I rarely do posts like this, but I want to get into doing them more!
I do buy a lot of beauty products, I guess you could call it a hobby (since I don’t play the guitar anymore, damn you EDS). Skincare, body care, make-up brushes, you name it, I’ve got them! A lot of females are the same, but since becoming ill, I’ve been focusing more on beauty and spa products that will help me, and to be honest I was surprised how many brands there are out there with products focused on relaxation.
So I started purchasing from brands like Burts Bee’s and Champneys Spa at Boots and I wanted to see how I could benefit from these products and how they’d help my body (plus, I love experimenting with bath and body products, who doesn’t?) I needed all the help I could get when it came to bubble baths that actually help aches and pains, and sleep sprays that actually, you know, HELP you sleep. So, through trial and error I found a few great items that I know i’ll re-buy again and again. I’ll explain under each item why it helps, how its helped and where to buy (most, from Boots).
Feather&Down is a brand sold in Boots stores and online in the UK. I’ve never tried any other Feather&Down products but this spray makes me want to buy their collection. The spray is a beauty aroma of lavender and chamomile, but isn’t too strong. I use this spray around my room around 5 minutes before bedtime along with the Champgnes Linen and Pillow spray.
I love Burts bee’s. I started purchasing mini’s from this brand back in 2015 when I moved back home and I love them. I’m so happy I got back into buying these products, and I started my collection back off with the Tips+Toes kit that I got back in the winter of 2015 and its a brilliant introduction into Burts Bee’s and what their products are like. The kit include
Almond Milk Hand Creme (0.25 oz.)
Hand Salve (0.3 oz.)
Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Hand Creme (0.75 oz.)
Coconut Foot Creme (0.75 oz.)
Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (0.3 oz.)
Replenishing Lip Balm (0.15 oz.)
My favourites of the kit have to be the ‘Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey and Grapeseed Hand Creme’ which really is therapeutic. I don’t know what it is about this hand cream but if I’m getting joint pain/swelling it really helps calm my hands down and has the best smell! The other favourites have to be the coconut foot creme which I now have in a larger size (which is the best foot lotion you can buy, it’s sticky, and the substance is very much like honey so it really does work and get rid of any dry skin). Last is the lip balm that Burts Bees do. I bet a lot of you have heard of the conspiracy that many lip balms have tiny bits of glass particles to make you buy more lip balms, I can guarantee you, Burt doesn’t do this ;).
Champneys Spa has been a life saver for me since finding them in Boots. Last Christmas I wrote a little list for my grandma of things I would like that I thought would help me and she got me a mini Champneys set with the Good as New Heavenly Days pillow spray. Since using that mini, I’ve had several more bottles of this stuff because it really does work. I like to use a mixture of Champneys and Feather&Down in my bedroom and on my bed linen before bed because it really does relax you and send you into another zone, even if you aren’t ready for bed.
The other Champneys products that I’ve been using are the Heavenly Days Good As New Bath+Shower products. The best of these products has to be the bubble heaven. It’s very thick, but once swilled around in bath water it creates bubbles like you’ve never seen in your life! They also have the same scent as the pillow spray, so if you use these before getting into bed linen with the Feather&Down spray then you’re guaranteed a good nights sleep.
Thanks for reading and if anyone has come across any other products in September that help spoonies, e-mail me!
I’ve been into beauty from being around 14/15, and i’m nearly 20, so I like to think i’ve learned a lot along the way. Here’s my top 5 beauty lessons i’ve learned that I want to share with you all!
1) Dry Shampoo is king… just don’t spray it too close, especially if you have dark hair.
I was never a big dry shampoo fan, but as my hair got longer and my ability to stand in my Uni shower became less bearable, a flat-mate told me to just buy some dry shampoo… So I very reluctantly did, knowing my hair would feel disgusting after one use… I purchased the Batiste Coconut and Tropic Fruit version and honestly? it was wonderful!
It was really light-weight in my hair, didn’t leave any marks and didn’t dry my scalp out. I’ve tried other dry shampoo’s and most just .. don’t feel right in my hair or leave a residue which I can’t stand. But this one seemed to work very well for me and I’ve used it ever since, and i’ve experimenting with the different scents. I wouldn’t go without it now, it really is a life saver, especially when you have last minute plans! So, don’t knock it till you’ve tried more than one or two brands. I’m guilty of that…
2) Winged eyeliner will make your eyes stand out so much. It also takes forever to apply.
I started learning the art of winged liner at age 15 and it took a good year and a half before I could apply it properly within a few minutes without any smudges or smears. Once you get the hang of it, you’ve got it for life and you won’t forget it… kinda like riding a bike. It makes your eyes stand out so much and it really draws attention away from my under-eye area that I usually hate, because I’m naturally dark under my eyes. Yuck!
But honestly, winged liner.. it changes your life when you learn how to do it properly. I suggest YouTube tutorials and hours of apply and reapplying.
*Side Note: You may end up feeling like your eyes are raw if you take it off and re-apply too much, i’ve been there, it stings, please use moisturiser!*
3) Bleaching your hair at home isn’t possible.
Well, it is, but it ends up patchy and you have sores all over your scalp for all of eternity. Just go to the hairdressers guys.
4) Never apply too much thick concealer under your eyes.
This is a no no! Wanna know something worse than dark circles? Obviously covered up dark circles, that’s what! If you apply a thick layer of concealer and keep going over and over one particular area, your under-eye area will look completely caked on (which nobody likes).
