Focusing from the right


I took this view with my new Panasonic Lumix camera (a Christmas present) whilst enjoying a wonderful long-weekend at Lake Maggiore in Italy recently. I love this camera: it is very easy to use, is great for taking landscapes and the design resembles the old brownie cameras. It also has an old fashioned view finder: the eye sensor automatically detects when you want to use the view finder instead of the LED screen which is especially useful in bright sunlight. Putting my eye to the camera really made me think about perspective and focus. Continue reading

Nourishing thoughts

I was told by many well meaning people, at the beginning of my illness and in the early stages of my diagnosis, to be a patient patient: that this, too, would pass. So I waited to resume my life. For months, I put my life on hold until I got better and things went back to the way they were before the virus struck.

It did not pass. Instead, my life shifted to accommodate gastroparesis or, rather, I evaluated pretty much every aspect of my life to work out how I could start moving forward and build a life I wanted to live.

I realised though that, although gastroparesis might be a constant, life does change day by day and even the specifics of illness alter too. So, in a sense, the worst did pass. I found great comfort in knowing that nothing in life is static or permanent: the only certain truth is the reality of this moment right now.

The following thoughts and ideas have nourished, inspired and helped me. I think these are crucial life-skills (regardless of whether you have chronic illness or not). Each deserve an individual post (to follow!) but here is a summary of what I’ve found most helpful to date:  Continue reading

Why am I writing this blog and who is it for?

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene

Welcome! I have started this blog as part of my recent journey learning to live with, and manage, a challenging and relatively rare illness: gastroparesis.

It helps me to have a record of what has helped and to hear about what has worked for others facing their own difficulties or problems: physical, mental and/or emotional. During challenging moments, when I am experiencing a bad flare up and an increase in symptoms, I find it useful to focus on what has improved, what has worked, what is going well: this blog is a useful reference point for me to turn to when I am feeling vulnerable, isolated or anxious. It helps me gain a better perspective. Isolation is, I think, one of the toughest elements of living with a chronic illness but it helps to know that you are not alone. You will not be going through the exact same experience as me, and the terrain of my journey may be very different to yours, but knowing that you are not alone – that we all experience moments of despair or isolation for a multitude of different reasons – helps.

My hope is that something I post on this blog will resonate with you and perhaps help you too. Continue reading