Here we are in the midst of Lymes Disease Awareness, Food Allergy Awareness Month & Mental Health Awareness Week. It's all go! So many stories, so many thoughts, inspiration and above all love need to be spread & shared.
With having my symptoms heightened & elevated due to new treatments & the herx reaction ( when you treatments begin extracting the toxins from your tissues and your body then has extra toxins to fight off, it is known for things to get worse before they get better. This time continues to be extremely tough for me. I am by no means loving it - there has been plenty of tears and questioning the fight. I have tried to keep my mind busy and cling on to little bits of life I feel I still have left, to mentally keep me going.
This is extremely difficult as infront of people I will act normal or as normal as I can, however I am exhausted and struggling to hold conversation, move around and speak.
I can't read as I don't have the concentration & blurred vision makes it difficult, my love for colouring is becoming a task - my colouring skills aren't as good - my hands giving up on me. I ramble in my journal every morning, a real effort to just write half a page. When I used to love writing my thoughts, experiences and adventures down. My mind is now just blank. Simple tasks take double if not triple the time. Circling the house for 30 minutes before you leave trying to remember everything you need and still forgetting important things. I can't taste or smell properly and cooking is tiring to me. Due to struggling to taste I don't really try new things to the extent I used too, as I have no idea what they really taste like. I can have the spiciest or a dish covered in garlic - I can't taste it. My mouth tastes like I have been sucking on plastic. I can't drive and have to rely on lifts which is hard going. I miss eating out and dining with friends. After an hour of being around company I begin to flag and zone out. My body aches like I can't describe and a tight chest.
This time last year Matthew and I would go for a short walk, catch up and get some sun ☀️ when it decided to shine most evenings and I'd love this. Just to get out, catch up, get some sun and clear my head. Since getting my virus this time last year, walking has become x10 times harder. I still get uncomfortable being in my bed sometimes because it brings back nightmares of that horrible virus and the pain it caused and how much it knocked me back when I had been fighting so stronging and winning.
I get frustrated because my body doesn't bounce back like it used too. One reaction doesn't just take over night to improve but up to three days. I live in denial of the fact that my health has continued to worsen. I have always had the man up, don't be weak, I can fix this mind set.
Though this week has really shown me how my ability to make conversation is being affected, I am tiring quicker, the mornings are becoming worse, concentration and thought processes are a challenge and these are hard pills to swallow.
Yes I am not laid in bed all day ( which I should be ) but I refuse to bow down & miss out on anymore ! I am clinging on to every little thing so tightly .. but due to my fighting attitude what I do, do I become very exhausted, very quickly.
I wanted to mention 12 celebs also suffering from serious chronic illnesses so we can see that even the most what we see as untouchable, amazing, rich and famous aren't immune from these deadly diseases too.
1. George Bush Jr- I loved Bush when he was President. Watching his and Blair's bromance really meant our two countries had a really strong and great relationship. Though I myself included didn't know he had been infected with Lymes. He was treated with antibiotics and he was managed to get diagnosed & got treated quickly. However if you want his speeches before having Lymes and now. He is less sharp, he slurs and he gets confused, pausing and having to think about what he is saying. There is the fear that he is now beginning to develop dementia due to the Lymes. This is deeply upsetting and I really hope this isn't the case for him. I really do.
2. Winston Churchill - due to it being mental health awareness week I just wanted to put Churchill in my list. He suffered severely with depression throughout all of his life. He referred to his depression as the black dog. Though despite his demons and dark thoughts he fought on. He stood infront of world and pushed us to fight on, when personally he was battling and questioning his own fight. Though he got us through the war and brought us to victory. He lived a long, full life. Inspiring and motivating so many, leaving his mark & dying a hero. He didn't let his issues effect us and he put us first by ensuring we were all fighting to reach success even if he couldn't. That is a true hero.
3. Pamela Anderson - we all know her as the hot babe from Baywatch, all you men wish to with her and women dream to have her body. However she has been infected with hepatitis C that primarily affects the liver. Leaving it inflamed but can also attack the heart. She has suffered with it for 15 years!
4. Catherine Zeta Jones - we have all watched her amazing talents on the silver screen but she suffers servely with bi polar disorder. Due to it being mental health awareness week I again felt she must be mentioned.
5. Morgan Freeman - I love Morgan Freeman and so does my Mum. He is so talented and Shawshank Redemtion is one of my fave films. However he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. His symptoms include chronic pain, tenderness in the joints, muscles and tendons and extreme fatigue. A disease extremely difficult to manage with the busy schedules of these movie making processes. Early mornings, long days and long nights. Lots of movement and standing up. Bless him, it makes his talented work feel so much more special knowing the pain he goes through to put on such an amazing show for us all to enjoy.
