Monthly Archives: February 2015

Week 8 Update, 2015

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Time for another weekly update! Without further ado…

-Unfortunately, I’ve had to yet again give the gym/walking regularly/Curves Complete a miss this past week. I’ve been feeling very drained as a result, and my energy levels have definitely dropped as I’m unable to be as active as I want to be. It’s been a massive priority for me to rest up over the past week, and it has helped my NLD dramatically. I’m able to walk more regularly during the day, and the pain has not been as much in the mornings. If I have been walking, I do still experience some pain in the evenings, but it’s manageable with some Panadeine Forte. The dermatologist confirmed that the NLD has gotten worse from when I saw him 2 (almost 3) years ago, but I’m healthy overall, regardless. He did a small procedure/minor surgery to cut into the wound and clean it out, which hurt so badly at the time (I wasn’t given any pain meds or anaesthetic), but it has definitely helped in the ulcers trying to heal up. I’ll be seeing the dermatologist again later this week, and probably once a week for the next few weeks/months, depending.

-I have had some exciting things happening this week so far. In particular, I’ve had a chance to attend some social media-related meetings and sessions at work, which has been really invigorating for me. I want to do a lot more marketing, communications, strategic marketing/media and promotional related work, particularly things that I could use to actively try out my graphic design skills in the future. In fact, there may be some things happening later in the year that will help out with this massively. Anyway, I have a good feeling about the potential direction things could be going for me 🙂

-This week, I also received some rather unexpected news, which could be good or bad depending on what happens from it. I will find out later this week if it’s good or bad. It’s something that will cause big changes, and will take some positive and negative adjustments if it goes ahead. I’m sorry that I have to be vague yet again about this, but it’s something I want to keep private about in case nothing eventuates from it. I’m pretty nervous about how this is going to turn out, regardless…

-I’m actively starting to research and decide on the direction I want to take in learning graphic design. So far, a 6 week online bridging program seems to be the best option: one where I’ll learn the basic programs and tools for graphic design, and see if it’s something I want to pursue around work and life. I feel the skillsets with graphic design will really compliment all parts of my life: working, blogging, gaming and presence on the Internet in general. It’s a really good skill to add on to my undergraduate media and communications studies/journalism degree. I’m pretty excited about this, but will wait until my health is a little bit better and the month is a little quieter, so I may wait until March to look into this further.

-Over the weekend, hubby and I got involved in a 24-hour stream with our absolute favourite Twitch peeps, Gorilla Wolf, which was an absolute blast. These guys have been such an encouragement to watch, and they really deserve to get partnered and have the ability to pursue Gorilla Wolf full-time. They’ve also really inspired me to keep creative and spend time on the things that I’m passionate about, such as trying to work on my own blogging more, video games and looking into biting the bullet and becoming qualified in skills more specialised to my interests. In the midst of having some of the most anxiety-filled and depressing weeks I’ve ever had recently, these guys have really given me something positive to look forward to each week in their streams. I am hoping to feature these guys on here in the future, whether it be an extended “shout out” post or an interview or similar. For now, if you want entertaining streams of video games, great interactive chats with like-minded, intelligent and enthusiastic gamers and a safe and positive gaming environment, I cannot recommend these guys enough. They put in so much effort, and it was so awesome seeing them rewarded for this during the 24-hour stream, meeting their follower goals and lots more. I’m so excited to get a Gorilla Wolf shirt too so I can show my support more in real life! Anyway, had to shout these guys out in this week’s update because their stream was our entire weekend and it was absolutely awesome. Check out their Twitch channel here.

-This week, I’ve also been working on the SEO for my blog. I really want to start having more direction on this blog, especially in reaching out to those who want information related to living with Type 1 Diabetes, NLD, Coeliac Disease, or plus-size retro/vintage inspired fashion overall. So, last week I took some time to learn about SEO, and I’ll be working on this over the next few weeks. I’ve been working in the background to also write some upcoming posts about specific things (such as a good article on NLD, and some clothing reviews). I’ve also joined forces with a friend who has recently started her own editing services business, Page and Parchment (found here), who will be editing my posts to help with the overall tone and message my blog is sending out. I’ve also included an image and link to her page on the side-bar. I’m very eager to start actively supporting friends who run businesses and have websites; therefore you may see this part on the right-hand sidebar become more filled with epic sites soon!

