Flu 1, Heather 0 aka a blog hiatus

Flu Hiatus

Well, technically it’s Flu 3. That’s the amount of times I’ve had flu in my life and each time it’s left a lasting memory of the god awful feeling of death. I don’t know why flu always hits me so hard. The first time was when I was a teenager and I ended up missing the last few weeks of school right before summer, the second time was 2 years ago and was the trigger for chronic fatigue syndrome. Every time it takes 2 weeks minimum for me to get back to normal, and every time I curse the idiot that went out in public while contagious, thank the flu vaccine for covering me most of the time and listen to my fiancé cursing me when he contracts it from me. We’re both in terrible rough shape with it this time around; me with my 6 diagnosed health conditions and pending diagnosis (yes, still pending, don’t ask) of chronic fatigue syndrome and him with a litany of health problems that include gall stones, chronic pain and a newly discovered rare and super serious (as in the deadly kind) heart condition.

I’ve pretty much been his carer 24/7 since December, and now with us both down with flu it’s becoming even more difficult to keep up with everything. So I’m grudgingly suspending blogging for at least a week. In light of everything, blogging isn’t really important, however, it’s been a life line to my sanity. Therefore, I don’t want to stop it or put it on hold indefinitely. Since my CFS started a year and a half ago I’ve been gradually fighting to keep going, and a lot of stuff has been put on hold. I’m now officially nearing my final deadline for my dissertation, and to be honest, I want it done. I want it off my conscience, off my plate and I want to say ‘hey I can still do this!’. I’ll be back, and in the mean time, you can hear my flu-like woes and rants on twitter @Justgeekingby 🙂 Healing thoughts and energy are readily accepted, as is chocolate and ice cream (sore throat and fever, it’s allowed :P). ((Banner image from Public Domain Images.))

My thoughts on going back to Physio (again)

thoughts on returning to physio

Tomorrow is my first physio session with the Centre for Integrative Care, which is a homoeopathic hospital designed for people like me who have multiple health conditions; “Most patients referred to the Centre are experiencing chronic pain, chronic low energy, and/or chronic low mood or anxiety”.

I’ve had plenty of physio before, I know what to expect, and I know what goes on. The thing that is making me really nervous is that this is an NHS physio. Last time I went to see an NHS physio I ended up walking out of the appointment because the woman was extremely unprofessional. Instead of concentrating on what I needed, I got a speech about how she has hypermobility and is s perfect (stick thin) example of how you can be active and healthy with that condition. Yeah. My doctor was not impressed either. I ended up going private (shout out to Glasgow Physio centre who have an amazing, supporting and friendly team, highly recommend them!) and made more progress in one session than I did in 8 years of on-off again NHS physio.

The problem is that a normal NHS physio is there to get you back on your feet and out the door asap so they can move onto the next person. They are only able to concentrate on one part of your body at a time, not which part is hurting that week. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to go to your physio and say ‘my neck’s been bad this week, can we take a look at it?’ and actually get help there and then? I will hopefully go back to Glasgow physio centres, but right now I need to find out what is happening with my body which means being with the Centre for Integrative Care and being referred for their different services.

The biggest worry is walking in and being told it’s my weight, again. I already have had the ‘you need to be active’ spiel from the consultant – although he was very nice and understanding about it – and the fact that I’ve lost over 2 and 1/2 stone since November is in my favour. I’m working on it, just not actively. It’s like my dissertation work; I’ve been so ill and then I get something worse. Here’s just the last few months; ill in January with glands, February chest infection, March still the chest infection (I think, I can’t seem to shift it) and a stomach bug for 7 days. That’s just the last few months. The last few years have been as bad. I’ve gradually been going down hill until the last year and 1/2 my body has finally had enough. They believe I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which fits all the symptoms and is another chronic long term health condition I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s depressing thinking of it like that, and I need my new physio to be able to work with me and how that makes me feel. I don’t expect them to be a therapist, just understanding and supportive while also pushing me.

So fingers crossed!

