Well today I have an alert that it’s my four year blog anniversary. It is also the end of the month, which is my usual routine for a new post. However, I really feel too ill to be blogging today. My aching-all-over-pain is intense and my headache increases with concentration.
This feels similar to having a wedding anniversary when you’ve just had a massive row.
Thinking back over the last 4 years my posts have been eclectic, reflecting my chronic illness journey and changing interests. Perhaps you’d like to read some of my previous posts? In other words, this is one of those crappy end-of-series Have I Got News for You style compilations!
Links to other posts appear as blue text.
My concern when I initially started this blog was that alternative health resources could be genuinely useful but they could also be exploitatively expensive or pseudoscience. I had the idea of being an Accepting Sceptic. I shared relaxation and alternative techniques for free. For example, posts about sleep and the relaxation resources mentioned here
Then I had a phase of being interested in Modern Stoicism as practical wisdom for chronic illness adversity see here
Next I tried heart rate monitoring as a way to manage ME and instead found out I have POTS.
On the back of this, I became interested in a quantified self, citizen science approach to managing chronic illness and wrote up my experiences of Mendus. A post on home hacking blood glucose got me invited to present at the Quantified Self conference (but I was of course too ill to attend).
Writing about different models of disability and how this relates to chronic illness led me to a part time job as a researcher on the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project at the Centre for Welfare Reform. We are just about to start the qualitative research stage of the project, which is certainly challenging at my level of (ill)health but a very pleasantly surprising outcome from this blog.
You can also get a sense of my journey into ME advocacy here. Initially just writing ME Awareness Day posts from my perspective, then over the last couple of years being involved in organising stopGET and NICE feedback as a ME Action volunteer.
My posts vary a lot on the spectrum of very superficial (makeup and hair tips ) to questioning knowledge itself (such as in the Epistemological Crisis post or Is CFS real? ). This does reflect me. I distract myself from philosophical bed meditations, and the seriousness of chronic illness disability advocacy, by thinking about vintage style and interior design. Some posts have had a positive tone and others, such as Paralysis and PACE and Learning how to die, have been hard hitting. I am usually cheerful, but I also place a value on emotional honesty, and sometimes chronic illness is just gruelling.
There are posts which are very brief resource posts and others could be edited into a book (such as my 10 insights on life post). A few I have no idea how I had the cognitive clarity to write (such as tips on walking problems in ME). When I started the blog I intended to write in brief to be more accessible. I haven’t stuck to this, sorry.
Anyway, I hope this hasn’t aggravated you in the way that my partner and I shout at the TV when we realise that a new episode is actually a compilation of scenes from other episodes!
Do you have a favourite Tips for ME post? Or maybe you hate it when I write about certain topics?!