Multi condition: “At present I am well, and I am trying to make the most of my life!”
Published Jul 12, 2023 • By Lizzi Bollinger
Today we are happy to present our interview with a Carenity member from UK, Keith, where he talks a bit about his life and health journey. Keith has also provided us with a beautiful poem of his, which will be displayed at the end of this interview.
Keith is a very active member of our community, who lives with multiple conditions including ulcerative colitis, deafness, prostate cancer and more. He tells us about his health management regime, achievements, and life story.
Discover his story below!
Thank you for agreeing to tell your story to the Carenity community.
Could you tell us more about yourself and your family?
My name is Keith and I am 74 years young. I was born in Halifax in West Yorkshire. I was part of a large family: 7children, although now only 3 remain. My career was mainly working in stores and at a textile mill. I joined the army at the age of 24 and served 10 years, reaching the rank of Corporal Class 1. I married young, at age 18, and was happy the 26 years I got to spend with my wife. Sadly, she went to heaven at the age 45 due to cancer. We had 3 children: 2 boys and a girl. My oldest son is married to his 2nd wife and does not have any children. He is well educated and has a 1st class degree in Mathematics and Computers, he works in data protection for a brewery. My youngest son Damian killed himself with an overdose of tablets in 2007, he was 27. His baby Rebecca Jade was born in April 2006, she only lived 50 minutes, so I do not have any grandchildren. Our Daughter Kirsty lives in Lancashire, and we are no longer in touch.
Can you tell us about your chronic illnesses?
I had an accident at work and injured my lower back. I now have bulging discs. In 1987, I had a Laminectomy to reduce the pain, but many years later, my back is worse for it. I have also been diagnosed with cancer incidences in my prostate but was told it would not kill me. I am asthmatic and have developed tinnitus and hearing loss. I also am living with sight problems. I wear spectacles and since I had my cataracts removed, my eyes are more sensitive to light so I frequently wear sunglasses. In 2003, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and have had several flare-ups since. My last flare-up led to me having to be admitted to hospital for several days where I was also diagnosed with Pneumonia and with Covid-19. At present, I am well, and I am trying to make the most of my life.
What is your current health management regime?
For my asthma I occasionally use a ventalin puffer. I wear 2 hearing aids to help my hearing. I have to take medication for my eyes (dry eye Syndrome) and nasal drops for my rhinitis. I have many other types of medication; I can’t always recall what they are for. I take 14 in the morning, 10 at teatime and 6 at nighttime. I was diagnosed as being insulin dependent during my latest hospital admission, so I also inject 16 units of Humulin twice a day. I had a double C.A.B.G in 2000 stop my heart attacks, it has been a big success. For this I also take apixaban twice a day as well as aspirin. The biggest side effect I experience is bruising on my arms and legs.
Tell us about your social life, what have you been able to accomplish while living with chronic conditions?
I have been on holiday several times: I have visited Venice, Rome, Dublin, Paris, Athens, Switzerland, Turkey and South Africa.
My hobbies include writing poetry, playing piano, and singing in a community choir.
I keep fit by doing yoga, using the treadmill, the wondercore® exercise machine and 3kg dumbbells. I also like to look after my garden and fruit trees.
I have done over 30 years of voluntary work, working with various charities, such as AGE U.K, The Samaritans, Plus Me support group and PALS at Barnsley Hospital. At present, I volunteer as Govenor for South West Yorkshire partnership foundation trust .N.H.S. The trust cares for people and patients with mental health issues.
Any last thoughts to share?
I would like to share a poem I have written, and I hope that you enjoy reading it:
Please Mr sunshine, please shine down on me
and put a lovely smile on every single face I see
when I look at you, I feel warm both in and outside
and when I feel good, my face beams with pride
When you smile on me, my heart feels a little lighter
and all of my hopes, and dreams feel more brighter
so please Mr sunshine, do not keep hiding away
Because every time, I see you, you take some of my pains away
Mr Chipps thepoet 25/1/2021
A big thank you to Keith for this interview!
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Take care of yourself!
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