Part 2 – The Healing Journey With FND……..

Back on June 26, I told of my introduction to the invisible illness, known as ‘Functional Neurological Disorder’ with “Once Upon A Time….Living With Invisible Illness”.

Once Upon A Time…..Living With A Body Filled With Invisible Illness. – A Barefoot Goddess On A Journey
https://abarefootgoddessonajourney.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/once-upon-a-time-living-with-a-body-filled-with-invisible-illness/


They were dark times…….many days filled with limb spasms, seizures, falls, lots of falls caused by chronic balance issues. Living with symptoms such as these, left me mentally, physically and emotionally drained and it seemed like no one understood. But, it really broke me when the paralysis down my right side occurred……I had to rely totally on those closest to me. Using cutlery was out, I had forgotten how to do my shoelaces up, my walking gait was non existent if I wanted to stay upright, but what made it worst, was that I could no longer crochet. Crochet was my thing….as it was something I could do…..when I couldn’t do anything at all, so not even being able to do that was like a nuclear bomb had gone off.

How was I going to get better…..how could I heal from this, those were my thoughts, constantly.

As, I had mentioned in my previous blog…..I was discharged from hospital with numerous referrals. A couple of weeks went on, when finally I began to receive home based NeuroPhysio to begin the process of helping me learn the art of ‘functional movement’. My home based physio, was wonderful. She pushed me but only as much as I needed. Over what would be four weeks, she enabled me to be able to sit and stand from my sofa, there was still wobbles and shakes but my brain was picking up signals from the body and I was making positive progress. Walking was very difficult and prior to therapy I only had been given a walking stick, which was pretty much useless. My home based physio was able to help me get a walker. Initially I wasn’t completely in agreeable to this mobility aid….but I soon found that it was a godsend. I could use it to help me progress my sit to stand. Using it to help teach me to formulate a walking gait was brilliant. Over, I think it was six weeks, she had really assisted my confidence towards mobility. Home based was then changed to centre based NeuroPhysio. I was lucky to be able to given another therapist that knew what FND was. From day one, we formed a bond. At the Williamstown Hospital where I was having physical therapy, I also began OT (occupational therapy) and thanks to my physio, I had an excellent OT plan created, allowing me to slowly build strength in my paralysed right hand. It was slow going. Some sessions, would see me move my hand, perhaps 5 cm along the table. But that activity caused such fatigue that I would sleep for a day and a half. NeuroPhysio was able to help me again help reconnect my internal software into knowing that to step I had to lift the leg up and down……up and down, again these sessions were also slow. It’s all progress, though and I learnt that even a little is the beginning of reconnecting my brains wiring to my body’s wiring.

In addition to the physical therapy, I began seeing a neuropsychologist. Again, I was sceptical how this could assist but as time went on, I began to learn that it was a spiralling of many things across my entire life that had caused my software malfunction. I had to work through the abuse that I had endured as a child and teenager as well as the many years living with the chronic combination of illnesses. I began to find that as my mind was being able to be cleansed of all the dark clutter that I had chosen to lock inside me, my body also was able to be cleansed. This psych work was working alongside the physical therapy.

I continue to use the physical therapies with the therapy to help the mental trauma, so that I can perhaps live the life that I most love. You see due to extreme fatigue and still requiring the walking frame for mobility when out n about I can’t work a ‘normal’ 40 hour job. I spend everyday working on healing, with the therapies that I’ve spoken about as well as using an adaptive yoga and meditation. I am also a vegan and I truly believe all my healing modalities are helping me to progress to those dreams and goals of living the life that I love. 

Although I cannot work a normal job, I now act as a advocate and speaker for invisible illnesses. Each day, I get stronger I seek to add more objectives and goals for raising awareness, support and research for illnesses, such as FND. If you’ve been following me, you would have noticed that I am creating a ongoing campaign known as #lightingtheflame for #invisibleillness that works on shining a light on all unseen health conditions. My other campaign is #standingup4FND and that is fully focused on functional neurological disorder and will be linked to my future documentary and book.

