Monthly Archives: March 2016

A train trip 🚂

Getting out and about via train is so liberating!  The staff who helped me on and off the trains were wonderful!  The journey went off without a hitch 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
  
Now I’ve visited the podiatrist & enjoyed lunch afterwards 😉, before picking up a few things from the supermarket whilst waiting for the next train.

An easy journey and a lovely few hours out 😄

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Chronically Happy – A Year in the Life of a Spoonie whilst trying to stay positive… January…

I was planning to write a book, but instead I’ve decided to post here instead, so here goes…

Introduction…
Living life as a spoonie for all these years, I’ve learnt many tips and tricks on how to handle the many challenges that the average year brings.  So here is my guide to living a spoonie life, taking an average year as a framework.
Positivity and trying to stay happy is my major aim as I find that it helps me hugely in handling life as a disabled Spoonie.
Join me, I hope you can gain something from my own experiences…

January…

Week 1 – home comforts

 
After the Christmas business and festivities, I’m often feeling totally zapped during January.  Add the January blues, and I can be pretty down and grumpy.  Not my favourite month at all!
But I’ve learnt a trick or two over the years so I plan for this…
Firstly I spend those spoonless chilly days snuggled up in my cozy blanket, in front of a cozy fire doing things to cheer me up.  From watching a funny or feel good film, to reading books and magazines.  Lighting candles to brighten my mood and planning little outings for those better days.
Appreciating the little things have really made a difference to my positivity. Trust me, it really does help!
Week 2 – being thankful
I started the practice of gratitude a few years ago when I started a blog entitled chronically thankful.  The next year I continued but posted photos each day of what I was grateful for.  Nowadays I write in my diary or if something is particularly great, in my book of awesome.
Practicing gratitude really makes a huge difference.  Even on the worst days there is always something to be thankful for.
Week 3 – new ventures
I’ve just started some new ventures, I’m trying to do a new thing each day.  From watching the sunrise to sleeping in a four poster bed!  I’ll try anything once to keep me feeling enthusiastic!  I’ve tried a few small things so far and it truly has cheered me up.  We get so stuck in a rut that doing something different can make a huge difference.
I’m now learning to play guitar, meditating regularly, watching something different on to, eating new things and experiencing small things.  It’s fabulous, a great mood booster!
Week 4 – a hotel break.
I came up with another great way to beat the January blues, a little break away!  Money is tight living on disability, but they’re are some fabulous groupons out there.  This one was to a fabulous hotel in Chester, with dinner included.  We got a surprise when we arrived, the room wasn’t wheelchair accessible, but instead of just changing it, they upgraded us to a suite!  It was just fabulous!!!  I spent hours just lazing on the huge four poster bed reading magazines, perfect!
So I’ve beat the January blues, yeah!

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Happiness…

Being happy despite my chronic illness and disability is so very important to me.  But it intrigues me as to what actually makes people happy…

Variety is the spice of life – doing different things as much as possible.  Just changing small things like routines can make us happier.

Being close to nature – the beauty in what is around us.  So get out into nature as much as possible.

Exercise – since it releases dopamine.  Even wheelchair yoga!

Gratitude – being thankful for what we have.  People who count their blessings regularly are happier.

Having a passion – be it a craft, hobby, music, art etc, because when we are in the zone we forget our problems and worries.

Surviving adversity – strangely, experiencing problems can make us happy.  We face it and overcome or accept it and this can make us happy.

Once our basic needs are met money does not buy happiness.  In fact the happiest people seem to live modestly.  Those who seek extrinsic goals, such as more money and status are much less happy than those who seek intrinsic goals such as personal growth, close relationships and helping others.

Having family or friends to share our experiences with.  We are social beings, so we thrive off social interaction.  Link with the extended family, join clubs etc to extend friendships, have fun with loved ones.  Sharing experiences with others makes us much happier.

Giving to others in what ever way we can.  Instead of fo using on what we don’t have, we focus on what we do have that we can give.

A sense of community.  Regular contact with others in our community makes us happier.  Social events in the community help hugely.

Being cooperative rather than competitive makes us much happier as it releases dopamine.

Compassion makes us happy.  Research shows that those who practice compassion, such as through practicing loving kindness meditation are much happier and show changes in the brain related to happiness.

Performing acts of kindness makes us happier, research has backed this up too.
The good news is that anyone can do these things and guess what, they’re free!!!

Be happy 😄

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I’m free of the hip brace!!!

I’ve just proudly parked my car on the drive using the pedal!!!  At last I’m free from hand controls!
It felt scary removing the hip brace for the first time after my new hip dislocated…  But delightful too…  I didn’t think I’d get to this point, but the hip specialist is happy for me to be free of it in the hope that my new hip now stays in place.  No bendi g, twisting or holding my leg to the sides & fingers crossed I’ll be fine 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

But if all fails and my hip pops out again then they’ll operate to either redo,the hip replacement or add some add ons to make it more stable.  Let’s hope it stays strong…

I’m delighted!!!  Living life around a fragile hip and the new hip brace has been challenging to say the least!  Driving with hand controls and all the other restrictions an imobile hip has caused has been pretty tough!

I’m free!!!  Now to keep it that way…

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Fighting for my independence…

I might not be able to walk independently, but I have a powerchair to keep me free…

I might not be able to shower, but I have a long handled sponge, a shower chair and a long handled hair scrubber, plus a foot cleaner mat…

I might not be able to dress, but I have a grabber for my trousers, a sock puller and I wear pull on bras and clothes…

I might not be able to cook, but I have angled knives, an electric peeler, can opener and jar opener, baskets to lift food, a kettle tipper, a slow cooker etc etc… 

I might not be able to climb stairs, but I have a stairlift…

I might not be able to drive using my legs, but I can drive short distances using hand controls and cruise control…

I struggle with many things, but I won’t give up!

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