Friday, October 16, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

I have crashed today, it seems like my body has decided that I pushed myself to much this week so I apologise if this post isn't the most detailed (I normally try to work on these posts over the fortnight but it just did not happen). My life has been the usual living with dizziness, trying to stay productive and applying for jobs. I applied for a couple of jobs this week (including one that involved a selection criteria) and I am praying that the phone starts to ring with interviews soon. 

Something exciting that happened last week was that me and my friends booked an Airbnb for when we go see Hamilton next year. We have decided to stay a week in Sydney which is exciting and we're looking forward to seeing the city and going on lots of adventures. After a lot of discussion we chose a place in a central location near public transport, it's a modern loft with the bedrooms upstairs and plenty of space for the 3 of us. It works out to around $460 each for 6 nights stay which is reasonable and means we only need to buy the flights which we will do closer to the time. It's hard to believe that this trip is happening. 

Next week is really quiet, I actually don't have a doctor's appointment as my doctor is away which means this is the longest I have gone without seeing my doctor all year. I am hoping to break out my Cricut and play around with some iron on vinyl that came this week which will be fun. I am also starting to think about my Christmas shopping as I want to do a lot of handmade gifts where possible (I figure I have a Cricut so I might as well put it to use) so I need to plan ahead.

Onto Friday Favourites...

ErstWilder All of the Lights Necklace - this was a complete impulse buy but it arrived on Wednesday and I love it so much. I thought it would be a great Christmas piece and add some festive fun to my outfits this December. 

New Girl - I have just finished binging this series on Netflix and I really enjoyed it. I loved Jess and her crazy personality and the antics she got up to with her friends were hilarious. Also Cece's Russian model friend Nadia is a really underrated character and her lines always made me laugh. 

Lego Elf Club House - so last year I bought the cutest Lego gingerbread house and while it was a pain to build (the roof gave me so much grief!), I loved the finished product. So I have decided that each year I will purchase the Lego Christmas set and this year they released the Elf Club House, so I ordered it a couple of weeks ago and the box is currently sitting in my living room waiting to be built come December. 

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Blemish Stick - this stick really makes a difference when I dab it on my breakouts and I notice they don't linger for as long. Just make sure you don't get it mixed up with your lip gloss as the tube looks similar. 

Anomia - this is a really fun card game that has resulted in yelling and at times violence when I have played it. The cards have words on them so like flavour of ice cream, name of a street etc, and if someone has a card with the same symbol as you, you have to say what's on their card before they say what's on your card. It sounds simple but in the heat of the moment it can be hard to think of words. It's a great game for people of all ages and one I highly recommend playing. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

This past fortnight started challenging, but has ended on a fairly high note. Last week was mentally tough after the blow of not getting the job and also it being a year since the dizziness started. When I saw my doctor last Thursday I told him I couldn't believe it had been a year of dizziness and his response was that he could as he still had no idea what could be causing it. This past week has been really nice with having friends over for lunch on Monday, then picnic with friends on Wednesday, catching up with a friend on Thursday for lunch and just recharging. My dizziness has increased to a 4 out of 5 and I'm also dealing with fatigue, so it will be interesting to see what my blood test results say when I see my doctor next Thursday. I have applied for a few jobs and I'm praying that one may produce an interview but I just don't know. At this point in time I am just taking it one application at a time and giving it all to God. 

This weekend is looking to be busy with seeing my sister in a dance competition tomorrow and then on Sunday I have a friend's baby shower which should be nice. Next week isn't too busy but I do have a psych appointment, employment agency appointment and my usual doctor's appointment, so lots of appointments. I am also catching up with my friends who I am going to see Hamilton with and we're hopefully booking an Airbnb and planning more of our trip which will be exciting. 

Onto Friday Favourites...

Imogen Split Midi Skirt - I probably don't need another skirt for Summer but I saw this one in Jeanswest and I just had to buy it. I love the style and the print is super cute and it sits really well on me. I also loves how it will work in with the tops already in my wardrobe and I can wear it to multiple places. 