Not only that but it will usually look very heavy, lighter than the rest of your face, not blended and can just show your bags even worse. Less is more. If you have a bit of puffiness or darkness under your eyes, you can deal with that. But being tired and having caked your under eyes with thick concealer… it’s just not a good mix at all. I’ve been there, and I’m never going back.
5) Washing your conditioner off with cold water does make your hair shiny.
And it feels sooooooooo good! If you haven’t done this already, do it!
Girls of all kinds can be beautiful – from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box…Think outside of the box…Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.’
One thing that really, really frustrates me is how society has its own image of beauty. You are either too skinny, too fat, too small, too tall, and so on and so forth. Anytime you walk into your local shop you’re usually faced with newspapers with bold headlines and glossy magazines with shocking revelations. Beyonce has ‘rolls’? How awkward is Taylor Swifts posture? How fat has Selena Gomez gone? Is she spiralling out of control?
But why are we so obsessed with body image and weight? Why can’t we just be happy with the way we are without comparing? As humans we can be our own worst enemy, but it’s even worse when it’s being pushed down your throat and fed to you by the media.
All my life I have been a very skinny child and teenager, I have had skinny legs, skinny arms, hardly much of a chest and a small bum, and only recently started to fill out and I was made to feel incredibly awkward and uncomfortable with my body in my younger years, as most people do. I never starve myself, I’ve always ate (relatively) healthy meals, I eat a LOT of high calorie things and yet I still barley put weight on… some may call me lucky, some may call me out on it, but me? Well, i’m me, i’d be happy even if I did put weight on, and it bothers me why body weight can threaten people, and cause them to dislike you because you look a certain way.
I’ve known people all their lives be called for being ‘too large’, as myself for being ‘too skinny’, were made to feel extremely awkward and uncomfortable, and it really is not nice. Once, while working as a waitress, I got called out for how skinny I was and got asked if I’d had anything for my tea that night… I’d actually ate like a horse that day… how somebody looks isn’t necessarily to do with what they eat for one, and for two, a lot of it actually comes down to genes. If we’re from a naturally larger built family, the likelihood is you will be passed down the same genes as if someone came from a naturally skinny family.
A lot of evidence suggests that our genes have a big role in determining our weight, so you’re basically calling someone out for the way they naturally are… that’s unfair… the same as skin colour, we can’t control it, we can’t really change it, some people can’t control their weight.
I’ve also never understood why there is so much hate towards size 0 women, as some people are naturally size 0 and don’t really put weight on. I have never understood why there is so much hate towards size 18 women, as some people are naturally larger and can’t take the weight off so easily, and look fine as hell as they are. And heck! Is there such thing as an ideal weight and size? As long as we are healthy and as long as we are comfortable, what is the issue? There is so much hate about being curvy, there is too much hate about being thin, and these issues really don’t need to be raised unless its a hazard to the persons health. The issue in my opinion that needs to be raised is why can’t we all be comfortable without somebody making a comment? Why can’t we be happy in our own skin and brag about it?
I believe that there should be a campaign for women to be comfortable in their skin no matter what size. It hurts and upsets me for people to call me for being ‘under weight’ and I have been called ‘anorexic’ too many times in high school, and this is not ok. Anorexia is a serious health issue, and nothing like that should ever be thrown around to use as an insult to someone, and it is insulting that somebody would think its ok to use it. These things are not ok. Being called ‘fat’ and ‘morbidly obese’ and other hurtful names is again, it is not ok.
We are in 2016 people. This should not be an issue anymore. If you feel like you have to body shame somebody, then take a good long hard look in the mirror.
You’re all beautiful. Every single last one of you. Tall, small, black, white, blonde hair, blue hair, who cares? Everyones unique in their own way, remember that, don’t ever change yourself because you don’t look a certain way, you look like you for a reason, it’s ancestry that lives on and you should be proud of who you are. 🙂
This week I watched the Brits nominations and found out online that the Oscar nominations are out; (Wolf Alice have been nominated for a Brit, amazing, and if Leo doesn’t win an Oscar this year… I’ll go nuts).
But in light of the headlines on these red carpet events I thought I would do a new look with my make-up, a classic look with my own twist.
I thought to myself ‘if I was to do someone’s make-up for one of these classic awards show… how would I do it?‘ and I worked from there. I’m by no means a make-up artist, but I do know a thing or two and have been practicing skills since I was 14, so I thought I would challenge myself from my every day make-up looks to try something different.
I would love to attend one of these events, clearly, who wouldn’t?
So I started to do my research into the ‘Gothic Hollywood Glamour look’ as a starting point and came across three of my favourite gal’s who have rocked the look and made their mark.
I love how each of these famous ladies have rocked the look and slayed it to heaven and back. I studied Lily’s look mainly (in the middle) and wanted to rock the thick brows and the bold lips mainly.
So I sat myself down at my make-up desk and decided yes, I wanted to do a classic Hollywood Glamour look, with the popping eyes, the thick brows, the contour and the false lashes. But I wanted to add my own twist too it.
I love nothing more than thick black eyeshadow and bold dark lips. I noticed that Miranda rocked the black eyeshadow, but Lily and Khloe went for more a natural look with their eyes. It was a very hard challenge to not draw my winged liner on, I have to admit, but I felt like it created more of a sleek, clean look without the bold wings added, as sometimes I feel like they can distract away from the work I put in with my eyeshadow, and any look I create has winged liner in, so I took a brave step and decided to leave the liner in the make-up bag.
