Monthly Archives: March 2015

Week 13 Update, 2015

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Time for another update! As I’ve been quite unwell this week (more info about this below), I’ve got a shorter update:

-My progress with exercise and getting healthy has been set back again due to my NLD becoming re-infected. I thought I would get the all-clear to return to the gym, however as the ulcers decided to play up early last week, I now have to wait another three weeks before I can try to get clearance. The Dermatologist wants to do a minor operation on my leg again to clear out any dead/infected tissue, however this time I will receive some local anaesthetic (thank goodness). I’m really devastated that I can’t return to the gym and to being active, because I am feeling so lethargic and gross because my activity levels have dropped.

-In an attempt to try and counteract my lethargic feelings, I’m trying to add some small amounts of activity to my day. Late last week, I’ve reintroduced doing a 15-20 minute yoga meditation/deep breathing session before bed (which will also help with my stress levels). I’ve also re-set up Wii Fit, and have created a 20 minute aerobic and yoga workout of light upper-body activities. I really can’t push myself, especially when my leg is infected, but I want to try and do *something* so that I can start feeling more active again.

-My self-esteem has really taken a hit over the past week. I’m feeling so exhausted because I’ve gone from exercising up to six days a week, to nothing.   My activity levels have dropped, and I’ve lost the energy I had when I was going to the gym and walking each day. I’m pretty sure I’ve put on weight as well, so am feeling ashamed that my progress with making my body healthier is slowing down. Yes, I know I have to take it easy for my leg to heal, but it’s been rather disappointing to see all the things I’ve been working on with my body (gaining muscle and toning up) coming undone. My acne has also flared up big-time because of my lack of exercise/stress/not-as-healthy eating and drinking habits, making me extremely self conscious about how presentable I am at work and in general. I also haven’t been able to make myself ‘feel pretty’ in setting my hair and such, because my leg is stopping me from being able to stand up/sit long enough to do my hair properly. So overall, I’m feeling pretty crappy this week.

-Because my energy levels have been so low, I’ve been having much more caffeine than I should be having. By caffeine, I mean Pepsi Max and Coke Zero – the nasty artificially sweetened soft drinks that I KNOW makes me put on weight. It’s crazy how easily you can become addicted to them. Alas, I’ve been having these quite regularly, and I need to stop and get re-focused on being healthier. So, this week I’m going to make an active effort to stop having these soft drinks. I want to make these a ‘sometimes’ option, only for parties or social events. So, I’ve bought supplies so I can get back into my water mixes (water with lemon and mint leaves), and we also got our Soda Stream gas bottles refilled so I can make soda water. I’m also hoping to have my green tea and other teas more often; while they still contain caffeine, they’re relatively more healthy than the soft drink overall. Here’s hoping I can really cut this habit.

-I was hoping that I’d receive some news last week slightly related to the ‘future epiphanies’ that my husband and I had. Alas, I’ve found out I probably won’t hear any news for at least two weeks. I am kind of relieved that there’s some extra waiting time, because if the news is good news, it will then be quite a stressful time ahead. Anyway, no news to report here (yet).

That’s about all I’ve been up to, for now. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Dear High-School Mrs Ginger-Fox

Yep, that's high-school Mrs Ginger Fox. Not the best photo, so a minor face-lift happened. Lmao.

Yep, that’s high-school Mrs Ginger Fox. Not the best photo, so a minor face-lift happened. Lmao.

Being overweight, a ginger/ranga/natural redhead, nerd and type 1 diabetic seemed like a lethal combo when it came to school. I naturally had several things that fellow students could use on the daily to try and bully me and bring my confidence down. Today, I am about to become a volunteer mentor for a high school student to help them visualise and achieve their dreams, and it makes me wonder what advice I would have given to myself in high school. So, here’s what I would say to my high school self, knowing what I do now:

Dear High-School Mrs Ginger-Fox,

– You aren’t as overweight as you think you are. In fact, Future You is the same size (and less) than what you are right now  – and I think that is awesome! Hormones are a bitch, and everyone seems to go through an awkward, wobbly, uncomfortable time with their body, and that’s part of being a high-schooler. If people don’t go through this in high-school, they get to experience this as a full-grown adult instead. One bonus about this is knowing that, almost 10 years after high school, many of the girls who picked on you for being ‘fat’ are now larger than you. You have maintained, and continued to live as healthy and balanced a life you can.

