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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Heavenly Heather

Heather Haze

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Heavenly Heather

So in a difficult time for many people, around the world, I thought I would try to share more of my images that are simply about something beautiful. I hope everyone will find some peace and pleasure in these images. We all need to take good care of our mental wellbeing as well as keeping ourselves as safe as possible throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

Remember:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20secs, regularly
  • If you have symptoms, including a persistent cough or fever, self isolate at home for 14 days, along with all members of your household
  • Do not contact the NHS unless you have urgent need
  • Work from home if you can
  • Avoid non-essential contact with others. Keep 2m distance between yourself and others if you have to go out
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel at home or abroad
  • Avoid gatherings with friends or family, use other means to keep in touch
  • Be mindful of those in at-risk categories, including the over 70’s and those with underlying health conditions

For at-risk groups this is a very difficult time indeed as we are being asked to stay at home, in isolation, for up to 12 weeks. If, like me, you are in this category please do try to find remote places you can get to by car for exercise and fresh air. This is really important for your mental wellbeing! I will be going to a few nature reserves and parks where I know I can distance myself from other people. Ask family, friends or neighbours if they can pick up shopping or prescriptions for you. If you live with someone who is at-risk, you are advised to self-isolate as far as possible to help protect those you live with.

If you are NOT in the at-risk category, could you perhaps offer some support to anyone local to you who is?

Take care of yourselves and those around you! We will get through this x

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ShareMondays2019 – Lazy Days

Juno

ShareMondays2019 – Lazy Days

I’ve been out of action for two weeks now and I think our Juno is as bored of it all as I am! The antibiotics did improve my throat infection and I finally have my voice back. I only started the correct treatment for the inner ear infection last Thursday though so I’m still a little bit off balance. Hopefully things will improve soon and I’ll be back out there again!

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Threshold: Also called limen. Psychology, Physiology . the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect: the threshold of consciousness; a low threshold of pain.

People often speak about having either a low or high pain threshold. I think that’s a difficult thing to quantify! My own threshold is the point at which it becomes unbearable, the point at which I break.

I’m often told that I’m brave. I don’t really feel it! Chronic illness doesn’t give you many choices. You just have to make the best of a bad situation, to find and hold onto the good and beautiful things in life.

Some years ago I made a series of self portraits when I was in a lot of pain, both physical and emotional. My Crohn’s disease had recently spread and was causing a very rare set of symptoms. I was in such agony and was having real difficulty in getting the right medical support and treatment.

It’s taken five years to finally get the complete diagnosis and a treatment plan that keeps the symptoms somewhat under control. I have Ano-genital Crohn’s with secondary psoriasis. There are only thirty cases, that know of, being treated by the specialist hospitals in London and the South East. At times I feel very isolated.

My pain threshold has been breached on far too many occasions! Thankfully the latest steroid cream has kept the wounds at a minimum and it’s been about sixth months since I last had to use any morphine.

All this is in addition to my general levels of pain from Crohn’s and Fibromyalgia. Every day feels like I’ve just been in a car crash! I couldn’t really tell you how I cope, I just don’t have any other choice.

So I just wanted to say to people that everyone has a breaking point! No one should feel like they have to put on a brave face all the time. It’s not a competition as to who can hold out the longest. If you know someone with chronic illness, let them be vulnerable, accept that their pain is real and sometimes uncontrollable. Just be there for them when you can.

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St Mark’s

St Mark's

My photo today is of a commemorative, stained-glass plaque that greets patients at my specialist hospital, St Mark’s, with a warm reminder of the hospital’s extraordinary history.

I had a clinic appointment today with my consultant and IBD Nurse Specialist. I have a pretty complicated case of systemic Crohn’s Disease! On the bright side, they were also consulting me about an installation of some of my photography when the outpatient department gets a makeover in about three months time 🙂 Great to be giving something back.

The beginnings of St Mark’s Hospital were in a small room at No 11 Aldersgate Street where, in 1835, Frederick Salmon opened ‘The Infirmary for the Relief of the Poor afflicted with Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum’.

After the number of patients trebled, Salmon moved to larger premises in Charterhouse Square. From there a site in City Road was purchased and was opened on St Mark’s Day, 25 April 1854, and took the name of St Mark’s Hospital for Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum.

One famous benefactor was Charles Dickens, who blamed his need for Salmon’s surgical attentions on ‘too much sitting at my desk’! St Mark’s was unique in not employing a physician until 1948. That all changed with the arrival of Francis Avery-Jones, “the father of British gastroenterology”.

The hospital expanded as much as it could at the City Road site until in 1995 it became a part of the North West London NHS trust and moved to the same site as Northwick Park Hospital (Harrow). The hospital maintains strong teaching ties with Imperial College School of Medicine.

St Mark’s is the only hospital in the world to specialise entirely in intestinal and colorectal medicine and is a national and international referral centre for intestinal and colorectal disorders. It prides itself on a multidisciplinary approach to individual patients and combines both medical and surgical expertise with specialist nursing and paramedical skills.

I might not be here now if it hadn’t been for the research and skills of St Mark’s medical staff! Not all research, education, training and other vital developments are paid for by the NHS so St Marks still relies on charitable funds generated by The St Mark’s Hospital Foundation.

Please visit the St Mark’s Hospital and Foundation websites, as well as Crohn’s and Colitis UK, for more information.