Usually the ‘Classic Hollywood Glamour look‘ includes pin curls (I didn’t do my hair to perfection this time round, I just slicked it back with gel), false lashes, the high arch brows, and usually red lips and bold eyes.
These are all the products I used to create this look.
Before I did anything with my face, I started on my eyes. I find that there’s nothing worse than having bits of eye-shadow flaking off onto your foundation and your under eye, you can never remove it simply, it’s always the biggest challenge in the world. It’s better to be able to wipe off the excess with a wipe with no worries of removing any other make-up.
I used the last two shades of the Gwen Stefani palette for this look. I used two shades, ‘Blackout’ and the very shimmery gold ‘1987’, that is so SO beautiful!
To apply the ‘1987’ I used my NYX all over eyeshadow brush to colour in the corners of my eyes with gold, and used my Mac blending brush to blend it over my crease to create a shimmery glow. Then I moved onto ‘Blackout’ and again I used my NYX eyeshadow brush to pack the colour on, and then the Mac blending brush to blend it with the 1987 gold colour. I did this 3/4 times. Just keep repeating until you get both eyes even. If it takes a few attempts, don’t worry, you’ll get it. (Any black/gold eyeshadow would work for this look – a lot of people rave about Make-up Revolutions palettes. I can’t say I’ve ever tried them myself. But I would say they’d be a good choice after reading a lot of reviews, I looked at them in Superdrug and I would use the Ultra Flawless Matte 32 shade palette, or the Iconic Dreams Palette). I then used a face wipe to get rid of any excess shadow that fell under my eyes and my cheeks, and went onto my base.
For my base I used my Nars Sheer Glow foundation with my Real Techniques foundation brush, this foundation is so thin and lightweight, and is super smooth to apply, so I love it. I’ve always been a fan of Matte foundations until a friend suggested to try a foundation thats more lightweight and had a glow too it, and he was totally right.
I feel like a good glowy foundation should be used for this look, as it really does brighten up your face.
Next I used my Rimmel London Match Perfect Concealer that really brightens up my under eye and covers my dark circles (I’ve talked about Rimmel concealers in previous blog posts, I swear by them – and coming from someone who suffers naturally with puffy dark circles under her eyes – I’d take my advice and at least just try it – it may not work for everyone, but I do love it). I also drew my brows on with the Makeup Revolution Eyebrow palette that I’ve spoken about in recent posts. I used the darkest colour this time because I really wanted my brows to stand out, and really wanted to thick them up.
In the top left hand corner you can see I used both of my sleek palettes for contouring. (One palette is is a Highlighter kit and the other is a contour kit) I used my Make-up Revolution contour brushes to apply the glow, then the bronze, then back onto the glow, and carried on with this routine until I was happy with how it looked.
In all honesty, it really doesn’t take me too long to get my contouring right because I’ve been practicing it for years now, especially on my nose (as it’s not my best feature) so if it takes you a while to get the hang of it, don’t worry too much 🙂 It’s all work in progress! I found the best way to learn was through YouTube videos.
I topped my eyes off with the Soap and Glory Thick and Fast mascara and used the half lashes in my eye-lure set. It states on the back of the box that these can be used alone or on top of the full lashes included in the set, but I found that just the half ones worked just fine for this look.( I didn’t want my eye’s to be too over dramatic because of the eye-shadow I’d packed on previously).
After applying my face make-up and my shadows, I spritz my face with the L’oreal setting spray and wiped the excess water from the spray with my Real Techniques blending brush. I like doing this as when I’ve left the spray to set on its own without swiping a brush over it, it’s dried funny and has left marks on my foundation where the spray has set, which is hard to fix once its dried. So I’d use a blending brush to just give your face a good once over.
Finally I finished my look off with the Barry M Lip Liner in shade Plum and used my Real Techniques Retractable Lip Brush to apply my Lord&Berry Lipstick. I wish I could tell you the shade, I bought it so long ago! I’m pretty sure it’s ‘Cupid’ but it seems more dark than the colour on the Selfridges site. But any dark brown/plum colour will work well with this look.
(Just so everyones aware… I am wearing a top. I was just scared it was falling down, lol)
What do you think of my twist on the classic Hollywood Look?
Let me know in the comments 🙂
Urban Decay has brought out a new Vice palette and I honestly think that they’ve stopped my heart. They’re KILLING it recently. First they took my breath away with the Gwen Stefani palette (still in the process of writing a review for that, so keep your eyes peeled) then they brought out their lipstick collection by Gwen and NOW 16 days into the new year they’ve made beauty headlines overEVERYONE’S blog about their new Vice palette. I first heard the news on HelloGiggles and was straight on Google for where I could buy one.
I do have to admit, I sadly only own one palette by Urban Decay, purely because I’m a poor student *cries* but I’m making sure that I add more to the collection this year.
I’ve loved the look of their previous Vice palettes… but this one, is a must have for me. This palette has a wide range of colours from the pictures I’ve seen already, they have the perfect mix of old shades and new.
In this palette they’ve included 3 totally new shades *eeeek*, 5 vintage shades, 5 exclusives from past palettes and 7 bestsellers from their singles collection. So it sounds like it’ll be the type of palette that… well, anyone could use. And I love that, I love how diverse Urban Decay are, they offer something for everyone. From black matte to metallic brick red, to pale taupe-silver satin to deep olive green matte shades, this palette would work well for any occasion.
Not only are the eyeshadows to die for, the palette itself is beautiful. They’ve really outdone themselves with the packaging.
