

    I decided to prepare each element of my night before to put myself in the best position to be in the least amount of discomfort as possible. Being the OCD control freak I am I need to at least BELIEVE I am in control of some of what is going on.

    Truth be told over the last 18 days there has been very little that I have been able control. It’s all been a bit of an emotional roller coaster and to be honest when I woke up feeling like my lungs were exploding and my entire body was on fire at 3:45am this morning I had what only I can term as a Asshole Collapse.

    I was kind of like a petulant child, pissed off, tired and wanting to go home I just wanted out of these quickly becoming claustrophobic four walls. I had, had a reasonably good night sleep to be fair as had managed to sleep for 2 hour intervals but at 3:45 I was awake and sore and irritable.

    So here I am moaning about 18 days of this. I mean really who do I think I am? There are people who spend a lot more time in a lot worse conditions and they don’t act like spoilt brats. They just get on with it and do it. But you know what for me right now this was my low point. It was my moment when I was like “REALLY ” and to be truly authentic to my process and the goal I have of healing physically, I really do need to just allow myself to feel these emotions not matter how rational or irrational they are.

    Once I had seen my Doctor and he told me that I was still not heading home I decided I needed to pull my head out of the woe is me mode and find something, anything to focus on to make my soul smile. I had a harsh talking to myself and deduced that I was going to get my mind onto anything other than where I was and what I was experiencing.

    I got up and walked to the garden outside and just sat and looked at the beautiful flowers and trees. I breathed in some of the fresh outdoor air and let the sun warm my face. I focused on smiling while I did this to just shift my mood. It does help to smile when you trying to shift your mood. I don’t know why and even if you start off faking it by the time you have done it for a few minutes You genuinely do feel a better.

    I was blessed to visited by my sisters and some really special friends who just knew I was struggling today and they made me laugh and gave me a bit of a kick up the butt. I called my massage therapist and got her to come and just give my very sore body some tlc and I spoke to my mom. And finally to end my day I got to see my favourite Nurse who is kind and makes me laugh. So tonight I am going to bed with a better attitude and grateful heart. Each of these things helped me to do the best I could today which in the end was all that mattered.

    Thank You for having my back

    There are a few words and phrases in my vocabulary that I find challenging in real terms. However Rest and Recovery seem to be hard words for me to contextually put into perspective. I am used to going at 300km an hour and thrive outdoors in nature with my dogs, SUP Board, family and friends. I am not very good at lying still and being quiet and resting.

    I however have had NO choice this time round as I have literally been hit from every angle. I normally negotiate or do “trade exchanges” with my ologists to go home and recover in my own space.

    This time however I have literally had to practice what I am great at preaching and that is to simply surrender, listen and do what I need to do to reach that final stage when I can go home.

    Through this journey however I have had so much time to truly realize how well my friends and family know me. How they know that in order for me to stay sane I need very little but I need connection, color, laughter, love and understanding.

    I have been blessed with all of those in abundance this week. I have a room filled with brightly colored flowers. I have been brought all the most incredible healthy snacks , I have my special pillows from home so that I can support my body better, I have my journal so that I can write and process what’s going on and I have an utter abundance of love from every single person who is helping me recover.

    The amazing thing is that not only have got these “things” but I have gotten the most incredible emotional support I could ask for because believe you me 17 days of being in a hospital bed with searing pain is not fun for anyone.

    Today I must say that the trauma of what I have gone through definitely caught up with me and I am completely shattered. With the auto immune diseases I have, I have a biologics infusion every 7 weeks. What this infusion does for me is prevent my immune from attacking my joints and nerve tissue causing chronic pain and rendering me pretty immobile as it becomes very challenging find to walk.

    When you have an infection in your body you cannot infuse as it literally switches your immune system off. To fight infection you need the immune system to do this job. It’s all very complicated and in my case especially challenging for the doctors as each of my issues compacts on another issue and standard solutions can’t be applied.

    No one ever accused me of being an under achiever and like in everything in life I am certainly a unique challenge for the doctors but am going all I can to get better and heal bu just surrendering to what my body needs.

    So as I end my day today I end it with gratitude and appreciation of all my amazing friends, family and medical staff for helping me to just heal so that I can once get up and get moving.