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04

Jan

Over the River and through the Woods…
In keeping with two of my New Years Resolutions, this secret little spot in Trinidad not only allowed me to find a little piece of peace on Earth (and within myself)… but gave me the huge opportunity to thank God for a ‘good day’, something I’m sure all you pain and illness sufferers will understand. 
How blessed we are, eh? xx

Over the River and through the Woods…

In keeping with two of my New Years Resolutions, this secret little spot in Trinidad not only allowed me to find a little piece of peace on Earth (and within myself)… but gave me the huge opportunity to thank God for a ‘good day’, something I’m sure all you pain and illness sufferers will understand. 

How blessed we are, eh? xx

29

Oct

Ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges…
It’s hard not to at some point reflect on the identity changes that have come as sickness has ebbed its way through my body only to (seemingly? thankfully!) have recovery crack its way back in. 
If your medical ups and downs have gone anything like mine, there’s absolutely no way that emotions can possibly follow along the simple lines of sad, angry, mad, relieved, etc.
Oh absolutely not!
In so much that our illnesses are complicated, so - very, very much! - are we. And through all of the ups and downs, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve proudly shed my former self to become someone much, much stronger and far more resilient. And it doesn’t stop there! I’m more aware than ever - not just of myself but more importantly of others. I feel sharper thanks to mindfulness. And so thankful. So very, very thankful.
It’s kinda ironic isn’t it? I should be disabled. I suppose I technically could be disabled. Yet, instead I’ve never felt more able in my entire life. I suppose that’s hope & faith for you. :)
SO! How did this metamorphosis come about? What have my feelings been? I certainly didn’t start off feeling able, that’s for sure! In fact, I won’t even pretend that - as is the case with most ‘normal people’, let alone those facing an illness - I don’t still have my fair share of down days. 
I’ll just go ahead and write how I’ve felt. Let me know if you’ve felt the same way too…
There’s sudden confusion. Perhaps even grief. We lose ourselves. Then find a strength unfathomable only days, weeks, months earlier. We lose it once more. Rage sets in. We’re stronger than that so we quickly push it down. The strength is back so we ride a wave of it. Relief comes. Perhaps recovery for a while. Then crushing pain. And with it isolation. Crushing isolation. “Just breathe,” “Be strong,” “You’ll get through this”. After hearing every single (shitty) soothing cliche in the book, the crushing isolation only gets worse. All they make you feel is that you should be able to beat this. Wait, I can beat this, right?!? Then: where is everyone? Why can’t they do anything? Seriously. Where is everyone? Don’t they understand? Loneliness. It’s not the right word. We reach depths that just can’t possibly be described by a word also used by singletons home alone on a Saturday night. Mind-blowing despair and isolation. No one understands. You don’t want to be a bother. You keep it to yourself the best that you can.
Then suddenly something bizarre. It seems that those clichés have become clichés for a reason. And after hearing them from every person ever… something sets in. Your soul is stirred (perhaps even subconsciously). It’s magical and it’s pretty fabulous. Hope. Faith. It’s back! A tingling of strength. A positive thought. You laugh at a joke. That’s huuuge! No one may notice, but you’re on the right track. Before you know it, the positivity is back. As is that inner strength. You’re a pillar. A rock. You’ve shed your skin. You’re back and better than ever. 
It’ll happen… you just watch… 
- Danielle xx

Ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges…

It’s hard not to at some point reflect on the identity changes that have come as sickness has ebbed its way through my body only to (seemingly? thankfully!) have recovery crack its way back in. 

If your medical ups and downs have gone anything like mine, there’s absolutely no way that emotions can possibly follow along the simple lines of sad, angry, mad, relieved, etc.

Oh absolutely not!

In so much that our illnesses are complicated, so - very, very much! - are we. And through all of the ups and downs, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve proudly shed my former self to become someone much, much stronger and far more resilient. And it doesn’t stop there! I’m more aware than ever - not just of myself but more importantly of others. I feel sharper thanks to mindfulness. And so thankful. So very, very thankful.

