tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4320951765142630822019-03-13T03:50:49.592-07:00Crohnological OrderKathleen Nichollsnoreply@blogger.comBlogger384125CrohnologicalOrderhttps://feedburner.google.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-10558949896453101542017-08-26T09:21:00.001-07:002017-08-26T09:21:39.666-07:00Man-ILL-Festo <div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Manifesto<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">Noun;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>A public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate. <o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Man-ILL-festo <o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">Noun;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>A public declaration of aims from a diseased person, a mishmash word I just made up which has no basis in reality. <o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal">If you know anything about me, or have read almost anything I’ve written, you’ll know that I love a pun. I’ve you’ve read my book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Go-Your-Crohn-Way-Disease/dp/1848193165">Go Your Crohn Way</a>, you’ll have established it contains over 5015435 puns (that’s an approximation only). Some people <i>love</i>the puns, some <i>hate</i> them. They are the marmite smeared across my pages. But as the best writers are always telling us, ‘write what you’d want to read’ and I CAN’T EVER QUENCH MY PUN-THIRST. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Anyway I mention this merely as I’ve started the blog with yet another one. Sorry pun haters but I can’t always be what you want me to be. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">So, what is this ‘<b><i>Manillfesto’ </i></b>I speak of? Well I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I can do ‘better’ in the way I approach and manage my illness. Of course there are a myriad of things out-with my control, (having chronic illness in the first place being the main one of those), but there are a few small but powerful ways I’ve found I can help myself be the best and happiest version of me. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal">[Most of these are just sensible rules for life for everyone to be honest so feel free to follow my manillfesto policies regardless of your health status lads]. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->-<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]--><b>TALK:</b><i>don’t bottle up how I am feeling when I need help/comfort/company.</i> <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal">This is a continual issue for those with chronic illness as we often find it less emotionally exhausting to simply whip out “I’m fine” or the like when asked how we are. This is no one’s fault; it’s just often so much easier than explaining our every gripe and symptom again and again. It’s honestly tiring enough experiencing it all without feeling the need to vocalise it. However ‘I’m fine’ doesn’t really resolve anything when it’s used inaccurately. All it serves to do is worry the person on the receiving end (who probably knows you’re not fine anyway) and stops us from getting the support we might badly need. So I’m trying to limit my use of an erroneous “I’m fine” for emergencies only (i.e. when in the midst of a colonoscopy)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->-<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]--><b>PROACTIVELY SELF-CARE:</b> <i>make time to make myself feel better</i><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal">Self-care doesn’t have to mean completing 45 Yoga DVD’s then downing 15 Kale smoothies. It can be something as simple as finding what makes you feel comfortable and relaxed and actively making the space in your day for it. For me I love a hot bubble bath, headphones on, candles lit, channelling my inner Barbara Cartland and coming out barely conscious and a shade of lobster not yet discovered by scientists. So I try to make time a few times a week to have my precious soak. It’s also a nice way to physically relax achy joints and let your brain slow down. But if you don’t have a bath you can do other things; read a good book, paint, draw, watch a box set, go dogging, whatever makes you feel happy. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->-<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]--><b>STICK TO AN ADULT BEDTIME:</b> <i>develop a regular sleep routine</i><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal">This is important for many reasons, and more of a challenge than you might think. Those of us with chronic illness often find what should be horizontal bliss more of an uphill struggle. We often find getting enough sleep difficult depending on our pain levels, nausea, bathroom issues or medications. For example when I was on steroids I slept for about 5minutes over the course of 5months. When I <i>did</i> sleep through the sweats I’d dream of murder then wake up wanting to carry it out. I didn’t follow through on any of the dream-murders you’ll be pleased to hear. So try and ensure you stick to a suitable bed time and get enough where you can, it gets easier over time once you get into a regular pattern. Keeping a track of your sleep patterns is also useful for tracking flares and symptoms and for assisting the police in their enquiries regarding local murders. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->-<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]--><b>TAKE A LUNCH BREAK:</b> <i>everyday, no excuses<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0pt;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal">This sounds minor but it’s very important. Most days I work through my lunch, eat my desk (when I remember to eat) and am lucky if I’ve had 15mins of a ‘break’ in a full day. This stems from work pressure, and a little anxiety about how much time I might spend in the loo from one day to the next. Regardless of my bathroom habits I’m still LEGALLY entitled to a break so I should be taking it without question or guilt. This is a habit I, and many of us need to break. Getting away from the desk/phone/whatever you’re chained to also helps to clear the head for an hour. Unless you are chained to someone else if you are a bungee instructor for example then please ensure everyone is safely on ground level before making your Pot Noodle. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal">So, some basic but important points to remember there. Little changes go a long way; prioritise, look after numero uno and make the best of each day even when you might feel like death is coming up the rear faster than an experienced Gastroenterologist.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wIc7iQ8Ue-o/WaGf_Y0JJDI/AAAAAAAACrQ/sq1hjkoAQG0atmaXwjdQJ_2RdM85NQceQCLcBGAs/s1600/Photo%2B22-12-2016%252C%2B09%2B04%2B21.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1339" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wIc7iQ8Ue-o/WaGf_Y0JJDI/AAAAAAAACrQ/sq1hjkoAQG0atmaXwjdQJ_2RdM85NQceQCLcBGAs/s320/Photo%2B22-12-2016%252C%2B09%2B04%2B21.jpg" width="267" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/9WCnn-5KzAA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com9http://aerocrafts.net/2017/08/man-ill-festo.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-6515917468760374332017-08-17T04:03:00.001-07:002017-08-17T04:03:54.138-07:00Good Grief <br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/null" name="_GoBack"></a><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">I’ve written a little in the past about the similarities I find between coming to terms with a chronic illness diagnosis and the stages of grief. It’s been on my mind again recently for different reasons: the idea that just as grief rears its weepy head every so often so does the same feeling of loss that comes with having an incurable illness. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">Lately I’ve been missing my beloved Grandmother quite a bit and recalling how I felt when she passed away. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">*I didn’t at any point say this blog was going to be a rollercoaster of non-stop fun so get off now I’ve you’re not tall enough to come on this ride*</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">My sweet Granny Peggy died when I was in my early twenties. I was in the first flush of romance with my first ‘proper’ boyfriend and heading on a holiday. She died in hospital, I was there, thankfully, along with the rest of our close family. She was ‘ready to go’; she told me as much many times, and now that I’m older I understand why a little more; then I just couldn’t bear to hear the words. I didn’t want her to go and selfishly wouldn’t so much as contemplate the thought, choosing instead to do everything aside from putting my fingers in my ears shouting “LA LA LA” to avoid the conversation. She wasn’t being selfish; she was just tired. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">My Gran was my salve. We lived in the flat downstairs from her for many years, the whole of my childhood in fact, and she was a safe bosom to run to whenever I felt overwhelmed, sad or just needed someone other than a parent to listen to my childish nonsense. What I always remember most about my Gran was her sense of humour, she laughed a lot and loved to hear us laugh. She loved to throw me back and give me ‘French kisses’ (her version of this was just pecking my neck until I giggled and wriggled away like a happy eel), we danced around her kitchen a lot and she let me draw on almost all of her treasured possessions. I wrote her poems and stories and she lauded them all with praise worthy of a Pulitzer. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">So reminisce aside what does all of this have to do with Crohn’s Disease? Well the grieving I do every so often for my Grandmother feels painfully similar to the grieving I do for my life pre-Crohn’s. Right now I’m flaring and feel decidedly awful most of the time; when this happens it sends me into a flurry of anxiety. I worry about how long this will last, how it will be remedied, what adjustments I must make to my life and what it must feel to live with or be around a person such as myself struggling with keeping it all together and not finding much room for anyone or anything else. Sound familiar? Grief is all-consuming and unpredictable just like chronic illness. It strikes when you least expect it and lingers for much longer than you’d like. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;"> </span><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, sans-serif;">But sometimes, you forget. Sometimes you feel good and that’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">OK</i>. It’s OK to revel in feeling happy despite loss. It’s OK to remember happy times and not feel guilt for what you could or should have done during the bad. So when you are struggling with illness (or grief) and feel lost try to remember the good; and that that good will come back around in time. Focus on what you have and not what you have lost, because sometimes that’s all we can do to get through. xo</span> </span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1yktvdgGRRA/Tu4wC0inDQI/AAAAAAAAAGc/zvujOBcThQEbfLE4N8x5FPDRlIWA-tAowCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/iphone%2B081.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1600" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1yktvdgGRRA/Tu4wC0inDQI/AAAAAAAAAGc/zvujOBcThQEbfLE4N8x5FPDRlIWA-tAowCPcBGAYYCw/s320/iphone%2B081.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/cou5Jeg2WDI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com3http://aerocrafts.net/2017/08/good-grief.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-28662829693037864572017-08-09T05:21:00.002-07:002017-08-09T05:21:43.424-07:00Eat, Drink and Be Poorly<div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/null" name="_GoBack"></a><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">When you have a bowel disease the relationship with food can be, at the very least, a complicated one.</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In my mind and in my heart I <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">LOVE</i>food. I love the smells, the sights, the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">taste</i>of it. I love the comfort it brings, the happy memories it evokes, the new experiences it allows. But my stomach <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">HATES</i>it. My stomach physically <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">despises</i>it. Rejects it faster than a 3-legged-puppy at a dog shelter. (Which is something for the record, I would <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">never</i> do) </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And therein lies the issue – the one place where food should find its happy, nourishing home before starting its journey into the sewage system, is stunted by an intense, repellent disgust for anything I choose to shovel into my cake-hole. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Food and the partaking in eating it, may seem initially like such a basic human need that we can often lose sight of how wonderful an aspect of life it can be. We associate often unknowingly, food with socializing, with blossoming romance, cultivating friendships, nurturing our children. It is associated with being <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">part</i> of something. This eats into (pardon the pun) a common issue patients with chronic illness have; feeling on the outside of things. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">For me the idea of going ‘out for dinner’ is <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">great</i>. I love thinking ahead about what I’ll wear, scoping out the menu in advance to see what looks delicious, anticipating the great conversation I might have in a cosy environment. But then, much like a selfish lover, that thrill disappears as quickly as it comes. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">I am then met with the stark reality-reminder of what might <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">actually </i>happen; I’ll worry about what I can wear to disguise the inventible bloating that comes after one morsel, I’ll panic over what I can eat that doesn’t contain an ingredient that will cause me pain (clue: nothing), I’ll worry about a potential lack of bathrooms or my tables’ proximity to a bathroom, and worst of all, I’ll worry about ruining the evening for my companion before the night has even begun. All this anxiety serves [can’t stop won’t stop with the food puns] to put a dampener on what should ideally be an exciting and <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">fun</i>prospect. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Much like any bad relationship, when you love something that causes you nothing but pain you must learn to cut all ties. Not quite as easy with food, due to that pesky aspect of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">needing it to stay alive</i>. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Food is an inescapable part of life, so in order to avoid an early meet and greet with the Grim Reaper, some form of adaption must take place. We must learn to fit it into our life in a way that causes us the least mental and physical torture. No easy feat. Or should that be no easy <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">feed?! </i>Haha ha ha no you’re right probably not.