Snippets of my Life: Chronic Pain

Snippets of my Life: Chronic Pain

I have never been amazingly keen on going to the doctors so unless it is not something resolved by painkillers I don’t go. This is also why a few months ago, I spent 3 weeks with damaged tendons in my left foot before having to go to A&E after not being able to walk, but that is a completely different story for a different day. I basically have a high pain tolerance so unless it’s really killing me I won’t bother seeing anyone.

But recently I have discovered a reason to hate my doctors even more.

I have spent about 3 and a half years suffering from chronic abdominal pains and bloating. I was first experiencing these pains during GCSE’s and A-Levels and so the doctors put it down to stress. After about 3 separate visits they eventually diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and said I was experiencing pain and bloating due to the fact I was stressed. Which was understandable at the time. The doctors gave me the relevant medication and told me once I had finished education the pain will go.

At first, the medication actually worked, whether that was due to a placebo effect I will never know. But after a few months, the medication lost its effect; I increased the dosage and the cramps still didn’t go. So off to the doctors I went.

I was still doing my A Levels at this point, so they had suggested that nothing had changed in terms of my diagnosis and still believed I had IBS and that my pain was down to stress. The doctors gave me stronger medication and left it at that.

And the same thing happened; after a few months, the medication stopped working. Again, could potentially have been a placebo effect. At this point, I was almost finished with my A-Level exams and so knew that my pain should be gone soon anyway as I won’t be as stressed.

Well months went by I started working full time and I stopped any education or exams. But I was still in pain. I tried everything under the sun; taking the medication, not taking the medication, cutting out the rubbish from my diet, going to the gym…nothing worked.

A few months ago I had completely had enough of being in pain and not knowing what it was. I hated the unpredictability of it all; some days I’d be great and others not. I hated having to cancel plans on people last minute because I felt too shit. My physical health was starting to affect my mental health and some days I was in so much pain I didn’t want to leave the house.

I went back to the doctors and asked that I wanted to see an IBS specialist, I wanted to see someone with slightly more knowledge on the illness. The doctor there denied my request. She said whilst what I was describing sounded like IBS she wanted to do a couple of tests to make sure it was definitely IBS I had.

Angry was an understatement. If tests had to be done to confirm I had IBS why weren’t they done 3 years ago when I was originally diagnosed. She didn’t particularly have an answer for that. She suggested that what I was describing could also be just a food allergy. Whilst I was still relatively angry I decided to take on her advice of doing a food diary and working out what was making my stomach pain worse.

I was noticing a couple of food groups that seemed to give me stomach cramps but to confirm any theories I had I went to see a Nutritional Therapist and paid her to give me a food allergy test.

To cut a long story short I am actually allergic to milk and wheat which means I have to live a dairy-free and gluten-free diet. It sounds like a lot of effort and it is a lot of effort but being able to go about my day no longer in pain is the best feeling in the world. I also think if anyone is experiencing unexplained abdominal pain to see if it’s a food allergy as they seem to be the most common thing to explain that kind of pain.

I am annoyed that I couldn’t have worked out this allergy sooner. And I’m more annoyed that the doctors placed a diagnosis on my forehead just because I was a little stressed. I’m not doubting that I wasn’t stressed I just knew I wasn’t stressed enough to be causing my body that many problems.

I wanted to share this story because 1. I’m British and I love to complain and 2. To let everyone know that doctors aren’t necessarily always going to be right. Whilst they may study for 8 or 9 years each individual person is different. So maybe my symptoms were IBS in another patient, but they weren’t in me.

Gracie x

My Book: “Letters to my Past”

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

Are you Male, Female or Offended?

Are you Male, Female or Offended?

The whole point of a census is to count all the people living in the UK monitoring basic information like race, age, and sex.

But apparently, people are getting offended and upset by being asked their gender. According to those who are either transgender or non-binary asking for someone’s gender is irrelevant and intrusive. I think it would be more intrusive if they came round your house and pulled your trousers down and went “Ah this one has balls”. Being asked to tick a box isn’t exactly the most intrusive way of finding out the answer to that question. 

