Monday, 26 September 2016

Sunday Snippets - 25th September 2016

This week has been a hard one. Uni started back properly and my body is not happy about it! After my first day my throat was sore, my glands were swollen and painful and my body felt like it had been drained from energy. I kind of expected this to happen, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I must admit I’ve already had a bit of a crisis of confidence, and wondered whether I should be pushing my body this far to go to Uni. But it’s something I have desperately wanted to do from a young age, and I just think if I don’t do it now, then the likelihood is I probably never will. I’m just hoping I will start feeling a bit better soon, so I can actually focus on my work, but also enjoying myself with my friends.

Last Sunday I actually had quite a productive day, well, for a Sunday anyway! After sorting out my medications for the week ahead, I spent some time watching The Simpsons and doing some blogging. I then downloaded a load of photos off my camera, ready to be edited and then used for various blog posts. The last thing I did before heading downstairs for lunch was give my room a quick hoover. In the afternoon I snuggled up on the sofa, binge-watched lots of videos from The Michalaks and set up my diary ready for Uni on Monday. We had quite a gathering for dinner, with my Grandma, Richard, Lisa and Callum (Rosiie’s boyfriend) here. Unfortunately, I felt so poorly, like I was going to be sick and pass out at the same time.

It was my first proper day back at Uni on Monday, so I had to be up early in the morning. My Dad ended up driving me over, as we were running a bit late. Our lecturer chatted to us for a bit, then we went out into Farnham, as he asked us to find an interesting story about a person (which was easier said than done!) I sat with some of my friends at lunch and drank my Fortisip. For some reason I had a really strong craving for something salty, so I don’t know if that was my body trying to make my POTS feel a bit less yucky. In the afternoon we went through the module handbook and talked about what we’ll be doing this year. Thankfully we finished a bit early, so my Dad was able to take me over to the hospital for my Tai Chi group. I wasn’t sure if going was going to be a good idea, as I was absolutely shattered, but it actually just helped me to relax and wind down a bit after quite an intense day. It took us ages to get home because the traffic was awful, so it was lovely to crash out on the sofa with a cup of peppermint tea to try and help my nausea and stomach pain.

I was back at Uni on Tuesday for another long day, which was proving even harder than I thought. When we arrived we found out we were having a news day, so we spent some time researching stories. My group decided to cover the fact that it’s National Cupcake Week. Get Surrey had written a piece with the top eight places for cupcakes in Surrey, and Maison Blanc were at number three. So we headed down to the shop with our camera and did a bit of filming. We decided to buy a few cupcakes to take back – it’s only right that we should give them the taste test after all! We worked through lunch editing our footage and recording voiceovers, so we actually managed to finish a bit early. In the end I had to leave a bit early and not see the final programme, as I felt too unwell. My Dad brought me home and I just crashed out on the sofa. The pain was unreal and it felt like all the energy had been sucked out of me.

I didn’t have University on Wednesday, but unfortunately I couldn’t have much of a lie-in, as I had a counselling session first thing. It went well though and it was good to be able to talk through my frustrations of already struggling with Uni and my health. My Dad brought me home and helped me ring up to sort out my car insurance. I spent the rest of the morning trying to write a blog post, which was easier said than done because I felt so unwell and was finding the pain hard to manage. In the afternoon I curled up on the sofa, popped a couple of episodes of Shetland on and browsed through my blog emails. This little fella curled up with his teddy on his bed next to me. He looked so comfy – sometimes I wish I could be a dog!

I felt pretty awful when I woke up on Thursday morning, so my Dad drove me to my first appointment. It was this Recovery College group I’ve been going to, but thankfully this week was a lot better. I found what we were talking about quite relevant to my situation, which helped I think. I was feeling a little less rough by the time we’d finished, so decided to drive home. When we got home, I rang the DWP to find out why I hadn’t had a reply to a letter I sent in July. It turned out they had no record of receiving it, so God knows where that’s gone! I spent some time resting, watching Family Guy and catching up on emails. My Mum then took me to my friend’s house, where I had a back massage (which was much needed!) Back at home, I spent a while browsing through my Calm book. I’m trying to get more into a holistic view of health with things like meditation and mindfulness, so if anyone has any recommendations for other books/websites/apps etc. I could look into, I’d love to hear them.