Functional Neurological Disorder is an ongoing battle to overcome, as the symptoms flow in and out without any notice. Some symptoms can be lived with, others leave me severely impaired. This disorder, is a illness that very few know about and that includes the specialist medical fraternity. For I and many others across my country of Australia and many other countries worldwide to progress with our healing we need much needed awareness, support and so much more research.


If my story has helped you to understand the FND, please like and share this blog, or alternatively connect with me on social media at;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

I want us all to be able to walk together, so let’s bring a wave of kindness to stamp out the stigma that exists currently with regard to all invisible illness.
Much love 
TBG 💋

Choosing Me, Chooses Health & Life….❤️

Today, I felt compelled to fully commit to the world that I have gone without the feelings of being sassy and soulful for so long. BUT, I can tell you that falling down hard at the beginning of this year was the catalyst of me taking true authentic and very vulnerable action towards truly healing and becoming me and oh gosh I am again believing in myself and beginning to breathe so much sass and soul for my health and my life. I am now free to empower wisdom on why choosing ME allows true healing and a life to love. ❤️ 


I hope, that if you are seeing and hearing this message today you may be inspired and empowered to take action on yourself  finding a life to love.

Connect here or on one of my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Snapchat me 👻@simply_lisaraie 👻

“Wandering Towards Wellness”

I Am My Power, NOT My Chronic Illnesses…..    

Living with multiple chronic illnesses is hard – NO, WAIT ITS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE AT TIMES!!!!!
This week, if you’ve been following my journey, you would of seen it’s been immensely difficult. Getting to the end of this week and knowing I didn’t want to spiral any further down the gurgling dark hole again – I knew that I needed to shift the energy caused by my chronic health battle. I needed to make things happen, rather than just evolving by letting them happen repeatedly. I’ve come to learn that I am more than these illnesses that crush my existence, so that’s just what I did. I realised, I could own my power.

What do I mean, that I could own my power? Well for me, the new inner power came because I allowed thoughts of being supported by myself, for myself. Finding my own power has allowed me to release and truly let the magic replace the irritating experiences of darkness. I’m not saying, that I’ve removed the chronic pain and illness flares that build up inside my body, no not at all- but what I’ve found is by giving myself back the power- I can be in charge of what happens, in these times and not my health complexities.

  • These last two days, having this newly understood power feels wonderful and I want to be able to have these feelings stay with me, as I wander towards wellness and a life that is loved. So, let me give you my thoughts on how I’ve found my power and how I will keep it shining through in each day.
  • For way to long, I’ve had to wander around and around within my chronic illnesses, at times feeling like I am a tangled ball of yarn. My illnesses have controlled everything past, present and everything in between, leaving me unable to breathe my positive thoughts on life as I wanted it to be. Through these thoughts, negative consciousness connects and all of a sudden life becomes dark. These thoughts and the situations become reoccurring patterns of behaviour and soon enough the power is lost. Thinking about this as the last week kept disappearing into the darkened mist, I knew that I didn’t want to become tangled up inside my illnesses anymore. What I’ve found is that I’ve had this power all the time and it’s just about unleashing it when times get tough and it all revolves around changing my thoughts and releasing the pain to allow space for fresh breath and the magic of new experiences and opportunities to connect in me.
  • Living with these illnesses like I do, causes me to withdraw into myself. I can tell you, when I let myself withdraw further and further within, my head begins to play crazy tricks on every level of my life. So, the power begins by focusing on the positive and healthy path that I wander. At times of chronic flares and when it all looks like disaster, I need to find a way to clear some of the messy clutter from my head, allowing my brain much needed space to regather, recharge and renew the journey of life for me to wander.
  • The messy clutter occurs because of the negative thoughts and experiences that chronic illness causes to every aspect of life. There are instances within my journey of health challenges and lifestyle battles that I know cause me to breakdown. Once, I breakdown, so do the illnesses that lay inside me. I know now, to stay in my own power I need to remove that negative clutter that reoccurs far to often. I need to allow myself space within myself so that when I need to stop and rest I can do just that. This will allow myself to journey forward with the positive vibration that I absolutely love to feel.

