Category Archives: disability

A Twinge of Envy?

tn_wayfarerjonIf you are going through a hard time or in a prolonged stressful situation, it’s tempting to look at others and feel you are missing out. On the surface at least, they seem to be sailing through life and have it easy in comparison. Before long you may even indulge in a little self pity, which, if allowed to continue, can be a destructive path spiraling down to despair.

My wife is long-term disabled and increasingly mobility-challenged. Over recent years, I have been finding a way through two chronic illnesses and found the sudden physical restriction and loss devastating at first. There was so much stimulating and fulfilling activity, including Christian service, that I could no longer be part of.  But slowly, as I painfully let go of all that, I entered into another world.

This was a world where we were in the slow lane Continue reading

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Filed under bible, biography, Christian, chronic fatigue, disability, lifestyle, personal, seniors

I’m Still Learning

For my wife to be given a ‘sentence’ of an aggressive and disabling form of rheumatoid arthritis certainly wasn’t on our agenda when we married. Neither did I expect to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.) not long after taking early retirement. These chronic illnesses changed the direction of our lives for ever, but although they were the cause of much grief and struggle, we have so very much to be thankful for and strangely, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has been a life-changing experience so far and this continues – we are still learning. What I personally have learnt and am still learning was on my mind today and these are just a few thoughts:

1. Fun. There are times when I have to remind myself not to take life too seriously and find time for fun. Yes FUN! It helps to have a sense of humour. Mine gets buried at times and I need to let it out and even take the risk of offending some. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, disability, illness, lifestyle, M.E., retirement, spiritual

The Thirty Nine Steps

My wife is the Guest Blogger this week and writes about living with an illness long term:

The Thirty Nine Steps

We really welcomed our move to Cornwall. There had been some delay. We headed an ever-growing chain of interested buyers, so made the decision to arrange a bridging loan. It was risky, but John had to start his new job. We were separated for a time, but eventually moved on 5th November 1972 in the rain.

Our children – six and three – thought our new house was great, with bedrooms downstairs built into the hillside and 39 steps up to the front door. They ran up and down and in and out excitably. The beach was just down the road – a new adventure to be lived. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, chronic fatigue, disability, family, healing, illness, personal

First Things First

Just when I thought certain symptoms and aspects of chronic fatigue were a thing of the past, I had a minor relapse. All the difficulties and infections etc. in the three months up to last Christmas took their toll. Fatigue reared its head and I had to step back and start yet again on the slow journey to recovery. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, christian personal, Christianity, chronic fatigue, creativity, disability, healing, health, health & wellness, illness, Jesus, lifestyle, M.E., personal, retirement, seniors, spiritual, writing

Ring In the New

New Year is traditionally a time for making resolutions, something I am never quite sure of. To be effective and lasting they have to be more than promises or good intentions. I prefer to see it as making a new start; a letting go of the old year and ringing in the new.

This is particularly relevant to me, as the three months up to Christmas were very difficult and painful. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, christian personal, Christianity, chronic fatigue, disability, healing, health, health & wellness, illness, Jesus, lifestyle, M.E., personal, spiritual, writing

Carer or Sharer

This is a personal account of how I have lived with chronic illness for over thirty years and how it has been used to change my life. A husband’s viewpoint.

My wife was a real carer. It was part of her make-up. She would have made a good nurse, but gave herself sacrificially to being a mother, wife and home-maker.

After about nine years of marriage we moved to the Cornish coast because of my work. To live by the sea was like a dream come true. We saw it as a new start. Within the first year however, things began to go wrong.

My wife was already experiencing pain in her feet and not long after arrival, she was diagnosed with chronic rheumatoid arthritis, a progressive and disabling autoimmune disease. This ‘sentence’ came as a shock for her and she was quickly admitted to a hospital in Bath for three weeks specialist treatment. Within days of returning home however, she had news of her mother’s deteriorating health and travelled up country to see her. Her mother had painfully struggled for years with rheumatoid arthritis and it was our plan for her to come and live with us, once we had settled in and prepared a room for her.  Unfortunately this wasn’t to be, as she passed away ten days later. Continue reading

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Filed under biography, Christian, disability, family, healing, health, health & wellness, illness, lifestyle, personal, relationships

You Are What You Eat

Those who take food and diet seriously, sometimes quote the phrase, “You are what you eat!” I looked it up and found it originated in the 1800’s or earlier in Europe. The German, “Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.”translates into English as ‘man is what he eats’. Much later in the 1960’s, it was adopted by the champions of healthy eating and is currently the title of a popular TV dieting series.

After I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue I looked into diet in some detail, partly because I became intolerant to certain foods. My wife and I tried various recommended diets, but they didn’t seem to produce the promised results and in any case they began to take over our lives and was in danger of becoming a god.

Recently we watched a TV programme about families who were following an extreme raw food diet, omitting all meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, wheat and flour and certain fruits. The food preparation room looked more like a laboratory, rather than a kitchen. They appeared physically healthy, but we were given the impression that it had become the top priority in their lives. A filmed teaching session was shown, that appeared very much like an evangelical Christian service of praise and worship.

So we continue to eat sensibly, buying plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and keeping fat and sugar to a minimum, plus taking certain vitamin supplements. I still avoid foods that don’t agree with me, although now most of the intolerance seems to have vanished. Having said all this, I admit that whenever diet and exercise is mentioned, I always have that niggling guilt that I am not doing enough!

My top priority however, is taking food of the spiritual variety. I have found that by opening up my life to God and seeking what He says about me personally, is life-changing and healing. When I take in His Word and inwardly digest it, it has an amazing freeing spiritual, emotional and physical effect. It reaches the inner parts that other foods just cannot reach.

I think however, that many of us would rather pop pills, follow a diet or even take part in a sponsored walk across the Mongolian Desert, than allow God to show us what is going on inside and heal us. It can be just too scary to let the hurting recesses of our hearts be exposed. The truth is that He is very gentle and we can trust Him.

I continue to enjoy my food and follow a balanced diet, physical and spiritual – I am still learning.

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