<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> </i></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">For me there has been no ‘diet’ I’ve found to absolve my symptoms (and believe me I’ve looked). Over time I’ve established the main foods and drinks which I know will particularly upset me, I try as much as I can to cut these out. Often IBD is so utterly unpredictable that ‘safe’ foods cause just as much discomfort as others; this is a particular gripe of mine, especially when it takes so much will power <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">not</i> to eat what I love.</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">On the whole my appetite is as elusive as a vegan at a cattle market. I generally don’t crave food: against my will I’ve conditioned my brain that ‘food = pain’ and this is a hard mentality to break out of. Don’t get me wrong I still eat and drink as much as I am able, I ensure I stay hydrated when I am unable to tolerate food and I seek advice when food is off my proverbial menu [don’t take on the pun-queen unless you want to be humiliated] for longer than I’d like. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">I suppose this blog is just a reminder you are not alone in seeing food as an uphill challenge. What may seem like an unthinking aspect of the day can be a stressful and anxiety inducing experience for others. So don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to finish your plateful, just be sensible, patient with yourself and your body and take care of yourself. And if you ever see me eating soup in a steak house please don’t judge. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #333333; mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8i_LXEWjP5I/VQ9H8nGyVSI/AAAAAAAABLE/B5BElet9Fj4QJZYe2tm9aJVMslcvfUe3ACPcBGAYYCw/s1600/blogger-image-925420994.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="480" data-original-width="480" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8i_LXEWjP5I/VQ9H8nGyVSI/AAAAAAAABLE/B5BElet9Fj4QJZYe2tm9aJVMslcvfUe3ACPcBGAYYCw/s320/blogger-image-925420994.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><br /></div><br /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/9-T7Y9SQHk0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com7http://aerocrafts.net/2017/08/eat-drink-and-be-poorly.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-34390539018719908792017-07-19T12:29:00.002-07:002017-07-19T12:39:06.551-07:00My Kind of People<div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">Chronic illness is used as such a ‘catch all’ phrase these days. It covers a myriad of illnesses, diseases and disabilities. But then couldn’t all of those words be used in the same vein? Don’t all chronic illnesses ‘disable’ us in one way or another? Make us feel ‘diseased’?&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">Chronic</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">, as it relates to illness, is defined as ‘</span><i><span style="background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">persisting for a long time or constantly recurring</span></i><span style="background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">’. Its meaning is clearly definable but the number and variety of conditions it covers is certainly not finite.<br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">Health, and especially frequently poor health, naturally hits highs and lows. Sometimes those lows last for what can seem like the longest time and you struggle to see an end to them. This can be hard enough to deal with on your own, but factor in having to communicate your health issues to the outside world and you’re faced with a whole new set of complications to deal with.&nbsp; Explaining the intricacies of a condition to an outsider can often be intimidating and challenging to say the least; particularly if you are new to it yourself and still learning. When we do discuss our condition with others and don’t get the response or reaction we perhaps expect, it can be quite the setback. Often living with a chronic illness can feel humiliating. It can be embarrassing, distressing and complex. Often we don’t want to talk about our condition, which is wholly our right, of course, yet sometimes our symptoms make that privilege all but impossible. If it is a visible condition it allows for comment, and that’s something we sadly can’t control. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">So pulling on at that thread of uninvited comment, a certain infuriating phrase that sticks in my head, and has been said to me upwards of 168798782784240 times, (at last count anyway) is:<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">&nbsp;<b><i>“There always seems to be something wrong with you…”</i></b><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">This is generally said as an off the cuff, (perhaps feeble attempt at humour?) with a snide undertone. It’s often spoken with a question mark at the end of it; as though we are somehow expected to answer to it. It’s not really deserving of a question mark in my humble opinion as it’s more of a statement of fact. I’m not sure what the relevance of such a question is either, other than to remind us that we </span><i style="font-family: Candara, sans-serif;">are </i><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">ill, ALL THE TIME. Sadly something we are all too aware of already. &nbsp;The only answer that could be given to such a bizarre poser (and I find it most effective bellowed through a megaphone) is “YES, THERE </span><i style="font-family: Candara, sans-serif;">IS</i><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;"> ALWAYS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME: IT’S INCURABLE”. But that response only served to get me thrown out of the library and banned from the local church the last 5 times I used it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">It is phrases such as these that are upsetting to someone with a disability and/or illness for many, MANY, reasons. Let me count the ways. (7. There are 7 ways). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">1.&nbsp; <b>It implies we are being untruthful about our health problems</b>. If you have to query in a suspicious tone that expects us to answer for an incurable condition then you nail your ‘I DON’T BELIEVE YOU’ colours firmly to the mast. This funnily enough doesn’t make for a comfortable conversation to follow. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">2.&nbsp; <b>It makes us feel like a nuisance.</b>&nbsp;No person who even remotely cares for another person should make them feel this way. Implying we are using our condition for attention or exploiting it for our own gain is just mean at the root of it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">3.&nbsp; <b>It singles us out.</b>&nbsp;We don’t want to be sick, and we certainly don’t want to be treated any differently to a ‘normal’ person. Suggesting we are seeking some end goal other than the best<br />possible health makes us retreat into our shells and that can be increasingly risky for those of us with already wavering mental health. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">4. &nbsp;<b>It makes us feel we are appearing like a hypochondriac</b>. Anyone with a chronic illness dislikes hypochondriacs intensely. We have to eat, sleep and think about illness every day; we don’t need to hear you give us chapter and verse on that one time in 1983 when you had the measles. Just because you perhaps aren’t used to hearing people talk honestly about an incurable condition doesn’t make it any less true when we do. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">5.&nbsp; <b>It silences us from talking about our illness</b>.&nbsp;This is NOT good. We need to talk about our conditions because it allows us to educate, share, unload and learn. The more we remain silent on what we are experiencing the more withdrawn we become and the more ashamed we feel. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">6.&nbsp; <b>It makes us feel embarrassed and ashamed</b>.&nbsp;As above: not good. Something we should never allow ourselves to feel. Chronic conditions can get such bad press; we need to be at the forefront of changing that, not being beaten down by uninformed opinions. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">7.&nbsp; <b>It reminds us that THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING WRONG WITH US</b>. Yes, we KNOW. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">On the flip side of this ghastly and mildly insensitive coin however, when met with thoughtlessness of this degree, I often try to mentally counter these statements with any positives I can find in them. Easier said than done, especially when you are still clutching a knife to their throat, but if you take a mental (and maybe physical) step back, and look hard enough you are bound to find something. &nbsp;Let’s throw the negativity over the balcony, crushing it painfully below, causing irrevocable damage, and try that now.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">1. Yes there IS always something wrong with me yet I’m still here, being alive alongside you, making me better than you in so, <b>so</b> many ways,&nbsp;and that’s <i>excluding&nbsp;</i>my impressive rack.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 11.65pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">2.&nbsp; No, nope, sorry I think that’s all I can come up with.&nbsp;Maybe I’m just not a very<br />forgiving person. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">The issue with phrases like the aforementioned <b><i>“There always seems to be something wrong with you…” </i></b>is that, whether intended that way or not, they are simply unkind and just so unnecessary. As I’m not (at time of writing) practiced in mind control, I can’t stop people <i>thinking</i>&nbsp;things like that of course, but I can certainly voice my discomfort when they allow the words to leave their lips. Meaning if you’re going to openly say something along those lines to someone with a chronic illness then you should really be prepared for the potentially messy fallout. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">What may seem an entirely innocent comment on our condition to you may come across as a not-so-subtle jibe directed at us for reasons we’ll have to retreat into paranoia to discover. You see, it’s not ‘just a joke’ when you make another human being feel essentially lesser. <span style="color: #454545;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">Kindness is <i>so&nbsp;</i><i>easy</i>. It’s often found simply in inaction. It’s <i>effortless</i>! You can be kind by just not saying that thing you know would be taken badly should the person it’s aimed at hear you. Just <i>don’t say it</i>! It’s that simple! You can be kind by taking a moment, just one precious moment, to consider the outcome<br />of your words. If you have an inkling that what you are about to say to another<br />human being may be mean or insulting then just don’t say it. NO, you won’t<br />receive an award for it, but you also won’t receive a black eye, so swings and<br />roundabouts. Think bad thoughts by all means; we <i>ALL</i> do that. It’s one of the silent joys in life. But in much the same way you wouldn’t follow up saying “I’ll kill him” with then committing<br />ACTUAL MURDER, you can think we are lazy (for example), without actually<br />accusing us of being so.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">Maybe just consider this: Are you the type of person who deliberately sets out to upset and offend another human being whose only crime is not acting or looking the way you want or expect them to? If you answered yes to that then I hope you find what’s missing in your life someday.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;candara&quot; , sans-serif;">(See how easy it is to be kind instead of wishing you dead?)<span style="font-size: 10pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; line-height: 16.0pt; margin-bottom: 16.2pt;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uOQWTmg5w2o/WW-1Uhq_y9I/AAAAAAAACLg/FKdkTIKg77gptYwcG--VI8E9uKmLK99YACLcBGAs/s1600/IMG_3274.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1600" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uOQWTmg5w2o/WW-1Uhq_y9I/AAAAAAAACLg/FKdkTIKg77gptYwcG--VI8E9uKmLK99YACLcBGAs/s320/IMG_3274.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/9sl57pdbiaU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com5http://aerocrafts.net/2017/07/my-kind-of-people.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-45736546434975858502017-07-08T12:44:00.000-07:002017-07-08T12:44:13.891-07:00Hello, I Love You<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">In the early days of our relationship, when my BF and I used to argue (and we used to argue a LOT), I’d often fall down. Flat out flop unconscious. I’d pass out and he’d have to rouse me. It was in equal parts humiliating and frustrating. I didn’t <i>want</i>to do it – it was out of my control, it was like my body would literally shut down at the first sign of stress. This didn’t happen all the time of course, just occasionally, and he’d naturally be panicked, worried (and confused). Perhaps suspicious even; that I was somehow doing it on purpose; faking it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I wasn’t. But I entirely understand why he might think I was. It was ‘convenient’ – a distraction from the heat of an argument. Only I’d black out, so the argument was 500miles from my mind when I came round. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">The funny thing about all of this is I’m so stubborn and defensive during arguments, that fainting in the midst of it is the absolute last thing I’d want to do. As I’m sure you can appreciate, it’s hard to win an argument when you are unconscious.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Nowadays I’m older and (hopefully) wiser, and I try my utmost to discuss rather than destroy when talking with the man I love. I try not to take things personally or immaturely assume that one cross word is going to be the end of us. I try not to ‘win’ in a game where we should be equals. Thank-fully I also no longer faint when we do get into a disagreement. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">This fainting was a direct and physical reaction to stress. My body couldn’t cope with the extremes and would quite literally shut down. I didn’t know I had Crohn’s Disease back then; I just knew the way my body was reacting was far from normal. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">But, as all insecure women are inclined to do, I just lost myself in my own head and logically assumed I was insane. Thank-fully I’m <i>not</i> insane, (diagnosis pending I’m sure) but unfortunately I <i>do</i> have a chronic illness. Knowing that stress is such a massive source of my physical symptoms has allowed me to attempt to manage it. Of course that’s much easier said than done. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">But in amongst this assortment of symptoms and barrage of knowledge about an ever changing condition where does the other half of me fit in? The man who has to watch as I collapse in front of him, when I throw up after he’s cooked for me, when I writhe in pain in bed next to him? I feel a great deal of guilt in being ‘sick’ and in love with him. I’m too selfish to leave him of course – can you IMAGINE how often I’d collapse if I saw him with another woman? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">He doesn’t <i>want</i> me to leave him of course, which is a great relief to both me and our mortgage provider.