It is amazing what I’ve learnt in just two days about being in my own power. It has actually allowed me to believe in myself more, than ever before. This has all happened because of the power of journaling and sharing my experiences through this blog. You see, as I was journaling my thoughts and feelings, prior to translating it into that last blog I was finding myself more open to the idea that i can have, be AND do whatever it is that want, despite the nastiness of the illnesses that I live with. By journaling my thoughts, feelings and emotions outwardly I create so much more space, to concentrate on the positive mindset and visual purpose of life. Journaling and blogging has given me the independence and the confidence to talk outwardly about my pain, my sadness, allowing me to release and let go of all the unwanted mess that would otherwise remain locked inside of me. Having this power now on the outside, I can concentrate on controlling the innermost movements using mindfulness with my beloved yoga and meditation that somehow got lost in the journey with darkness. I’m back in a place where I can visualise life being as I want it, not as it feels in my body during the chronic pain experiences. Now is the time to take my power to the new levels helping others that maybe feeling the same. I’m going to write and write and when I need to stop and rest I will write some more because it’s going to allow me to breathe in the bliss that’s required to owning our own dreams and lives. When I can do that, it is possible to dissolve the challenges that chronic illness brings and let’s the magic of new opportunities and experiences to arrive at the door. I have the power and I will be now learning the process so that I can remain standing in this newly understood power. I know that, circumstances will come through and throw curve balls but by journaling and translating them into blogs and verbal conversations I will guarantee that I give myself the best chance of being the power of me.

Have you found your power, if so I would love to hear how you found your way into that space. I would also love to hear from you, if you continue to struggle with being in charge of your journey. Make sure you connect here or through one of my social media channels.

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Lisa-Raie 

(AKA the Barefoot FND Goddess) 💋
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Breathing Through Chronic Illness With Meditation 🙏🏻

If you are like me, I don’t have to tell you that living with chronic illness can be at times unbearable. I know I do everything I can to get through days and nights – I try moving but that hurts, I rest but that hurts, so I do nothing but that hurts more! So by the end of each day, I’ve taken the maximum dose of painkillers that I could but the ache is overwhelming and consuming every breath. It’s a vicious circle that rotates endlessly.
But, as I’m having to deal with the chronic pain and endless number of physical symptoms that hurt – it’s also my mind that is also hurting . Questions, questions, many questions consistently overload my brain with such things of being unable to deal and cope with the ongoing pain and illness and all I’m asking is that I just want it to stop – I JUST WANT IT TO ALL GO AWAY – but it doesn’t!
This has been my constant thoughts and feelings over many years but I find of recent weeks it’s back with a vengeance! Pain insomnia wreaks havoc on living, so the only thing that I can do is to fight back against these moments of excessive chronic pain and illness so that I don’t fall back into a spiralling doom of despair.
Last night, I switched off from social media and connected back into a mindful space with meditation. A number of years ago, I found yoga and meditation and I found that it reduced my chronic pain and illness immensely and I was able to learn the principles and I began actually teaching it. However, as I stepped up the energy levels, my chronic illnesses stopped me in my tracks again. I could no longer do or teach yoga because of paralysis and weakness and so meditation fell by the wayside too. Being in a zone with insomnia for over a fortnight, has lead me to think about ways of not falling backwards-the breath of mindfulness has come back. I know very well that this mindful action soothes my mental and physical angst. I have no idea if I can bring myself back to being able to no longer feel pain with the intensity that I am, but if I bring back my focus to the breath just possibly I can help untangle the thick fog that insomnia lands me in.