Kara Curve Embracer Skinny Capri -  if you can't tell I buy many of my clothes from Jeanswest. I used to live in 3/4 length pants when I was younger, but once I got older I could never find any that I liked and fitted me well. But I was in Jeanswest last week and decided to try these on and they fitted really well along with being a great length. I also got this pair  (in a smaller size as they run large) as I wanted a lighter wash. 

Folding Serve Tray - I should never go to Kmart as I always end up doing impulse buys! Last week I went in for paper cups and plates for a picnic and walked out with this tray. I figured it would be useful for the picnic as I was bringing all the cheese and crackers but also for general use around the house. I like how it can stand up and is a good size for a laptop 

Confetti Cookies - I made these last week and they are so good! I will say making them in a food processor probably wasn't the wisest idea as they didn't combine as easily (and I had to keep emptying it out and mixing it in a bowl then returning the mix to the food processor), so I'm thinking next time I will just use the mixmaster. But they taste great (probably due to all the butter) and the sprinkles add a fun touch. You can't stop at just one cookie and this has been confirmed by many people. 

Secret Society of Second Born Royals -  I have watched this movie twice in the past week and both times I've really enjoyed it. It's a light film and I liked the storyline and the characters, also the fashion in parts was really great. I will say I was a but disappointed that Skylar Astin didn't break into song during it considering it was a Disney film. The ending was left open so I'm hoping for another film in the series. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A year of dizziness

Happy 1 year of dizziness to me! 
I "celebrated" by seeing my doctor and having a blood test (the clinic at my doctors is hands down the best clinic ever they always manage to find a vein despite me having the worst veins) and then doing a bit of retail therapy. I told my doctor I couldn't believe it had been a year of dizziness and he responded that he could as we're still no closer as to what it could be.

I remember waking up on the 24th of September 2019 feeling exhausted and a wave of dizziness coming over me and thinking nothing of it as I thought it was part of what I call an "anxiety hangover" which is what I experience after any event where my anxiety is heightened. Then throughout the day I experienced a few more bouts of dizziness and as the week went on so did the dizziness. I had been experiencing monthly nosebleeds and feeling fatigued so I had a feeling that I had low iron and it was confirmed when I saw my doctor and had a blood test. I honestly thought an iron infusion would sort it out but along with dealing some not so fun side affects from the infusion the dizziness continued to increase. It crossed my mind that maybe my body wasn't processing the iron but the follow up blood test I had six weeks after the infusion said that my iron levels were great. 
By this stage it was mid December and I decided to wait until January to do further testing as I already a doctor's appointment booked then. The dizziness was a lot more frequent and increasing in severity by this stage. I had a glucose test followed by heart tests all of which came back fine and I then saw a specialist physio in February who diagnosed me with Vestibular migraines and put me on a diet which did nothing (but it did stop my dependence on chocolate). The dizziness was now consistent along with periods of more intense dizziness. I then had an MRI which came back fine. My doctor tried me on a variety of medications to see if anything would before I got referred to an ENT which thanks to Covid had a six week waiting period. The ENT sent me for two balance tests which came back normal and then referred me to a neurologist who specialised in dizziness and if he couldn't help me then I was a medical mystery. The neurologist said I either had Vestibular migraines or it was my anxiety which made me so mad as having done my research I only matched 50% of the Vestibular migraine symptoms and both my psychologist and doctor had crossed off my anxiety causing the dizziness (I was thankful to have a doctors appointment booked that afternoon and as soon as I saw my doctor I burst into tears because it had been such a bad appointment). But I took the medication the neurologist prescribed to me but after a few days he had to prescribe another medication as the first one reacted to my asthma preventer and was affecting my breathing. After four weeks on the medication which drove me crazy my doctor advised me to stop it and cancel the follow up neurologist appointment (I think he was afraid I would slap the neurologist...). By this point my mental health wasn't great due everything which was to be expected so it was decided we would take a break for an indefinite period of time and just see how things how play out because it had been just under 11 months since it started and trying to get to the bottom of it. 

