Posts Tagged ‘illness’

Living with it

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Health, life, personnel characteristics

It’s funny how we all deal with illnesses or injuries differently, regardless of how minor or severe they may be.

I recently was part of a conversation with a couple of folk where one was talking about how they’d been bothered by a particular ailment for about 4 months , and how “awful” it was “having to cope with this every morning”. The ailment in question is nothing serious, and is something which many suffer from, and in fact I have had since I was very young.

I made no comment when this conversation was going on, but inside I’m was thinking to myself this person really didn’t know what “awful” was! I certainly would not consider my ailment “awful” and from the detail provided by the other sufferer, their ailment is less severe than mine.

I’m am definitely not looking for sympathy or anything as I have never really considered this ailment to be particularly “awful”, just a bit uncomfortable and annoying at times – The whole conversation just reminded me just how different we all are, and how we all feel and react differently to situations and circumstances we face in life.

Thank goodness we’re not all the same!

everyone is different


I was deeply saddened recently when i thought a fellow Christian was
accusing me of being unchristian because my blog mentioned depression and linked to other sites about depression.

depression and anxietyI couldn’t believe it, as sadly depression can be experienced by anyone at anytime – It’s an illness, and one which doesn’t care what nationality you are, your ethnicity or your religious beliefs (if any). i.e. Depression can hit anybody at any time in their life.

Depression is something many consider to be a taboo subject i.e. something we shouldn’t talk openly about. However I personally I feel its only a taboo subject for those who have never suffered from depression, as in my experience those who have suffered depression at some point in their life, are more willing to talk about it to others because when you’ve suffered from depression, you then realise how important it is to for sufferers to be able to talk about how they feel and their struggle to cope.

It’s a horrible illness which can leave the sufferer feeling lonely, isolated and even unwanted or unloved. So let’s not hide from the elephant in the room which is depression, but instead let’s talk about it openly about it, so we can give those suffering from depression all the love and support they need to get through their illness.

Let’s #taketimetotalk

Over 2 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia and so now, having seen first hand the devastating effect this illness has on both the sufferer, their carer(s) and their family and friends, I decided it was time to try and give something back to those who work with sufferers and carers in Scotland. So a few weeks ago I set up a JustGiving page to try and raise £500 for Alzheimer Scotland.JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

I’m obviously hoping you will support me by visiting my JustGiving page and giving a donation, but even if you’re not able to or don’t want to do so, I’d urge you to keep read this, as I want to give you some more information about dementia and alzheimers.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is the progressive loss of the powers of the brain. There are many kinds of dementia but the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Other kinds of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementias (including Pick’s disease) and alcohol-related dementias. It is also possible to have more than one type of dementia; for example Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

What all these diseases have in common is that they damage and kill brain cells, so that the brain cannot work as well as it should.

It is most common in older people but can affect people in their 40s or 50s or even younger.

What Causes Dementia?

At present there is no known cause of dementia. However medical researchers all over the world are working to find causes and develop treatments, and hopefully ultimately a cure.

How Does Dementia Affect People?

How dementia affects each person can vary as it very much depends on the which areas of their brain are most damaged by the disease.

I think the main symptoms which people tend to associate with dementia, is memory loss. Please remember though that everyone forgets things sometimes, and that as we get older we’re all more likely to forget things. When someone has dementia though, what is forgotten and the severity is very different, as they are likely to forget names of their family, not just of strangers. They may burn pans because they have forgotten about them, forget what they have eaten for lunch, or even if they’ve had any lunch. They may ask the same questions over and over again and again not remembering they’ve asked them before.

One of my worst experiences with Dad was the first time he asked me who I was because he didn’t know me. I went home in floods of tears that night and cried for days afterwards every time I thought about it. While I’ve got used to the fact that Dad no longer knows who I am, it still hurts, but most of all it’s sad that this is what he has been reduced to.

Another common symptom of dementia is losing awareness of which day it is or of the time of day. I know Dad never seems to understand whether it’s day or night, regardless of whether it’s light outside or completely dark!

Sufferers can also find themselves getting lost even when in a familiar place. They may fail to recognise people they have known for years and see on a regular basis. Confusion is a common symptom which in turn makes the suffer less able to problem solve or think things through logically. It can make dealing with financial matters difficult and can be dangerous as they are more likely to be taken in by fraudsters.

One of the worse symptoms as far as I’m concerned is, the way my Dad’s personality and his behaviour has changed. He’s much more aggressive and stubborn than he used to be and now often gets annoyed. These are also symptoms of dementia and as I say they are probably the most distressing for us, as it means Dad really isn’t Dad anymore…it’s like somebody else living in his body.

Over a period of time, it is normal for the dementia to affect most functions of the suffer’s brain. Eventually, most people with dementia will probably need help with every simple daily activities, such as dressing, eating and going to the toilet.

My Situation Now

Right from the time of Dad’s diagnosis, Mum has said she would care for Dad at home as long as she possibly could. I’ve witnessed Mum finding things more and more difficult as the months have gone by and Dad’s condition has worsened.

Dad’s now at the stage where he needs help with tasks which we all do without thinking each day, like eating, washing, dressing and going to the toilet. So much so that over the last few weeks, my Mum has made a hard decisions about my Dad’s future, one which I fully support, and that is that he now needs to live in care.

we’ve initiated the process with social work to get Dad into care, so hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll find a suitable place which is able to take him, as I really don’t think Mum can look after him at home any longer. It’s been decided Dad needs to go into a nursing home rather than a care home as he needs more intensive and specific care than can be offered at a care home, so as they say, the hunt is on!

