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 💋

Once Upon A Time…..Living With A Body Filled With Invisible Illness.

Once Upon A Time……….

That is how all good fairytales begin right!!! But let me tell you all, this story aint no fairytale! This is my story of living filled with chronically invisible illnesses that many no little about….!!!

So let me begin……..

Once, I lived what seemed a normal life with normal dreams – I was living in the ‘burbs’ with my husband and five young children. My dreams were for health and happiness. I dreamt of us owning our own home, going on fantastic holidays and becoming a top financial accountant to help achieve the goals. For a time…..that was reality!

But, WOW – taking a trip back down memory lane, shows just how different life can turn out! That was over TWENTY YEARS ago, because gosh, I’ve been living a life filled with invisible illness for over 15 years NOW!!!!!

Invisible illness came to greet me through a journey that will be another story but as a taster I was introduced to lupus SLE, wegeners granulomatosis, ulcerative colitis, RA and run ins with a couple of different cancers. That journey found me, delving into many hospital visits and clinging to life numerous times…….

It was a battle……one continuous battle that had no end. With each fight, I would search for something new, some kind of healing magic that would allow all the pain, hurt and angst to be gone. The year 2015 came and the holistic modalities that I had been starting to use were beginning to help me – I was finding what is referred to as remission! I was able to open my own business – a holistic wellness centre helping others through coaching, teaching yoga and meditation. Life had a new set of goals and dreams…… The later part of that year, felt me tiring but I kept on pushing, Christmas 2015 came and went. The year 2016 delivered me an explosion that just went BANG! I wasn’t expecting it. I initially thought that it was just flares from the autoimmune and connective tissue illnesses…..but although doctors and specialists could see flares, previous medications and treatments were not helping these new symptoms. As more and more tests were done, I was growing more tired of all the pain and suffering. It was affecting my mood more and more as well…..to the extent that I began researching how to kill myself. I, of course kept this to myself just continuing to push myself knowing that something would show up in the medical tests. 2016…..April, May and June moved along….. my health was deteriorating with more and more strange symptoms that included balance issues and seizures…..but nothing could be determined by medical practitioners. July 2016, brought about a massive seizure leaving me unable to speak, a dropped face and paralysis down my right side. My husband wanted me to go to the hospital immediately…..but at this time, I was almost done with hospitals so I stayed at home. After a few days my face and speech did improve but I couldn’t walk…..the balance was as if I was on a tightrope and my walking gait was non existent. I went to hospital- immediately admitted! More tests over and over again! I had doctors and specialists surrounding me like flies on a hot day……but still no concrete reason! Late one afternoon, one particular specialist tipped me over the edge – as she left my hospital bed and ward, so did I with the real intention of COMMITTING SUICIDE!!!!
I didn’t make it out of those hospital doors because I fell and hurt my hip! I was helped back to my bed……and OH GAWD, if I thought I had doctors and specialists hovering aplenty before, now that I was on suicide watch – I was being hounded every minute but could they give me reasons for my seriously debilitating symptoms- the short answer was “NO”. They could only tell me that due to being chronically ill, I had depression but even though I was in a dark place that didn’t help me understand what was making my body behave in mysterious ways. Five days later after more and more tests, often ones that had been repeated and repeated my neurologist and her fellow walked up to my hospital bedside. They had worked out what these new symptoms were. Basically my internal software that allows communication between my brain and central nervous system had shut down……this they diagnosed as ‘functional neurological disorder’. I immediately had a million and one questions, almost all that they could not answer. With that diagnosis,  I was allowed home…..discharged with a lot of referrals and a website to help me understand what this thing called FND was all about……

Awaiting my referrals being picked up, I spoke to my local GP, he was almost as much in the dark about what this neurological illness was as I was…..so we went on a journey of awakening together.  What we deciphered was that FND is an umbrella term for a variety of neurological symptoms which current medical diagnosis models struggle to explain psychologically or organically. Patient presentation can be so very similar to a whole range of other neurological conditions. The symptoms of FND can be as debilitating as MS and Parkinson’s disease as there are many similar symptoms. It left me wondering if I was ever going to get the help I needed…..but at least there was hope coming through my doors again.

Soon, enough referrals came flooding in. Home care and the most important NeuroPhysio and OT. These referrals were music to my ears as I was learning almost everyday that due to FND being very new to the medical research fields there were not many effective treatment plans in existence. I began initially home based physio, in which I was given a walker. When NeuroPhysio began, I was very lucky to get a physiotherapist that had knowledge of FND and she quickly created a plan filled with physical therapies that would be most effective in bringing forward goals for reintroducing proper functional movement and motor control helping to retrain my brains pathways. She was able to work closely with my OT to help me dramatically improve functions that I thought were lost forever.

