The Reality Of Multiple Chronic Illnesses

A silver background with some flowers to the top left and bottom right corners. In the middle is the post title: The reality of... multiple chronic illnesses.

I was very kindly asked by the lovely Ami if I’d like to share my story of living with multiple chronic illnesses for her ‘The Reality Of…’ series. She set out a couple of questions for me to answer & shared it on her fab blog, Undercover Superhero. I’m also sharing it on my blog here. You can find my post & check out Ami’s blog here.

I tried to keep my answers somewhat concise, so I’ve not covered every aspect of my illnesses or what they’re like to live with as I didn’t want to send people to sleep. I’m sure some of you will be able to relate to the reality of multiple chronic illnesses because some of us are too greedy to just have the one..!

Who Are You?

I’m Carol, but I go by Caz. It causes problems when cashing cheques and signing forms. I’m from a little corner of the grey and rainy UK in Gloucestershire.

What Chronic Illnesses Do You Deal With?

In no particular order, the prizes I’ve won so far are : A stoma bag (ileostomy, large bowel removed), chronic pain, osteopenia (thin bones), suspected undifferentiated connective tissue disease, bronchiectasis with lung inflammation and scarring (long term damage from recurrent chest infections the other year), anxiety, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, Raynaud’s & erythromelelgia, pernicious anaemia.

A photo of me in Bristol on a pavement with people and balloons behind me. I've got long red hair and I'm wearing a green and black top. I've got a rucksack on my shoulders. This is the first outing I had with my stoma.

Chronic pain is a chronic problem. Some is more generalised and what you’d class as fibromyalgia pain, but most is from nerve damage and related pain following my first surgery in 2015. Back and hip pain can be particularly debilitating, with my hips feeling like they’re on fire. Chronic migraines are no picnic either when you get 5 days in a row and it feels never-ending because they’re so ridiculously immobilising. I’m cold, all the time. The palm of my left hand is always either blue, bright red or purple. So-called ‘brain fog’ makes thinking and logical processing or writing like trudging through mud. And exhaustion. Bone-deep and smothering exhaustion.

How Do These Chronic Illnesses Affect You?

Well, I lost the job I loved as a community advice and support worker because of ongoing surgeries. I’d hoped to train as a Clinical Psychologist, to have a family and all that jazz, but that went in the blink of an eye.

On a day to day basis, my illnesses and pain slow me down. Stoma problems have landed me in A&E far too many times and you never know when problems will strike. Similarly, other symptoms can flare up randomly and throw you off course, and there are many days where I feel less able to manage everything all at once. You have to know when to give in a little and rest, and when to keep fighting through, which isn’t an easy balance to strike.

A photo of me in a hospital bed with oxygen tubes up my nose.

Nonetheless, I know I’m luckier than many, and that many have far worse problems than I do. But comparing yourself to others isn’t a good idea either; you feel how you feel, we all cope differently, and one person’s problems can’t fairly be compared to any else.

Pain and nerve issues that affect my back and hips make walking difficult. Migraines make anything almost impossible. Fibro fog makes thinking and writing a challenge, where work takes far longer than it should to complete. I don’t regulate temps well so I’m always cold, but I can overheat without realising it given the goosebumps on my arms under 5 layers of jumpers.

Sleeping isn’t great thanks to breathing issues, pain and my stoma. Because of my coccyx, hips and other areas, I can’t sit normally in a regular chair anymore, so I spend my days propped up in bed.

This is just a snapshot because symptoms are varied and they impact life in so many ways, I couldn’t cover it all adequately here, but you get the picture.

How Have You Learned To Adapt?

There are various ways I’ve had to adapt; some I do okay at, others are still a struggle. I’ve had to adapt my perspective and expectations in life, and I try to find the positives in a situation. You’ll often find some good to come from a situation or some lesson to learn, some way an event or your illness/pain has challenged you to grow. Sometimes you just have to squint to see that good stuff.

I struggle with trying to be more flexible sometimes and with not getting disheartened. But my main issue is with stress. I have anxiety and that gets under your skin, but since losing my job and trying to work on a self-employed basis doing online surveys and freelance writing, earning not enough to even cover groceries, I find I’m constantly trying to be busy when I’m not well.