The dizziness has restricted me in a lot of ways, I'm not allowed to drive more than 30 minutes and while I have on occasion driven for 40 minutes I have paid for it. I've limited with what I do at the gym and have cut it down to twice a week instead of three times. I have to be careful with what I do and my activity levels as my stamina has reduced and I find if I don't get a decent nights sleep I don't function. 
There are days when the dizziness isn't too bad but they're few and far between (maybe one day every 2 weeks) and it's easy to forget that I have it but then I get a big wave of dizziness. I never thought that I would be experiencing it a year later or that the cause of it would still be unknown, I honestly thought it was due to low iron. 
For those curious the following have been ruled out:
  • Low iron 
  • General vitamin/mineral levels that show up in blood tests (low vitamin D etc)
  • Kidney issues (that show up on a detailed blood test) 
  • Diabetes (including pre-diabetes)
  • Stiff heart valve/other heart problem
  • Anything that could show up on a MRI (tumour etc.)
  • Vestibular migraines (this has been ruled out twice!)
  • Inner ear issues including balance problems 
  • Anxiety/mental health (but my mental health has been impacted by the dizziness, which is understandable)
  • Meniere's disease 
  • Sinus inflammation 
And I have tried the following treatments:
  • Iron infusion (it increased my iron but didn't stop the dizziness)
  • Vestibular Migraine Diet 
  • So many medications that I won't list here but including anti epileptic medications, antibiotics, ibuprofen and medications targeted for Meniere's disease. 

While I have had to advocate for myself with specialists, I'm so thankful that my doctor believed me from the get go and took it seriously. He has told me repeatedly that we will get to the bottom of this and while it's not likely, it's great that he's not giving up. So what am I currently doing about my dizziness a year on? Well I've spent the past two weeks keeping an extremely detailed diary covering everything from what I eat to how many hours I sleep, the activities I do during the day and giving the dizziness a rating out of 5 (5 being bad). My doctor wants me to continue to do it for the near future and I'm hoping that it may give my doctor a clue as to why I have good and bad days with dizziness. It takes me 5 minutes a day to fill it out but I'm willing to do anything and maybe it can give us a new direction to look into. 

I am hopeful that next year I will not be "celebrating" two years of dizziness but who knows? For now I am praying that we find some sort of treatment to at least reduce the dizziness and make it more liveable. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

One Interview Closer

 I told myself I wouldn't get my hopes up with this job, I told myself that whatever happened I wouldn't shed tears yet this is exactly what ended up happening. Last Thursday I got a message from one of my references that they had been contacted regarding this position and my hopes shot up maybe this job was the one, the one I had been waiting so long for. I let myself dream of employment and yes I knew the job was four days which might be a bit much at the moment especially after having a couple of days with more dizziness than usual and yes they only had funding for the position until December but maybe they would get more funding and I could be made permanent. I let myself get excited and I felt content for once, I imagined celebrating getting the job. I kept pushing aside the doubts I had about the job and I hoped my doctor would sign off on me working it. 

I didn't hear anything on Friday and I told people on Saturday night that my references had been contacted and that the job seemed promising ignoring the voice in my head saying that it wasn't a done deal. Then today I missed a call when I was at lunch with a friend and when I listened to the voicemail from one of the people who interviewed me saying to call them I got excited. I tried to ring them back multiple times and I kept getting a busy line. I got home after lunch and my anxiety was off the rails, I tried to stay busy and paid a medical test bill (that finally came despite having the tests in June) all the while wondering if I had the job. I eventually got through and I was told that it came down to me and another person and unfortunately I didn't get the job. I tried to stay upbeat and asked for feedback and asked if my references were good (which they were), it came down to experience at the end of the day. Towards the end the tears started to fall and the person on the other end of the phone got apologetic and concerned and said I was a good candidate and it was a close race. I hung up and the tears really started to fall and a mini panic attack started. I messaged friends and my bible study group thanking them for their prayers and support but I wasn't successful in getting the job. It had been over four weeks since the interview and four weeks of built up anxiety collapsed on my shoulders. I rang up my employment agency consultant and let them know and they were supportive and told me I would soon find the perfect job. I let the anxieties I had with the job bubble up and I wondered if it was even wise for me to work four days a week at the moment. 

