Sneak peak of December’s coming posts

This post isn’t necessarily an important nor long one, however I just wanted to let you know what will be happening this month leading up till Christmas.

To spice things up a little, this month I’ll be posting with Christmas in mind. I love Christmas and in all honesty, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t. To further my holiday cheer, here’s what to expect from me in the coming month.

  • CHRISTMAS WISH LIST
  • FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILMS
  • FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS
  • BEST BOOKS TO COSY DOWN TO
  • HOW TO SLEEP ON CHRISTMAS EVE
  • HOLIDAY PLAYLIST
  • MUM’S BEST MINCEPIE
  • DIY CHRISTMAS DECOR
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS
  • FAMILY CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
  • MY FAVOURITE PART OF CHRISTMAS

Keep in mind, not all these ideas will be covered and certainly not in that order. However, I’m looking forward to covering some of these topics for sure. I hope everyone is having a wonderful December so far, I sure am.

Hashimotos; where it all began

I have hashi’s, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times in previous posts and that’s where it all seems to begin when I tell my story.

I don’t think I give enough credit to my thyroid in all honestly. It doesn’t effect me as bad as my other illness’s do. However just because it isn’t debilitating as such, doesn’t mean I don’t suffer still as a result, like many others. I have to give it to all the ladies (and the odd few gents) who deal with it, I really do. I often think because it isn’t as ‘chronic’ as chronic illness’s go, the illness itself and the people suffering from it are completely, without a doubt, overlooked.

I’m pretty confident doctors don’t really give two about the condition either. Take this and you’ll be fine, they said. Guess what doc, not fine! As always, if you’re not familiar with the condition, Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. In other terms, the thyroid is slowly destroyed by your own body. The immune system attacks the thyroid, thinking the thyroid is inflicting harm to the body. If you haven’t already put two and two together, it’s not ideal by any circumstances.

One of the biggest problems I find many with hypothyroidism (the end result of a dead ass thyroid) have, is the medication. First of all, if you live in the UK you only have one option in terms of medicine as a replacement hormone for the thyroid. Secondly, you don’t have a choice to whether you can take it or not. Thirdly, the medication has some really crappy side effects that no one really wants. Well, not at all really. And last but not least, the doctors have a good habit of putting you on a dose that’s too low for you to properly benefit from. Long story short, you experience the side effects of the medication but none of the beneficial factors on a dose that is sometimes ‘scientifically fine’.

Immune systems, aren’t they great? No, not when you have a dead thyroid replaced with artificial hormones. You think having a cold is bad? Try having it twice as long with added fatigue. Thanks to my none existent immune system, I caught cryptosporidium too. Yes, a notifiable, horrific disease all because of this one little gland that decided to go sleepy on me. Speaking of things that don’t function properly, my metabolism. I swear to god, I can put 10 pounds on from just looking at a chocolate bar. Another lovely side effect of a dead butterfly gland; losing weight is really hard and essentially really tough to get to grips with mentally. I could exercise my butt off and lose half the weight most people lose from a daily stroll. The joys.

Fatigue, insomnia, bad hair and nails, weight gain, constipation, memory loss and joint pain. It’s all really tough. However, the thyroid being a gland that controls the hormones means a lot of problems in the womanly areas. Miscarriages are a very real result of an underactive thyroid. Like myself, some doctors worry that puberty will be late or never actually fully arrive. Having such a bad thyroid (150+ for me) meant questioning the possibility of ever having children or even having a period. Thankfully I did start my periods (not really thankful anymore, cramps suck), but it doesn’t mean I won’t miscarry when I’m older like countless other woman. I have to plan ahead of time, plan when I want a child and up my dosage significantly. Otherwise, getting pregnant in the first place is incredibly hard, maybe impossible for some.

Back to my original point. Having thyroid problems isn’t the end of the world, and again isn’t a chronic as chronic illnesses can go but there’s no denying the miserable experience some woman endure. The medication sucks and the illness is over looked as a minor things gone wrong, doctors and people. I had a teacher with the same condition tell me I was being a baby because she was fine with hers. Well that minor thing gone wrong can be really tough for a lot of woman, not to mention the symptoms, the meds AND the increased risk of diabetes, arthritis and alopecia. Don’t overlook someone’s medical problem just because it doesn’t land them in a wheelchair. Us thyroid gals are strong.

