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Posts Tagged ‘Chronic Illness’

 

#LifeandChronicIllness

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“Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

It seems like a tired old story, doesn’t it? I mean, really, how many people are blogging about their illness or how they are managing it? Is it some, a lot, or too many? Hmm. Perhaps that means there are a lot of sick people out there and they need to be heard in one way or another.

Each person has some kind of tether attached to them, whether it be an abusive relationship, family problems or stress. Whether that stress is overwork or the actual job causing the stress, or simply the pressure of being the penultimate person in life, can find themselves in a situation where their body shouts ENOUGH! If that happens, when that happens, they may find themselves with a Chronic Illness.

Our bodies are incredible organisms which can do remarkable things. We have sent our bodies to the moon and back. We have climbed the highest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest (8,848m) in the Himalayas. We have sent them down into the deepest parts of the ocean. The Challenger Deep in the Marianna Trench was first explored by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in the Trieste bathyscaphe in 1960. They reached a depth of 10,916 meters. We can train to become incredible athletes and we can bring life into the world. We can, unfortunately take life out of the world also in too many wars.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from http://www.petera.se The inimitable Mount Everest

We ask our bodies each and every day to do things they may not yet have evolved enough to do, but the pace of technological advancement means we need to force our bodies to do more to keep up. We have even “beaten” to a smaller or lesser degree most of the illnesses which have killed us in the past. The problem is, we have also created a host of new ones to take their place, some by accident and some by design.

Each and every action we ask our bodies and our minds to do can lead to the organism’s failure. It may lead to our body yelling ENOUGH! If this happens, or when this happens, it may be a minor or major catastrophe.

It may be as simple as an overwhelming fatigue which can be put to rights by a good long vacation.

It may be a ‘breakdown’ which requires much longer away from work to address the issues.

It may also be an insidious invader which slowly sucks the life out of you until it is impossible to ignore. At that point you have your “Chronic Illness”.

Unfortunately there are far too many people who, when faced with a spouse, family member, friend or co-worker with a chronic illness cannot cope with even acknowledging human frailty. The only way I can describe it is that they cannot face their own possible frailty, or their own possible mortality.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from halsamt.wordpress.com

I have seen and worked with people who have turned and walked away from loved ones because they cannot deal with illness. Ultimately, their inability to deal with the situation is reduced to one thing – fear. Fear of becoming ill themselves, of dealing with the illness, fear of being tied down because of someone else’s illness. Whatever the final key element is, it is based on fear.

I saw it many times. Saw the illnesses, saw the injured, infirm, the helpless and counseled both sides of the equation. So one would think that when faced with the same situation I would have been prepared for whatever life had to throw at me. I know I did and I was wrong. I was so wrong that it took a decade of things slowly falling apart, one illness after another, one trauma after another and down some deep well inside I kept pushing all the pain and hurt, the fear and anger deep inside and capped that well.

My mother and my children kept me anchored to my life. They provided me with the lifeline I needed to convince myself that I had everything under control. That was when my husband learned we had been told that my mother was terminally ill. Then my personal volcano started to rumble. When I stepped up to the plate to look after Mum, he decided he’d had enough and left. My volcano really started to rumble and smoke.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from nevsepic.com.ua

Her passing was a body blow and things escalated. No-one seemed to know. They didn’t appear to see the signs of strain, or stress, or perhaps they didn’t care. They may have been too caught up in their own dramas at that point. So I tried to cap my well once more but the cracks were already there. As the saying goes, “I soldiered on” but I could feel my hold on everything slowly slipping.

I even made an escape run by going to the Middle East. I’m still not sure if I intended being able to return from that trip. Nothing fazed me at that point. No careless act was beyond the devil may care attitude I portrayed. Yet my turn had not yet arrived and I did return and for a short time it appeared as if I had managed to shore up the weakened foundations of my well and life progressed.

That was until the dramas began again, different ones but with the same stress load. I struggled to hide it. I tried to deny it. It was no use. The volcano was not going to be denied this time. Slowly and then more quickly the volcano erupted as I morphed from fit and healthy to something akin to a helpless worm. My self-esteem plummeted and my desire to fight all but eliminated. I had a small flicker of light burning far in the distance, my children and my new husband.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from tinyhappyfarm.blogspot.com

My guilt knew no bounds. I was caught on the horns of a giant dilemma, succumb or keep struggling with this “Chronic Illness” rubbish I was bombarded with each time I saw my doctor. (Primary Care Physician for my US friends). Me, a medical research sponge, needing to know all the ins and outs of everything, prognosis, treatment, end results, could not find the damned answer.

