Coping Skills · Disability · General chronic conditions · Guest Post

Guest Post! Community: by Robert @a30minutelife.com

I’m on a blogging break, so I’m featuring some guest bloggers! They will be sharing their stories and experiences with chronic disease, and I’m excited to share them.

First up, is Robert, over at a30minutelife.com. A wonderful writer, who does a great job raising awareness of life with chronic illness and pain!

A laptop with hands resting on it, on a wooden worktop. A mobile phone on the left, a wallet to the right. Text at top: Guest Post! Text in Middle: Robert @a30minutelife.com Text in bottom left corner: achronicspoonful.com

Community

By: Robert Joyce

It is nearly one year since I wrote my first post about my experience with Multiple Sclerosis, Pain, Sarcoidosis and Asthma. When I started it was a way of me sharing my experience, and I hoped that it might help someone, somewhere. This is an adventure and along the way I encountered many warriors who are sharing their battles. Erin is one soldier who is sharing her experience as you understand reading her blog.

Over the year I joined several online communities. MSPals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also vibrant communities. The common focus of these is support for other members. I met Erin in the Chronic Illness community, and she has been an active member. When she asked for help, I raised my hand immediately. Support when needed is the most important part of these communities. By writing this post, I am doing my part.

In my blog I share my way of living with my chronic illness that still gives me space for gratitude. Even though I lost mobility, increasing fatigue and chronic headaches that never stop, I found a new purpose in life. Now being a laptop warrior, writing has become my creative output, and I am enjoying it. The merest excuse to write, and I am scribing in my journal with a favorite fountain pen, or clicking with two fingers. A new adventure has risen from the ashes of my declining medical situation.

Last week I had the news that my illness has changed to Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I expected this, but still a shock, and my blog post this week is all about how I am coping with this change. When I learned that I had to go to hospital for 2 nights I turned to MSPals on Facebook and asked what should I bring in my bag, to make the stay easier.

The response was immediate. Replies from all around the world. Australia, USA, UK and Ireland. Simple things like a pillow, mints to help with the metallic taste of the steroids, colouring books, and novels. Even being reminded to bring clean underwear (thanks Gary Turner). Community is amazing, and it makes the journey less lonely if there are friends travelling on the same road. By holding each other up as we make sure that our feet don’t step in some pothole, or take a wrong turn. There are guiding hands all around us. Support.

In the 26 years since diagnosis with MS has been a white knuckle ride, and also the gentle river cruise. With each change I adjust. In the past I had my family as support, now there is also a larger community that has generosity, and understanding of my illness. It is amazing. Join us on this adventure, through the all the turmoil. It has helped me.

Web Site: www.a30minutelife.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/a30minutelife

Facebook: www.facebook.com/a30minutelife

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