Our Journey Begins

Hi. I’m Natalie, a 20 year old living in the UK. I suffer with Fibromyalgia, Depression, Chronic Anxiety and Skin Lupus. I’ve suffered from Depression and Anxiety since I was 12, Skin Lupus since I was 17; the Fibromyalgia is more complicated. I suffered from the condition since I was 11, but I wasn’t officially diagnosed until December 2017. When I was 11 I began experiencing massive amounts of pain, especially in my knees. So I was diagnosed with Osgood Schlatters, which is a knee condition common in young people. However, as I got older, my pain increased and began to spread; which started to affect my sleep and my mood (which didn’t help with my Anxiety and Depression as I didn’t start taking medication until I was 16). The next thing that went was my wrists. One i just couldn’t move them without being in horrific pain, so off to A&E I went. I was then diagnosed with Tenosynovitis (which i’m terrible at explaining so google away if you’re interested), but basically it made writing very difficult and on a bad day could really effect my daily activities. The older I got, the pain got worse (beginning to see a pattern here?) and it eventually got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. On a good day I would ache everywhere, sleep was almost impossible so I became used to feeling like a zombie most days, I was beginning to get use to the constant pain i had in my knees when I walked, but not in my wrists, which meant writing was kept to a minimum and I began to type everything (which did improve my typing skills, so there’s a positive). Now, on a bad day, I couldn’t walk, I could barely lift up my TV remote (since thats pretty much all I can do on a bad day, thank goodness for Netflix), forget about sleep and just imagine every square inch of your body being completely stiff with the feeling of 100 (very heavy) weights on top of you. I began having really bad nausea, dizzy spells, pins and needles, my restless leg syndrome (continuously bouncing my leg up and down) got much worse (and more annoying for my mum lol) and a whole bunch of other symptoms that will just go on and on. Around this time I started developing red and purple lumps on my legs (which are now also at the top of my arm swell) that itched like a hell fire (yes they burned) so back to the Doctor I went. Hospital referral, after hospital referral (which takes ages in the UK as the NHS can be very slow, but having free healthcare is awesome so you learn to deal with it; sort of) and diagnosis came into its final stages (the biopcie on my leg was not fun) and finally in December 2017 my consultant said that I have Fibromyalgia and Skin Lupus. I was relieved at first as finally i’d get the right treatment and could put a name to what I was suffering from, but honestly it’s still setting in. I have to wait for my referral to a dermatoligist before i can get treatment for the Skin Lupus, so that is still a pain, but i’m starting to feel a small difference with my Fibromyalgia, I still have good and bad days but my sleep is improving which is amazing.

Another thing about me is my family. When I was sixteen my dad was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome. He became extremely ill and was emitted into hospital hanging on by a thread. Unfortunately, he had a massive brain bleed to his right temple lobe. We were told to prepare for him to pass away. When the specialists from London came to the hospital they couldn’t believe that my dad was sitting up and talking (although not much of it made sense), they called him a miracle. Sadly a few months after this, my dad had a stroke. He lost movement in his right side, which he managed to gain back quickly (another miracle). It took a long time for him to stabilise, and when he did he was a slightly different person. This was pretty hard for me to accept, I was in complete denial, I didn’t want to believe what happened to him so I didn’t. It took me a long time to accept what happened to one of my favourite people in the universe (the other being my mum), and even now I know what happened to him, I understand what happened to him, but if i’m honest I don’t know if i’ve really come to accept it yet.

Although my life has had it’s downs, it has had a few ups. Getting into University was a massive achievement for me 🙂 And my brother Gary is a guide for visually impaired skier Kelly Gallagher MBE and are both currently in PyeongChang about the compete in the Paralympics which begins Friday 9th March 2018.

I have an incredible family, and the most amazing parents. My mum has always been and always will be my best friend.

I LOVE film and television, I like reading and I have a serious passion for writing, from screenplays to poetry (I actually had two poems and a short story published when i was younger through young writers UK. I’m pretty opinionated, but i try to be as open minded as I can about other peoples opinions, so when I post my view on something feel free to comment and have a discussion 🙂

So thats a relatively large snapshot of me. I’ll be posting at least once a week about a variety of stuff, my thoughts can be quite random, but most of all I want to talk about my experiences with the various illnesses I have and what i’ve experienced with having a family member become seriously ill and hopefully help someone out there who’s going through the same thing. My twitter is at the bottom on my page (that feels weird to say) so get in touch if you want to chat, or leave a comment on here and I will reply 🙂

So thats it really. I’m not sure how i’m going to end posts yet, so for now I’ll go with the flow. Whoever has taken the time to read all this God bless you because its bloody long. Thank you for reading and you will see me soon.