Weight & Chronic Illness

My weight is something that has really bothered me right from the age of 9, when I started to gain it. I know what you’re thinking, 9 is way too young to be worrying about weight and I completely agree. After struggling with it for so long, I think it bothered me so much from such a young age because of the lack of control I had over it.

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos at the age of 9 so I don’t really remember much other than feeling ill all the time, a lot of appointments and the dreaded blood tests. In case you didn’t know, Hashimotos is an auto immune disease that attacks the thyroid, thinking its a foreign object in the body it must rid. The thyroid controls countless bodily functions and when the thyroid goes bye bye, everything stops.

Metabolism is just one of countless things my thyroid has affected. I used to be really active till the shit storm I call chronic illness happened; you couldn’t stop me. I used to do gymnastics, ballet, swimming, horse-riding and kick boxing, just to name a few. The activities I did daily kept my muscles strong and my weight at a healthy number. When my Hashimotos made itself known, the wait gain slowly started even with the amount of exercise I did. I had no control.

Fast forward to 11, everything went bad very quickly. My parents looked out for the signs of my thyroid packing up, and as soon as it was apparent it was happening again, I was taken to the doctors and diagnosed. I was told I needed medicine called Levothyroxine to keep my body working, and it if I didn’t take it I’d die. Yep, that’s good doctors for you. Again, if you weren’t already aware, the condition itself causes weight gain but so does the medication. As soon as I started taking it, the weight piled on with one swish blink of an eye. Keep in mind, at this point I had dropped gymnastics and ballet, but taken up a place on the Netball team and started Tae Kwon Doe. I remember overhearing a nasty girl say if you were over 7 stone you were fat, and I was. It hurt but that was just the start.

I’m not making any excuses for my weight but exercise kept it steady. Steady enough I could still be fit with a little chub on the hips. I used to do cross country at lunch times too, had Netball practices 3 times a week and a match every week, went swimming twice a week, horse riding on the weekends and Tae Kwon Doe twice a week too. I also walked to school which was a couple miles from my friends house. I wasn’t a lazy kid.

Again fast forward to age 13, I was at a ‘chubby’ weight but not a size you would consider obese. I fell ill, stopped EVERYTHING within days, and remained bedbound for however many drawn out months it was. Then boom, house bound for nearly 2 years, even better. As you’ve probably already guessed from the sudden loss of exercise, my weight went crazy. I felt horrible about it for so long, struggling with the concept of being ill on the inside but also loosing control on the outside. If you haven’t already guessed, I like control in my life; control and structure. I have lost two stone since my heaviest but only when I gained some more energy, which isn’t something I have spare.

My point of this post I guess, is to end the stigma with food and weight. I hate the way I look at my self in the mirror one day, and I’m pleased I’m curvy as all hell and I have these massive hips to give me shape but the other days, I can just see these tree trunk legs and belly and nothing else. It’s quiet sad. I love my hips and I love my figure. I have a very similar figure to my mum at my age. I’m just more padded out than she was, but some days I’m okay with that and other days I hate it. I hate not having control and I hate the guilt I feel for looking this way. I hate walking into a fast food restaurant and watching for people looking and laughing at the fat girl at Maccys. Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I stuff my face with food like a couch potato. I’m sure that’s the case for many.

I think gaining weight is one thing, with the right attitude you can easily lose it again. Gaining weight and having no real option of losing weight because exercise makes you pass out, or you lost all your muscle being bedbound, is another. I tried riding last summer again and boy can I tell you, my back and legs were in agony for weeks. I have no core muscles to keep me up right and give me the power in my legs I need to keep myself stable and my pony motivated. I figured that out very quickly. Chronic pain and my POTS are my biggest obstacles, none of which are my fault yet I cant help but feel bad about my size when everyone else is motivated and on the track to a healthy lifestyle.

The comments I see on social media don’t help either. They’re on these big time posts by someone like UNILAD, and other people’s over all attitude to bigger women and men is sometimes really disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the comments are lovely and considerate, but the ‘stop eating fatty and get fit’ mentality is still very much real.