I was back at Uni on Friday, so my Mum and Dad took me over, as they were going out afterwards. I was still feeling pretty unwell – my face and jaw have been incredibly painful, and just about everything else hurts. In the morning we had our politics lecture, which was basically an introduction to what we will be doing this year. For lunch, a group of us went to Costa, which was lovely. Then in the afternoon we had our law lecture, which was so interesting. It looks like we’re going to have a lot of work to do this year, but I’m hoping it won’t be too bad if it’s interesting. My Dad picked me up and brought me home. I had to pop to the Doctors to pick up a letter, so my Mum took me down there. We then went next door to Waitrose and I treated myself to these bargain £5 flowers for getting through my first week at Uni.

I woke up really late on Saturday morning feeling absolutely rubbish. My throat and face were hurting and I just felt absolutely exhausted. It was a bit of a rubbish day to be honest, as I really struggled to do anything productive. In the morning I managed to do a bit of blogging, but not as much as I’d have liked. I spent a lot of the afternoon curled up on the sofa watching TV. I did a couple of bits on my laptop for Uni, but felt too unwell to do much. I did open this Blogger Mail from Eucerin, which I’m excited to try. In the evening I had to drive Rosiie and her friend to a party. Thankfully it wasn’t very far away.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Better You Magnesium Products*

Regular readers of my blog will probably know that I suffer from a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. One of the symptoms that I really struggle with is widespread pain. Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a medication that works for me (that’s a whole other story!) so recently I’ve become a lot more interested in complementary and natural approaches. I go for regular massages, reflexology, tried acupuncture, wheat bags I can pop in the microwave and am currently trying out some Tai Chi with the physio department at my local hospital. None of these approaches ‘cure’ the pain, and it’s unlikely anything ever will, but my aim is to find things that help me manage it and make it a little more bearable.

A little while ago, I asked on Facebook for how some of my friends deal with their pain caused by chronic illness. I received a variety of suggestions, with a few people recommending magnesium in different forms. At the same time, the professor I see for my digestive problems recommended I start taking a magnesium and zinc supplement, so it all seemed like a good thing to try. I went along to Holland and Barrett with my Mum to see which products they offered, and as well as picking up some supplements, I came across a range by Better You.

A friend of mine had recommended their Magnesium Oil Spray, which you can spray on your body and rub in, so I decided to pick up the original version (they also do a recovery spray, joint spray, sensitive spray and goodnight spray). Magnesium is an essential element for a healthy body and is a fantastic natural relaxant, which helps rid the body of excess tension. I know that stress and tension make my pain worse, so I thought this might be a good product to try out. According to Better You, a body with the right amount of magnesium will be more supple, will resist fatigue for longer (which would be seriously amazing!) and will better repair itself.

Although I was starting the magnesium and zinc supplements, I was conscious of the fact I don’t absorb nutrients particularly well because of my digestive problems. The great thing about this spray is that the magnesium is absorbed through the skin. Studies by Cardiff University and Watkins & Josling have shown how well magnesium is absorbed through the skin, feeding every cell. The oil has been found to elevate cellular magnesium levels up to five times faster than traditional tablets, and after hearing this; I knew this was a product I needed to try.

After a few weeks of trying the oil, Better You very kindly offered to send me some of their Magnesium Flakes*. I’d been thinking of trying Epsom Bath Salts/Magnesium Flakes for quite a while, after hearing so many good reports from friends, so I jumped at the chance!

