Simone DM

@chronically_inspired | contributor
I am an M.E. and lyme warrior living in the UK. I campaign to raise awareness of these conditions and write stories from my bed. I think it’s important for sufferers to realize that they are more than their condition. I love to travel and learn about different languages and cultures. My favourite snack is turmeric tea and cashew butter.
Community Voices

8 Treatment Hacks for People With Migraine and ME/CFS

One of my worst symptoms having ME/Lyme disease has been horrific migraines; everything from aching in the temples and burning pain in the base of my skull to throbbing in the crown of my head that made me black out when I stood up. It’s been a long journey of experimenting with different treatments, which was made all the more challenging by the fact that migraines attributed to ME do not respond to normal migraine medication. I’m eager to share some ways I’ve found relief from migraines with CFS/ME, in the hope that it might help someone reading this. 1) Sleep/Rest. Sometimes simply sleeping it off is what is needed. 2) Meditation and Relaxation. If you are unable to fall asleep, meditation and visualization or any relaxation techniques that promote complete mental rest can work just as well, if not better. Research secondary suffering, where your pain is exacerbated by your emotional distress; calming this can release tension in your head. 3) Movement. It sometimes seems like my head is congested, and going for a slow walk or doing some gentle stretching that helps circulate the blood and lymph around the body can help a lot. Drinking lots of water and other detox methods may help too. 4) Epsom Salts. The magnesium in Epsom salts transcends the blood-brain barrier and has an immediate anesthetic effect that I find as good as any painkiller. A hot bath also stimulates circulation. 5) Acupressure Cushion and Mat I use Shakti Mat but Prana Mat is another good brand. These are useful tools in helping release tension from the head by stimulating certain acupressure points as well as circulation. 6) The Perrin Technique The Perrin Technique is a lymphatic drainage technique developed by Dr. Raymond Perrin. I’ve been doing this treatment with an osteopath and it’s been a game changer; my migraines are now much less frequent and severe. The treatment involves craniosacral therapy and self-massage. If you can’t afford or are not near a Perrin practitioner, you can still try the self-massage for free, just follow this YouTube video. 7) Bender Ball My osteopath suggested that I use a semi-deflated Pilates ball, which relieves the tension from your neck and lets your head float weightlessly. This also helps release tension and encourages blood flow. 8) Painkillers and/or Migraine Medications. Yes, there is a place for pharmaceuticals here, but I would always use them as a last resort after exhausting all other options. Good luck; hope this helps!

