Monday Magic – Inspirational Blogs for You!

Happy Monday, Pain Pals!

A levels finished last week for the sixth form student and that meant another end to an era marked by Prom hosted at the Queen’s Stand, Epsom Downs.  The preparations weren’t quite as intricate in our house as they were in those of friends with daughters – hair, false nails, spray tans, pencilling the eyebrows just right, different dresses for every girl…the list goes on!  A new suit was purchased along with matching tie and shoes……and he did have a haircut the day before which he says was coincidence, but I do wonder!  Anyway he scrubbed up pretty well and the Charlie’s Angel style pics are typical – the girls and the boys posed in very different ways.  I don’t understand the sticking out the bum thing that seems to have the replaced the fish pout.  Must be getting old….

Charlie's Angels

Charlie’s Angels – really?!

So only one child left at school now, and she is gutted that the student engineer is coming to live back at home for his 4th year – “I thought I was going to have the house to myself, Mum!”.  He is currently balancing the cost of living in London with the savings of moving home but living with us….not to mention us having to cope with having him back again full time.  We love him dearly, but the mess, the fussy eating, the mood swings – he is such a drama queen!!  I am well aware that I seem to be describing a toddler, who is actually 21!!

Monday MagicMy writing has been a bit non existent this week, but I have found another 10 blogs that are new to Monday Magic and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.  It never fails to surprise me just how many wonderful writers there are out there in the chronic community and how we all support each other.  But these posts are equally inspiring for everyone, ill or not – I love to find inspiring blogs, about different subjects, through link up parties that I might never ordinarily find.  So sit down with a cuppa and enjoy getting to know some new bloggers!

http://www.balancedespitethechaos.com/blog/new-dr

https://achronicspoonful.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/on-being-functional/

https://lennaesworld.com/2017/07/03/goal-kicking-4-years-on/

http://katethealmostgreat.com/30-things-about-living-with-pots/

https://janaowlfdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/when-your-brain-decides-to-shutdown.html

http://herviewfromhome.com/lets-admit-that-marriage-isnt-a-fairy-tale/

http://www.bbhwithms.com/married-disease-relationship-multiple-sclerosis/

http://chronicmomlife.com/overcome-depression/

http://www.trippingonair.com/2017/06/ms-relapse-9-ways-to-survive-steroids.html

https://highrisk1.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/my-first-mania-rash/

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Image from Kate the {almost} Great blog

Hope you enjoy these posts and comment/follow for these great writers.  If you have a suggestion for an Inspiring post to be included in Monday Magic, send me a line!

Enjoy

Claire x

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Monday Magic

I have found myself reading a lot of new blogs and posts recently – many that I have found through link /meet & greet parties and others through connecting on instagram, twitter etc!  It just strikes me what talented people are out there and also some pretty fantastic writers too.  Some of your poetry has blown me away.

So this week I have some very new bloggers to introduce you to along with some well established, but new to me, sites.  I hope that some of you newbies will consider looking up the Chronic Illness Bloggers network and joining us – we are a friendly bunch who communicate mainly on our members facebook page!  Details here : How to join Chronic Illness Bloggers.

So once again, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy some great posts – please remember to comment and share if you enjoy them,

Claire x

 

http://iwendy.ca/2017/05/17/hello-world/

https://3sistersabroad.wordpress.com/

https://fibrowarroir.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/life-then-life-now/

https://courtneymmorgan.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/week-one/

https://mywalkinthewoods.wordpress.com/

http://www.multipleexperiences.org/2017/05/19/this-is-jamie-the-raw-and-uncut-version/

https://highwaytohealingblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/named-remarkable-traveler-by-weigh-out-wander/

https://morespoons.com/chronic-talk-episode-2-mental-health-awareness-month-mother-schizophrenia/

http://www.abreak4mommy.com/2017/04/myobuddy-massager-pro-review/

http://sweatpantsandcoffee.com/sweatpants-self-care-8-tips-to-help-you-thrive-while-living-with-constant-fatigue/

Puerto-Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta – photo taken by Kirstin Larkin, HIGHWAY TO HEALING BLOG

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

Good morning and welcome to another Monday Magic with some more great inspiring blog posts for you.  I have just returned from a GP appointment and my head is spinning with the various specialist appointments I have on the agenda….endocrinology this week, cardiology, rheumatology, hip x ray and then orthopaedics…..

This is without the referrals for the kids!  University College, London where I was diagnosed no longer accept direct referrals so the kids need to be referred by another consultant.  Initially this was to be a paediatrician, but the A level student has turned 18 and the paediatric department decided that they really don’t know enough about EDS to take my lovely girl on, so she has been referred to a paediatric geneticist.  We are going to try to get an appointment for my son with the same rheumatologist that I see…….I think that we just have to go with the saying “don’t hold your breath”!