Much like the oil, when the flakes are dissolved in a normal bath or footbath, the solution feeds every cell and efficiently replaces magnesium lost through modern diet and pressured lifestyles. Magnesium Flakes are a very gentle way to increase your body’s magnesium levels, and can be used just for the feet, or a complete body soak for the ultimate in relaxation. I love a good bubble bath anyway, and will often run myself a warm bath to try and relieve my pain. So adding Magnesium Flakes seemed like a good next step. Better You advise the following directions:

For a foot soak

Dissolve 150g in warm water, immerse your feet and relax for 20 minutes or longer if desired.

For a bath soak

Dissolve 250g in a warm bath and relax for 20 minutes or longer to gain full body relaxation.

They suggest that two to three magnesium rich baths should be taken a week, but this frequency can be increased if required. The flakes are suitable for any age, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but the dose for children should be halved.

I’ve really been enjoying trying out the oil spray and the flakes, and although they haven’t got rid of my pain, they do often take the edge off it, making it a little easier to cope with. My particular favourite is the flakes, mainly because I love relaxing in a bath and I can still use my favourite Lush products alongside them. I’m yet to try the footbath, but can imagine it being equally relaxing, especially if you’ve been on your feet all day. I must admit I was sceptical to begin with, but I’m really glad I’ve given them a try. They may not work for everyone – some days I’ve tried them and they haven’t made a difference, while other days they have – but I’ve got some friends who absolutely swear by them. Even if you don’t suffer from chronic pain, they can still help to improve your overall wellbeing. So I think it’s one of those things that have got to be worth a try, and you might find your new favourite products!

Do you use magnesium products at all? Or is there anything else you would recommend for managing chronic pain?

*The Magnesium Flakes were sent to me by Better You to try out. All opinions in this post are my own and I only review things that fit with my blog/lifestyle.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sunday Snippets - 18th September 2016

I’m not quite sure where the last week has gone! All I know is, I’m absolutely exhausted! It’s been a pretty busy (and slightly stressful) week, but also very productive. It’s also been a bit mixed weather wise. At the beginning of the week it was ridiculously hot for mid-September, then towards the end of this week it has suddenly got rather cold and autumnal. I started the week in skirts and vest tops, and now I’m sitting here in a big fluffy jumper and slippers!

Last Sunday I had a nice lie-in after my busy day shopping on the Saturday. After breakfast and sorting out my medications for the week ahead, I spent the rest of the morning watching The Simpsons and blogging. I do love my Simpsons Sundays! My afternoon was pretty productive for a Sunday! First, I scanned a load of hospital letters ready for my appointment at Stanmore, and then I did a bit of tidying in our music room, as I had a few piles of stuff in there. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching Silent Witness and writing penpal letters. In the evening I decided to have a bit of a pamper using this cute gift set from Sanctuary Spa.

I managed to get myself up at a fairly reasonable time on Monday morning, as I wanted to try and get some jobs done. I spent my morning taking photos of various things ready for blog posts. My Mum also helped me to make another background for my blog photos, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I then rang the hospital to try and sort out an appointment that I hadn’t heard about. In the afternoon I did some work on my laptop and watched a few episodes of Family Guy. I then drove over to the hospital with my Dad for my Tai Chi group. I wasn’t able to drive home, but I expected that I’d be too tired after the group, which is why my Dad came along too. When I got home I opened this lovely parcel from my friend, Lissa, and her parents.

I thought I’d share the contents of this month’s Birchbox - it included lots of lovely things to try! I will try to do a separate blog post about it all if Uni doesn’t knock me out too much!

On Tuesday morning I was feeling pretty anxious, so I tried to distract myself by doing some tidying in my bedroom. My Dad then drove me to The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore. We got there an hour early, so went to the little Costa Coffee to get a bit of lunch. It was a tiny cafĂ©, but I was impressed that they had gluten free options! I read my book for a while before I was called in to see the doctor. She was really lovely and understanding, and spent nearly an hour and a half with us. We went over my whole medical history, and she kept apologising that I wasn’t taken seriously sooner. She also examined me – I scored top marks (9/9) on the Beighton Scale and apparently my arm span is longer than my height, which she said was common in people with EDS. She confirmed that I definitely have EDS and is referring me for their inpatient rehabilitation programme. I was shattered by the time we got home, but relieved that the appointment was so productive.

