July 2018

July has been a bit of a whirlwind month for me, as has August so far hence the delay in this post going up!


The month began with Max, his parents and their friends all having a cute garden party. It was all very sweet with some delicious nibbles and drinks being passed around alongside great company and conversation. The 28 degree heat and glorious sunshine definitely played a part too!


Getting to see Erin and Gina is a dream as of late. When I left school at 16 life took us all in very different directions, and the 7 years that have passed have been difficult in a sense of trying to see each other or even having time to send messages between ourselves. But this Summer has been amazing for being able to see them, and I am grateful for our patience over the past 7 years that we managed to persevere because being able to see them semi regularly has been super rewarding!
We take it in turns to host nights, and I was in charge this time! Vegan pizza & ice cream, wine, board games, gossip and catch ups, it’s like no time has passed at all.


The wonderful Angela dyed my hair but you can read all about that right here.


The journey to Huddersfield began and I decided to stop at Manchester for a little catch up with Amy and Sara which was lovely!


With the World Cup in full swing we went to watch the semi’s at Corner (a fave cute find Huddersfield) with so much hope for the England team but we were left feeling totally deflated when we lost. We did however have a great evening, throughout the whole world cup the general spirit of the nation was so surprising and uplifting!


The weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine, drinking cold coffee in Espresso corner and pottering around town. We got to see The Incredibles 2, which definitely lived up to expectations, I felt like a big kid all over again! Afterwards I wished that we had watched the first one directly beforehand, but regardless, it was a great watch and I really want to see it again.

I planned a surprise date night for Max on my last evening in Hudd. Whilst he was at work I tidied the house top to bottom, pre-ordered Dominos, got out some freshly washed pj’s, lit some candles and poured two gin and lemonades. Once he was home from work the pizza arrived and we put on his choice of film, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (not a bad choice but not quite ‘Clueless’…) and snuggled up into bed and just had the most chill evening we have had in a long time. It was lovely just to see Max truly be able to relax after months of hard work!


Erin told G and me of a pub quiz in one of our fave local hangs, so we headed down and absolutely bottled it if I’m totally honest hahaha! But it was such good fun, we did come 3rd so at least we weren’t last and we had such a laugh and a much needed catch up.


My parents took me out for a meal at a local tapas restaurant. Now, this was a big deal for me, two things terrify me when it comes to eating, 1. Public eating, and 2. Tapas. This was a big, emotional hurdle for me but the world didn’t crumble around me and I didn’t implode so that’s a massive step forward! But moving onwards…


Erin, G and I went to ASK Italian for a catch up and I ate exclusively vegan, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. As I have previously mentioned, I am in eating disorder recovery and I am on a very strict eating schedule currently. I have been vegetarian for a while, but skip out on dairy to try and help control my endometriosis better. I’d love to go vegan but it’s not the right time for me in my recovery, but eating out I do challenge myself to eat vegan!

I had the most beautiful customised vegan pizza with peppers, mushrooms and olives and a delicious glass of wine!

It was the perfect time for a good long catch up and we spent hours upon hours chatting which was much needed for all three of us.


The next day was a long car journey up to Huddersfield, in an attempt to move Max from one house to another with his parents. We took a break and went to Halifax again for the day, it was an odd combination of blue skies, 30 degree heat and sunshine, mixed with random bursts of thunder and lightning rain storms!

I was worried John (the cat) wouldn’t be about especially with the weather being so bad, but he pulled through and came to say goodbye, which broke my tiny heart, I love him so so so much and I firmly believe that he always knew when I was feeling down, he would always pop up whenever I was having a bad day. I know it sounds crazy and kind of cheesy but that street cat was my absolute fave and always cheered me up!

Of course it would be torrential the weekend of moving house, but we managed to get it done over the two days and felt very accomplished whilst sat in the new house eating Chinese food and having a good catch up with Joe and Chris.