A photo of me wearing a dark flowery top and black jeans. I'm pulling my top up at the side to reveal my stoma bag. There's a pink Hello Kitty bag cover on it.

I’m continually stressy and overwhelmed. When it comes down to it, I’m a hypocrite: I encourage others to prioritise self-care and reduce their stress levels, but I fail to do those things for myself.

In adapting to some symptoms, I’ve found certain medications beneficial. It took me a long, long time to accept the need for medications, whether that’s Citalopram for anxiety, Sumatriptan for migraines, or Tramadol for chronic pain. Now I’m more able to work with these guys, integrating them into my life as required to give me some semblance of a life.

Nothing takes away chronic pain, but some medications and lifestyle adaptions can help take the edge off to make things that little bit more manageable. Coping strategies for physical aspects include the likes of pacing, hot/cold pads, orthopaedic pillows and pain relief gel. To balance me mentally, things like practicing gratitude, trying to be more mindful, taking regular time outs and prioritising self-care are all important. Dealing with chronic illness and chronic pain can certainly take a toll mentally.

I’ve also found the online world to be such a blessing. It’s helped me educate myself around my health so I can advocate more effectively for myself. I’ve also found such a welcoming, compassionate community. When your social life is extinct, online friends are to be cherished. I’ve additionally found my blog gives me a sense of purpose, a way to give back a little and connect with others. It’s good to know you, I, we are not as alone as we may sometimes feel.

I’ll leave it here as I feel these sorts of lists could go on and on and I’ve probably bored you all into a deep sleep by now.

How Have I Changed As A Person?

Empathy – I think I’ve always been quite emphatic but having gone through what I have, I feel that’s been heightened. I’m far more aware and knowledgable around chronic illness and mental health, far quicker to jump to someone’s defence because you truly never know what’s going on in someone else’s life or what conditions they may be coping with.

Contentment & adapting my perspective – I’ve learned to slow down and find a greater sense of contentment without feeling I ‘should’ be doing other things. When possibilities are closed off to you and the playing field changes, you start to realise many things aren’t things you want, they’re things society tells you to want, things you feel you ‘should’ want in order to be an independent and interesting adult.

Of course, there are also things that I do want. I’d like my social life back, I’d like to go out more, to have a partner, to have my own place and have children and a successful job and various things I used to take for granted as being part of my future. I feel a lot of loss.

It’s harder to accept those aren’t on the cards and that life isn’t as easy-going as it could/should be physically, so it’s a case of adjusting your perspective; maybe you can aim for something outside the box, change your expectations or find other paths to reaching your goals. Chronic illness has made me challenge and adapt my expectations and perspectives time and time again.

A photo of me at one side of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. It's a blue cloudy sky with the bridge stretching out behind me. I'm wearing a big green coat as it's cold, and I've got a walking stick.

Joy in the small things – Adjusting my perspective and slowing down has made me far more appreciative of the small things. The simple, small joys in daily life. I’m also super appreciative, for example, of coming home after I’ve had to go out and lying propped up in my bed with a blankie and a cuppa tea to work or to read a good book. Heavenly!

One of the not so good things, along with stress, comes guilt. This has been a huge factor, and I’m not sure where it came from. Guilt for being ill, for losing my job, for not being where I ‘should’ be in life; guilt for being miserable, guilt for smiling, guilt for not doing more or being more… there’s just guilt everywhere.

The last one I’ll note here is a positive, in that I’ve become more confident in some areas. Having to fight, over and over again for years of being fobbed off by various doctors and specialists, has honed my assertiveness. I’m more confident in dealing with the medical ‘professionals’, and that’s spread to other areas of my life.

Never forget that your health is worth fighting for; be your own advocate, trust that you know your own body, and never give up.

My Favourite Superhero?

Iron Man. And not just because I have thing for Mr Downey Jr. Or because Iron Man just looks so damn cool. Inside the suit he’s a normal guy, as normal as you can be when you’re Tony Stark, rich genius inventor extraordinaire.

The suit gives him the ability to do amazing things where he’s not confined to human limits. When something breaks, it can be replaced. When something’s damaged, it’s can be repaired. If only we could do that with the parts of our bodies that don’t work as they should!

A photo of three toy superheroes in different poses: Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America. They are small toys stood on a pavement.
Iron Man To The Right, Hanging With His Buddies.