I was up fairly early on Wednesday morning so I could go to a counselling session. It was good to talk to someone, as I’ve been feeling pretty wobbly again recently. When I got home I did a bit more tidying in my bedroom. I then drove over to Uni with my Dad, and he took me up to the classroom. A few of us went in to speak to the Freshers for a while. My Dad then drove me home, as I’d run out of energy. When I got home I ended up crashing out on the sofa for a while. I popped an episode of Shetland on and slowly made my way through a few emails. I also opened this lovely letter from one of my penpals, which made me smile. I was feeling pretty low to be honest. I feel quite lonely and really miss a lot of my friends. I just kind of feel a bit invisible if that makes sense, like I don’t know if I’m even here any more. I always get scared when I start feeling myself slipping, as no matter what I do I can’t stop the descent into darkness.  

I had to be up fairly early again on Thursday, and drove my Dad and I over to my first appointment. It was the second week of this Recovery College group I’m attending, but it was pretty similar to a group I was in last year. I’m hoping I might still be able to get something out of it, but will see how tired I get when Uni starts back. My Dad then drove us over to a different hospital, as I’d been invited to an open day with the Urology department. It was quite interesting – I spoke to a few different catheter companies and one of them told me about a website for younger people with bladder problems. We came home and I rested for a while on the sofa watching Family Guy. My Mum took me down to see my GP and I updated her on my various appointments over the last month. She said my iron levels are still quite low, so I’ve got to double my dose of medication, which I’m a bit worried about, as she said it’s likely to make me feel quite ill. I’ve also got to see the asthma nurse, as my breathing is getting worse. I wore this cute unicorn t-shirt from ASOS, which made me smile.

I had a bit of a lie-in on Friday morning, as I was shattered after Thursday’s day of hospital appointments. I spent the morning editing a video for YouTube. I had hoped to get it uploaded but ran out of time. I rested for a bit, then drove my Dad and I over to Uni. Our course leader chatted to us for about an hour about the year ahead, which sounds good (if a little scary!) My Dad drove me home and I spent some time filling in some hospital forms. How cute is my new diary from Paperchase that I’m using for Uni this year!

I slept until quite late on Saturday morning, so must have needed the sleep after a pretty busy week. I couldn’t decide what to do with myself, as I have so many things I need to do! In the end I uploaded the video I was editing on Friday to my YouTube channel and watched The Simpsons. I then sorted out my last two clothes drawers, which feels like a job well done. There’s still a lot more tidying to do, but I’m getting through it slowly. In the afternoon I watched Marley and Me with my sister and took photos of the clothes I’m going to try and sell. I was absolutely shattered by the evening, but pleased that I’d been quite productive.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Sunday Snippets - 11th September 2016

The last week has been pretty busy, so I’m absolutely shattered. However, it was definitely worth it, as I’ve had a lot of fun and managed to do something rather awesome. Unfortunately, my mental health seems to be a bit wobbly again and I can feel myself going down into a low patch. I’m really hoping I might hear something from the new psychiatrist soon about starting some sort of treatment/therapy, but for now I’m just trying to get through one day at a time and not look too far in the future.

Last Sunday I tried to get up a bit earlier than usual so I could get everything done. I managed to do my medications for the week ahead and started writing my blog post, but I think I was on a bit of a go-slow. My friends, Kirsty and Lucy, picked me up and we went round to our friend Hazel’s for her baby shower. We had some lunch and chatted, then spent the afternoon playing games. They then brought out this amazing cake, which even had a little baby foot poking through the dress! I was shattered by the time I got home, so once I’d finished my blogging I ended up falling asleep on the sofa for quite a while.  

