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Sailing the Spoonie Seas: Jess Hay’s Journey Through Chronic Illness and Finding Joy

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As the sun sets on another day of managing the delicate balance of chronic illness, I sat down with Jess Hay, a resilient “Spoonie Sister” who graciously opened up about her life woven with challenges and triumphs. Our intimate conversation traverses Jess’s early health struggles to her current dance with multiple conditions, including celiac disease and POTS. She candidly discusses the tapestry of treatments, both conventional and holistic, that color her daily life and offers an honest look into the complexities of navigating the Canadian healthcare system, where she often plays the role of her own advocate amidst a sea of specialists.

Navigating life with chronic illness is like sailing on unpredictable seas, and Jess shares her strategies for staying afloat, including her reliance on the unsung hero Gravol, and how she balances medications with the rhythms of her body’s needs. She extends a hand to those on similar journeys, imparting wisdom on self-compassion and the delicate art of living within the bounds of one’s fluctuating health. Jess’s reflections on her journey toward trusting the medical process, despite the jarring realities of nerve tests and other procedures, highlight the courage found in vulnerability and the strength in seeking help.

In the spirit of finding joy amidst the storms, we wrap up with an exploration of the evening rituals and the daily doses of happiness that Jess cherishes—a reminder that life’s simple pleasures often hold the greatest comfort. Whether it’s the warmth of a crochet needle in hand or the affectionate nuzzle from her service dog in training, Elda, Jess reminds us that support comes in many forms. Listeners will undoubtedly find solace in her story and perhaps recognize a piece of their own journey reflected in her words. Join us for this episode, not just for the resilience on display, but for the celebration of every spoonful of joy that makes the challenging days worth enduring.

My Spoonie Sisters (

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