-I’ve set myself a goal this week of trying to write one new post for the blog each night, so I’ll have a backlog of content to use on the website more regularly too. So far, I’m on track with 1/7 posts done for this week. Let’s see how it goes…

That’s about it for the week-in-passing. Thanks for reading – or stalking – whatever you prefer. Haha 🙂

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Week 7 Update, 2015

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Hi there! So, I’ve had another week of needing to take it easy due to my leg. However, I have a few updates from the past week:

-So, an update on the status of my NLD. The doctor was so concerned last week about seeing such little progress in the wound healing that I have an emergency appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow, where I may need to have a small procedure done. This dermatologist is the same one I saw when I last had my condition flare up…and I haven’t seen him for almost 3 years now (yeah…it’s 2015 now, so that makes it closer to 3 years). So, that shows how long it’s been since I had issues from this condition! At the same time, however, I’m dealing with a massive amount of stress related to being unwell and things outside of my control which I feel is unfair (sorry, I can’t go into detail on this point). Anyway, my NLD, while not worsening, has not gotten any better from last week, which is very unfortunate given the high amount (and intensity) of antibiotics I’ve been on (I’m still on the strongest ones they can give me before they have to hospitalise me to take hospital-grade antibiotics). It’s going to take a long time for me to start feeling like I can do everyday things without this condition getting in the way.

-Unfortunately, I’ve had to do less than 5,000 steps a day thanks to the leg and bed-rest orders from the doctors, and no Curves Complete gym still. I’m really disappointed that I can’t be active, and am worried I will end up in a plateau again with no results. However, it’s so damn important that I make sure my NLD has calmed itself down before I try to exercise, and I understand I have to take it easy. My Fitbit friends will have it easy challenge-wise for the next few weeks, it seems…

-Having to have bed rest means I’ve had some time to think this week. I’ve been thinking about the direction I’d like to go in for the future, and also the things I’d like to learn how to do which will make me feel happier and more productive as a person (in relation to work, everyday life, blogging and hobbies). After some thought, I’m thinking that once things have settled down a bit for me health-wise, I may think about going with a plan I’ve had for a couple of years now, and get some qualifications in Graphic Design via TAFE Online. I really want to gain the skills in graphic design hobby-wise anyway, and it will be helpful in my career too. However, I am then thinking about also adding on some extra practical qualifications in web development/interactive media/gaming development to further open up opportunities in the future. Several of my friends I studied with at university have gone on to add a TAFE qualification to their list of academic qualifications, with massive success in paving out their future opportunities. So, I’m really eager to keep this thought active and a possibility once I’m feeling ready to tackle some practical study.

-This week, I took the plunge and did something that potentially could change future opportunities for me. I’m deliberately being vague on here as I don’t want anyone getting any ideas (it could end up being nothing), but I wanted to make a note that I was quite brave and courageous this week.  I’m normally terrible with anything related to change, be it positive or negative, but I “bit the bullet”, so to speak, and have done something new. Who knows what could happen as a result!

-While I’ve had to really limit what I do this week, there’s one thing productive I have been able to do whilst resting my leg: resin jewellery! This week, I’ve been experimenting with some new molds (I have tried out my first few bangle molds), and I’ve experimented again with adding glitter to molds. I’ve seen some really good results with adding glitter after first doing a thin layer of resin in the mold and letting it set overnight. This doesn’t work as well with molds that have a rounded face, as the glitter does not settle in place, however the molds with a flat face look awesome! I’m planning to spend some time after work this week and on the weekend experimenting more with glitter, and maybe trying a glitter bangle. Hubby and I also bought ourselves a Dremmel for Valentine’s Day (I’m just as happy as he is about it!) as I can use this to help sand and polish my pieces. I’m hoping on the weekend to start learning how to “finish up” my pieces, so I can start giving some to friends to try out, and then eventually selling some to some willing victims, haha 🙂

That’s about it for the week in passing, though I’m hoping I’ll have some time to catch up on writing for the blog. It’s funny that when I had time to rest my leg, I ended up not spending time writing for the blog as I was too focused on taking it easy. Oops. Anyway, thanks for reading!

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Week 6 Update, 2015

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Hello readers!