I woke up feeling pretty rubbish on Monday morning. I’m wondering if it’s partly because I stopped the Gabapentin, although I seem to feel more tired than I did when I was taking it! I decided to try and have a fairly quiet day, so spent the morning doing a bit of YouTube video editing. I’ve got quite a few videos I need to put up, but editing them seems to take up so much of my energy, which is frustrating. Around lunchtime I went downstairs, rested on the sofa and watched some TV. I also caught up on a few more emails. My Dad drove me over to our local hospital and I went to my second Tai Chi group session. I found it quite relaxing, which was helpful, as I’ve been feeling really anxious recently. When I got home I opened some post, which included this lovely letter from my friend, Rachel.

I still didn’t feel brilliant when I got up on Tuesday morning, so wanted to take things easy in preparation for a busy Wednesday. I finished editing the video I started on Monday and also edited a bit more of David and Emma’s wedding video. In the afternoon I popped Family Guy on the TV and tried to rest a bit, but found it very hard to get comfortable. Now that I’ve got my driving license back and have put myself back on the insurance, I really wanted to get back behind the wheel because the longer I leave it, the more anxious I’ll get. So, my Dad took me down to a local industrial estate and I had my first drive in 14 months. It was a bit scary going back out onto normal roads (once I felt OK I then drove home) and I felt shattered after a ten minute drive, but it also felt so good to finally have a little bit of independence back. I just need to keep doing little drives with my Dad and build up my confidence and stamina. I spent the rest of the afternoon snuggled up on the sofa with Freddie.

I was up super early on Wednesday morning so we could get a train up to London, and then a tube to North Greenwich. I had my sponsored wheelchair climb over the O2 at 10am, so we had a briefing, got kitted up and started our climb. My Mum and sister (Bekkah) came with me, and I was very impressed with the special wheelchair for me! The climb was brilliant – the staff were fantastic and had us laughing the whole way. And the view from the top was amazing. I felt so good when we reached the bottom, and feel very happy that I’ve raised £150 for EDS UK so far. It’s not too late if you’d like to sponsor me – simply click here and it will take you to my Just Giving page. My Dad took us to Frankie and Benny’s for lunch, which was nice, and then we headed home. I spent the afternoon resting on the sofa and watched a couple of episodes of Silent Witness.

I thought I would share a few more photos from my O2 wheelchair climb. The collage includes a photo of my Mum and I in our zebra t-shirts! There will also be a vlog coming out soon over on my YouTube channel.

I had to be up reasonably early on Thursday morning so my Dad could take me to a hospital group. I was hoping it might be helpful, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be worth continuing. I’ll give it a few more weeks and see how it goes. I felt so exhausted though that I struggled to keep my eyes open. I did manage to drive home though, which I was pleased about. When I got home, I was so shattered so lay down on the sofa and ended up falling asleep for a few hours. When I woke up, I spent the rest of the afternoon watching TV and catching up on my blog emails. I also opened some post, which included my Secret Summer Santa gifts from the Crown and Glory Glitterati group swap. I was well and truly spoilt!

I had a bit of a lie-in on Friday, which was just what I needed after a busy couple of days. I was so exhausted! After a fairly slow morning, I went to the hairdressers around lunchtime and had my hair coloured. I had wanted to do something a bit different and have my ends dyed blonde (kind of an ombrĂ© but with my red hair) but when they tested my hair the blonde wouldn’t work.  So I just stuck with my red hair for the time being. I came home and spent a while replying to messages on Facebook. My Mum then took me down to the doctors for an appointment with the nurse, which didn’t go quite as badly as I’d anticipated thankfully. When I got home I opened a couple of parcels – my Birchbox and Niomi Smart’s brand new book, which I’m excited to look through. I had the most awful digestive pain in the evening, which literally felt like my insides were on fire.