Caz  ♥


InvisiblyMe has now been very kindly nominated for 8 Wego Health Awards! A huge thank you to all that have nominated & voted, it means a lot to me. Voting is open until 31st July. You can find out more here & cast your votes for the nominees here.

A purple glitter background with white hearts at the top right. In the middle it reads: InvisiblyMe has been nominated for 6 Wego Health Awards. Want to vote for me? Please endorse here > www.wegohealth.com/cazh/awards.

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54 Comments

  1. July 26, 2020 / 3:04 pm

    Far worse problems?
    You’re a hero, Caz, an Iron woman (not to say lady).

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:09 pm

      Naww thank you, Bo! And I’m also glad you didn’t confuse me with Thatcher 😉
      I hope you & the family are keeping as well as possible xx

  2. July 26, 2020 / 3:09 pm

    Love the post and MEEE TOOOO IRON MANNNNN and of course I have a thing for Robert Downey Ju.!!!!

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:10 pm

      Hahah I love it, but I’m afraid that I have dibs on Downey Jr, Sophie 😉

  3. July 26, 2020 / 3:52 pm

    You are such an amazing example of someone doing the best they can despite really significant health challenges. ❤️

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      I often feel like I could, and should, manage better than I do, but I also think it’s important to be honest in how we deal with things because it’s not always easy, regardless of what you actually have to deal with. Thank you so much, Ashley 🤗 xx

  4. July 26, 2020 / 4:20 pm

    My hubby has been diabetic for 46 years, on insulin, 24 years, stage 4 kidney failure, every kind of heart surgery, has a pacemaker and defibrillator, high blood pressure and cholesterol, dementia, anxiety, panic disorder, neuropathy, chronic back pain, and arthritis.

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:16 pm

      Your hubby really has been through so much and still has a heck of a lot to manage day to day. I keep up with his journey on your blog, and I noticed he’s been getting his appetite back, which is good. I hope it keeps going in the right direction.xx

  5. July 26, 2020 / 4:54 pm

    Oh my God!! May I say you are very very brave ! I am a doctor and my patients never fail to inspire me. And I look up to you for staying put despite unimaginable adversity. God bless. !!

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:18 pm

      That’s very kind of you to say, thank you very much. I don’t see myself as brave, and if you knew how many times I get so down that I’m not sure I’ll get back up again, I’m not sure you’d still think the same. But I think it’s important to show that it’s okay to not be okay, that we can only do our best. Thank for you taking the time to read & comment, I really appreciate it 🌷

  6. July 26, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    I just sent you a comment but I don’t see it. I’ll check later and resend if it didn’t go through

    • July 28, 2020 / 3:22 pm

      Oh no, I wonder what happened to it..? I’ve taken a lot in the comments & spam but there’s nothing showing. I’m sorry to have missed your comment, Annie, but I appreciate you taking the time to leave one (even if technology can be a glitchy nuisance at times!) xx

      • July 29, 2020 / 6:19 pm

        I just said that you continue to be an inspiration to me and so many others—and that I wish I could help you with the guilt, which you know is soul-sapping and baggage you sure as hell don’t need. Have I ever mentioned Sharon Salzburg, a mindfulness teacher who focuses on both lovingkindness ( which you have in abundance, except to yourself) and the inner critic? You may find some of her free meditations or talks helpful.

        Annie xx

  7. July 26, 2020 / 6:57 pm

    I certainly feel for you Caz. It’s rotten having various chronic health problems, including anxiety and depression. I take various meds for anxiety and depression, Sumatriptan for migraines, or Tramadol for chronic pain, among others and people say I must rattle when I walk lol. Like you, I had to leave my job – as a mental health ward manager some 9 years ago and I still miss it now. Hence my blog 🙂 which has introduced me to a new world and lots of online blogging pals.

