Where I've Been - Health Problems and chronic illness Notebook with makeup and rose

[Insert Cliched Blog Title Here]…! // Chronic Illness

Hi everyone! Remember me? I’m Katie, I blog around here. Well, I used to – not so much for the last two months or so! I hold my hands up, things have been pretty quiet round here recently. I’ve still been trying to stay active on social media, but haven’t sat down to blog for ages.  Why? Well, as you know I have a lot of health problems and suffer from chronic illness. I’m always pretty unwell and spend a lot of time bedbound and/or housebound. But life has taken its toll on me in the last month or two.

A few family events, whilst lovely, have left me spending a long time recovering. I’ve been to a couple of beautiful family weddings, and the payback was worth every minute. But it does mean it’s taken me a while to get back to the health (or chronic illness) level I was at before them.

Where I've Been - Health Problems and chronic illness me at wedding

Me at my Uncle’s Wedding (Dress: Simply Be, Sprinkle of Glitter range)

When you have chronic illness, the slightest thing can have a knock-on effect.  Just one day of significantly overdoing things can leave you with weeks of symptoms – more fatigue, increased pain and a reduction in stamina.  I knew these weddings were coming up for quite a while beforehand, and they were of very close family members.  I generally try not to overdo it or push myself too far, but sometimes I have to take the decision to just go ahead.  When it’s something really important, that will leave me with memories for a lifetime, I think the payback is worth it.  Hell…. but worth it!

Continue reading

Adjustamatic Bed Get The Best Night's Sleep How To Sleep Better

Get The Best Night’s Sleep – 5 Top Tips! // Adjustamatic

Hey guys!  I hope you’re having a good day.  As you may already know, I have a few chronic illnesses.  My main issues are M.E and fibromyalgia, both of which mean that I really struggle to sleep well!  M.E can really disturb your natural circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.  On top of that, the extreme pain caused by the fibro can make falling asleep impossible at times!  Over the last 3.5 years, I’ve figured out a few hints and tips which I want to pass on to you, so you can get the best night’s sleep possible.  Most of the tips are relevant for those without chronic illnesses too, so read on!


Adjustamatic

This post has been kindly sponsored by Adjustamatic, who offer a range of reclining massage chairs and orthopaedic adjustable beds.  Their beds and chairs are proven to offer pain relief for a variety of aches, pains and medical conditions (sounds perfect to me!)  They are a British company who have been running for over 50 years.  Very helpfully, they’ve made a video with loads of tips to help you get the best night’s sleep.  Once you’ve finished reading my post (don’t leave just yet!) you can find the video here.  There is lots of practical advice about the number of pillows to use, and how to position yourself.

Mug of Sleep Tea to Get The Best Night's Sleep

I like to have a cup of ‘sleep tea’ before bed!


How to get the best night’s sleep: my 5 top tips!

Are you ready to get the best night’s sleep in a long time?  Then read on!

Continue reading

Travelling with Chronic Illness Spoonie Travel Tips

Where I’ve Been… // Chronic Illness

Hey guys!

I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from me in over a month – BAD BLOGGER!!!  Before normal service resumes, I just wanted to quickly explain where I’ve been and why it’s been so quiet over here.

My Chronic Illnesses

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know about my chronic illnesses.  I have ME and fibromyalgia, so am mostly bed or housebound a lot of the time.  I haven’t been able to go on holiday or travel abroad for over three years but recently I actually went away (it’s a miracle!)  

My husband had his 30th birthday last year, and I felt like I couldn’t help him celebrate in the way I’d have liked to as I was so unwell.  If I wasn’t ill, I’d have baked him a nice cake, spent time picking out nice presents and probably arranging some sort of fun surprise.  You only turn 30 once!  It had been on my mind that I wanted to try and spoil him a little more this year, so I starting planning pretty early.

Travelling with Chronic Illness Spoonie Travel Tips

My pilgrimage to my spiritual home – makeup mecca Sephora!