For me personally, the lack of overweight chronic illness warriors gets to me too. For most, they lose weight due to the muscle wasting away. That’s what it feels like anyway. The chronic illness community is great for support with your illnesses, but watching others battle their illnesses without worrying about the weight frustrates me. I can certainly feel gross on the inside and out.

Don’t get me wrong however, I love my hips, my waist and my height. I love my face, even if it is sickly looking and as pale as winters breathe at times. My problem is the lack of control which has always been my biggest battle. Since starting college however, I have to admit, seeing over big girls who are just as beautiful and as confident as the smaller girls has helped my confidence massively. So, I’m not ashamed of who am I and the way I look, I thrive with passion and dedication and bad dad jokes and I love myself no matter what because I deserve that; as does everyone. I just think the world needs to become a more considerate and supportive place is all. Maybe them, some of us bigger ladies and gents too, wouldn’t be so disappointed.

 

Hand in hand, Illness and Isolation

Understanding an illness is one thing; or should I say illnesses. Understanding the isolation that comes hand in hand with an illness is a completely different ball game.

I’m not talking about the isolation I once knew too well. I’m not talking about the isolation that comes with only seeing your family for months on end. No, I’m talking about a different isolation. One that I think is much harder to explain.

I have various different people in my life, all of who play an important role. I go to college and I interact with a close friend once in a while, and I see my boyfriend when I can. That used to be all I wished for, but selfishly I still envy other people. I have one close friend, and a couple others I’d just consider ‘friends’ but none of which really get me or understand a whole lot.

The isolation I feel now is different. Back when I was bed bound and crippled by fatigue and pain, I missed out on everything. School, friends, normal social interactions. What held me back then was my illnesses and the inability to function like a remotely normal human being. I was too ill. Now though? I’ve improved enough to drag my ass through college, and meet genuine alive, non imagery, real to the touch people. So what’s stopping me?

I sit at a table in Maths, and I know no one. I’m part time which is amazing for my health, but takes away the chance to meet new people on a full time course. When I walk into a room already crowded with people, I have no place in any of their life’s. I am forced to sit on a table where the only person that acknowledges me is my teacher. I sit and think about how it must feel to be liked by so many people, and to never face the embarrassment of being the quiet girl with no friends. English is better however, I’ve managed to make some friends but the struggle is still fairly similar.

The handful of friends I do have are good, genuine people. Yet isolation comes with having them too. I watch them experience nights out with their other friends, laughing and giggling; forgetting the world. It’s hard to watch. No one considers asking me and I just end up feeling forgotten. I think this is where my illnesses play into it.

I think because for the last 2/3 years I’ve never had the opportunity. It was never a case of being asked and considering it, but always a case of it never being a possibility. I now can go out and I want to, I sure as hell have worked my arse off to get here but it’s as if I’ve been covered with a sheet and totally forgotten about. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear I want to go out and about, experience what I should of done in high school but no one seems to remember me. Part of me thinks I don’t get asked because they expect me to say no. Maybe it’s just too much trouble inviting the girl that’s sick. Both are kind of crappy.

I don’t just want to go out to experience what a house party is like or spend time with a group of friends till early in the morning, I want to do these things in hope of making friends. It’s a vicious circle really. I cant get invited to anything to make more friends which I was hoping to make at this party I never got invited to, so they could invite me to others.

My family have told me to give it time, the day will come when I’m wanted and included in other people’s life’s. I just thought it would of happened already, I think I’ve waited long enough. Don’t you think?

I hate the fact that other people’s fun upsets me. I never wanted to be the person that gets jealous over other people’s happiness; yet here I am, feeling left behind. It’s not true and I’m not alone, I have an amazing family, all of which are my best friends and always will be till I draw my very last breathe. I do have friends too. Yet this overwhelming sense of being invisible can easily eat away at my good mood.