Here’s my update for the past week. It’s a bit all-over-the-place thanks to having to deal with ill health due to one of my chronic illnesses flaring up, but it’s still a week of progress. Read on for more:

-As you may have seen (if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook), my NLD (for those playing at home…that’s Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum) ulcer scars decided to re-open themselves up over the past few weeks, which resulted in me becoming quite unwell with a nasty infection. I thought I should post up an update on here about my NLD for those who were interested (thanks for your concern!) I’ve been seeing the doctor every day since last Thursday so they can check the progress. The antibiotics weren’t working as well as they hoped, and the plan was to send me to hospital for a few days if they didn’t see improvement on Saturday. Luckily, we have started to see some gradual progress on the ulcers healing up, however I’ve been told it will take a long time for these to heal and that I should expect to be in pain for a while. I’ve been very lucky to discover a group on Facebook for those who suffer from NLD, and I’ve now spoken with people who have the condition either better or worse than I do. This is so important for me to see – it is clear that my NLD is in the stages of becoming worse, as I’m currently experiencing pain on a daily basis from it now. It’s been really great seeing that others are going through a similar experience and how they’re coping, especially when there is no known cause or cure and knowing that treatment options can vary for each individual (it’s a bit of a guessing game to find the right treatment to prevent future ulcers from appearing). Many people have asked me exactly what NLD is (I’ve been self-conscious about admitting that I have another rare, non-curable medical condition, so was just calling it a “leg injury” or just an “ulcer”), so I may write a blog post about it in detail in the near-future to explain it better. But yeah, I really wanted to say thanks for the messages of support and encouragement 🙂

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(I put this pic up on my Facebook, and laughed for a solid five minutes).

-So, naturally, due to my NLD flaring up, I’ve had to take it easy at the gym this week. I won’t be going back to the gym until I’ve gotten the all clear from the doctors, so will probably do a weigh-in and coaching session later this week. My meal plan has been all over the place thanks to being unwell, and also because I’ve felt a bit ill in the stomach for the past few days (maybe because of the antibiotics? I dunno). So yeah, I had to focus on my health and resting my leg, which meant little exercise. I even had to quit the Fitbit challenges I was in, which was pretty disappointing 🙁

-As I’ve had to rest up, I’ve managed to make some great progress with learning to make resin jewellery. This week (you would have seen on Instagram) I’ve learned how to make my own silicone molds by using a rose ring I had in my collection. I then cast this mold with some red-pigmented resin (my first time colouring resin properly), which turned out a lot better than I expected! Tonight, I set up some red-pigmented resin and have set 2 rings and a bangle. I’ve also partially set some geometrical shaped molds (for jewellery), where I’m hoping to try out adding some glitter before filling the remainder of the molds with resin. I am absolutely loving using resin and making molds and casting resin. There’s something about it that feels really challenging (in a good way), productive, rewarding and relaxing for me. I already have some eager friends wanting to purchase some pieces when I’m ready, however I will make a disclaimer here that I’m pretty certain my pieces will be basic at this stage, and won’t be very detailed to begin with (therefore will be quite cheap, understandably). I’ll never have the same quality and finish as some of the amazing resin jewellery makers I follow on Instagram and Etsy, as this is just a hobby on the side for me and I don’t have the technical knowledge or experience/time to make such intricate pieces. Anyway, watch this space, as I’ll definitely keep you updated on what I’m learning! I’m so happy about spending more time doing the things I love and filling my time with hobbies!

-This week, hubby and I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with some old friends (my friend and her epic other-half. She has been loyally following my blog here since I started it, and is someone I count as a dear friend). This friend is one of the very few people from my school days who, after many years of us not being in touch and not being able to catch up much, is able to pick up from where we left off last time. Anyway, hubby and I had such an amazing time hanging out with these peeps, and our nerdy conversation flowed for hours…it was hard to get us all to shut up and the only time it was quiet was when we were basking in the glory of our epic burgers for dinner (haha…if you haven’t tried Grill’d…DO IT). It’s hard to come across genuinely awesome people that you feel such a connection with from the get-go, and these guys have made us so excited about potential catch-ups in the near future. You guys know who you are, and I thank you so much for such an epic catch-up in the midst of a pretty crappy past few weeks 🙂

That’s about it for this week’s update (sorry it’s so illness-orientated). As always, thanks for reading!

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“It’s not a Tamagotchi, damn it!” The 10 things that can annoy every Diabetic with an Insulin Pump.

