I started this blog back in 2008 while at University in Winchester as a way to get things off my chest, thrash out problems, make sense of situations which I was struggling with and also to record the good times. This is a place for me to unload, a place for people to learn and gain an insight into what it’s like to live with an unpredictable chronic health condition and for others to read and know they are not alone. There will also be posts about opportunities that have come my way which had I not been unwell I would never have considered. I believe that by taking a step back and seeing if you can view your situation from a different perspective you can change your attitude to illness. This happened to me and I want to tell everyone about it!
I’ve had severe asthma most of my life although now in my thirties it has progressively become more difficult to manage, to the point I’ve had to stop working clinically and give up playing all sport. I’m a qualified staff nurse and worked in a renal unit which I loved. I also used to play lacrosse but now I coach and support Scottish lacrosse teams and players from the sidelines. As a volunteer at Lacrosse Scotland, I get involved in various roles – coaching, team management, child protection– I love lacrosse.
I’ve been very lucky as many opportunities have come my way as a result of my blog and awareness work I’ve done. Research is a big part of my life now. While I’m not a participant in research, I’m involved in research by helping to advise academics on study areas and study design for their research. I also help review documents for studies that are given to patients to make sure they can be understood. The main groups I’m involved in are:
- Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead at Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research
- SPEAK Asthma (Children & Young Persons Group AUKCAR) co-facilitator
- Astra Zeneca Patient Partnership Program
- TEVA LifeEffects contributor
- Patient Engagement Group member Chief Scientist Office Scotland
- Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility Patient Advisory Group
- Intensive Care PPI Group Edinburgh
- Asthma UK Research and Policy Volunteer
I love being involved in research and regularly volunteer to speak on PPI courses for researchers, or present at conferences.
There are other groups I’m involved in as well. I also write for various different health companies, advocate for asthma, chronic illness and young people.
If you have any questions please message me. Contact details are on the contact page!