It’s kinda ironic isn’t it? I should be disabled. I suppose I technically could be disabled. Yet, instead I’ve never felt more able in my entire life. I suppose that’s hope & faith for you. :)

SO! How did this metamorphosis come about? What have my feelings been? I certainly didn’t start off feeling able, that’s for sure! In fact, I won’t even pretend that - as is the case with most ‘normal people’, let alone those facing an illness - I don’t still have my fair share of down days. 

I’ll just go ahead and write how I’ve felt. Let me know if you’ve felt the same way too…

There’s sudden confusion. Perhaps even grief. We lose ourselves. Then find a strength unfathomable only days, weeks, months earlier. We lose it once more. Rage sets in. We’re stronger than that so we quickly push it down. The strength is back so we ride a wave of it. Relief comes. Perhaps recovery for a while. Then crushing pain. And with it isolation. Crushing isolation. “Just breathe,” “Be strong,” “You’ll get through this”. After hearing every single (shitty) soothing cliche in the book, the crushing isolation only gets worse. All they make you feel is that you should be able to beat this. Wait, I can beat this, right?!? Then: where is everyone? Why can’t they do anything? Seriously. Where is everyone? Don’t they understand? Loneliness. It’s not the right word. We reach depths that just can’t possibly be described by a word also used by singletons home alone on a Saturday night. Mind-blowing despair and isolation. No one understands. You don’t want to be a bother. You keep it to yourself the best that you can.

Then suddenly something bizarre. It seems that those clichés have become clichés for a reason. And after hearing them from every person ever… something sets in. Your soul is stirred (perhaps even subconsciously). It’s magical and it’s pretty fabulous. Hope. Faith. It’s back! A tingling of strength. A positive thought. You laugh at a joke. That’s huuuge! No one may notice, but you’re on the right track. Before you know it, the positivity is back. As is that inner strength. You’re a pillar. A rock. You’ve shed your skin. You’re back and better than ever. 

It’ll happen… you just watch… 

- Danielle xx

25

Oct

Just Spotted…
This welcome little memo symbolizes to me that life is precious, and puts into words almost perfectly the slower pace we live at in my precious Trinidad & Tobago (ps: if you’re into surfing/fishing check out Josh’s latest YouTube video for a visual slice of our island life.) 
In fact, I had to pinch myself - albeit very, very, very softly… - as a reminder that I had instead spotted these incredibly wise words on the menu cover at Chicago’s Park Hyatt. 
Both science and alternative treatment sources these days will agree that stress has the potential to increase pain and bring about sickness. Whether causing fatigue, chronic pain & headaches, anxiety, or memory loss - the effects of stress (with this list showing very few of the symptoms) can be devastating. 
So…
Let this little reminder allow you to take pause. STOP! Think of what’s important. Clear the clutter. LIVE MINDFULLY! 
And when you have a second, read my girl Jordan Reid’s post on Savoring the Moment over at Ramshackle Glam. As she is, it’s pretty wonderful. As she says, “That’s An Order”.

Just Spotted…

This welcome little memo symbolizes to me that life is precious, and puts into words almost perfectly the slower pace we live at in my precious Trinidad & Tobago (ps: if you’re into surfing/fishing check out Josh’s latest YouTube video for a visual slice of our island life.)

In fact, I had to pinch myself - albeit very, very, very softly… - as a reminder that I had instead spotted these incredibly wise words on the menu cover at Chicago’s Park Hyatt. 

Both science and alternative treatment sources these days will agree that stress has the potential to increase pain and bring about sickness. Whether causing fatigue, chronic pain & headaches, anxiety, or memory loss - the effects of stress (with this list showing very few of the symptoms) can be devastating. 

So…

Let this little reminder allow you to take pause. STOP! Think of what’s important. Clear the clutter. LIVE MINDFULLY! 

And when you have a second, read my girl Jordan Reid’s post on Savoring the Moment over at Ramshackle Glam. As she is, it’s pretty wonderful. As she says, “That’s An Order”.