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">But due to one of our twosome being in a state of permanent illness, he is the one who has to see the person he loves in pain. He is the one who feels helpless and frustrated for me. He is the one who has to spend nights alone when I retire to bed ill yet again. He is <i>the one</i>. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I love him. And I love all the partners of women and men with chronic illness for their unyielding patience and compassion. It must be hard to maintain your own personality when everyone around you asks “How is she/he?” before “How are you?” It must be stifling when huge chunks of your conversations are about someone else. So it’s important we remind the people we love they are appreciated. It might be hard for us to tell you that when we are consumed by pain or our own misfortune, but we feel it. Patients become selfish because we are thinking about illness 99% of our day – we are sad and exasperated and don’t want to feel the way we do. But we are in there waiting for you to pull us out of the doldrums, and remind us we are still more than an illness. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">We owe you the same courtesy; so please know that we appreciate you and everything you do, and often everything you <i>don’t</i> do; every time you don’t roll your eyes when we complain for the 50<sup>th</sup> time in an hour, when you don’t have a tantrum when we cancel a night out, when you don’t show your frustration when you’ve cooked for us and we can’t eat it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">We see it all. We see <i>you</i>, and we love you.&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rw3ZzltP-dA/WWE1ypwYcuI/AAAAAAAACLM/hmo33JZ9e6orjALY1OsiSb536KK6dWmkgCLcBGAs/s1600/Fig%2B4.4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1461" data-original-width="1461" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rw3ZzltP-dA/WWE1ypwYcuI/AAAAAAAACLM/hmo33JZ9e6orjALY1OsiSb536KK6dWmkgCLcBGAs/s320/Fig%2B4.4.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/UNyUPUsWgNs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com3http://aerocrafts.net/2017/07/hello-i-love-you.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-2725544089070967932017-06-17T11:00:00.000-07:002017-06-17T11:00:02.293-07:00Ache News <div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Eight years ago today I was in hospital on one of my increasingly common ‘investigatory’ stays. &nbsp;I was incredibly ill, confused, and afraid and certainly without the first clue what Crohn’s Disease was. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I would eventually be diagnosed with the disease approximately 2 months later, followed by my first surgery in the Jan of the following year. To say it was a trying time is to put it milder than an IBD patient’s curry. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I’d been advised I had arthritis in the early part of this same year and was barely getting to grips with that when this new pain began to strike. So loooong story short, within 12 months I found myself with two life-changing chronic illnesses, unsure of my future and facing severe surgery.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p>The reason I recall this grim year is a little because it’s been on my mind lately due to feeling distinctly below par, but for the larger part because I’ve been trying to recall how I felt at that time, which let’s face it, wasn’t great. Lately there have been countless articles and ‘celebrity’ statements on IBD strewn across the internet and beyond like disused wet wipes. These articles I refer to make comment on the ways in which patients can ‘cure’ their disease, through means of juice diets, special healing crystals, ‘unconventional’ medicine, veganism, thinking positively, preaching to the Great Lord Zuuuuzo, and COMING OFF MEDICATION, amongst others.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">OK, so some of those may be slight exaggerations for comedic purposes, but in all honesty after reading some of these dumpster-worthy think pieces you’d be hard pressed to establish which ones. I’m not about to slate any one person/publication in particular as it’s not massively helpful and still directs more views towards these outlets they sorely don’t deserve. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">All I will say is that it’s <i>very</i> important we as patients/loved ones of patients/just decent interested human beings are selective and careful in what we accept as fact where it comes to IBD, and any chronic illness for that matter. When I hark back to my own state of mind as a freshly diagnosed patient I worry so much about those men and women in the same boat as my own eight years ago. They will be encountering these same articles, (some of which have even been publicised by leading Crohn’s charities), and feeling hopeful there are simple fixes to their condition. There aren’t. IBD is a complex, <i>incurable</i>disease. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Now without that meaning to sound incredibly grim, sometimes we can’t always sugar-coat facts. We shouldn’t. We should never go into any life-changing event with our eyes and ears wide open. Of course I am only too well aware that being diagnosed with any illness is terrifying, whatever age you are or stage in your life you are at. When I got sick I was in a secure and loving relationship; but I still assumed my partner would leave me, because I felt almost instantaneously worthless. That is long since passed, and my attitude to my illness has changed beyond all recognition, but from time to time I still want to scream and cry with frustration that this sickness will never leave.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I don’t want to preach that patients shouldn’t have hope in times of uncertainty and fear; we all should. But we have to be careful about where we take our information from. When we are in states of frustration and vulnerability we shouldn’t have to filter our knowledge to suit – but sadly we do.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">We need to ensure we take information on our illness from reputable sources; stick to our doctors, consultants, medical experts. If you do venture further afield, then stick to articles and blogs with a good following, who focus on aspects of mental-health, relationships and ways to adapt to the illness. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">The most important point to remember is if you encounter writing which advises a certain way of life/diet to ‘cure’ you, consider it an instant red flag. If it were curable you wouldn’t need to hear it from a Z-list celebrity in your spam folder.</span><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-buGULlqXSQ8/WUVt_AuIK0I/AAAAAAAACK8/nJY5EH3UWpcgD1XGIJWNtIfQIP8v0riWQCLcBGAs/s1600/2011-12-14%2B08.59.48.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1600" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-buGULlqXSQ8/WUVt_AuIK0I/AAAAAAAACK8/nJY5EH3UWpcgD1XGIJWNtIfQIP8v0riWQCLcBGAs/s320/2011-12-14%2B08.59.48.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/E0RIdhE-rPQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com3http://aerocrafts.net/2017/06/ache-news.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-14539959321484584822017-05-25T09:35:00.001-07:002017-05-25T09:36:23.346-07:00It's a Kind of Magic A few days ago, a horrific attack happened in Manchester. I don’t need to describe the events again as I’m sure you have all read about it in painful detail, and really, I don’t want to; it’s so greatly unpleasant and upsetting. Our threat level in the UK is currently ‘critical’ and although I know those are cold hard facts that I know to be true, it still feels as if we are watching this all unfold in a sort of live action movie.&nbsp;<p>It’s almost too impossible to comprehend the level of depravity and evil some people are capable of, and practically on our own doorstep.&nbsp;</p><p>What does come out of these tragedies is the resolute power of the human spirit. Its always so heartening to see people go above and beyond to help others in situations such as these, where really we act without thought for occasions we could never have prepared for. The way humans act when under extreme pressure, or in abject danger is almost overwhelming in its beauty sometimes.&nbsp;</p><p>When these moments happen I wonder if I am a good person. I wonder what I would do if faced with someone in pain or in a situation where I had to act now or run. Of course I would like to think should a situation such as this arise I’d do everything and anything I could to help another person, but we never quite know do we? I wonder if I could be selfless and put the needs of others before my own. Its what I’ve been brought up to believe should be the case, despite years of adulthood being advised we should 'look after number one'.</p><p>Well looking after number one hasn’t gotten us very far thus far. Presidents' aside perhaps.&nbsp;</p><p>Not to say I don’t care for myself as best I can, when I can, because I do and it's important to do so. But the idea that we should put ourselves first at every available opportunity grates on me. It's a common attitude and one which serves to alienate.</p><p>There are so many people in my life I care for; I love. I can’t even bear thinking about how it would feel if one of them was taken from me suddenly and without warning. It is the definition of incomprehensible.</p><p>Therefore I think I know deep down the way I'd act if faced with sudden tragedy - with bravery. Its what I aspire to at least.&nbsp;</p><p>It's easy to write off our behaviour when we aren’t called upon to be ‘heroes’. We can shrug off the responsibility or guilt at feeling helpless as we perhaps are not in a physical position to help. 'I wasn't there, what can I do?' Etc. It’s easy to do/think such a thing. We all do it – make excuses to ourselves and others as to why we can’t help.&nbsp;</p><p>But we can help one another. Every day. In even the teeniest of ways.&nbsp;</p><p>We can simply treat one another with kindness and without judgment.&nbsp;</p><p>We can utilise patience where normally we would act with frustration.&nbsp;</p><p>We can complement one another where normally we may internalise jealousy.&nbsp;</p><p>We can help one another by listening and being a physical and comforting presence instead of making others feel pressured and uncomfortable.&nbsp;</p><p>We can do all those things with barely any effort at all because they are all within us.&nbsp;</p><p>We don’t have to save lives to make a difference to someone’s life.&nbsp;</p><p>(Unless of course you are currently performing a life-saving operation then please stop reading this and continue with your important work).&nbsp;</p><p>We can make someone feel great just by being kind to them. That fact alone is so simple yet so effective it genuinely reduces me to happy tears. So when things are painful and hard in any area of our lives, let’s try and reach out to one another with kindness and compassion; it won’t solve any of the worlds greater problems, but it might just make life a little happier for those of us still lucky enough to be around.&nbsp;</p><p>Love always, K ❤️<br></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HSnnzrRlC_Q/WScHu1aQd6I/AAAAAAAACKo/pXFhj9K-uvUeEug3ckSL1RX9s100NG1xQCHM/%255BUNSET%255D" alt=""><br></p><p>&nbsp;</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/1TUqnglyNvw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com3http://aerocrafts.net/2017/05/its-kind-of-magic.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-92212692081747164912017-05-09T06:52:00.000-07:002017-05-09T06:52:13.209-07:00Every-Body's Gotta Learn Sometimes <br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/null" name="_GoBack"></a><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Something said to me in passing recently got me thinking about the general ‘outrage’ experienced almost daily in living with chronic illness. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Personally I’d say I’m a bit of an old hand at this ‘illness’ lark, so I’ve experienced my fair share of insensitive, thoughtless or just plain mean, comments linked to my condition. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">The most recent of these was uttered by someone I am friendly with and who I respect and even <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">like</i>as a human being. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">(Names withheld to protect identities/avoid them being chased down the street with flaming torches) </span></i></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">This person commented on my weight, and joked that I’m ‘lucky not to be unable to absorb food’. As if my <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">incurable illness</i> is some sort of fad diet that I use on occasions when I want to look Oscar ready. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">My gut (pun always intended, don’t you know me at all?!) reaction here was of annoyance. Not <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">outrage</i>, just annoyance and frustration. I feebly tried to convey that it’s not something I consider to be ‘lucky’ to have, and that I am seriously ill. I mentioned that I would love to be able to enjoy food and be a steady healthy weight, but that all of that just came out sounding a little bitter and whiny. Perhaps because the original comment was not intended as a slight on me or my illness, but jokey ‘banter’ implying nothing more than that the joker would like to be a little slimmer. Was I overreacting? I’m sure both of us have different viewpoints on that because we both entered into the conversation with our own (wildly different) expectations. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Problem here though is that comments thrown out in jest often have ripples which cause much more damage than any original intention. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">When sweeping comments are made it often serves to alienate people in one fluid motion. For example how did this particular person know I was happy with my weight? (For the record I’m not; I’d much rather be a little heavier, I’ve been this weight since I was 12 years old – it’s not ideal for a 33 year old woman). My weight also serves as a constant reminder that my health hasn’t improved. If I’m not putting any weight on I’m still not getting the nutrients and vitamins I need to help me reach my ultimate goal of NOT DYING. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">In the early days of living with chronic illness I found myself in a state of constant simmering rage. I was angry at being stuck with this disease and all its off-shoots, and the smallest of insensitive comments would send<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>my mood stratospheric. Not good for my stress levels and certainly not good for my health in the short or long term. Nowadays I feel a little mellower. Don’t get me wrong I still feel that sharp desire to behead someone who mocks my afflictions, but that’s natural isn’t it?! That wholesome urge to kill ignorant strangers? ISNT IT?? </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">I digress. My point here is that it’s important in amongst the slew of unkind and ignorant comments we hear, to listen for the ones where we can educate. It’s imperative we take stock and put out own health at the top of the conversational pecking order; is it really that vital that we bubble with rage at a colleague who says something we deem inappropriate for example? Can we respond in a way that doesn’t involve knives? All of these questions I try to consider now when someone says something that makes me feel vulnerable or frustrated in living with this illness. