Care a little…

About a week ago I had a telephone appointment with one of the Gps from my practice. I haven’t had much interaction with this Dr and it did not go well.

After a brief conversation about the symptoms concerning me, she suggested we start with some basic tests and swiftly moved on to checking my weight. I asked why she wanted my weight and explained if not medically necessary I did not want to be weighed. The Dr replied that she would like to calculate my BMI. I told the Dr that BMI wasn’t scientifically sound and I didn’t want to discuss it. I’m sure you can guess how the appointment went from there.

It was the usual gaslighting and time wasting. According to the GP she would be negligent if she did not assess my BMI. I reiterated my objections to her weight focused approach, all of which were dismissed. The appointment was taken up with this back & forth instead of actually discussing my actual problems. I have informed various practitioners at the surgery about my preferences with regards to being weighed, discussing weight loss etc. I have disclosed my history of disordered eating and how intentional weight loss is detrimental to my mental health. I’ve also discussed the harm caused to me by weight stigma, which includes near fatal misdiagnosis and long term health implications. All of these conversations should be recorded in my notes as per my request. Yet still, I find myself regularly having these interactions whilst trying to access medical care.

A blue bathroom scale that reads doesn’t matter

Given our in-depth conversation about why I wouldn’t be weighed without solid medical reason, I had hoped that might be the end of it. I was fairly surprised when I saw the nurse yesterday for bloods and she asked me to ‘hop on the scale’. I gave her my standard, I don’t do weighing unless medically necessary. The nurse then told me that the Dr had specifically noted that she must makes sure she weighs me. I was internally furious, but calmly explained to her that I had already told the Dr I wouldn’t be doing that. Luckily, she left at that.

I am chronically ill. I have lots of interactions with medical folk. I am flat out exhausted before we get to the fat phobia. I often don’t have the fight in me, but I’m forced into battle. There is no let up. If I don’t assert myself I will not get the care I need. I know from bitter experience just how dangerous that is. The problem remains that even when I do stand my ground, the medical profession is want to shove back. Either I am entirely ignored or I am labelled difficult. It’s endless and wearing.

The persistence of these attitudes feels like a war of attrition on the patient side. It’s draining. No matter how many times I make my wishes known, they are ignored. Coming to appointments armed with facts, evidence and clear description of how this weight stigma harms me, makes no difference. Today was a classic example of this. I wasted my time discussing very personal & traumatic experiences with a Dr in order to justify declining to be weighed. She simply set it all aside and took action that she knew would harm me. I shouldn’t have to justify not wanting to do things that are not necessary or helpful to my treatment in the first place. However, it is clear regardless of how much time & energy I invest in explaining why intentional weight loss talk is detrimental to me, medical professionals will not listen. The stress of always having to be prepared for a fight is immense.

I will of course take steps to address this latest event with my practice. I can only hope they take action to protect me. It won’t bring the discussion of my weight to a close. There will still be another specialist, nurse or hospital consultant who views me as first fat and second a person in need of medical care. Right now the knowledge of that is way too overwhelming.

If you enjoy what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

How I’m feeling now…

I have been somewhat absent here. Anxiety has engulfed me. There is a very specific reason for the anxiety, unfortunately it is not a thing that I control or fix.

Theoretically being able to pinpoint the trigger means it I should have a definite end point. However, since resolution is not within power the uncertainty persists. I can’t even begin to address the issue until next week, which leaves me endlessly playing out scenarios in my head. It is sickeningly stressful. The fear that has been sitting on my chest for a week feels like it’s attempting to climb up & grab for my throat.

I’ve tried every calming weapon in my arsenal to little effect. When I managed to leave the house every sensation was painfully amplified. I was both submerged in sound & every noise was taking place inside my body. Likewise, every living being in my approximate vicinity seemed claustrophobically close. I felt dangerously on display & incapable of making a quick retreat. Sitting still was impossible, but moving left me gasping for breath. I couldn’t decipher if it was Pots or anxiety related. The more I worried about it, the less able I was to catch my breath.

Outside was brutal. Inside is merely a more measured torment. The slow drip of water torture rather than the ripping out of finger nails. I remain on high alert. For what I don’t know; there is no physical threat. My mind stubbornly refuses to divert course. If I pull it astray thoughts quickly revert to dissecting worse case situations. This is very much a wait and see kind of issue. Strategising & replaying every possible outcome cannot help me.