I have improved in many ways very quickly, HOWEVER I do still have a long way to go in the big scheme of life. I am continuing all the physical treatments as well as speaking regularly with psychologists and counsellors that are helping me to release so much allowing profound healing to begin. But it’s hard work, and it is the lack of understanding of FND and other invisible conditions that negatively influences treatments and care. Researchers, money, and volunteers are greatly needed to help illnesses like these that have greatly impacted and impaired my life and many others. This is why I now walk and talk openly,  sharing my story and experiences in hope that I may shine a light for others to begin sharing their stories and experiences and together we can light a flame where that most needed research, information and funding will be found…..and most of all stigma can be silenced.

I hope that by telling my nightmare of falling through a dark hole of invisible hell, I may have helped you. This is one part of the hell that brought me to my message and mission of teaching and preaching to the world about learning more about invisible illness. I will not stop and I would love you all to help me. One way is to like and share this post, but you can also join me on my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

where we can all join as one by #lightingtheflame for invisible and mental illness.

Much love 

TBG 💋

Shining A Light TO Show Just What Invisible Illness Is…….

The last few weeks I’ve felt myself disappearing down that shute, you know that tunnel, where all invisible illness sufferers go when health dips……BUT unlike past falls, I don’t stop……I just rest!  I rest, so that I can continue my own healing and my advocacy for all invisible illness goddesses and warriors around the globe.

I’ve had to rest because on Monday June 26, I am launching an ongoing awareness campaign to shine the light on invisible Illness. I’ve been watching videos, documentaries, reading articles, writing articles and blogs all about showing, sharing and bringing the invisibility of chronic illness to reality for those that live with them but also for those that walk this world with ignorance and uneducated thoughts, actions and feelings about how I and many others live every single day.

My campaign is about shining a light on how difficult it is to live with debilitating chronic and invisible illnesses. This is why I walk and talk my daily journey- the good, the bad, the indifferent and just the plain weird! Everyday I want to share a different story, so that greater awareness can be brought to the world. From Monday I will share a series of blogs about a variety of different invisible illnesses, some that I live with……some that others live with and through these stories brought about by conversations, you will see these illnesses in a new and different light. 
I want the light that I am igniting to bring about new conversations between you and your loved ones, friends, colleagues and even strangers. Because you see, when we begin to converse, we can begin to connect better and therefore we can better help each other get through the tough times that these illnesses bring.

On Monday, as I begin to shine a bigger light on invisible illness, I will be beginning with my own story and my newest diagnosis of (FND) Functional Neurological Disorder. Today, as a taster, I am giving you a brief introduction; This disorder occurs as a result of a problem with my central nervous system and my brain failing to send or receive messages correctly. The list of symptoms is very long as you will get to learn and many of them are extremely disabling. Also a lot of the symptoms that I will talk about, are also found in the diagnosis of MS & Parkinson’s Disease making it high level debilitating, life changing and hard to diagnose. Living with FND, sees me experience many symptoms all at the same time. What is difficult with this disorder, is that I have to live with frequency and severity of symptoms with a list of other chronic illnesses as well. So, you see describing what it is and how it affects me is a long process, but it is a process that the world needs to hear and see and that is why I am lighting the flame for invisible Illness.

I would love to connect with you, if you or someone you know, also lives with an invisible illness. 

Please connect with me here or perhaps on one of my social media accounts and let’s light the flame for invisible illnesses;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

TBG 💋

Adaptive & Restorative Yoga After Illness, Injury or Paralysis….

Yoga is a practice, NOT a destination particularly when it comes to healing.

In this crazy busy modern day life, the practice of yoga is about joining movement with breath, action with thought and awareness with intention to bring healing and peace to body, mind and spirit, which is  why it is a modality suited to those people wanting to recover from chronic invisible and mental illnesses.

Let me tell you how yoga can make you feel better as you take the journey from chronic pain, suffering and stress. If you have ever wondered if yoga is something you can do, or if it will be too hard It is absolutely for you and it doesn’t have to be hard! Everybody that is seeking to heal are different, they have different pain, tension and energy levels.  Adaptive yoga is a way to raise awareness levels of all the variables that I’ve mentioned. Only you can know how it feels to be in your body. This is something I absolutely know, as it’s been a 15 plus year journey to find a recovery path.


Yoga, within all styles, asks you to “start where you are”.  Adaptive yoga helps you identify where that is, which is why it’s perfect if you are considering yoga to help recovery from illness, injuries or disability. 