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">The simple fact is people will always upset and frustrate us. We all do it to one another on a daily basis. But intention plays a huge part – we should always stunt ourselves from flying into a rage by taking a few seconds to question whether whatever was said was done out of malice, or cruelty. Was it ‘just a joke’ (albeit one at our expense) and do we really want to waste already lacking energy in diving headfirst into an argument about it? </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Now when someone says something I find offensive I try to call it out. I tell someone if they’ve upset me, and I make sure I come from a place of love and education when I do it. I don’t tolerate what I don’t deem an acceptable way to discuss my condition. I try to face rudeness head on by meeting it with logic and not just unbridled emotion. It seems to be working for me because I haven’t murdered anyone in at least a month. A new personal best. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Ignorance is an opportunity for education, so I try my best to put my rage on the backburner and take it. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">But if someone slams the door in my Mum’s face in a shopping centre, you better believe I WILL KILL AGAIN. </span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GDE7BK7TTVc/Tx8bwKvfjZI/AAAAAAAAAP8/ENXcXaboQU4jDf1dT9tfguwSTMo32Oa9QCPcB/s1600/blogger-image--2098213281.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GDE7BK7TTVc/Tx8bwKvfjZI/AAAAAAAAAP8/ENXcXaboQU4jDf1dT9tfguwSTMo32Oa9QCPcB/s1600/blogger-image--2098213281.jpg" /></a></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/JffCEjH91kk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/05/every-bodys-gotta-learn-sometimes.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-14270748689672923942017-04-29T12:19:00.000-07:002017-04-29T12:19:06.936-07:00Ari You Gonna Be My Girl? <div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">In a few days my friend Ari is coming all the way from Argentina to holiday in Scotland (and see me). She’ll be staying with my partner and I for lots of the trip and we will even go away on a little mini holiday of our own in the middle. This will be the first time we’ve ‘met’ face to face after talking on the internet for maybe 3 or 4 years. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">We chat <i>EVERYDAY.</i> <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">That’s rare in this day and age (and certainly for me) probably because I don’t feel that interesting or engaging most of the time. Yet this friendship is easy, fun and loving. It puts me at ease and there are no judgements on either side. She just makes me laugh and feel precious and our bond feels effortless. I can’t wait to meet my darling Ari in real life (and prove to everyone she isn’t a 45 year old man from Croydon). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Although I feel I know Ari very well and am not in any way nervous about meeting her, I’ve been thinking about how bold a move it is for her to fly halfway across the world for the sake of a friendship (and vegetarian haggis obvs). Friendships often get harder to make as we age so that’s one of many reasons why this one is so important to me. It came into my life at just the right time and now feels like it (she) has always been there. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I’m in my 30’s now. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">So as these things do, many of my childhood and teenage friendships have dissipated over time; wrapped themselves up in quite a neat and healthy bow. Without meaning to sound harsh, some friendships just serve a purpose at a certain time and struggle to survive beyond their particular environment.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Work relationships for example: once a close colleague leaves, or you move on it can be a tricky tightrope to walk in terms of whether or not you should maintain what may essentially have been kinship over a water-cooler and not much more. Thank-fully I’ve made a few AMAZING friends through work in my own life and I can’t see those relationships ever fading. I think the feeling is mutual on both sides and that’s comforting (and pressure free). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">As most people with chronic illness will understand, maintaining relationships can be hard, and often disappointing. When people we love prove themselves to be flaky or uninterested in what is essentially a massive part of our lives it can be a bitter pill to swallow. And we already have enough of them to ingest. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Friends who love us will make an attempt to understand what we are going through, they will check in with us regularly and make us laugh, or simply give us a shoulder to cry on when we need it. With us returning the favour of course. Friendships when you are sick should still be a two-way street; we don’t become patients rather than people, but they may just need some adaption. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">When anything changes in life we try our best to accept, adapt and move on, and the same goes for pals. We become adaptable. Adapti<i>pals</i> if you will. You won’t? No problem, I still love you, pals. xo</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xieTCslmW1k/WQTnAQrCJ0I/AAAAAAAACJs/BkqbZNjbmc4o5Lr8xUFCELCM-3RRQ1a9ACLcB/s1600/2013-03-10%2B09.47.29.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xieTCslmW1k/WQTnAQrCJ0I/AAAAAAAACJs/BkqbZNjbmc4o5Lr8xUFCELCM-3RRQ1a9ACLcB/s320/2013-03-10%2B09.47.29.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/hQ10fNwacK0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/04/ari-you-gonna-be-my-girl.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-5406371549822884772017-04-23T09:47:00.001-07:002017-04-23T09:47:21.005-07:00Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes <div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much a chronic illness can change a person. Typically this phenomenon isn’t unique to a diagnosis of illness of course; a person can ‘change’ for countless reasons. But one of the most substantial is a sudden and drastic alteration to our life. An unexpected shock. A bombshell. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Of course not all diagnoses of illness follow this ‘bombshell’ route – many of us are eventually diagnosed with something after a long and protracted period of sickness. Symptoms build and we experience all the ups and downs and confusion that goes alongside being continually ill, rather than just waking up one morning and finding ourselves ‘diseased’. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">It might not seem much of a revelation to talk about a person changing due to illness. It’s not. Being told you have an illness which is incurable and/or will be a continual struggle for the remainder of your life has a huge mental and physical impact on a person. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">The bright side of this process of change is that said change doesn’t have to be negative. That’s something I certainly found difficult to grasp for a long time after my own diagnosis; I focused solely on what and whom I’d lost, what I could no longer do and what this illness had done to strip away from who I used to be. It made me sad, frustrated, despondent and so, so <i>angry</i>. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Anger is powerful. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">It can be a cause for action, a good catalyst to spur us into productive fight – we use our anger at the injustices of the world to fight back against governments, against unfair laws, against sexism, racism, bigotry of any kind. So undoubtedly anger is not always a bad thing. For someone like myself who has routinely hated confrontation I’ve tried to appreciate that anger is something that cannot (and shouldn’t) be contained forever. It has to have an outlet, and that choice of outlet should be one of our choosing which doesn’t cause damage to you, others or your own heart. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">What I mean by that is I’ve been on the receiving end of anger which hasn’t been funnelled in a safe way – where it comes out as spat-out obscenities you’ll regret later, where it comes out through hasty and stupid choices, or through a clenched fist. None of these scenarios end well, and they certainly don’t lend to us <i>being well</i>. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Anger for me is a part of life. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I’m angry a lot and I wish I weren’t. I have a lot <i>not</i> to be angry about – I have a job I enjoy, I get to write, I have a loving family and friends, and I have a partner who without whom I’d surely turn to dust. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">But I <i>am</i> angry because I have a chronic illness that causes me to spend my life in pain. I have learned (as best as anyone can) to live and adapt to it, but my condition is ever changing and unpredictable. I’m angry because I am someone who now struggles massively with anxiety and suffers from depression. That may all have come to my door with or without Crohn’s, but nevertheless it’s here and it’s the ‘thing’ I’m angry at. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling some form of anger at being ‘sick’, but like every aspect of this illness what matters now is how I cope with it. How I choose to act and how I live despite it. I hope that that is without bitterness and resentment, because as much as I wish I wasn’t a permanent patient, I am grateful for whom I have ‘changed’ into throughout my sickly-life. <o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span> <span style="line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">My heart is full of love and lust for life. I want to live life to the full and I get angry and frustrated when it feels like that life is being stunted or shortened. But as I can’t use my anger to paint banners and march to Parliament to rid myself (and all of you) of this illness, I <i>can</i> use it to remind myself that simply feeling it means I’m alive. If that isn’t something to fight for I don’t know what is.</span></span><br /><span style="line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-INEd060HdQY/WPzafdVGSCI/AAAAAAAACJc/Qi608lAPpm0fNhza94JQMrnXd6FNb_lswCLcB/s1600/2011-11-10%2B07.09.51.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-INEd060HdQY/WPzafdVGSCI/AAAAAAAACJc/Qi608lAPpm0fNhza94JQMrnXd6FNb_lswCLcB/s320/2011-11-10%2B07.09.51.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/ijdK9mXPD8M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/04/ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-84453391991863505922017-04-09T12:31:00.001-07:002017-04-09T12:31:16.854-07:00Back On The Pain Gang Like many, many people with an incurable illness I suffer from chronic pain.&nbsp;<p>Pain is not often the crux of my writing because I tend to favour focusing on talking about things I feel I have some semblance of control over; like my relationships, my mental health and my attitude towards my illness.&nbsp;</p><p>Pain is a whole other topic that I don't usually discuss in detail for many reasons; namely because I know a lot of people who are new to this disease read my ramblings and I don't want to terrify them, I don't like upsetting my loved ones, and I like to not think about pain when I can. Often it's none of those things and I simply can't deal with anything but my pain.&nbsp;<br></p><p>Pain is often nigh on impossible to quantify. It's also incredibly difficult to explain to someone on the outside of your own car-crash carcass.&nbsp;<br></p><p>My partner asked me earlier if I was OK when I truly wasn't and I said "Fine... actually no just in excruciating pain" which made him laugh - not because he finds my misfortune amusing, (he's not Christian Grey), but it was a hollow laugh where he acknowledged a bit of relief at me finally catching myself and being honest.&nbsp;</p><p>The reason the "I'm fine" often comes into play is because it's easier. Not in the long term I grant you, but in the short omg-i-think-im-dying term. It's exhausting being in pain and the last thing we generally want to do is talk about it.&nbsp;<br></p><p>My hair hurts today. My teeth hurt. How do you explain that to someone who doesn't experience pain on a regular if not daily basis? They think you are overreacting. They don't have anything to compare it to so they work backwards from their own experience and assume you must be exaggerating. We see you disbelieve us. We see you pity us. And we resent it.&nbsp;</p><p>We are forced to talk about pain, namely describe it, a lot. We have to do it to help our doctors solve any medical mysteries, to get the pain relief we need, to express why we are unable to do something/someone. &nbsp;<br></p><p>We have to tell if it's 'dull', 'stabbing', 'sharp', 'persistent' and various other words used to describe Law &amp; Order. I don't really know what the majority of these words mean in relation to what I feel but I have to use something; it seems screaming incoherently and performing an elaborate death rattle gets you ejected from the ward and I can't risk that happening again.&nbsp;</p><p>The problem with talking about pain when you’re ‘in’ it, is that it allows room for little else other than feeling it. It can be genuinely difficult to even form a coherent sentence when you are experiencing it. I suppose that’s why doctors have developed these charts; the ‘how many out of 10’ and the ilk, for speed and accuracy in treating us. But those charts don’t apply when you are talking to people outside of the doctor’s surgery.&nbsp;</p><p>Pain is subjective and can be all encompassing. Tolerances of pain differ from person to person and can even change over time. When someone is chronically ill pain is a daily occurrence and something we don't always wish to wax lyrical about. That's why we try to adapt our lives around it. Sometimes that's not always possible but on good days, good moments, it is.&nbsp;<br></p><p>We might not tell you we're in pain sometimes and that's OK. It's our choice and it might just be our way of distracting ourselves; so please be patient and don't expect miracles from us. Don’t let us see that we are frustrating you if we are. I know that may seem selfish but we honestly won’t have the energy to get into any form of debate with you, from brokering a trade deal between countries to forgetting to take the bin out, it’s all impossible. &nbsp;<br></p><p>Give us a bit of time to feel ‘normal' again once the worst is over and don’t make us feel that we should apologise for it. Even though I’m 99.9% sure we will later anyway.&nbsp;<br></p><p>Just be kind to us, it really is that simple.</p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iau0DQpUBO0/WOqLlkxi_rI/AAAAAAAACJM/CGAEDX22f0g/%25255BUNSET%25255D.jpg" alt=""><br></p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/ajapP9NK2Xo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/04/back-on-pain-gang.