Thursday, 18 May 2017

Skin deep 2: a new regime and acne update.

I've been wanting to write an update to my Skin Deep post that I wrote a few years back, for a while now but I've been holding off because my skin has been so up and down.

Just under a year ago now, my acne came back probably the worst it's ever been. I'd had a few years where my hormones were very much up in the air from being pregnant and having Hunter and I think last year they really started to settle down in to what is more 'my norm'! I took the photos above in July last year. I was crying with the pain and the appearance of my acne every day and nothing was working. I have to say though, at this point, my diet was probably at it's worst also. I was eating a lot of chocolate and other naughty foods, next to no fruit, only a small amount of vegetables and I wasn't drinking nearly enough water and instead consuming vast amounts of diet fizzy drinks. My skin was such a mess.

I was always one of these people who felt like my skin had to be scrubbed clean every morning and night because I had spots, and I'd use all manner of products to get my make up off and clean my face so thoroughly it would sting afterwards. I had read time and time again how being gentle to your skin would benefit it far more than harsh acne products, so I thought, what the heck - it can't get any worse right now! So I took one very big step backwards and pretty much started doing nothing

I do just want to point out, before I get any further, that none of the products I mention in this post have stopped my acne, however, they've all helped with the texture of my skin and in making it more comfortable. 

So, my routine... It felt really wrong, but I stopped washing my face with washes and scrubs in the morning and instead I started using coconut oil. I chose Kokoso because it was a brand I had used on Hunter when he was a newborn and I had found other coconut oils weren't as good on the skin - for us anyway. I started gently massaging it in to my skin after I had gotten out of the shower in the mornings and then I'd wipe it off with a hot damp cloth. I didn't even have to use a moisturiser because my skin was moisturised already from the coconut oil. Even from such a simple change, my skin really improved.

I continued with this routine, doing the same in the evening for several months, but unfortunately, as you might have previously read, my skin took a turn for the worse around November, when I started to get a rash across my cheeks and nose and I had to start using any and everything to get some much needed moisture back in to my face. I've written a bit more about 'the rash' over on the update I posted the other day.

Since then, I've started a new skincare routine and it's working much better for me.

In the mornings, I simply wash my face with water while in the shower and then moisturise afterwards. I discovered the brand Sukin in November and I was surprised to see how affordable their products were, even though they looked like a premium brand. I had been using the Facial Moisturiser, which I loved, until the other week when I decided to try out the Super Greens Nutrient Rich Facial Moisturiser just out of curiosity, and it feels so lovely on the skin. So far, even on these random hot, summery days we've had, they've not made my skin greasy and haven't broken me out at all. I'm honestly so impressed with this brand!... Anyway, that's it for my morning routine. Nice and simple.

At night time, I've been switching between a few different products but my routine is much simpler now. On the cleansing front, I've mostly been sticking with the Kokoso coconut oil for a one-pot-fix! Let me tell you, coconut oil is amazing for removing makeup! I just scoop a bit out, massage it between my hands so it melts and then massage it in to my face - straight on to makeup. Once I feel it's dissolved as much as possible, I remove it all with damp cotton wool pads. Occasionally, I'll repeat the process again - but not always - and then I wipe my face with a hot, damp cloth. However, I really hate the feel of putting oil straight on to a face full of make up and then having such greasy, mucky hands afterwards, so on nights where I can't face this, I'll use a cream cleanser. Almost the same steps as before: I massage the cleanser in to my face and then remove with a hot damp cloth and repeat if necessary. This has been my preferred method of late. I've been using Liz Earles Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser for years now and it's an absolute staple in my cleansing routine. It never feels heavy on my skin, never dries my skin out and never breaks me out in spots, and it's so simple and effective to use. I've strayed to other brands occasionally but always come back to this one. I usually follow the cream cleanser up with the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic which leaves my skin feeling really fresh, but it's not essential to use this as splashing your skin with cold water would have the same effect.

Whichever way I cleanse, I always follow with the same products: Clinique's Turnaround Revitalising Serum and then my Sukin moisturiser.

My skin improved even more and it seemed to love the hydration. 

Although some of the products I use now are a bit more pricey, they last a long time and overall I'm using far less products on it then I was before. And if you can take the feel of the coconut oil on your hands (seriously, is it just me!?) then go for it! It's such a cheap and effective routine and was so gentle on my skin. You'd think putting an oil on your face would make acne worse or make your skin greasier but, for me, it didn't at all. 

