OQ5: Living well with a chronic illness, Part 1 (EN)

Listen to the episode:

Right-click to download the episode as an mp3-file:

Episode Description:

This week Irina is joined with cherished friends Andy McLellan, PhD (via Skype from London, UK) and Erica Hamilton, PhD, currently living in Uppsala, Sweden. Andy and Erica also share how faced with a serious illness they had to learn to let go identifying with career and relationships and find a new way of being.

Andy’s career as a research biologist was cut short by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the age of 25. His physical healing is far from complete but he is able to take an active role in raising his three children and often writes about Buddhism and healing.

Erica was 24 when she was diagnosed first with ulcerative colitis and later with Crohn’s colitis. There are no signs of inflammation in her body since 2006. She now works as a wellness consultant and teaches classes in meditation and qigong.

Both Erica and Andy has been long time Buddhist practitioners and meditate daily.

This first part of the conversation touches upon how our fast-paced life can lead to our disembodiment and pushing ourselves too far, the existing in the world of Western medicine dichotomy between the organic and the functional and how the absence of measurable cause of a medical condition influences the attitude of the medical establishment towards the patients. Andy and Erica also share how faced with a serious illness they they had to learn to let go identifying with career and relationships and find a new way of being.

Episode Resources:

Andy’s blog on recovering from chronic illness

Erica’s site

Erica’s healing blog Determined to Heal

Other related resources:

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
Living Well with Pain and Illness by Vidyamala Burch
Beat Fatigue With Yoga by Fiona Agombar

Tara Brach – a renouned western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening.

Darlene Cohen’s site


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  1. #1 by JJ on May 25, 2011 - 06:28

    Thank-you for this podcast. I am a 27 year old female who has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis for about 2 years now. So much of what Erica and Andy said resonated with me. It also provided me with hope, which is great because sometimes you feel utterly hopeless in the face of this condition. I am looking forward to listening to Part 2.

    • #2 by Irina Almgren on May 26, 2011 - 10:35

      JJ, thanks for listening and for sharing about your condition. Hope you will find some supporting tips and energy in Part 2 where Andy and Erica share their strategies of dealing with pain. Warm thoughts!

  2. #3 by Erica on May 26, 2011 - 10:05

    Thanks for listening to our podcast, JJ! Part 2 is up now and I would be honored if you listened to it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just need to express some feelings related to living with UC. Healing blessings to you! -Erica

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