-I’m so proud of you for not dating while you’re still at high school. It is good that you are using the time to develop yourself – you are slowly figuring out who you are without requiring the validation of someone else in such a fragile time if your life. I AM SO PROUD. There’s no way in hell you are ready for the commitment and endurance of a life-long relationship right now. Heck, you can’t even commit to a set sport subject for a term, or even which subject areas you want to focus on…you are not ready to choose a life partner. I’m so happy you dedicate yourself to being a high achieving student, and value education and learning over boys and drama. The amount of the relationships that you see in high school that actually lasted? You can’t even count it on one hand…well, half of those ended up separating years after high school, or getting divorced at a young age. Go you for ‘fighting the patriarchy’ and the norms and not dating some loser who is only interested in you now you’ve gained boobs. Hah.

– STRESS LESS. Geez, woman! You’re not even 18, yet you’ve managed to learn how to stress like a middle-aged salary man. I get it – you’re naturally high-strung, but you don’t need to spend so much time worrying over one tiny assignment. Don’t forget about that one time you almost cried because you got 18/20 and thought it wasn’t good enough…silly perfectionist self, that’s ABOVE AVERAGE and freaking awesome. In the end, your HSC, while important, does not define you. So many people you know who aced the HSC ended up bombing out at uni, while many who bombed the HSC are now doing amazing things. Do the best you can with school and work hard, but work smart. Be productive and work in small bursts, and allow yourself time to explore hobbies, have fun and not over-stress about something that really won’t impact you 5 years from now.

– Keep your passion for learning! For god sakes, woman! You are such an inquisitive person, with a drive to learn new things and to expand your knowledge. This is SUCH an important and undervalued skill to have as an adult, and a skill even more underappreciated as a teenager. Especially with your nerdy-inclined interests, this makes you appear as such an extreme nerd to everyone else. But you know what? When you’re older, the people who are the most interesting and most inspirational are those who are uniquely passionate and enthusiastic about their own weird and quirky interests. Everyone else who followed the high-school trends is as boring as soggy cardboard on a rainy day. Stay enthusiastic about what drives you crazy and keeps you up at night (yes, that includes reading the Lord of the Rings into the early hours of the morning). Stay interesting. It will make you discover the most amazing people, places and things as an adult.

– Don’t worry about what people think. Seriously. As the saying goes: “be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” You know what happens after high school? All of those people who stood their ground, said f*** it and went after what they wanted to do in high school are now incredible people with so much growth as an adult and individual. They were determined, driven and didn’t care if some other high schoolers thought they were weird, nerdy, or whatever. And that stubbornness to stick to what they wanted, it’s rewarded them tenfold as an adult. (Disclaimer: I firmly believe to go after what you want/believe, provided it does not cause harm or directly harm others. So yeah…be responsible in decision making, or something? Haha).

I’m so excited about having the opportunity to mentor a young student and help them realise that they are capable of achieving so much, and that life doesn’t end after high school. Here’s hoping they are able to experience and learn from some of the lessons I learned as an adult, and realise their true potential in the process.

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Week 12 Update, 2015

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Time for another update! Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-My leg seems to be slowly improving; however, the ulcers themselves are still quite inflamed and aggravated. I’m hoping to get the all-clear to return to the gym when I visit the dermatologist later this week. I feel terrible for not being able to exercise and be as active as I was a few months ago, however making sure my leg recovers is priority. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to start sharing progress under the Curves Complete program next week!

-I took the plunge and made a Facebook page for my blog over the weekend. It was about time for me to create a place to share stuff from all my social media pages (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and the blog) on one medium. Plus, I wanted to share more things, particularly content which I’d prefer to do in this setting rather than my personal pages. I’m hoping it will help me to expand this page, gain new followers, and make this a more interactive experience. So, if you have not done so already, please head over to Facebook and like the Mrs Ginger Fox page. I’d really appreciate it 🙂

-I have no news regarding future plans and epiphanies. Maybe in a few weeks I will, maybe I won’t. It’s all in the hands of fate (and some planning) to see what eventuates. I’m keeping my lips sealed on this until anything happens…if it does! I really hope I get some good news this week, as it would really lift my spirits.