It’s safe to say that even though I only own one Urban Decay palette, that it’s the best eyeshadow palette I’ve ever owned and I would recommend it to anyone to buy, the price puts a lot of people off, but they’ll last and last and you won’t need to keep buying cheap palettes that you end up never using because the colours aren’t pigmented enough, or they don’t come off the brush properly.
Apparently in the US it’s hitting stores on the 24th, I’m not too sure about the UK but I can imagine we won’t be far behind.
Are any of you guys thinking of purchasing this palette? Let me know in the comments below!
I love nothing more than a fresh feeling face. I love the feeling of zero make-up and being able to give my eyes a good rub and not worry about messing up my winged liner and my eyebrows ending up on my forehead (as Kylie Jenner would say ‘not cute‘).
Since falling ill (I say falling ill, I was always ill, but since being diagnosed) I’ve ended up wearing less and less make-up during the day, even if I go out on a night when I’m well enough it’s minimum, 95% of the time, so I’ve been delving into the ‘naked skin‘ look more and looking at what products can help create the perfect look that will also make my skin feel like it’s make-up free (near enough).
I love using the Urban Decay Beauty Balm in shade Medium as that gives a flawless coverage that I’m always complimented on, and it’s so thin it feels like you’ve barley got any make-up on. It doesn’t cover everything, because it’s simply not thick enough, but when I’m going for the naked skin look, I don’t really want it to cover every imperfection. It’s light and it’s such a lovely glowing colour that it lasts all day round. The other beauty balm I love to use is the Simple BB Cream. I bought my mum this for Christmas and she loved it that much and got so many compliments that my Grandma also bought it and loved it equally as much. It’s the type of product that any age can use, I’m 19 and love it, my grandmas 70 and loves it. It’s made by Simple skin care so it has nothing in it that can irritate your skin. It’s a little thicker than the Urban Decay Balm, but I love it equally as much and it’s a good alternative as it’s much cheaper than the Urban Decay one.
The mascara I’ve been using a lot recently is the Rimmel day-to-night mascara, it has two different wands, one for day and… well, one for night! The day one spreads your lashes out and adds length and doesn’t clump at all. You can build and build it and it still won’t clump. I use my eyelash curlers when applying this mascara. It really gives a good natural look for your eyes. If you want to go crazy, add a pale pink or a cream colour to your eyelids.
For eyebrows I’ve been using what I always use, the Make-up Revolution eyebrow kit. It comes in 3 different shades, so some days when I really wanna do my eyebrows but have zero effort I just use a mix between the lightest shade and the medium shade to simply fill them in, which takes all of 20-30 seconds and they never come out too dark, they always just look natural and I love doing that. Instead of drawing the arch on, and making them longer/thicker, I simply just colour them in with this kit.
Lastly, over Christmas I asked for some Burts Bee’s things off my mum and she bought me a set that included some of their nourishing hydrating lip balms. They’re that good I now own 5. I never want to go without this product now in all honesty, and some of the balms have a tint to them so it’s perfect for a naked skin look with a touch of pink (it will state if they’re tinted on the tube, usually the tinted ones are a little more expensive). My favourite lip balm out of all of the ones I own is the Burts Honey balm. It smells sooooooo good!!!
My life as a PoTs patient hasn’t been easy to say the least, for nearly 6 years now I have been up, down round and round again with hospital stays, hospital appointments, doctors visits, and god knows how many needles every month for countless pointless tests that always came back negative .
I’ve wrote bits on my journey on my blog before, and gone further into my depression and other related illnesses but I got to the point where I wanted to write my full story on my illness after having lots of people contact me, and reading other people’s posts on their PoTs story and it’s really inspired me.
So let’s start from the beginning…
I was 13 just pushing 14 in the June of 2010 when I started to suddenly have the worst periods every month, and it wasn’t a normal cycle, it was horrific pain. I had other symptoms with this but shook them off. I presumed I felt so drained and exhausted because my cycle was all over the place, and tried pill after pill until one started to work.
A few months later after a lot of doctors appointments it became apparent that not only were my periods completely messed up, but I had also caught a nasty case of the glandular fever virus that explained my weird other symptoms, but I expected the fatigue to be worse as I seemed to have bounced back slightly from the ‘drained all the time‘ feeling and carried on as normal for at least 80% of the time.
The only thing was by Spring of 2011 I continued to spiral downwards but silently accepted that it was just a bad backlash of the virus, and did no more, my doctor whom I had from being a baby would always agree with my mother’s suggestion of this, and he would always agree without doing any research of his own, I mean, I can’t blame him, a usually fit and healthy teenage girl with some odd symptoms, must just be hormones, right? No, so so wrong. But every single doctor I visited had the same answer.
The first memory I have of feeling ‘weird’ was in April 2011 during a school assembly, my hands started to tingle and my stomach was turning and knotting. When I stood up I went really light headed and my blood started to pool in my hands and my feet, which is obvious now to be a classic PoTs symptom, but for a 15 year old girl who hadn’t even heard of the illness, I was none the wiser, and just kept telling my parents something weird was going on.