I’ve tried talking to certain people about it outside my family, maybe in hope of some understanding and progress, but I don’t think they do understand. I almost feel desperate, wanting what they have, to be loved and included. I think we often take for granted what we have, I sure did before everything was taken away from me. I feel like people over look the impact and beneficial factors of having friends because they’ve never known any different, and not being invited to something every once in a blue moon , isn’t a big deal. From someone who’s never experienced any of that, it is. Heck, I cant even get my own cousin, MY OWN BLOOD, to invite me to a single party which he has on a regular basis.

The lack of understanding is isolating itself, but being over seen constantly just adds to the feeling I’m already trying to get rid of. At times I feel like I have to insert myself into other people’s life’s to get anywhere. I have to ask about going out, I have to reach out first. I’m always the one at home while everyone else takes for granted the memories they are making. The wild and exciting ones they’ll tell the grandkids. But I can tell you this. I’ve been through some hard times; my whole family have. Every single time no friend nor foe has been there in support, just my amazing family. If I end up a weird old horse lady with 145,876 dogs, cats and ponies then that’s fine, my family are all I need. I have a friend, a best friend and an unbreakable bond in each and every one of them. That’s all I need.

Easy P.O.T.S Friendly Hairstyles

POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, is something I have carried with me for the past 3 years. Like mentioned before in previous posts, POTS is one of my most debilitating illnesses.

Asides from being dizzy all the time and passing out whenever my lil ol’ body thinks best, POTS affects every single aspect of my entire life. Something I started struggling with when my POTS worsened, is putting my arms above my head. In case you didn’t know, people with the condition have awful body circulation and basically nothing works the way it should. When I, and many others, attempt to put our arms above heart level, it starts to feel like the blood is draining from our arms. I think it’s safe for me to say it hurts quite a bit and most the time your arms start to cramp and ache; all of which is on top of the palpitations and dizziness.

Making myself feel better on pain stricken days normally means trying to look as okay as possible without further hurting myself. Doing your hair comes with it’s own personal set of challenges, so I came up with a few, fairly easy hairstyles which don’t worsen your POTS/pain.

Disclaimer: My hair doesn’t look the best as my health has beaten it to an inch of it’s life. The weird colour in my hair is old dye, something I have had to stop due to a previous diagnosis. I also have a shaved side, however all these hairstyles work with normal haircuts. 

 Half down, half up.

Hair style 3

  1. Section the part you want tied up in the bobble, I tend to part it just above my ears.
  2. Using whatever’s easiest, tie up your hair.
  3. Loosen off the bobble, by wiggling your hair about. If it’s easier to do so, put your fingers underneath your hair at the front and pull up slightly.
  4. Pull down any cute baby hairs around your face for a more relaxed, casual look.

This is my go-to hair style for most days. It’s simple and easy to do but also very quick, minimising the time my arms are spent in the air.

Half bun, half down. 

Hair style 1

This is fairly similar to the ‘half down, half up’ as you can see.

  1. Section the part you want tied up in a small bun, I tend to part it just above my ears like before.
  2. Go to tie your hair (the bit you parted) up. This time, don’t pull your hair all the way through. Depending on how big you want the bun depends on how much hair you pull through.
  3. Loosen the bobble if preferred.
  4. Again, pull down any baby hairs or strands around your face.

If you prefer to do so, try different sorts of buns. I do mine this way because it takes less time, meaning its less painful. However if you can manage, try swirling your hair around itself and then tie it at the base.

Twisted sides, half up, half down.

hairstyle 4

I switched over to my mum’s beautiful hair as I cant do this hairstyle on myself with a shaved side.

  1. On each side, find a chunk of hair above you ear. Thickness of your hair chunks is all down to personal preference.
  2. Begin twisting the hair till you get half way down.
  3. Bring both twisted bits of your hair together and join them with whatever you feel is easiest and least time consuming. You can use a clip or a bobble.
  4. Pull out any extra hairs around your face to soften the look if desired so.

Sticking to the same level of easiness, but adding a cute spin to a simple hairstyle.

Messy side plait.

hairstyle 5

Something a little different, but maybe even easier. I’m using my mums hair again as my hair isn’t long enough for this cute hairstyle.