-I spent the weekend researching my old fabric and patterns and want to make it a goal this week to finish some of my stagnant sewing projects and start some new ones. I’d like to document my experience sewing the retro-inspired plus size patterns I’ve obtained. What I’d like to do is an honest review of the patterns: critique real difficulty versus what difficulty is listed on the pattern, as well as details on the fit and any recommendations. I am quite a beginner at sewing (though, that could be helpful for those also thinking about trying sewing out), however I was actually quite good at sewing when I was younger. So, I’m hoping that with practice, I’ll get the confidence and patience (let’s face it…prepping fabric and cutting out things can drain the fun out of things sometimes) to get things going again!

-My husband and I have spent the past week creating some more videos for his Youtube Channel (which I am part of…well, I am in most of the videos). I’ll be doing a guest video as we’re currently doing a viewer request run-through of Pokemon Red/Blue versing each other. Hubby has also set up a Twitter and Facebook to share the videos, and he has been going playthroughs of Retro games in particular. I may feature some of the videos on here too 🙂

-Whilst brainstorming about some hobbies I can do on the side, I received a really good suggestion. It was recommended that I get back into music…specifically composition. The idea would be (if I am ever good enough) to potentially offer my services as a freelance composer of music for amateur video games. I am a bit rusty, having not composed properly since I started university. Plus, not regularly performing as a musician means that my skills would need to be refined with much-needed revision. However, it does combine two things I am incredibly passionate about: music and video games (and I love good music, and attempting to compose anything remotely similar). I’ve always regretted not continuing on with my music training and making something useful of it, however this could be a way to keep the musician in me happy. So, this idea is currently in the back-burner, so-to-speak, until I have some free time to give it a go.

That’s about all I’ve been up to! Later this week, I’ll be sharing a reflective post based on some volunteering opportunities I’m about to undertake. Thanks for reading 🙂

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My Favourite Bloggers and Online Communities

As a casual/amateur blogger, I am always seeking to find inspiration and support through following some amazing people and communities. These blogs and websites continually motivate me to stay positive, be creative and also to go after what I am passionate about. I am so thankful for finding these incredible people, who I follow on a regular (sometimes daily) basis, and am happy to share them with you now!

In no particular order…

Frocks and Frou Frou

Image from http://frocksandfroufrou.com/

Image from http://frocksandfroufrou.com/

Frocks and Frou Frou is the very first plus-size fashion blog I ever followed (back in 2009!). From the moment I found the blog through mutual friends on Facebook, I fell in love with blogger Lilli’s classic yet unique and quirky style. Being an Australian blogger based in Melbourne, Lilli also provides some fantastic feedback on purchasing from some of the major plus-size brands, as well as some easy-to-follow DIY projects. Her style of writing is friendly, informative and easy-to-read, and she has a very supportive fan following. For any of my plus-sized friends, I highly encourage you to follow Frocks and Frou Frou!

The Militant Baker

Image from http://www.themilitantbaker.com/

Image from http://www.themilitantbaker.com/

If you’re looking for empowerment and positive body talk, this is the blog to follow. When I first discovered the diverse and supportive community of plus-sized bloggers, this is the blogger that they all mentioned as an inspiration. Jess now not only pursues her body positivity on a full-time basis, but also runs some epic conferences over in the US, which would be amazing to attend one day! In particular, the first post of Jess’ which I read (my favourite too) is this: http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/03/things-no-one-will-tell-fat-girls-so-i.html

I highly recommend following Jess if you’re someone who is looking for a body-positive online community, as well as looking at how to love your body better: whether it be plus-size, average or skinny!

Offbeat Bride/Home

Image from http://offbeatbride.com/

Image from http://offbeatbride.com/

If you’re getting married, I am now introducing you to the Mecca of resources. Offbeat Bride was the only blog/medium (they also have a book) that gave me realistic expectations for my wedding, and helped me plan a unique, affordable, quirky-yet-beautiful wedding. After unsuccessfully getting any inspiration through common bridal magazines (seriously…I only found a handful of weddings under $20, 000 in these magazines, which was ridiculous), it was such a godsend to discover this website. The community is HUGE, and the forums are incredible for finding DIY inspiration, advice and ideas. However, this website doesn’t just stop at weddings – they also have a massive section dedicated to life/living/home in general. The posts relate easily to everyday life (especially if you’re a crafty/arty/creative person), and you can easily find yourself spending hours on their sites gaining more and more ideas for future projects.