    I get some good days and like to stay positive – there’s no point just moaning and whining, I’ve still got a life to live 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your ‘story’ with us all. It helps that I’m not alone. the other Caz x

    • July 28, 2020 / 4:42 pm

      You rattle when you walk, I love that 😂 What I don’t love is how much you have to deal with. Sounds like we have a few similarities beyond our names, like with the Sumatriptan & Tramadol, plus the mental health side of things (which aren’t surprising when dealing with chronic illnesses). I’m so sorry for your job, it sounds like the sort of role I would have loved. Losing my community worker role hit me harder than I realised or cared to admit, but my illnesses also brought me to blogging, too. You’re certainly not alone, fellow Caz. Thank you for sharing this  ♥ xx

  8. July 26, 2020 / 7:07 pm

    This brings me to tears Caz. Your courage is inspiring. You keep on trucking and have come so far. You really show that it’s possible. Thank you for being you. And gifting us with your words and time.
    More than anything else I wish I could release the guilt.
    Sending hugs and warmth….
    E

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Eliza. I wish I knew how to deal with guilt or reduce it, but the solution seems to escape me. Thank you for the lovely comment. I hope you’re doing as well as possible this week  ♥ xx

  9. July 26, 2020 / 9:43 pm

    Caz, this was a wonderful and honest post that I’m sure will help someone who feels so alone dealing with a chronic illness or illnesses. Even though you lost the job you loved and the chance to become a clinical psychologist, you are for sure a life coach for all of us. Continuing to help others by your writing you will be fulfilling your career dream just in a different way. Many times our life takes us in a completely different direction and a career that we never thought of simply develops. I can see you doing so many good things by helping people online, especially those that are homebound. Good luck to you. I think you have an exciting future.

    xo

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:24 pm

      If it can help others feel less alone in what they’re going through then I will be very happy with that. I’ve found the same, with reading about the experience of others. I don’t see myself as being helpful though so you thinking that means a lot to me, I’m truly very touched. Thank you so much, Michele. When I start to feel disheartened and like I’m not achieving anything, you come along with a wonderful comment  ♥ xx

      • July 30, 2020 / 7:50 pm

        You do help others feel less alone 💕

  10. July 27, 2020 / 5:13 am

    Thanks for sharing… you’re right about the online community being important in these times.

    And what you said about signing forms when you go by Caz… I can relate. My mom is Margaret but goes by Peggy, which is historically a nickname for Margaret, but a lot of people these days (at least in the US) don’t know that, so she has the same problems. And Greg isn’t my real name (I think you knew that, you’ve been following me long enough to know my real name), but I hate the way that a lot of people get my real name confused with the feminine of my real name. When I order food at a place where they call your name when your order is ready, quite often I get called the wrong name, so I’ve been giving my name as Greg at restaurants for years, since long before I started blogging under that name. That led to an awkward moment on a first date once…

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:28 pm

      How funny, I have an aunt called Margaret who’s sister is called Peggy! What a great coincidence. As for your name, I can definitely see that causing some raised eye brows & a little confusion when you say Greg then they discover your real name. I don’t know if I know why you chose Greg for the blog though, is that because that’s often what you give offline to spare confusion? x

      • July 30, 2020 / 2:26 am

        Yes. It’s also a variation of my middle name in real life.

  11. July 27, 2020 / 6:43 am

    You should write a book on all you have been through and conquered. It would sell very fast. Great post from a great lady x

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:30 pm

      I’ve always wanted to write a book, but a work of fiction in the crime thriller genre. I’ve thought of writing a non-fiction, self-help style book, but considering I’ve written anything in all this time I don’t see it happening. It’s heartening that you think I could write something though – thank you, Bar! xx

  12. July 27, 2020 / 2:14 pm

    Caz, I cant say it enough, in spite of chronic illness, you manage to bring encouragement to everyone. If I’m depressed at times (it happens to us all) I feel better when I read how you find the positives in situations and adapt. That’s how we survive, adopting. I nod my head in agreement when you take joy in the little stuff – like that blankie and a cup of tea, and those chocolate chips cookies we talked about. 😊

    Sharing with us…teaches us how to assist people with chronic illness and to help ourselves. This is why you’re being nominated with 8 Wego Health Awards is fitting and well deserved. Congratulations! Yeah! By the way, you really know how to rock a Hello Kitty bag. Take care my friend.

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:38 pm

      If I can bring even a tiny shard of encouragement to just one person, or have a couple of readers know they’re not as alone as they may feel, then I will be so, so happy. It’s good to share our stories and experiences, and I think it helps when you know others don’t have life figured out either, we just have to learn and adapt, especially when life throws us a curveball. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and the amazing comments, Darnell. It’s very much appreciated. I hope your week is going well so far! 🤗

  13. July 27, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    Ah Caz you have so much to contend with yet you are one of the most upbeat, positive, professional and supportive bloggers I know. You rightly deserve those awards, you have so much support from your community.

