Happy Wednesday, friends! It’s time for another guest blog! As I stated in the first guest blog, if you are interested in guest blogging on Chronically Kristin, please email me here: email@example.com.
For our next guest post, I’m excited to introduce to you Amy Saunders from Living with ME. Thanks so much for participating, Amy!:)
What is your favorite part of being a chronic illness blogger?
I love that I can share my experiences with my illness as well as other lifestyle things such as fitness and healthy eating! Just knowing that I might help a couple of people with their illness makes me really happy. Also it gives me something else to focus on, something positive if you like, that relates to the illness!
Tell us about your health journey: diagnosis, symptoms, how you take care of yourself, etc.
I got Glandular Fever in March/April 2012 (wow was it that long ago?!) and was ill for a good few months following that. It wasn’t until the August/September 2013 that I started feeling back to myself again. Unfortunately, after a difficult Christmas that year concerning family I slowly started deteriorating back to being ill 3 or 4 times a week. I went to the Doctors who at first told me there was nothing wrong with me, but after a panic attack in an important A Level exam, another GP decided to refer me to a specialist, who then diagnosed me with Post Glandular Fever Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in July 2014.
If you could give one piece of advice to those newly diagnosed, what would it be?
Believe in yourself. It’s horrible when others doubt you, especially close family and friends and the doctors but as soon as you start to second guess yourself and start asking questions like ‘Am I just being lazy?’ or ‘Is it just in my head?’ it gets 10 times worse. Believe your body when you wake up being ill and just rest.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax and take care of yourself?
I love practicing Mindfulness – I find it really helps me to take my mind off everything else and really concentrate on that moment. I also love to do exercise. Strangely enough, my love for fitness started nearly a year after my diagnosis and so long as I take things easy and know my limits, I can manage exercising and I find it really helps with the fatigue – although that isn’t always the case!
Tell us something interesting about yourself that has nothing to do with chronic illnesses.
I am a massive Taylor Swift fan and I LOVE Friends (the TV show)! I can’t get enough of it!
As a patient advocate, what do you think our healthcare system could do to become more inclusive of patients?
What I think would be great is if they did more research as individual GP practices into different chronic illnesses because so many GPs don’t even think about illnesses such as ME/CFS etc and if blood tests come back normal, well “you’re just a normal teenager who gets tired and stressed” – yes, a Doctor actually said that to me.
Be sure to follow Amy’s blog or any of her social media channels above!