Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Giving the best of me will always equal giving the best to you! This week I have been taking a massive dose of my own medicine. My health is first and foremost again. It’s true, when you are a carer and have so much on the go it is easy to lose sight of yourself, how you are feeling, your own health (physical and mental). So quickly can aches, pains and niggles start to rear their heads. We go on, ignore the subtle signs from our bodies and ‘get on with the job at hand’. I have gone from being in a rather active occupation (personal trainer) to sitting for long long periods behind the computer, especially when the kids are at school or Matthew is having healthier periods. I became less active due to an Achilles injury in both the left and right legs which led to poorer food choices too. Being less than mindful of what is happening for me and the creeping in of old habits has led to a number of issues. Some include: Neck and back pain, pain in my hip joints and in my feet Increase in weight – not just a few kilo’s either Less quality sleep due to later nights or ‘fitting in the work when I can’ More glasses of wine & coffee Increased tiredness and decrease in energy levels Poorer food choices for a ‘quick fix’ The list goes on. I am sharing this because my message to you is strong: ‘Take care of your own health and wellbeing otherwise you simply cannot give the best of you to...
Harsh lessons for my chronically ill son

Harsh lessons for my chronically ill son

It is no surprise to me that my son who is now approaching 15, over the past few months, has been resisting his medications, treatments and physiotherapy that keep him well and maintain his baseline health for Cystic Fibrosis. What is surprising is that it has taken until nearly 15 years of age for him to do it.  I figure that some of the social delays he has, have contributed to this.  But he is most certainly in his teens, physically and mentally.  He is incredibly strong willed and stubborn.  When he has made up his mind about something, there is not a whole lot you can do to change his perspective. When my boys were young and as I was bringing them up, I tried hard to teach them to listen to what their body was telling them and to adjust their behaviour accordingly.  Sore tummies or headaches, and anything in between, always followed with a discussion about what led up to the event or the symptom.  Trying to identify the trigger. What I was trying to do was gift them self-awareness.  I knew from being a teen myself and reading literature about teens with Cystic Fibrosis (and chronic illness in general) that the teen years were going to be tough.  Especially for Matthew dealing with CF. My theory was to teach them to understand that the things we do, the food we eat, the drinks we consume and the environment in which we live can significantly affect how we feel and how our body performs.  By doing this, I hoped, no I trusted that they would grow...
“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

My friend sent me a message last week with the words “Some days I don’t know how you do it”.  She often see’s us going through our own ups and downs with the mental and physical health of my son’s.  She saw on Monday that after my son’s 3 week hospital admission, there was little improvement to his health status. My friend, however, is going through an incredibly tough and confronting time herself. The whole family is and has been for many years with her having to face her own serious health battles too. Right now they are facing serious health issues for one of their children and are having to make decisions that will potentially affect the rest of their child’s quality of life. The fact of the matter is, that she is trying to be strong for everyone but is on the verge of cracking herself. Not only is she trying to hold her family together during their own difficult times, she is dealing with grief and uncertainty around the health of one of her friends, who is terminally ill. How do I respond?  We all have our different stuff don’t we?  Differing levels of resilience from person to person and environmental factors can change our ability to cope at any given time.  So my response: “Well I guess I figure all the worry and stress really doesn’t help me or anyone else. In fact, for me it makes it worse. I can’t think clearly, can’t function properly and I sure as hell can’t make decisions effectively. I guess I have practiced it (coping) over a long, long time. Monday, I...
Emotions for a child – a poem

Emotions for a child – a poem

In the days and weeks that followed my son’s diagnosis, no one could take away our pain or our grief. There isn’t really much that people can say or do to change it? You just have to ride the wave. A few weeks after the shock had settled I received a card and letter from my aunty. She, like all of our family, was hurting deeply for us.  She herself was hurting.  What does the future hold for our darling boy?  Her letter expresse her sorrow and grief.  She penned a beautiful poem. The words flowed from one parent to another. Words that simply could not be said.  Words that strike a chord deep inside. Words that are so special, so precious that they encapsulate every emotion we were feeling. A message I will never forget and always find comfort in.  She gave me permission to feel, feel everything. The parting words from her said simply: “The love just comes easy, you don’t have to try. Let little Matthew help you just live life and enjoy. He is wise beyond his years and will guide the way” Fourteen years later and it is still raw as ever.   Emotions of a Child is dedicated to all people affected by a life changing “diagnosis”.  I hope you find it as special as I do.     EMOTIONS FOR A CHILD by Kerri Trengove Sheer joy and wonder at the miracle of such a perfect, beautiful little bundle Shock and disbelief That your perfect little child has been given a ‘diagnosis’ “there must be a mistake” “I’m going to go to sleep...
Fuss free gluten & dairy free

Fuss free gluten & dairy free

Anyone will tell you, making major lifestyle changes can be overwhelming at best.  So when you are trying to implement sustainable dietary change for your whole family, who all have years of ingrained habits, it is no easy feat.  How do I know?  Because I would consider myself an accidental expert in change implementation on many fronts.  More specifically, we have evolved our diet significantly with many drastic changes over the past six years. You can read our back story here!  If you are considering a gluten and dairy free lifestyle, you needn’t be overwhelmed.  You do need to be organised and you do need support!  But fear not, I am here to help set you up for success!   Check out my 5 essential ‘going gluten and dairy free’ steps below… Have a strong reason why Plan, prepare, research and record Set up your kitchen Ask for support Bulk cooking and building your stock Have a strong reason why If you have decided to make dietary or lifestyle changes, they simply don’t happen overnight.  You need to have discipline, focus and determination.  If it is an off the cuff decision or a decision that is taken lightly, I am afraid you are setting yourself up to fall. If this is for a medical reason, my strong recommendation is that you be guided by a Naturopath, Integrative Medical Practitioner, Nutritionist or other specialised health professional.  We are guided by a naturopath who is passionate about realistic and sustainable good health & nutrition. She also undertakes diagnostic testing to ensure that my son’s health is being managed thoroughly and uses that with his...