After a couple of days of settling into the new house, we jumped back on a train and I went straight into work, before packing for 110 Above Festival.

This festival is really special to me, Max and I have been going for the past 3 years, the first year we attended by chance, whilst we were looking for something to do over our anniversary weekend, we loved the line up so had a bit of a ‘yolo’ moment and we haven’t looked back since!

But that will have a whole separate other post, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for that one!


Some July faves…

Album / Playlist: The 110 Above Festival playlist on Spotify to prep me for the festival at the start of next month!

Song: Another The 1975 track this month (soz, not soz) “Love It If We Made It”, major heart eyes.

TV / Movie: Started watching Ackley Bridge, was so sceptical at first as it just seemed like a new era Waterloo Road but I am really enjoying it so far

Place: I feel like my feet haven’t really touched the ground this month, so my favourite place this month would have to be the train!

Memory: Getting to see my lovely Erin and G, it makes the world of difference when I’m stuck at home.

Accomplishment: This will have to be going for tapas and not having a total meltdown! A big F you to my eating disorder and a big step forward in my recovery!!


This month was lovely, intense, hard, and all the emotions in between, balancing the socialising, travelling, full time working, weekly hospital appointments and regular flare ups, it’s all getting a bit much!

So please in advance accept my apologies for the potential lack in posts over the next month or two. I’m about to hit a very crucial point in my eating disorder recovery process and I need to give it 110%, so I’m possibly going to have to put the blog on the back burner for the foreseeable as my recovery is my main priority right now.

I hope you all had a beautiful July and I will see you soon,

All of my love as always,

Journaling Maddie 

xxxx

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Endometriosis Awareness Week – International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, and what better way to spend it than learning about incredible women all over the world with endometriosis.

I have found so many women across the globe all sharing their stories about endometriosis. This blog post is dedicated to them, showing the kind of women you’d be helping if you donated to the Endometriosis UK charity! 

When I first opened up about my condition, a girl I went to school with got in contact with me to say through she was going through exactly the same! I honestly could not believe that someone I went through education with for 7 years was coping with the same things I was, and it was almost a relief to hear of someone I knew personally understood what I was feeling.

A lovely lady called Dionne got in contact with me, offering support before my surgery. She is just wonderful, she worked with Fixers to create a video to raise awareness! I am so grateful of this girl for all of her words of wisdom and positive affirmations. You can see her video here!

Carla Cressy, a former model, lost her job due to endometriosis symptoms and is spreading awareness through her blog and sharing her story with various news outlets! A quick search of her name online and you will find out all about her extensive battle with endometriosis.

R&B singer Monica was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 36! She is the perfect example of symptoms not presenting themselves until years down the line! She shared her story on Instagram saying, “My reason for sharing is because we, as women, are built to be warriors and we will ignore something that seems so simple that can be so complex”.

Finally, the beautiful Halsey opened up to Twitter in 2016 about her diagnosis, sharing a whole lot of realness that all women with endo experience and it was super uplifting to read!

Women are incredible, and we face so many battles, and one in ten experience endometriosis.

Educate yourself, look after the women in your life, and forever uplift those around you, as you don’t know their story – but maybe ask them for it!

Happy International Women’s Day to you all,

 

M x 

Endometriosis Awareness Week – Taking Control

When waiting years for a diagnosis, it can be quite the mix of emotions when you finally receive it and it so common to feel like you have lost all control.

For me personally, I was so happy to finally have an answer! But I was also frustrated with how long I had to wait for help.

I personally feel like there is only so long that you can wallow, before you need to pick yourself up and take back control!