When I was finally told I had Lyme disease I was unsure if I was relieved or not. It did not feel right and after 12 months of the most putrid antibiotics I have ever had, it was decided I didn’t have it after all. I dread to think what it has done to my body. One simple test, always done at the beginning of Lyme testing had not been done. If it had I could have saved those 12 months and perhaps started to feel better.

But wishes are only granted in fairy tales and life moves on. The results when they arrived back have turned my life upside down. Yes, it’s still a Chronic Illness, but one with far reaching ramifications, and not just for me. At the moment the volcano is still running hot, the lava is destroying thoughts and ideas and new ones have yet to be made to replace them. I need to get a handle on this monster and beard the dragon in his lair.
I need time and yet time is not a resource I have in abundance. Decisions to be made and plans to make and I’m swimming against the tide, no small feat when I can’t swim.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from cybershamans.blogspot.com

So I ask you, the ill and infirm, those with Chronic Illnesses, the fit and healthy, I ask everyone, to be aware of the little acts you do, be aware of how much difference a small gesture can make to someone who is ill. If you are ill, learn to take pride in the fact that you CAN ask for help. If it is turned down, it is their failing; not yours. If we want our world free from illness, we need to start by understanding its ways. We need to want to beat the monster at its own game. We can, but not alone. We all need to care and work together.

Those who don’t care, do they deserve our sympathy when they crash and burn? I have no answer yet. I try each day to send love and healing, gratitude and thankfulness out into the world, even now. Perhaps it is more important now. I know there is a question within this tale and in time I will be able to answer it, but only after I have accepted it fully.

#Life #ChronicIllness

image from chronicillnessmemes.tumblr.com

Chronic Illness is not catching, but it is lonely and isolating. Please, if you remember nothing else, I ask that you remember this.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~

“…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

~

It’s almost as though I missed out on today. I have been ‘doing’ things all day, necessary things, but at the end of the day I have this nagging feeling that the day has floated by and I haven’t done what I ‘should’ have done. It’s a feeling many of us get and in many cases, or for a lot of the time it’s also an inaccurate mental picture.

I’ve always been one of those super organised people. Lists and reminders, plans, planners and schedules have been the way I’ve managed to get so much done each and every day. Since starting my Lyme treatment many of these things have been changed. Some have been totally upended and some have been kicked to the kerb.  Why, because my time has not been ‘my time’ any longer. Lyme has been a life change program in every way.

#Last Minute

image from http://www.dirttime.org –      Kill those nasty bugs!

I’m sharing my time with a wretched and unlovable bug, many of them in fact, and they love time. They devour time in huge chunks until I’m not sure where the time has gone. I began to wonder what was happening to me. Was I going insane? Was I drifting off into the land of ‘the waking nod’ and not realising it? Was I simply being lazy and allowing time to drift lazily by? It began to get under my skin so I decided to use some tried and true practices to work again. Yes, I said again.

It is impossible to be ‘super’ organised without a photographic memory or an organised method to track the time during the day. The clock is simply not good enough because all it can do is let me know that time is passing. Of course that’s wonderful when the time rolled around to go home, but in between it doesn’t help. If you are at home then even that fails. You still need something to keep you on track and somewhat motivated. That’s where a complete life change program is needed and that’s what I have – Life Change 90.

#Last Minute

image from nesbyte.blogspot.com    Tick Tock time never stops

It is depressing to find your day is scheduled around when to take your medication, drink, eat, take medication, exercise, call the doctor, dentist, candlestick maker, take pills, eat and drink. It becomes a mind numbing exploration of ‘almost futility’. It is only “almost” because it is essential but it fails to give you much purpose, particularly something which will make you look forward to it.

In order to do this you have to schedule your day, as insane as it may sound. You bring organisation out of chaos.

The early morning ritual has to be followed because it sets up the day.

#Last Minute

image from footage.shutterstock.com –   I need a life change program!

