It has been a pretty crazy week this week, and I’m exhausted. If anyone fancies taking me on a relaxing holiday somewhere, that would be awesome right now! I’m getting a little bit stressed out as my Uni work starts to pile up, alongside all the other life stuff I need to do. I’m struggling to see how I’m going to fit everything in (whilst making sure my health doesn’t get any worse) but I’m trying to prioritise what needs to be done and not beat myself up if I have to leave some things until later.
I finally got to have a proper lie-in last Sunday morning. It felt like I hadn’t had one in ages, and it was so good (and so needed!) After I’d got up and dressed, my Mum and I popped down to Waitrose so I could get some money out for the week ahead. I also wanted to get some mini pumpkins for blog photos, but they only had a couple and they weren’t very nice, so I’ll have to keep looking. When I got home I spent some time writing and uploading a blog post (and watching a few episodes of The Simpsons). I spent the rest of the afternoon watching Family Guy and doing some Uni work. In the evening we all went out as a family for my birthday dinner at Bill’s, which was lovely. I had a really yummy cocktail called Hedgerow Fizz and a Marks and Spencer Connie the Caterpillar cake. I’ve made the same wish when I blow out my candles for more years than I can remember. Maybe one day it might just come true.
I didn’t feel too well when I woke up on Monday morning and to be honest all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But instead, my Dad drove me over to Uni. We spent the morning talking through the portfolio we need to submit before Christmas, which I’m stressing out about a bit at the moment. At lunchtime I went to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte with my friends Ife and Shanae, which was nice. In the afternoon we looked through a few different narrative journalism articles to help us with ideas for what we can write for our portfolio. I’ve got loads of ideas buzzing round my head, but am struggling to work out which ones are any good. Thankfully we finished a bit early, so I was able to come home and get some rest. This box had arrived in the post from Japan Candy Box, which I won in a competition on a blog a while ago.
Monday was World Mental Health Day and it’s something everyone needs to be talking about. One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. If it isn’t you, then it will be someone you know and love. Which is why it is so important to talk about mental illness openly and honestly. And it’s also why mental illness needs to be treated with the same importance as physical illness. It’s not something to hide away or be embarrassed about. I have struggled with my mental health since I was a teenager – depression, an eating disorder, anxiety and Cyclothymia. I’ve been hospitalised, sectioned, medicated. I’ve had years of different therapies. I’ve tried to take my life on numerous occasions. And things are still really hard. But I’m here and I’m fighting. The theme for this year is psychological first aid and the support you can provide to someone in distress. Getting support early is really vital, but because there is so little funding, it rarely happens. But you don’t need to be a professional to help someone with a mental illness. Simply being there to talk to them and asking how they are can help. We need to keep talking and keep campaigning for better support. If you’re struggling and need help, you can check out some of these amazing charities: The Samaritans, Mind, The Blurt Foundation and Time to Change.
I was up early on Tuesday morning so my Dad could take me over to Uni. I didn’t feel that great – I seem to be very headachey and wiped out at the moment. In the morning we got into groups and were given a story to work on. We had to go and get some audio interviews to back up the story, and then start editing it into a package. At lunchtime my friend Nina and I went to Starbucks for our long overdue catch-up. I tried a couple of new things – their Hibiscus tea and a Mallow and Marsh raspberry marshmallow bar, both of which were really yummy. I’m a big marshmallow fan, so was excited to discover these! In the afternoon we had to put together a radio bulletin using current news stories, and then record it in the radio studio, which was good fun. My Dad picked me up and brought me home, where I crashed out on the sofa for most of the evening.
I had another session with my counsellor on Wednesday morning. It was good to talk through some things and get things off my chest. When I got home I phoned the hospital to try and sort out my POTS appointment, but unfortunately the specialist has had his registrar taken away, which means they’ve had to postpone half of his appointments, as it’s only him now. It’s very frustrating that services for people with rarer severe chronic illnesses are continually being cut and receive so little funding. I then had a session of reflexology, which was lovely and relaxing. I fell asleep after my therapist had left and woke up an hour later – oops! In the afternoon I watched the last episode of Shetland with my Dad and did some Uni work. We also took Jaffa to the vets for his annual booster jabs. She checked him over and said that he’s all good and healthy, which is good. When I got home I had one of these Pukka teas, as I was feeling kind of fluey, so thought the honey and lemon might be soothing.
On Thursday morning I had my Recovery College course called Managing Intense Emotions. It was a pretty difficult topic this week (self harm) so I came out feeling pretty drained. I drove my Dad and I home and rested for a little while. My Mum and I went to see my friend Katy. I did some admin on my laptop while my Mum had her nails done, then I had my eyebrows done followed by a very relaxing facial. We popped into Waitrose on our way home so I could pick up a couple of essentials. Half an hour later, my Mum took me down to the doctors for my appointment with my GP. She spent quite a long time with me, as we had a lot of stuff to sort out. I’ve got to have more blood tests, speak to my gastro professor about this reflux (as she thinks it’s more likely to be related to my gastroparesis), be referred for physio on my jaw and make a couple of phone calls to chase up tests and operations. After a pretty crazy day I really wanted to try and have a relaxing evening. So I had a Lush Snow Fairy bath, put on my Topshop teddy bear robe, read a bit more of my book and used my Febreze sleep spray to send me off to the land of nod.
I managed to oversleep a bit on Friday morning, but somehow got to Uni early (how does that even work?!) We had a lecture about media ownership, but I had to go out for a bit halfway through to go over my evacuation plan. My Dad picked me up at lunchtime and brought me home, where I relaxed a bit for half an hour. He then took me to our local hospital for my appointment with a hip surgeon. He was actually running early, which is pretty rare! After examining me we looked at my x-ray, which shows the ball and socket joints are OK in that there’s no arthritis or dysplasia. He’s referring me for an MRI to check for other problems, so I had to have some bloods done, as they may want to inject me with dye. He was really nice, very knowledgeable and also very honest. He said if something shows in the scan that he can ‘fix’ with surgery, he’ll talk me through the pros and cons and help me all he can. But if nothing shows on the scan, then we will have to accept that it’s ‘just’ my EDS and that I’ll have to learn to manage the problems. I do appreciate doctors being honest when they can’t help (as opposed to not knowing when to stop/fumbling in the dark) but it doesn’t make it any less upsetting being told they may not be able to help you. He did jokingly (I think!) advise me to go and wear my hips out as quickly as possible, as then he could justify giving me hip replacements, which could vastly improve my symptoms. When we got home I had a phone call from the Doctors and had to pop down to collect something from them. I then came home and tried to rest for a while. Alfie does this a lot with his teddy and I think it looks so cute. He loves that teddy so much, which is a bit worrying as it is becoming rather threadbare!
I slept until really late on Saturday morning, which frustrated me because I’ve got so much to do, but I’m absolutely exhausted at the moment. Once I’d got myself up, dressed and feeling a little more awake, I stuck some episodes of Family Guy on, edited a load of photos and wrote a blog post. It took me a lot longer than I expected (probably because I kept getting distracted or nodding off!) I then spent a while opening the pile of post that had been building up over the last couple of weeks, which included the Japan Candy Box that I won. It was jam-packed full of so many colourful packets! I spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on the sofa doing Uni work. I was feeling quite unwell to be honest and have had a continuous headache for a week.
I also opened this month’s Birchbox, which is really pretty and apparently glows in the dark! The contents aren’t my favourite selection, and I think a couple of them are more suited to summer products, but I’ll certainly give them a try.
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What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!