An introduction as my first post seemed a bit boring, but I know I do always want to read the “About the Author” section in a book or the “About Me” on the website. While I have included that in a little blurb on this site, I thought I should go a bit more in depth with who I am and what I hope to produce in terms of content for this blog.
My name is Roisin and I am an individual living with chronic illness. Although I do not love that as my identity, and it most certainly is not my only identity, it does shape a large chunk of my life and is a big factor in this blog.
I have cystic fibrosis (CF) which is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure, although medications and resources have greatly improved the length and quality of life for those living with it. This disease mainly affects the digestive system and lungs, however it can cause other effects on the body as well. I was diagnosed with CF when I was 21 years old. Then at 22, I needed a liver transplant because of it. This was quite a surprise because a) CF has been seen as a childhood disease, with majority of individuals being diagnosed in their first year of life and b) I was relatively “healthy” for majority of my life. This crash course into chronic illness really impacted who I am and has shaped my twenties so far. Thankfully, I have had relatively good health until a little over a year ago. Since then, being “sick” has become a big part of my reality. I also have been diagnosed with celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the small intestine. Plus some other unknowns. The human body is a mystery after all!
Now, to the fun parts! Other parts of my identity include being a member of a large family. As the youngest of four, I feel that I have been shaped a lot by my siblings. I always say that one of my best skills is sharing because of this. I do have a pretty great relationship with my family and I consider myself quite lucky to have their support. My father is my number one advocate and cheerleader. He is actually this role for all four of us. And I am lucky to be a member of a blended family – so I have two mother figures who have molded me into the person who I am.
I am also fortunate enough to have a wonderful partner and some amazing friends. Plus a pretty sweet pup who cuddles me when I am unwell. I live in Canada, which is a beautiful country and has a decent healthcare system. I enjoy travelling, learning, reading, attending live shows of any kind (musicals, ballet, concerts, stand up, sporting events – really anything). I am an empath and advocate for others. I try to live my life by being kind and curious. I do not know how to snap, but I can whistle. There is a lot more about me that I could share and I may end up doing so in further posts. However I hope these tidbits suffice for now.
Onto the second part of the title – cooking. I have no formal cooking or baking training but I have always loved being in the kitchen. When I was child I dreamed of being a pastry chef. I was gifted fancy knives as Christmas presents, I would make a mess in the kitchen no matter what I was making and I would always pressure my family to eat my creations – even if I didn’t. Yes, I was picky and wanted to be a chef. Just a little counterintuitive now reflecting upon it. As I became an adult, cooking and baking was still fun but was not as often an occurrence. One summer I ran a speciality cooking camp for teens and adults with disabilities and it was honestly my favourite job so far! I also taught a recreation program called “Learn to Cook” for children ages 4-12. I still baked for special reasons/people and I cooked for myself but it was not the most prominent activity in my life. I have recently begun relearning how to cook. Because of health reasons, my diet is gluten free. Although there are wonderful substitutions available, this drastically changed the way that I prepare food. Good food, that is mostly good for you, can truly make a difference in how you physically feel. While not everything I make is healthy, I do try to cook balanced-ish meals. I create dishes using a variety of sources – cookbooks, the internet and personal preference/thoughts. Thankfully, I am not nearly as picky and I am now the first tester of these creations.
I am not entirely sure what will come of this blog. I have considered writing one for over four years now and have only just begun taking the steps. I am not super tech savvy, nor have I ever been able to consistently journal. I have been told I am a good writer, but the opinion was a tad bias – thanks again Dad! I am hoping that by sharing my thoughts with the world through this platform, I will be able to resonate with at least one person who otherwise I would not have been able to.
What to expect:
- Recipes of course! Some tasty gluten free dishes coming your way.
- General overall thoughts, with the main focus being placed on health/life with chronic illness.
- Adventuring – only when safely possible.
- Maybe book reviews? Who knows! I am open to discussing most things if there’s a want or desire to discuss it. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything you’d like me to touch upon.