In January, as you might have read, we started the Slimming World diet. To date, I've lost 1st 3lbs, my fruit and vegetable consumption has vastly increased, my 'naughty things' consumption has vastly decreased and I'm drinking 2 litres of water (almost) everyday. So, with this and a good skincare routine, let me show you the difference in my skin...

These photos were taken a few days ago - while I was on my period also, might I add. It's a pretty noticeable difference don't you think!? 

I still get spots - I think I always will - but when I do get them now, they aren't making my skin irritated and painful like they were before. My skin is also far less greasy now - but that might be down to when my skin changed a few months back, I'm not sure. But, overall, I'm so happy with it. 

If your skin is like mine, combination/dry/oily/acne ridden/awkward as anything, if you've tried harsher products on your acne and they've stung or left your skin feeling sore, then try a gentler approach - both from the inside and out. It took a while for me to take the leap and try it, I must admit I was scared it would get worse by not scrubbing it clean and feeling that sting (for me, the sting meant my skin was clean!), but when it reached it's peak last year (again) and was making me so upset, I knew I had to try something - anything! I won't be turning back and using face washes or scrubs again and the diet (although we will be a little more lenient once we've reached our target weight) is something that will stay with us.

Gentler routine, cleaner eating and water - all the water - is definitely the way forward!


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Healthline's Best Endometriosis Blogs 2017.

Image courtesy of Healthline
I am so, so happy to say that I received an email recently from Healthline, informing me that EMLWY has made it on to their list of the Best Endometriosis Blogs of 2017 for the second year running, alongside some other amazing endometriosis blogs! You can view the list here but the other blogs also feature in the Endometriosis Library which can be found at the top of the page.

I'm thrilled that people read my ramblings but it blows my mind that something that seems so boring and embarrassing in some aspects to me, helps others! I think from this side you don't really see that until people tell you and it dawns on me then that the bad things that happen to me make others, you lot, feel a little less alone. And you can't beat that feeling. So, thank you, all of you, who have read anything I've written. It's such a lovely feeling having this community and safe space to talk about things that otherwise would leave us all feeling a little secluded from others. You lot are the reason I continue writing, so this one goes out to you.


The past few months.

I've not written a personal post for quite a while so I thought I should check in with you all and say hello! 

I've been feeling quite up and down mood wise over the past few months - mainly because of my health. It's really been getting me down some days...

In January, I spoke about how my skin had changed so much and that I'd been getting rashes on my chest and shoulders. Well, I hadn't really paid much attention to it, but I started getting rashes on my face, across my cheeks and nose, and my face would burn up and go bright red and blotchy with it. Some days, I couldn't even cover it with make up. Now, a little background before I continue... Last year I had Pityriasis Rosea which is a skin condition caused by a viral infection. I had a red patch form on my rib area and I didn't really think too much of it but it grew and grew and became incredibly itchy. I thought it was eczema at first but eventually went to the doctors and within seconds was diagnosed with Pityriasis Rosea. Anyway, long story short, it lasted a few months and in that time it got much, much worse! I was covered in bright red, circular patches from my armpits down to my calves. It was beyond hideous and the itching drove me round the bend! I have no pictures of it because I was so embarrassed by it - it really looked like I had some awful disease or something! Luckily it cleared up but around 2 months later I started getting this rash on my chest and shoulders and automatically started Googling whether Pityriasis Rosea could come back again. That's when I first saw the rashes caused by lupus. At the time I didn't have a rash on my face so it wasn't something I looked at in detail.... But it was something I thought about when a month or so later again I started getting the rash on my face. I started to wonder whether it was a lupus rash and since the pain I have from my fibromyalgia is mainly in my hands and feet, it all started to make a bit more sense. I went to see the doctor and after a lot of tests, everything came back clear. This was the third lot of testing in as many years that included a test for lupus and every single one was always negative for everything, hence my fibromyalgia diagnosis. I was relieved because I obviously didn't want to have lupus, it's a pretty major condition and can be life threatening, but I was a bit flummoxed. The doctor didn't have any other explanations for my facial rash and agreed on everything I was presenting. She said the best thing would be for me to speak to my Rheumatologist about it and I see him in November so for now I'm just keeping an eye on things.