Travelling with Chronic Illness

My hubby has always wanted to go to Prague.  I’ve actually been, but around 10 years ago (I’m so old…!)  I knew it was something he’d love to do but I wasn’t sure how I’d manage it healthwise.  So I spent quite a bit of time planning – checking out accessibility and that sort of thing.  The flight was only 2 hours and was from our local airport, very nearby.  I was able to request airport assistance and be dropped off right in front of the airport terminal, which really helped.  

If I was healthy, I’d have probably booked 3 or 4 days there, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed every day.  So I booked a full week, thinking that even if I was stuck in bed for half of it, we’d still get a few days together to see the sights!  Of course my husband could still go exploring every day – I preferred for him to go out and have fun rather than be stuck in the apartment just because I was.  I made sure the apartment had satellite TV and a kitchenette so that if I was bed/housebound, I would have something to watch and would be able to access food and drinks.  

Travelling with Chronic Illness Spoonie Travel Tips

My favourite building in Prague, the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Tyn.

I won’t pretend the holiday was easy – flying, travelling and even going out for meals is REALLY DIFFICULT when you have chronic illness.  Particularly ME, which gets very cross when you try to leave bed and actually enjoy yourself!  It was hard, I paid for it during the trip and for several weeks afterwards.  But do you know what?  My husband and I haven’t had chance to make any new, exciting memories for years now.  Chronic illness has taken so much away from me – I’m not letting it take my memories and my relationship too!!  So although I doubt I’ll be travelling again any time soon, I don’t regret it.  Seeing my husband’s face light up, and seeing him enjoy his time absolutely made my year 🙂

Tips and Tricks?

I might write a post soon about travelling/holidaying with chronic illness.  Maybe some tips on making travelling easier and what to look for in a destination, accessibility wise.  Even what things I packed that really helped along the way!  Let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in, by leaving me a comment here or on social media.  You can also see a few snaps from my trip over on my Instagram!

Travelling with Chronic Illness Spoonie Travel Tips

The beautiful Church of Our Lady of Tyn in Prague, lit up at night!

So hopefully I’ll be back a little more regularly than I have been, and I can only apologise for being quiet for so long!  I know you guys understand.

Fix Your Skin Top Skincare Tips Expert Roundup Skin Acne Help Acne Treat Acne Scarring

Top Skincare Tips: Expert Roundup – Acne, Scarring, Getting Glowy & More!

Hey guys!  How are you?  I hope you’re doing better than me!  My husband and I are both full of a rather nasty cold.  On top of that, my poor cat is on antibiotics and painkillers as she’s been bitten by a mean neighbouring cat!  You wait until I see that cat…!!  Joking.  Maybe.  I just wanted to share a post with you, which is a round-up of 200+ experts’ top skincare tips!


Experts’ Top Skincare Tips

Fix Your Skin recently asked for my top three skincare tips, to include in their expert round up post.  You can read the post here and get some amazing skincare tips!  I’m number 77 if you want to find me 🙂

Fix Your Skin Top Skincare Tips Expert Roundup Skin Acne Help Acne Treat Acne Scarring

Firstly, I’m definitely no expert but am very flattered to be included with others who are!  I have a big interest in skincare, as I’ve struggled with hormonal acne and acne scarring for many years.  When you’ve suffered with bad skin, you naturally start doing a lot of research, and trying anything you can to improve your skin!  I’m sure you know what I mean, if you’ve been in a similar position.

At the moment, my skin is at the best it has been in years.  This is thanks, in no small part, to a careful skincare routine and regular facials/LED treatments.  


Treating Acne Scarring

I don’t have many active spots at the moment, which is pretty rare for me!  I do however have some areas of quite bad acne scarring, from having a break from the pill last year.  My hormones were unbalanced and my skin went to all hell!!  Damn hormones.

Fix Your Skin Top Skincare Tips Expert Roundup Skin Acne Help Acne Treat Acne Scarring

My skincare routine is focused around trying to fade the acne scarring at the moment.  I use a lot of acid/glycolic exfoliating toners, moisturising oils and LED treatments.  The Light Salon at Harvey Nichols in Leeds gave me a series of four LED facials, which were really helpful.  You can read all about it and my review here.  