  • Out of bed, somehow. I say that because with chronic pain, from whatever source, it can be a mighty effort simply getting out of that bed, even if you have been miserably uncomfortable all night.
  • Immediately after a visit to the bathroom and before any liquid enters the mouth a 20 minute oil pulling session. Oil Pulling – a delightful tedium of swishing oil around your mouth to ‘pull’ any bacteria or bugs out of your system. Followed by a relieved brushing of the teeth to remove said oil residue.
  • Tablets and a cup of tea. A welcome ten minute break.
  • Meditate for half an hour, longer if the day is fairly light. Very important.
  • Breakfast and more tablets.
  • Fill in the daily journal and check the “to do list”.  (I approximate how long each item should take so that I can ‘budget’ my time.) Each item has a scheduled break between them if they involve any exertion so that I have time to recover and not over exert myself.
  • Start working through the list until it’s time for the next break. I have lots of breaks so that I make sure I can get enough fluids into me. It’s not all fun, there are days I feel like an over soaked sponge. Who said a Life Change was not without effort.
  • Repeat for the next item and arrange lunch, medication and drinks.  Check up and see how I’m going with the schedule.
  • Phone calls are usually done after lunch and before the droop sets in.
  • Time for a nap to recharge the body and mind.
  • #Last Minute

    image from http://www.eatpress.com  Snack time 

  • Time for another drink and snack.
  • Time for some fresh air. Depending on how ‘tired’ I feel it’s around the garden with the camera or down to the beach with the camera. The beach is good because I can sit down and have a fifteen minute meditation, or longer if I have the time. Even though it doesn’t seem as though I’ve done very much it’s unpleasantly true that I am starting to fade now.
  • Back home I re check my schedule and see how I’ve gone. If I’ve finished everything then I get my crochet out or my book and have a ‘spell’. If there’s something I missed I’ll try to do that.
  • My last organised effort of the day is to make out a “to do list” for tomorrow.

My journal is fairly comprehensive. It has an affirmation, short and long term goals, a review of the day and anything I may have learned from the activities of the day. I need to record what my medication protocol is and any reactions to it. It is, if I say so myself, a work of art. It really reflects how my life change helps me in every way.

#Last Minute

Life Change 90 Journal page extract
image from  www.lifechange90.com

As time passes and I get fitter, beat this bug, and blow the brain fog, I’ll add more and more to the ‘to do list’. You’ll note that there are no household chores listed as a given for the day. When I can I do them.  If I can’t they wait or Ray picks up the slack. We made more jam, new recipe and I have to get the blog done for that – it’s better than the first one. Tried and tested. Yum!

So, by now you are wondering why this is called “Last Minute”? Today we had a schedule blow out. At the beach we met up with an adorable Mini Foxie pup. She came running over to us and cuddled up, wet and sandy. She was eight weeks old and I melted. Until I had to, I found it almost impossible to put her down. Fortunately her owner was there and not worried. (I did think of running away with her but wouldn’t have made more than a few steps – sigh!)

As a result, I finished off all the somewhat mundane chores but my blog, which I like to do relaxed in the evening was pushed to the almost “tomorrow” list. So, this is “Last Minute”, a description of the average day of a #Lymie, trying to exert some order to her world. I still think I did a pretty darned good job, but this explains why some days are diamonds and some, just a lump of coal.

#Last Minute

image from lettingthewordsescape.blogspot.com      Diamond or…coal?

I just know you get my drift.

#Last Minute

image from mommyadventures.net     Nap time – yawn!

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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Gratitude

Gratitude – hold it in your hands
#gratitude

“When you express gratitude for the blessings that come into your life, it not only encourages the universe to send you more, it also sees to it that those blessings remain.”
― Stephen Richards

There has been much discussion on Gratitude and how important it is in our lives.  What has also been shown is that if we only look at our world with open eyes we can see much to be grateful for. All it takes is a change in the way we look at our daily life. Let’s take a walk through an average day.

We wake up after a wonderful sleep. A bed, what a wonderful thing that is; it certainly provides a much more comfortable sleep than roughing it on the floor.  Let’s be grateful for the people who thought up the idea of sleeping on a framed bed, mattresses and pillows and beautiful sheets, blankets and quilts (duvets, eiderdowns).