In order to offend fewer people they had thought to offer an ‘Other’ option, however, that got ruled out as it would make transgender or non-binary people feel left out or not part of the community.  

The other suggestion was to have a two section question; asking firstly about your biological sex and then secondly asking what your gender was. Which in short is asking what you were born as and what you feel you are. This was also ruled as it was seen as too confusing. In all honesty, once we start to ask people how they feel about things we are opening a whole new can of worms.

“I earn X amount but I feel like I should earn more”

However, if you get offended by having to tick a box maybe you should seek professional help. One answer on a census doesn’t define you or who you are as a person. Society nowadays get so offended by anything and suddenly we can’t tell any jokes in fear of offending at least one individual in the world. The Office of National Statistics doesn’t particularly care how you feel they just want to know if there is a chance of you getting pregnant. This would then help work out how many midwives to train among other things.

If we can’t ask people questions because of the fear of offending them then we can’t have a census. If it is discriminatory to ask people about their gender then it should also be discriminatory to ask about race, occupation or even where you live.

At what point do we stop getting so politically correct?

Gracie x

My Book: “Letters to my Past”

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

Writer’s Block Is A Bitch

Writer’s Block Is A Bitch

I have been writing on my blog for nearly a year now. Over that time I have changed certain things I do; how often I write, what I write about, where I get my inspiration from. Etc. For example, when I first started I wanted to write every day and I did for a while. But I realised I wasn’t writing anything worth reading and I’d feel guilty every time I missed a day.

Now, I try to post at least three times a week; on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. Most of the time I create three posts which I’m happy and I rarely struggle when it comes to content.

However, and I think I can say this on behalf of all creative people, there are days where it doesn’t matter what you do you don’t know what to create.

I can sit at my desk, hyped up on caffeine and be ready to write. Be motivated to get the majority of the work already done in that one evening. But your mind is empty; you either can’t think of anything to write or the topics you do think of aren’t worth filling up a page with.

And suddenly I think “oh shit am I about to go and work in the wrong industry?”. Because if I am struggling to write for my little online blog 3 times a week surely I would struggle with a full-time job in writing.

I realise that isn’t the case. Every writer gets writer’s block, it is more how you decide to move on from it. Normally, a lot of what I write about is topics that make me angry. As bad as it sounds I find it a lot easier to write about my opinion and it is easier to work out what my opinion is when something irritates me.

So sometimes if I can’t think of content it is most likely because nothing has made me mad. Which is good for me but bad for my blog. If I get a writer’s block one of the first things I do is come up with other ways to create content.

For example, today I am not angry. I am not upset. I am not emotional about anything. This selection of words is my uninterrupted brain flow. I don’t normally do this, just sit and write and see what my brain creates. I am normally organised and plan what I want to write.

Sometimes I get so annoyed at myself for not producing content that I have to walk away; whether that be a day, a few days or a week. I hate doing it but it is always the best thing for me.

Who knows maybe by the time this gets posted my writer’s block will have gone. And I don’t know why I am telling you any of this. As a blogger, I am allowed a life outside my online persona and sometimes that life can take over.

And this isn’t me saying sorry because I know I don’t have to be. This merely me allowing you to see inside my head. Well part of it anyway.

Gracie x

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

My book: “Letters to my Past”

Nobody Cares About You

Nobody Cares About You

One thing I have noticed in my life is that nobody really cares.

Compared to the universe we are a speck of dust. Whilst you may have close friends and family who take interest in various parts of your life, they don’t care about you as much as you think they do. While it may be harsh, unfortunately, the world doesn’t revolve around you.

A lot of people, including myself, struggle with the fear of failing. They struggle with anxiety and wondering what people will think of them. They are obsessed with other people’s approval and as a result, take that approval to equal their self-worth.

But, if no one truly cares, then it doesn’t matter if you fail or succeed in life. Because the only person who is affected by it is you and as cliché as it sounds, as long as you put the effort in it’s not your fault you failed.