I was up fairly early on Saturday morning so my Mum and I could go shopping. We hit Primark first and I got a couple of bits, but not much. We then went to Boots and I picked up a No.7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Radiance Boost, a Vaseline spray moisturiser and a new eye cream from Soap and Glory to try and help my dark circles, which I’m excited to try. We also popped into Paperchase so I could get a planner for Uni. I tried some bits on in Topshop and Zara but nothing seemed to look good on me, which left me feeling a bit rubbish. We came home and I spent the afternoon watching the last two episodes of Silent Witness I had recorded, and writing some penpal letters. I felt pretty down in the evening. My birthday is coming up (4th October if you wanted to know!) and it just feels like a bit of a reminder that it’s another year of being ill, another year of being single and another year of things just not working out as I’d dreamed when I was little. I know no-one’s life turns out as they planned, but I just wonder if I’ll ever get my happy ever after or if things will ever get any easier.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sunday Snippets - 4th September 2016

How is it September already?! This year is just flying past! I can't believe it's only a month until my birthday! It’s really starting to feel more autumnal now, with chilly, darker mornings and misty days. I’ve actually started feeling a little bit Christmassy (I know, a little early!) and have enjoyed curling up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea. Saying that, I’ve seen the forecast for next week and it looks like it’s going to heat up again! I always find it hard to know how to dress at this time of year. One minute I’m shivering, then the next I’m boiling hot! I am looking forward to autumn fashion though – snuggling up in cosy jumpers, bobble hats and boots.

Last Sunday my Dad asked if I wanted to go to church with him and my Mum in the morning, but I thought sitting through a service would be hard with my pain as it was, so I declined. I didn’t sleep that well on Saturday night, so it was probably good that I said no so I could have a lie in. I had a fairly quiet morning pottering around and doing my medications for the week ahead. I also managed to do some blogging and watched a bit of TV. In the afternoon I decided to try and chill out as much as I could. Despicable Me was on the TV, so I popped that on and sorted through a load of old magazines. I’m one of those people who like to cut up old magazines to use for crafts, but my pile was getting a bit crazy! Thankfully I managed to get through the whole lot, which was a job well done. I felt absolutely exhausted though, which seems to be an everyday occurrence these days. I had a Lush bath in the evening to try and relax, which was nice.

As I mentioned in the previous couple of week’s Sunday Snippets, in August I was joining in with the Crown and Glory Glitterati 2nd birthday celebrations, which included a photo challenge on Instagram! If you want to see everyone else’s, simply search the hashtag #CGGlitteratiTurns2. Day 28 is ‘Everyday’ – I find the majority of pieces can be worn as an everyday piece, but I find hairbands like this one particularly easy to throw on.

I woke up on Monday morning with a really awful pain in my head and neck area. I’m guessing it was an after effect of the injections, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I had hoped to get a lot done in the morning, but it took me a long time to get round to doing anything. I did manage to get one blog post written though, despite being in tears because of the pain. On Sunday one of our neighbours brought round a huge punnet of blackberries she’d picked, so on Monday afternoon I somehow managed to make a blackberry and apple crumble. I was actually quite pleased with myself, as I’m not the best at cooking! But it was probably a mistake, as my pain was even worse afterwards.

Day 29 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Advice’ – I’m terrible at giving (or following!) advice, but I thought this quote, beautifully drawn by Jilly Jilly was pretty good. It’s one of my favourites – a good Disney quote!

I had a fairly quiet morning on Tuesday doing some YouTube video editing and watching TV. Around lunchtime I rested on the sofa for a while and caught up on a few emails. Then my Dad drove me to the hospital for my appointment with my local gastroenterologist. When we got there they said that my actual consultant wasn’t there and that the wait to see the person covering her was over an hour, so I was a bit worried that it was going to be a waste of time. But after about 15 minutes I was called through to see a different consultant who had finished his clinic and came down to help out. He was really helpful and thorough. He is referring me for a gastroscopy because he’s concerned I may have a stomach ulcer. My acid reflux and pain has been getting so much worse, so I’m glad he took it seriously. He also wanted me to have some bloods done and to go back to the Dietician as well, to see if we can get to the bottom of why my blood sugar levels keep dropping. We came home and I rested for a while, then Richard and Lisa came over for dinner, which was nice.