Gratitude

image from http://www.thetextileicon.com   #gratitude

Showers and baths – we know baths have been around for ages, and they’re certainly my preference for a long relaxing soak, candles, scented soaps and soothing music, so we can be grateful for the people who thought of the idea of building a tub (instead of bathing in the river), and all the changes since then; candles – yes they’ve been here for aeons too, and scented, it took someone to think about the idea first before we had the pretty ones we use today; soap, this is a good one, they used a lye soap many years ago, what skin it didn’t remove was definitely cleaner. Our soaps today come in endless varieties and forms and some smell divine, given your own preference of course. Now, Showers, they take convenience bathing to a whole new level. We have scented shower gels and soaps that smell divine. New inventions and it’s wonderful to be grateful for them.

Gratitude

image from fineartamerica.com   #gratitude

Music, we know has been with us for a long time, but it has been born on the backs of old shepherds, blowing on reed flutes to calm their flocks. It has changed incredibly since then. We’ve seen Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Bach through to Eminem, Ronan Keating, Seal and Katy Perry. Again, depending on age and preference we have so many to be grateful for.

Yet the day is only begun, we have the benefits of cars, trains and trams, buses, lifts, high rise buildings made from structural steel and concrete.  Early morning, coffee from the barista, croissants from the patisserie and so it goes on. Where would we be today without all these wonderful conveniences to lighten or brighten our day – so many things to be grateful for?

Gratitude

image from http://www.fotomage.com #gratitude

Not everyone will have all these elements in their daily lives, but most people will recognise many of these time and energy saving technological and lifestyle advances in their environment.

Now, take a look at the average day from the perspective of a person with a chronic illness or ailment. Their day might look like this: They wake in the morning (if they managed to sleep at all) in their comfortable bed. Yes, they’re grateful the bed is comfortable, unlike the board and feather mattresses of old, but they also feel a sense of loathing towards what is in effect their prison.  It’s preferable to lying on the floor, but it is a prison none the less and no sensible person likes a prison.

Now let’s look at a bath or shower. Well, depending on the illness, it is likely that there is no choice, a bath it has to be.  With all the allergies and sensitivities they may not be able to use the beautifully scented soaps, bath lotions and candles, nor the scented

moisturisers and lotions afterwards. In fact, whilst being grateful for the bath, which is cleansing and refreshing, the effort it has taken has now made them so exhausted they need to return to their prison, the bed. Yes, they are grateful they can be clean and fresh, have good clean towels, and soap which is easy on the skin. All these things are new, and, of course there is gratitude that they are here and that there is an option which doesn’t inflame any of their conditions, but options make life enjoyable, don’t they?

Depending on each person’s predicament, the idea of coffee may be impossible. They may once have been able to enjoy going out with friends and enjoying a coffee morning or lunch, but now that’s a thing of the past. They remember fondly or sadly those days. Yes, coffee machines and baristas, wonderful inventions and something to be grateful for…. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could only…..

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if only they had good health and could go to work? Yet that is not the case and they have to rely on the wonders of modern medicine and doctors. We rely on our doctors and medications to make us well, the advancements have been amazing and of course we are immensely grateful for everything we have today.

Gratitude

image from hylaco.com #gratitude

Unless…. The diagnosis is such that there is no cure or medication, neither modern nor naturopathic which can ease the pain or symptoms. Of course there is gratitude for all the developments and knowledge the medical fraternity have gained, yet there is also frustration that with all the advances, there has been no cure found for this or that. Time rolls on and for the chronically ill life seems to draw out all too slowly and painfully.

Sometimes, healthy or ill, people are simply grateful if they are acknowledged in their daily life.  Ill or healthy, if ignored by those around you it is hard to be grateful for being where we are. We have to seek smaller things to be grateful for. We have to hold onto the happy times which occur, the times when we are able to do that little bit extra, spend time with loved ones and friends, even if they are few and far between or we have to pay in pain and suffering later. We hold tight to the pleasure and gratitude we feel when the good times visit us. For the memories we will have later.

Gratitude

image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk #gratitude

Things change day by day, advances are made day by day and we can only go on hoping that one of these days the change or the advancement will mean a cure for whatever ill is visiting us. We can be grateful that there are people always searching for answers and breakthroughs to the challenges which face us.

