It’s A Struggle

I know it’s been a little while since I did a health or life update, pretty much 2 months to be exact, and to tell the truth, I wasn’t going to do one as I always thought sharing this stuff was boring and you’d probably get tired of it by now, plus I didn’t want to sound like I needed people to feel sorry for me or that I was moaning about life. I know there are people out there that are much worse off than I am, as well as people who are full of health, but I also know that there’s no competition when it comes to health as we’re all entirely different and we experience things in our own way, so while one thing might seem trivial to someone else, it could be a mountain for another to climb. I’ve asked on my IG stories (it’s easy to use the 24 hour poll there) twice now about these types of posts and the last poll won by a landslide when asked if you wanted more health updates (it was around 80% yes), so that’s what I’m doing for you now. If you do want to read my previous health posts, click here.

As I’m always open and honest with all of you, I’m not going to lie. These last few months have been a struggle. Often at times I feel like I’m failing and I’m going to have to quit blogging because I can’t give it the dedication it needs as it’s 24/7 (gosh knows how I would live then), but when I was watching one of my favourite shows ‘Dr. Christian Will See You Now’, I heard him say something to a patient who had said she failed and he said ‘You haven’t failed, you have just found it difficult’ and this actually really resonated with me. When I look back at my blog and how far I’ve come from nothing, all on my own, now in my third year of being self employed and actually having created a business for myself – I haven’t failed. I just really am finding it difficult to juggle every single aspect alone and to focus on my health when there’s days I can’t get out of bed. It’s definitely hard, but it’s not something that I’m just accepting and letting win.

I think when it comes to fashion bloggers there’s a misconception that they all live a lavish lifestyle of travel and luxury, but it couldn’t be further from the truth for me. That’s not realistic and I don’t like the idea that it’s portrayed that way and people get sucked into that being reality, when it’s not. I live at home in my mum’s house, I pay my way. Money is an issue to be able to earn enough and actually save up to be able to live with Adam and get married. The way the government is these days makes it so difficult to get on the property ladder and just to live in general because of money. That’s gone slightly off track, but this is the reason why I feel like I’ve failed sometimes. I feel like because I haven’t got the luxury (almost for camera lifestyle) that other bloggers have, I haven’t done it right and people aren’t as interested. I’m glad I’ve realised that mine is reality though, what’s curated and edited for camera is not.

Then I feel like if I had my health, things might be different. I’d have more confidence, I’d have more energy to do the things I want to do without worrying. I can barely go out to eat at a restaurant (there’s two I can safely eat in) without having anxiety because I can’t eat hardly anything. It impacts my life in every way, especially if I’m going out. I’m mostly talking about my stomach and the issues there because food has become such a chore and a problem. I’m on a super strict elimination diet right now and it’s just bland food of brown rice, sweet potato, gluten free oats for carbs. Fish, chicken or nuts for protein. Certain vegetables which don’t cause bloating, and certain fruits. I have to eat the cabs and protein together though and the fruit has to go with nuts so I’m not spiking my blood sugar. There’s no refined sugar, nothing processed, no sauces (unless made fresh) so I wont lie, it’s tough, I’ve been close to breaking and I feel so restricted, but I’m trying to work out if there’s certain foods that are causing me issues and I haven’t realised. I’m still taking my Symprove and my supplements. Since starting this elimination diet I’ve noticed an improvement in my stomach, until today, when I woke up and it was all swollen and painful again and making me feel sick. I’ve done nothing food wise to trigger that response, so it frustrates me.

I know before when I mentioned the endoscopy, a lot of you messaged me and told me that I have to have it, which is also the reason I’ve been reluctant to write another health update as I’m leaving the endoscopy on the shelf for now because I can’t handle it. I don’t think I put across last time how beyond terrified I am and how sedation is not possible because of the needle phobia, I feel sick and shaky even thinking about it, so it’s not an option. I feel like it wouldn’t show up anything anyway and would just put me back at square one (so don’t send any emails about having it done for now). Then I wonder if the swollen lump is just a gas build up as I get it in the mornings. It swells right up and causes me pain, sometimes doubled over, right in my small intestine or stomach, and I feel sick. This did all subside when I had anti-biotics before, so I’m beginning to wonder if the SIBO has come back. Since the NHS take months and months for tests and appointments, and I’ve literally run out of funds (you might have noticed I’ve not bought anything new (except a hat and gloves) since October and that’s going to continue into the new year), I can’t afford to go private anymore either.