I was dating my first love at the time (who was always really caring when I wasn’t well and I still thank him for that to this day), and it was obvious he had caught the virus off me (sorry – again) but he wasn’t half as bad as I was, it was obvious he was very fatigued at times, but a good nights rest and he bounced back the next day. He never went for tests but even my mum agreed he had it, but he continued to look after me as I was feeling bad at least 75% of the time by my last year of High School, but I never understood how one person with the virus could be fine but have a few bad days or get worse after a cold, yet the other one was completely debilitated. I started with the irritability around that time and was pushing everyone away and was acting very erratic and couldn’t control it. I was having trouble climbing the stairs at school, and would get out of breath anytime I had a class on the 2nd or 3rd floor. My IBS was very bad nearly everyday, and as you can imagine, in High School it’s not something you want to suffer badly with, you’d think toilet humor grows out of people by 16, well, it doesn’t. Nearly every night my eye’s would swell like crazy, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to partake in sports, or go out with my friends and just played it off that I was lazy because I never wanted to spill out how I was truly feeling. I would nap every night after school (which I’d neverdone before), I barley had time to socialize or even have a shower and I’d have to eat my tea and go straight to bed and still wake up exhausted after 8/9 hours hours sleep.
By the end of High School my symptoms didn’t flare up as much, but were still prominent, and would come on after certain things, like if I over drank alcohol at a house party, it would take a couple of days to fully recover, or if I went on an outing with friends, I would be exhausted for up-to a week later. My joints seem to be worse in the winter, and my rashes and skin blisters seem to be worse in the summer. So basically my illness is a full time 365 days a year occupation.
The last summer with everyone in school was great, I had an amazing love in my life who was always there for me, I had amazing friends and was experiencing new and more exciting things, and was ready to go off to College and finally study Media, but little did I know I was soon to fall flat on my face and never get back up. I would plod on for nearly 2 and a half years, which now seems impossible if I had to face it again.
My first year of College was a disaster to say the least. I was a lot worse and I was diagnosed with depression (unknowing to me caused by my POTs that I had then, never heard of) and was continuously being told I needed to see a therapist, and I may be bipolar, etc, and I took all of this really hard because I knew that the pain I was getting, especially in my stomach wasn’t just IBS, or in my head (like I was tried to be told time after time, which is so hurtful), the fatigue wasn’t just normal teenage tiredness like most doctor’s told me it was, and my eyes and glands weren’t swelling up like balloons everyday because of a relapsing glandular fever.
I knew all of these problems had to be caused by an autoimmune disorder, or something similar. Something weird was going on with me and I had zero idea what it was.
In college I had every test known to man, and thank my old tutors still to this day for helping me out so much. I was coming in every other month with a new reason to be off college again, this test was needed, that test was needed, this hospital stay was needed, that operation was needed, and it got me even more depressed that I developed social anxiety because I got super irritated in crowds, and couldn’t line up in shops without getting extreme hot flushes (the type where your face is on fire, your pumping with sweat and feel like you’ll either be sick or pass out, ye, not nice) and my blood rushing to my feet and hands. I was getting palpitations all the time and that’s when I got diagnosed with anxiety, where-as now I know the palpitations were due to my heart beating abnormally fast because of my faulty autonomic nervous system.
My first year of Uni was up and down again but my fatigue was that debilitating I finished the year with 26% attendance. I was trying so hard to keep up with going out 3-4 times a week to social events, karaoke nights, drinking, uni work, finding a job, balancing going home to see my friends and family and making new friends in a new city I’d just moved too. Everyone with my condition knows how hard some days it is to even cook for yourself, never mind clean up after too, and my old flatmates would point and call me lazy, which is perfectly understandable, it happened to everyone at some point in the year, I just didn’t understand why I was feeling so ‘lazy’, because it felt like complete exhaustion and it turned into a ‘why me‘ depressed phase for a long while after Christmas 2014. Please don’t get me wrong, my first year of Uni was the best year of my life, but it did come with its struggles, and it did come with a lot of battles. I finally moved home in preparation for getting myself better for my 2nd year when my mum and dad finally recognized something was really wrong when I was told I may have Lymphoma after an examination and after my drenching night sweats started and I was losing weight rapidly. That’s where the tests started in the journey to the PoTs diagnosis.
Finally now I’m able to say on the 14th of November 2015 I was diagnosed with hypermobility/EDS, IBS/acid reflux, PoTs, fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and OSA. Only people with a chronic illness know how happy you can feel when you get diagnosed with something. It sounds silly, being happy that you have a chronic illness, but it’s proof for us that there is something wrong, and it’s not in our heads like people tried to tell us. I still believe I have an autoimmune disorder to join the list, and it’s strongly thought to be Sjogrens Syndrome, and I’m currently being tested for Lupus because of my weird skin rashes/lumps/blisters that I get in my hair, on my legs and on my thighs.
Most people have a hard time being a teenager. It’s hard keeping up the balance of your studies, your part time job, your social life and your love life never mind throwing a disability into the mix, especially when that disabilities undiagnosed and your expected to continue through your life as normal.
Before my diagnosis this last year I used to work 16-20 hours a week as a waitress whilst studying and keeping up with my social life as I was too afraid to be left out. People used to say to me ‘if you feel so unwell all the time, stop going out‘ and that’s a fair point for an outsider to make, but it’s really not that simple. When you haven’t a clue whats wrong with you, and neither do any doctors, you want to continue as much as you can, as normally as you can, because it is true that once you start to cancel on people, or pick chilled nights over drinking, they stop inviting you out more, especially in the British University drinking/clubbing culture. I stopped saying yes to people, and decided to spend more time with my then-boyfriend and got left out more and more, because nobody could be bothered with someone who was up and down all the time, and I tried so hard to make as much effort as possible, but it caused me to crash.