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Image from: https://www.etsy.com/listing/96309366/fingerprick-pod-wearer-1-pen-ink?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

 

  1. You will be asked “Is that a pedometer/pacemaker/pager/tamagotchi?” *facepalm*
  2. Your pump is/was worth more than pretty much everything you own. I remember when I first got my pump in high school and then realising it was worth more than my first car (which I had just bought)…you feel quite nervous having something so valuable just attached to your skirt. I know health insurance in Australia has made pumps way more affordable now, but around the world these beeping machines are still very costy.
  3. You have to ensure you put the pump cap on before hugging your significant other (if you’re not wearing much….) otherwise the scratches the pump site leaves on them will cause unnecessary and awkward questions from others about your antics.
  4. Forget wearing any tummy-revealing outfits in summer (such as a bikini etc) but NOT because it doesn’t suit you (I completely agree that anybody is welcome to wear a bikini, regardless of your body type, if you love yourself and have the confidence!) It’s because of the rashes and scarring of old set pump sites and how irritated they become when the teeniest bit of sweat is nearby.
  5. That moment of panic when you take out an old pump site and blood goes everywhere. Sure, you see blood everyday when testing blood sugar levels, but there’s nothing like having a burst of blood come out of your stomach from nowhere. Try to avoid doing set changes near carpet, or white kitchen counter-tops (I speak from experience, oops).
  6. Feeling like a badass at an airport when having to get special clearance to get through security without going through the x-ray machines….Oh wait, did I say bad ass? I meant pain in the ass.
  7. You can’t really be spontaneous when having a pump. Do your friends want to throw you into a pool? Nope, not happening. Does your significant other suddenly initiate some intimate time? Oh wait…you have to awkwardly take off your pump first. Road trip? You’d better make sure you have enough insulin juice for the trip? Bed time? Nahhhh you need to do a set change first. It makes any spontaneous action attempted by others awkward as you have to prep, regardless.
  8. You’ll never be able to carry a small bag anywhere. If you like to travel, at least 1/3 of your luggage will be taken up with pump supplies (usually double the amount needed for the trip), a spare insulin pump and the myriad of documentation you need to prove that you’re not a terrorist (true story: I travelled through a regional airport in Australia which had absolutely no idea what my pump was, and thought I was trying to do something illegal. Which was annoying.)
  9. Wearing pumps under clothing can be hard. Pumps can be quite heavy, and if you’re only using the band of your undergarments to keep the pump in place, there’s potential for wardrobe malfunctions and accidently dacking yourself. Again, true story.
  10. You find yourself carrying strange things with you on a daily basis for pump maintenance. For example, I always carry AAA batteries (the pump’s battery of choice) and a stack of 5-cent coins (the coins are the perfect size and type of metal to open up the pump’s battery compartment without damaging it).

While there are a lot of annoying things about having an insulin pump (which I thought I’d share on here so you can see the humour), the positives definitely outweigh these things. Since getting an insulin pump in late 2006, I’ve been able to live a relatively normal life. I also can call myself a part cyborg, which is pretty cool. 🙂

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Week 5 Update, 2015

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Hi everyone! Sorry for the delayed post, and apologies for my lack of second post last week. I had a rough week and needed some time away from the internet relaxing, and also needed to help a dear friend out yesterday. Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-When I started this blog, I did make a promise to be honest when writing about how my week has been. Of course, I’m trying to be as positive as I can, however some weeks are just shit. The past week has been one of those. On social media, I’ve been trying to keep it light-hearted, but I’ve really struggled with being positive this week. My anxious-levels have been going through the roof over the past few weeks. It’s due to feeling stress from an overwhelming feeling of “holy shit I’m 25, and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life in career/need to make sure I’m financially secure for my family”. I’ve been worrying about this so much, that my sub-conscious has noticed and has given me nightmares about getting fired and having to move out of our own house and end up with nothing. It may even be a reason (on top of the humidity and me trying to push myself exercise-wise) that my leg ulcer has become an open wound again, after 2 years of being closed up. Thanks to this, I need to see a specialist, however do not have the funds to do so, and feel guilty about trying to take time off work to do so. I’m also becoming increasingly frustrated about not knowing what my “dream career” is, and that where I thought I was going may not be possible, or even what I want to be doing. All of this, on top of having a month of struggling financially has made me exhausted and on edge for the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to stay positive and optimistic, but the past few weeks have really sucked. I know it will get better eventually, it’s just hard when I keep trying to work hard and not see decent results for it across all fields of life. Well, except for family/married life, which I am absolutely loving and know that it’s the one area of my life which is perfect, regardless.

