Gigi is here :)

Gigi is here :)

It had always been our dream to become parents but before DNRS I had become too ill for us to even think it could be a possibility in future. But DNRS gave me health and hope back and made us dream again. And now just over 2 years after starting DNRS and 9 months after seeing his photo for the first time our son Gigi is home with us and we're on top of the world. 

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Open letter to my husband just before our third anniversary

Open letter to my husband just before our third anniversary

Three years ago I really thought we had the next few years planned out. And it’s funny now to think how differently they've turned out. So this blog post is an open letter to thank Dermot for reminding me that even though things aren’t quite as we planned them, they’re just the way they were always meant to be. And to thank him for teaching me time and time again the true meaning of the words “for better or for worse”.

Photo by Rebekah Kamsky Photography

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How being chronically ill taught me to really live in the moment 

How being chronically ill taught me to really live in the moment 

I was out for a run in Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago and as the sun was rising, the scene was so beautiful that I kept stopping to take photos. I kept promising myself that each photo would be the last and that then I would get on with my run. But I just couldn’t do it. And I laughed at myself for stopping so many times. But I also laughed a bit at my old self: the person who wouldn’t have allowed herself to stop. Who would have wanted the run to be so “perfect” that she would hardly even have noticed the beauty of the sun and the sea. And so in a strange way I’m grateful for having been chronically ill. Because it really taught me how to slow down – or even stop – and be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me. Here’s how things changed for me and how you too can start to really live in the moment.

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9 things I'm grateful for as I celebrate my 3rd birthday since the onset of my chronic illness

9 things I'm grateful for as I celebrate my 3rd birthday since the onset of my chronic illness

I wrote this blog post as I was celebrating my 32nd birthday, which was also my 3rd since the onset of my mysterious chronic illness. As it was also my 1st birthday since recovering fully through DNRS, I thought it was a good time to make a list of things I'm grateful for, since the whole journey made me realise how many things I took for granted before my illness started. So here’s my 32nd birthday gratitude list.

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Chronic illness to 13 mile race in 13 months

Chronic illness to 13 mile race in 13 months

When I think back to what my life was like just over a year ago when I was chronically ill, I still find it hard to believe that by the time you read this, if all goes well, I’ll have completed a 13 mile race. Before I started DNRS just over a year ago, I would go to sleep wondering whether I would be well enough to get out of bed the next morning. So as I write this today I still can’t quite believe that I’ve prepared all my stuff to get up for a half marathon tomorrow! Here’s all about what this means to me and what it could mean to others suffering from mysterious, chronic illnesses – even if they have no intention of ever running a half marathon down the line (I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea :) ).

Photo by Alan Falzon

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A letter to myself before I became chronically ill

A letter to myself before I became chronically ill

Being chronically ill taught me quite a few lessons and more than anything it taught me to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. It also helped me realise that in actual fact the little things are the big things. Now that I’ve recovered fully, I still like to occasionally remind myself of the things my chronic illness taught me, because life can be so rushed that it can be easy to forget. So here’s a letter to my 29-year-old self, to the person who hadn’t yet learned any of these lessons.

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9 ways to find more time for the things that matter most

9 ways to find more time for the things that matter most

I think the most important lesson I learned through being chronically ill was that being too busy and living such a rushed life wasn’t beyond my control.  And as I started recovering, I decided that I was going to do things differently this time round. Most importantly, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t go back to being overly busy. It’s still something I need to work at, but with these 9 strategies, I definitely manage to find much more time than I used to previously for the things that matter most.

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Here's what I wrote when my life had started all over again 6 years ago

Here's what I wrote when my life had started all over again 6 years ago

I still remember the day I was first diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome 7 years ago. I also never forgot how good it felt when I managed to overcome it (or so I thought back then) through dietary changes. And yet it was still strange to read what I had written at the time and to realise how similar some things were to the way I feel now. And I thought you might be interested to read what I wrote when my life had started all over again 6 years ago. So here goes.

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What caused the sudden (or not so sudden?) onset of my mysterious, chronic illness?

What caused the sudden (or not so sudden?) onset of my mysterious, chronic illness?

It would probably have made sense for us to remove the bottles of water while taking this photo, but I was so excited about eating a plate of gnocchi for the first time in 2 years that I really wasn’t thinking :) But this blog post isn’t about gnocchi. This blog post is all about the question I get asked most often whenever someone hears my story: What caused my mysterious, chronic illness? To be honest, there’s no easy answer. But now that I’ve recovered fully through DNRS, I have a slightly clearer idea of how this all started. So here goes.

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A day in the life of someone with chronic fatigue syndrome

A day in the life of someone with chronic fatigue syndrome

Here’s a glimpse into a typical day in my life a year ago when I was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity and extreme food sensitivities. Of course not every day was exactly the same – some days I felt a bit better, some days I felt a bit worse – but this was a typical day at the time.

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Laugh every day and live a longer (and happier) life

Laugh every day and live a longer (and happier) life

Last Friday was a really special day for us. We had the launch of my father’s first book and our dear niece Elise’s christening. Here’s my take on the book, why the book launch was so special, why Dermot and I ended up running in Valletta – Dermot in his suit and me in my dress and carrying my shoes – and why laughter is so incredibly good for you. 

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Why I took selfies while I was chronically ill

Why I took selfies while I was chronically ill

Long story short: when I was chronically ill, I thought it might help some people realise they’re not alone if they could see photos of me at my worst. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever decide to share photos of myself looking so bad. I was even embarrassed to ask my husband or family to take them for me. But I wanted to have them in case I ever did and in case they could ever help someone. So here’s why I took selfies while I was chronically ill. 

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