Gorilla Wolf  (check out their TwitchTV Channel here)

Image from http://www.gorillawolf.com/

Image from http://www.gorillawolf.com/

My absolute go-to for anything gaming-related, Gorilla Wolf are probably the newest group of peeps I follow on a regular basis. Gorilla Wolf is run by Dom and James, who are aiming to make this their full-time pursuit. I discovered Gorilla Wolf through my husband when we started to watch video game streams on TwitchTV. After spending ages trawling through the channels to find an entertaining Zelda play-through, we found these guys doing such an entertaining job at Majora’s Marsk (they were terribly lost though, haha). What kept us watching these guys is their entertainment value, dedication to investigating and reporting on new games, and their massive commitment to making their chat and followers as engaging as possible. We watch their TwitchTV channel on a weekly basis, and are so excited to see where the future takes them. If you’re after good gaming commentaries and play-throughs online with a friendly fan following, check out these guys ASAP!

The Adventures of Modern June Cleaver and Amelia Jetson

Image from http://junebugsandgeorgiapeaches.blogspot.com.au/

Image from http://junebugsandgeorgiapeaches.blogspot.com.au/

June and Amelia, two best friends run an amazing website which follows their retro and vintage-inspired fashion adventures. These two are my absolute inspiration when it comes to perfecting the vintage/retro look. They are such friendly and positive ladies too, and are willing to help out fellow retro fashion bloggers – they are so supportive and active on Instagram! Whenever these ladies share their outfits, they always link to each piece in their outfit, making it so easy to track down. These lovely ladies also host giveaways on their website from some incredible brands such as Erstwilder and Deer Arrow.

Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing

Image from http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/

Image from http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/

This lady and her amazing blog have inspired me to try and re-start one of my favourite hobbies from when I was younger: sewing. When I discovered her blog, little did I know that she also had a book. Within minutes of discovering her blog, I also found myself purchasing her first book, and I now also own her second book based on casual vintage. Gertie has a way of explaining her sewing projects in an easy-to-follow manner, and always includes pictures in her steps (I tend to get lost when following sewing instructions, so this is hugely helpful!) Gertie also creates patterns sold through Butterick, and also shares these through her blog. Her passion for sewing, as well as seeing the projects of her followers, makes this blog a fantastic creative outlet for those wishing to get some much-needed inspiration. She’s made me start the adventure of sitting with my sewing machine and tackling some long-awaited projects!

Who do you look to online for inspiration? Feel free to share your thoughts 🙂

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Week 11 Update, 2015

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Hello again! Well, in comparison to the past few weeks, I’ve realised that I haven’t really had much to report on for the past week. So, this week’s update will be a shorter one. However, I have been working ‘behind the scenes’ on some bigger plans and some more writing, so you’ll hopefully see some more exciting content on here soon.

Anyway, here we go with the past week in reflection:

– After visiting the Dermatologist last week, I’ve received confirmation that my NLD is in fact improving. I am getting little to no pain from the ulcers anymore (unless I really push myself, or am ill). This has meant that I’ve been able to increase my steps allowance for each day. In fact, without trying, I managed to get a 10,000 step day last week (I only realised at the very last minute that I had done this!). However, the Dermatologist refused to give me the all-clear to return to the gym, as he does not want me to push myself too early and have the ulcers open up again. I guess I can understand, but it’s been really hard not being active. I’m worried about all the progress I’m going to lose because I haven’t been going to the gym or been able to actively walk. I guess making sure that my NLD is better takes priority.

– Thanks to our epic friends at Gorilla Wolf (insert URL), I won a gift card to Amazon during their 24 hour anniversary stream on TwitchTV. I managed to receive my order last week, and cannot wait to read the two books I decided to purchase. Firstly, I purchased Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes, which looks like a spectacularly helpful resource. So many bloggers I follow on Instagram have been raving about this book and Ann’s approach to marketing of online content. I’m pretty excited to see what I learn from the book, and if/how I can apply this to my blog and its future. I also purchased, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, which is the new book from Gertie of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing fame. I have Gertie’s first book already, and as a long-term follower of her blog, I knew I would need to snatch up her second book as well. The patterns, in the second book in particular, match my everyday style and there’s even patterns for sweaters and cardigans (yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with knits….). I was starting to get back into sewing last year, however life did get in the way – having a wedding and all. This book has inspired me, and I’m hoping once I have some spare change (enough to buy some new fabric), and a free weekend (god knows when that will be), I’ll be able to try it out. Overall, I highly recommend both of these books so far, and will have to do a more in-depth review once I’ve finished reading/using them!