The more we are grateful for those people and things in our lives already, for the people who are the inventors or researchers who make the changes which improve life, the more we will see changes to be grateful for. It is not always easy, sometimes it is downright difficult, yet if we look for those small things then we may find, one day, we are looking at the big thing we were hoping for.

“Living your life through Gratitude, is not one of comparing how you are better than someone else; or Gratitude only for what you own or obtain or achieve. Living your life through Gratitude, is seeing that the world would be missing something very valuable if you were not in it.”
― Sumner Davenport

May your day be filled with love, happiness and gratitude.

Blessings.  Susan x

Gratitude

image from yourbrainatwork.org #gratitude

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Just One Day.….

Just One Day

image from quotes-lover.com

Just One Day… there’s been a theme running through my mind all day. In fact it’s a recurring theme. I wonder what life would be like if…

Just One Day:- I could wake up, feeling great, stretch languorously and get out of bed and hop into a nice hot shower. Dress and go make breakfast for my husband and I.

Just One Day…..

Just One Day:- I wonder what it would be like to  jump out of bed, smiling at a day already planned. A leisurely breakfast with my husband before hopping into the car and setting off for town. A little shopping and then meeting a few girlfriends for lunch. Sitting and chatting and swapping stories of our day and plans for tomorrow. What would that be like, just one day?

Just One Day.

Just One Day

image from andyouaremysunshine.tumblr.com

Just One Day:- What would it be like if I could get out of bed, pull on my exercise gear, joggers and hop into the car and go to the gym for an hour, or, if I preferred, just go for a run along the beach with my husband. We could just walk leisurely along, holding hands and talk about… what we are planning for the future. Our new home, our new life, happiness and excitement. Perhaps we could plan a holiday, a flight to somewhere? What would it be like, just one day?

Just One Day..

Just One Day

image from quotepixel.com

Just One day:- What would it be like to wake up and smile, not holding my breath waiting for the pain to let go just enough for me to breathe properly, then getting out of bed, without needing to be helped upright and held steady until I won’t fall over.  Walk to the bathroom alone, without needing to be supported each step of the way, before being helped back to bed for heat packs to be brought to ease the pain, and wondering if this will ever stop.

Just One Day….

Just One Day

image from quotesoflife.info

Just One day:- What would it be like to have a leisurely breakfast and not handfuls of pills to swallow which need a set regimen to take them.  No running out the door to see girlfriends, they vanished long ago when it became impossible to rely on my presence. Nor an hour at the gym, that’s long gone as the ‘issues’ became greater. Neither a walk along the beach because I wouldn’t make it to the sand, without thoughts of a walk through the sand.

Just One Day…..

Just One Day

image from twicsy.com

Just One Day:- I finally find I can emotionally accept that this is me in the present moment, I accept who I am and where I am and what is currently happening to me and peace begins to rise up in me. Fighting against this reality can only make me more frustrated, while the reality that I am alive, within this moment can make me stronger than I knew, see the greatness of what is and the love in all things.

Just One Day:- I accept this pain, in so far as it is my present reality, but not my only reality. It will not define who and what I am. Love for me is as bountiful as my love for others. I am not diminished if that love is not returned, but if it is then I am richer than I knew.

Just One Day:-

Just One Day

image from misskryan.edublogs.org

~

I began this day thinking of this film about C.S.Lewis which of course meant that I thought of Sir Anthony Hopkins. Here is a man, who has in life, taken all life has to offer without apology, making no concessions to anyone, and accepting the consequences as they came.

This is what I have come to understand when I thought about what might happen if I had “Just One Day“……………..

~

  “Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.” ― C. JoyBell C.

~

Life goes on, with or without me. I have no intention of being left behind, nor of being remembered because I was in pain… I am me, a spirit in my own right and my own beauty. I would not change it if I could because I am growing through this and becoming…. the best that I can be.

This is me, it might also be you. We may walk together, unknown or known, but sharing the same light. It is a light in the darkness we all share at times… but the night always passes.  Please share this post, who knows who out there might just be wishing, for just one day…

~

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

~

If this connects with one person, if this resonated within one heart, lightens one spirit, then take this gift today, for each and every day.

~

Blessings to all,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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