Getting personal


Time to get a bit personal.  If you meet me, please don’t ask me when my baby is due.

I have polycystic kidney disease and polycystic liver disease. They both work fine at the moment, but my liver is very enlarged, and makes me look pregnant.  I’m sharing this to save your embarrassment as well as mine; I’ve lost count of the number of people who have made this well-intentioned error, and I’ve watched the creeping mortification in their eyes as their cheerful enquiry has been cut short by “actually, it’s not a baby…”.

I feel well, if a bit physically uncomfortable, and surgery is on the cards in the next couple of years. It’s been hard coming to terms with the changes in my body and limitations in my physical abilities.  Buying clothes is tricky and disheartening, but I’m grateful for the good health I do enjoy.




I tell you this now because I’m practicing being brave and I’m tired of hiding and feeling ashamed.  I’ve always liked to keep my personal life separate from my work but the time feels right to bring the whole me to the party!

With the publication of these new photos and video by Vicki Knights I can feel my confidence growing and my energy building.  Even I can see she has made me look pretty good, and my lovely liver is there too in all it’s functioning glory.  But for me the best bit about these pictures is that I said yes to them in the first place, that I could be honest with Vicki about my self-consciousness, and the fun, colour, creativity and laughs we had together.

I didn’t know I was going to write this today, but I’ve just done a throat chakra yoga practice and I made a commitment to speak my truth. Thanks for listening.


Comments (6)

  1. Fiona Humberstone 14th November 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Beautifully written (of course!). So in awe of you for sharing this because I know just how painful it must have been for you. You are gorgeous inside and out and Vicki has done an awesome job with these photos. Lots of love xxx

  2. opalandco 14th November 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks Lovely. xx

  3. Kelly Smithson 14th November 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Beautiful pics Clare – you always look gorgeous xx

    • opalandco 14th November 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Thank Kelly, you are very kind! xxx

  4. Louise Simkins 14th November 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I hope this is making you feel great, because it should do! Brave suits you, you wear it well ♥️

    • opalandco 14th November 2019 at 3:07 pm

      What a lovely thing to say. Thanks honeybun. xx

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