– Over the weekend, I took the first real step in moving forward with the epiphany that hubby and I had from a few weeks ago. I guess it’s now out of my hands as to how it will go from here. Again, I won’t be able to share any details on here, however I feel really proud of myself for trying something new and being brave and sticking to it. That’s all I can say on this one, for now!

– Two of my dearest friends announced their long-awaited engagement this week, which (while hubby and I have known for a while) was amazing news! It’s super exciting stuff, and hubby and I will both be part of the wedding day. It’s incredible to think that it’s almost been a year since we had our own wedding! I’m really glad that, now we’ve had the experience of a wedding, we’ll be able to pass on advice and help out based on what we learned from organising the whole shindig before. It looks like it’s going to be a really exciting year 🙂

That’s all the updates for the past week. I did warn you that it would be short-but-sweet! Thanks for reading!

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What you need to know about having Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum

So you have heard me mention NLD recently, and you probably want to know what the hell it is I am talking about. Or maybe you’ve just found out you have NLD and now want to know exactly what you’re in for. Either way, here’s a post letting you know all about it:

Firstly, this post is based purely on MY experience of this chronic medical condition. I am in no way medically qualified and I highly encourage you to speak with a GP or dermatologist if you have this condition to find out what treatment options are available to you.

So, what the hell is NLD?

Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum (say that three times in a row!) is a condition with no known cause or cure, and where treatment options vary from person-to-person. It is a skin condition where raised, hardened spots appear on the skin. These can take many forms and are frequently lesions, rashes and ulcers. They most commonly appear on the shins or legs; however, there are cases where these appear on the feet, arms, face and more delicate areas of sufferers.

The name is a bit of a mouthful so I’ll refer to it as ‘good old NLD’, only without the ‘good’ and with a fair bit of the ‘old’. Haha.

NLD is a rare medical condition; however, there is research that shows that it is more common for Type 1 Diabetics to have NLD, although they are unsure why. It is also common enough for an NLD sufferer to be diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and it is believed that approximately 0.3% of the diabetic population have NLD. The condition is also linked with those who have rheumatoid arthritis, and sufferers of NLD are warned that they may also develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Despite popular belief, NLD is not caused by poor diabetes control. In fact, my diabetes is the best it’s ever been and my NLD is at its worst. Fantastic diabetes control can help with the healing process; nevertheless, the cause of NLD is not reliant on how well you actually are.

How painful is NLD?

It’s hard to explain the pain of NLD. If the lesion or spot is just a raised, red scar, the discomfort you’ll experience is just an itch or like a rash or dermatitis. However, if you’re like myself and have ulcers that like to open up, the pain is similar to anything from a second to forth degree burn. When my ulcers are open, I generally have a sharp pain in my leg, which is made worse by standing or walking. It’s at its worst when I first wake and it is normally not until lunchtime (and with lots of sitting) that this pain subsides. This pain quickly reappears if I’ve walked too much during the day, or will hang around all day if I’ve slept weirdly on my leg.

How to you treat NLD?

Good question! Treatment options vary with each individual and, from what I have read on some online support groups, there’s no one way that has been entirely successful in clearing up a person’s NLD. There’s suggestions of steroid shots, treatments with topical cortisone, even tanning (what the?!) as ways to treat the condition. I won’t be able to seek a more long-term treatment until my NLD spot has healed completely into a scar again – this could take years – so for me right now it’s about the regular cleaning and dressing of the wound. I find that, for me, the best products to use on a daily basis are Betadine (the iodine in this helps kill any nasty bacteria) and Solugel (this protects the new healthy skin growing across the ulcer and helps immensely with the itchiness!). I am a massive fan of using an Adaptic gauze – which has a slight coating of Vaseline which helps the creams settle in place – and then covering the lot in a cohesive bandage which allows the ulcer to breathe a bit easier than other types of bandages, plus it’s a beige colour which isn’t as noticeable.

Is there a cure for NLD?

In short – no. Not yet. NLD fits into a myriad of other chronic immune conditions where the cause and cure are relatively unknown (or a definitive answer hasn’t been discovered). I’m a bit of a lucky-duck: having three conditions that are all chronic, immune, and based on unknown cause with no known cure. Because of this, many doctors seem to hypothesise that the cause is related to a dodgy immune system (I won’t even try to explain or justify this, as I have no idea), but all medical professionals I have seen have agreed that this condition does not go away. I will have this red, protruding mark on my skin for the rest of my life. When it is closed and ‘healed’ it is similar to a port wine stain in appearance and I know I must one day become accustomed to having yet another aspect of my physical appearance grabbing people’s attention.