I have always said throughout this journey God is in control and that he lead me to studying community services for a reason and would lead me to the perfect job and this job wasn't it. I prayed throughout this recruitment that if it was the right job that he would make it work but if it wasn't the right job that he would comfort me and guide me to the right job at the right time. So I'm back to square one and I feel defeated but tomorrow is a new day and I'm one interview closer to getting the job for me. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

These past two weeks have busier than normal, with various appointments and catching up with friends along with birthday celebrations. On Tuesday I turned 26 and it was low key and I felt very loved and appreciated. I honestly couldn't have had a more perfect day from the weather to having a great psych appointment to having a lovely dinner with my family. I also got some great gifts including a Fossil bag and a Shawn Tan print. Then on Wednesday night instead of bible study we did games and enjoyed cake as four us all have birthdays in September so it made sense to do a combined celebration which was fun. I of course had to make cake toppers using my Cricut which turned out great. Speaking of my Cricut I have been using it at least twice a week if not more and I am obsessed with making labels for everything (the cats are safe...for now) including my water bottle and bible. 

I'm still waiting to hear back regarding the interview I had four weeks ago (the recruitment process has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances) and I have so many feelings regarding it. I know I could do the job and I really want to work in advocacy especially having to self advocate this past year with my consistent dizziness and seeing various specialists and knowing that not everyone can self advocate. I just know that at the end of the day God is in control of it all and if I'm meant to get the job he will make it happen.

My doctor has asked me to keep a detailed diary regarding my dizziness to see if we can work out if there's a pattern regarding the good and bad days. I keep a daily log of what I eat, my activities, how many hours I slept and a rating of the dizziness out of 5 (5 being the worst). It's going to be interesting to see if we can decipher anything out of it when I see my doctor on Thursday. 

Onto Friday Favourites...

Away (Netflix series) - I am not a science fiction person at all, ask anyone and they will tell you it's one of the genres I avoid (alongside horror) but I saw this show on Netflix and decided to give it a go. I really enjoyed it and watched it in 3 days. It's about a group of people getting to Mars and how their families are coping back on earth along with their changing relationships. I can honestly say I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it and if you need something to watch I highly recommend it.

The Body Shop Lemon shower gel- I love the smell of citrus and when I saw this limited edition shower gel I had to try it. The scent is zingy, sweet and fresh and reminds me of Summer, it lathers well and leaves me feeling refreshed. 

Chocolate Mousse Cake - I made this cake for Wednesday night and while it had a lot of steps it turned

out really well and while it was rich I made it with almost all 70% dark chocolate which reduced the sweetness (I did use some milk chocolate in the mousse layer and a bit in the ganache). I topped it with maltesers which gave a crunch factor and it was a huge hit all round. I would definitely make it again for a special occasion. 

Mini Pen Pals notepad - I've been eyeing these for a while and I decided to buy one the other week as I got sent a $5 off voucher to use during my birthday month. I love how they're a keyring with a pen and notebook but you can't tell. I bought the cat one and it makes me smile whenever I see it in my bag. 

Glitter Vinyl - this is the vinyl I am using for labels at the moment, I have it in 4 colours (gold, silver, black and pale blue) and I love it. You will need the strong transfer tape though but thankfully each roll comes with a sheet of it. I also advise that you increase the blade pressure to more as even after selecting the correct vinyl (glitter premium) I found it needed a boost to cut it. It weeds relatively well mind you after weeding it I always find vinyl stuck to me (as is always the case!) but I'm making it a trend haha!