So back to meditation i go. What meditation does is focus on different parts of my body simply using my breath.  It allows me to see my mind and body in action and to feel the pain sensations as they rise within my body and then let go of them using calming deep breaths. I did not think I would have success straight away, but I was amazed by the difference. Last night, has been my best night for about a fortnight. You see, just by bringing my calming breath back into play my chronic pain insomnia and intolerable nerve pain and twitches began to melt and I was able to rest and was able to sleep – YES SLEEP.

I know my pain arises from my multiple chronic illnesses and the damage to my bodies nervous system and what is like a speaker in my brain leading the intensity of mind and body suffering. From studying different forms of mindfulness and from my personal health experiences, I’ve learnt that my mind does not simply feel pain, it also processes all the information that it holds. Its like my mind, zooms in on my pain looking for away to take it away but instead what my mind is doing is causing my pain and or hurting to be louder. Before long I’m in periods of excessive pain and illness and insomnia is causing me more hurting. I know, if I don’t do something I will end up being consumed again by my excessive anxieties, stresses and worries as well as my physical pain.  As I spoke earlier about in an instant the vicious circle of downward spiralling is with me again, which hurts and  impairs my healing process and leads to even more hurting.

So it is time to again, step into handling my pain and hurting differently to how I currently am. I need to lay my hands open to the powerful effect of mindfulness so that I can better control my pain. I know personally when focused, that mindfulness does turn my volume control down on pain. It also lessens my anxiety, stress and the depression that it has brought me. Using mindfulness, my mind and body can again truly relax and perhaps in conjunction with my medication and other problems which include my memory loss may improve as well as my mental and physical energy. As I’m writing this I’m wondering – WHY THE HELL, DID I GIVE UP MY MEDITATION!

So come forward – I’ve found a wonderful app called “InsightTimer” – you may want to have a look at http://www.insighttimer.com . This app, has over 2000 different meditations- I regularly search the different rest, relaxation and sleep meditations and I’ve again found that stepping into following the guided sessions I can use mindful activity as a powerful painkiller in conjunction with my other medications to assist my steps walking forward.
If you would like to give meditation a go, I would suggest looking for the app I spoke of but also practising getting your mind and body to relax. This is an activity I use and its best practiced in a quiet area. Don’t worry if your mind wanders. Mine does, so don’t get mad with yourself. When it happens, just bring the awareness back to your breath and concentrate on the part of the body  where your mind wandered. As you focus on each part of the body, listen to how your body is feeling.

So let’s begin the practise;

I will generally Lie on the floor, my bed or my sofa, letting my legs lay relaxed and slightly apart. I place my hands on my tummy (presently I have a paralysed right arm so I place that hand under my left, so it stays in place. I will close my eyes and sink myself into the floor. Next I focus on my breath – listening and feeling as it flows in and out of my body. I will just lay still noticing how my breath is, feeling the rhythm of each breath in and out with as much detail as i can – doing this allows me to really connect inward. I will start at my toes and work up – spending a few minutes with each area of my body feeling how it feels in temperature and with pain. As you breathe in, hold your breath and then slowly exhale in each breath, I use the count of 4 and then again to the count of 4, I exhale. I will often spend more time on particular areas of my body that are feeling worse pain. Once I’ve listened I will move my awareness to the next area of my body. I will stop and observe what i find for a minute. So basically it’s about breathing deeply in, holding your breath and then exhaling observing from your toes up all the way to the top of my head. Once I’ve reached my head I will spend a couple of minutes observing my whole body breathing as one. Slowly I will open my eyes and bring myself back to my surroundings. What I find, is that there is a calmness across my body, I may still have pain but my body is in a state of awareness that allows me to either continue with my day or settle into a restful space for night.

I hope that this post has been of help for you, if you’ve been thinking of trying to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your life and chronic illness journey. If it resonates with you or perhaps you want to know more about my journey, please don’t hesitate to connect with me here or across on my social media channels.

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Much love

LR – The Barefoot Goddess 💋