Featured post

how YOU feel MATTERs

Your mental health matters.

Mental health is not talked about as much as it should be. Mental illness is a massive problem in global society. The human mind can be so dangerous. It can be life threatening.

Falling into a dark place is sadly so easy to do and so, do hard to climb out of. People feel helpless, alone, terrified, sad, worried, you feel like you’re trapped in a cage under water and you’re running out of oxygen and there is no way out. But there is, i promise!

What I hate most, is that society makes people feel silly and/ or crazy for feeling like this. People feel embarrassed about how they feel, and they shouldn’t. Society needs to start talking more. Society needs to recognise how powerful and how detrimental peoples minds can be.

I get so anxious sometimes i’m afraid to leave the house. I get so depressed sometimes all I can do is lay in bed starring at the ceiling trying my best to not to go to that really dark place.

I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve survived myself if that makes any sense. I have fought, I have clawed my way into the light and I continue on in that battle everyday. I know there is a way to survive, that there is a way to live and to enjoy living. I’m not saying that there is a cure for mental illness, but i’m saying that it is possible to cope. I believe that there will always be some bad days, but trying to focus on the fact there are good days, that there are good things happening in the world, that someone out there does love you, that does care.

I care about all of you. Everyone. I honestly would not wish mental illness on anyone and I mean that. I CARE ABOUT YOU. So even if you feel like you’re all alone, like you have no one, please remember I CARE. I WANT YOU TO LIVE. I’m here.

Love, Nat xx

Forever and Always.

Bad days happen for good reasons –

Machine Gun Kelly

It’s been tough lately i’m not gonna lie. The last month has been really hard. The last 4 years have been really hard. The last 11 years have been hard. Life has sucked. But, life has also been beautiful.

I don’t believe in God, but I have witnessed a miracle, a real life miracle. My dad. He should be dead. He should not be sitting down stairs watching the TV right now. My dad had one of the largest brain haemorrhages his doctors had ever seen. The specialists from Adam Brooks Hospital in London didn’t even believe my dad was the same man they saw in the scans because he should have died, or at least been completely paralysed. It’s not like he was fine. At the time he was really sick, he wasn’t there completely, he was saying odd things and hallucinating, and it sucked; but he was alive. And then all of a sudden another miracle happened that the doctors couldn’t explain, his kidneys got way better than they were. He was close to having to have a transplant and then the experimental drug must have worked. For now he’s stable. He’ll never get better, his memory is not what it was (and it was insanely amazing), he gets confused all the time, which makes him really frustrated. He has bad days and good days, and as much as they bad days suck, as much as I REALLY hate them, i’m so utterly grateful we have them because it means he’s here.

I’ve been bullied, I’m in constant pain, I went through years of misdiagnosis, I went through years of being so horrifically sad and scared (and my mental illnesses are more under control but I still have good and bad days too), I went through my dad almost dying. Me and my parents have been through so much. We have endured pain and sadness no one should have too. We’re still fighting. We’re still wading through the water. We’re still staying strong. We are still together. Forever and always.

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Marilyn Monroe

So…

So… it’s been awhile. I took some time because I wasn’t in the right place to write. I want to help people and make a positive difference. I want to write posts that give someone even just a tiny bit of hope, and I couldn’t do that then. So I stopped for awhile.

I was in a very bad place mentally. A place I haven’t been in a very long time, a place I thought I was rid of, a place I thought I escaped and would never go back too. But I did. I hated every second of it. I hated feeling paralysed, numb, like I was fighting for oxygen every day. I was angry. I was so very sad. And I honestly didn’t know why. I was scared because I didn’t know why this was happening, everything in my life is okay.

It turns out it was because of the chemicals in my brain. My anxiety had been bad for a month or so, so my doctor changed my medication that helps combat my anxiety and depression. My brain has extremely low serotonin levels which is why I am the way I am (amongst some unfortunate experiences from school etc). Now unfortunately because I was in the process of weening off my old meds and slowly starting to take my new ones the chemicals in my brain were basically going nuts. They were bouncing off the walls of my brain because they had no idea what was going on. Which sadly left me, well in not a great position.

Now i’m okay. My new meds have finally began to settle in. I’m finally myself again. I take solace knowing that my trip to that place wasn’t me, that it was my medication changing over, that all the hard work I put in to even try to be happy and positive wasn’t pointless it didn’t disappear, it was still intact.

