Ill Health

Internet Support Groups

Elaine Benton | Posted 17.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Before Internet, e-mails, mobile phones, the technology we enjoy today, and now take for granted, it was far harder to find the latest information, meet with others in the same situation and impossible to correspond with fellow sufferers half way round the world. If there was a support group located near to one's home, then it was a stroke of luck.

Parkinson's Awareness Month 2014

Elaine Benton | Posted 10.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

magine for one moment, being trapped inside a body that doesn't work properly and no longer responds to your brain signals. There you are, totally lucid, thoughts and wishes intact yet incapable of talking, writing, typing or making any visual signs to converse.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Elaine Benton | Posted 27.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

In many ways I depend on people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I'm too sick to go out. Sometimes I need help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, or taken to the doctor. You are my link to normalcy and help me to keep in touch with parts of life I miss.

Parkinson's Waits For No Man

Elaine Benton | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Parkinson's waits for no man, and certainly not this woman, as I can't type at the same speed as my thoughts any more, and if I don't get them down straight away, they are lost. Writing with pen and paper is of no help at all, in fact it makes matters even worse.

Parkinson's Keeps on Taking

Elaine Benton | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

My worst nightmare is becoming a burden to my family, which I'm sure is in the back of many people's minds. No one wants to put loved ones through such difficulties and heartbreak. Why is it the people we love the most seem to be the ones who end up suffering? I am painfully aware my family, despite their smiles and good humour, encounter strains and difficulties due to my ill health.

How Are You?

Elaine Benton | Posted 17.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

When people ask me "How are you?" I have to think twice, not because I don't know, but often am not sure what they want to hear. Some ask out of common courtesy, simply being polite, but would rather I answer "I'm fine thank you" than hear a long account; perish the thought of hearing the truth and understanding the full picture of living with chronic disease.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Elaine Benton | Posted 10.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Every morning as I clean my teeth, and the strange reflection of someone I once knew stares back at me with an expressionless face, I wish I had a magic mirror that would show me what I'd like to see. Unfortunately the mirror does not lie, as I look at myself I can hardly believe it's me. Our bathroom scales annoyingly also tell me the truth...

Falling on Deaf Ears

Elaine Benton | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

I'm not sure how I've kept running at such a pace, being an advocate for both Gaucher disease and Parkinson's and it's hardly surprising my batteries are on an all time low. I am driven with unstoppable passion and commitment.

On a Scale of One - 10

Elaine Benton | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

How many times have you been asked by a doctor; "On a scale of 1 - 10, how bad is the pain?" Unfortunately I've been asked this question too many times to count. I realise a doctor needs some indication, a clue as to what he/she is dealing with, but I wonder how helpful this unreliable approach really is.

Stepping Out

Elaine Benton | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

For any Parkinson's patient, stepping out, can be a stressful experience, even when invited to a happy occasion or event. Most healthy people don't realise what it takes for someone suffering any chronic condition to go out and socialise.

The Meaning of Life

Elaine Benton | Posted 28.10.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Often it takes a "wake up call" such as a life changing experience to make us stop and pay attention, reassessing our lives. It may be losing someone dear, or diagnosis of a serious illness that finally allows us to understand, how life is fragile and precious.

I've Still Got It!

Elaine Benton | Posted 14.10.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

A man sat down at the next table and smiled at me. I smiled back at the stranger, and found he then waved his walking stick in the air at me, and pointed at my crutches perched beside my chair. I smiled again and nodded as if to say, I understood we both need help walking. Before I could avert my gaze, he got up and moved towards my table.

What is Gaucher Disease?

Elaine Benton | Posted 07.10.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

In my previous article I was remiss in mentioning that my husband was screened and thankfully found to be clear of the Gaucher gene, therefore our daughter is a normal healthy young woman who will never suffer from Gaucher disease. Genetic counselling and testing is recommended for families who may be carriers of the Gaucher gene.

Therapeutic Writing

Elaine Benton | Posted 16.09.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Insomnia, being one of Parkinson's common symptoms, I found hours during the middle of the night were perfect for writing; in peace and quiet, uninterrupted by phones or distracted by family. I would sit at the kitchen table writing from my very soul, and found it therapeutic expressing my feelings and seeing them in print. I believe writing helped me come to terms with my diagnosis.

The English patient

Elaine Benton | Posted 26.08.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Patients who suffer any chronic, degenerative condition, should be seen on a regular basis by the same doctor, thus ensuring an on-going picture whereby the best care can be given. I think it must be incredibly difficult to continually show compassion towards a patient, whilst for self preservation keep a certain distance not allowing emotions to engulf and cloud the issue.

Bolting for the Door

Elaine Benton | Posted 19.08.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Sadly many spouses or partners faced suddenly with the realisation that their loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson's, bolt for the door. Unfortunately statistics show that women are more likely to stick around due to our maternal nurturing instincts. Sorry guys, no disrespect meant to the male population, this is simply fact.

To Visit or Not to Visit, That is the Question!

Elaine Benton | Posted 05.08.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

When someone has an appendicitis or breaks their leg, family and friends immediately rally around, visiting them in hospital, laden with chocolates, flowers and cards wishing the person a speedy recovery. When one is suffering from mental health problems, receiving visitors or gifts is a very different story.

Medical Tests & Examinations

Elaine Benton | Posted 29.07.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

A 'stress test', always makes me smile, as I have visions of a nurse bringing in the tax inspector or one's bank manager, a sort of Spanish Inquisition Monty Python style, interrogating the patient which is bound to heighten anyone's stress levels.

Parkinson's Awareness Month

Elaine Benton | Posted 18.06.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Parkinson's can affect anyone - it's not fussy, and doesn't discriminate, no matter whether you're old or young. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 44, which at the time, I thought was very young. However since then I have met many other sufferers, some of whom have been diagnosed shockingly at a much younger age.

I Live in Hope

Elaine Benton | Posted 28.05.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered who on earth is staring back at you? Parkinson's is slowly stealing away my smile and expression. If I were a poker player, this would give me a distinct advantage, but other than that, it's very difficult for others to know what I am thinking.

Speak Out

Elaine Benton | Posted 20.05.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

Having two chronic diseases makes life quite difficult (and that's a British understatement if ever there was one!) Trying to keep both disease under ...

Claimants Who Refuse Treatment 'To Lose Sickness Benefits'

PA/Huffington Post UK | Posted 06.11.2012 | UK

People who refuse to get treatment for their illness will be stripped of their sickness benefit under a new crackdown to be tested in a £25 million g...

PICTURES: Professor Hawking Misses A Second Birthday Party Because Of Ill Health

PA | Posted 20.01.2012 | UK Tech

Poor health has forced Professor Stephen Hawking to miss a second party celebrating his 70th birthday. The renowned cosmologist was due to attend a...