I’m still working with Lucy the Naturopath and she’s really sweet, helping me with the elimination diet and my anxiety because I’ve been through so much since I was a child that my anxiety levels are too high and causing issues, and I do feel like I’ve made a lot of improvements there with how I handle stress and problems. I’m a lot calmer than I was and a lot more relaxed, but it’s still a working progress every single day. I also saw a rheumatologist on the NHS about my Ehlers Danlos as I was told I had that many years ago by a qualified physio as I have all the symptoms of the Hypermobile type, but he said because my skin didn’t stretch 5 cm or more and I didn’t have bruises on me at the time, I didn’t have Ehlers Danlos and was just Hypermobile (I score 9/9 on the Beighton scale and have been referred for physio which wont be until February).

Now this has confused me to no end. All my other symptoms were dismissed (I will save this for another post) and I’ve also read that just because one person doesn’t have super stretchy skin, doesn’t mean they don’t have it because there’s varying degrees. There’s apparently a lot of Ehlers Danlos patients without the stretchy skin or who have it mild like me. There’s a proper specialist in London that I want to see and he’s the top in his field for the condition, but unfortunately his fees are expensive and over Β£300 just for a consultation. So that’s out of the question at the moment due to funds, but I am beginning to wonder if everything is down to having Ehlers Danlos overall because of everything else I suffer with which I don’t really speak about. I know there’s no cure for it, but I also know it has a huge impact on digestion because of the Hypermobility. If there are any of you out there clued up on Ehlers Danlos and know a lot about it, I would definitely love any input on that.

So this is where I am at the current moment. I’m no closer to getting better and I’m sort of still stuck in limbo. My energy levels are not great, some days I feel really down, I’m suffering migraines a lot due to hormone changes and sugar elimination, I’m just generally exhausted. The cold doesn’t help. I did manage to shoot as many outfit posts as I can already, so I’m set up until the end of January now with outfit content, so I can try and stay warm as much as possible. I don’t know if it’s the cold, but my asthma has also come back. I had asthma for years as a child, but it went away, but recently I was coughing a lot, struggling to walk stairs without being able to catch my breath and having such a tight chest. I went to the GP about it and found out that’s come back, so I’ve got inhalers again. So in all honesty, I feel like I just can’t catch a break. I’m not 100% sure if I passed a kidney stone a few weeks back either because it felt like weeing glass, I had back ache, it throbbed and burned for hours and I was sweaty. I don’t know what that was, but it wasn’t a nice experience.

I am trying to stay as positive and as happy as I can. After reading this back it makes it sound like I’m in despair and I’m not all of the time. I get days where I get very fed up and frustrated by not knowing what’s wrong, but then other days I can just get on with it. I am made happy by the smallest things like the fake snow in Southgate, cuddles from animals, funny things on TV, I’m not depressed as I know what that’s like. My cystitis has mostly cleared up though and I’m wondering if that’s because I’ve eliminated any foods that aggravated it, and I actually had a period this week without agonizing cramps that I usually have. So I know there are certain foods that my body is very bothered by and I need to understand what those are fully, but the rest isn’t related to food. I’m going to bring this to a close now as I will just go on waffling, but in a way it feels like a relief to speak about it all and get it out in the open and tell you all that everything isn’t perfect and wonderful, but I’m trying to make the best of the situation as I can. I’m very grateful to all of you for the support and love that you give me on a daily basis, you’re all like my online friends and community, which I appreciate so much. Thank you for listening. Lorna xx.

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44 Comments

  1. John Cashion
    December 4, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Thank you for your honesty and openness Lorna. You were so kind to me when you emailed me an autograph a few months back. Luv you girl! xx

    • December 4, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much xx.

    • December 4, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Thank you, Kathrine!

  2. December 4, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    Oh Lorna – I’m so sad to read this, although the last bit at the end where you realised you have a lot of ways to cope and feel happy again made me smile. I’m glad you treasure the little things. Is there any way they could put you out without needles for the endoscopy? Like gas or something? I had that done once when I was little but I don’t know, maybe they don’t do that now, haha! Don’t feel you have to apologise for not doing it because of your phobia – it’s just the way things are and you shouldn’t apologise for doing what’s right for you.

    I’ve been on the elimination diet before too – and default back to it occasionally as needed. It’s horrible, second guessing what you can and can’t eat and having to make everything from scratch, but it’s worth it in the end when you find out exactly what you can eat. It identified an allergy I was surprised by, but it’s made things easier to avoid! πŸ™‚

    I hope everything improves for you and 2018 is a better year health-wise.