    I totally get what you say about not accepting your own advice about self care 😉 you really do need to try and make yourself a priority though x

    • July 29, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      It’s funny how others can see us so differently to how we see ourselves! Thank you so much, Jo, for all the kind and supportive words, it means a lot to me lovely.xx

  14. July 27, 2020 / 3:53 pm

    This is amazing, Caz. That You take the time to share so much information about what You’re going through and about things You’ve found that are helpful blows my mind. When I read this part: “So-called ‘brain fog’ makes thinking and logical processing or writing like trudging through mud. And exhaustion. Bone-deep and smothering exhaustion.”, I was even more in awe and appreciative that You share as much as You do. Your honesty about Your experience is beyond helpful to everyone who reads Your blog. Thank You for ALL and good luck with the Wego Awards! You got my vote!!! Cheers, Huge hugs, and Congratulations on the interview!!! OH! And the guilt thing?!! That’s pretty much everyone I know. Guilt is a planetary chronic disease, I think. We all need to let that one gooooooo. Sigh. 🤗❤️🙏🏼💕😊

    • July 29, 2020 / 2:07 pm

      I don’t know what to say, Katy. Your comment brought tears to my eyes! Honestly, your kindness is so touching, thank you very much. I like how you’ve referred to guilt as a “planetary chronic disease”. I’d agree with you there. Is it something you often struggle with, too? I wish I had answers for how to deal with it or reduce it but it can be so pervasive. Thank you again for your lovely comment & for your vote, too! I hope you’re having a good week lovely 🤗🌷 xx

  15. July 27, 2020 / 4:18 pm

    It was interesting to know more about you, and the origin of your name. And also to read about all the difficult things you went through the years. Oh boy! You are such an inspiration when it comes to better taking care of myself. Your writing and blog brings so much good on how to manage difficult situation and many more creative ideas to spend free time. Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts!

    • July 29, 2020 / 3:52 pm

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the Q&A – I wouldn’t be blogging at all if it weren’t for people like you here reading & if I can give something back, even just a little with ideas or support, then I will be very happy. Thank you for the lovely comment, Svet 🤗 xx

  16. July 27, 2020 / 6:18 pm

    Reading your story just reminds me of what a strong, resilient woman you are, Caz. You deal with so many health issues, and yet you spend so much time encouraging others, not only through your blog, but by your support of other bloggers. As you said, we never really know what someone else is going through. Thank you for sharing your story to let others who live with chronic illness know they’re not alone. You’re such a blessing to so many!

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:00 pm

      I found comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone when I read the stories of others, so I wanted to share mine, too, in the hopes of keeping the cycle going. Thank you for your kindness, Terri, it really does mean a lot to me 🌹🤗 xxxx

  17. July 27, 2020 / 6:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge with us and letting us be a part of your life.

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:00 pm

      And thank you for being in my life & part of the blogging world, Viola 🤗 xx

  18. July 28, 2020 / 12:50 am

    You certainly have your fair share of health problems. I noticed you also have bronchiectasis, which I have and was obviously affected by infections. Take care and keep that chin up.

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      I’m sorry you have to deal with bronchiectasis too, Peter. It’s no walk in the park. I really hope you’re on inhalers or other medication that can help manage it as best as possible. x

  19. July 28, 2020 / 11:03 am

    I can relate closely with you because my adult daughter (my wife and I are her caregivers and ‘landlord’ because she is unable to survive without help) has myalgic encephalomyelitis and struggles with many of the same issues. I know the empathy of a stranger doesn’t help you, but I offer it nonetheless and commend you for your courage.

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:33 pm

      I’m very sorry for your daughter, life with ME/CFS is a challenge on the best of days. I’m glad she has you and her mum to be there for her and provide the support she needs. And you’re wrong about that empathy of a stranger – it does help me, more than you realise. It’s what keeps me going. Thank you so much. Sending my very best wishes to your daughter, and to you & your wife. The three musketeers that are stronger together (which is how I think of me & my parents also)  ♥

  20. July 28, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    I love your bare candor in this post.

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:35 pm

      Thank you – I think it’s important to be honest, with the good, the bad & the ugly aspects 🌷 xx

  21. July 28, 2020 / 12:49 pm

    You are a pretty amazing young woman, Caz. Strong and resilient. You deal with so much but you put yourself out there bringing awareness and helping other people. Life has changed and it not turned out the way you hoped, but I hope that some of your hopes and dreams can still come true at some stage. Remember to give yourself that self-care talk. We’re all guilty of being hypocrites with that.

