Friday Favourites…

My first new love is a phone case. I can’t actually remember buying it, but I’m glad I did. I must have had spree at some point because cases keep arriving. Either that or I have a phone case benefactor, which seems unlikely. Anyway, this cheeky little cat is both cute & a fairly accurate protraysal of feline attitude. It makes me smile. 

This week I have also been enjoying a blast from the past in the form of Tales of the City. I haven’t read any of this series since I was in high school, but stumbled across the whole set in a charity shop & couldn’t resist. Maupin’s tales remain as charming if less shocking to my adult self. 70’s San Francisco is always a hit with me. 


My Pow necklace is another thrifting find. I nipped over to Glad Rags to check out their refit & I was delighted I did. This pop art esq pendant is going to add some fun to even the dullest of outfits. Just goes to show that second hand is not second best.


Finally, my top tune this week is Take That’s Giants. I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting great things from their new album. Despite my long time love of Take That they have become increasingly problematic. The tax thing, losing another member & of course the fact that Barlow is big dirty Tory are all serious impediments. Regardless, I’m a sucker for Gary’s soaring love anthems & Giants doesn’t disappoint. I kind of hate myself, but I still love Take That. 

Oh & I did a little dog sitting this week. Try your very hardest not to fall in love with Ringo, my very favourite boxer. 

That girl is strange no question…

It temporarily spring in Glasgow. I say it’s temporary as rain is forecast from 2pm tomorrow until always & forever. Nevertheless it was a beautiful weekend. Unfortunately I missed every second of it because I have been the most nauseous person on the planet. When the sun came out again today, I felt it necessary to capture at least a few blessed rays. Thus despite feeling yuck, I ventured out. 

I’ll be honest though, I didn’t go far. A quick stop at a local park followed by sushi & film was my big adventure. I tried out this new shirt dress & was pleased with both it’s cuteness & comfort. Comfort is a big thing for me at the moment, given that my body has stopped believing in my right to it. 


Dress – Alice & You

The dress was a success, the rest of the night, not so much. The only film showing at the right time was Beauty  & the Beast; it’s shite. Trust me, you don’t need a longer review. Oh & the sushi didn’t even stay in my stomach until the end of the film. You know your film is bad when you’re not even worried about what you’re  missing mid vom. 


I know, my face looks grim in these pics, but look how cute my nails are. 

Leader of the pack…

Winter is long Scotland. Too bloody long most of the time, which is especially frustrating when you are dying to wear something that requires a little less nip in the air. So, a wee hint of sun last weekend was exactly what I was after.

I immediately whipped out this perfect biker jacket. You may recall I searched in vain for exactly this for a year or two. As is often the case it fell into my lap once I’d quit looking.


Jacket – JD Williams*

It’s a beautiful cruelty free replica of a classic biker. You can expect to see me wearing it with everything.

Last week I went for this red retro ish skater I found at JD Williams. They weren’t on my radar, but it turns out they do loads plus size brands & their own PS line. I know red & green should never be seen, but bollocks to that. I like the combo. Plus it gave me a chance to don my favourite badge.


Dress – Simply Be*

Leggings -Boohoo

Badge – Blackheart Creatives

Necklace – Mango (thrifted)

Scarf – Gift

I took my beloved biker to see Logan with the toy boy. He chose the film, so I got to take him some where vegan for dinner. I can highly recommend The Flying Duck’s cheese burger (the wolverines weren’t bad either).

*Items were gifted, but opinions remain my own.

Let’s talk it over…

Chronic illness is a bitch. The pain, the uncertainty & incapacitating symptoms are all a daily battle. Oh, but there is so much more. More that isn’t really talked about outside of spoonie circles & I thought it was about time that changed.

Obviously chronic illness covers a huge range of conditions & everyone’s experience is different. Thus I talk from my own personal view point with some input from fellow spoonies. Here are some of tricky issues that we’re quietly dealing with.

Travel

I mean any & all travel. From trying to get a bus to a hospital appointment to trying to cross the globe. The world is not spoonie friendly. 


Have you ever sat in those seats at the front of the bus that are meant to be reserved for ‘elderly & infirm’. I’m sure you tell yourself it’s fine because you’ll move if someone needs them, right? Well, you can’t always tell by looking that someone needs that seat. Having to explain yourself & ask a stranger to move is not easy. Thus I have collapsed on buses, cried from pain & just had to get off because I couldn’t stand any longer or make it to a seat further back. Which is a pretty good good analogy for trying to get about with disabilities. It can be hard as fuck without anyone noticing. 

Being chronically ill means planing every single outing in detail. Working out if you can manage to get to a bus stop or from a station to the place you’re actually going. Thinking ahead about stairs & where toilets are. Planning when you’ll need to eat, if you’ll be able to eat & how meds will work around that. Worrying about queues & how slow you move & often you’re going to have to sit down. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not participated in something I wanted to because the logistics were just beyond me. 

Relationships

Whatever your illness there will always have to be that early days conversation about what exactly is wrong with you. In my case I have scars to explain & a whole bunch of fairly scary details to talk about. In the beginning I thought that would be the hardest bit, but it so isn’t.
The worst part is all the normal things that are so much more complicated for me. I am completely aware that sometimes I’m no fun. I say no more often than most people. I have many (too many?) limitations. I’ve adapted to that, but I never know if others will. 

It’s scary & stressful to try someone new. They might well get fed up accommodating me. Every time I say I can’t make a social event or have to admit that I don’t fell well, I worry. Maybe this is the point they’ll decide a spoonie girl friend is just not worth it. The truth is, I wouldn’t actually blame someone for having those thoughts. After all, life is for living .

That’s the real kicker, it’s not a problem that can be resolved. Wanting to live a life that I’m not fit enough for doesn’t make anyone a bad person. It’s just another thing I (we) get to think about when I can’t sleep. 

Side Effects

Sometimes the treatments are worse than the illness. Almost every medication I take produces a side effect that impacts on my life. In fact I take medications to help with the side effects of my medications. I’ve taken drugs that have made me vomit, itch, gain weight, lose weight, have double vision, dizzy spells, palpitations, acne, the list goes on. 


Every treatment one is offered comes with a list of possible side effects. Chronic illness is a constant balancing act. How much relief will I get from my symptoms & will it be worth the new problems it will cause? 

I often illustrate this problem like this.

Severe anaemia can cause itchy skin & angina. 

A blood transfusion & opioids can treat these complaints.

Guess what a major side effect of both transfusion & opiates is, yup, really itchy skin. 

Welcome to the conundrum of chronic illness. What cures me might well kill me to. Fun!

Money

Hardly anyone likes to talk publicly about their finances. It’s awkward & it’s private. I hate talking about money, but honestly with regards to disabilities, someone has to. Having any kind of disability almost always screws you financially. What work you can do is limited. Employers will silently discriminate against you & the current  government will loudly throw you to the sharks. All the while ones disabilities will incur extra costs at every turn. In terms of cold hard cash, illness will cost you. Lots. 


The Embarrasment Factor

Never underestimate the power of embarrassment. All of the things I’ve discussed here can make a person feel really small. Be it feeling red faced about a misbehaving stomach or the facing soul destroying humiliation of having to justify your right to be alive at an ATOS assessment. Humility is a lesson spoonies learn over & over. 


Imagine how you felt the last time you farted somewhere you wish you hadn’t & the feeling of falling over on a crowded street & having to talk to a dr about a really cringey complaint & admitting you’ve failed at something important & having to tell the world that you need help with things everyone else can do. Now imagine coping with some combination of all the above every day. Welcome to my world.