Personally, I have avoided blog posts or the idea of writing a fictional novel because it looked difficult and therefore gave me a chance to fail. But my blog and any other writing I do is for my benefit. Yes, there are people who read my work. There are people who have commented positive things about it, there are also people who have commented not so positive things about it. But at the end of the day if I wasn’t happy with the content I wrote it wouldn’t have gone on the blog.

No one cares and no one remembers your mistakes. In actual fact, they are more likely to remember times when you have succeeded; as human beings are jealous creatures.

You may be thinking if no one cares why should I bother trying to succeed, after all, I only do it to impress people? Whatever goal you are working on currently make sure it is something that will make you happy rather than anyone else.

And if you mess up it doesn’t matter because no one cares. Neither should you.

Gracie x

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

My Book: “Letters to my Past”

Review: 13 Reasons Why

Review: 13 Reasons Why

For those who haven’t yet seen “13 Reasons Why” and want to, I would click away now as I can’t promise that there will be any spoilers. Or if you do continue to read you can’t get mad at me for I did warn you.

“13 Reasons Why” is a 13 episode drama on Netflix about how Hannah Baker, a 17-year old girl, takes her own life. Before she died she recorded 13 audiotapes each one blaming her death on someone else and their actions.

I have quite a short attention span and so if a programme is going to have hour long episodes they have to be good, otherwise I get bored. “13 Reasons Why” definitely ticked that box.

When I choose to watch a programme, I want it to make me think. For example, in this case, the programme was about the 13 reasons why she wanted to kill herself. I’ve always wondered what it would have to take to push someone over the edge. People assume it is one traumatic experience and then you’re done. But this programme showed that it is normally a number of little things one after another. I’m sure if Hannah only experienced one or two of the reasons out of the 13 she wouldn’t have killed herself. I also believe if she had experienced all 13 reasons but over a longer space of time she may not have killed herself. I think the majority of people also believe that you have to be mentally ill before you even think about killing yourself. But even the happiest of people could kill themselves if put in the wrong situations.

It was a good, short programme and I don’t think giving it a second season would work. Would it then be called 26 reasons why? Or would we be shown another person’s list of reasons why they killed themselves? There is surely only so many reasons why one would kill themselves.

The tapes start off with Hannah saying that the reason that the person has the tapes is because they are one of the reasons that she killed herself. I believe if someone decides to kill themselves; it is their actions and therefore their fault. Whilst there may have been people in her life that treated her like shit to the point of pushing her to commit suicide, none of them walked up to her and gave her the razor blades themselves. It was all her doing.

Some of the reasons were typical secondary school drama, things that you experience whether you want to or not. Some of the reasons were not everyday problems and I think the mixture of the two would cause anyone grief.

This TV show also showed that sometimes the ones who you love can be the ones who hurt you the most. Clay was reason number 11 and after watching it I’m still not entirely sure he should have been a reason why. Out of everyone, he was the only one who was genuine to Hannah and wasn’t just hanging out with her for his own benefit. Hannah told him to fuck off and he did. She had no reason to get upset for he only did what she stated she wanted. What people tend to do sometimes is they don’t necessarily say what they really mean but still expect you to know what they want. It is stupid and causes problems, which is why I am probably the most honest person you will ever meet.

I understand it is obviously a fictional story but I believe the ending was unrealistic. If a person is truly suicidal I think their parents or teachers or counsellors would have worked it out. I don’t believe you stroll along all happy and out of nowhere end up in a bathtub full of your blood. I think it is a state you gradually put yourself into and if anyone cared even a tiny bit they would have worked out and at least tried to prevent what Hannah did. The counsellor wasn’t asking the right questions and the ones he was asking were very vague.

It is also very difficult to admit when you have been raped or sexually assaulted. I believe someone has been raped or sexually assaulted if they didn’t say yes. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t say no for she never said yes either. I don’t think the counsellor in real life would have been almost blaming her for getting raped.