Monday, September 14, 2020

The day before turning 26

 It's the day before my 26th birthday and I'm surprisingly feeling ok about it. I have spent today baking cupcakes to share with my family tomorrow and a chocolate mousse cake to share with my bible study family on Wednesday night. I have done so many dishes (I'm pretty sure I washed the mix-master bowl + beaters 5 or 6 times) and there were times when I had no idea exactly what I was doing (because I keep forgetting that multitasking is hard while experiencing consistent dizziness!) but everything turned out in the end. 

If you had asked me this time last year how I saw myself celebrating my 26th birthday I would've said that I would go to work and then go out for dinner somewhere with my sister. Instead Covid has meant that my parents didn't go to Peru as planned and the economy has crashed so I don't have a job. I'm also experiencing consistent dizziness that started 9 days after I turned 25. But I know that I am exactly where God wants me, it's funny but this year is one of the first years that I haven't asked for a job. Instead I am giving it to God and letting all that anxiety go, because it's not worth the energy. So tomorrow I will go see my psychologist and then I will do some retail therapy, before we go out to dinner as a family to celebrate. I'm going to try and ignore this dizziness for at least one day and enjoy the nice Spring weather. I will probably wear this top and my sparkly silver Keds because they make me happy. Then on Wednesday night I will have a combined birthday celebration with 3 of my friends who all have birthdays in September. It's going to be a low key celebration but that's what I want, I just want to turn 26 quietly and keep taking it one day at a time and not be anxious about the future and the what ifs that keep running through my head. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

 And just like that we're in September and as is the case September is filled with birthdays and things

just start getting busier. I think the promise of warmer weather causes people to start planning things and I always have an influx of events in September/October. Last week I had my fortnightly doctor's appointment (I have honestly forgotten what it's like to only see my doctor a few times a year) which was uneventful and we're still waiting and seeing how the dizziness goes. I also had my annual hair cut so my hair is now short and a lot more manageable, which is good. Then this past week I played with my Cricut and caught up with a couple of friends which was nice. 

I have yet to hear anything about the job I went for two weeks ago but I am almost certain I haven't gotten the job as none of my referees have been contacted. While I'm disappointed, I'm continuing to trust in God throughout this time and I know he has the right job for me which I will get at the right time (though I'm not going to lie it would be nice if it could happen sooner rather than later!). 

Onto Friday Favourites...

Hamilton Australia - I really enjoyed seeing Hamilton on Disney+ and the music has been on repeat ever since. When I heard that the play was coming to Australia next year I jokingly said to a friend that we should fly across and a mutual friend contacted me asking if I was interested in coming as she was organising a trip so I thought about it for 5 minutes and decided to do it. So last Monday my friend G was on presale grabbing tickets for July and we have tickets. We still have to organise airfares and a place to stay but we're going to wait, as we're not allowed out of our state (thanks Covid) so we will book closer to July and our priority was getting the tickets. It should be a fun trip though and I'm looking forward to going. 

Review Pretty Petal Top - I ended up buying this top on Thursday and I really like it. The cut is super flattering and the print is really fun. I also like how it can be dressed up or down and I could get away with wearing it in an office. I will say it was a splurge but I did have a $20 voucher as well as it being 25% off so it wasn't too bad. 

I Bought a Cricut (blogpost) - I have finally gotten round to writing a post about my Cricut and the tools I have along with the resources I use. It's gotten quite a workout this past week, I have finally figured out how to cut vinyl so I have a feeling that everything will be labelled soon and I made quite a few cards as well. I am getting more confident in using it and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can create with it. 

Dear Anaesthesia (Dear Theodosia parody) - this an extremely well done Hamilton parody and when I sent it to my cousin and her husband (both who are doctors and my cousin in-law is currently doing a placement in anaesthetics) and they loved it. 

Initial Necklace - I've bought this necklace on two different separate occasions for gifts and each time it has been well received. It's really delicate and simple so it suites most people and being sterling silver it's going to last and be a great keepsake.