Chronic Illness 101 – But You Don’t Look Sick 

The old cliche of never judging a book by its cover springs to mind when talking about chronic illness. Many people I know who suffer from a chronic illness don’t show signs of being ill, they still look like themselves. Which is the reason many of us have heard the comment “but you don’t look sick!” How exactly are we supposed to look? Should we be covered in sores and oozing puss? Should we be grey in colour? Should we have an appendage falling off? Or perhaps having a flashing neon sign that tells you what illness it is we are suffering from??  This and “if you get out or exercise, you’ll feel better” are a few of the most […]

Fat Girl Walks Into A Gym

It sounds like the start of a joke but it’s not!  I am said fat girl and yesterday I walked into a gym for the first time. (Technically the second but the last one doesn’t count as I didn’t use any of the equipment.) And it wasn’t as nearly as intimidating as I thought it could possibly be.  I was encouraged by my GP to join a gym under a scheme called Active Forth which is run by Falkirk Community Trust. The scheme helps people with many conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, CFS, anxiety and depression to become more active in the hopes that the activity and exercise will help improve the patient’s conditions. The doctor also kept harping on […]

My Chronic Illness And GPs

“The cruelest symptoms of our illness, is disbelief by medical personnel”. This quote by Mary Carlson is a perfect explanation of my own feelings with my illness and doctors. Ever since I started developing symptoms of my chronic illness I’ve had the feeling that many doctors didn’t believe me, leaving me to feel that what I was experiencing was all in my bed. I literally had to beg to be referred to a consultant twice and it was the second referral that finally for my diagnosis. Fast forward 4 years a confirmed diagnosis of fibromyalgia and hyper mobility syndrome and I am still made to feel like I am wasting GP’s time whenever I have appointments. Whenever I go into […]

Chronic Illness 101 – Be Understanding

Dealing with chronic illness isn’t just about medicating and learning to cope with the symptoms that particular illness brings with it, it is also about how their entire life is affected by it.  Such as not being able to plan outings or meeting with friends  too far in advance because they don’t know what their energy level is going to be like that day. Or having to cancel on friends because their symptoms are flaring or they are too exhausted to leave the house. How do you as a friend of someone who is chronically ill deal with this? Simply put Be Understanding! I briefly covered this in my Chronic Illness 101 – The Basics post, and I feel that it […]

Chronic Illness 101 – The Basics

Hello and welcome to Chronic Illness 101. A series about how to act, be supportive and ultimately how to understand what life is like for someone with a chronic illness. Lesson 1 – The Basics  The best place to start is really to defy chronic illness. Chronic illness is a condition or disease that a person has had for a long period of time. According to the tinterweb which is always right! An illness lasting more than 4 months is considered chronic. How Many Different Illnesses Are There? That is like asking how many different species of butterflies are there? Simple answer there a countless forms of chronic illness. A few are Crohn’s disease Celiacs Arthritis Depression Anxiety Lupus Chronic fatigue […]

My Chronic Illness Story 

Back in 2013 I received the official diagnosis that I have fibromyalgia as well as hypermobility syndrome. I think I might also have chronic costochondritis as well as chronic fatigue but those ones haven’t been diagnosed because GPs are useless. (More on that at a later date) I’d known for some time before the diagnosis that things weren’t quite right. I had began to experience some of the fibromyalgia symptoms back in 2009 starting off with what I thought was a really bad chest infection that just wouldn’t shift. After many many visits to GPs and 2 referrals to a rheumatologist, the first one resulted in me being told I didn’t have fibro! Finally after years of pain and not […]