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-66040685949588199342017-03-31T08:48:00.001-07:002017-03-31T08:48:14.933-07:00A Little Bump and Kind <div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I don’t have daughters. I don’t have children at all for that matter. I have a huge dog, a cat and am soon to have another little kitten brought into our fur-filled household. All of this aside, I do have friends with beautiful babies who are blossoming into incredible little people before my eyes. I don’t doubt that perhaps one day I’ll desire a family of my own; I’m in a committed long term relationship and it’s the ‘done thing’ after all; but for now I’m happy as I am. We’re happy as we are. If that changes, then so be it, but for now; my womb my business. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">It is odd the interest in your reproductive organs that grows as we age. I haven’t been ‘<i>blessed’</i>with a child. I haven’t ‘<i>realised’</i> it’s what I want yet. I’ll ‘<i>never know until I do it’</i>. It’s common to be left feeling patronised and like a borderline oddity when everyone around you seems to understand what you want and need better than you do. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Childless women are just that for a myriad of different reasons. Some of us are not in secure relationships, some of us are unable to conceive, some of our partners have issues with fertility, and some of us simply don’t want to have a child. I know that is an alien concept to so, <i>so</i> many women. I know that from 99% of the conversations I have with mothers. Thank-fully, my own close friends who have families are much more accepting of what <i>I</i> choose to do with <i>my</i> vagina, and that’s great. They understand that children are not for everyone and that many of us can still (incredibly) lead happy and fulfilled lives without disrupting our sleep patterns and tearing our genitals to shreds. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">That said I do feel a strange kinship with my friends who have children. Although it’s not necessarily something I want for my own future, the love I feel for their spawn often takes me by surprise. It helps me understand the unconditional nature of a mothers love in a small way. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I feel the same pull from the young women who message me about their illness. Some to talk about a diagnosis or some just to let me know they appreciate having someone else speak up about IBD/mental health. I feel a responsibility to the girls and young women who follow my blog to be respectful of their choices. Their fears are universal and have been felt by all of us to some degree. I don’t have a ‘fear’ of starting a family I should clarify; I just don’t want to. That doesn’t mean I don’t deserve the same respect as a mother receives. My choices shouldn’t be dismissed or belittled for not conforming to some sort of perceived ideal, and this serves to remind me how important it is that we, as adult women; aunts, friends, <i>mothers</i>; listen and respect the choices of our ‘daughters’.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">When we talk to one another we should try harder to listen, truly listen, to what is said (and often what is unsaid) before judging. We all do it, I’m not claiming to be as pure as the driven snow here, but I do think it’s now more important than ever we help young women to grow accepting of themselves and one another. Life is hard and growing up even harder, throw into the mix the possibility of a chronic/mental illness and it can be difficult to see past the next few hours within the day let alone make choices that will affect the rest of our lives.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">So my ‘motherly’ advice (from a certified non-mother) is to simply be kind to your kind.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Today is National Kindness Day (apparently), so what better day to start! xo</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kh68nkZah9k/WN55b0UrhnI/AAAAAAAACI8/BvUdXAX-wvofxTcIeKU-A5DiQep8oYpkwCLcB/s1600/2013-06-04%2B15.23.33.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kh68nkZah9k/WN55b0UrhnI/AAAAAAAACI8/BvUdXAX-wvofxTcIeKU-A5DiQep8oYpkwCLcB/s320/2013-06-04%2B15.23.33.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/K3w0iN9Xx4c" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/03/a-little-bump-and-kind.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-78629198589533273032017-03-26T14:20:00.002-07:002017-03-28T08:03:04.741-07:00Fake That Hello. <br /><br />I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ‘faking it’. No, not in the bedroom; my years of shrieking in faux pleasure to please someone are long gone since I met a man who knows what goes where (and cares if I experience joy). What I refer to is more the daily ‘faking it’ we do in living with a chronic illness. We fake feeling ‘well’ everyday of our lives.<br /><br />I personally haven’t been around 'online' for a wee while. You might have noticed; you might not have. That’s fine. People come and go out of our lives all the time and especially in this digital age it’s sometimes even harder to keep on top of all the people in our real lives and in our phones. So I pre-empt this blog with that wee nugget so the people I love don’t feel any guilt for maybe not having noticed the fact that I’ve been struggling for quite a while now.<br /><br />The main reason people haven’t noticed is because I’m a good actress. I know how to act happy and well because I’ve been doing it for so long. So long in fact that I often don’t know how not to ‘act’ and just ‘be’. The reason this has been playing on my mind lately is because it’s something I worry has slowly but surely assimilated itself into all areas of my life without my being fully aware of it.&nbsp; This is a long winded way of telling you all I've been feeling blue for a while now. I've been finding life and everything in it borderline impossible to bear and I’ve become tired of hiding that from everyone.<br /><br />&nbsp;I am the Queen of advocating that we should all be open and honest about our feelings, our illnesses, and speak without fear and without shame about our mental health. Advice I haven’t truly taken myself for quite a while now. The truth is I am feeling a bit crushed by constant and crippling anxiety. I've been unable to feel much of anything. I've been 'play-acting' my emotions. When the truth is that I am not sure what to feel and when. I perhaps portray what I *think* people want to see or what will help me navigate a situation. I paint on a smile when I need to and it fades as quickly as it comes. For a while there I couldn't remember when I last felt happy for more than a fleeting moment.<br /><br />That, of course, has absolutely no bearing on the people around me. No one ‘makes’ someone depressed. There are aspects of behaviour that can of course exacerbate an already anxious persons' mood but none of that is applicable in my case. No one has done this to me. I haven’t even done it to myself; I’ve just maybe let it happen without interference.<br /><br />&nbsp;So what to do? Please, please, don’t pity me. I've just been taking a little break from everything to get myself well. It’s hard to stop and take stock of what is making you unhappy and I’m doing that. I’m on medication to help my muddled head and reduce my anxiety and I’ll get there. I'm happier now than I have been in a while just admitting it all. It's good to speak up when you're able, so please do if you're struggling. It's so much more of an achievement than you might think.<br /><br />&nbsp;So thank-you, and I love you, and I’ll see you soon xo<br /><br />&nbsp; <img alt="" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BfrgzehNHRI/WNgwntKD5LI/AAAAAAAACH8/3WuUj843tZs/%25255BUNSET%25255D.jpg" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/sHFGm7V_p8c" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com1http://aerocrafts.net/2017/03/fake-that.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-35297375617501286032017-03-02T08:12:00.000-08:002017-03-02T08:12:10.163-08:00Nerve Agent <br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/null" name="_GoBack"></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">I’ve always been shy. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">It took me a good few weeks to stop weeping for my Mum aged 5 starting school. I would go beetroot-faced when asked a question in front of the class aged 10, and I’d laugh nervously like a borderline lunatic when a boy so much as <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">looked</i> at me, aged 15. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Most of that has dissipated these days, thankfully. Although I do still cling onto my Mum’s foot every time she attempts to leave my house, but like the majority of us, I’m a work in progress. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Those childhood nerves and inhibitions may have subsided gradually as I’ve aged and been opened up to more experiences and seen a little more of the world, but they seem to have been replaced with something almost even more intrusive; </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Anxiety. </span></b></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">This wasn’t something I was bothered by to a massive degree ‘pre-Crohn’s’. But it’s something I now often struggle to get a handle on. Unlike my Mothers’ ankle. It certainly wasn’t something I’d have considered to be an ‘issue’ either until I realised it was impacting my own life. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">There is a big difference from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">saying</i>you are an ‘anxious person’ to actually trying to make a dent in coping with it. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">My anxiety manifests itself in many ways: </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><ul style="direction: ltr; list-style-type: disc;"><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-add-space: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I’ll overthink anything and everything. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-add-space: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I’ll work myself up into a frenzy about the ‘what if’s’ of any given situation. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-add-space: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I’ll put off doing things through nerves. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-add-space: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I’ll stare at the phone until it stops ringing. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-add-space: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I’ll talk and babble too much to fill what I’ve decided is an ‘awkward’ silence. </div></li></ul><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Anxiety is a common issue with those of us with chronic illness because we spend a lot of our time thinking about ‘it’. We have a lot of factors to… factor in to our life alongside the normal day to day activities that we all undertake. Whether the issue is with mobility, pain, bathroom worries or mental health issues; we all have our own fears and apprehensions surrounding our illness. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Of course getting stuck in our own heads is often dangerous and isolating, so step one in overcoming the worst of this is really in talking about our worries. When we do this we often find they are sorely unfounded and based on nothing more than our overactive imaginations. Not always, but often. When we decide how someone is feeling/thinking about us, we also insult them, and eliminate the chance of them proving us wrong. We push people away through using our own fears as a barrier. Look, I don’t have the answers on how to cope with this, I just want to share with you that you’re not alone in feeling like an insane person from time to time! </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">What works for me may not work for you, but talking is really important. Don’t be afraid to admit you are scared and nervous and that its overwhelming you. It so much more common than you think. People who love you and/or doctors can help to give you clarity on your feelings. Stop beating yourself up for something that is simply a factor of an ongoing illness. It’s not shameful to admit you are mentally struggling; quite the opposite in fact. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">So the next time someone from Accounts doesn’t say ‘hi’ back to you in the morning at work, maybe don’t spend all day wondering what horrific atrocity you’ve committed against them and accept that maybe they just didn’t hear you. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">That <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">is</i> the case isn’t it Linda? You just didn’t hear me? <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">LINDA…?!?</i></span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QQRl9nJk0Sw/UYQzf1aF3YI/AAAAAAAAApg/OoSGy5ujMNMbnM2QRl8WluHKB9uRFPqmQCPcB/s1600/IMG_3624.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QQRl9nJk0Sw/UYQzf1aF3YI/AAAAAAAAApg/OoSGy5ujMNMbnM2QRl8WluHKB9uRFPqmQCPcB/s320/IMG_3624.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/sbpwr2fL3ss" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/03/nerve-agent.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-39019830563182262882017-02-24T07:46:00.000-08:002017-02-24T07:46:14.424-08:00Diseasey Peasy <br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/null" name="_GoBack"></a><span style="font-family: Calibri;">I receive quite a lot of messages and emails from young people who have recently been diagnosed with IBD. It makes me happy and sad in equal measure; happy that they reaching out to talk to someone about their worries (albeit a decidedly unqualified person like me), and sad because they are struggling with something incredibly distressing on top of all the usual, more common yet challenging aspects of ‘growing up’. Some of them are just looking for reassurance and advice on how best to live with a chronic illness; some of them don’t want to live at all.&nbsp; </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">I do of course reply to these messages, as quickly as I can and with as much information as I can, but I often feel at a loss as to what to say to soothe a young man or woman who’s experiences perhaps mirror my own fears from several years earlier. I try to think about what I wanted to hear when I was diagnosed: what might have made the whole thing a little less scary, and I hit a frustrating brick wall. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">I was lucky myself in the sense that I was (officially) diagnosed when I was in my mid-twenties. I certainly didn’t <i>feel</i> lucky of course; I was heartbroken, confused and devastated. I imagine it feels that way irrespective of your age mind you, we all have different tolerances and being told you are never getting better stings regardless of what stage in your life you are at.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">So I suppose what I’m clumsily trying to express is that I feel at a loss at times to help those who are experiencing what I have. What I <i>am</i>. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Then I try to take a breath and remember that all I wanted to hear when I was first sick was that life would go on. I still do. Don’t get me wrong – I undoubtedly would not have thanked <i>anyone</i> for spouting that at me at the time of my diagnosis; I didn’t want life to go on if I’d have to carry this disease with me for the remainder of it. I didn’t believe it and I couldn’t accept it. But as I’ve grown alongside my illness (I’m now in my mid-thirties), I’ve found my outlook has changed along with my priorities. All I care about now is my own happiness and that of those around me. My illness is still a huge part of my life and always will be, one that can consume me from time to time, but those moments pass. Chronic illness is a slippery path whereby sometimes we wobble a little, sometimes we can’t get on an even keel, but nevertheless we never lie down to it; we don’t have that luxury. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">But the truth is, our life does go on. We are incredibly lucky in that sense. We will have to make adaptions to those lives to make room for this illness, we don’t like that but it’s easier than trying to bat it away like a pesky wasp at a jam sandwich. We have to accept it and stop fighting its basic existence. Denial is fruitless and prolongs the period of time it takes to come to terms with having an incurable illness. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Don’t get me wrong here though, I’m not implying ANY of this is easy; sometimes I even have a little cry myself when I feel low – I often feel I’m back to square one with this and the frustration of that can be overwhelming. But if I’ve learnt anything since I was diagnosed it’s the importance of talking. Talk to your parents, your friends, your nurse, talk to me! Don’t push yourself into it – there’s no shame in that either; the last thing I wanted to do at first was talk about this with <i>anyone</i>, but eventually that changed and it became more of a comfort and camaraderie than a fear. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">So please remember that you are not alone. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Things will get easier and you will learn to live with this. Like every challenge in life it feels monumental at first, but the more steps you take towards dealing with it the easier it becomes. I’m not in any way saying I love having a bowel disease – I hate it – but it has also taught me boundless things about my own body, its shown me a strength I never thought I could find and its brought me closer to the people I love. It’s made me value my own life, and allowed me an opportunity to help me help you to value yours. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">So if you take anything from my ramblings let it be this: disease is hard and scary and intimidating, but your life is worth the challenge. </span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pN31b3VKGo8/Tu4i2E698vI/AAAAAAAAAF0/oOkwB-aMPZY0D19E4Q1gXu3aMVlXOSYjgCPcB/s1600/iphone%2B112.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pN31b3VKGo8/Tu4i2E698vI/AAAAAAAAAF0/oOkwB-aMPZY0D19E4Q1gXu3aMVlXOSYjgCPcB/s320/iphone%2B112.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/x0O_D4GOj3A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/02/diseasey-peasy.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-13210787372052050292017-02-21T05:17:00.000-08:002017-02-21T05:17:53.616-08:00Let Them Eat Cake! <br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">My blog turned 6 last week! </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">I know what you are thinking; blogs can’t have birthdays, they are not sentient beings, so why waste decent cake? I hear you! But this particular ‘birthday’ has felt worthy of celebration mainly because I’ve sadly neglected my blog lately. I’ve had a new job to focus on and the completion of a new book I’ve been working on since my first came out last year. Also I’ve been ill. Not front page news that last one I grant you; some might even say it’s what this blog is all about, and yes I appreciate that smarty-pants. But being ‘sick’ can often feel like a full time job in itself and it overwhelms anything and everything. It interferes in work, relationships, your state of mind. It demands attention. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">But this blog was started as an outlet for me to express my fears, experiences and abject terror at having a chronic illness, and while it still is such a place to allow me to vent or share, it’s become somewhat more of a safe place where I can come to talk openly and without judgement (although my inbox may say otherwise). It has granted me the opportunity to help others simply but sharing my life with you and making cat jokes. So rather than spend this special occasion focusing on the more negative aspects of my illness I thought I’d celebrate this 6<sup><span style="font-size: x-small;">th</span></sup> birthday with a little bit about all the good stuff that’s happened in my life since this blog was ‘born’. </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">So here are my 6 happy things: </span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><ol style="direction: ltr; list-style-type: decimal;"><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I have written and had published a book on Crohn’s Disease which is doing well and getting great feedback. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I have focused more on nurturing my relationships and this has been wonderful and reaped countless rewards. (No I’m not talking about the bedroom, get your heads out of the gutter). </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">Although my health has been a consistent challenge and treatments have failed I haven’t had any further surgery which I take as a big win. *<b>touches all of the wood</b>*</div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">We got a giant dog! Who makes me incredibly happy, cares for me and makes me and laugh and cry at his cuteness every day. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">I changed jobs and it’s been an incredible boost to my mental health and stress levels. </div></li><li style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0cm; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;">My amazing friend Lyndsay gave me a bike! So now I cycle to said new job and have much more time with my family (and longer lie ins) while getting a little daily exercise. Also my thighs could now quite easily crush a grown man’s head. </div></li></ol><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">So it’s not been all bad since Crohnological Order began. I’m happy and alive and that’s a <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">great</i>start. I’ve been granted some wonderful opportunities since writing this diseased drivel and I want to continue to use what little voice I have to help others. SO thanks for sticking with me for the last 6 years and hopefully beyond! I love you! xox</span></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-820vhBGvumc/Tv4muqaZhWI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/r4T7OeikBUEn0az8cGsQUEyxg5flA_yeQCPcB/s1600/iphone%2B114.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-820vhBGvumc/Tv4muqaZhWI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/r4T7OeikBUEn0az8cGsQUEyxg5flA_yeQCPcB/s1600/iphone%2B114.jpg" /></a></div><div style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/N0wDOqdJ6f8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com1http://aerocrafts.net/2017/02/let-them-eat-cake.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-75268518079847029332017-01-15T05:23:00.003-08:002017-01-15T05:23:38.631-08:00OMG!! SEE ME TOTALLY NAKED IN THIS LEAKED SEX TAPE!!! <div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">OK now that I've got your attention, I'd like to take a few minutes to talk to you about these so called 'click-bait' articles with eye-catching and inevitably misleading titles (of which the above is); and in particular how they can negatively impact on our health. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">Now as you may have established by this point, the chances of you seeing me ‘<i>TOTALLY NAKED’</i> and in a ‘<i>SEX</i> TAPE!!!’ are slim to none. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news so early in the blog but you’re the one who clicked, so more fool you! Besides, who even uses the word 'tape' anymore? Get with the program losers! What is this, 1992?!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">Anyway, regardless of whether you clicked this link because there was a vain hope of seeing my melons, or because you were just intrigued as to whether I’d finally lost my mind; now that we are all here, let’s get to the matter in hand. Despite the fact that this title is undoubtedly false and deceptive it did its job in getting you to click on the preceding link, maybe to even to hang around and read the whole article. So in that sense it has been an effective tool. Effective yes, yet undoubtedly frustrating too, (in particular for those of you still vainly holding out for a peep at my wares). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">NOT HAPPENING PLEASE MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIVES. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">But while we can all laugh at the absurdity of this particular title, what of those articles with similarly attention grabbing titles, aimed for the most part at the more vulnerable and desperate among us? Those of us who are perhaps crying out for a 'solution', whatever it may be. Well, here we find my pet hate: the ‘health’ click-bait. In case any of you are still in the dark about what I mean by ‘click-bait’ please see this definition: <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">“(on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page”<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RG4GrGzb0iQ/WHt3qKhSEXI/AAAAAAAACF0/nI5C91c3pmolY9eC0mWF5Rb4KoYfShRVgCEw/s1600/thumbnail_IMG_6966.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RG4GrGzb0iQ/WHt3qKhSEXI/AAAAAAAACF0/nI5C91c3pmolY9eC0mWF5Rb4KoYfShRVgCEw/s320/thumbnail_IMG_6966.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">These are those articles that draw us sickly individuals in with promised 'cures' and quick fixes, advice on someone’s ‘miracle cure’ or how someone else ‘cured themselves with tree bark’ or some other such nonsense. Once clicked on, these articles (usually a mere few barely decipherable sentences) inevitably lead us down the rabbit hole of terrible advertising and ineligible text, over-priced products and bad advertising. Maybe they will follow on where the article left off and attempt to sell us a product that promises to cure all of our ails. The one certainty is that they are definite time-wasters. They offer inane hope to those of us who perhaps have none, they lie and explain our conditions in a vague and unintelligible way, they grope in the dark for anything they can grab on to in order to gain an audiences favour. Just like your Mum.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">In my humble opinion, any article that struggles of CORRECTLY SPELL the name of the condition it writes about, promises a ‘cure’ it can never prove, admonishes patients for a perceived lack of effort, undermines our suffering, or simply insults us in a roundabout way, is GARBAGE. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">So my own advice would be to avoid these headlines and their preceding hogwash ‘journalism’ unless they come from a reputable source (or a QUALIFIED DOCTOR). And if you find yourself drawn in by an article promising you the world where your health is concerned (yes EVEN if it contains the promise of a bare naked chest), pull out immediately. As the Actress said to the Bishop.&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/F_Kz8DYVu7g" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2017/01/omg-see-me-totally-naked-in-this-leaked.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-17457263049918479372016-12-31T03:31:00.001-08:002016-12-31T03:31:32.411-08:00HAPPY NEW REAR! <br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">It’s time for one of those 'end of year' posts we bloggers love to write (and you dread to read)! </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">And what a year it's been. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">HORRIFIC.&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">I won’t even <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">begin</i> to go into the changes we’ve undergone with Brexit here and Trump over there, because I don’t want to projectile vomit all over the screen. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">We've played a seemingly endless game of 'Who's Dead Today?' this year with almost everyone in the public-eye quaking in their boots at the mere sniff of a cough that they'll be 'next'. Of course for me the hardest of these 'celebrity' deaths was my beloved David Bowie. I genuinely sobbed when the news hit and felt the same grief I would for a loved one. It seemed so utterly confusing that I would mourn someone I've never met, but the depth of feeling I had for his music (and the shock of his unexpected death through illness) hit me more than I could have expected. I suppose with a sudden and unanticipated death such as his, it hit a lot of his fans in a similarly painful way.&nbsp;So many other deaths followed, that this year switching on the breakfast news each morning seemed like opening the world’s </span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">most depressing advent calendar.</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_e3BKR893d0/UK87mYe9vBI/AAAAAAAAAhU/mYQZGru7Bpkc5GdhqZqpogT2pfeyNqO7wCPcB/s1600/blogger-image-1426543248.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_e3BKR893d0/UK87mYe9vBI/AAAAAAAAAhU/mYQZGru7Bpkc5GdhqZqpogT2pfeyNqO7wCPcB/s320/blogger-image-1426543248.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The next big setback in my year came when our beloved cat passed away. We knew he was poorly and would in time be heading to that giant Cat Scratcher in the sky, but his death was very sudden and still came as a big and heart-breaking shock. Our beautiful boy was so special and such an intrinsic part of our little family that his loss is still felt around the house. The loss of a pet can be surprisingly heart-breaking: when they are such a huge part of the family it takes a while to adjust to him not being home.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kciuID_5FAM/VhlOZhiBJgI/AAAAAAAABfU/2bCCNJNDcR0SKC63QjaxoWw0Ese6T1rmACPcB/s1600/2012-05-01%2B18.01.03.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kciuID_5FAM/VhlOZhiBJgI/AAAAAAAABfU/2bCCNJNDcR0SKC63QjaxoWw0Ese6T1rmACPcB/s320/2012-05-01%2B18.01.03.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">But for me certainly 2016 has not been all bad. And really as we know, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">it’s all about ME</i>. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">This year saw me quit my job of over 10 years to take on a new challenge closer to home and allow me more time for writing and working on book 2! Scary but incredibly exhilarating, and definitely the right decision. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">This leads us on neatly to the next big emotional event in my 2016: The publication of my first book! <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Go-Your-Crohn-Way-Disease/dp/1848193165">GO YOUR CROHN WAY</a> came out in May and was a whirlwind of anxiety and joy. It was a surprisingly emotional time for me for many reasons; because it was a reassurance I wasn't a terrible writer, because it was coming from a place where I could hopefully help others in a wider way, and because it was a painful part of my life being transformed into something positive. We had a wonderful book launch (<a href="http://crohnologicalorder.