Still, I lie awake at night with my heart pounding. When I finally dip into sleep my subconscious conjures catastrophes that aren’t even feasible. I awake in a panic that fades to dread. An awful gnawing fear the dark summons in the certain absence of slumber. I never feel more inclined to screaming than when imprisoned in insomnia. 3am worries are no one’s friend.

Of course I reassure myself that I can survive subpar outcomes. I do know that this extreme horror level of anxiety will not last forever. I’ve coped with worse & there will be much better days. My mind simply doesn’t care. We’re hyped up to life or death threat defence and it has no intention backing down. If I had a bunker, I would be in it.

If you like what a do you can support me here or on Patreon.

This week I was mostly…

Taking it easy. I’ve been trying to write, trying to sleep and listening to these tunes.

Open up Your Door by Richard Hawley was playing in a waiting room. It’s pretty good waiting room music. The gentle jingly instruments swelling into smooth waves has a soothing effect. Hawley’s smooth easy listening, but cooler voice pleasantly washes over you. The lyrics are almost unimportant, the overall sound is the appeal.

I can’t work out where I first heard I Think I Like it When it Rains, but it immediately stuck in my brain. A little Googling later I discovered it was by Willis and promptly added it to a playlist. It gives me a Lennon, Don’t Let Down vibes. I love the hopeful melancholy. It encapsulates the feeling of one of those thinky rainy days.

If I were a fish corook (feat Olivia Barton) is the catchiest, feel good Tik Tok hit. I can’t resist the cheery message and choiry chorus. If you need a little sing a long pick me up this is the one.

I am of course loving all of Lewis Capaldi’s new releases. I am dying for the new album, How I’m Feeling Now in particular struck a chord. I respect his openness with regards to mental health and his ability to capture the experience in his music. The desperate frustration of battling yourself comes through. Anyone who has dealt with depression or anxiety will feel it when he sings,

‘I’m always stuck inside my fucking head’

I hadn’t heard of Eloise until three days ago and now Friends Who Kiss is on my repeats. I like her gentle take on the break up genre. Stripped back and bitter sweet; ‘love is not in love’.

Bronan has been helping with the resting.

If you like what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

Pure Shores…

As promised I have returned to share my holiday adventures. In a slightly topsy turvy arrangement I’m going to start with our last day.

We spent our final day cruising around the northern coast of Majorca. It was bliss. First stop was Platja del Coll Baix; a beautiful beach hidden in secluded cove. Crystal clear waters, sun on my skin and glass of rosé in hand, just perfect.

ly is wearing a blue dress and sunglasses. She is sat in boat with cliffs and ocean behind her. Her hair is blowing in the wind and she is holding a glass of rose.

Much to the delight of her boy, my Sister was extra adventurous and leaped into the sea from a height. I really wanted to get into that beautiful water, but unfortunately I didn’t think I would be able to climb back onto the boat. Luckily, watching from the top deck was pretty magical.

Snorkelling and leaping complete we lifted anchor and sailed off to investigate some caves. My pirate obsessed nephew was convinced there was pirate treasure hidden within. He was beside himself with excitement when our boat crept inside for a nosey.

We rounded the cliffs and sailed into nothing, but deep blue sea and a distant horizon. We had a little boat party followed by a snuggle as we coasted through the Med. We dropped anchor again to enjoy some lunch. With the cutest lighthouse in the foreground and waves lapping at the hull, I was in heaven.

Once back on dry land we had a delicious meal on the docks and finished the day watching the sun go down on the beach. It was the dreamiest day and I loved every second.

If you like what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

Sun & laughter for a week or two…

I am going on holiday on Sunday and I am very excited. I’m off to a nice spa hotel in Alcudia with the intention of spending most of the week at the pool. I haven’t done a holiday like this in over a decade. I usually go for more of city break type trips, but I feel the need to chiiiiiillllll.

I’m currently in the process of packing, which I hate. I don’t know why it stresses me out so much. I know as long as I have passport, meds and my purse that anything else I forget is fixable. I still turn myself inside out with lists and double checking. It always feels like omitting or putting one wrong thing in the case will be a disaster. Hence why I start a week before departure.

All that said, this time there has been some positives too. I am finding so many cute summery items that I have neglected for too long. The down side is of course I cannot decide which cuties should come with.