Day 30 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Giving Thanks’ – I have so much to give thanks for. Life might be incredibly hard trying to fight chronic illnesses every day, but I have a loving family, beautiful friends and a roof over my head. I am able to push myself to do things, and although I constantly feel unwell and in pain, I can still do these things. I have access to (mainly) free medical care and support, which keeps me alive and as comfortable as possible. It’s very easy to see the negatives every day, which is why I always make a point of posting my happy photo each day. Because no matter how crappy life is, there is always something to be thankful for.

I was up quite early on Wednesday morning for my first session with my new counsellor. I was feeling pretty nervous about it but she was really nice. My Dad brought me home and I spent the rest of the morning sorting out some of my clothes drawers. After lunch, my Mum and I went round to my friend Katy’s. I caught up on some emails on my laptop while my Mum had her nails done. Then I had my eyebrows waxed and had a massage. When we got home I set up this little 30th birthday spread. It’s to help my friend, Karen, celebrate her birthday, as she’s very poorly and unable to leave the house. So she’s asked all her friends to take photos of us celebrating virtually with her.

Day 31 of the August Crown and Glory photo challenge is ‘Party Time’ – I can’t believe I actually completed the whole challenge! It’s been so much fun being creative with the prompts we were given, and also so lovely to see what all the other girls have posted. I feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive community.

So I finally gave Richard and Lisa and David and Emma their wedding presents, which means I can now share them with you all, as I think they’re awesome! The lovely Amy Rose Studios drew this beautiful wedding portrait of David and Emma. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and hopefully they like it as much as I do!

On Thursday morning I woke up not feeling too brilliant. My POTS seems to be playing up a lot at the moment and it’s making me feel really rubbish. I did a little bit of clothes sorting, and then had a reflexology session. It definitely helped me to relax and I actually had a little doze after she’d gone. The rest of my family went out for lunch, but I stayed at home and rested. I watched TV, snuggled up with Freddie and browsed ASOS for a while. David and Emma popped over, so I had a quick chat with them and gave them their wedding present. I didn’t do a huge amount else apart from resting, but I did open some post. My driving license finally arrived! It’s been over a year since I had my seizure (I was meant to be seizure free for six months) so to have it back feels amazing. It only lasts for three years, and then I have to reapply again, but at least it’s something. Now I just need to re-learn to drive!

This was the second portrait Amy Rose Studios did for me – this time of Richard and Lisa on their wedding day. How beautiful is it!!

I didn’t get up as early as I’d hoped to on Friday morning, but spent the rest of the morning editing some photos and writing a blog post. My Mum, sister and I popped over to Homesense to pick something up. The car park was crazy busy though and as we were trying to reverse into a disabled bay, the car behind us drove up so close that it nearly went into the back of us! I don’t understand why people can’t just be patient and give people room to park, especially when trying to get into a disabled bay! When we got home I rested for a while and caught up on some emails. My Mum then took me down to the doctors’ surgery for a blood test. I had a different nurse to the one I usually go to, so was a little worried as I’m so difficult to get blood out of. But she managed to get some on her first attempt, which is unheard of for me! For some reason though I felt a bit lightheaded, so when we got home I lay down for a bit. In the evening I opened my September Crown and Glory Glitterati box, which has a 90’s theme. It brought back so many childhood memories!

I had a lie-in on Saturday morning, which was much needed. I managed to get my blog post up and then sorted through another drawer full of clothes. I’m trying to do a little bit of sorting/tidying here and there in the hope at some point it will make a difference! My Mum and I popped round to my neighbour’s with her birthday present, then my friend Lilli picked me up with her boyfriend. We went to Starbucks and I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. I had it made with coconut milk, but probably shouldn’t have had the cream. We had a nice catch up, but when I got home I wasn’t well. I was a bit of an idiot and totally forgot to ask for a decaf latte, which I think was the main reason I felt so bad, although the cream probably didn’t help. I spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sofa resting.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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