  1. Bring all your hair to the preferred side, make sure its brushed and smooth.
  2. Start plaiting wherever you desire. You could start right behind the ear or leave some baggy hair and start slightly further down.
  3. Finish off with a hair bobble.
  4. Loosen your plait by pulling at the hair. You can also put your fingers in-between the braid and pull outwards.
  5. Pull some baby hairs down from your face to add to the casual look.

I don’t do this style personally now I have a lot of hair chopped off, however I think this one is a great one to do. Your arms aren’t up in the air, so the extra time spent on your hair isn’t painful. You can also switch and experiment with different types of plaits.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 binge worthy Netflix shows

 

So you’re stuck in bed with a flare and you find yourself with nothing do, so you begin to scroll through Netflix. You start with the categories and then just end up casually scrolling through the endless lists of suggested this and suggested that. Too tired to spend hours looking for a good show? You’re in the right place.

I am what they call a Professional when it comes to watching of the Netflix and I am here to provide you with extra special Netflixing advice. Here’s my top ten favourite Netflix shows you could give a go!

(Not in order of awesomeness)

1.Sons of Anarchy 

If you happen to be into a little gore, some crime and mystery and a whole lot of family biker drama then this show is perfect for you! With a healthy amount of binge worthy episodes, I spent a heck of a lot of time shoving as many SOA episodes as possible into one day. Not entirely healthy but I was hooked from the very first episode, what can I say?

sons of anarchy 4

In North California, young Jax Teller and his motorcycle club try to protect their hometown from drug dealers and rapacious developers while running guns them selves.

2. Peaky Blinders

Setting the scene in the 1919’s, this drama follows a ruthless Birmingham gang by the name of ‘Peaky Blinder’s’ who thrive in the aftermath of the great war when dealing with underworld gambling, weapons trade and drugs.

One of my all time favourites, taking a step out of the classic vampires and werewolf’s scenario. This show doesn’t have many episodes in each season, however the actually length of each episode is longer than the average shows anyway. Again, this was a series I couldn’t stop watching until I had completely finished. With plenty of family drama, a view sad moments and a whole lots of booze, drugs and guns, I promise this is one to watch.

peaky-master1050

3. Stranger Things

If you haven’t already watched this then you’re seriously missing out. Taking the internet by storm, a boy vanishes without trace and cannot be found. Those who know him, 3 newbie teenagers (if that) set out to find him, accidently uncovering top government secrets and supernatural forces along the way.

Full of scare jumps, humour and even a little bit of romance, Stranger Things is my all time favourite show, like ever. With the second season released a matter of weeks ago, it’s the perfect time to become a obsessed fan too. You think I’m kidding when I say obsessed? I’m not. I’m really not.

Stranger_Things

4. Heartland 

If you’re too fatigued to really concentrate or you don’t want to spend your resting time worrying about the next jump scare, Heartland is perfect for you. Oh, and a fan of horses too.

Featuring a young girl with a gift for horses, you follow Amy through a good 10 seasons of her life. Focusing on rescuing horses in favour of her deceased mother, light hearted humour, a little bit of drama and a whole lot of L-O-V-E is what this show is all about.

Heartland_680x325-thumb-620xauto-230702

Being a huge fan of the Canadian produced show, I have rewatched this series about 4 times. When I’m not feeling great, I can count on this feel good show to entertain me and make me smile. This is right at the top of my favourite shows list.

5. Bates Motel

One of the most interesting and gripping shows I have ever watched, Bates Motel shows you the twisted unravelling of Norman Bates mind. This show doesn’t require too much concentration, however it is  extremely intriguing and I guarantee you wont be able to peel your eyes of the screen.

Filled with murder, insanity and a sprinkle of love, Bates Motel is certainly a binge worthy show. Oh, and it also spreads some well deserved awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis warriors among the chronic illness community. Bates Motel is a must.

bates-motel-final-season

6. Reign

Turning to a completely different genre, Reign is a brilliant TV show educating and entertaining you on the complex life of Mary Queen of Scots. If you’re not a history geek like myself, then the messy love scenes and the tragic love stories should be enough to excite you. If that doesn’t do it, then I’m pleased to announce that the gory scenes, intense plots and gripping story lines should. A real good series to curl up in a blanket to watch.

reign

7. Prison Break

Another exciting and binge worthy show, genius and little brother Michael plans to break out his brother from one of America’s most secure prisons in hope of saving him from the death penalty.  Exciting every step of the way, Prison Break is a easy show to watch while not being bored or over loaded with information. How far is Michael willing to go for his guilty/ not guilty crime driven brother?

prison-break_0010.jpg

8. The Vampire Diaries/ The Originals 

After all, I am a fantasy struck teenage girl. TVD follows the Salvatore 200 year old brothers, Stefan and Damon. In hope of saving himself, Stephen falls in love with a human (the brothers being the vampires). As each season passes a part of their life, friends change, problems occur, love happens and mysterious creatures are found.

