Posts

MS: The Impact of Lockdown

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Copyright: C King You may remember that at the start of lockdown, I wrote an article for the MS Trust and talked to them  regarding how MSers are good at dealing with change, reminding us that for some, we are dab hands at self-isolation, having already dealt with aspects of lockdown, including inaccessibility, not seeing family and friends, unable to access public toilets, having our lives turned upside down suddenly with relapses, and so on. When relating our MS experiences to lockdow n, I was very careful to talk about this in the context of change, something that, due to the unpredictable nature of MS, we are used to.  My language was deliberate: I didn't say that we would come out unscathed. It was a 'welcome to my world', balanced with a 'change is hard, but we'll get through it.' And we are. O ur resourceful mindset and our varied skillset have been hugely beneficial at this very strange time, but  we have now had to balance the extra challenges o

I've Been Busy!

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We're nearly in May, and you may be wondering where on earth I have been. Well, you can probably guess that, like most of us, I have been at home, and I have been rather busy. I was also quite ill for about 12 days, so needed time out to focus on getting about without getting breathless! Guest blogs and podcasts Following my article on mental health for their Open Door magazine, the amazing MS Trust invited me to talk about MS and mental health in a fantastic podcast series called 'It's All in Your Head'. Hear my dulcet tones in Part 1 of the series at 19:30! I also wrote an article about how MSers are in prime position to deal with the COVID19 crisis, due to our unusually relevant experience. This was very well received by our community, and I was invited to a one-off special podcast, called ' Coronavirus and MS: Your questions answered' (hear me at 22:20). I would highly recommend listening to the MS Trust podcasts , which feature healthcare profe

What People are Learning from COVID19

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Copyright: C King What can we learn from the Virus situation? Apart from the obvious, I really think there are lessons for humanity here and, given that we are likely to suffer some kind of global crisis again, I think these are worth noting. Good Things to Come from the Situation 1. People are reaching out, reconnecting and supporting each other. I genuinely have been moved by the kindness of neighbours. Within a week of the first government press conference on the Virus, several threads appeared on a local neighbourhood app offering to help those locked away, with shopping drop offs, telephone chats, even the latest tips on where to buy that elusive toilet roll (I kid you not!). 2 . Yes, o rganisations seem to have forgotten their disaster recovery plans, made after relatively recent terrorist attacks, only to be seized and enacted by new handlers. Yet b usinesses are finding creative ways to keep people working and connected, whilst still promoting remote working. Agile

5 Tips for Friends of Chronically Ill Folk

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  Out & About, Copyright: C King There are a lot of conflicting things about chronic illness that those without it find confusing. I write this blogpost having just posted a celebratory post on Facebook, including pictures full of joy and my looking, frankly, extremely well!  But it struck me that despite these photos having been taken on the previous day, there might be those on my feed that might wonder how I might seem fine one minute and not the next and, indeed, why I posted these pictures at all. How might someone understand without having it spelt out? Is this the barrier to their understanding?  So I thought I would produce a sort of 'chronically ill friend etiquette guide' to perhaps dispel some myths and help non-chronically ill friends better understand. 1. Chronic conditions fluctuate Not long ago, I overheard a couple talk about someone they viewed as not being genuinely ill, in a way that I am sure they wouldn't dream of doing in person. Even rec

Part 2: My Goals for 2020

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Copyright: C King Continuing from Part 1 , I thought I would share this year's goals so that you can see how I have taken the steer given and applied it. However, I'm not going to spell these out in detail, as I'm sure you can read between the lines. 2019 was a transformative year, both in the way I experienced and approached aspects of life that could not be ignored. Time (sometimes brutally) highlighted what was missing, but I mostly realised that my 'voice' was not as much heard or as distinct, as I had hoped. So I would be lying if I said these goals weren't already set.  Goal 1: Return to work  In 2019, I took a career break. Usually, people tend to plan a sabbatical during their careers to do something a bit different, take time out to discover what they want to do next, try things out. Mine was completely unplanned, but I took it to focus on my health and as a way to keep a job I love (creative problem-solver, anyone?). Obviously, I have a st

Part 1: Chronic Illness Goals: Why Resolutions Don't Work

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Copyright: C King It's January, and I've given up on making resolutions. I used to believe in them. Indeed, I used to make and achieve them, but no longer, particularly due to the widely held belief that resolutions are only meant for January.  I am a Coach and my currency is goal-setting. To me, a goal is more defined, definite and incentivising. I believe that with the right mindset, careful planning and with enough support, we in the health community can set and achieve our goals.  I've split this topic into two blogposts, with the likelihood in mind that you may not have the remotest interest in the goals I have set myself . So, welcome to Part 1; this one's about you; espcially directed at those for whom their disability or health condition is a little more intrusive than for others. On Twitter, I recently spoke about the New Year being an odd time. Not only is the end of a year a natural time to reflect - usually a really great thing to do - but it may