I was also kindly sent a TrulyClear home LED facial device (review here) which I’ve just started using on the acne/scarring setting so fingers crossed!  There is no quick fix to better skin, but staying consistent is the key.  I should hopefully see some decent results in a few months time if I stick to my routine.  Most of all, I want to prevent any more acne (hence stopping any more future acne scarring!)


What are your top skincare tips?  Do you have any star products that really help with your acne, or even just keep your clear skin looking good?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!  I need all the help I can get haha 😀

Can Brain Fog Hurt Chronic Illness ME CFS Fibromyalgia spoonie post

Can Brain Fog Hurt? // Chronic Illness

Hi guys – happy weekend!  Hope everyone is having a good one so far (even if you’re in the rainy UK, like me).  I’ve been dying to write this post – can brain fog hurt?  This question has been burning a hole in my brain and I wanted to see what everyone else thought.  If you’re not sure what brain fog is, Wiki desribes it here as:

“A clouding of consciousness.  It is a term used in medicine denoting an abnormality in the regulation of the overall level of consciousness that is mild, and less severe than a delirium.  The sufferer experiences a subjective sensation of mental clouding described as feeling ‘foggy’.”

If you’re not a regular reader, I have chronic illnesses – M.E (/CFS) and fibromyalgia.  I was diagnosed in 2013 and the symptoms began long before that, as a less intense level.  So I’m definitely not new to brain fog!  It is something I’ve done battle with for several years now!  When I was unwell but still able to work, I had terrible brain fog.  

Can Brain Fog Hurt Chronic Illness ME CFS Fibromyalgia spoonie post

 

Continue reading

Exercise With Chronic Illness Achievement for All Exercise with CFS ME Fibromyalgia

Exercise With Chronic Illness? Yes, You Can!

Hey guys!  I know, I know – the title might be a bit provocative.  But you know I suffer from M.E and fibromyalgia, so I understand how hard it is to ‘exercise with chronic illness’ (or even make it out of bed!)  As my M.E is moderate to sometimes severe, physical activity is often very difficult for me.  What this post is going to be about is how all of us with chronic illnesses can do something, it’s about finding what works for your personal level.


My Inspiration/Sponsored Post

One thing that inspired this post was the reaction I had to my recent Spoonie New Years Resolutions post.  Often posts like that are discouraging, as they aim way too high for my level of health and I just can’t relate. Hitting the gym 5 times a week?  I’d be happy to make it out of bed 5 times in a week!!  So many spoonies contacted me to say that they’d enjoyed my post as it was more relevant and relatable to them.  When Mobility Nationwide contacted me about their #AchievementForAll campaign, it was the perfect timing!  

Inspired by the Rio Games last summer, Mobility Nationwide, who specialise in mobility vehicles, launched their campaign to encourage people of all levels into activity.  This times in perfectly with my own NYE resolution of re-starting hydrotherapy.  This post is sponsored by Mobility Nationwide, but all content, ideas and opinions are my own!


Exercise With Chronic Illness Achievement for All Exercise with CFS ME Fibromyalgia

Exercise With Chronic Illness – What is Exercise?

The important part of this is defining what we mean by ‘exercise’.  Of course, most healthy people would class exercise as going for a run, hitting the gym or doing yoga.  That is often completely unachievable for spoonies (obviously depending on your level of fatigue or disability).  What I’m talking about here could more accurately be defined as ‘activity’.  

Continue reading

New Years Resolutions Spoonie Chronic Illness Motivation

My New Years Resolutions for 2017!

Hi guys – Happy New Year!  2016 has been a difficult year for a lot of people, so I really hope 2017 is much better for you if you’ve had a tough one 😀  I always used to make new years resolutions but stopped when I got ill, as the typical big challenges I used to set myself seemed completely unachievable.  I don’t know what has changed this time around, but I really felt like setting myself a few resolutions!  I think I’ve adapted to my chronic illnesses enough to know that I need to be realistic with my goals, and not set myself up to fail!

New Years Resolutions Spoonie Chronic Illness Motivation

Continue reading