Hello everyone, and welcome to May’s Health Round-up. This month, our theme is chronic illness.
When I put the call out for submissions, as always, I wondered if I’d get many responses. And, as always, I was overwhelmed with how many people shared their links and their stories with me. At first I felt a bit sad about this, thinking that it’s so incredibly unfair that so many of us are suffering with illnesses that have a daily effect on our lives. Some are seen, some are unseen, and many are lifelong. Then, after reading some posts, I realised that it’s such a good thing for us bloggers to have this arena, to open up and connect with one another, and help people who might be going through a very similar stage.
Anyway, enough of my sentimental rambling. My first post is from Erica over at The Incidental Parent. Erica has Crohn’s disease, and the post I’ve chosen covers her diagnosis and initial treatment. I caught something on TV recently, it might have been One Born Every Minute, where a mum in labour asked the midwife if she was going to be alright. The midwife replied something like “You’ve got Crohn’s, this is going to feel like a walk in the park.” I know, from Erica’s social media updates, that Crohn’s is a very unpredictable illness and periods of seeming remission can be halted with awful flare ups.
I’ve featured Laura from Five Little Doves previously, but I had no idea that she is also battling an invisible illness. I was shocked to read in this post that she takes 22 tablets every DAY to be able to function. This is because she suffers with Fibromyalgia, which is a rheumatic condition characterised by muscular and musculoskeletal pain. At best, it sounds just manageable, and at worst it sounds utterly debilitating. Laura suffers from a fair few illnesses (“ailments” seems too light a term) and her blog is often a really challenging read – but she’s one of the most inspiring writers I know.
Diabetes has been a bit of a medical buzzword over the last decade or so, mainly because of the rise in obesity. Not just in adults, either – childhood obesity and connected diabetes is also steadily climbing which is a definite call to action for us parents, isn’t it? Kimberly from Odd Hogg has Type 1 diabetes, which I’ve previously heard referred to as the “non-junk food one”. True, Type 1 diabetes isn’t caused by a diet deficiency, but it doesn’t make it any less brutal to manage. Kimberly has recently marked her fourth year since diagnosis, so anyone who is also affected will find her website invaluable as a sort of chronicle of events, including day to day management and experiences.
Emma Reed typically blogs about teething and tooth development in children, but she wrote my next pick as her sister suffers from Endometriosis. I had very little knowledge about this previously, knowing only that it was to do with “lady bits” and could affect fertility and ability to conceive. 1.5 million women in the UK are living with the condition, and it can only be detected via an operation. Therefore, it’s so important not to ignore the symptoms, which Emma talks about in full in her post.
Katie from Mummy In A Tutu is my next blog, and just the title alone was enough to make me have a little cry. Katie suffers with psoriasis, which is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body. Most commonly, it causes thick, red plaques with silvery scales, and tends to lurk on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back. Like so many chronic illnesses, it’s not preventable. It’s treatable in the sense that it can be managed, but this often involves a lot of trial and error as the medications and products that work for one sufferer may not have the same benefits on another.
Kate from Family Fever also suffers from a skin complaint in the form of Eczema. Unfortunately, so does her son, and her post talks about the various triggers and treatments that she has found useful in their household. It must be so difficult as a parent to try and stop your child from scratching and picking, when they’re not old enough to understand their discomfort.
Natalie from Surviving Life’s Hurdles has my next post. Natalie has Multiple Sclerosis and has written the most brilliant piece aimed at anyone who is affected by chronic illness, no matter what is it. I particularly liked her point about giving yourself a break and putting yourself first for a change…I know as a mum, wife, employee and all the rest of it that we NEVER do that and sometimes, self care can make a huge amount of difference to our comfort and outlook. Definitely check out Natalie’s blog for masses of information and coping strategies on MS, and health.
I’ve shared this post with you before, but I thought I would share it again as thanks to Channel 4’s First Dates programme, Alopecia has been thrust into the spotlight. My husband’s hair fell out just over five years ago, quickly followed by all of his body hair, and it looks unlikely that it’ll return. It was initially a huge shock, obviously, but while we’ve settled into acceptance I still get surprised by the attitudes of others towards him. I guess they assume he has cancer, which is kind of the backdrop to my post.
Anyway, thank you again for all of your fantastic submissions. I’ll be back in June, but in the meantime if you’d like any posts considered on any health-related topic then please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me a link via @mousemoo_metoo. I’d love to hear from you.