... However, I've noticed something since then about this rash. It's been happening more frequently since I last saw the doctor and there's one thing it correlates with - my endometriosis pain. Oddly, whenever my endometriosis pain flares up, be it randomly or before/during/after my period, this rash appears. Now, I've not spoken to the doctor about it (yet) but I've been doing a bit of reading because I've never heard of women with endometriosis getting rashes, but, guess what, there are women out there who have the exact same thing! Some women's stories are almost word for word the same as mine - this rash always comes back when their endometriosis pain is flaring up and then goes again of it's own accord! I mean, how weird is that!? I don't think I've ever had this before, however, I've read some old posts and found that at times I was complaining about something similar so maybe I have had it before. It's not an allergic reaction because I'm not using anything new (I thought it might be due to a new moisturiser but looking back it appeared before I started using that) and I haven't been regularly eating something different. But it's odd. Have any of you ever had a rash on your face that seems to appear when you're in more pain with your endometriosis? Please get in touch if you have! It all sounds a bit crazy but since seeing other women talking about the same thing, I'm really starting to believe it might be related to it. 

Anyway, that was a lot of talk about rashes! I hope I've not made you all itchy now!

While we are on the subject of my endometriosis, things have still been getting progressively worse month after month. I've been feeling a lot of new pains and adhesion type stings - more around my diaphragm area (where I already have endometriosis but have never felt anything other than the pain in my shoulder) and A LOT around my c-section scar. I knew that was coming though! I've also, been wetting again. I'm so embarrassed by it but I've spoken about it on here before so it's not a new thing. During my period last month, the point finally came where Paracetamol weren't doing anything for me. I was in so much pain. I booked a doctors appointment but had to wait almost a month for that, so I tried taking some Dihydrocodeine that I had left from when I had my c-section. I knew it was safe to take while I was breastfeeding so I tried taking one 30mg tablet but unfortunately it did nothing, so the next day I tried 2 30mg tablets and yeah, to say I was spaced out is an understatement! I couldn't feel my finger tips!! It really helped the pain but I couldn't face that spaciness again so I knew I had to get something sorted in preparation for the next month. 

I saw a doctor on Friday about it and he's given me Dihydrocodeine (30mg) again but said this time that I can take it up to 3 times a day and also take Paracetamol as normal alongside it. So, fingers crossed, this month will be a lot easier to deal with. He did speak about a new treatment option for me also though. He asked all about my pain, where it was, how my periods were and how long they lasted - I thought he was checking to see if I did actually have endo or something but it looks like he'd had a good read of my records before I walked in (something I've never felt has been done before) because he was really clued up on it all. I know, unusual ha!? He said he really didn't want to just give me painkillers because they would only mask what was actually happening so he said the best thing to do would be to stop my periods all together and suggested I have the implant. Now, I came off the (progesterone- only) pill about a year ago and I had pretty much vowed never to go near any contraceptives (besides condoms) ever again. But he really thought this could help. We spoke about how I have had breakthrough bleeding with everything else I've tried, how I had such a bad time with the Mirena Coil and how I struggle with having something implanted in me that I can't just take out myself when the going gets tough. But he reassured me on all bases - the likelihood of having breakthrough bleeding with the implant was much, much lower than with the other things I'd tried and said that I could have it removed at any time if I wasn't happy. He then went on to say that he wanted me to try something else when I finish breastfeeding, something I would have alongside the implant, but for the life of me I can't remember what he called them. It had something to do with prostaglandins and how your blood cells flatten. I'm sure he called them 'prostins' or something and said they were like aspirin but, I cannot remember at all. Danny is always telling me off for doing this! I start a story and then can't remember the end! But yeah, I can't have them yet anyway so I'll keep you posted on that one. So now is my time to mull it all over and then if I want to go ahead with it or just talk it over some more then I need to see another doctor and it will all go from there. One thing I am really concerned about is my bone health because I remember my rheumatologist saying I needed to have periods to help my bones and I've read also that this isn't something you should be having if you have osteoporosis. So, that's something that would need to be discussed - maybe just on that alone it would be off the cards. But anyway, ladies, endo sisters, have you had the implant? Has it worked for you? Did you have any breakthrough bleeding? I want to know good and bad experiences so please get in touch because at the moment I really have no clue on what to do. He really seemed to think it would all help though, but he did say if it didn't then surgery would be the next step. For the first time in years, I left the doctors surgery feeling really positive! I wish all doctors made you feel this way!