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/the-crohn-way-soiree.html">The Crohn Way Soiree</a>) which was one of the best night's of my life. Excluding that time a taxi appeared just as the heel on my stiletto broke. I've had such good feedback from patients and their families alike that's it's made my heart swell.&nbsp;It’s been well received so far, I’ve been on radio, in papers and a local MP has even put forward a motion to have it mentioned in Scottish Parliament! This is about the only level of fame I could tolerate without exploding into a ball of anxiety and feeling the need to wear makeup everyday/brush my mane so I’m pretty happy with that :) </span></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VFxelK969LE/V0H7m_qzxNI/AAAAAAAABrE/u6VpybqoPaY9IR6G6ZsIH7nKslBb9akOgCPcB/s1600/2016-05-22%2B09.47.38.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VFxelK969LE/V0H7m_qzxNI/AAAAAAAABrE/u6VpybqoPaY9IR6G6ZsIH7nKslBb9akOgCPcB/s320/2016-05-22%2B09.47.38.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><br /></span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">I’m currently working on book two and it all seems pretty exciting and that I’ve found where I want to be in life which is incredibly comforting. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">The year ended for me on a pretty low note as I’ve been advised my treatment is no longer effective and my body is fighting against it (again). So back to the diseased drawing board. I spent most of the lead up to Christmas in hospital and it was extremely disheartening, just the idea of being properly ‘sick’ again. Tests and procedures and hospital food; none of us want it. But I was lucky enough to get home for Christmas. Now just awaiting more of the same, scopes and tests until we know what may work for me where others haven’t. I’m trying my best to think positive about this as I know I’ll get there, just stuck in limbo at the minute. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">2017 will hopefully be healthier for us all. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">For me, this year despite many, MANY setbacks, I have achieved something I never thought I would, I’ve made a brave decision or two, I’m in love and loved and HAPPY. Good health will follow, and if not, I’ve got all the love I need to help me through it. </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Your support, however small or large this year has meant the world to me! </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">I love you! </span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Happy New Year everyone! xox</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="color: #454545; font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 11.5pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">&nbsp;</span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/mXhSThorN7k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/12/happy-new-rear.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-24731436989015099592016-12-11T14:05:00.002-08:002016-12-11T14:14:38.769-08:00Holy Moly <div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">A few recent conversations with people I love and admire (and who also happen to be religious) got me thinking about faith and living with chronic illness. I should begin by mentioning that I am not religious myself. At <i>all</i>. I was raised Catholic, and I do still hold on to certain elements of my religious upbringing. Such as trying to treat people with kindness, treating those as you'd like to be treated yourself, and valuing and nurturing love. These are all aspects of my character I can attribute to both my wonderful parents and the bleeding into my life of Catholicism. If Jesus will pardon the pun. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">But recently I've pondered how different my handling of my disease may have been had I continued down the path of that of a practicing Catholic. Because I don't feel a belief in any 'higher power' or am drawn to any form of organised religion, I wonder what that must feel like in comparison to my current lifestyle of taking each day as it comes. I suppose the element of my religious past I’ve held onto most would be feeling guilty for <i>absolutely everything</i>. This includes eating a delicious and/or expensive meal – I’ll feel guilty about the indulgence and the pain it’ll undoubtedly cause my purse and intestines. That’s fine I guess, a little guilt never hurt anyone and it certainly puts a halt on me doing anything that might <i>actually</i>warrant 25 Hail Mary’s and a Holy Communion afterwards. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">I don’t want any of this to sound patronising or disrespectful in any way. I would never question why people I love/abject strangers feel a need or calling towards religion. It’s a choice; just not one I’d choose. In much the same way you wouldn’t question my undying love of Jon Hamm. DO NOT QUESTION MY UNDYING LOVE OF JON HAMM. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">I blindly put my ‘faith’ in doctors. <i>I have to</i>. I don’t believe in a specific Higher Power, I don’t have an alternative. That’s my choice, of course. But for me it’s all I have. I’m often secretly envious of those with a strong faith in God/Aloe Vera/whatever. Not because I feel at a loss without something to believe in, but because I wonder how different life must be for those patients who do. Does having a deity of some sort to reach out to make pain and suffering easier to tolerate? I imagine it is a comfort; at least that’s what I’m led to believe from those around me. Any form of comfort with a chronic illness is a blessing. I take my comfort from my loved ones. I ‘believe’ in them, and in their ability to soothe my anxious mind. They are tangible, and real, and <i>around</i>. They forgive my occasional bad behaviour and understand it comes from pain and anxiety, they don’t expect a penance for it, and I return the understanding just as wholly.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">With a chronic illness, and especially in talking so openly and publicly about it as I do, patients are often subjected to a seemingly endless ream of ‘miracle’ cures. I have a tendency to pooh-pooh these ‘cures’ in much the same way I do religion. Maybe without even realising how that may appear to those with a strong faith. I’m well aware that rubbing my every orifice with Aloe Vera may not necessarily go and in hand with attending mass. (Although, I’m still stoically of the belief that neither would ‘cure’ me). There is a difference e between a spam email trying to sell me dodgy diet pills and a caring friend/family member offering me comfort by sharing a belief they hold dear. I need to see that more often perhaps, instead of being so overtly dismissive. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything because I don’t believe in God, I just don’t ‘get it’. But then <i>&nbsp;</i>I don’t have to, just like you are totally allowed to believe in whatever the Hell <i>you</i>want too. If Jesus will pardon the pun. Again...</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br></span><img src="webkit-fake-url://c12b7d5a-6f9a-495c-9e02-2b68d97a1f4e/imagejpeg"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><span id="goog_1406663395"></span><span id="goog_1406663396"></span><br></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/cVkUi7YDxvA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/12/holy-moly.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-67034865277894877122016-11-21T09:35:00.003-08:002016-11-21T09:35:58.752-08:00Be There or Be Flare<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I was talking to my wonderful Mum today about family, and poor health, and flapper dresses amongst other things. But rather than dedicate my blog to the beauty of a fringed frock, I should probably focus my attentions on the former. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Family and the opinions of my family and friends have always been very important to me. They have been the ones to whom I would turn when I had a huge decision to make, or when I’ve made the wrong decision and need a shoulder to cry on or a cave to retreat into. Of course the older we get the more decisions we must make on our own, often without input (and the harder these become). The love and support of family and friends is generally what gives us the confidence to make these decisions and have the confidence in our own choices. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Some of these choices are <i>hard</i>. Possibly none more so than when we are in poor health and must make decisions that may literally be life or death. When I was advised I should have life-threatening surgery, the consequences of such an undertaking didn’t factor into my decision. Maybe they should have; but if I were to consider I might’ve left my mother without a daughter, I wouldn’t have been able to go under the knife at all. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">You see my health affects the people I love. I wish that weren’t true but it is. The same way that any of us being ill affects people who love us; the decisions I make about my health are essentially mine, but will affect the lives of others regardless. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Were I a ‘healthy’ woman, I wouldn’t have to worry a lot of things. I wouldn’t have to worry that I was causing stress and upset to those who love me. I wouldn’t have to worry that I am unable to provide for my little family and that my partner may be forced to pick up the slack. I wouldn’t have to worry that I’m making others unhappy because I can’t do this, that, or the next thing. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I wouldn’t have to worry about <i>living</i> and I could focus on doing just that. But I do, and I have to face that day in day out – as do you. We all make the best of the hand we’ve been dealt and I no longer wallow in the occasional misery of my situation as I once did. I suppose this is just a meandering post really, but at the heart of it it’s a reminder that the people who love us are SO important to our recovery and general health-maintenance. Support and love is a boon to us and although it may often seem we take you for granted, we appreciate you more than you can know. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Often we just have a lot of worry spinning around in our heads and we forget to say thanks for being there. So I think I speak for every ‘sick’ person when I say THANKS FOR BEING THERE xo</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wu4DnUhf1_o/WDMwaJzN11I/AAAAAAAAB5I/JKIbweABhbgwC-5fFf3pK5xWbJassDHrACLcB/s1600/2013-06-04%2B15.23.33.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wu4DnUhf1_o/WDMwaJzN11I/AAAAAAAAB5I/JKIbweABhbgwC-5fFf3pK5xWbJassDHrACLcB/s320/2013-06-04%2B15.23.33.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/rr3iEIuBMFM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/11/be-there-or-be-flare.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-3882101693960176922016-11-01T12:53:00.000-07:002016-11-01T12:53:34.097-07:00#HAWMC - Day 1<div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;">It’s the first day of this year’s WEGO Health Writing Challenge (#HAWMC)! I wasn’t too keen on taking part this year as I’m working on a new book alongside my full time ‘proper’ job and have been feeling physically lower than a worms bra strap. But I figured it might be a good way to keep the writing momentum going as well as getting some much needed inspiration from my fellow health writers taking part!</div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;">So anyways todays writing prompt is as follows:&nbsp;</div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><b><i>Let’s get to know one another! What drives you to write about your health? What do you want other activists to know about your condition and activism?</i></b></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><b><i><br /></i></b></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;">Well if you are reading this chances are you already know a little bit about me and my writing (HI MUM), but if not then allow me to inform you of what you have SORELY missed. I live with several chronic conditions, the most prevalent being Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed with arthritis age 25 then Crohn’s shortly after – since then I’ve developed chronic migraines, nerve damage, &nbsp;Gilbert syndrome, anaemia, low blood pressure, anxiety etc etc to infinity.</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #212121; font-family: &quot;.SF UI Text&quot;; font-size: 15px; line-height: normal;"><br /></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;">I started blogging about my experiences of life with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 shortly after my first surgery. Since then I’ve been nominated for/been finalist in several blog awards, and have had my first book based loosely on my blog published in May of this year! (it's called Go Your Crohn Way and availability from all good retailers FYI) ;)&nbsp;</div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;">But coming back to the prompt: what I’d ideally like others to take from my writing would be a feeling of comfort, camaraderie and a decent laugh every now and then. I’ve always written in the hope that I can help educate and inform people on how it feels (physically and mentally) to live with incurable illness. I want to remind patients and their families it’s possible to thrive despite a chronic condition and not just ‘survive’. My drive to keep writing comes from hearing and seeing others stories, and just how difficult they find adapting to illness. There is always, ALWAYS someone who needs a little kindness. Incurable illness never ends so I keep writing for myself and for others in the hope some of that kindness rubs off. Pass it on, it feels great! X</div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-d0kttNMjKTw/WBjwAShB4pI/AAAAAAAAB10/soTBvfaepzoJkrokrKfbQh06SA3Ej__ewCLcB/s1600/2012-02-07%2B09.14.56.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-d0kttNMjKTw/WBjwAShB4pI/AAAAAAAAB10/soTBvfaepzoJkrokrKfbQh06SA3Ej__ewCLcB/s320/2012-02-07%2B09.14.56.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="x_MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #454545; font-family: wf_segoe-ui_normal, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, &quot;Segoe WP&quot;, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/Hv6C1syN2Eg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/11/hawmc-day-1.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-29652992148401632372016-09-25T08:07:00.000-07:002016-09-25T08:07:02.705-07:00By The Book<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I might be lately as my writing time is occupied writing another book. I’m really excited about this one and putting much more pressure on myself to make it brilliant and funny and genuine. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">The first time round I had nothing to lose in writing a book – I wanted to do it to achieve a dream and to help people come to terms with an IBD diagnosis or just to give long term Crohn’s patients maybe something to smile at. I took my time in approaching any publishers because I genuinely didn’t think anyone would look twice at it, and to be totally honest I was afraid of having to face the knock-backs! But it turns out I didn’t receive any of those and the publisher I went with has been just brilliant to work with. