I am not “sick again”

Over the last 10 years as I have walked this incredibly challenging journey of chronic pain and chronic illness I have been blown away at how often people comment or say “are you sick AGAIN”.

The answer to this from someone living with 3 auto immune diseases and pulmonary obstructive airway disease is NO I am just living with chronic disease. This means that my immune system is fighting me constantly. It means that I am susceptible to flares, infections, constant pain and chest infections.

I however don’t “look” sick a lot of the time and I make a conscious effort to get up and keep moving every day. This is not something that is easy to do and is a very challenging journey a lot of the time. It takes a commitment, focus and a deep love for myself to get up and do whatever is possible on any given day.

Chronic pain is just that a constant burning pain that doesn’t go away. It is relentless and can be extremely debilitating. I have days when it takes a lot of self motivation to get up and move as sometimes I just want to pull the duvet over my head and not face the world.

At the moment I have a bone in my shoulder that is degenerating, no skin on my feet, bursitis in both my hips, compartment syndrome in my calves and sympathetic reflex dystrophy in my right arm, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. It’s a very interesting journey I am walking and it comes with waves of depression, anxiety and frustration.

However I have SO much to be grateful for and I am surrounded by kind, caring and motivational family and friends and a truly amazing therapist who support me and get up and swim in the mornings with me, walk in the evenings with me and just love me warts and all.

So when you feel overwhelmed and challenged put up your hand and ask for help. On the tough days get into nature and embrace its beauty and remind yourself of all the blessings in your life. It really really does help.

Re-inventing Yourself

After 27 years in the event industry, Covid 19 had brought about a need to reinvent myself and try create ways to cover medical bills . What a journey the last 2 years in particular have been.

Having spent a total of 26 weeks last year and 8 weeks this year in hospital with an onslaught of physical pain I did not believe was possible, I have learnt so much about resilience, humility and the need to take care of ME first.

Watching this crazy pandemic unfold throughout the world has brought home the reality of how the unconscious state of human kind has created the current global experience has been astounding and incredibly humbling.

For me personally with the extreme financial pressure of medical costs and constant battles to manage the brutal auto immune diseases I have, I have had to work out a way to create an extra income. I decided it was time to do something that makes my soul smile and brings joy to me through soul food.

It has been a fun journey creating meals and treats with love and mindfulness. I put my heart into it and believe that food made with love can only bring a smile to your face which for many people over these challenging times has been desperately needed.

I have enjoyed the beauty of nature and all the blessings it offers by getting out into the forests, onto the mountain and into the ocean Tidal pools. Connecting with nature in this way has allowed me to clear and calm my mind and remain focused.

I am truly thankful that I have the family and friends, who have supported me and ordered from me and backed me in every way possible to help me get through these challenges.

I am truly blessed to have the most remarkable house keeper helping me to create new recipes and being there foe me on my worst pain days. She has been a real lifesaver and we are excited about taking our cooking journey further.

The greatest teaching I have had this year is that you can do anything with the right support and complete belief in yourself and your ability to get back up and re-invent yourself if need be.

So as you start your day, ask yourself is what I am doing in the best interest of my mental and emotional well being? And if not simply do not give it your energy. If it is embrace it with both arms and be grateful for it.