Body Talk

This may sound strange, but after a lifetime battling health problems, I now use feedback from within my body as much as the advice from doctors. But to set free these internal whispers, I had to take more accountability for my health…

I was extremely unlucky to be born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF)* but very lucky to receive the support and care from my parents, brothers, family and friends.

My Mum, a nurse who had cared for CF children at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital, saw all the ‘signs’ and pushed for my diagnosis at six months old. She was the pillar of strength who instilled in me my medical discipline and desire to leave no stone unturned in managing the condition.

Indeed, in my early teens it was my Mum who tracked down the maverick Doctor Knight who continues to play a significant part in my survival.

My Dad, a field hockey enthusiast, got me involved with all sports which exercised my lungs and kept me fitter than expected. He would always attend my hockey games, supporting pitch side or from his car when on his work lunch hour! In the winter months, he would have a small tumbler of sherry for me to swig at half-time to give me Dutch courage!

However, from University onwards, my parents let me take more ownership of my treatment. This empowered me to take personal responsibility for my health, hospital appointments and the daily medical decision making.

This did not always produce positive outcomes, and they were always there to pick up the pieces! As a parent myself, I can now appreciate that this must have been torturous at times; and I’m sure they bit their tongues when I was overdoing it, particularly when partying to within an inch of my life in my 20’s!

I thank them for giving me that autonomy and ability to think on my own two feet as I learnt many invaluable lessons over those years and began to instinctively do the right thing for my health more often than not.

Silent Voice

As I took more ownership for my illness, I started to hear what my body was actually telling me and started to look outside of the medical world at other more holistic ways to boost my health both physically and psychologically.

By listening to my inner voice, my body tells me what needs enhancing from my energy levels and lung function through to my immune system. I have become a secondary doctor for myself and I’m always on call!

By far the most important holistic approach I undertook was to explore the power of complimentary therapies.

Over the last decade, I have had repeated private sessions of reflexology, aromatherapy, kinesiology and even crystal and hands-on healing. These have all contributed to boost my energy levels, immune system and provide a sounder, more resilient body and mind.

The key is to completely believe that these treatments will benefit me otherwise they are a waste of time and money.

These therapies allow me to visualise better health and ‘see’ a body undiminished by CF which in some cases is a form of placebo but it works and that’s vital. Even a five per cent improvement in my health would make a noticeable difference to the quality of my life.

Trust me, when you have suffered from a condition every day of your life, you’ll jump at anything that might improve your health. I often joke that I would stand on my head for an hour if I was told it would make a difference!

Hope springs eternal

The expectation that comes with any new therapy gives me renewed hope that I can reverse my declining health… and this in itself is tremendously powerful. It can move mountains in me, make me happy when I have no reason to be and put a spring in my step.

To complete the virtuous circle, any hope of improved health reinforces the credibility of my body ‘tweets’ and in-turn feeds my courage to keep fighting CF.

When I took better control of my health and flipped my mindset from expecting to die early to wanting to live longer, I went from seeing a hopeless end to seeing an endless hope.

I believe it… my body told me!

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If you want to raise funds for CF through exercise like marathons and 10K’s, go to the Fundraising section of the CF Trust website below for more information.

Look out for my next post as I countdown to my 40 year milestone…

Regards

Tim

* Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 8,500 people. The condition affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food. Each week, five babies are born with the condition, however, each week, three young lives are also lost to it. There is currently no cure for CF. However, existing gene therapy trials in the UK are bringing people with the illness closer to a form of cure but CF is not that well known and would benefit from more public donations.

For more information and to find out more view the CF Trust Website

http://www.cftrust.org.uk/

 

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About Tim Wotton

I live with my lovely wife (Katie) and spirited ten-year old son (Felix) in Morden, Surrey; working full-time as an internal communications specialist in the Oil & Gas sector. I have played sport, particularly hockey, tennis all my life and now regularly go to the gym. Cystic fibrosis has been a huge factor in my life, but not one that overshadows it. I have always had great support from my loving family - parents Margaret and Douglas (RIP), elder brother Chris and my twin brother Jez. I have many rich life insights based on knowing I have a reduced life expectancy and battling against the odds for over 44 years. My eyes and heart have been opened by my health struggle. I feel empowered to share my life lessons to help anyone with health and life issues to overcome. My passions include Paul Smith clothes, dress shirts (believing that it's enlightening to dress like it's your last day on earth), Alfa Romeo cars, spicey food, Harlequins and England rugby, Southampton FC, Wimbledon village and common, Dorset, seascapes, sunsets and military history. I am available for public speaking on this subject matter and can be contacted via timwottonAThotmailDOTcom. I have written a book 'How have I cheated death?' based on my euphoric countdown year to 40 which was published in 2014 and won the 2015 'Best Achievement' Award at the UK People's Book Prize. It is available via e-book, audiobook and paperback at Amazon and to order from UK bookstores. Go to the relevant sites below or in the UK go to a WH SMITH, Waterstones or Foyles bookstore and give them my name, book title and this ISBN number (9781849637190). It’s also available via GARDNER’S, BERTRAM’S, AUSTINMACAULEY.COM, BLACKWELL’S, PLAY.COM, AMAZON.CO.UK AND AMAZON.COM
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6 Responses to Body Talk

  1. Arch says:

    The perspective you give me saved someone from the sack and a punch in the face this morning! I’ll tell him to thank you one day. arch xx

  2. bo says:

    top insights as always mate

  3. sharyn says:

    Tim,
    You really are an outstanding writer! I look forward to the next post!

  4. Sam says:

    Tim, you need to compile all of this into a best selling book some day. Go faster!

  5. Olivia says:

    I’m all for complementary therapy! What is your opinion on yoga? I love it, and after a particularly invigorating breathing session one day I thought, this would be perfect for Jeff, not to mention the stretching, which is also good for circulation, etc. I have yet to convince him, though…

    Also, the other day we were watching a documentary on stem cells. There is work being done on donor organs — they wash out all cell life (with a very simple detergent solution) until what remains is what they call a “scaffold” – it is the same organ, still perfectly formed, but white and rather squid-like. They bathe this scaffold in a solution of your own cells over a period of days, until your cells have populated the scaffold and voila! Your own organ with no need for immunosuppressants! They transplanted a set of lungs this way into a TB sufferer in Barcelona and saved her life so she can live to see her family grow up, isn’t this amazing?

    There is also a method of “printing” new organs, I think they’ve done it with a kidney or something…We are living in the future. The mouse with the ear on its back is old news now.

  6. Andy Barriaux says:

    Tim, your blogs are an inspiration to me, whenever I feel low, I read them again, they’re uplifting! So, keep on writing! lots of love Andy

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