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">Getting a book out into the world with no knowledge of the industry, marketing or public speaking is no easy task so I’m proud of myself for all the work I put in to making it happen. Obviously my loved ones played a big part in that too but I’ve already thanked them enough privately to restraining order proportions. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">So now I am working on book two and it’s strangely even scarier than the first time. What if no one wants me this time? What if I’m a one hit wonder? What if I hate every word I’ve written? (the 3<sup>rd</sup> one swims about in my head <i>EVERYTIME</i> I sit down to write). &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">But that’s where I am with that: trying to make something readable and enjoyable and <i>HELPFUL </i>and consistently filled with self-doubt. But I guess that just makes me an author. If you’d like to be first to know any book news and aren’t my Mum or lover then you can sign up to my mailing list if you’d like! Click on this helpful link -<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><a href="http://kathfantastic.weebly.com/go-your-crohn-way.html">http://kathfantastic.weebly.com/go-your-crohn-way.html</a><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I'm also thrilled to have been nominated again this year in the WEGO Health Activist Awards! I'm up for both Hilarious Health Activist and Best in Show: Blog. Thanks to everyone who&nbsp;nominated&nbsp;me! If you want to cast your vote by way of an 'endorsement' you can do so to the right of this post or on my website. Thanks!&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="color: #a64d79; font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">h<a href="ttp://kathfantastic.weebly.com/crohnological-order.html">ttp://kathfantastic.weebly.com/crohnological-order.html</a></span><br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">Health wise things aren’t too great at the minute, I’ve been pretty floored with a nasty sinus infection that I can’t seem to shake. My immune system is so low that the minute I start to improve someone just has to sneeze within 20 miles of me and I’m flattened again. My partner isn’t loving having to sleep with Darth Vader, but we all have our crosses to bear. Infliximab is still going well, so far so good, so I’m counting the days to next week when they pump me with more of the good stuff. And also Infliximab. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">But enough about me, how are YOU?&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jXjKx632H00/V-fnrl6n0bI/AAAAAAAABxE/LBwldA_7wzQ2v-Onqk_yUqjPl5mSj0FJQCLcB/s1600/2016-06-08%2B22.25.23.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jXjKx632H00/V-fnrl6n0bI/AAAAAAAABxE/LBwldA_7wzQ2v-Onqk_yUqjPl5mSj0FJQCLcB/s320/2016-06-08%2B22.25.23.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/MSxxQqYvAS8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/09/by-book.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-56260070964971059102016-09-21T09:39:00.001-07:002016-09-21T09:48:53.114-07:00Lazy Crohn's<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Please forgive this angry blog in advance but here goes. An issue I cannot grasp is when some people, even after having been told several times of a condition’s INCUREABLITY, (not sure that’s even a real word but if not it <i>should be</i>), still expect you to ‘improve’. Without mentioning any names or places or specific occasions (*DISCLAIMER*) – let me give you a few examples of what I mean by this. Although I’m all too well aware you will likely have your own for reference. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">In my case there is often an expectation I will be able to ‘perform better’ (and I’m not talking about within the bedroom here so draw your own conclusions). This is an impossibility as I already carry out every task to the best of my ability. Including piss poor rhyming it would seem. I try with all the patience I can muster, to express just how damaging and frustrating it can be to tell someone with a disability they should ‘try harder’. Mainly because we already are. We are trying harder than you. We have <i>gotten out of bed</i> and are completing the same tasks as you WITH a chronic illness. We are already better than you in so many ways. So why do you make us feel worthless? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">When you offhandedly mention that we could try harder, you make us question ourselves. Maybe we <i>are</i>coming off as lazy? Maybe we <i>could</i>make more of an effort? That is a tough situation to put someone in. Not to mention dangerous. How much further should we be pushing ourselves in your opinion? So far we end up in the back of an ambulance? Maybe a morgue? Yes I am being dramatic here I grant you, but when your best isn’t deemed good-enough it’s completely and utterly soul-destroying. ESPECIALLY when this apparent lack of ability is caused by something totally out-with your control. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">When you tell us we should/could try harder, you are basically asking us to ‘improve’ our disability. Perform an impossible feat. This may sound dramatic to those of you without an incurable illness, but the invisibility of a chronic illness like Crohn’s allows for a startling amount of ignorance. Would you ask someone who was paralysed from the waist down to ‘just have a go’ at walking? Didn’t think so. So why then is it deemed acceptable for someone to query why my intestines don’t work as they should? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Let me finish with this: I have a full time job. I work long hours in a stressful environment. My condition(s) mean I struggle with pain mainly in my stomach, legs, arms, and hands, I experience almost weekly migraines, my medication means my head is often fuzzy and I suffer memory loss, extreme fatigue means I struggle to stay awake around 2pm each day and I am constantly and consistently <i>exhausted</i>. Did I mention that I can’t tolerate food and am either on the toilet or throwing up in it? Oh and that along with&nbsp;anemia&nbsp;and low blood pressure means I’m dizzy almost all day long. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I’m not mentioning all of this for sympathy – I know I am lucky as there are people who face much worse every day, but I mention it to reiterate the point. On top of all of that, what exactly would you like me to improve? I’d say I’m doing pretty well just remaining conscious to be honest.&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KCrnjA2OJWI/V-K581JeegI/AAAAAAAABv8/HhoPp6ZI6TY/s640/blogger-image-1746257988.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KCrnjA2OJWI/V-K581JeegI/AAAAAAAABv8/HhoPp6ZI6TY/s640/blogger-image-1746257988.jpg"></a></div><br></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/cRiThguqfoU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com2http://aerocrafts.net/2016/09/lazy-crohns.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-86630845779114733752016-08-29T06:47:00.001-07:002016-08-29T06:47:39.055-07:00Rest In PJ's<div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">A very important aspect to bear in mind when living with chronic illness is 'self-care'. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Firstly, I appreciate that may sound hippy-ish, and may inspire someone who doesn't eat kale or drink pumpkin lattes to feel increasingly nauseous, but at the core of it ‘self-care’ really just means looking after number one.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">In the least selfish way possible, it's vital to ensure that when you feel at your worst (and even when you don’t) that you take the time you need to help yourself feel as well as you can. Now of course that doesn't necessarily mean immediately calling your boss and throwing a 4week sick note at him so fast he gets a paper cut. It just means it’s important to remember that there are things you can do to ease the pressure of a day to day life with a chronic illness. For example: REST when you need to rest. It may sound ridiculous but this is often the most difficult for me. It seems to come exceptionally low on my list of priorities. I’ll always have something more pressing to do first. Then I came to the realisation that really that means I’m placing my own health pretty low down the rung on the ladder of life. And really, although a support network around you is imperative, it’s also vital to value <i>yourself</i> and your own body. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">I've begun to try and act accordingly now instead of pushing myself to my body's limits and beyond. For example, if I’ve had a busy day and I’m into a new realm of exhaustion, I’ll find 20minutes to take a nap. Previously I would have made a million and one excuses not to: it's almost dinner time, I don't want to be rude and leave my partner alone, my favourite TV show is on, the moon is in Venus, etc, etc. Now I try to act on my body’s demands and feel better for it. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;">Looking after yourself may not make you feel massively different <i>physically</i>; it may only serve to allow you to feel a little more rested and give your triple AAA’s a well-deserved recharge. But that’s not really the point. I find it has a greater impact on mental health. It allows you to grant yourself permission to ‘be ill’. You don’t have to excuse yourself for something you have no control over, you just have to adapt to it and sometimes let it win a few battles. You still take the gold in the end; you just do it at your own pace. So put down the dish-cloth and pour yourself a delicious glass of bowel prep, you deserve it!&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Candara, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F4GEvw59CR0/V8Q83Acq8RI/AAAAAAAABt4/_VfSjACiansleEFJkRDZL67VhC_HpfK7QCLcB/s1600/2016-07-10%2B11.45.18.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F4GEvw59CR0/V8Q83Acq8RI/AAAAAAAABt4/_VfSjACiansleEFJkRDZL67VhC_HpfK7QCLcB/s320/2016-07-10%2B11.45.18.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;"><span style="font-family: Trebuchet MS, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/oVcX1urtGnM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/08/rest-in-pjs.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-432095176514263082.post-31248695392960836402016-08-19T08:54:00.003-07:002016-08-19T10:04:48.366-07:00Stress This House<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Not sure if I mentioned it recently, if it all, I mean I have been pretty quiet about the whole thing tbh, but I've written a book on life with Crohn's Disease. With writing a book you, of course, open yourself up to criticism and judgement. That’s wholly understandable; I’m expecting people to take the time to read something I’ve written and maybe even purchase it with some of their, no doubt hard-earned cash, so I am certainly open to hearing opinions on it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But within writing circles pretension runs rife. I’ve been made to feel that I’m not a ‘real’ writer in several areas; and I’ve gone along with that because I don’t truly feel like one either. Even though I’ve had a book published it still feels as though I’ll be ‘found out’ eventually and I’ll have to admit that yes I’m an idiot who just got lucky, LOLZ sorry! <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But my own insecurities aside, and I hate to break it to anyone criticising me, but I’ve written a book on my experience of bowel disease; I’m not trying to be the voice of a generation or pen The Next Great British Novel. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">This same feeling of insecurity permeates all aspects of my life when I’m feeling low. I’m not a good enough writer to be taken seriously, I’m not a good enough partner to the man I love and eventually he’ll see it too, I’m not ‘sick enough’ to talk about it with any level of knowledge, etc ETC to infinity.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">These feelings all began when I got sick. Because with long-term sickness often comes anxiety and depression. Not for everyone of course, but for more of us than I’d care to wager. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’ve always been self-deprecating; it’s what helped me avoid being bullied in high school (I had no boobs, a 10y/o boy’s haircut and liked cats more than boys). It’s what got me tips as a waitress and barmaid. It’s what help bagged me a beau. Laughing at myself is probably a safety net – it gets it out of the way before anyone else does. Not that I truly believe they will; but it doesn’t matter what I truly believe, because the minute I think those thoughts they take over. Approximately <a dir="ltr" href="tel:4565775675" x-apple-data-detectors="true" x-apple-data-detectors-type="telephone" x-apple-data-detectors-result="0">4565775675</a>&nbsp;different scenarios play over in my head then I’m back to square one. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Anxiety and insecurity is a bitch because it doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you are wonderful and worthy and loved; you’re Teflon. It all just glides off you because you don’t feel it. Now let me be clear, (in particular for my Mum because I know she’s reading this hi mum I love you)<i> I</i> <i>do not feel like this all the time</i>. A large chunk of my life I feel self-confident and brave, important, and pleased with my image and my work. I feel deserving of the man I love and the friends and family who love me as I know that I should. But when that is gone and I’m just a ball of anxiety and frustration I can’t see how I ever had the gall to believe in myself. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Look I know this is a ramble and it maybe means nothing to a lot of you, but I’m mainly writing this to the young women who flood my inbox with emails everyday telling me they are scared and feel isolated in living with chronic illness. I want them to know they are not alone, and although it isn’t exactly a pleasant thought that another human being feels as bad as you do, it can also be a small comfort. Knowing you’re not ‘crazy’ and that these feelings will eventually dissipate gives us hope. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br></span></div><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Maybe tomorrow I won’t want to weep when I see my reflection, and I will feel strong enough to write another chapter of another book because maybe someone might want to read it. If I can convince myself of that then you can too. Or whatever it is you ‘do’; do it! If writing is your bag then go for it! Just don’t write too well, I’m not good enough to handle the competition ;)&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><font face="Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br></font><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ztp2gkfsRp0/V7c8Log1ItI/AAAAAAAABto/e2DHs7jd6NU/s640/blogger-image--1459813540.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ztp2gkfsRp0/V7c8Log1ItI/AAAAAAAABto/e2DHs7jd6NU/s640/blogger-image--1459813540.jpg"></a></div><br></div></span><o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CrohnologicalOrder/~4/iL9d-RcKlWw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Kathleen Nichollshttps://plus.google.com/109558010464049038187noreply@blogger.com0http://aerocrafts.net/2016/08/with-writing-book-you-of-course-open.html