Case Studies

Making Waves – Lorna Cameron Individual Transformational Story of the Year

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: Case Study

As part of the Making Waves series, find out how Lorna has made an impact on self management in Scotland.

As winner of the 2018 Self Management Individual Transformational Story of the Year Award, we want to share with you the learning from Lorna’s success in supporting self management in Scotland. Nominated by Craig MacFarlane, read on to find out more.

Lorna who was an extremely active, bright 31 year old got diagnosed with severe M.E (CFS) in 1999 following a head injury. She had three young boys under five at the time and had been working three jobs, as well as being a full-time mum. Her condition was so bad that all of her systems became dysfunctional, and she subsequently became completely bed bound, with a lot of pain. Her symptoms mounted up to 32 and she was given 178 drugs a week to cope. She had to rely on an indoor wheelchair, commode, bath lift, and various other aids just to perform few basic personal needs, that was only on the days she could even sit up on the bath lift without horrendous pain, fatigue, which didn’t only affect her brain and body but also many organs, in particular her heart and lungs.

After Lorna had been bed bound for 2.5 years, she was referred to the CIC in Glasgow which was then Glasgow homeopathic hospital. This visit lasted seven weeks and in those early days gave her comfort, time and realisations to recover enough to think about how to improve her health. When her condition became more moderate she project managed lots of creative, environmental projects that spanned a few years and included organising music, art, drama and writing groups involving more than 250 schoolchildren and adults. She then went on to study complementary therapies at college, write a poetry book and have 13 poems published in other magazines and anthologies.

Lorna initially made an impact with others and self management with the project she coordinated within the community. She organised it so that the local schoolchildren were working with her and other adults planting apple trees, herbs, flowers, doing willow art and also structures like teepees, domes and tunnels to play in, teaching them about outside activities, being in the moment, friendship, teamwork, nature and nurture. When the herb garden was complete, it was decided the herbs could be used with the children in learning about cooking. Another activity was making bird tables and nesting boxes for the birds, again not only new skills, eco friendly awareness using reclaimed wood, but also about nature and nurture. They were able to play in the woodland orchestra, and learn how the instruments were made.

Lorna organised bus trips and environmental awareness days out into the local countryside, and events that all had fun nature, nurture, recycling and reusing themes threaded throughout. She set up a local writing group that some of the teachers and parents came along to. She then worked as a volunteer with a local special needs art group helping others with profound disabilities to express themselves. She helped people at a centre for patients with cerebral palsy, with the therapies she had, self management, reading and writing.

Lorna continued to study and made an impact throughout her own healing journey with others with chronic conditions from what she had learned. She made lotions and potions from oils and herbs to help people mange their pain in a more natural way without the side effects that had been effecting them. She made soaps and balms that helped people with their management of conditions like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and itchy skin problems. From her studies in diet and nutrition and related diseases and as a naturopath she also gave nutritional guidance that would help them to manage inflammation from the inside out, and other dietary and environmental self empowering guidance.

Lorna also speaks openly about her relapse that occurred in 2009 after being infected by swine flu. This led to subsequent secondary conditions on top of Severe ME at that time which were endometriosis, PTSD, severe anxiety disorder and IBS leading to being bedbound for more than two and a half years. Lorna shares many parts of self management journey  to encourage others to know they can heal and self manage effectively with not just one but numerous complex chronic conditions.

Lorna’s condition and recovery journey inspired her to become a holistic health practitioner. She’s qualified in anatomy and physiology, philosophy, aromatherapy, reflexology, naturopathy, diet and nutrition and related diseases, client psychology, EFT (emotional freedom technique), Swedish massage and Angelic reiki. She has her own organic 100% natural skincare, therapeutic bath, artisan soap and fragrance range, with an eco friendly ethos, which helps people to avoid many of those nasty chemicals that can affect our health, as around 60% of what we put on our skin enters our blood stream. She has her own website and blog which has lots of variety on various self help and self development techniques, such as healthy recipes, tips on recovery and holistic self management of chronic conditions.

In consideration of people who have severe M.E who have trouble reading, she has highlighted some of the main points in to summarise the longer texts on the blog for them. www.butterflybeeswellbeing.com (this link will take you away from our website).

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