Coffee with Esther (December 2022)

‘Tis the season…

Hi all, 

Where has the year gone?

December is slipping away and Christmas is on the horizon. This time of year can be stressful for anyone. Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) can put even more pressure on us and our bodies. You may have a fully booked, party thrilling time planned, or a quiet peaceful one on your own. Whichever the case, please remember the golden rule: “Pace yourself”. No one will mind if you have to rest up, or if you can’t attend every party. You need to listen to your body and decide which things you can achieve and will enjoy. (One advantage of this condition is it sometimes helps get me out of seeing people I really don’t want to see). 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

I tend to have a small gathering, mainly close family. Christmas Day is not a traditional one. We eat what we want and when we want, no pressure on anyone. But my family are mostly adults and I know a lot of people have children or large families. It is just so hard to prepare for Christmas and then complete a traditional day. So please ask for help, and do not try to do everything then suffer in silence. I know it’s so hard for most of us to say, “I need help”, but we have to learn to accept it and say these three words. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous time this December and welcome the new year feeling positive about what 2023 will bring us. 

So let’s now reflect on the past year. The very first Virtual Coffee Break started in January and it was exciting to see other people who understood each other face-to-face. It was a hit! When Iwan Sadler said we could continue them, I was overwhelmed with the thought I could connect with new friends. My world had become so small after my operation. Friends and family just couldn’t understand why I was not back to “normal”. But now I have friends all over the world. 

Hearing other people’s stories, laughing, and giving advice has opened my world back up. There are regulars and people that pop on and off. But everyone is welcome. There have been tears of laughter and tears of sadness, but we have all been supportive and kind. So a massive “Thank You” to all of you that have joined in over the past year. 

I never knew volunteering with would help me so much with accepting my condition, and improving my mental health. There are amazing people at this charity and we all want the same thing. Research into the condition, support for sufferers, medical professionals learning to understand the condition, and a lot more. So please, if like me, you are thinking ‘what can I do now?’ or ‘what does my future look like?’, think about becoming a volunteer. They need help in all areas and you don’t have to commit hours and hours. You can do what you feel you can do. You could sign up to help with research too. It is so rewarding and it’s given me a piece of the old me back. For further information, please contact   

The Virtual Coffee Breaks will continue in the new year and beyond, so why not pop on and see what it is all about?

Don’t forget it’s Christmas Jumper Virtual Coffee Break on the 15th of December at 6 pm GMT. 

Photo by Thirdman on Pixels

Virtual Coffee Breaks in January and February 2023 are as follows:

  • 5th January at 11am GMT
  • 12th January at 2pm GMT
  • 19th January at 6pm GMT
  • 2nd February at 11am GMT
  • 9th February at 2pm GMT
  • 16th February at 6pm GMT

I hope you all have a wonderful time and I will see you all in 2023!