Kirsty Gibson is a Community Nurse, a face of the My Skills My Strength My Right to Work campaign and an all-round inspirational person.
Kirsty spoke at the Self Management Awards in 2015 about her experiences and we are delighted that she has agreed to judge the awards in 2017. Read on to find out about what inspires Kirsty and her pizza super power.
What is self management to you?
Self management is about taking control over my health and realising that I am the expert in my condition and recognising that I play a part in keeping myself well, by recognising that I need to have a good work/life/health balance. A key component about self management for me is being open and honest with myself and not feeling guilty for saying “no” when I’m asked to socialise last minute when I feel poorly as rest is something that can prevent my condition from deteriorating.
What are you most looking forward to about being a judge for the Self Management Awards?
I’m most looking forward to hearing about the incredible work being done across Scotland around self management and knowing that those nominated will be humbled to have been considered.
Why do you think people should submit a nomination for the Self Management Awards this year?
Too often, great work isn’t recognised and it’s about time that changed and the Self Management Awards is a great way to share great work and to celebrate incredible projects and inspiring people and also a great way to empower people.
If you could trade places with anybody, who would it be?
I would trade places with Elena Beltacha. She was my inspiration for self management a number of years ago after I learned that she had the same liver condition as myself, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and diagnosed at roughly the same age. She was an incredible tennis player and following her diagnosis, she fought her way back to being the best that she could be and recognised the importance of having to take her medication and being prepared for travelling and the implications that could have on her health. I was incredibly sad to learn of her passing on May 4th 2014 following her battle with liver cancer, I would’ve loved to have met her and to thank her for showing that your health condition doesn’t define who you are.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
As someone diagnosed with a long term condition at a young age and who took a long time to be comfortable with that diagnosis, I would tell myself not to be scared and not to worry about what other people think of you – if someone has a negative thing to say about you, or makes you feel like you aren’t worthy, then they are not worth knowing. It is your health and happiness that comes first, not someone else’s.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
This is an interesting one, I like the idea of being able to teleport, as someone with bowel disease it’d be handy for getting to the toilet! But then again, I could also use it to get some tasty pizza from Italy…