So i’m back, i’m going to be posting once a week hopefully (either on a Saturday or Sunday as uni starts soon).

Try your best to be positive, I know it’s hard, I know, but just try 🙂

Happiness is achievable, it’s not impossible even though it feels like it.

Remember it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

Lots of Love, Nat. X

Blog updates

So updates from me might start to become more irregular over the next few months as i’m starting to get busy with university again. And honestly, i’m pretty damn stressed right now, suffering with writers block, so still keep following for posts because there will be posts just not every Wednesday like usual 🙂

Hope you’re all good, stay positive x

One hope I have, one real hope, is that one day everyone in the world will open their minds to difference, to disability, to illness of all types, to things that they may not understand, to people.

I’m not perfect by any means, but why do people have to be so mean? Is it because they’re afraid? Ignorant? What is it? Why do people feel the need to try and put others down? What does that really achieve? Seriously I want to know.

I know the world is a complicated place right now with everything it’s been through and everything it’s going through, but shouldn’t that make humanity want to stick together? Shouldn’t that make us want to be kind to people no matter what they look like, or what god they believe in or don’t believe in, or they can or can’t do as well as others? Shouldn’t all the bad stuff make people want to spread love and not hate?

I dunno. I just hope one day (and I know i’m asking for a lot), people will open their minds to other people, to the things that make us different, that make us who we are, to all the things that make us.

You know the smallest thing can change your life, in the blink of an eye something happens by chance when you least expect it, [that] sets you on a corse you never planed, into a future you never imagined, where will it take you, that’s the journey of our lives, are search for the light, but sometimes finding that light means you must pass through the deepest darkness – Logan Thibault, The Lucky One (Zac Efron) – Nicolas Sparks

You know you live long enough [Logan], you lose enough people, you learn to appreciate the memories you have and stop begrudging the ones you never got to make – Ellie, The Lucky One (Blythe Danner) – Nicolas Sparks

Fibro and Chronic Pain tips

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Tips:

  • Contour pillow!!! These things are amazing! I sleep so much better than I ever had before. I’m in less pain when I lay down, I can actually get comfortable and fall asleep. They help align your neck and shoulders, which also helps align your spine. This helps spread the weight and pressure on your back while you sleep. I got mine from amazon for £29.99. Now I know this seems expensive for a pillow but trust me it really does work and it’s one of the cheapest I found. If you have trouble sleeping because of pain I really recommend this. Contour Pillow Amazon UK
  • I also recommend vitamins. Vitamin B is great for boosting energy which helps my fatigue and I hope yours too! You can find vitamins in any pharmacy or online.
  • Another thing I think is important is to make sure you and your doctor find the right treatment plan for you. It took me a long time to find the right painkillers and types of physio that help reduce my symptoms. It may take time and it may suck but you will find something that works for you.
  • Warm baths. Now I used to hate baths, lying in your own dirt and all that, but it really does help my muscles relax which reduces my pain levels for a while. It’s not a permanent or long term fix, but it relaxes me and lowers my pain levels for a few hours. I normally do this before I go to sleep.
  • Something I’ve found is that exercise doesn’t work for everyone with Fibro. If exercise makes your pain worse like it does with me, I recommend talking to your doctor about referring you to physio, they take it slow with you to help build up strength and recommend techniques to help reduce pain symptoms as much as possible.
  • My last tip is staying positive. I know it’s easier said than done but being positive really does help. You gotta keep going.

Well that’s it for now, I think of anymore I will post 🙂

Lots of Love

Nat 🙂

Like yourself.

For once my mind is feeling healthy. I’m working so hard at learning how to control my own thoughts and I think i’m making progress. I know that I’ll have this forever, and you know what? I’m okay with it. I’m okay with all of it. I’m okay with my mental issues and my physical ones, because I like the person i’m growing into, i like who i’m becoming, i like my personality, and I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for everything I’ve been through, that my families been through I wouldn’t be who I am today, and you know I think who I am today is pretty damn okay.

Make sure you like you. Stop worrying about everyone else’s opinions and start worrying about yours. You need to like you, that’s what’s most important. And you will find people who like you too, it might take some time but you will find them.

I know it’s easier said than done. I’ve struggled, crawled, and clawed my way through this for years, and I think i’m finally making head way. I’m tired of constantly trying to please everyone else based what I think they’ll think, i’m tired of hiding myself, hiding who I am and who I want to be. I’m weird to a lot of people and i’m okay with that, because I like everything that makes me weird.

I’m always gonna have days where I hate myself, but right now most days, I like me. And you should like you too.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