What can you do to help someone with NLD?

While having NLD really blows, there are people going through life with worse conditions or experiences to deal with. If anything, NLD has helped me become more compassionate, especially towards those who have medical conditions and are in similar situations and even more so if it’s chronic or immune related. I feel enormously for anyone who, like me, tends to get sick all the time thanks to having a terrible immune system. Naturally, most of us are pretty tough cookies (or we pretend to be); however, it’s really nice to receive support from those who care. So, how can you help someone with NLD, or a similar chronic immune condition? Everyone is different, but I do know the following: those suffering from a chronic illness or condition don’t want sympathy; they want you to understand. Take the time to research and read up on the conditions so you can really acknowledge what the person is going through, as well as considering how this impacts on their day-to-day lives. Knowing that someone has cared enough to take the time to learn about what you have to deal with on a daily basis and to tell you that they ‘understand’, and especially knowing that it’s honest and genuine…that is such a wonderful thing.

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Week 10 Update, 2015

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Wow…we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2015! I’ve had a rather busy week sorting out health issues and planning for the future. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– So, last week I mentioned how I was planning to use this year to figure out what the hell I was doing. Well, I have some progress to report. Over the past week, my husband and I had a bit of an epiphany regarding plans for the future. I will not go into specific details here (because I don’t want to reveal any plans until they actually happen – if they happen), however I can say that for the first time in a few months, I haven’t felt this calm and at peace overall – especially about making a decision which could potentially impact the direction we’re both going in. Everyone who I’ve spoken to about this (which is very few, as we’re keeping it private unless it actually goes ahead) thinks it’s an amazing idea and for us to go for it. It’s really exciting finally having some direction which seems meaningful and with long-term benefits, and I have a great gut feeling about this too. I haven’t felt this excited and at ease about a decision with massive change involved for such a long time! I hope I have some fantastic news to share with you related to this in the near-future, however it’s something we’re going to start working on this year.

– I also visited the hospital for my regular Diabetes Clinic check-up this week. Unfortunately, due to my NLD playing up, my type 1 diabetes has also been impacted due to my lower activity levels. While my HBA1C was the same as last clinic, it still needs to be at least 1% lower. Also, I’m still struggling with entering my insulin into my pump correctly (especially when snacking, where I’ve been entering it manually rather than having to test my sugars every time I eat). This is mainly because I’m self conscious about having to check my sugars all the time, as well as accessing my pump in public/at work. If I use a manual setting, while I can use the pump button sounds to enter in my insulin (meaning I don’t need to go into a bathroom to access my pump to read the screen), it means my food and insulin is not being recorded accurately. Also, my carb counting needs improvement, and I’ll be needing to start measuring out my food in detail to ensure I’m entering correct amounts into my pump to correlate with my blood sugar levels. To help with this, I’ll be downloading a few apps recommended by the clinic. If they’re any good, I may review them on here. For my next clinic visit, I’ll be seeing a Professor who specialises in diabetics with insulin pumps (whom all the diabetes doctors and clinic staff rave about), so this will hopefully be a good thing for me.

– Over the weekend, I managed to see an amazing concert with my sister. My sister and I grew up learning classical music together, and for my birthday she purchased us tickets to James Morrisons’ A-Z of Jazz with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I have always loved Jazz, and seeing it performed by James Morrison, as well as his jazz band (the best jazz musicians in Australia), and the Sydney Symphony was absolutely incredible. I miss seeing live concerts, and as such, my sister and I have decided to keep ‘gifting’ each other tickets to concerts we’d like to see. In the meantime, I’m hoping to plan to see an opera soon, as well as some Shakespeare and ballet.

– There isn’t too much progress to report regarding my leg. I will be visiting the dermatologist this week to see if the current bandages have been helping. I haven’t been able to go back to the gym yet as I haven’t received clearance from my doctors. However, as I’ve been able to up my step intake without much pain, I’m hoping I’ll be able to start back next week.

– I have been writing more content for the blog, which I’ll be posting up later this week. Sorry for the delay – I’ve had to rest up and have had a few appointments and social events in my normal blogging/writing time.

And that’s another week to report 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Week 9 Update, 2015

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Must try and stay in this mindset!