-In line with the shitty past week, I really want to say how grateful I am for our families. Both my family and Ray’s family are always so willing to help us out (or our siblings) when we’re struggling, no questions asked. From my parents taking us out to/shouting us lunch to Ray’s parents providing us with a large amount of food and groceries from their pantries, we feel so thankful and loved to be part of two families that really look out for each other. Not many people in modern society can say that they have that, so we are so very thankful for this. It’s really helped us over the past few weeks, and we hope that we can return the favour and help them in the future, and also do the same for our children and their families on day too.

-This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous studies into video game cultures, especially their globalised nature and connections to being “imagined communities”. From starting the Youtube “Let’s Play” series of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a lot of the academic thoughts from my Honours started coming back to me, as well as my passion for studying the cultural studies components of video games. It’s sad though, because even if I was to go back and complete honours/a PhD in their area, there would be little use or job potential from it. Unless I did something like win the lotto, I could never make this a reality, as I have to pay the bills. As such, I’m seriously considering devoting more time to playing more video games and analysing them from a more academic/cultural studies perspective in my spare time. I’d definitely looking at trying to share my thoughts on here about it. It means I’ll need to do some more academic reading in my spare time, but I’m considering it.

-Over the past few months, I’ve been undecided as to whether I should study this semester. Yes, I am enjoying my Graduate Certificate, but I’m now questioning its relevance and value in furthering myself career-wise. I’m very unsure as to where I want to be going with a career now, and am unsure as to if this qualification will even help me at all. While it’s all good to be studying because I’m (mostly) enjoying the content, if that is the reason that I’m sticking with it, I should have decided to continue with my honours, take up extra qualifications in graphic design and/or digital/interactive media and gaming. I’m thinking it might be wise to put off study for 6 months while I figure out where I really want to be going with things.

-In line with my slight “quarter-life-crisis” panic mentioned in the previous paragraphs, something awesome happened during the week which reassured me slightly. I received  some encouragement from some colleagues in the same age bracket as me this week, in that most people at the age of 25 have either no idea of what they’re doing, or the intense feeling of fear from thinking they have to figure out everything in their lives before they’re too old. It was really helpful for me to see that I’m not alone in feeling this way, and be able to open up about what I’m feeling career-wise and life-wise at the moment, especially in a professional setting.

-I’m still surprised about my results with the Curves Complete program, but in a good way. I’ve been having terribly stressful weeks, and limited mobility/ability to do awesome amounts of walking due to my leg ulcer becoming an open wound again…YET even with this, I’m still seeing some small results! Today I managed to maintain my weight and measurements, which is good considering I’ve taken it easy due to my leg. I’m really happy with how understanding and accommodating the gym has been while I’ve had to take it easy, and it’s been really helpful having the same coach each week who is also someone I can relate to very well and someone who understands my medical struggles.

-At the end of the previous week, I received some awesome news at work. I will be taking up some responsibilities in my role which are related to the areas I feel I’m skilled and passionate about (relating to communications, promotion, spending time with staff and students etc), and I’ll be able to hand over some of the mundane, uninspiring data entry tasks I do to casual staff members. I’m also moving desks to a spot I’ve always been eager to have, which is a bit more private and in a quieter area so I’ll be able to concentrate better. Both of these bits of news have really helped me feel more motivated towards work, and start this week with a positive mindset.

-Over the weekend, I had my first attempt at using a resin mold and casting a ring and some hearts with resin dyed red infused with sparkly red glitter. If you follow me on Instagram, or are a friend of mine on Facebook ,you would have seen the results. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, however I need to find a better dye and also a way for the glitter to stay spread out in the mold better. One of Ray’s colleagues has really been helping me be more crafty, and has gifted me some proper resin dyes and pigments to try out, which I’m so excited about using! I’ll have to wait a few weeks before I can buy some more supplies such as better molds, but I’m ready to start trying some more jewellery projects. I’m also hoping to take a resin jewellery workshop in the next month or two to make sure I’m doing things correctly and know the best techniques.

Lots of things happened in the past week, as you can see, but I’m feeling very positive towards this current week. Thanks for reading, and thanks for hanging in there when the going gets tough on here 🙂

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