Monday Magic

So I am going to sit down with a coffee and enjoy some tips, some yoga and some stories from some of my fellow chronic illness bloggers – if you look and listen really hard, you might spot yours truly in the You tube film from Invisible Girl!!

https://1nvisibl3girl.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/living-with-ehlers-danlos-syndrome-edsawarenessmonth/

https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/how-to-answer-15-tricky-disability-questions/

http://www.satonmybutt.co.uk/more-flare-ups-than-good-days/

https://www.notaballerina.com/2017/05/travel-disability-chronic-illness-episode-53-thoughtful-travel-podcast.html

https://brainlesionandme.com/2017/05/07/self-care-happy-distraction/

http://www.health-hats.com/golden-rule/

https://weartearandcare.com/2017/05/02/meeting-the-neurometrix-team-and-seeing-the-quell-up-close/

http://glasshalffull.online/accessible-yoga-for-all/

http://dystonialiving.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/my-4-favorite-self-help-tools-for-pain.html

http://www.makeitbakeitfakeit.com/2017/05/my-body-my-prison-my-life-with-mecfs.html

http://upbeatliving.net/downsizing-emotional-work-tips/

http://dadhasaheadache.com/2017/03/22/shattered-dishes/

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Thank you – Inspirational Blogger Award

I want to extend a huge thank you to Barbara McLullich, a freelance writer and blogger, who has awarded me a Most Inspiring Blog Award 2016 on her Back Pain Blog Uk….I am thrilled to be in such esteemed company.

inspiring-blog-award

This is what Barbara says about her awards:

Most bloggers, at some point, will have heard of a blog award be it from a professional organisation or from one blogger to another.

After reading on the Word Press Community Pool that ‘anyone’ can make up a blog award and nominate another blogger with that award, I decided I would have a go and make some up of my own.

Receiving any award gives you a bit of a buzz and when I was recently given the “Top Migraine or Chronic Pain Blog Award” I sat and designed my blog widgets and the type of awards I wanted to give out.

All the awards come with rules which the recipient has to follow and although not always the same they are basically

1. This award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.

2. Thank your blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. List 3 things about yourself.

5. Nominate 8 other bloggers for the award and list them.

6. Inform those blogs by leaving a comment on their blog.

With all that in mind my two ‘new’ blog awards are for ‘My Favourite Blog’ award, and the ‘Most Inspiring Blog’ award.

Sooooo check out your comments my blogging friends as some of you may have a surprise coming your way.”

So following the above, 3 things about me

  • I’m a mum to 3 – now adolescents who turn 21, 18 & 15 this year
  • I’m passionate about health care (the nurse in me) and education
  • I love being active in the chronic illness community – I have found so much support, info and new friends through blogging, facebook & twitter
  • Lucy says I need to put a fourth – I make cakes for friends & family! Becoming harder as my hands and wrists hurt more, but this is this week’s offering!file_000-7

My Inspiring Blog Award was such a fantastic surprise …and now I’m off to decide on some more bloggers to nominate.

Claire

Paint away the Pain #arttherapy

I’m sitting here recharging – yes literally as the scs running a bit low on juice – watching the Olympics and downing Pimms.  The divers and then the gymnasts, wow they are fit and so many of them have overcome injuries to be at the top of their game.

This got me thinking about a lady whose work we admired in an art gallery recently and her story.  She was an ordinary young housewife who had her family and set about bringing up her children and supporting her husband as a stay at home mum.  Life felt pretty dark at times, although it should have been great, and now that wonderful thing hindsight has shown her and her husband that she probably had post natal depression for many years.  During these difficult days she developed a painful nerve condition of the face called trigeminal neuralgia – all the same awful nerve pain that is experienced with sciatica down the leg or nerve pain down the arm, but running through the side of the face.  I know that I have written at length over the last year about nerve pain and just how hard it is to treat, but it really is the hardest thing to control and the trigeminal nerve is probably the hardest to symptom control.  This would have led to a continuous cycle of pain and depression.

She had never painted beforebut with encouragement started to put brush to paper and found a fantastic outlet for her pain and depression.  Ov61f4zqdeCAL._AC_US160_er a period of years she developed her own very distinctive style – the gallery described it as Marmite, as people either love her work or hate it – and her work started to be noticed by art critics.  Today she has exhibited in a top London gallery, her art sells for thousands and she is a leading figure in the Royal Institute of watercolour painters.  Just think, this all started with what was effectively art therapy!

http://www.adrianhillfineart.com/ – link for the gallery in Holt for more information

 
File 26-07-2016, 13 10 31

Therapies that complement traditional medicine have long been recognised for their beneficial qualities in mental health, palliative care and cancer care.  The use of art and specifically colouring is now becoming a regular therapy for symptom control.  Adult colouring books are quite the rage!  I have found that when the pain is not settling, sitting quietly with a picture to colour in really changes my mindset and thus my response to the pain.  There is something about the different way in which you have to concentrate that slows down the mind and is calming.  My girl, who does more than just colour, says that she finds painting and drawing relaxing.  With art, it is possible to express thoughts and feelings that can’t be voiced.  In the paintings of the artist described, it really is possible to see her battle with depression and pain in the dark outer edges of every painting – and yet the details of the actual pictures are bright and vibrant, depicting people living life to the full.  Maybe some these actually picture activities that she would have liked to have done or places to have visited – even the slightly more risque elements to some of her work could be expressing a side to life never experienced.  I wonder how many of us bloggers (not just those with an illness) use writing as a similar therapy – whether it is as a distraction from illness, a means to express ourselves in a way that we are unable to voice in everyday life or merely a way to escape from the stresses & strains of modern day life for a few minutes.

