Saturday, 9 April 2016

An interview on Faye's blog, and what I would say to someone who has recently fallen ill.

A few weeks ago I was asked by the wonderful Faye from Bed BearHugs and Beyond if I would do an interview for a series which she is running on her blog. The series is all about people who she finds inspiring, and I was so honoured to be asked. I have looked up to Faye for quite a while now. She was one if the first readers of my blog, and has continued to be nothing but encouraging ever since. In the time that I have known her, Faye has set up the successful business BearHugs which sells gift boxes for every occasion. Because she endeavours to give back to the community wherever possible, Faye gives one in every 50 boxes to a child with a serious illness through the charity Post Pals. Faye also sells jewellery with 100% of the profit going to the ME Association, you can see her jewellery here if you are interested. Faye always tries to brighten the lives of others with chronic illnesses, either by going out of her way to write an especially thoughtful message, or by encouraging people through her blog. All this she does whilst suffering with a chronic illness. Faye is most definitely an inspirational person!

You can read my interview on her blog here and please do check out some of her links above, Faye is doing a lot of good things!

One of the questions in the interview was "what would your advice be to someone who has recently fallen ill?" I found that I had a lot to say in this topic and didn't want to make my interview answers too long, so I have decided to go into more detail here. Aside from what I have already said in the interview I would say.

Find a way to address your diagnosis and express yourself. Whatever level of severity, once you have an illness it becomes a part of your life. Before someone is ill they may have distinct areas of their life, work, family, friends, hobbies etc now you have another area to deal with too. All other sections get addressed when you do them e.g. work when you are at work etc but there won't be an allocated time to deal with your illness unless you make one. Some people have regular appointments with a specialist which will address this issue, but if you don't have this option you will need to find your own time to reflect. For me this is blogging and social media, for others it may be journalling, attending a support group, engaging with online forums, or talking things through with a counsellor. We really need to express ourselves to work through times of change. and it is good to set aside time to address the practicalities of living with a chronic illness. It will enable you to work out the solutions to illness related problems, and come to terms with your illness.

Accept aids e.g. walking sticks extra help etc, they are there to improve your life the fact that you use them doesn't make your illness any more severe, make the most of what you have and adapt. You can still live with fun in your heart.

Treat yourself, you have something negative in your life, offset it by doing something good for yourself. A subscription to a service, or any kind of regular treat will give you a boost. Self care is an important part of living well with a chronic illness.

Get online and actively try to find out more about your illness, online communities are great for giving advice on coping techniques and are a great source of support. Often there will be a lot of anecdotal advice offered which is not given out by doctors. Doctors can only give advice which is pre-approved. Don't underestimate the combined wisdom of a community of people living with the same illness or disability as you. Areas which an online community may be able to help you with include, adaptive aids, finance, alternative medicines, dietary advise or gentle activities which you can do... you don't know what you might find online!

Don't compare yourself to other people, even if they have the same chronic illness as you, everyone's health affects them differently and just because one person is able to do something doesn't mean that you will be able to do it too.

If your chronic illness gives you a lot of downtime try and find ways to make your time purposeful and rewarding. I really enjoy crafting for various charities. It is a good use of my time, and I like the fact that I am able to give back in a small way! It is really good for our wellbeing to have ongoing projects and to keep busy. I like the fact that volunteering allows me to be part of something bigger than myself, and I always have something to do. Another volunteering idea could be campaigning for a charity which supports your illness, there are usually several different ways to get involved. Do make sure that you don't over do it though, these are just ways to use surplus energy. On the whole resting is the best thing to do!

Do you have anything that you would say to someone who has fallen ill with a chronic illness?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment! I love hearing what my readers think and always try to reply to comments. If you have a blog, please link it with your comment and I will have look.