    • July 29, 2020 / 4:39 pm

      It’s funny how I see myself very differently to how you describe. I imagine many of us could say similar, and sometimes we really are our own worst enemies. I think I need to work on cultivating some new hopes and dreams that are more in line with my health and circumstances, I’m just not quite sure what they are yet. Looking at short term goals works a lot better for me at the moment, even with those day to day to do list items. At the moment my dream is to get through all my old posts with Yoast! Fancy a race, Liz? 😉 Thank you very much for your kind comment lovely, I really appreciate it xx

      • July 29, 2020 / 5:03 pm

        I’d lose that race!!!
        I know what you mean, we are our own worst enemies. As for dreams, I think we’re still allowed to have them, but I like to make mine realistic then there’s a chance of them happening.

  22. July 30, 2020 / 1:56 am

    Dearest Caz, first and foremost, I am so sorry for all that you have endured in your health. It isn’t easy to have life interrupted in such a way, and my heartfelt love & prayers are with you for the daily challenges you face. 🤗

    I am incredibly proud of you for sharing your story and your journey with chronic illness. You may never know just how many people you help every single day feel empowered in their own battles. Chronic illness can be/is very lonely. Knowing someone actually gets where you’re coming from makes life a bit more worth living. No one could share such empowering truths like you do. You motivate, encourage, and inspire others every single day. You are deeply loved & appreciated.

    Most of all, I am deeply sorry that you feel unable to continue pursuing the job you love and your ambitions of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. Have you ever considered an online degree in the human services field that wouldn’t require an in-person internship or residency program? Regardless of what you decide – I hope you realize that you actually did become exactly what you dreamed of. You are a blessing, a guide, and a compassionate counselor in all things life. In the blogging community alone, there could NEVER be a replacement for you. Your comments, blog posts and general inspiration are one-of-a-kind.

    Sending my love to you, sweet Caz. I count you as a friend, and am so proud of you! ♥

    • August 1, 2020 / 4:21 pm

      As is often the case when reading your comments, Holly, I’m glad I’m not wearing mascara. Do you try to make me cry? Honestly, you are so, so kind. I don’t know what to say. Please know how much I appreciate your thoughts & your kindness, it really does mean a lot to me  ♥🤗 xxxxx

      • August 3, 2020 / 2:54 am

        Aww! I say the very same back to you, and I mean that sincerely! I count you as a friend and am grateful to know you. ♥

  23. July 31, 2020 / 9:40 am

    You’re amazing, Caz. Words cannot explain how much hope and support that you give to others, and I’m so sorry that you struggle with so much of your health 🙁 Your advocacy for the chronic illness community is so appreciated and just think, you don’t need to go to uni for X number of years in order to be an expert because you already are!

    I understand how the guilt and loss feel as I’m exactly the same. Please know that we are all in it together, us ‘chronics’ have a special bond with each other and I thank you so much for sharing your story with us xxx

    • August 1, 2020 / 4:23 pm

      I think what you’ve said about me applies to you too, Jen. Every little helps in raising awareness and advocating for the chronic illness community, and I’m proud to be a part of it. It’s not the life we imagined or hoped to have, but we do what we can. I’m sorry you feel that same sense of loss and know what I mean about the guilt. I wish I had something helpful to suggest but where the guilt is concerned, I really have no clue. Instead I’ll send hugs from afar. Thank you for the lovely comment 🤗 ♥ xxx

  24. August 2, 2020 / 6:21 pm

    Lulu: “We love your blog and think you are amazing!”
    Charlee: “Yes, we’re very glad to be among your online friends!”
    Chaplin: “By the way, our Mama is also a big fan of Iron Man! Although she always calls him ‘Tony Stark’ and we are not sure if she has any idea who plays him …”

  25. August 3, 2020 / 2:51 am

    You are one amazing young woman, Caz; a true Iron ‘Woman’!
    xoxoxo

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