26

Aug

The above inspirational image + my water-baby life as a Trini together = the perfect metaphor for my life as a ‘patient' (so weird!) actively attempting to live positively despite extreme chronic pain & a diagnosis of the debilitating neurological condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS/RSD)

I’m not currently at home (I’m up in the States again for the ketamine infusion treatment, remember?), but I sure am longing for it! As today is Sunday, a day in Trinidad & Tobago that usually revolves around the water, often spent lapping up sunshine at the beach or out on a boat… Help me get over my (understandable) homesickness as we go ahead and take my metaphor quite literally…

Ps: All photos were taken post-accident, hence, post-diagnosis. So, I’m sure that many of my fellow CRPS/RSD sufferers will understand that due to the disease’s tortuous symptoms I’d rather stay curled up on a heating pad in bed, making it somewhat difficult to get me out of the house. Roadblock? Yikes! It would seem so, huh?

It’s unfair, difficult, and ridiculously bloody painful on top of what we already feel - but if you’re a CRPS/RSD sufferer looking for relief (like me!) studies have shown that continued long term exercise & involvement may just be the ticket (click here to find out why). If getting up and out of my bed is a crucial and distinct part of my healing process, I’m definitely gonna try my best to make it work - needing major inspiration along the way, of course… 

*SO: LET THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS STAND AS A TESTAMENT TO THE FACT THAT PERHAPS THE OUTDOORS AREN’T OH-SO-TERRIBLE, BUT MAYBE ARE PRETTY GREAT AFTER ALL :)

Don’t leave me hanging though! If I can sometimes brave it, then you can too!

(So long as your healthcare professional agrees of course…)

We found this poor little baby leatherback turtle completely by chance in a nest that had been smashed in by hunters. He was totally crusted over by sand and on the verge of suffocation - however with a little love and care, he bounced right back and was able to be released. Keep your eyes open, it’s not necessarily always people who inspire!

(If you’re on the home page, click below to continue reading!)

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17

Aug

The One in Which My CRPS/RSD Riddled Body Braves the Ocean & an Octopus (eek!)
**I have to apologise for my absence lately, but I’ve been having an incredibly hard time both physically & emotionally with this disease, making it hard for me to write. 
I don’t want to spoil this post by blubbering, but I do plan to post more soon - including more about what I’m going through. 
CRPS/RSD sure is a toughie, and so it means the world to me that you’re weathering this storm with me :) 

The One in Which My CRPS/RSD Riddled Body Braves the Ocean & an Octopus (eek!)

**I have to apologise for my absence lately, but I’ve been having an incredibly hard time both physically & emotionally with this disease, making it hard for me to write.

I don’t want to spoil this post by blubbering, but I do plan to post more soon - including more about what I’m going through.

CRPS/RSD sure is a toughie, and so it means the world to me that you’re weathering this storm with me :) 

11

May

Happy Feet Floating. :) 
STOP: Then take the time to remember what’s important…

Happy Feet Floating. :) 

STOP: Then take the time to remember what’s important…


22

Mar

Happy Feet go Swimming! x
* Swim took place at the gorgeous Pigeon Point Beach, Trinidad & Tobago
** Big thanks to Jordan Reid at Ramshackle Glam for the underwater camera! 
RELATED POSTS:
- Happy Feet at Home!
- Happy Feet in the Pacific
- Not so Happy Feet: A Pop of Colour, by CRPS/RSD

Happy Feet go Swimming! x

* Swim took place at the gorgeous Pigeon Point Beach, Trinidad & Tobago

** Big thanks to Jordan Reid at Ramshackle Glam for the underwater camera! 

RELATED POSTS:

Happy Feet at Home!

Happy Feet in the Pacific

Not so Happy Feet: A Pop of Colour, by CRPS/RSD

20

Mar

Sweet, Sweet Tobago Healing…

Check out the picture below… Am I blessed girl or what? After taking a crack-of-dawn ferry from Trinidad to our sister island of Tobago yesterday morning, I was rewarded with that absolutely incredible sunset view last night. Amazing, eh?

(Read more after the jump…)

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11

Mar

Happy Feet at Home! The water hurt, but boy was it worth it! x
* Home specifically being Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago. 
RELATED POSTS:
- Happy Feet à Paris
- Happy Feet in the Pacific
- Not so Happy Feet: A Pop of Colour, by CRPS/RSD

Happy Feet at Home! The water hurt, but boy was it worth it! x

* Home specifically being Maracas Beach, Trinidad & Tobago. 

RELATED POSTS:

- Happy Feet à Paris

- Happy Feet in the Pacific

- Not so Happy Feet: A Pop of Colour, by CRPS/RSD