As for my fibro - nothing much new to say. The fatigue is still terrible to the point where it's rendering me useless for days on end now. My hands are still incredibly painful - some days I will drop things repeatedly because of it. I bought myself this amazing little contraption called a Popsocket to help me grip my phone as I was dropping it constantly and wasn't able to type anything while gripping. It's such a simple little thing that you stick to the back of your phone but I'm overjoyed with it!! It wasn't until I bought this that I realised that I've changed quite a few things over the years to enable me to use them. Our hoover is a cordless one and super light and our kettle is now a hot water dispenser that you don't have to pick up. I hadn't really thought about it until now but I've been buying things based on my capabilities with my health for a long time. Anyway, back to my fibro... My feet still ache like I've been wearing heels all day and then stood in a fire pit and recently, my knees have begun to play up again, which is the issue that first took me to the doctors about it all back in 2015. Some days I've really struggled with moving about and it has left me a bit surprised at how incapacitated I've felt on those days. I think you kind of take it for granted, even when you have something like endometriosis that's concentrated to (more or less) one area of your body, and then you have something go wrong with another part which really stops you moving. I think I need to get myself some knee supports because they really have hurt so much some days. I spoke to the doctor about it on Friday and my Amitriptyline dosage has now been put up to 20mg per day so I'm hoping that might help things a little.

So, yeahhhh, that's been my health so far this year. I guess you can see why I've been a bit down about it all now. I would say I don't know whether I'm coming or going with it but it's more that I know exactly where I'm heading and I don't like it. I've had quite a few "why me!?" days and days where I've wished I could just be well again. But, hey ho. I can't change the cards I've been dealt now can I... Can I!?

I'm purposely not mentioning anything regarding my acne on here as I've written a long overdue update on all that for you and hopefully that will be on here this week too, so keep your eyes peeled!

We've been doing really well on our diets. We started the Slimming World diet on 14th January this year and so far I've reached and surpassed my first target and have lost 1st 4lbs. I have just 3lbs to go until I reach my second and final target! Danny has been doing brilliantly too and so far he's lost 2st 6lbs and has passed his first target. The plan once we hit the next (the final) targets is a big pizza! I'm not sure it's the best motivation while dieting to be thinking of pizza all the time but hey, it's kept us going! Our eating has become much better and we both eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than we did before. We will definitely take a way a lot from this diet once we have finished and it's been so easy. Don't get me wrong, of course there has been days where we've both wanted to give up and generally, couldn't be arsed with it, but we've got past it and seeing a loss each week has definitely spurred us on.

I don't want to tempt fate, but I mentioned previously that I'd had a "Capability of Work Questionnaire" through from the DWP in January... Well, all I've had from them since I sent it back is a letter detailing my payments. I'm not saying any more because an assessment letter will probably pop through the door tomorrow now knowing my luck!

I've been asked by a student at the University of Nottingham if she can interview me as part of her dissertation with regards to our IVF experiences which is quite exciting. I've never thought I could help someone's studies! I'm always happy to talk about my experiences though so if you think I can help you, get in touch!

Tomorrow it's our 7 year anniversary and we are going away for a few days (with Hunter, obviously!). We are staying a bit closer to home than usual but we cannot wait to get away for a few days and relax a bit. I just hope it doesn't rain this time like it did when we went to Dorset last year!

I've realised I don't tend to talk that much about Hunter on here but I mention him so often on Instagram that if you follow me there you'll see what a happy little chappy he is anyway. He's definitely hit the 'terrible two's' over the last few months and we both found that incredibly difficult when it started. However, we've found new 'coping' techniques and so far they've been working great and I think they've in turn helped Hunter because the tantrums have been few and far between... For now anyway! We've recently registered him for pre-school which he'll be starting in January next year and we will get 15 hours government funded - which covers the time the pre-school is actually open for anyway. It means I'll have 3 hours free every morning next year which will be great for me to get on with EMLWY related things or selling things to raise some more needed pennies! I'm going to be a wreck when I take him there though. He'll only be a 10 minute walk away but gah, I don't even want to think about it right now! He loved it when we went to have a look around though and we have some induction days in August (should he get in that is as we've not heard back yet) so hopefully that will make things a little easier for me! Time sure does pass quickly though. Breaks my heart a little whenever I think about it! I miss him being tiny so so much. I'd give anything to just have one more hold of him as a tiny newborn.

