October 25, 2012
“Having a black dog in your life isn’t so much about feeling sad, down or blue, but feeling devoid of feeling all together.”
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are poor in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
So not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Love Katie x
With thanks to the friend who shared this with me.
October 5, 2012
Image source: Amazon
One of my favourite books of all time is The State of Me (available in the UK and the USA through Amazon). I am an avid reader, not the sort of person whose favourite book is the single book they’ve ever read, so you know that it’s well worth a read. It is a semi-autobiographical novel about a young woman in the 1980s who becomes ill with the mystery illness M.E. This is around the time my daddy got diagnosed so when I was reading about the hilarious/horrendous things people (including in the medical profession) came out with, I realised exactly what my dad had to face. Things are better now, but the reason that Nasim wrote this book (despite it almost killing her) is because things haven’t changed enough. We both write about our experiences for the same reason, to raise awareness about what living with chronic illnesses is really like.
I really would recommend reading it both for a bit of awareness about the condition, but also just because it’s a genuinely good book that I just couldn’t put down. The only health warnings I would put on it is that you need to remember that this is a book of its time so not all the facts are necessarily still true, and also that each patient’s symptoms can vary quite a lot.
I am bringing this up now because the author, Nasim Marie Jafry, has posted chapter 15 on her blog Velo Gubbed Legs (you can read it here). This chapter is actually different from the rest of the novel because it comes in the form of Q & As. It is very readable and I urge you to check it out.
In case I haven’t given Nasim quite enough praise, you can also follow her on Twitter. She often tweets about things in the news about M.E./C.F.S. so if you’d like to be a bit more informed then she’s one of the best people to “follow”.
Love Katie x
p.s. Sadly I wasn’t paid to write this blog post- I just really like this book. Haha.
October 3, 2012
If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you will know that over the summer I was shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan Lifestyle Blog Award. Throughout August I bombarded you with pleas for you to vote for me. I thought it was about time I gave you an update on when the results will be announced.
Firstly, thank you so much to all of you who voted for me. I really do appreciate every single vote and all of the messages of support I received. It sounds cheesy but I still can’t quite believe I was shortlisted out of thousands of blogs and so many professional and interesting blogs in the same category as me. Mainly though, it is fantastic to have got more readers, who I never would have reached otherwise.
I was invited to an awards ceremony on Thursday 4th October, where the results will be announced. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend because of the improper disabled access. Obviously this is a big disappointment for me. I would have loved to be in the swanky London hotel and make contacts with other writers. There is little point dwelling on spilled milk though, the event was really the icing on the cake. Paul cheered me up by saying that this wouldn’t be my only chance at an event like this.
I did debate over whether to tell the truth about why I’m not attending the event, I decided it was best to stick to the policy of honesty. In fairness to Cosmo they believed that they did have disabled access and have done all they can to try to resolve the issue. As I’ve said before, I don’t get angry at the person/people who have failed to provide proper access, it’s really not something that crosses your mind until you have been in the position where you are affected (directly or indirectly) by bad or the lack of disabled access. Of course, this rational thought doesn’t completely deplete the disappointment I feel, but it does inspire Paul and I to keep raising awareness to reduce (even completely rid) the times like this so that others won’t have this problem. This is something which needs to change, it’s one of the reasons why people with disabilities and debilitating illnesses remain invisible in our society. The change begins with us taking every opportunity we can to raise awareness. There is a theory which I have a lot of sympathy with, the idea that society disables people because it prevents certain members of that society from having equal access. I won’t go into this too much now, it’s just food for thought, and perhaps I’ll write about it more another time.
Anyway, back to the main point, I am not sure when I will hear about the results but as soon as I know, you will know.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, it would be incredible to get the exposure of winning this award to raise awareness about life with chronic illness.
Love Katie x
October 2, 2012
Well you’ve probably been wondering where the heck my blog post about my wedding is. The reason there has been a lack of posts on here is that I had a REALLY bad couple of days. Just as I was getting ready to write a post about the progress I’ve made since I began writing this blog, there was a another whack of a “bad patch”.
During these few days I was listening to a preach online from my Church about personal progress. Chris Cooke (senior leader at Freedom Church) talked about the importance of momentum, to keep taking each little step because it is so much harder to begin again once you’ve stopped. I am climbing the hill of recovery into full health and I can’t stop because of a few days.
Yesterday was the first day of lectures and I felt so ill that I just wanted to stay in bed. Those horrid thoughts of just staying in bed forever so that I don’t have to go through the pain and exhaustion came, but I didn’t want to give up my progress. I reminded myself of why I am trying to do my degree, why Paul has given so much so that I can get to university and learn about politics, and I forced myself to go.
I don’t want anyone to misread this as me saying that staying in bed is a weak option and that if everyone who suffered from CFS and Fibromyalgia just pushed themselves they could get out of bed. The trick to recovery from chronic illnesses is to know when to give in and when to push. I literally didn’t get out of bed, except to go to the toilet on Saturday and Sunday. Those days I needed to stay in bed and rest, my body was in a really bad state and needed a lot of sleep. Even on Monday I still did sleep and rest a lot, but I pushed my body to leave the house for two hours. That’s a smart thing to do when you can feel that your body is ready to begin the fight.
I don’t know whether any of this makes sense to someone who hasn’t suffered from these illnesses, but what I’m trying to say is that I’m in a new phase. I gave my body about four months of rest and now it is ready to begin the steady (and sometimes steep) incline back to health. My daddy was talking to me about this last week (you might remember that my dad too has a lot of health problems) and he reminded me that I won’t glide back into health easily but that I’ll have to fight for it. It’s going to hurt some days, and I’m going to have set backs, but I know that eventually my days where I “win” like yesterday will begin to increase and increase, and the “bad” days will lessen.
I have good reason for this solid conviction of recovery. I have had a lot of prayer and have had two very strong prophecies of health in my future. I know that the people who gave me these prophecies wouldn’t pass on these words from God unless they had real conviction of their truth. Something so personal and sensitive isn’t taken lightly. It can be hard to believe for something like that when you’re in a valley of pain, but faith is seeing beyond your current circumstance and I do believe I will be healed. I don’t think it will be a miraculous healing (although I’m not ruling it out), I think that as I grow into the woman (and Paul grows into the man) God intends me to be, so too will my health be released for the exciting adventure God has for me and my husband.
Cue Eye of the Tiger….
Love Katie x
p.s. If you want the preach I mentioned (which is called The Great Locomotive: Hurtling Along the Edge of Chaos), you listen to it as a podcast here.