    • December 4, 2017 / 1:09 pm

      Hi Mica,

      I’m always so grateful for your support. Thank you so much! I know you always spend the time reading every one of my posts and I appreciate that hugely. I don’t know if there is another way to be put out as I’m supposed to remain sedated and monitored throughout the whole thing, I don’t know if they can approve it without having the venflon thing in in case something goes wrong and they need access quickly? I’ve genuinely got no idea, but it’s something I could enquire about.

      What did you end up finding out you’re allergic to? I’d love to know πŸ™‚

      • December 5, 2017 / 10:23 am

        I have no idea either, just thought I’d put it out there in case you hadn’t already gone over it a hundred times but I’m sure you have already haha! No harm in asking I figure πŸ™‚

        Glutamates is my thing – so tomatos, MSG etc. MSG I’m pretty bad with, and it’s hard to pinpoint as depending on the dose it can be 24 to 72 hours before I feel the effects. I usually notice a difference that evening and know I’ve eaten something bad somewhere, and just have to hope it’s not a major reaction. I’m better now at knowing what to avoid but as with everything, it’s impacted by stress so I have to be careful to stick closely to the elimination diet when things are hectic – I have a little wiggle room, like I can have a teaspoon of tomato sauce, if I’m on the elimination diet the next few days, but most of the time I avoid it. Given I grew up eating lasagnas and pastas and lots with tomatoes it’s a surprising result!

        • December 5, 2017 / 1:28 pm

          Thanks πŸ™‚

          Gosh! I feel you on MSG, I haven’t eaten that in years, I don’t remember the last time I did as that chemical is awful. Used to give me bad headaches and illness, so I completely understand you needing to cut that out. Tomatoes are what I was wondering as well, I do get issues with them sometimes and like you, I used to love pizza and lasagne etc, but it didn’t come back as an issue on my food intolerance list. I’m glad you’ve managed to figure it out though and can live a much happier life and feel healthy!

          • December 6, 2017 / 8:05 am

            Yeah I react so badly to it – it’s shocking how many things it’s in too! I never liked soy sauce though so maybe my tastebuds were trying to tell me something, ha! Hope you can figure it out – took me a bit of trial and error but I know my limits and if I stick mostly to the diet at most I realise when I’m reacting early and can be super strict for the next few days and prevent a full bed ridden reaction. I hope you get answers so you have that kind of confidence! πŸ™‚

            • December 6, 2017 / 6:28 pm

              I’m really glad you managed to figure that all out and can maintain it πŸ™‚ I really hope I get answers too!

  3. December 4, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Lorna, thank you for sharing this. I’m praying for your health too. The NHS isn’t much help is it…. hugs from Vegas. πŸ’•β€οΈ

    • December 4, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you John! No, it’s a good concept, but it’s under funded and under staffed, so it’s really not great at all.

  4. December 4, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Thank for sharing this with us. I think it’s great that you are able to express how you feel even if it sounds sad. We all have those moment when we are struggling with what life throws that us. I hope you hold on to the positive things during this time.
    http://www.comfycozyup.com

    • December 4, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much!

  5. December 4, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    Wow, Lorna thank you for your honesty. I love your spirit, it’s okay to feel like you just can’t catch a break sometimes. I understand, you don’t have to apologize for telling us what’s wrong and no, we don’t feel like you’re just complaining. That’s a lot for one person to handle so you have every right to complain if you wanted to. I’ll be praying for you, I hope things start to look up from here and that you have an awesome week <3

    • December 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to read what I wrote (I know it was long!) and respond. It’s nice to hear I have so much support xx.

  6. December 4, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to read that you are going through such a difficult time. Sometimes in life all we can do is struggle through and cope with the bad times – and it can be so hard to keep perspective and hold onto the thoughts of better things around the corner. I’m glad that you have highlighted some of the positive things in your life too in this post. πŸ™‚

    I admire you very much for having the bravery to put so much of yourself and your life out in the public domain. I understand that part of this is that you can hopefully be of help to others in similar or comparable situations and this says so much about your character and kindness of spirit.

    I hope that you are able to find a path towards getting some of these health issues improved in near future. I really feel for you in how all this is impacting upon your life. I hope you can continue to keep your spirits up and know that we are all here supporting you along the way.

