My name is Clare, and I was born in London in the UK in 1982. I moved to Co. Wicklow in Ireland in 1997, and now live in the lovely coastal town of Glasthule, Dublin. I love to travel, meet new people, design things – flipping properties and creating websites being the latest creative design projects I’ve had a go at. I worked in insurance for many years, but it wasn’t for me. After losing 4 stone, I gradually became interested in health and well-being as something I wanted to pursue as a job, so my current goal is to study to become a Nutrition & Health Coach.
Off The Couch originally came about in 2016 as a marathon training blog, and evolved beyond that to general health and well-being topics. However fate loves to intervene, and I never got to run the marathon. I developed chronic pelvic pain in June 2016 and by October 2016 was bedbound and in a lot of pain 24/7. It was beyond misery!
To cut a long story short to the present day, I have come to a major realisation – I was not healthy. I had severe hormone imbalance, gut health problems, musculoskeletal imbalances, chronic sinus and ear infections, and I tested positive for Lyme antibodies – my immune system was battered. All this had fed into the chronic pelvic pain, I was like a ticking time bomb. According to Western Medicine, the condition I have – “Interstitial Cystitis” or “IC”, is incurable. I don’t believe that – I’ve come across too many people who have recovered, who are now leading healthy and happy lives. I’m about 70% there myself, working my way through the root causes mentioned above, and taking a holistic viewpoint by improving my overall health. I’m also slowly working my way through my bucket list and doing silly things like getting a tattoo (a tiny one, I’m too much of a wuss!)
I had also wanted to go skydiving, but towards the end of 2018 began to experience chronic migraine symptoms. To cut another long story short, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, raised intracranial pressure and sinus stenosis (squished brain vessels). I had a VP Shunt put in my noggin in June 2019. She is called Sigourney as she looks a little bit alien…Signourney will not allow me to skydive, but I have every hope that my symptoms will improve. As I learn more on my Health and Nutrition Course about how to help others, I also want to learn more about how I can help myself heal. Healing may not always be possible, but improving quality of life wherever possible is absolutely key, and something everyone deserves.
No matter what your own health story is, this site is for everyone, to help you be healthy and happy. I cover topics from physical health, to mental and emotional wellbeing, to reproductive health (something we don’t talk about enough). I’ve also created a separate dedicated Interstitial Cystitis section for patients to learn more about what causes it, and how to treat it effectively.
Feel free to drop me an email anytime – firstname.lastname@example.org – always happy to hear from readers.
Wishing you health and happiness!