There are so many ways that you can take back as much control as possible with endometriosis, but these are just a few of the things that I found have helped me:

  1. Being open and honest about my condition! I never apologise for my condition if I am having a bad day. I have instead learned to embrace it and use it as an excuse to educate! My friends now know all of my symptoms from the most common to some of the strangest, and probably know my endometriosis just as well as I do as I share so much information about it! I refuse to be embarrassed about it and I feel like my confidence towards breaking the taboo and stigma around periods and endometriosis means that I have educated so many people who would usually shy away from talking about periods!
  2. Carry medication, everywhere! Long gone are the days that I would go out without my ibuprofen thinking I was a hero for baring the pain hahaha. The only way I can carry on with my day, if I am having a flare up, is using the medication recommended and hot water bottles galore!
  3. Talking of hot water bottles, they have been a life saver for me through my teenage years and 20’s. Using heat, alongside medication, has been by far the number one immediate help. I find that for me the heat helps take the edge off the pain and settles me down.
  4. Stretching. Every morning and night I stretch, and if I’m due to be sat around for long periods of time, I will get up and stretch or walk around a little. This doesn’t necessarily help with physical pain, and I use it more for a sense of routine, because I know that even during a bad flare up I can walk about (even if it is just a few steps to the bathroom) or do small stretches.
  5. Allowing myself to have bad days is really important to me. Not every day can go to plan, especially with an unpredictable chronic, invisible illness! Over time I have learned to look after my body and read the signs! If I feel like I am physically unable to do something in that moment, then I won’t do it! But equally, if I am able to do it, then I will. I have come to learn what pains I can still do my day-to-day life things with, and what pain will leave me in bed all day!
  6. Saying bye-bye to the dreaded trigger products. I cannot begin tell you how long it took me to take my coffee without milk, or get used to the almond milk substitute. Cheese, chocolate and soya are limited in my diet, and I am working on ruling them out altogether, along with alcohol and caffeinated coffee (my two weaknesses)! Milk and butter, however, are long gone out of my diet for good!
  7. Thinking happy thoughts! Like I say, not every day can be a good one, but you can always start it in a positive way. I personally would recommend the book “Calm”, which was gifted to me by my wonderful best friend Erin. It has helped me to deal with the mental side of poor physical health! Other things I do to boost my mental health are as follows: bullet journaling, blogging, walking, thinking of between one to three reasons why today was a good day, chatting with friends and family, seeing Max, cuddling my dog, and anything that generally makes me feel productive!

How have you taken back control since your diagnosis?

Remember, you can donate to Endometriosis UK via my JustGiving link here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maddie-parsons 

M x 

 

Endometriosis Awareness Week – My Story

I talked a little a while ago about my endometriosis, looking back after a year from my informal diagnosis, but for those who don’t know a lot about my personal story, here is a recap!

When I started getting pains, I thought that they were normal. I had seen my mom and my sister in similar situations to me, so thought nothing of it.

Monthly pains were turning into a vicious cycle: wake up, realised I was heavily bleeding, cramps would begin, mad dash for some pain relief and a hot water bottle, if I was lucky, I could get into bed and sleep it off, but 9 times out of 10 it ended up with my head over the toilet being sick due to the debilitating pain, shouting, screaming and punching my stomach out of desperation, hoping that it would help with the pain, with my mom scrunching my hair trying to calm me down until I passed out from exhaustion.

Countless trips to the doctors saw me on the combined contraceptive pill to help me with pain management, strong pain killers and eventually the mini pill, to stop my periods altogether. The mini pill was great for just over a year, and it really worked for curbing my pain, however one day I woke up and felt like I was back to square one, I ended up in hospital because the bleeding was that heavy and the pains were the most intense I had felt in years.

Fast forward a month or so and I saw an endometriosis surgeon and specialist who asked me a lot of questions and informed me that I needed surgery.

6 incredibly frustrating months and 3 a&e visits later, I was finally due to have my surgery to remove my endometriosis and fit me with the Mirena coil. Unfortunately my surgery got cancelled on the day, but I was booked in for a few days later.

The day of the surgery is all a bit of a blur! I had the most amazing team of NHS staff looking after and operating on me and I am so grateful of their time, patience and hard work.

I was discharged later that evening and was on bed rest for around a week and took a few more weeks to feel like I had fully recovered.

