Take that chronic collection! – Chronic Illness Challenge, Day 28 

Name five things you have achieved despite being ill.

Okay, here goes in reverse order:

5) I still got my degree in Midwifery. Granted I cannot practice as I don’t have a PIN number but I am so happy that I managed to get to the end of the degree. Perhaps one day they will find a cure, and it’ll never be too late for me to try again.

4) Move out. – When I first got sick I thought that leaving my childhood home would be impossible. Thankfully I was wrong!

3) I have job. Okay so it took me a decade to find one that I could manage, it had to be basically written around me and it’s only for 3 years but I am useful to society again. I can help people and I can use my experiences to do so, and that, that almost makes everything worth it.

2) Getting Married – I didn’t think I would when I started to get ill. I kept informing Chris that I was a burden and that he was missing out on being young because of me. Just because I was sick and didn’t get to go out or have fun didn’t mean he shouldn’t. I told him to leave me multiple times, I think I even begged him to once. He knew I was asking him because it was better for him and he didn’t exactly agree with me. I’m glad he didn’t! We got married in 2008 and I even managed to walk down the isle! With my actual legs.

1) Becoming a Mum. This is something I honestly, totally, completely and utterly viewed as an impossibility. Not only was I told that I would be unable to get pregnant on the extensive meds I was on, but I was convinced my body could not hold on to a pregnancy, but Wildchild had other ideas! Probably a good thing as I would NEVER be without her, she is my reason to fight, to carry on. Okay so pregnancy wasn’t easy, my GAD made an appearance for the first time (don’t get me wrong I would rather it would be bad in pregnancy than bad when I’m not pregnant), I was hospitalised, I bled a lot at 34 weeks and was gestational diabetic. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat just to have her. Will I have any other children, I won’t rule it out, but I doubt I’ll ever be fully capable of making an actual decision to do so. As far as I’m concerned I am beyond lucky to have Wildchild and I’m so happy!


God Thinks I’m A Badass – Chronic Illness Challenge Day 11

Why do you think you got ill? Is it bad luck, a higher power or some other reason?

Well, now this is a tough one. I don’t know to be honest. I am always on the receiving end of back luck, disaster, but more in an inconvenient way than a life endingly awful way. Things become a pain to deal with around me, I solve one problem, climb over one wall, only to have a bigger, stronger, more insomountable wall slammed in front of me. This inconvient and annoying bad luck seems to rub off of those around me (sorry about that). But almost always there is a solution, a reason that shows up (eventually). So could it be bad luck, probably, but ONLY bad luck. You see this sort of flirting with disaster (there a quote I found “I don’t just flirt with disaster I give it a f**king orgasm” sorry for the language but I think it totally discribes me!) usually doesn’t just happen on it’s own, something is stopping the annoying, uncomfortable, dreadful conditions of my life turning into deadly situations. A higher power? Maybe.

I’m Christian, Church of England. I have faith, I go to church every Sunday and I even work for the church in various capacities. Before I go any further here let’s be very, very clear. I do not and WILL NOT force my religion onto others, want to ask me a question feel free, if we have a debate I will stick up for my morals, my views but I do not want or expect you to agree with me simply to please me. Nor will I look at you in any different light if you do not. Anyway, now I’ve said that, I believe in a higher power and, for me, that higher power is God. Another quote for you “God only gives us what we can handle, apparently God thinks I’m a badass.” Basically that.

Personally I think I have bad luck, but I think that my bad luck is God given. I know it sounds crazy. But my experience with illness and disability helped me greatly when I studied social work, I had a unique insight into  what life is like for those people that allowed me to help them in a way no one else could. My bad luck with the healthcare system has allowed me to give advice to people in the same situations I have previously been in and helped them to avoid being treated the way I was. The multiple problems, walls and devistation I have been and continue to be subjected to by this uncaring government and the DWP has literally created the job I now do. The church saw a need to relieve the amount of pressure within the CAB and help people with similar problems by providing them with guidance and aid.  My dad was inspired by my situation to become a CAB advisor. It was from there that the idea of “Inform Galleywood” arose and became my brilliant, flexible, life giving job (yes I’m disabled but I hated feeling flipping useless to the world, this job made me feel useful; like I was still helping people even though I could no longer be a Midwife or a Social Worker).

Anyway, I can first hand understand the problems other disabled people have, physically, emotionally, mentally and with the system. My experiences of constantly falling through the gaps in the system give me a unique and in depth understanding of how hard it is to be screaming out for help, whilst trying your utmost and yet still not being unentitled to any. Mine and Chris’s “work out arses off and get no help whilst other people do no such thing yet get everything handed to them” attitude could easily build resentment, but for us, we channel that into helping those in similar situations not resenting those who have it easier. We were, in fact, on a program with Jodie Marsh, showing people that not everyone on benefits wants to be on benefits. It was a huge risk on our part, which thankfully, paid off and it was in fact shown exactly how it is for us. We work our arses off but would probably be better off on benefits, we simply want to make our way in the world. There is nothing wrong with being on benefits but we would (ideally) like an end to the system where it is easier and there is little to no/motivation to attempt to come off them. Since Chris has been promoted his wage has increased a little bit, but, in response our housing benefit has been reduced by more than his wage increase, resulting in a glearingly obvious issue with the system. Where is the incentive to work harder when you will ultimately earn less and be worse off?!

Anyway I’ll try and end that rant there, the point is if  had not experienced this (and the soul sucking devastation that comes along with it) I would have been unable to have the same amount of sympathy, empathy and understand that I DO posess for the people I work with.

So for me, God thinks I’m a badass. He provides me with the bad luck and constant disaster flirtation, but it’s for a reason, so I can help people. Others like me. So yes, it physically hurts, it’s emotionally devastating and mentally compromising but I get strength from the fact that there IS a greater good and that I am strong enough to suffer through it and use that strength to help others from suffering the same way. It is the only thing that allows me to cope with the physical and emotional effects of my day to day life. That there may well be a point to everything.