Kissing Goodbye to 2015
For our family, we are ending this year in a much more settled state than how we started it. That being said, in the aftermath of Christmas, it feels like we are not so much coasting as stumbling towards the finishline of 2015. Rather than attempting to craft something overly intellectual, I feel oddly compelled to provide an overview of my favourite posts from this year. A recap, if you will, of the issues I felt strongly enough to write about and what prompted (or in some cases, provoked!) them.
My inaugural post back in late June, A Fledgling Diagnosee, was mostly crafted as an introductory one. I used this to springboard into an overview post of my journey from initial symptoms to receiving a diagnosis of clinically definite MS. Entitled There and Back Again, I compared it to that of Frodo’s quest in the Lord of the Rings trilogy: of seemingly epic duration, involving all sorts of bizarre entities and with enduring effects on my psyche.
Owing to some rather perplexing encounters with various health professionals, one of my favourite posts would have to be The Triple P Approach to Neurologists. Just cos.
En route to a diagnosis, I also had some challenging interactions with GPs, particularly those who were unfamiliar with MS and who struggled when faced with a patient who did not fall into the "easily diagnosable" basket. I therefore crafted two tip sheets for GPs, one on the topic of Dealing with Uncertainty and the other on Managing Expectations.
In September, I outlined a number of ‘Occupational Hazards’ relating to combining paid employment with MS, including the million dollar question of whether or not to disclose the condition.
In October, after researching the many dietary recommendations touted to alleviate symptoms and slow disease progression, I summarised my investigations in Food for Thought. In a follow-up post, A Gut Reaction, I then outlined the potential role that the gut microbiome (bacterial species present in our intestines) may play in promoting dysregulated immune responses and as a potential therapeutic target. Even though the theories I discuss are still in their infancies – and therefore there is nothing conclusive to report - I enjoyed researching these topics, and will hopefully do a few other science-y posts in 2016.
November brought with it the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. As part of the adjustment process, I put together this tongue-in-cheek series of images to help portray the various emotions I felt around that time period (first iMpressionS).
Figure 1: My six year old's response to "What day is it today?"
So there we have it! I’ve gotten quite a kick out of regularly blogging on the Uninterrupted website, and have enjoyed the feedback and discussion it has generated. Many thanks to those of you who have responded with insights and examples, and for faithfully clicking “Like” on the Facebook posts promoting each new literary offering.
And now, back to you, readers. What topics would you like to see posts written about?