I was silly making myself do so much, and I realise now that’s why I crashed so hard this year, but like I said, when you’re constantly told by professionals they don’t know whats wrong with you, of course you’ll try and keep up with everyone else your age, because you’re constantly told you’re as fit and as able bodied as they are, even if you feel like you really aren’t, and you know you aren’t.
My brain fog made my life a misery also, and it still does now. I was called ‘dopey‘ and ‘stupid‘ a lot, when that had never happened to me in my life as I was always the ‘smart sensible‘ one in my classes in school. I was forever being told off my boss and friends to ‘listen and pay attention more‘ when it was like everyday I was walking through a thick cloud whilst also being trapped in a bubble, even if I knew what to say, it wouldn’t come out right and would leave me feeling irritated and frustrated with myself, then when people pointed out my mistakes more, the more I would push them away because it upset me that I couldn’t do anything about it and they made me feel worse for it, even if they didn’t fully realise it, but would always say ‘cant you take a joke?‘. It’s no joke for us, it really upsets us more than you could imagine. How would you like it if you felt like your mind wasn’t with you? No matter how hard you tried to reason and think, nothing worked or helped, and you were the main punch line to everyone’s jokes. It’s not nice for us.
PoTs makes you feel (on your bad days) like your trying to run under water, nearly impossible right? Imagine having that battle trying to walk up the stairs, imagine the fear when you feel that hazy and dizzy that you’re going to pass out but you body just can’t pick itself up when it does happen, or you don’t even remember how it happened. The fear that nobody understands, because no matter how much pain we’re in, we won’t be able to even begin to explain it. People look at me like ‘you’re 19, you look fine, why are you complaining all the time?’ Even friends of mine have commented on when I’ve complained about joint pain, ‘oh everyone gets it’, yes they may do, but maybe not to my extent.
It’s hard when you have a disability because one day you could feel like you can take on the world, the next day you feel like your bodies slowly giving up on you. I have honestly felt like I’ve been dying before I’ve been in so much pain, it hurt me to lye in my bed, nevermind get up and walk. I’ve been that bad that my lungs have hurt and it’s felt like a thousand knifes stabbing me. It’s a hard balance in anyone’s life to have a disability, but when you’re a young adult and you’ve been suffering on and off with it for years, then it goes undiagnosed, untreated, you end up even worse off, you end up lonely, you wonder what happened to your social life. Nobody besides you, and those closest, will understand fully how much you suffer, because once you have a good day and get out, nobody would ever be the wiser that the girl stood next to them in Starbucks was unable to walk up the stairs 3 days ago.
This is where I want to add a massive thankyou to those that have been there for me no matter whats happened. No matter how many times i’ve pushed you away, or been so frustrated I’ve cried in your arms, thankyou for being there. Thankyou.
All we want is for you to listen, and to understand. Don’t try and tell us what we’re feeling, or what to do, because you won’t ever fully understand. I appreciate the people that ask me what they can do for me, instead of presuming that a certain thing will help, then getting angry at me for not trying what they suggested, when I know for a fact it won’t help me. My mum and dad now do what they know will help,they will bring my blankets and pillow downstairs for me on the days I can’t walk up the stairs, or i’ve had a bad fainting episode and i’m aching everywhere, and they’ll cook and clean for me without kicking off that I’m being lazy, because they know I’m not. They listen to me, and try and understand without automatically saying ‘well why don’t you try x y and z instead of sleeping all the time‘ because usually those suggestions are pointless and all that will help, is sleep.
Try and not be judgmental, you will never know what it’s like to walk a mile in our shoes, and if you did, you really would get it then.
Help us out by just being there, don’t make us feel worse for what we can’t do. The thing is, when you’re really ill at such a young age, you realise that you can’t waste your time on people that don’t get it, or at least, don’t even try to get it. You need to do what’s best for you, and if they really cared, they would understand.
I’ve lost friends in life, I’ve gained friends, it’s same for anything really, but now I’m in this continuous journey of hell, I need to learn to make peace with it, and you will lose people along the way, its sad, but it’s something I wish I would have learned a while ago, because when it has happened, i’ve beat myself up way too much over it.
I use my good days to catch up on TV programmes I’ve missed whilst I’ve been sleeping so much, I like to try my best to catch up with friends over a coffee, or invite them round to watch a movie or I like to go to pub with friends, and that’s the most I can do, and even then I know i’ll be burned out the day later.
I see people my age on Facebook and Twitter jetting off to places abroad, moving out, and getting their dream job or uni degree, and it kills me inside to see them all doing that, but I’m also happy for them all and I realise that one day that will be my turn. Maybe I did get dealt a really shitty hand in life, but it’s going to make me a lot stronger as a person when I get the right treatment and I learn how to deal with the situation better.
When you’re young and chronically ill it may feel like your life is never going too start. But one day, it will.
Thankyou for reading my story on my journey so far. I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated under the Chronic Health section of my blog.
I’m a #spoonie and proud. It’s the way my life is, and I can’t change it. All the times i’ve fell down, i’ve always gotten back up, and I know my life’s going to be a big challenge, but it’s all i’ve known from being 14, so I’m fully prepared for everything that’s coming my way.
I’d love it if anyone suffering with any chronic illness couldget in touch with me. It would be lovely to talk too some other people who are also suffering and can share their story with me. I would love nothing more than to make some new friends that can understand the journey i’m on.
If you’re interested e-mail me @ email@example.com or get in touch via twitter (jessicafoy4). I also have a Facebook page: here
I always respond that same day, and love it when I see people getting in touch with me, it really boosts my confidence and encourages me to write more.
