The Side Effects of Chronic Pain Nobody talks about

Spot on

A Scottish Journey with Chronic pain

It’s normal to talk about the side effects that everyone can see, but what about the side effects that aren’t seen. The ones nobody dare ask because they are afraid of the answer (and then wish they hadn’t asked the question).

Chronic Pain is an invisible illness and this means hidden side effects.

Firstly, and sometimes obviously, is weight gain and loss. I’ve not met or spoken to one person with a chronic illness who’s happy with their weight. Let’s face it none of us really are happy with our weight, but having all these medications just to be able to survive one day takes a toll on your weight. Be it steroids, nerve pain drugs or even opioids, prolonged use has a big effect. But because of our illness’ exercise barely exists, because let’s face it, if you can get or out of bed one morning you’ve basically…

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A Wife or a Burden?

A Scottish Journey with Chronic pain

My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. I married by best friend, and now I have him, my husband, by my side every day.

The happiest day of my life (photo credit to AmaraRitchie Photography)
But only 3 months after our wedding day, both our lives changed. It’s not the life I had planned and it’s not the life I had wanted for us both. I had plans, we had plans.

Every day the one constant person in my life has to deal with me. The pain me. The moody me. The exhausted me. The new me.

I had never dreamed that my husband would be the person to pick me up off the floor, help me off the toilet, help me get dressed and be the only person to keep me motivated to carry on when the day is too much to cope with.

What happened…

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In the land of the blind.

Wonderfully written

White Padded Room

I wonder how the world would be
If every soul was as tired as me.

What would happen if later today
Everyone’s life force faded away?

Would there still be traffic on the street?
Would people go outside to meet?

Grocery stores shelves with nothing to hold,
As the big trucks are abandoned at the side of the road.

Would our workers and leaders, with lives to run,
Just hide in the shadows, out of the sun?

Without the drive to maintain, to take care,
Highrises and buildings now disrepair.

Science and progress screech to a halt
Our medical system, being at fault
Have no more practitioners worth their salt.

Everyone now is fast asleep
As animals, forests and trees now creep
Over the land and the lives that we keep.

Some people will try to fight, to defend
But with a tired aching body unwilling to bend

A whole…

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Karina Hansen 6: THE HOMECOMING



On Monday 17 October 2016, after three and a half years of incarceration, Karina finally returned home to her family. The arrangement was on a trial basis but in the hope and expectation that she would be finally and permanently back where she belongs.

In recent weeks, Karina’s condition had improved slightly and her parents were able to visit her on a regular basis (more detail in my previous post). As a result, meetings took place between those in charge of the Clinic at Hammel where she had been an inmate since February 2013 (see Karina’s Story below for background) and representatives of Karina’s family. An arrangement for Karina’s return home was agreed whereby her parents would take her home within the next few days and she would remain there for a trial period. If all went well…

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Tilt table, echo, cardiology & probably #POTS..Y!


So yesterday saw me back in our local cardiology department to undergo investigations for my funny turns & faints – the symptoms of a malfunctioning nervous system, common with EDS.  I was inexplicably nervous – particularly when I think about some of the major operations I have had over the years.  Maybe it was the thought of having my symptoms induced or worrying that the tests might be negative and I might have to start convincing everyone that I’m not imagining my symptoms.


Anyway we arrived at lunchtime, me having starved for the obligatory number of hours, and the first test was an echo ultrasound of my heart.  The first thing to establish was whether my scs would interfere with the scan as it did with the 12 lead ECG on my last visit.  I perhaps should have been more concerned about my joints as I managed to pop my…

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Being visible – Hate crimes and invisible disabilities 

The Amazing Adventures of Stick Girl

My invisible illness became visible when I started using my walking stick and I still might not “look sick” but there’s something there that makes people stop and think. To ask why I use it, to move out of my way in the street, open doors and help me carry things. I’ve found people to be really friendly since I became visible, which isn’t the case for everyone. Is this down to my attitude towards it, or the people I meet? I’m not too sure, all I know is I get lots of smiles, offers of help and sort of special treatment when people can see that I’m visibly struggling with things. Now I’m not sure how I feel about this, coming from a highly independent woman’s viewpoint, in theory I want to be treated equally, to have the same opportunities and support because of me rather than because people…

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Laugh with Ads That “Get” Disabilities

The MS Wire

[This post first appeared as one of my columns on]

You don’t see people with disabilities very often in TV ads.  And when you do, the person with the handicap is usually playing a secondary role, or the ad uses the disabled person for an emotional appeal.  It’s not real-life.  It’s not us.

So, a tip of my hat to the candy company Mars Chocolate UK for producing some ads for its Maltesers candy that “get” us gimps.  (And thanks to blogger Maayan Ziv for highlighting them in her blog on The ads had me laughing out loud while making the point that a disability doesn’t, necessarily, disable a sense of humor.   WARNING: The first of these videos is a little, shall we say, “suggestive.” Also, if you’re not a speaker of the Queen’s English you may have to watch and listen twice to capture it…

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Living while waiting instead of waiting to live

I also fall into this trap frequently and have to keep yanking myself out of it again. I am living more now I am disabled though than when I was trapped in the rat race. That can do the same thing to your soul.

The Disabled Diva Blog

Living while waiting instead of waiting to live


Have you put your life on hold as you wait for a cure or relief?  Are you hesitant to make plans because you aren’t sure of how you will be feeling physically?  Not only have I done that very thing, but am currently fighting the urge to do it again.

Long ago when pain first consumed my body, I put my life on hold while I waited for a diagnosis.  Instead of making plans I would lie in bed crying because I didn’t know what was causing my body to hurt so much.  I was afraid of doing anything because I never knew what would cause my pain level to spike.  This continued even after I received my diagnoses of Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, and Psoriatic Arthritis.  In the beginning my doctors insisted that they would be able…

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