Category Archives: NLD

Week 9 Update, 2015

7a3ddee632bd688123e4f545433a579f

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 🙂

b619b1e228ec3582c72d07bf075f18b1

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 7 Update, 2015

082ef54a66eff59431d64e9ca4a712f1

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!

3446d25cc7de50e1ebf79512a658b3e0This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 6 Update, 2015

030e0c1b03b51a6142f909acda57cf08

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 🙂

d26d432ea3657da9fed446e4c813fcfe

(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!

6dda9d6e909f653fb7d3282236748369

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.