So to return to my original thoughts, it is possible to work and strive to overcome physical & emotional difficulties in order to produce a work of art, be that a physical painting, a novel or a perfectly executed high bars programme. images (2) But we mustn’t feel or be made to feel the lesser for failing to overcome our situations or to
produce wonderful artwork.  We can take inspiration from others though and each find our own outlet.

 

 

So, I’ve finished charging, my battery is showing full, the Pimms is long gone……nearly forgot, we came away from that art gallery truly inspired, but also with a slightly lighter purse and a girl grinning from ear to ear as she carried oil paints home!  I think I know how she plans to express herself over the remainder of the holidays!

 

Alexander McLean – #inspirational

Two nights ago we attended the KGS friends Entrepreneur careers evening and were privileged to hear the most amazing young man speak.  He was part of a panel featuring the cofounder of Hotel Chocolat, half of the entertainment PR firm DawBell who represent the likes of Paul McCartney, Gary Barlow & James Corden, Sophie Cornish MBE cofounder of notonthehighstreet.com and Jez Cartwright, performance coach to top professional sports teams.  But this panel of high flyers could not hope to compete.

Leaving school at 18, Alexander McLean decided to take a gap year before studying law at university.  But no travels around the world for this young man, instead he wanted to work with a hospice in Uganda.  During his time with the palliative care team, he was to come across patients who would change the direction of his own life.  These were mainly young men who were dying, but the difference marking them out from other patients was that they were prisoners.  As such they received little or no care, in much the same way as the homeless man found dying in a local market – no family or money equals no care or dignity.  I’m not sure either of my boys or many others aged just 18 would be able to do what he did next.  Purchased a wash bowl, soap, sheets and cared for the homeless man, advocating for him with the medics for 5 days until his death.  He watched his naked body piled upon that of a dead woman and listened as told that they would be interred in a paupers grave.  He then donned a suit, took a letter of introdution and visited the chief of prisons to ask to visit the hospital wing.  The Ugandans were probably bemused by this well spoken, educated British boy.

He was horrifed by the hospital wing – dirty, broken windows, no furniture, no bedding and rarely any staff.  Many of the prisoners had never even been to trial, never had legal representation and the most common reason for the 18 year olds being incarcerated was underage sex.  Astonishing in the 21st century.  Alexander returned to England, raised £5000, returned to Uganda and purchased sheets, blankets and paint.  He then approached local hotels for mattresses and returned to the prison where he and friends refurbished the hospital wing.  His time spent working with palliative care teams had shown him that everyone deserves care and dignity, a worth placed upon their being.  This was applicable to the staff too – once the wing was a better place to work, the staff turned up and took pride in their work, whilst the death rate dropped dramatically.  Remember this was achieved by a boy on his gap year!101012_Kigo_0826-1024x324

Alexander went on to study law and was even awarded a prestigious training place as a barrister in Lincolns Inn.  But he continued to visit Africa and saw the potential for change within a corrupt system.  What did Nelson Mandela say?  “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.  A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones”  This was the birth of the African Prisons Project African Prisons Project which today runs across Africa, giving education and care from death row to prisoners on remand to the prison guards.Prison_staff_244-1024x324  Many are training in law and are able to help themselves and their fellow inmates, such as the murderer whose “victim” was found alive and well after 12 years but it took a further 6 years to release him.  Or Susan, the battered wife who found herself on death row after she stood up to and killed her husband.  With Alexander’s encouragment, she studied law by correspondence with the University of London, represented herself at appeal and had her sentence reduced from the death sentence to years in jail.  She currently writes pleas for fellow prisoners and when a top African judge presented her with her qualification, she was told to apply to become a judge when she leaves prison.

Alexander speaks with such clarity, compassion and passion; yet his articulate, gentle manner is so self deprecating that he deflects any achievement away from himself. Tedx you tube video I spoke with him and on learning that I had been a palliative care nurse, he went on to tell me how much he values everything  palliative care professionals do and thanked me. HE thanked ME!!  Crazy and certainly not justified when I consider everything that this extraordinary young man has achieved to date – he really should be recognised and honoured.  Queen’s birthday honours list maybe……

 

Alexander working alongside prisonersIMG_1536_750x563