I have to admit, babies have been on my mind a lot recently. I'm not broody and I think we are both so, so happy to have Hunter and enjoy just him and spoil him rotten... But that doesn't stop me feeling sad and a little empty. All the girls I spoke to online while I was pregnant are either pregnant again, have already had a second child or are planning for another child in the future and it's been very difficult to see that and think that we won't have that. I know a lot of you might be thinking I'm being silly as I have Hunter now, but it's just a natural feeling that you can't control. Being a woman, I should be able to just make babies and I can't. And I don't know if I'll ever get past that feeling.

Oh, there is one other thing to mention that you might have already seen if you follow me anywhere else... My Baby Blasto tattoo! The very lovely Fiona Lewitt over at Black Market Tattoos kindly chose me as a competition winner and my prize was a free tattoo!! I have been wanting our Blasto tattooed on me since the very first moment I was given that photo back in 2014 so to have him with me everywhere I go now is just the best. Fiona, I still cannot thank you enough for this!!

Anyway, I think that about covers everything folks! Hope you are all as well as can be and kicking endo in the bloody butt!


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Slimming World.

I mentioned previously that me and Danny had decided to start the Slimming World diet - together so we have each other for support! We've never eaten too badly for main meals and in the last few years we've worked really hard to try and have varied meals containing as many vegetables as we could fit in. However, my snacking was more than a little out of control and portion sizes were a bit on the large size! We tried to cut back where we could but with the festive period looming and therefore a whole array of festive titbits in the house we couldn't help ourselves and come January we were desperately craving fresh and healthy foods! 

We have friends who have had great success with Slimming World so we thought we'd give it a go. I only want to lose a stone so I can get back down to my pre-IVF weight (and possibly a little bit more depending on how I feel then). Have any of you tried Slimming World? Let me know if you have and if you have any hints or tips then swing them my way!

I have to admit, I've probably chosen the worst time of year to start a diet because all I want to do in the Winter is eat comforting, warm, stodgy foods - if I'd done this in the summer it would have been a doddle! It's all quite simple to follow though. I've not found myself hungry at any stage and I love that you don't really have to cut anything out - as long as it's all within your daily allowances.

I was a little worried about my calcium intake because of my borderline osteoporosis, however, because I'm breastfeeding, I'm allowed an extra 'Healthy A' a day which is things like milk and cheese. I haven't used my extra 'HexA' yet though as my calcium levels were fine when I had them checked last year and I'm probably having more calcium with this diet already because I can have 'free' things like cottage cheese and some yoghurts. I do always make sure my 'A' choice for the day is milk though.

Anyway, I was going to do a little regular post to keep you all updated on my progress but I've decided to just keep that for you lucky folks who follow me over on Instagram, where you can see my food every single day! But I will keep you updated as time goes on. 

Wish me luck!


Saturday, 11 February 2017

ENDO bracelet.

The lovely Aimée, a fellow endosister who blogs over at The Chronic Writer, sent me this little bracelet last week which she has made to raise awareness of endometriosis.

As March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, she has been fundraising by asking for donations for Endometriosis UK and sending these out as a thank you gift. The idea of the bracelet is that it will be seen on the wearer and it will spark "What's that for?" type questions and hopefully spread knowledge and awareness of endometriosis.

If you would like to donate to Endometriosis UK and have your very own bracelet, then you can visit Aimée's JustGiving page here. Remember, these donations are going direct to Endometriosis UK, a charity that supports all of us UK endosisters!

Image courtesy of
Aimée is also attending the 4th annual EndoMarch on Saturday 25th March 2017, a worldwide event that aims to raise awareness and seeks change in various medical and educational sectors. Will you be attending your nearest march? 

I've heard on the grapevine that the Endomarch website is currently being updated with all the information on this years events but there is certainly still time to register and all the marches are completely free of charge. For now, you can find out more on the individual events by searching 'endomarch' on Twitter or Facebook for the most current information.

As per usual, I won't be able to attend again, but I'll be doing all I can during March to raise awareness and I wish so much luck to every single one of you who takes part - the ultimate girl love, sisters doing it for sisters! If, like me, you can't attend, don't worry! You can do your part by sharing information, tweets, statuses or pictures on the day or during the month of March. It's all about raising awareness, so ladies, do your bit!