So, I’m going to try a little insta/blog crossover and you can help me choose. You can find me here on Instagram. Pop over if you would like to help me decide which looks get case space.

Let’s start with maxi skirts. I have this gorgeous cotton striped skirt. Ruffles are really not my bag, but I could not resist this skirt. Unfortunately it hasn’t gotten as much wear as it deserves, perhaps it is owed a little Majorca time. Alternatively there is this super hippie dippie, swishy number. I love paisley print and I think this one would be great for the beach. Thoughts?

Striped Skirt – ASOS Paisley Print – Boohoo

Next category is strapless dresses. I like that these can go day or night, but are still very comfy. The leopard print is so old. I got it in forever 21 many years ago and it hasn’t been out the wardrobe in an age. It’s in competition with a simple blue hankie hem. I really like the way the blue fits, but leopard print is just more fun. Fit or Fun?

Leopard Print – Forever 21 Navy – ASOS

Last, but not least we have the sundresses. Obviously a holiday essential; I’ve already packed a few. These two are left vying for space. First up is another cotton stripey. I love the button detail and it has pockets! On the other hand my little ballerina esque dress is entirely lovely. Pockets or Twirls?

Ballet Skirt – Forever 21 Blue & White – Primark

I thank you for your input and I will be sure to share my adventures in Majorca.

If you enjoy my content you can support me here or on Patreon.

Reading, listening, watching…

After a hopeful beginning we have been plunged back into bitter winter. I for one am not enjoying the snow. It is freezing and has made quite the dent in my galavanting plans. In the absence of exciting carry on I thought I would share what has been entertaining me through the cold dark nights.

I just finished The Keeper by Graham Norton, which was surprising. I actually bought it and read the first chapter on a bus years ago. I then put it in my handbag, put the handbag in one of my wardrobes and promptly forgot where the book was residing. Last week I stumbled across it whilst looking for something else and dived in. It’s an intriguing tale that kept me gripped. Norton has deft style that is very engaging. The perfect bus/bath read.

In my typically late to the party fashion I have only this month watched Misommer. It’s the kind of film that freaks me out, hence the delay. In the end it was nowhere near as horrifying as I feared. It is bizarre and disturbing, but overall I could handle it. That last scene nearly had me, though.

More amusing, but still disturbing was Ian Hislop & Jon Stewart’s conversation on the latter’s podcast. If you know me at all you are aware that I adore Hislop. As much as enjoy the sparkling wit and insight. It is always unnerving to examine the state of our world through such an expert lens.

I also found a very cool taping of Bernie Sanders and Frankie Boyle discussing the essentials of the moment. It‘s refreshing to hear an American politician talking in leftist terms. It’s available on YouTube(How to Academ) and I think you would enjoy it.

I was on a horror kick this month when I came across Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. Nothing groundbreaking, but a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes. With a hurricane, a bunch of attractive young folk and a big pinch of toxic suspicion you’ve got yourself a movie.

Finally, I have this very morning started on Alan Bennet’s Pandemic Diaries. Alan Bennett is my literary comfort. His words soothe me no matter the topic. He has this incredible talent of tackling any topic with heart without blurring what’s real. This one will be read way more than once.

If you like what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

My head is spinning…

It has been a week. Sometimes this chronic illness business is depressingly predictable. Others it throws you a delightfully new problem. The past week has combined both. Lucky me.

Let’s start with the spoonie admin. Apparently because I have Pots the airline requires proof from a Dr that I am fit to fly. I am fit to fly. I flew last year with no issues. I don’t require oxygen and I can follow the safety instructions should the worst happen. None of which makes any difference to the airline people. This letter has to be signed no more than 30 days before departure. Months ago I made an appointment and explained what it was for. So, imagine my surprise when I turned up at the prearranged time only to be told that their policies have changed; my GP surgery can no longer provide this service. They suggested I contact a private clinic. Since I would dearly like to go on my long awaited holiday, I did just that. After quite a few no can dos, I found a practice who could help. Huge sigh of relief. Right up until they emailed the cost. Oh, what I would give for a body that behaves.

The week then steered into familiar territory. A night of unmanageable pain culminating in a disastrous faint. My glasses were knocked off & one lens shattered in the fall. I of course landed face first in the mess, then proceeded to repeat the passing out & smash my head. Cue a day of blood tests, butterfly stitches and feeling appalling. Oh and obviously more cancelled plans.