I would define ‘adaptive yoga’ by saying that we adapt the instruction and practice of yoga for the body in a safe and comfortable way. This style of yoga is accessible to everyone no matter where their body is in any moment.

I’ve created an adaptative & restorative approach to my yoga practice that has brought benefits to my healing of health and life and it’s why I am now bringing my approach to others. I have lived with many challenges including paralysis and that’s why I know this style and approach to yoga is so beneficial to healing. 


If you would like to know more about my journey and the creation of my “adaptive restorative yoga” please send me a message or perhaps connect with me through my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

Much love to you 

Namaste 

TBG 💋

Currently Sitting In Melbourne, Australia Raising The Volume For Me & You….

I am currently sitting in Melbourne, Australia pondering my path. That path has taken me on a long and winding journey! It’s been filled with pain, suffering and abuse – somehow squeezing the life out of me with multiple invisible illnesses that nearly destroyed me mentally, physically and emotionally! But, just as I thought the lights had gone out and the final curtains had fallen, I was given another chance at health and life!

That life, now sees me healing, recovering and building strength within me, so that I can also help others to heal and build strength in themselves too! 


In healing myself and others, I am also awakening my dreams of educating the greater world about what it’s like to be ill with health conditions that nobody sees and very few understand. This education process that I am embarking on is going to be ground breaking awareness like the world has never seen and in successfully doing this, I am going to breakdown the stigma that hurts everyone of us that lives with or who has lived with and particularly for the special souls that lost their lives because they couldn’t go on!

My life in recovery, is filled with daily strolls along the sandy shores with my beautiful husband, doing yoga and meditation, speaking up to inspire and motivate the millions of women (and men) that live with these chronic health conditions! I fill my days teaching the importance of living mindfully and happily with inner health. My journey is about intuitive and holistic living using mindfulness, essential oils and clean nutrition and as I now wander around the globe my tribe grows and becomes bigger and stronger. The Barefoot Goddess foundation is going to be world renowned in the work it does for healing and educating the world about invisible and mental illness and in doing so I will be reducing and quite possibly eliminating suicide!

I no longer play small, because the world and its goddesses need the barefoot goddess!


This is my life and I do it for everyone of you that are living with the hardship of invisible and mental health! Walk with me by connecting with me on my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

Let’s walk together raising the volume and breaking down stigma and throughout the journey living the lives that we love!
Much Love

TBG 💋

Chronic & Mental Illness Doesn’t Change Me From Whom I Was….So Please Don’t Stigmatise ME!!!

So as I lay here this warm summer evening in  Australia and I am thinking about the multiple chronic illnesses that I have. But there is one that stands out for all the wrong reasons! That health condition is Functional Neurological Disorder. It was a condition, that was not offered to me, but as many others it was given. The road wandered is hard! Some days it can feel like I am not really that sick, but then there are the najority of days that leave me wondering, why I have to be one of the small percentage of people around the globe that have to endure the most horrible pain and suffering that anyone has to deal with. 

Unfortunately, this is the hand I’ve been dealt , so let me get to , walking on and strong. It’s how I choose to use this hand throughout my life. This health condition which is Functional Neurological Disorder, will keep you down in such darkness or uplift you to such sunny skies. I can tell you that FND, can keep you tied down or it can you lift you up!  I have used so many different treatment plans and therapies. BUT , now I’ve found a path . It’s allowed me to walk past and through the ‘denial phase’ , where I just didn’t want to know. I am now in the ‘acceptance phase’ where I understand the difficulties that I face and that I will face.  

BUT , now all I want is to be the light, so that I can shine for others, through their phases  – initial and long term !  As we get ready to welcome the new year in, I will be launching two books, one about my own illness and life journeys and one filled with stories from my brothers & sistas  and their journeys. I have also created a storyline for my awareness documentary , a Ebook stepping the baby steps using yummy healthy vegan food..

If this resonates with you again , please connect and join my little tribe, because when we walk together, we simply the sun and our lives.

So if you broken, please know you are not alone and you definitely don’t need to stay broken, I am here and we are here together and we will become strong again.

Much love 

Lisa-Raie

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
“Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”

What’s The Worst Thing About My Journey With Chronic Illness???

“What’s the worst thing about my journey with chronic illness ?” I would have to say without a doubt that is the hardest question to answer. But, let me wander this journey with you here and explain why.

The struggles with chronic illness are all too real and present with every breath and step in life that I can’t just pick one thing that depicts my worst. But allowing myself to stop and reflect, I’ve realised that so many times I’ve doubted myself and my life choices. 