 

Hello there!

Well, we’re now in the first week of March (why is this year going so fast?!). So, here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

– Once again, there’s been no gym activity and minimal walking this week. I’ve had to keep to under 5000 steps a day because if I don’t stick to this, the pain in my ulcers becomes very noticeable. I’m finding taking it easy difficult – especially after becoming much more active over the past 6 months. Plus the doctors and dermatologists really want me to be relaxed and unstressed…which, unfortunately, is near-impossible thanks to the circumstances I’m currently in.

– As I have alluded to in previous posts, the dermatologist has confirmed that my NLD has gotten worse from when he saw me three years ago. He’s started me back on the dressings/treatment of the wound, which I initially began in 2012: a base of Duoderm topped off with some Opsite to waterproof the area. Opsite looks like clear contact or cling wrap, and whilst being so helpful in encouraging skin tissue to heal, it looks a bit interesting.  The Duoderm breaks down to create a protective and healing barrier over the ulcer but looks like a big bubbly blister of pus underneath the clear Opsite. It isn’t the nicest bandage to look at! I’m extremely self-conscious about this bandage, and have already been on the receiving end of some rather nasty looks from people inspecting my leg (including random strangers…how rude!). However, I know I have to ‘suck it up’, so to speak, as this bandage is helping the ulcer wounds heal. I’m still experiencing weird pains in my upper and lower legs and heels, as well as a sharp pain from the ulcer shooting throughout the leg. I’m really hoping I can be more mobile soon.

– Over the weekend, my amazing best friend (other than my hubby of course!), Kate of Gaia Photography and I had an impromptu creative session. We worked on our websites and SEO, discussed Pinterest ideas for business, and (more importantly) she gave me a starters ‘crash course’ in Photoshop. I have now set myself up with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator and am eager to learn the basics of these before I begin my Graphic Design courses (which won’t be happening until I have a better computer/some more finances/my leg is a bit better…so a few months away at least). Anyway, thanks to the lovely Kate, I am beginning to get my head around the layers in Photoshop, and am experimenting with some simple quote posters and logos. It was a great experience, and we’re planning more of these creative sessions to keep ourselves inspired and working on our websites more effectively 🙂

– I had my second session as a DM of my Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons game last week – with a full party of 4 players! I’m very glad to say that it went well, and that it has encouraged me to keep going with running this campaign. After the last session, I realised that I needed to be more descriptive in telling the story and providing details of the rooms and layouts for the players. I also tried to be more open in allowing the players to develop their own stories in the game. Thankfully, our newest member has made a highly entertaining character (a half-orc who, whilst being incredibly strong, has an intelligence ranking only slightly higher than a domesticated animal). So, this has made the sessions incredibly fun and the interaction between characters has been quite humourous. I was extremely lucky in being able to end the session on a predictable, yet decent cliff-hanger, and am eager to keep researching and writing the campaign until I run my next session in a few weeks. Overall, it’s been so encouraging trying out my first D&D campaign with such a supportive and enthusiastic group! 🙂

– As I’ve had to take the time to relax for my leg, I’ve unfortunately fallen behind in writing for my blog. I did have the goal of writing twice a week, however getting to appointments and adhering to orders for bed-rest has had to take priority in the past few weeks. However, last week I started working on extra blog posts in order to have a backlog of posts to include for times when I am unwell or too busy, and I hope to do the same this week. Apologies for the lack of varied content, however health has had to come first.

– Since late last year, I’ve begun to realise that this year will be a year for me to figure out what the f*** I’m meant to be doing with my life. I’ve spent most of the end of last year/start of this year feeling like I have no idea of what the hell I’m meant to be doing, especially for a career. For a while, I was certain I knew where I wanted to be going (with a great plan in mind for the next few years), however I now see that this is near-impossible, and also not the direction I’d like to go in anymore. So, I’m planning to use this year to explore and figure out what I really should be going after. I’m trying to take on as many opportunities as I can which match up with my extensive range of interests and passions. This includes volunteering for the high school mentoring program, GMing Dungeons and Dragons games, playing more video games and critiquing them, taking up graphic design studies and, perhaps, some more sewing. I’m quickly realising that it’s not a crime to be yourself, regardless of what people will think. So, I’m hoping to use the time I have this year to my advantage to figure out the direction I want to be going in over the next few years.

That seems to be all the updates I have to this week! Thanks for reading 🙂

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