Saturday 25th June 2022

Women of Courage Series. #11. Kirsten. 82/2019.

Women of Courage Series. #11. Kirsten. 82/2019.

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid May 2019: Wednesdays: each week.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda

Welcome to Kirsten’s story. She is 46. Kirsten first connected with me via her generosity when I was sent a gift pack from a group of friends after my big cancer surgery. Kirsten has continued to be a great social media friend too. Here’s her story.


What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

In 2015 I was diagnosed with a rare condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) It’s a condition I’d never heard of before and it’s one that mimics a brain tumour in terms of symptoms. I was losing my eye sight, suffering from facial numbness, balance issues and migraines prior to my diagnose. I had no idea when I was diagnosed just how courageous I would need to be to fight it.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

It changed me – and my family – completely. I had no idea I was such a determined person prior to my diagnosis. It took me two years to shove my symptoms into remission and the medication I had to take to help make this happen knocked me flat for the first year. But I was determined to beat it. I was also determined to keep life as ‘normal’ as possible for our two kids. I got up every morning, made lunches, took them to school, came home and slept or rested until it was time to pick them up from school in the afternoon. Some afternoons I was so nauseous I’d take a bucket with me in the car – I had a lovely decorative tin bucket in our pantry (I used to use it as an ice bucket when if we had a party) and that was the bucket I’d use. When the kids saw it in the car, I would just tell them I’d lent it to someone for a party and keep forgetting to take it out of the car. It makes me laugh now, thinking of that tin bucket rolling around in the front seat of the car just in case I needed to use it!


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

I’ve learned that when it comes to your health – and life in general – you are your only advocate. You can have all the specialists in the world looking after you, but you are the only one who can actually help you. I followed my neurologist, opthalmologist and endocrinologists advice to the letter. I went to every six weekly appointment with each of them for 2 years and did exactly what they told me I needed to do to beat this thing. But I also questioned them when I wasn’t happy with how things were progressing. I asked for more information, I wanted to understand. I tackled this thing head on.

And honestly?At the time I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing. It wasn’t until I was given the great news that I was in remission that I really thought about what I’d done to get to that point. And I guess that’s what courage is to me – pushing through the darkness until you’ve achieved what needs to be done.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

I think I’m really good at slipping into old habits! Sometimes old thoughts of self doubt surface and I feel anything but courageous. But I’m definitely more aware of how capable I actually am.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

There’s always a silver lining to every situation. Good, bad, happy sad – the silver lining is always there. Sometimes it just takes a while for it to show up. But when it does, you’ll feel so grateful for not being where or who you were.


Thank you Kirsten for such an amazing story of recovery. You inspire me to continue to keep plugging away as part of my own recovery in becoming more active!




Blog/Website: and

Facebook Page (not personal account):


It is so good to see Kirsten doing well. Something I am adding now is that there is a great line of oils that she and her husband have developed and now sell. I was fortunate to be given some and latterly I have bought the body oil and lip balm. First known as Skin Boss, it is now Bettyquette. Here’s what some of the products look like….I love her generosity of spirit!


Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends and on Fridays, it’s Open Slather here with Alicia.

Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.



  1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Denyse. It has been so lovely to connect with you via social media and it’s truly an honour to be part of this series x

    • It is so good that you agreed to be part because having followed your story from July 2017 (landmark days for me & you) I have found it compelling and of great interest. My pleasure to share here this week.

      Denyse x

  2. I’m loving these stories, Denyse, and what I love about this one is despite the struggle – and the courage required, I can hear the sunshine in Kirsten’s “voice”. #MLSTL

  3. This story inspires me. I love the idea of being your own advocate for your own health. no one will ever care about your health as much as you do!

  4. Another courageous guest Denyse and thank you Kirsten for sharing your story and the important message of taking control of our health and being our own advocate. Thanks Denyse for sharing at #MLSTL and enjoy your week, ladies. xx

    • Kirsten is someone we can all admire for taking such big steps to minimise the effects of her condition over the time she has. She is one very determined woman and is based in Brisbane.

      Denyse x

  5. Kirsten you are an inspiration – and such an example of how much we can achieve if we have the will power and resilience to see ourselves through difficult challenges and come out the other side. I love that you found your silver lining (I think Denyse has too!)
    Denyse, thanks for linking this post up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  6. It’s so wonderful to see Kirsten here as part of your series Denyse. She sure does have a story of courage indeed! I’ve known Kirsten since I first started blogging back in 2012 and have watched her transformation as she took steps to improve her health. It took determination, willpower and great strength of character and I couldn’t be happier that she’s achieved such a positive outcome. On top of that the business (Bettyquette) that she’s built up with her husband Scott is very inspirational and another positive outcome born from hard work and commitment. Well done Kirsten and I wish you continued good health, happiness and success. xo #TeamLovinLife

  7. Thank you for sharing your strength and positivity, Kirsten!

    SSG xxx

  8. Thanks for another great post about an amazing woman Denyse! I can feel the relief and resilience in Kirsten’s words and wish her well. I also like the sliver lining reminder. #mlstl

    • This “Woman of Courage” was one on the top of my list….we have not met but you do get to know a person on-line through the stories as we both know.

      Denyse x

  9. Absolutely stellar advice on following advice buy being your own advocate and question things. #Openslather

    • Thanks Lydia, Kirsten’s story is one great example of being in charge of your health as best as you can be for life balance.

      Denyse x

  10. Thank you for sharing your story, Kirsten. I really related to your “definition” of course as “pushing through the darkness until you’ve achieved what needs to be done.” And yes, we have to be our own advocate but I find it difficult knowing if/when it slips into being over anxious/hypochondria and genuine concern. I guess that’s the legacy of insidious disease. Keeping an eye on the silver lining is essential for peace of mind, no matter how big or small it is.

    • Thank you V, for your insight. It is a fine line at times between ‘feeling sorry’ for myself and then picking myself up and ‘getting on with what has to be done.

      I think too, these long term and potential nasty diseases sure do change much of what we thought life was about.

      Denyse x

  11. Thanks Kirsten for sharing your courage. It just goes to show, you never know what someone else is going through. Will try to remember the silver lining in life, it has been testy! #openslather

  12. An amazing story of commitment and courage. When you feel so god damn sick it’s hard to stay fully committed to the path. I tip my hat to you Kirsten! Xx