WHY – well with my illnesses and disorders there are so many challenges that have bombarded my body for so many years now that unfortunately my mind has become a victim too. I now see life and the world through different eyes because I’ve seen everyday  feeling the worst pain, having the most horrible symptoms, unable to experience and enjoy my favourite activities and no matter how calm and positive I tried to feel, there is such a negative anxiety filling me up. It was at that point and it’s only been recently let me tell you that I realised I had a further problem and that was depression. Life, was slowly spiralling out of control and it wasn’t until I was hospitalised that I became all too aware of what it was doing to me, so I think that’s probably the worst thing within in my chronic illness journey. 

Depression is not some imaginative little scene dancing within my head – it’s full of the most raw and real emotion that creates so many negative and hopeless thoughts than anybody could ever fathom. When in the deepest and darkest moments of despair even the most positive of people could not even bring the good energy out of me and this left me feeling more hopeless, alone and definitely lead me to doubting myself and making choices that I would not normally make. Depression has this power over the mind like the chronic symptoms impacting my body. Because of the impact of physical impairment, through my physical illnesses I learned that my brain functions had slipped a few levels on the ‘normality’ scale with my mental illness. Alas, all the inner walls cave in.

Here, I was just thinking that my new physical symptoms like limb paralysis and weakness, speech problems, etc were part of my longer walked journey illnesses and would be flares that would fade over certain time just as the other physical flares do. But this I learned was about what my health conditions, had developed into. When I and so many have had to live with physical ailments for a long period, the brain also then becomes ill. Working with a number of specialists i realised it is going to take even more work and medication to bring myself back to a level of mindful existence and allowing a quality of life that I desire. With, this new knowledge, I could of sunk further into depression and regressed further into myself and a land of unknown BUT I knew that’s not what my life was meant for. 

Looking at life with different eyes, I was excited to step in and take action to begin a journey of regaining mental health so that I could continue tackling the physical challenges on health firstly and importantly for ME but also so I could show others what is possible. Life lead me to having to overcome fears of being seen a certain way , it was accepting that my vulnerable state had been compromised. In accepting and stepping into these challenges I could accept help. 
So bring me forward to, today I am wandering a path back to the light of day with ME back on the agenda for what has always been my vision, purpose and message of living a life to love. I have accepted that I need assistance with a 4 wheeler walker to reclaim balance and strength to walk again. I know that I need to stop and take time to breathe and rest. Best of all I know that I need teams of people around me, because when i surround myself with a range of different people and experiences, I will have all the power and strength that I need to stay well and live well. My medical team are of a neurologist, rheumatologist, psychologist, neuro-physio and a list that goes on will give me mental and physical health. Family & friends will give me my passion to shine and walk my dreams. Then there are the new team of soul sista’s that I am connecting with globally that inspires and motivates me to walk and talk my story building awareness for all that are walking a journey with chronic illnesses looking for a life to love.

So the worst part about my chronic illness is, definitely depression and the inability to see and feel that my mind was my own worst enemy and causing me so much further despair. Now, sitting happier on my sofa i’m beginning to again enjoy bliss of being comfortable in my own life so that I can step into your lives. 

Life is a ever changing collection of movements and I know that I need to be slow and steady to wander my goddess journey. I accept all of my illnesses and yes there will still be days of utter frustration that will take me to that cliff edge, BUT I now understand that those days are just a inner message from my mind and body that I am going to fast. Wander slowly, breathe deeply and believe and live every dream because it is possible. Me landing in depression with a damaged mental health, was my trigger that my journey had got off track , and yes it’s the worst thing but it was probably also the saviour in a crazy kind of way.

Please if you’ve resonated with this in anyway, I would love to hear your feedback and if you too are walking a life with chronic illness- what is the worst thing you’ve found along your journey.

Much Love 

💋

** Special Mention; To my new connected soul sista’s, you all light me up everyday and allow me to rebuild dreams that had been lost in darkness.

** To my husband-you’ve been so strong and with me through everything and even when I lost faith-you still had it! That is why, now I’m stepping with a new breath more powerful than before. I often, tell you I love you BUT seriously you will never realise how blessed I am to have you. 

** To My youngest child – you are a guardian angel, however your journey has been so very difficult and not even I can understand the path that you’ve had to endure, with ASD, genetic mutations and other intellectual differences to direct you through life. You are the most loving now young adult that inspires me to keep walking tall for my dream of a health and life to live. 

Please if you would like to connect further, find me on social media at;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDaware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

“Let’s Walk Together And Not Tear Each Other Down”