A brilliant show for the romantic and fantasy driven, I recommend this show 100%. Filled with excitement and lots of gore too, it’s the ideal show to watch while trying to save some energy. I promise it’s nothing like Twilight.

The Originals is a follow on series of some side characters known as the Originals and how their story began. Again, I really do recommend this show as it’s just as good as TVD. Filled with sibling drama and lots of gore, The Originals is yet another no brainer.

The-Vampire-Diaries-Season-2-Promo-Poster-the-vampire-diaries-12468822-1650-1275

9. Teenwolf

Teenwolf is ideal if you’re a fantasy fan and loves a bit of horror. Following the life of recently turned Scott and his best friend Stiles, the two and the rest of the gang defend their home town and the people they love. There is nothing cheesy about this show, in actual fact a lot of the content is quite scary and shocking to watch. 110% worth the time to sit down and watch; one of my all time favourite TV series. teen-wolf-tyler-hoechlin

10. Falling Skies

My mum actually recommend this show to me after a bad flare up and I don’t regret a single minute of time spent watching it. After a master race take over earth, Tom and the survivors must deal with the death of their loved ones, and fight in their honour to regain the home they once had. Filled with action, gore, death and romance, this show made it on my list for the exciting and gripping plot that twists and turns all the way through the series. If you haven’t already, you must give this show a watch!

Falling-Skies-Season-5-Poster

CBD Brothers Review; a healing hand

So me being me, I had to go and get a load of illnesses typical pain killers don’t work on. Yep, I just had to be difficult.

As mentioned in many of my posts, I was diagnosed with M.E at just 13. If you’re unfamiliar with the medical condition M.E, it’s a chronic illness that will more than likely last for life. The two main factors of M.E, although there are many, is pain and fatigue; both of which completely wipe you out every single day in some form or another.

Pain has always been an issue for me, as I’ve gotten older my pain levels have increased, sometimes slightly and sometimes drastically. In therapy or specialist appointments, we have this brilliant little thing called a pain scale. This pain scale isn’t designed for people with zero conditions that live a fully functioning life, but for the fighters that experience pain on hourly basis. 1 is mild and its hardly there. 10 is the most excruciating pain you have ever felt, the pain that makes you question your sanity.

On most days, my pain ranges from a 6 to a 8; it’s there and I know it is and it’s really bugging me but life’s life and you just have to put up with it. Fun. On my worst days I’ve wanted to physically rip my own hair out of my skull, also of which, is fun.

Over the years, I have tried a fair few methods of easing pain. Some being natural remedies like creams, some being baths and heat, some being medication. Well, let’s just say if my pains a 9 I don’t give a crap about the natural remedies and I want some damn painkillers.

I have tried different strengths of Co-Codamol, and neurofen and Co-Codamol at the same time. Then a few others thrown on top because by this point I just don’t care, and yet none have seemed to work. Heat is a good way of taking the edge of though.

Recently I have tried CBD tablets, produced and sold by CBD Brothers.

‘The original alternative’

CBD brothers use whole plant cannabis and hemp extracts imported from Europe to produce their range of products, all of which contain high levels of Cannibidiol as well as other vital cannabinoids. Everything is completely safe and organic, with no side effects what so ever. The doses come in different strengths depending on pain levels, all at which are priced very reasonably considering the difference they have made in my life.

CBD
CBD Tablets

I haven’t been on these tablets for what most people would consider a long time, however I have had several months to experiment with different strengths and see how my pain levels have been effected.