Goodbye February

Goodbye February

February was the first month of my new blog content and I did better than I expected, although not as well as intended. I’m struggling right now with an unknown viral illness on top of my normal 6 health issues. It started at the beginning of October and despite numerous blood tests, all the doctors have managed to tell me is ‘it’s a viral illness’. It has all the same symptoms as Mono/Glandular Fever but because the test for that keeps coming up negative the doctor I saw refuses to call it that. So I’m in limbo. I’ve been trying to see my normal doctor, who on other occasions has proven to be caring and straight forward to talk to. Even that hasn’t been simple. I’ve either been too ill to attend appointments, or had to wait for weeks for one because she’s only in 1-2 days a week or has been on holiday. I am hoping to see her on Wednesday, as on top of the other symptoms I’ve either developed new ones or caught an infection in my chest as well. I literally feel like my body is falling to pieces right now.

Amazingly I am actually managing to keep up to date with university, including completing the first assignment of this term and settling on a dissertation topic. Here’s the topic summary:

Dementia is a growing problem in Scotland and around the world because the number of people who have it is increasing so rapidly. Friends and family who care for people with dementia have many demands on their time and energy. As they try to manage their lives and care for their loved one, they naturally have a need for information to help them make decisions about their loved ones and their roles as carers. Little is known about how to better meet their information needs as they change throughout the progression of their loved one’s dementia. This dissertation will look at information needs of these carers and how information agencies can best help them meet these needs.

 

I am really excited and a bit humbled by my dissertation. This is a topic near and dear to me, something I have experienced first hand and as a disabled student the idea that I can actually do something, anything, to help people with chronic illnesses is extremely humbling to me. The more I do of this course, the more I learn about what information and library studies is about… honestly it is mind-blowing. It is very scary, and may lead to something amazing possibilities and opportunities, so I’m trying not to get overwhelmed.

 

It goes without saying that this all comes before my blog. I’m sure it probably seems like a stupid idea to relaunch a blog while this was all happening, however, I needed to do something productive, something to keep me connected with people and it is helping. Taking part in Fandom Five each week in particular has been fantastic, and every comment I get (especially on those entries) makes me smile. However, I have failed to complete two tasks for this month; review and look book. I am currently trying out some new products specifically for reviewing, so there will definitely be a review next month. The look book is a little trickier because I’m having problems finding a way to get decent photographs of the completed look. I think I am going to have to ask my fiancé very nicely to help with that one. But otherwise the first month of new content didn’t go terribly and I look foward to the next month!

Mini-Review and Updates

Reviews so far 2016

February is nearly here and with it brings the official start of SPILL the beans, my new monthly blog content. Each month I’ll be posting at least 5 different topics which you can read more about in this entry. I’ve been preparing content for it, but in the mean time here’s a mini review of the nail polishes (introduced here) that I’ve tried so far.

 

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I originally tried the purple one first on the right in this image. Unfortunately it seems that it had been either previously opened or never closed properly. It was a pain to open and when I finally got it open the nail varnish was very gloopy and not at all smooth. Worried that this was a sign that the polishes were bad, I tried another colour; the navy blue above. It went on a lot smoother and I had no issues with it. It’s a bit messy because not long after painting them, when I thought they were fully dry, I ended up doing something which messed them up. It does smell very strong – which doesn’t bother me, but my fiancé isn’t too happy 😛

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Round 2, I chose this coffee cream colour which I absolutely love. It is such a cute colour and the polish covered really well. There’s a slightly darker colour (see photo above) that I wanted to try badly, however, this one won out.

So far they have been great. I need to try another shimmer rather than a matte one, as the purple was a shimmer one. I have 43 more colours to try so plenty of time 😀 Don’t forget to check out all 48 and tell me what shade you think I should try next!

I really want to try out some of the new make up samples and products I got for Christmas, I’ve just not been feeling up to it. I finally got back to uni yesterday! Today I suffered for it, but the hardest part is done! I am so happy to get back, and the fact that my first class was on CSS made it even more fantastic. I’ve been building and learning how to create websites since I was 13. I started very basic on Homestead with a click and drag editor, and slowly learned how to code myself. Until recently I’ve never really considered myself a coder; there are so many more talented people that I know and I rely on copy and paste a lot. Yet speaking to my fellow students and watching my lecturer teach us the basics of css, well, I guess I am a coder. I might lack the confidence to go code something other than my own websites, however, I know enough that I could do our group project on my own.

