June 2018

June has just involved a whole lot of back and forth between Manchester, Huddersfield and Birmingham but I wouldn’t change it at all!


The month kicked off with Toby Burton’s EP launch at The Parish in Huddersfield. Toby is the first artist that Max and I worked with for In Session so we naturally wanted to go and show our support. The gig was great and we picked up one of his EP’s, although you can listen to it on Spotify and I’d really recommend it because he is such a talented songwriter and performer.

The following day Max and I got the train into Leeds to spend our Wagamama’s voucher and have a wander around the record stores. There was a cute dog on the train back so obviously that day was a 10/10.


I went home and started a new job, just a Summer job picking up a few hours here and there at my mom’s office doing odd jobs and filing, but it’s been keeping me busy whilst at home which is always a plus.


Jumping in the car with Max’s parents to spend a bit of time with them in Huddersfield was lovely, before getting on the train to Manchester to see Taylor Swift at the Etihad. Honestly I’d never been a big fan of hers but seeing her live has changed my opinion highly! I happened to go by chance, but if you ever get the opportunity to see her I would beyond recommend it and I’m looking forward already to when she next tours again!

Back to Huddersfield the following day, I spent the beautifully sunny afternoon with Max and Peter, having a drink in Greenhead park and a good chin wag. We also walked by Max’s new house that he’ll be moving into next month so it was good to get an idea of the area he’s living in.

Once again, back on a train to Manchester, this time with Max, to see Haim at the Apollo, and it was incredible! I saw them last in 2014 at Glastonbury and I was obsessed, so it was amazing to see how much they’ve changed (for the better) over the years. They played a good amount of their old songs too rather than just the whole of the new album so that was refreshing!

The following evening was spent in A&E due to my worst endometriosis flare up since my surgery last September. It was a bit disheartening that this has happened again, however the doctors were lovely and very understanding, I was prescribed a lot stronger pain relief and they gave me a clear plan of what to do if this pursues.

A few days of bed rest was made better by meeting up with Max, Chris, Henry and Matt after a training day for their new job (suddenly ruined by me being sick in the toilets *classy* and having to go home).


Back to Manchester again but this time to walk across the city with some amazing people for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. The weather just about held dry, and it was just lovely seeing everyone again and being able to raise some money and awareness for a really important cause.

You can find more information as to why we did this walk, and donate money too, here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ibd-warriors-walk-it-manchester-2018


We had a chill few days in Huddersfield, Max took a couple days off work too which was really lovely as we got a proper chance to have some us time and relax a little!

Our 4th anniversary rolled around and we celebrated with a lie in, a walk into town fuelled by coffee, and an evening date night at Lala’s Indian (incredible, 10/10 would recommend).

The following day was spent pottering around The Piece Hall in Halifax, but I’m going to do a whole other blog post on that so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon!


I went back to Birmingham but only two days at work before going to the caravan in Bournemouth with my parents and Lady. This was Lady’s first time at the caravan, but also her first ever trip to the beach and seaside!

(It should be noted that I’m currently writing this in 30 degree heat, on the veranda of the caravan with a beer in hand – cheers!)

She has been so good, I was worried at first because she’s so nervous around other dogs, but I think as it’s a whole new place to her she’s just focussed on taking it all in rather than crying at other dogs haha.

The weather has been incredible, as previously mentioned, so each day has been spent trying to get out and do stuff as early as possible to avoid being out in the heat of the day, chilling during the middle of the day then going to the beach for a walk in the evenings.

Honestly I wasn’t sure about coming away, as much as I adore spending time with my parents, like every twenty-something, I need my space too, but this has been a perfect combination of the two which has been very pleasant and not at all suspected.


My month ended the best way possible, Max came home for the weekend and I got to see Erin and Gina too! It’s so difficult trying to find time to see the girls, as they live here and for the past two years I’ve not left Manchester for longer than a week (until now). But even now that I’m back we all still have so many commitments, Gina is smashing it at work and Erin is somehow balancing working full time and being in a really cool band, playing festivals all Summer! So it is really treasured when we do get to spend time together, especially because it is so few and far between.


It wouldn’t be a monthly without some faves so here goes:

Album / Playlist: My role at work means I basically lock myself in a room for hours on end sorting files, which can send you a lil stir crazy as I’m sure you could imagine, so I needed some motivational music to get me through, and the album I am constantly going back to is “Death of a Bachelor”, which is a massive revisit, however the more I think about it, it’s definitely in my top 5 albums.

Song: Although June has been the month of all months for new releases, The 1975’s new track “Give Yourself A Try” was top of my priorities and it did not disappoint!

TV / Movie: I binged hard on TV this month after all of my deadlines were out of the way, but my favourite has to be Hollyoaks, it has covered so many important topics these past few months and it’s amazing to see the hard work and dedication put into portraying them excellently and accurately.

Place: The caravan, it’s the home of a million of my childhood memories and I love being in my 20s and still enjoying it and making more memories!

Memory: Taking my gorgeous doggy for her first seaside holiday.

Accomplishment: Getting into the swing of having a job again!

Journaling Maddie x

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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 – What to Pack in Your Endometriosis Hospital Bag

Endometriosis is unpredictable so it is best to be prepared!

With the amount of emergency room trips you may be unexpectedly taking, it is handy to have everything in one bag and ready to go.

There are a few essentials that I would recommend packing in your endometriosis hospital bag…

Toiletries including sanitary towels, toothbrush & toothpaste, anything to make you feel more comfortable and clean!

Comfies, I’m talking a hot water bottle, dressing gown and slippers.

Medication, waiting for long hours without pain relief being administered because you’re still in the waiting room is truly a pain! I always make sure I have ibuprofen, cocodomal and naproxen on me.

Loose fitting and soft clothing such as joggers and t-shirts so nothing is too tight around inevitable swelling and bloating!

Dry shampoo and brush, always a winner.

Magazines or books, something to pass the time!

Make-up wipes and moisturiser to keep feeling fresh!

Phone chargers, because your phone will die at the most inconvenient time without it!

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