    Finally, on a more personal level, when I was recently going through my darkest hours yours was among the most supportive voices in my life helping me through the worst of an awful situation. In the worst of times we really do find out who our true friends are – so, have no doubt, I will always be ready to help and support you too. πŸ™‚

    • December 4, 2017 / 7:17 pm

      I do try and look at the positive things as well, it’s all we can do to get through the bad I think. There are plenty of them, just gets frustrating when health impacts doing the positive things. I’m truly so grateful though to you, and to everyone here, who gives me so much support and love. I never expected it when I started and as I’ve never met any of you, I still feel like I know you and that you are all my friends, which is wonderful.

      I’m glad you’re doing better, Steven πŸ™‚ Honestly it’s what anyone would do, be there for people, so I am there. It’s horrible when anyone goes through such trauma, emotionally or physically, all we can do is be there and support, so I hope you’re well.

      I do hope I can help others out there as I have a platform with a voice that people read, so if it just helps one or two people, that’s a good thing. Plus, it’s like therapy when I write and speak to everyone here, rather than hide behind my scheduled blog posts πŸ™‚

      • December 4, 2017 / 8:32 pm

        I’m coping better. The emotional pain is still as strong – and I have bad dreams about the situation too… or nice dreams and then awake to find the reality is still as sad… but I’m certainly functioning better and coping better.

        Oh yes, you’re certainly a good friend. Meeting in real life isn’t a prerequisite of friendship, as we both know. πŸ™‚ So many great people have come into my life via the internet and it’s certainly wonderful that it happens. Tomorrow I’m meeting up for the first time with a friend that I’ve known online for about 12 or 13 years. She’s coming to my city and we’ll do all the touristy stuff. πŸ™‚

        It’s terrific that you use your platform to such good effect. It’s a great credit to you. πŸ™‚

        • December 4, 2017 / 8:44 pm

          Yeah, I can imagine, time will heal though as it always does πŸ™‚

          That sounds like fun though meeting your friend after that long! I will be excited to see the photos on Instagram!

  7. December 4, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

    • December 4, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you for your support!

  8. December 4, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Dear Lorna, it’s good to know how you are, and I am sure that we all have the same opinion. Blogs create a bond between us, and we know each other through images and posts – we have a circle, and we should support each other. That’s my humble opinion! I am no expert, but I suppose your cystitis was maybe not because of elimination, but because of the fact that through food elimination you got weak, this your immune system too and opportunistic infections come (that’s the name πŸ™‚ I am glad you are working on anxiety issues and sad that sometimes you can’t leave bed. About endoscopy – I once worked for banks and that was so awful – and I started having stomach pain. I had an endoscopy and I decided for throat anaesthesia – no needles. It’s not the best thing, but it finishes in 10 minutes and you leave the hospital walking and won’t remember you had an endoscopy in 5 min after it finishes, believe me. I am glad you keep positive, well done for the 3 years as self-employment. I tell you something, I know a blogger with perfect health who is so envious and such a bad spirit. I seldom say this, but that one deserves. She tries to pose as super rich and she has no penny. Obsessed with posing for a fake life. I admire your honesty to share with us what you are going through, and I am sure things will be much better soon! Hope you have a better week! Hugs!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    • December 5, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you for your support, you’re always so lovely. Truly. I might not have explained it right, but I meant I had cystitis before I cut out certain foods, so I’m certain the cystitis was caused by some foods that flared up my bladder. No infections were ever present, so it was inflammation and irritation.

      I remember you saying about the endoscopy with throat spray. That’s the one I would have if I did, but I’m terrified. I’ve never had any medical procedures in my life and it scares me. It’s something to consider though xx.

    • December 5, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you xx.

  9. Norman
    December 5, 2017 / 12:24 am

    Oh Lorna, you must not think you are being boring or needy, I love to hear how you are. You have been through so much for a long time and yet nobody seems to get you well. It doesn’t hurt to have a winge now and then, it probably helps when you are low.
    You write so openly about your very personal life that I feel I really do know you. I hope and pray that you can find a solution to your illness very soon and can have normal life. You carry on Lorna with hope we are all here for you xxx

    • December 5, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      Hi Norman, that’s really kind of you. Thank you so much! I really appreciate everyone’s support xxx.

  10. December 5, 2017 / 11:16 am

    I am so sorry to read about this. It is a hard thing when you can’t do the things other people around you do. And to have to deal with all the problems a bad health brings along. I really feel for you. I hope that it will get better for you!

    • December 5, 2017 / 1:26 pm

      Thank you so much, Nancy xx.