I’ve actually been doing a lot of work on my websites recently. I run various ones, including some web cliques and website directories. You can view all my sites here and my latest designs are; Project Clique (a clique promotion site & directory) and Seductive Directory (a website listing for fantasy and supernatural sites).

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New year, new blog: Evolve

World of the Year 2016 - Evolve

For the past three years I have joined my friend Haley in choosing a word for the upcoming year. 2014 was change, 2015 was discipline and now 2016 is evolve. Why evolve? Well, over the last year I have been developing and making changes to different aspects of my life. This year I finish my Post grad in Information and Library Studies, ending my studies and flinging me into the big wide world of careers. I also turned 30 last year, and realised that there were some things I wanted to do. More importantly I recognised what was stopping me from doing them. One of them was running an active blog about my life as a disabled student, geek, gamer and bookworm. However, I’d tried a specific blog in the past (a World of Warcraft blog) and it didn’t work for me. Likewise, while I’m a massive bookworm and devour books (175 last year), I’m not really a book reviewer. I like things because they appeal to me, and I’m not really one for over analysing them.

This led me to realise that any blog I decided to create was not going to be just one thing. I’m not just one thing, so why should my blog be that way? So instead of just being a review blog, a disability blog or a beauty blog; Ruby Wings Blog has become a hybrid. You’re probably wondering how exactly does beauty fit in to all that. I’m not known for my style, I’m strictly a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. I don’t follow fashion, and usually what is ‘in’ makes me want to vomit. However, I love beauty products. I love creating and experimenting with make up. I’m far from being an expert, that’s for sure. Applying make-up is no easy task for me; I’m very short sighted. Eyeliner is particularly tricky, and so I’ve had to find ones that work for me (kohl pencils) or using eye shadow as an alternative. My fingers and hands are often very painful and unsteady as well, which again affects how I use make up. These are things that most beauty blogs and tutorials do not take into account, they’re circumstances unique to a minority. This was one of the driving reasons behind adding beauty to my blog. I have beauty issues of my own that I am trying to overcome and new things I want to learn. I also like to experiment and decided to share these experiences in my blog to provide reviews and tutorials from a different perspective. Sometimes it feels to me that most beauty blogs and tutorials are on a totally different skill level than the average person, especially if you’re disabled and short sighted.

There are a lot of things that my disabilities stop me from doing, from going out and being active to being able to make delicate things with my hands. As a libra I love art, I love creating. Over time I’ve come to realise that my gift to the world is words. I’ve experimented (and continue to do) with art, graphics, and photography, yet words are my forte. I can write anything, provided I remember to do so and have the motivation. I’ve always been out spoken and opinionated, yet a past of bullying and emotional abuse had left me struggling to share my real self. Well. No more. I suffer from depression and probably always will do, but I have begun to finally put the past behind me. Ironically it was one of those random feel good sharing things on facebook that did it – the people from your past only know the past you. Yes I have made mistakes, I have not been the greatest person I could be. But who hasn’t? Who doesn’t have regrets? They’re natural, and it is time that I stop them from holding me back.

So, what can you expect from my new blog? Well each month I will be SPILLing the beans:

Sharing Saturdays – I’ll be sharing pretty much anything I’ve found online; from awesome websites, tutorials, art, games.

Product Reviews – I will be reviewing at least one thing a month; that could be beauty products, film, tv, books, games and anything else. I’ll also be trying out various online tutorials and recipes I find and showing you the results.

Interviews – Each month I will be interviewing someone from the online world. They could be someone creative, quirky, geeky or a fellow spoonie. I’m really not picky; the whole point of this is to open up dialogue, share with the world and if you wish, bring awareness to your work or a cause. So feel free to volunteer!

Look Book – I will be experimenting with make up and sharing some of my creations and experiences. I’m particularly looking forward to learning nail art which I have never tried before.

Learn about Me – I want to begin to take part in various blogging memes/quizzes/surveys, so there will be at least one per month.

I’m giving myself a month to do all these things because health and studies will interfere and I don’t think blogging any more is sensible for either, or legitimately going to happen. It will be my responsibility to plan ahead and get my act together, which is daunting, but the next step for me.

So, what do you think? Comment to let me know what you’re excited about!

P.S. The whole blog has been redone so feel free to take a nosey around at the newly written content 🙂

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