Are you doing anything to raise money for any of the Endometriosis charities across the world? Email me at if you are - I'd be more than happy to help you get the word out!


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Real-life advice: how these women keep their endometriosis under control.

Image courtesy of
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Tori Crowther from Popsugar UK and asked if I would like to contribute towards an article on endometriosis!... My first ever contribution! Eek! I am still so excited over this!!

The article features some other fabulous endosisters and we've all offered up some of our own coping mechanisms on living with endometriosis (most of which can be used for other chronic illnesses also).

So, head on over to Popsugar's article "Real-Life Advice: How These Women Keep Their Endometriosis Under Control" and have a little read and remember to check out the other ladies who contributed by clicking on their names.

Do you have any coping mechanisms of your own? Let me know!


Friday, 20 January 2017

A brand spanking new year of hopes.

Happy new year folks! How was everyones Christmas and New Years?

Luckily we managed to get all of our festive shopping done in time (note to self, start a little earlier next year to save any panicking!) but we still had a super busy time, as we have done for the last few years, because of Hunter's birthday being on Christmas Eve. We had a family day out on the Friday and took him to an Adventure Farm which he loved and then had a little tea party with his closest family on his actual birthday. We then had another jam packed day for Christmas Day and after seeing lots of family, we cooked our very first Christmas dinner for my dad. Unfortunately, Hunter caught a nasty sickness bug which started during the early hours of Boxing Day and when he finally started to get better, I managed to catch it - just in time for New Years! Ugh, that was not a nice way to start the new year! Isn't it funny how we can somewhat deal with all this pain our chronic illnesses throw at us, but when we are struck down with a bug or even a simple cold we just can't cope!? Anyway, it passed within a week (a wasted week where we had planned to spend some nice, relaxing time together as a family because Danny was off work!) and I'm back to just the normal everyday endo pains and this exhausting fatigue that just hits me when it feels like it! I think that's the thing I find most frustrating with my health sometimes - that there is no rhyme nor reason to it so you can't predict anything.

After the chaos of December and our poorly spells had passed, I've been spending some time trying to get myself and the house organised again and get a bit fitter and healthier (don't laugh!) and I've been looking at all things blog related and where I want to take this space.

I'm sure that by this time next year I'll most likely be in the same position as I am now and have probably only gotten a few measly posts written again, but I'm really wanting to throw myself in to it this year. I spent some time the other week updating a few things on the blog and jotting down lots of ideas on what I want to achieve with all things EMLWY this year. As I said a while back, I don't want this space to just be about me. I'd LOVE for it to be a one stop space for all things endometriosis related, to make it about all you lovely ladies too and give this disease a face instead of pages full of impersonal facts and figures. I have lots of ideas for new things to write about and a few other super big ideas that scare me so much I'm trying not to think about them but that I'm super excited about. You'll just have to watch this space on all that though and see if I can get my act together and start juggling things a bit better! Is there anything you folks would like to see here? Would you like to be featured in some way? Get in touch and let me know!

Me and Danny were absolutely sick of eating so much rubbish over the Christmas period so last weekend we started the Slimming World diet. Before Christmas we weren't eating too badly, all our main meals were well balanced and mostly healthy, with lots of added vegetables wherever we could fit them in, but I really needed to sort my snacking out and stop with the butter laden crumpets at breakfast time. I started having porridge which was much better but the snacking continued and then having so many festive treats in the house did nothing for our waistlines and it felt like all I ate in December was either chocolate or beige. By the New Year my body was craving fresh green vegetables - I even salivated at the thought of cabbage at one point!! So, as I said, we started the Slimming World diet almost a week ago now and so far I think we are doing really well. I might put up a little weekly progress post on here come Saturday - would any of you be interested in that!? Either way, I'll keep you posted. I feel really proud of myself for finally sorting my eating habits out a bit and I'm already feeling much less bloated.

What else has happened since September... ... ... ... Not that much to be honest!