6. Cher - the actress and singer was diagnosed in 1991 with chronic fatigue syndrome. Again, an extremely talented woman, managing a crippling disease with a manic schedule. Chronic fatigue syndrome causes brain fog, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, food intolerances and migraines. So you can see the hardships she must go through and the difficulties managing such a demanding job.
7. Alec Baldwin - we will all know him from his fab performance in m, My Sister's Keeper where his character suffered from epilepsy. However back in 2011 Alec was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. He now receives regular treatment to keep pain levels under control. He develop this inflection through a tick bite.
8. Tom Hanks - my fave male actor he is so talented. Forrest Gump is a fave of mine and every project he seems to do he does so perfectly. Yet since the age of 36 he was diagnosed with diabetes Type 2 .
9. Kim Kardashian- all you girls out there think she is untouchable. She is too glamorous, fabulous, gorgeous and rich. Well she suffers from Psoriasis . A skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. That isn't so glamorous is it? Worrying about your hair not quite being in place? Kim's wouldn't be?! But you have gorgeous smooth skin? Hm! Feeling more glam yet? See even the people a lot of us idolise and think are perfect aren't. This proves perfection does not exist and that we should work to rock what we are given like Kim does because nobody notices the flaws only the strengths!! As the strengths shine brighter and dull the flaws.
10. Michael Phelps - he may be the most successful Olympian of all time but when he was 7 years old he was diagnosed with ADHD . His Mum took it hard and worked closely with him to get him through schooling and raise awareness on ADHD. It shows you and proves to you that sometimes having to cope and battle through chronic illnesses, long last health issues and mental health issues could actually help create legends as they become so strong and work to action change. What a legend this man is!
11. Michael J Fox - the Back to the Future star, came out to tell us he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's is a horrible and difficult disease. Weakness, arm shakes, brain issues and more. There are different stages and levels that sufferers go through. I know how horrible this disease is as I watched my Grandad suffer with it for many years. Fox did suffer from Lyme disease and this most probably caused his Parkinson's disease. He works tirelessly campaigning and has successfully raised millions for Parkinson's research and charities.
12. Selena Gomez - the most followed Instagram person, she is known for you beauty, acting, directing, singing and of course dating big stars such as Justin Bieber & the Weekend. However in 2016 she told us how she had been diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, that attacks healthy tissues. It can damage the kidneys, heart and healthy tissues. The main symptom is depression. It does also cause joint pain, weakness, skin rashes and much more. In 2016 after being diagnosed Selena took a break to try and heal and learn to better her health, controlling it more efficiently.
Big names affected by Lyme Disease:
1. George Bush Jr diagnosed in 2007.
2. Alec Baldwin diagnosed in 2011.
3. Michael J Fox diagnosed in 1998 and then in 2001 was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
4. George Clooney has been treated and diagnosed with Lyme.
5. Avril Lavigne diagnosed in 2014, she has said she didn't move out of bed for 5 months during 2015 and his healing slowing. She got so fed up, doctors were saying it was due to her being so exhausted from touring. She knew she wasn't crazy and that it was more.
6. Ben Stiller was diagnosed in 2008.
7. Ashley Olsen, we know her due to all the Mary-Kate and Ashley. But she struggles and have had to take a step back from her business and hardly goes into the office anymore.
I hope this shows you that even the people we see as perfect also struggle with serious illnesses and complications.
These people are all successful and amazing people, remember you are not defined by your illness. You are defined and remembered for how you manage and fight them.
Through all the rough times I fight through it has made me so truly grateful for my family and friends. For simple things - love and support 💕.
Never, again will I be ignorant and be ungrateful for family time, memories we make together, opportunities and well life's adventures. Having my life become so restricted I am mad at myself for not cherishing some of my past opportunities like I would now.
Parents were annoying and why would you want to hang with them? I look back at that teenage girl and shake my head. I love hanging with my parents and family they are fab and so much fun. You learn so much from them and life is so precious! All this & my Dad being extremely ill a few years back, showed me and woke me up to cherishing every moment and doing as much as possible with your loved ones! As there may come a day you can't take part in activities, or you may lose someone.
On the hard days remember, even your idols fight their own battles and look at their successes. Did it hold them back?
And remind yourself of how strong you are. You are here fighting putting up with pain that indescribable and enjoy your loved ones- cherish every single moment.
Here is my colouring. The different coloured leaves show we have rainy, difficult days in all seasons, we fight through every season and the umbrella is our is our inner strength and strong family bonds protecting us from the rain, the negative thoughts. Covering us with bright colours, postivity and saving us. The colours showing there is a light at the end of the tunnel and happiness.
Finally, thank you SO much for the kind comments on Instagram & your on going support I always receive.
It means so much and on the tough days they really help me keep fighting.
Together we are stronger.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you know any celebs not mentioned above that are suffering from chronic illness?
Love and peace