Medical Cannabis/Marijuana is a touchy subject for a lot of people.
On one hand, you have the people who are open minded and aren’t against it for medical or recreational use and see no harm in a plant being sold/distributed by the state. I share this view. But on the other hand you have people completely opposed too it, and don’t want a Class B drug legalised, and then you have all the people in the middle who have views from both sides but can’t really make their mind up on the topic. You get fed a lot of information on cannabis, some true, some … not so true. So let me clear things up a little bit for those of you wanting to know more.
This is purely from a personal perspective. Any information used within this post has been double AND triple checked.
From being a child I can remember very vividly all the news headlines and the warnings off both my parents, and other family members.
I can remember the ‘Cannabis kills your brain cells‘ talks, and ‘don’t smoke pot or you’ll lose your mind‘, or ‘Only chavs smoke Pot‘ but none of these statements are 100% true.
Put it this way, if we’re going to do a scientific study of cannabis to prove something, and we do it on monkeys, and then very nearly completely intoxicate them with 30 marijuana joints per day for around 90 days, a human will die, never mind a monkey.
The monkeys began to waste and die with hardly any oxygen, so of course it’s going to cause brain damage, that would happen to anyone. The brain damage was later proven not to have been a cause of the cannabis used in the study. More to do with… well… suffocating the poor monkeys!
The things we are told by the media aren’t always accurate – and that’s why I clash with my mother so much on the topic, and as a planet we get brainwashed by those in power and the media, into believing certain things that aren’t 100% accurate or true.
The term Medical Cannabis or Medical Marijuana refers to the ‘use of Cannabis and its Cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms’. The only issue is the use of cannabis as a medicine has not been rigorously scientifically tested, often due to the restrictions in its law although Cannabis has been proven to help over 70 different conditions including Cancer, Arthritis, MS, right down to my conditions which are primarily PoTs, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and a suspected autoimmune disorder.
It helps with my pain, my sickness, it helps me sleep, it helps with my appetite amongst so many other benefits.
As an example, I will use myself and my health condition to explain further how it has helped me. I started smoking back when I was 17 as a recreational every now and then thing, and now at age 19 I have been to Amsterdam and seen what a country can really be like with it de-criminalised, and that’s when I really got into researching the benefits of it, even before I fell ill last year.
Now I smoke it more than every now and then, and it really has helped relieve an awful lot of my symptoms. Cannabis smoked in a pipe helps me relax, and focus, it also helps with the widespread muscular pain that I suffer with, which can be unbearable at times and steers me off other medications that are addictive such as Tramadol.
It helps my appetite, and I can eat a full meal without feeling bloated and being in pain afterwards, or feel my blood pooling in my abdomen.
It has actually helped me get to sleep at a normal time and wake up at a normal time feeling refreshed after such a deep sleep, and I find it hard to sleep through the night sometimes without waking up crying in pain that I can’t move.
If you go on the Talk To Frank site, and go onto the ‘Cannabis’ section, there’s a lot of stories and info on the drug for young people to read, and learn more about. One particular paragraph caught my eye a while back now, and it states: “Cannabis effects how your brain works. It can make you feel very anxious and even paranoid, it can make it difficult for you to concentrate and learn, make your memory worse and make you feel less motivated“. Now, this is true to an extent. Like alcohol, or any other type of drug, it affects every single person differently. Take a bottle of wine (for example) and share it between 3 friends, one could get emotional, one could become a happy drunk and one could be the drunk that is just dying for a kebab. Just like alcohol, cannabis affects each person differently. I have a friend (who wouldn’t mind me using him/her as an example) who suffers with anxiety, and can’t smoke weed as it brings on his/her panic attacks. Then take me for an example, I suffer with anxiety and smoking cannabis helps me relax, and I haven’t ever felt paranoid or on edge whilst high (besides the odd few times where I’ve not been in the right environment and I’ve only felt anxious about being caught, because its illegal, no other reason). My memory is great, and my concentration is even better. If I have one joint, and turn my laptop on, I can complete an essay of University work because I’m so into what I’m learning and writing about, where-as other people may zone out and want to stick Pineapple Express on instead.
Then I moved on too the next statement which said: “Cannabis can mess with your mind and with your mood. It can disturb your sleep and can make you depressed. Some will become anxious, panicky, and even aggressive. You might see or hear things which are not there (known as hallucinations) which may be frightening. For some people, cannabis causes hours or even days of anxiety, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations that usually only settles down after the cannabis is stopped” . Never, ever in my life have I had a high off a joint that’s lasted more than… 2 hours, max, maybe push it to 2 and a half hours. It bloody helps your sleep, tell me after a heavy smoking sesh you don’t have the best sleep ever? Because I know I do, and all my friends who smoke do. I have also never met an aggressive pot smoker, try and put aggressive and stoner into the same sentence, you can’t, it’s impossible, we’re the friendliest people around. Like I stated, it affects everyone differently. Take a male who has bipolar, depression and anxiety, you could give him a pipe with cannabis in and he could smoke it. He could be irritated, paranoid and unsettled for the duration of his high, that means you don’t give him a joint again, it just made him worse, simple right? Then take another male who has cancer and hasn’t ate for weeks because of the side affects of his Chemo, you could give him a pipe again, with cannabis in, and he could be eating a sunday dinner cooked by his mum within the hour. Don’t use statistics that are based on a small group of people, we need a wider medical study on people with all sorts of different underlying conditions too get a majority on how it works with them. Then we could look into following some of America’s states steps and getting it legalised/decriminalised.