CBD 1
Quick example of one of the strengths for the capsules

So far my experience with these tablets has been nothing but positive, so I am really pleased with how well they have worked considering nothing worked before. Taking the pills regularly has meant my overall daily pain has lowered and I haven’t been so dependant on painkillers like Co-Codamol which I don’t like taking for personal reasons.

Daily pain alone being lowered enough to notice has certainly been amazing, however my migraines have also been helped with the tablets; although not fully taken away by any means.

For headaches and migraines, you can easily purchase the CBD Brothers balm which I tend to use when I have a headache. The palm is also helpful for muscle pain, although it hasn’t been as effective as the tablets in that particular area for me personally.

CBD palm

My sleep has also bettered from taking the tablets late at night, which overall is helping my energy levels as much as a good nights sleep can actually help someone with a chronic fatigue based illness. I suffer from bad dreams regularly, sometimes up to 4 times a night so waking up is part of my nightly not so wanted routine. Since taking a dose at night, my dreams haven’t been so vivid and sometimes I am able to sleep through the night without waking up once.

There’s a huge stigma around medical marijuana, even in the forms you don’t smoke it with no side effects what so ever. However, it’s helping me hugely and I will carry on taking different strength tablets while also trying their other products in hope of bettering my every day pain further.

To my parents, fighting along side me.

To my parents,

I will never be able to thank you both enough for the life you have given me despite my illnesses, the hours and energy spent on comforting me, and the countless hours, days, weeks, months and years you have both spent fighting along side me through thick and thin.

A simple thank you will never do, and it will never be enough for the endless love, support and patience you have shown me continually in many a time I was bewildered and frightened. However, thank you is a start.

Nothing goes unnoticed, nor will it ever. Hours after hours spent on teary nights, doctor appointments, private specialists, research, medications, planning out my days so I can focus more and put my mind at rest, staying by my side through the dizzy spells, the flare ups, the nausea, power naps, panic attacks and spending your days with me so I don’t get lonely. I am so thankful for all that you do, for doing the unthinkable and for being the best parents a kid could ask for.

I think many people seem to forget that although it was my first time dealing with M.E or a chronic illness, it was your first time too. I needed you to be brave and tell me everything was okay, despite having a million and one worries worm around inside your heads. I can only imagine how hard that must of been to put your own worries a side, and hold my hand through everything that didn’t make sense to you, let alone me.

I know every struggle I face affects you just as much as it does me, every inch of pain and all the messy, unpleasant experiences my illnesses brings along with it, affects you too. I often think about how I would be if the rolls were reversed, and if I had to sit by and watch you two suffer as I felt powerless, longing to help you in some way. Well, I don’t think I’d be very good at it, to say the least. You amaze me.

Every sleepless night, every pain ridden moment, every time I have felt abandoned, you have been there to scoop me up, place me in your arms and talk it through. Every time I have wanted to quit and give in, you have taught me that fighting with every inch of my body is worth the happy, incredible moments I will experience in life, no matter how small. Amongst things, you have taught me to be kind and considerate because you never know what happens behind closed doors, and despite how I may feel from time to time, I will never be alone as I will always have you, my best friends. You have taught me to be brave.

Thank you for talking me through the panic attacks, pushing me to strive for my goals, teaching me to never give in and for holding my hand every step of the way. Thank you for sticking up for me, telling the docs where to shove it and for making sure I know I’m loved. Thank you for making me laugh too, joking about this crappy situation and not the ideal one I had hoped for really makes everything a lot lighter, being deep and depressed does nothing for me. Thanks for making me laugh through the pain and tears, for taking the piss out of me and for treating me no different to any normal kid, with a few exceptions of course. Thank you for showing me my fighting spirit.

I know I stress you both out, I know you don’t sleep and I know you worry more than you should. I just hope you know, I try every single day to show you how thankful I am to have the parents that I have. You guys are my best friends, to some people that might be weird but you are. However, I know that parents like you aren’t common and I’ll be damned if you aren’t made extremely aware of this.

You have shown me the true meaning of courage, passion, love, strength and bravery and that alone would have been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. You are the reason behind every fight, past, present and future. I love you. As long as I am fighting, I know you will be too, right by my side, hand in hand, smile on your face.

