Hello & Welcome!
My name is Donna and I live in Scotland with my husband and our pet dog Oscar. In late summer of 2013, I set up this blog after years of illness and finally receiving a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.
What started as a personal blog– and a means to share my own experiences– has since grown into a health and lifestyle blog where I share tips and information related to living as well as possible with chronic illness. This is intertwined with stories from my life and posts related to healthy living.
Since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013, I have faced many challenges. The summer of 2014 saw my health decline significantly and I ended up bedbound for many weeks. Despite my many attempts at getting back on my feet, I kept finding myself crashing back down. Numerous doctor visits followed, but I found myself no further forward.
I reached the point where I thought that this would be my life from now on. I was incredibly ill, suffered from unimaginable fatigue and was relying on the care of my husband and parents. I couldn’t see how it would be possible for me to get any better. Nothing was working.
Then an email popped into my inbox. Little did I know that this one email would be the start of my journey back to better health.
The email was from a doctor called Dr. Bill Rawls. He had written a book called “Suffered Long Enough” and wondered if I would like to review it. I was hesitant but decided I had nothing to lose from reading his book. What that book did was ignite the fight back in me.
I was given a reminder about some helpful information I already knew and was also equipped with new knowledge about herbal therapies and their role in recovery. The book also challenged my view of illness and put a new perspective on my health issues.
Becoming my own health advocate
Since then I have learned what it means to become your own health advocate. Taking my health into my own hands has been empowering. What I learned from Dr Rawls set me on the path that I continue to follow now.
I instinctively knew that there was more going on than Fibromyalgia and I decided to look for answers beyond my diagnosis.
At this point, M.E/CFS had been mentioned to me and my GP tried to refer me to an M.E specialist nurse. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that there are more Pandas in Scotland than M.E nurses (i.e. there is only one specialist nurse for the whole country).
The service is unsurprisingly in high demand and, due to my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, I was deferred to my local pain clinic instead.
Here, they seemed to see M.E and Fibromyalgia as overlapping conditions and I was told I likely had both. Though I was never formally diagnosed with M.E (which is why I tend to use the term CFS) I was content knowing that it explained my symptoms well.
The pain clinic was the first time I was truly met with empathy and understanding. I worked with a lovely physiotherapist but there was only so much he could help with and I didn’t seem to make significant progress. Exercise intolerance was a big problem for me.
Time passed, yet this nagging feeling that more was going on wouldn’t leave. Finally, in 2016, I discovered that the underlying cause of my health problems was Lyme Disease.
Thankfully, the herbal therapies I had been taking for my Fibromyalgia and CFS had also been helping to treat that. I dread to think how bad my health might have gotten if it hadn’t taken a leap of faith and followed Dr Rawls’ protocol.
Since then, I have tried a few additional therapies and treatments. Though I regained some of my health and saw improvements I once didn’t think were possible, these treatments didn’t take me as far as I wanted to go.
Ultimately, this led to me seeking treatment at a clinic called Infusio in Frankfurt. You can read all about my treatment here.
I had stem cell therapy and– though it’s early days– this has been life-changing. I still have a few months of healing ahead of me but I finally feel as though I am finding my way back to living life again. I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store for me.
What to expect from my blog
In my posts, I not only share my own successes and what has worked for me, but also the mistakes I have made along the way (in the hope I can help you to avoid making the same ones). Though we are all individual and I appreciate our paths will no doubt have differences, the advice I share is honest and sensible.
If you are interested in learning about self-improvement, managing and minimising symptoms and living life to the fullest despite the challenges chronic illness presents… well you are in the right place!
Find Me On Social Media
You can also connect with me on:
Or, if you would prefer, please feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to start?
There are a lot of posts on the blog and you can navigate through them via the categories in the top menu or by simply reading through one post at a time. To help you along, here are some of my favourite posts:
♥ 10 struggles people with chronic illness will understand
♥ 15 shades of fibromyalgia
♥ Here’s what chronic fatigue really feels like
♥ 10 top tips for pacing when you have fibromyalgia
♥ Is it possible to cure or recover from fibromyalgia?
♥ 5 ways fibromyalgia has changed my life for the better
♥ Fibromyalgia and letting go of guilt
♥ Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2015: What I miss the most
♥ Choosing to use a wheelchair when you have fibromyalgia
♥ How to handle a flare-up: 5 tips
♥ 20 minutes towards a happier you
♥ 6 ways to start living the life you want
♥ 50 ways to cheer yourself up
♥ 5 tips for successfully changing your diet
♥ Fighting to overcome fibromyalgia
♥ Adrenal fatigue & the adrenocortex stress profile test
♥ Facing tough decisions
♥ Choices & consequences
♥ Starting a business with chronic illness: an interview with Faye Savory of Bear Hugs
♥ The Vital Plan Restore Progam: 10 months on
♥ The Oska Pulse & how it works to reduce chronic pain
♥ Venice beach
♥ San Francisco & Alcatraz
♥ Humpback whales
♥ Photographing an abandoned fever hospital- Part 1
♥ Photographing an abandoned fever hospital- Part 2
♥ California Dreamin’
♥ Icelandic adventure
♥ A week in Barbados
♥ 72 hours in Amsterdam
♥ What could be more magical than an Enchanted Forest?
♥ I got locked up! Visiting Inveraray Jail
♥ Photographs from Inveraray Castle
♥ A long weekend in Copenhagen
♥ How to travel when you suffer from a variable health condition, such as fibromyalgia
♥ I was sent a Bear Hug!
♥ 7 tips for being better with money
♥ Homemade ginger tea recipe
♥ Learning a new language with Duolingo
♥ Health benefits of having plants in the home
♥ DIY: Create a succulent & crystal peace garden for your home
♥ Glitterati box unboxings
♥ Tasty protein pancakes with a blueberry topping
♥ Time-saving tip: reverse shampooing
♥ How to manage a blog with chronic illness
♥ Pet supplies made easy
♥ Easy to do make-up routine
I am not a doctor, nor am I a trained health professional. I am simply a patient sharing my own story. Any advice given on this blog is a result of my own opinions that are formed from personal experience. Anything written on this blog should not be taken as medical advice nor should it replace the opinion of a healthcare professional. I hope that you will find what I write useful but I strongly advise seeking the opinion of your doctor before implementing any advice that I have given.