I tire of discovering new hurdles and stumbling over the old ones. The week ahead will be mostly conducted from the safety of home. I intend to sit still, get some writing done and try very hard not to be so much trouble. Health is wealth in more ways than one. Bronan is relying on me to keep him in the luxury he accustomed to.

If you enjoy what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

My week in pictures…

It’s been a busy week. I have had all the Auntie time and I love it. I spent fun time with all of my niblings. My oldest niece is on the other side of the world, so we had FaceTime. The others ran me ragged with carry on.

I combined two of my favourite things by taking the littles book shopping. They all found stories to their pleasing and gave me quite the round around (literally in some cases). I wore an old favourite all week. It’s so easy wear, I feel great in it and I really don’t care if you object to me wearing it four days in a row.

ly is standing in her living room with a hand on her hip. She is wearing a leopard print jumpsuit with open denim shirt.
Jumpsuit – Simply Be

On the subject of books, this week I have two on the go. I usually whizz through books, but I have been extra exhausted and finding myself conking out after one chapter. Thus, I haven’t finished either yet. How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie is a cool concept. I am enjoying it, but there aspects of the writing style that irk me a little. Overall, I would still recommend it. My other current read is Rebel Bodies by Sarah Graham. I am crazy excited about this and not just because I feature in it. It is an amazing examination of the gender gap in healthcare. Obviously an area of interest for me, but also a topic that is hugely important for all.

The kids have kept me busy, but I managed a little #projectpostit. If I’m I’m not getting much writing done I can at least spread a smidge of inspiration. Of course there is always time for dancing in my pants.

If you enjoy my work you can support me here or on Patreon.

Every kind of people…

In case anyone hadn’t noticed I am Scottish. I’m also supporter of independence, an SNP voter & a big fan of Nicola Sturgeon. I’m proud of her achievements and the kind of society she fought for. I am deeply saddened that she will no longer lead us.

Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament

In the wake of her resignation I am also alarmed. Some of the candidates who have stepped into the leadership race are frankly terrifying.

Ash Regan who resigned her ministerial position in protest of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill has gone on record that she will not fight the Westminster blocks. For a person running on independence first this seems contrary. Her subsequent cosying with a intolerant indie factions like Alba confirm for me that she is does not represent the values I seek in a leader. Add to that her statements with regards to Green partnerships, which risk the loss of their support and I am certain Regan is not the one.

Kate Forbes similarly opposes gender recognition reform and has also expressed extremely troubling views. She has publicly stated that she would have voted against gay marriage & has been very open about her anti choice views. Including speaking at an anti choice event organised by Brian Souter (a prominent anti choice & anti LGBTQ+ activist). In my opinion she is also currently leaving herself a lot of room with her statements regarding buffer zones. The SNP aims to be a progressive political party who champion the rights of all. A person who clearly does not support reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights cannot be our First Minister.

What’s more wishing to exclude Kate Forbes on that basis is not an infringement of her religious freedoms. Much has been made of Forbes’ faith, her right to worship how she pleases and not be punished in public life for doing so. I call bullshit. The origin of her intolerance is irrelevant. She has every right to express her religious views and the rest of us have the right to object to them. Religion is not a bigotry get out of free card.

The truth is I want Sturgeon. I trust and respect her. Since I can’t have my first pick I think I should at least be able to have someone who is willing to uphold the rights of all. Neither Kate Forbes or Ash Regan have given me reason to believe they will do that.

If you enjoy what I do you can support me here or on Patreon.

At least I’m trying…

In the latest of my body’s ridiculous tricks, I have shingles. When I’m run down I often succumb to random bonus infections. Shingles is also brought on my stress, which makes sense because January was a shit show.

I think I’ve had some lucky for once as I don’t seem to have a really severe case. The rash is painful (although not as bad as I’ve heard others describe it), but all the cold/fluey symptoms were short lived. It feels like a burn and if anything even slightly touches my skin the sensation is akin to a shock. My GP has added some pain killers to my usual lot, which are making it all manageable. They’re also making me super tired and a little spacey, which is having an effect on my creative output. I hope you’ll bear with me as I try to get back to match fitness.

ly is wearing heart shaped glasses and looking a little dazed.