Thank you for loving and supporting me, for never giving up on me, for making me laugh till my stomach hurts and showing me the fighter within me.

5 things you learn being chronically ill

Like the majority of people out there, no one tends to appreciate what they have till it’s gone. A common mistake yet still a mistake at that.

When your worst fear breaches the surface of reality, our point of views are drastically changed of how we see the world and the people inhabiting it. Yes, I’m talking health.

Just like many, until I had everything stripped away from me with one mighty snap of life’s jaw, I took my normally functioning body for granted. Granted I was 9, but none the less. Now, being ill obviously has a lot of down falls to it but it does have it’s ups too. Occasionally, maybe. Sometimes.

Taking a step back from life and watching it from the side lines really improves your ability to see what’s going on, how people react to your situation and how they typically treat the average ill person. So here are a view things you learn being chronically ill.

1. People are genuially quite rude to the disabled and ill percentage of the population.

I have noticed, as has my family, being in a wheelchair pretty much makes you invisible to the normies. Now you’re properly thinking that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, wheelchairs are unmissable right? Wrong.

Using my wheelchair for day outs, or distances I can’t walk means I can do a whole lot of observing from down below. Personally, it’s hard enough being in a wheelchair at 17 being pushed by my 13 year old brother without adding to the chaos it brings. I am constantly cut up, pushed infront of, elbowed, walked over, and hit round the head with some stupid ladies handbags. I’m not sure why and how exactly but I’m very much convinced I’m invisible as soon as my bum touches the seat. Magic.

2. People are quick to judge.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to complain of such things, but it’s 100% true. I have a blue badge to help aid me and get me though the tough days. Even on a good day, I may need it as I can’t walk to distance intended for healthy people to get wherever I’m going. As I’ve mentioned before, I also use a wheelchair to get around the place. Anybody would think I’ve just slaughtered a new-born baby by the looks I get given. I’ve heard on multiple occasions that I don’t need my wheelchair, I shouldn’t be in a disabled parking spot or I’m simply just too young to be ill. The looks I’m given can be absolutely heart-breaking, making the whole ill and 17 concept even harder to cope with.

3. Friends don’t always stay.

Over the years, specially at the start of the whole diagnosis process, I’ve lost my fair share of friends. I don’t know what it is exactly, but maybe when you become ill you get a free ‘please run away’ sticker slapped on your forehead.  As many stressful periods of a person’s life often does, a chronic illness or if you’re lucky, multiple (insert sarcasm here), filters out the true from the fake. It hurts, but you find out who’s in it till the end and who isn’t. You can call it a curse and a blessing.

4. People are selfish.

As I’ve mentioned previously, for a large portion of my time spent ill, I spent the majority of it watching from the side lines as everyone else continued embracing life and all it’s glory. I can’t say I was any better when I wasn’t in this position but it’s something that is now incredibly obvious. Unless it personally affects their life or them, people don’t tend to care all that much.  I can’t say this is the case for everyone but from personal experience, it’s a large majority. I had no visitors or cards, not even a single text from outside my close family (parents and brother). I was 13, bed bound and persuaded I had met life’s end. Even now 4 years on, I can’t say it’s got much better people wise, I’m still waiting on that text.

I suppose being ill has enhanced my ability to care for others, and to thoroughly understand the loneliness and overwhelming feeling someone gets when facing a stressful ordeal. I can honestly say, hand on heart, I have been there for as many people as possible in the last 4 years as humanly possible and still currently am.

5. People are highly uninformed on the majority of chronic illnesses.

Everyone has heard of cancer and rightly so. However, what about the 50 million other illnesses, disabilities and chronic conditions a percentage of the world’s population face every single day? I have learnt that most people haven’t got a clue what my illnesses are, what the do or even that they are a thing. There is little to no funding for research and only a few specialists covering my conditions in the UK. It is unbelievable how uninformed  and oblivious the general population is. Yet again, I can’t say much as I hadn’t got a clue till it smacked me in the face. I think this is why it is so important to spread awareness not just among the chronic illness community but outside of it too. Friends, family, the weird guy wandering the streets. Anyone.

It’s all part of my experience learning to dance in the rain.