I feel like my health is progressively getting worse again. Over the last few months I've started needing to take painkillers again at period time. At first, it was just on the worst day where I was bleeding the heaviest (which has started to get much heavier now), then I needed them for the entire time I was bleeding, then it was a few days before hand too and now it's usually a week beforehand, a week (or 2 or 3 weeks - or 7 months! - who knows how long my periods are ever going to last!?) during and then the week afterwards. Now I'm starting to need to take them on odd days around this also. I've been getting ridiculously dizzy at period times and the weeks surrounding it too, to the point where I think I'm going to pass out and I have to sit down. I've also noticed that my fibromyalgia is definitely reacting to my periods and the pain I'm in with my endometriosis, and the week after my period is usually the worst week for me with fibromyalgia pains and fatigue. I'm starting to find that, like a few years ago, I'm only getting a few days break from pain and fatigue and bleeding and everything else now. So I know things are getting worse. I just don't know where things are going to end up! I mentioned a few months ago that I was getting lots of new little niggly things happening because of my fibromyalgia (I'm assuming it's the fibromyalgia anyway!), and that has just continued. I've started getting, hmmm, I don't know whether it's palpitations or what but it feels like my heart kind of skips a beat every now and then and it makes my chest go tight for a second and I have to gasp for breath. And then other little things, like my skin, it's completely changed recently and has been incredibly dry and every morning I have a red, blotchy rash on my back and arms, and my feet feel like they are on fire every night and they are so hot and achey. I really don't get what is happening to my body. There's always something up with it now!! I want to speak to a doctor to find out if all this is normal for fibromyalgia, but I'm actually worried he might just order me to be put down!

As for my acne, things have been very up and down with it but with the diet and a skincare routine which is working for me at the moment I'm hoping it might pick up... And stay up! I'll write a separate update on all of it for you though because it's been quite a few years since I last spoke of any skincare routines.

After being so undecided with it ever since I opened it, I eventually took the blog Instagram page down. I had initially decided to plug away at it and was enjoying it, but I found I was sharing all manner of information regarding endometriosis on there to only women with endometrosis, and that has always been what I didn't want to do! So anything blog/endometriosis/health related is now shared, once again, on my normal Instagram page (@thatgrrlshireen) so that any and everyone can read about endometriosis and if they don't want to read it then they can just bugger off. Simple. We need awareness so why should I hide away and be afraid of talking about it all!?

Yesterday I received the letter I had been expecting. In fact, I'm surprised I didn't receive it on the day my 'safe' period of 2 years was up. Today I had a 'Capability of Work Questionnaire' arrive from the DWP. Even though I had been expecting it, it all suddenly hit me and I've been in tears all day with the worry of it all. So once again, I'll have to be assessed by someone that most likely has only had a few minutes training on the health issues I live with, and who will sit there thinking I'm lying through my teeth because I have no physical signs of these illnesses. And then they'll write me off as 'fit for work', I'll have to appeal, they'll turn that down and then it'll all have to go to tribunal again. I just know it. And the thing I'm worrying about more than anything is that this time around, even though my endometriosis hasn't gone anywhere, I now have fibromyalgia and my osteopenia is now being classed as borderline osteoporosis, besides all that, I'm only on one type of medication. Even when I was at my very worst a few years ago and I was on a whole cocktail of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants, even when I was seeing a counsellor and a psychologist, they still didn't believe me, so how are they ever going to believe I'm struggling so much when I'm not on all these things? I know, as I mentioned above, that things are getting worse, and I've always said, if my health requires it, I'll have to stop breastfeeding and go back on to whatever medication I need to take. I know that at some point, paracetamol aren't going to work for me anymore and I'll have to find something stronger - that point will come this year for sure as they are already only just helping. It's the whole having to sit in front of someone paid to get you back to work, trying to prove you are unwell even though they can't see inside you. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on what happens. I have until mid February to reply to them so when I'm a little less upset, I'll have a proper look at it all.

Oh, one more thing before I go, I wanted to let you all know about a fab jewellery brand called Polypicnic which is run by a fellow endosister, Bianca. She makes hand rolled polymer clay jewellery and a portion of each sale is donated to Endometriosis UK. I was super lucky to receive a beautiful pair of her earrings for my birthday and I absolutely love them. You can find Polypicnic on Etsy and Instagram so head on over and check them out!

Well, I think that's about everything. If you are reading this (and have managed to get to this point!) firstly, thank you and secondly, please let me know! Come and say hey over on Instagram or Facebook or leave a comment below! I'd love to know that people are actually reading all this waffle! And, before I forget, and as I already forgot to write it before I rambled on through this whole post, happy new year folks! I hope you all have a wonderful 2017 and that your health is treating you as well as can be, and if it's treating you badly, I hope you manage to find some energy to kick it in the butt and show it who's boss!

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