I had my stitches removed and a post-op appointment that informed me of the extent of my endometriosis, finally a formal diagnosis of stage 2 endometriosis. During the surgery they removed endometriosis from both of my ovaries, uterus and small intestines and showed me all the cool (and kinda gross) photos from the surgery haha!

I am now six months post-op. It honestly feels like a life time ago! Up until December I was symptom free, but at the end of December I began getting my symptoms again, thankfully a lot more dull and less intense than the first time around, so hopefully I can wait another couple of years before needing surgery again!

Everyone has different experiences with endometriosis, there is no one fits all rule with it and this is just my personal story!

If you want to donate to Endometriosis UK, you can do so by following my JustGiving link:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maddie-parsons 

M x 

Endometriosis Awareness Week – What is Endometriosis?

So, what actually is endometriosis?

Endometriosis by dictionary definition is “a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation”.

It is actually quite a common condition, affecting 1 in 10 women worldwide, so why is it so rarely heard of?! 

Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, with it being dismissed by medical professionals as “normal” period pain and something that will get better with the pill and some pain relief. The average time for a diagnosis to be formally given is 10 years! This is due to the lack of understanding and research into the condition. Diagnosis’s are few and far between, a lot of people have ultrasound scans that show up totally normal, but there is no way of formally diagnosing without laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis consists of a camera and light being inserted through keyhole incisions to find any endometriosis, then inserting surgical equipment to burn the endometriosis, in order to attempt to relieve symptoms.

Many women don’t know that they have endometriosis because they believe that their pain is normal and to be expected, in fact a lot of women with mild symptoms don’t discover that they have it until they try to conceive.

Symptoms vary from uterus to uterus. Some women with the condition have minimal pain and are able to go about their day to day life with little disruption, some are unable to conceive, and others are bed or even hospital bound with debilitating pains. Although symptoms vary, they are generally as followed:

  • painful periods, or dysmenorrhea. 
  • pelvic, lower back and abdominal cramps and pains
  • painful bowel movements during a period
  • infertility
  • pain during or after sexual intercourse, or dyspareunia
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • specifically during the time of a period: constipation, bloating, sickness/nausea, fatigue and dizziness
  • pain that stops you from doing your normal activities
  • leg pain
  • depression

Why is endometriosis even a thing?! 

A question that I would love to be able to provide a solid answer to! There is no known “main” cause of endometriosis although it is thought to be, with supporting research, hereditary.

And a cure…?

You guessed it – there isn’t one! There are many ways to treat the symptoms of endometriosis, the contraceptive pill, the coil, laparoscopic surgery, strong pain killers, hot water bottles, hormone therapy, having treatment to put the body in a forced state of early menopause, and in some cases, a full hysterectomy.

Through funding, hopefully over time, there will be easily accessible, well researched treatment. Endometriosis UK, a charity based around the condition, are working so hard to provide help and support to those in need, whilst also raising money to make the future of endometriosis sufferers a whole lot brighter!

This Endometriosis Awareness Week, I will be asking for donations to the charity, in order to fund vital support services, so that they can continue to support the endometriosis community!

You can donate to the charity through my link here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maddie-parsons

M x 

 

Endometriosis Awareness Week – An Introduction

Hiya,

If you’re new here, welcome to my blog!

I tend to blog about general day to day life things and share photos I’ve taken (this platform is literally just a brain dump for me haha).

But this week is going to be a little different, as of today it is officially Endometriosis Awareness Week (I think it is so cool that it gets a whole week dedicated to educating people), and as an endometriosis sufferer with a space to write and share, I thought I would take on the challenge of spreading awareness!

I’m going to talk all about what it is, bust some myths and share my story too!

Check back tomorrow for my post explaining what endometriosis is.

I am daily blogging this week to raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis UK! If you want to find out more, please follow the link to my JustGiving page!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maddie-parsons

Happy awareness week!!

M x