Where does one go in challenging times? The answer lies within…

In the UK, we endured a tough and prolonged winter. For me, this was punctuated by one of my punishing IV treatments for my cystic fibrosis (CF)* earlier in 2018. There was also an extensive recovery from a severe cold I succumbed to around Easter which was magnified by the adjustment to a longer work commute on the London Underground.

So harsh were the impacts on my lungs from this cold, that my wife Katie had real concerns and felt it was the worst my cough had been in our 18 years together; and the Richter scale on that is pretty advanced.

To suffer such a cold after battling through yet another IV felt very frustrating and deflating. Life is, as always, all about timing – bad and good.

Fortunately, we enjoyed some early-Spring sunshine on a family holiday in Lanzarote where I was able to soak up the sun, which brought immediate benefits. Importantly, by walking to the local marina and using the hotel gym treadmill to keep exercising my lungs, it allowed me to stage my latest health Houdini act.

All the time, I never wavered in telling Katie, family, friends and most importantly, myself, that I would overcome this tricky period to restore my previous levels of well-being (which is by the way a level that most healthy people would despise).


To the well

I was drawing from my health well in order to feel well again. The reality is that I’ve been going to the well many thousands of times over my 47 years with these physical and mental health revivals. But it’s not always clear how much I’ve got left in the proverbial well.

In my younger days the ‘water’ – the elixir of live – in my well was at the top and easy to draw from whenever I required, but over the years the well has been progressively depleted.

During difficult and stressful times, I sometimes cannot see the water anymore in my deep well, but hope that there is enough left for me to draw upon. But improved health through my medical commitment, regular exercise and positivity gently restores my waters.

What was invisible miraculously returns.

This latest health comeback has been positively enriched by happy times such as my son Felix’s recent 11th birthday, attending fun sports events and it will hopefully be maintained through all the wonderful family and friends events that I’m looking forward to over the summer months.

How deep is your well?

‘When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.’ Benjamin Franklin

There are times, we can lack a proper understanding of and appreciation for something until it is no longer available to the standard we need and expect. The same rings true for the contents of our well.

I know many healthy people who drew too much from their wells before realising that they’re physically or mentally spent.

Indeed, when people ask you: ‘Are you well?’ they could equally be asking you: ‘How is your well?’?

I don’t know how much is left in my well just as much as you (the readers) don’t know how much is left in your wells. All I can ever do is physically and mentally top up my well whenever I can – fix the roof while the sun is shining – so that I’m ready for any eventuality.

Author’s tip: Look after your well to keep well.


I will keep you posted on my life-affirming moments, trials and tribulations as and when they happen. Please keep reading and sharing my blog and sign-up (on the right hand side tab) if you have not already done so.

Yours cup half full.


Tim Wotton (author of Award-Winning CF Memoir ‘How have I cheated death?’)


WATCH: My spirited and lively YouTube speech at the Guernsey Sports Awards

* Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 10,500 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.


About Tim Wotton

I live with my lovely wife (Katie) and spirited 13-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 49 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 the sartorial arts (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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16 Responses to Well

  1. Vanessa Saunders says:

    Hi Tim

    I’ve just read your latest post. I lost a friend last year to CF. She was the same age as you (and me) and her well had ran dry. As you can imagine, she had so much more life to live but her body had other ideas. A particularly bad cold which got worse and worse took her from her husband , son and many others who were so fond of her.

    I had introduced her to your blog some time ago and I hope she took time out to read it. You are an inspiration.



    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dear Vanessa, thanks for your kind and thoughtful message. I’m so sorry that you lost a friend and fellow CF angel. It’s tragic that she had to leave behind a husband and son and that thought drives me on when the usual tough going gets even harder!
      With warmest wishes

  2. Sue Kruk says:

    Wise old owl, as always, Tim. You always go deeper, beyond the technicalities of symptoms and treatments, to the wonders of life . Truly sorry that you have been through a bad patch, and hope that the summer sun arrives to keep you well, and shine on you all.. I’m looking forward to watching your Guernsey video on a sports award to the end, and sharing it with your blessing. (Busy at mo, jobs I must finish) Sue xx

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dearest Sue, thanks for your ever-loyal and kind message of support. I hope you enjoy the Guernsey video and feel free to share.

      Kindest wishes

  3. Lesley says:

    Thank you Tim.

    May your well be deep and full.


  4. Janet Passmore says:

    Thank you for a perfectly explained situation. Few people really understand what it is like to have CF. let us hope your well is topping up nicely now fresh summer air is here. Best wishes.

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dear Janet, thanks for taking time to comment and for the kind sentiment about explaining my situation well…
      Can I please ask – what is your connection with CF?

      Warmest regards

  5. John says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit more replenished, buddy. That was a brutal winter and early spring for me so Lord knows what it must’ve been like for you. May the recent sunshine continue! Shall we move to Rhodes? Take care, chief. JP

  6. margaret Wotton says:

    Excellent blog as usual. I saw your dedication to your late January 3 weeks of IVs, you were so committed but it didn’t give you the improvement you deserved. With such a long winter you worried us all but the well is replenishing we hope and you looked pretty good on the last two May Bank Holidays. Keep at it my darling son. Lots of love Mum

  7. Stewart says:

    Timmey may your well never run dry and your life continue to be blessed… an inspiring read as ever! Take care of you and your well…

  8. Dorota Kernohan says:

    I’ve found your blog by digging through bbc news website. So glad I did. My 19 month old daughter Freya has CF. It’s so inspirational and so hopeful to read your story. When she was diagnosed her consultant told us that people with CF these days might even reach their 30th birthday…maybe he should read your blog. I wish you all the best and please keep posting and bringing hope to people like us.

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dear Dorota, what a lovely surprise to receive your message and I’m deeply touched by your kind words. I’m glad my story and survival are of help to you. Where do you live? I would expect your Freya to live a long and full life with the meds that are available now and in the future.

      Warm wishes

      • Dorota says:

        Hi Tim,

        Thank you for your reply. We live in Berkshire, and Freya is under care of CF team at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.
        We are hopeful for her future with the improvements that are happening. She wouldn’t benefit from Orkambi, as the gene she inherited from me is quite rare, but maybe there will be new meds soon. She was born with meconium ileaus so had an operation on it the day she was born. We have to be more careful with her gut and nutrition, but she’s doing quite well so far.

        Thank you gain for your reply.

        Keep well.

        Kind regards from Freya (and us)

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