Community Voices

9 Tips for Cooking With Chronic Illness or Disability

Since being able to cook again for the past couple of years, I’ve been learning how to navigate the kitchen as someone with a chronic illness that causes limited strength and energy. It’s been a trial-and-error process, but I’d like to share some things that have made my life easier. This advice is for any spoonies out there or anyone who wants to save time and work when cooking. 1. Keep cooking with a chronic illness simple. Look for recipes with few ingredients, as long ingredient lists are hard to source, and many elements take time to prepare. Read the method in advance, check that there are not too many labor-intensive stages, and/or look for ways you can cut corners. Also, you don’t always need to cook a gourmet meal to make it healthy. Sometimes a simple baked potato or a bowl of soup will do the trick. Healthy Living James shares a lot of great tasty and accessible recipes on his Instagram page and in his new cookbook. 2. Cook using packet mixes and meal kits. If I’m not up to cooking something from scratch, I have some packet mixes in the cupboard for making free from bakes, pancakes, veggie burgers, nut roasts + falafel. Some of my favorite U.K. brands are Free and Easy Foods and Artisan Grains. I’ve also found meal kits delivered to your door like Hello Fresh and Gousto Box make your life easier by providing all the ingredients already measured out. Spice mixes are also a great way to add some flavor to any dish and try out a new cuisine from home. You can be transported to the Mediterranean, Morocco, or India! 3. Use kitchen gadgets to make cooking with chronic illness easier. I use a kitchen stool to conserve my energy, a microwave, dishwasher, food processor, a powerful Nutribullet blender, and a handheld mixer that I’d like to replace with the Ninja Kitchen chopper that Deliciously Ella uses for chopping and making dips. On my wish list is a slow cooker, which you can leave all day to do its magic. The Magimix Cook Expert available in the U.K. sounds pretty awesome too. When baking, I’ve found an ice cream scoop useful for measuring out the mixture for healthy muffins and cookies. And get a digital scale – just in case you happen to have the old-fashioned kind with weights, don’t do it to yourself! 4. One pot cooking can help reduce chronic illness fatigue. This is so much easier than having a lot of different elements on the go. I use a large, shallow casserole dish on the hob or make a whole meal in a roasting tin (check out The Roasting Tin cookbooks by Rukmini Iyer for ideas). 5. Batch cook so you don’t have to prepare meals as often. If you can, always make extra so you can have the leftovers for lunch/dinner the next day or freeze portions for days you aren’t up to cooking. My favorite batch breakfast is overnight oats which keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. 6. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables to save time and energy. This is so useful as you can chuck a handful of broccoli florets in your stir fry and save yourself lots of chopping up, or frozen raspberries to your oatmeal, smoothies, and juices (I’ve been using a green smoothie mix lately too). Tinned or jarred fruit and vegetables or freeze-dried fruit are good backups in case you are ever stuck for anything fresh. 7. Buy sharp knives and lightweight cooking implements. Be careful, but these can save work by making chopping and peeling much easier. Lightweight pans and mixing bowls, etc. are also much easier to lift. Try to reuse bowls, chopping boards, and implements if you can to minimize washing up! 8. Minimize distractions while cooking with chronic illness. Brain fog can make it difficult to concentrate, so make sure you have the kitchen to yourself and don’t try to multitask (maybe leave your phone in the other room) while following a recipe. I love singing along to music as I cook, but I tend to save this for recipes I know by heart. 9. Lastly, learn from your mistakes. Mine was attempting to cut through a turnip, never again! And have fun! I find frying onions and melting chocolate very therapeutic! Check out my Instagram page Healing Simone for healthy, clean recipes.

How TV Makes the World More Accessible to People With Chronic Illness

I’m going to say something that might be controversial… I don’t think watching TV is really so bad for us! I’ve discovered so much about the world from watching documentaries on travel, nature, history, the arts, and social issues, been cheered up by comedy shows, and gained tips on love and relationships from reality TV shows. Though I don’t personally recommend watching too much news content due to its effect on the nervous system! The TV screen has been a lifeline when I was too ill to leave my bed or my home. I love immersing myself in a storyline and becoming attached to the characters and their lives. It’s also made me feel included in world events like concerts, festivals, and political demonstrations I would have liked to attend. Without a doubt, TV makes the world more accessible for disabled, chronically ill and mentally ill people, and the elderly. Not to mention it helps visual learners who learn best from video plus audio. Granted, no one feels great after a junk TV binge, but if your daily activities are interspersed with an hour or two of TV, like getting stuck in a good film, I honestly don’t see the problem. I know we were brought up to think we would get “square eyes” and indeed too much screen time is a problem today, but our phones and computers are to blame for that too. It’s all about learning to be mindful of your use of screens and stopping before you overdo it. Easier said than done, I know! But if you remember to take a break, to move your body and reconnect with nature or a good book, have a conversation with a friend or a hot bath, a little TV can nourish you in a different way. It would be unrealistic for us to strive not to use technology at all in this day and age. It’s all about finding balance. If you can make screen time a part of your life without letting it dominate your life (e.g. turn off notifications, keep your phone on silent, and don’t let checking your phone be the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep) then you’re winning.

Community Voices

New Story "The Great Teacher that is Chronic Illness"

tinyurl.com/mr2fdf63

Please read & share! <3 #chronicillness="" #myalgicencephalomyelitis="" #chronicfatiguesyndrome="" #lymedisease=""

Community Voices
Community Voices

New Story "The Great Teacher that is Chronic Illness"

tinyurl.com/mr2fdf63

Please read & share! <3 #chronicillness="" #chronicpain="" #chronicfatiguesyndrome="" #lymedisease=""

Community Voices