Besides that, it was a good show to watch and I believe it will make people more aware of suicide and possibly preventing it. The show also tried to suggest that being kinder to people will prevent suicide, however, I disagree. I could be the nicest person to someone if they have it in their head that they want to slit their wrists it doesn’t matter what I say, for they shall do it regardless.

Why Do We Do This?

Why Do We Do This?

After living for nineteen years you see a lot of behaviours that people do that make no sense.

Imagine this scenario, you are out for dinner and you order your food. You wait for your food and start eating. However, you can’t even manage to swallow the first mouth full because it is cold. It isn’t lukewarm and could probably go unnoticed, it is stone cold.   Funnily enough I didn’t realise I had to mention to the waitress that I wanted my chicken burger hot.

The waiter or waitress comes back and asks you how your food is doing. Now, the majority of the UK will do the usual; say it is fine when in reality it could not be any more further away from being fine.

However, if you’ve ever had a meal with my dad; you’ll end up having it sent back three times and still get the meal for free. The only reason he does that is because he’s Scottish. Whilst English people are taught to be polite, Scottish people are taught not to give a fuck.

You are going to have to pay either way, why not pay for something you can at least appreciate?

Most of us, live our lives wanting to avoid confrontational events or arguments with strangers, especially when it is subjective. In this situation, it is your word against the employee on whether the food is cold. Most of time they will just get you a new meal to avoid any problems with their manager.

You could even be eating a salad made of shit and still say everything is fine. It is why a lot of people tend to order the same meals when they visit a restaurant more than once. They know they will enjoy the meal and there won’t be any need to cause any problems.

For those who have read previous blog posts or know me personally, you’ll know I tend to be quite honest. However, my honesty can make me come across as someone who is quite rude but I still have a filter like everyone else and I don’t say unnecessary things that are going to hurt people. I tend to say how it is, and in today’s society, that can offend a lot of people. Even if it isn’t directed at them.

I’ve been determined to be honest in a world full of liars.

 

So Judge, What Makes Me Vulnerable?

So Judge, What Makes Me Vulnerable?

For those of you who haven’t heard, yet another aggressive man gets away with domestic violence towards his wife because of bullshit reasons. Mustafa Bashir beat his wife, Fakhara Karim, with a bat during a jealous outburst and on a second occasion poured bleach down her throat. But none of that matters apparently because he got away with it. Judge Mansell believed that he wouldn’t be given jail time because she was not vulnerable.

What makes things so much worse is the reason he gives for the wife not being vulnerable. Apparently, being intelligent and having a network of friends makes someone not vulnerable.

I thought this was obvious but I shall point it out anyway, biologically men are built different to women and do tend to be a lot stronger physically. Now, this isn’t me being sexist. This is fact, men are stronger physically than women. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how smart or popular a woman is, if a man is pouring bleach down her throat there isn’t a lot she can do. Even if you were as smart as fucking Einstein, you’re still pretty much screwed.

And people wonder why there are so many domestic violence stories that never get told about. The victims are probably scared of being told that it was their fault. Every time someone gets away with crimes involving sexual or physical abuse to another person for stupid reasons, people are less likely to confide in anyone when it happens to them. Next thing you know the judge says that her clothing was giving the impression she was asking for bleach to be poured down her throat.

This case is giving out quite a dangerous message. First, it is suggesting that if someone is intelligent and has friends, they can’t ever be sexually or physically abused. Whether or not a person has friends or intelligence doesn’t make a difference. If someone is put in a situation where they can’t escape and there is a possibility of being harmed, either physically or emotionally, then that person is vulnerable. This case will also make it hard for victims in the future as they will feel that the authorities won’t believe them.

There are still some myths about domestic violence that people believe. It isn’t a certain gender or race that is targeted; it can happen to anyone. It also doesn’t matter what social class or how much money a family has, again it can happen to anyone. I promise you this, if something like this has happened to you it isn’t your fault. It doesn’t matter whether you have friends, are smart or are wearing bright pink hot pants; it is never your fault.