Please pray for my Dad and my Mum in the coming weeks as we try to sort out Dad’s future in a home we are happy with.

Once again, if you are able to, please donate to my JustGiving fundraising page as I try to raise money, as well as awareness, for Alzheimer Scotland, who do a grand job of supporting dementia sufferers and carers all over Scotland.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

One of Sandy’s friends is the secretary for the Alva Highland Games so has been asking us to go along for the last few years, however until now, we’d not taken him up on the request.. So today Sandy and I intended to attend the Alva Highland Games. For me, this would have been the first highland games I had ever be at, although Sandy’s been at a few before.

So tonight I had intended on blogging about our highland games experience, however as Sandy wasn’t very well this morning, we unfortunately weren’t able to head over to Alva, so I’ll need to wait a bit longer for my first highland games experience!

Therefore I thought I’d just give you a bit of information about the Alva games:

So what is the Alva games all about?

Alva Games are the last surviving sports and games to be run in Clackmannanshire. This year will be the 155th meeting of the games which are always held on the second Saturday in July and is always seen as the highlight of the summer’s events in the county. The games feature the full range of traditional highland games including athletics, cycling, highland dancing, heavy weight events and the something called “the four hills race” – I’m not quite sure what that’s all about, so I’ll just need to wait till next year to find out!

Today also marks the first day of our holiday from work too, so it was a pity Sandy wasn’t well, however on the plus side, hopefully the dry and sunny weather today will last the whole of next week!

You can find out more about the Alva Games at their website:

Is it just me or would you agree that one of the worse things we can see, is a child in distress? It’s even worse when we know there is nothing we can can do to help ease the child’s pain.

I came across the following poem by M.S.Lowndes which was dedicated to children with terminal illnesses. This poem touched me, I hope it also touches you too.

Gifts Of Heaven

Lord you see each precious child
And you care so much for them
For they are special to you Lord
And are the gifts of heaven

Lord you long to soothe their pain
And calm their anxious fears
You hold each one in your loving arms
And you show them that you care

You know what each ones going through
You see the hurt inside
We pray that you will strengthen them
To endure what’s in their lives

So they will know the love of God
And know your saving grace
To know that you will be their friend
Through whatever they may face

So bless the children we ask of Thee
With hope, love and peace
Let them feel your presence Lord
And let their fretting cease.

So we’re now almost at the end of the last day in February of 2011, so how’s 2011 been for you so far?

Personally, this year’s not been the best so far for various reasons (some of which I’ve talked about in other blog posts this year). Here’s just a few things that have made this year disappointing so far:

  • I’ve not been at work yet this year, beacuse I’ve been off sick
  • Worries about the health of various members of my family
  • Concern for a relative who is now in care

Added to this, February is always a particularly difficult month for hubby as, both his mum and his sister died on February – his sister died 19 years ago and his mum 8 years ago. In addition, both their birthday’s would have been in February.

Just to make this February even worse, one of my uncle’s died and Mum, Dad, hubby and I weren’t well enough to travel to Ipswich for the funeral. I was also shocked and deeply saddened by the murder of 19 year old Reamonn Gormley in Blantyre at the beginning of February, particularly as he was the nephew of my manager at work.

So as you can see even from this very brief overview of my year so far, I’ve not had the best of years.

Whatever this year has held for you so far, I pray that we may all find the coming months ones full of happiness and joy, or if that is not God‘s plan for us, that we will rely on God for all we need in times of difficultly and stress.

Bring on the rest of 2011!


Posted: May 19, 2010 in Health
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you know what OCD is and what it stands for?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related condition that affects as many as three in a hundred people – from young children to older adults – regardless of gender and social or cultural background. Sufferers often go undiagnosed for many years, partially because of a lack of understanding of the condition, and partially because of the intense feelings of embarrassment, guilt and sometimes even shame associated with what is often called the ‘secret illness’.

To some degree OCD-type symptoms are probably experienced at one time or another by most people, especially in times of stress. However, the illness can have a totally devastating effect on work, social life and personal relationships. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks OCD as the tenth most disabling illness of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life.

OCD can take many forms, but, in general, sufferers experience repetitive, intrusive and unwelcome thoughts, images, impulses and doubts which they find hard to ignore. These thoughts form the obsessional part of ‘Obsessive-Compulsive’ and they usually (but not always) cause the person to perform repetitive compulsions in a vain attempt to relieve themselves of the obsessions and neutralise the fear. Some sufferers will have the obsessions but no sign of physical outward compulsions.

At stated earlier, OCD symptoms are usually experienced by all of us at some time or another, although we may not see them as OCDs because they are so ingrained in our daily behaviour. What sort of things am I thinking about?

Well here’s a few examples of my OCD-like symptoms – How do they compare to yours?

  • The climate control in my car adjusts by steps of 0.5 degrees at a time – I cannot leave the temperature at one of these “half temperatures”, I must always have it at a round number. E.g. 20.5 is bad while 20 or 21 is good.
  • Clearing away dirty dishes as soon as they are no longer in use. Not necessarily washing them immediately, but I must get them out of the living room ASAP
  • If I receive a document that is not formatted, or not laid out properly, or contains misspelt words or headings are not consistent, I always have to fix it – Maybe that’s just because I don’t think it looks very professional otherwise, but I do know a lot of people who wouldn’t bother and would just leave it as it was
  • I check 3 or 4 times after I lock my car, that I have actually locked it

So now I’ve got you thinking, I’d like to hear from you about your OCD or OCD-like symptoms.