  11. Amie Rockett
    December 5, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    Hi LornaπŸ‘‹πŸΌ

    Yours is the first fashion blog I follow (and enjoy the posts) because you don’t do the whole Insta luxury lifestyle that you mentioned in your latest blog post. It’s refreshing to see content that isn’t all about fancy trips/airbrushed, tanned 6 packs, etc.

    Hope you have better luck in the new year with your health. It sucks when so many things are going wrong and you’re not getting answers – been there, done that.

    Anyway, your blog is amazing πŸ‘πŸΌ

    cheers x

    • December 5, 2017 / 1:30 pm

      Hi Amie,

      Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you to say that. It’s really nice to hear those kind of comments actually as they mean so much more to me than the ones about outfits or products (I appreciate every comment I get, but ones like that touch my heart). It’s always lovely to know I have lots of readers out there that genuinely care x.

  12. December 5, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re going through this. Also sorry to be a bore but you absolutely have to face the problem with needles.I myself have had numerous endoscopies and had to have 4 operations – it was not pleasant but delaying it would have been.. considerably worse. There are just some things you have to face up to. If you get a clean bill of health the relief will be worth the discomfort.

    They may be able to use gas, but in actual fact I found the stuff they would probably give you – midazolam – *extremely* pleasant, although my short term memory was slightly affected.

    • December 7, 2017 / 2:55 am

      I’ve had midazolam once, and it did a really good job of knocking me out for a couple of hours.

  13. December 6, 2017 / 2:23 am

    This is why you’re one of my all time favorite bloggers, Lorna! Your honesty is so refreshing even though I am so so sorry you are still having a hard time. I can definitely relate as having chronic health issues is so hard and discouraging especially if they can’t figure out what exactly is wrong with you. Stay strong. Much love,

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    • December 6, 2017 / 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much, Lee, I really appreciate that and it means so much to me xx.

  14. December 6, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time with your health at the moment Lorna. I’ve had stomach troubles in the past too, I had gallstones and had to have an operation to remove my gallbladder. I have a phobia of hospitals and anything medical and almost walked out (I was in a waiting room with lots of old ladies that didn’t help) but I’m so glad I had the operation as it done me the world of good. Not everything is always picture perfect and sometimes it’s nice to share the reality of what’s going on behind closed doors. Hope you feel better soon!
    Jaz xoxo
    http://www.thelifeofasocialbutterfly.co.uk/2016/07/san-francisco-city-by-bay_12.html

    • December 6, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      Gosh, my mum had gallstones too, she said they were awful pain. I’m glad you managed to get that sorted out xx.

  15. December 6, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Lorna, I have long enjoyed you and your work since you first learned of me years ago. All the while, I have appreciated you as a person, rather than just a great fashion blogger. Your personality and spirit are sweet. I have long adored what you stand for outside of putting together many outfits I either approved or not really approved. I can only hope times get better for you. You are a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart. I hope you are able to get over these hurdles that are limiting you. So allow me to extend you my best wishes and my loving support. Take care and be well, Lorna.

    johnbmarine.blogspot.com

    • December 6, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you, John. That’s really kind of you and I really appreciate your support and the regular inclusions in your Twitter mentions too! It’s kind!

  16. December 8, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    It’s so brave of you to share your struggles here dear. Blog can be a great outlet not just for your thoughts, but for support. I believe we have a community here that will look out for each other. I pray for your strength in this difficult times. Hugs and kisses from New York!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • December 9, 2017 / 1:22 am

      Thank you so much!

  17. December 10, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Hi Lorna. I’m very sorry to hear of all the trials you’ve had to face and the various struggles with your health. It’s understandable that this has taken a toll on you. It must be tough dealing with the kind of pain you describe, and hot having clear answers. You’ve shown great strength in dealing with these problems, while still working hard to earn a living from blogging. I just hope you’ll get answers, and in the future this will all be a thing of the past. What you said is very true, many people have the impression that fashion blogging equals a glamorous lifestyle. I always appreciate visiting your blog, and reading something real and truthful, alongside the fashion content.

    Wishing you a positive week ahead. I hope you manage to stay out of the cold and feel better very soon.

    Lots of love Saba xx

    http://www.trulymadlydeeplyfashion.blogspot.com

    • December 11, 2017 / 10:26 am

      Hi Saba! Thank you so much, I really appreciate how kind you are (as are all my readers) as it’s so nice to see so many genuine people out there when the world is so full of falseness. It means to much to me πŸ™‚ I always enjoy reading your comments πŸ™‚ I’m definitely trying to stay out of the cold as much as possible! I hope you’re well too! xx.

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)