We could look into edibles, pill forms or vaporising. I personally don’t care if it’s legalised for recreational use, because a lot of people will get their hands on it for medical use anyway if they wanted it, purely for pain management, but I think if it’s legalised for medical purposes, we should do the same for everyone else who wants too just smoke it every now and then, like going down to the local for a pint.
We are never going to get anywhere with medical studies, never mind legalising for recreational use, if people don’t know the wider pictures of how it can help people, and how these warning signs do actually only affect one in so many people who will consume cannabis.
Like I stated, it’s the same as any person on any type of drug. Not every human can consume cocodamol. Not everyone is going to fit under the ‘cannabis is great‘ category because that would be impossible.
From the medical side, it will be hit and miss with people having it on prescription, but more will be hit than miss, and more will get benefits out of it than keeping it illegal and leaving people with no option but to go to a dealer, then the government complains about the crime rates but then never agree to discuss online petitions in the houses of parliament for legalisation that get over 200,000 signatures?
Before you make a judgement on the topic, just take a look at me.
I’m 19, and I was a high achieving University student before I fell ill, but I still have a lot ahead of me for the future and cannabis has only done good for me, never bad, and has never held me back. The only thing that has… bingo! MY ILLNESS.
My illness that no prescription drugs are helping to date. My illness that can rob me from my basic capabilities when my flares are extreme. My illness that is still baffling doctors to this day because it’s so complex and still poorly understood. Nobody I know has ever become addicted, I find people become reliant on it, but never addicted, if they don’t have it for 3-4 days (for example) they wouldn’t be climbing the wall for a ‘fix’.
There’s a lot of people like myself who are young and want to have a natural option to medication rather than pumping our young bodies with all sorts of pills and potions that never do anything anyway.
I honestly don’t see why we aren’t following the other countries, and the states in America that are passing the law. I don’t understand it at all. Why do we keep getting pumped with bad information on cannabis in the news? There’s good and bad to everything, yet tobacco that actually causes millions of deaths per year is still legal. Oh, and how many deaths has Cannabis caused alone in history? That’s right, none.
On debate.org there is a question about the legalisation of cannabis in the UK. They asked their readers to vote on it. A whopping 85% voted yes. That should say a lot… shouldn’t it? But still, David Cameron and the conservatives will not discuss this. All I have to ask them is… why? Seriously, why?
You also find that those against it have either never tried it, or didn’t have a nice high when trying it. Neither one of those is a reason to get at people for using it.
One comment on the debate.org site was off a UK citizen who seems to think that cannabis damages your insides and makes you reckless… Again my friend, it depends on the person using it. But you also have a string of positive comments on the other side, and what’s the top 2 consisting of? THE DISCUSSION OF IT HELPING THEIR MS.
I could go on forever and ever, but I’ll stop here.
Please let me know what your opinions on the subject are, and if you agree or disagree with me. I’m not usually open about things like this but I do feel like it’s a subject that’s been brewing for a while, and I’ve needed to comment on it.
Whilst it’s now January, I decided to do a post on my favourite skincare products and how I use them day-in day-out as part of my routine for keeping my skin fresh, hydrated and not flaky and dry. Winter always seems to dry my skin out where-as in summer I have no problems at all with my skin, it tans easily and never really dry’s out or flakes (even after being in the sun!) So I have to take extra special care of my skin during these months, and these are my top picks on products, and how I use them. Enjoy!
First, let me start with the Burts Bee’s facial cleansing towelettes. These price at £6.49, which is more than I usually spend on facial wipes – I always purchased Boots own or another cheap brand, but I found that they really hurt my skin afterwards and dried my face out even more, which isn’t good. But since getting these wipes they honestly have really worked well with getting rid of excess oil and removing my face make-up. They also work well with eye make-up but be extra careful as they can sting your eyes! They smell amazing and leave my skin feeling fresh for a while after usage. I like to use these first after a long day as they get rid of the most make-up. Handy tip: If you want them to last longer, cut them in half. I usually use 2 towelettes per night when taking off my make-up.
All in all, I love these wipes, they aren’t dry like other brands and are very handy to have, even on the go.
Lord&Berry Make-Up Removing Cream. I love Lord&Berry purely for their lipsticks, I always have and through browsing the web I found out they had a Make-Up Remover Cream out that I just had to try. Now I love remover creams, they feel so much more delicate on your face and can leave your skin feeling so soft, and usually do a good job of getting the make-up off that wipes miss so I thought I’d give it a go a while back, and wow. I love it. I usually use this 2nd when removing my make-up, and as it was expensive I use only a tiny amount to get rid of the last traces of make-up, especially around the nose and chin area, and it works perfectly. High recommended. (Also: It has a lovely scent too it. So if you have sensitive skin, I would swerve this product as it might not react well).
After removing my make-up, I like to use the Simple Moisturizer lotion. It leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft and it can be used for any skin type as it has no perfume in it.
Finally, I like to use It’s Potent Eye Cream by Benefit. A little pricey, yes, but 100% worth it. I’ve used this eye cream most days now for over 2 years, and it works wonders. I suffer naturally from dark circles under my eyes so I wouldn’t miss this out in my beauty routine. It’s really helped with my dark circles, and it’s lived up to my expectations. It’s lightweight, none-greasy and sinks well into the skin without stinging (as the eye area can be very delicate).