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

Is the New iPhone Worth it?

Is the New iPhone Worth it?

For those who don’t live under a rock you may have noticed Apple released three new phones; iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X. Apple struggle with numbers ever since their first model where they started at number 3 so apparently the iPhone 9 won’t exist. I work in a phone shop so whenever a new phone is released I have to know basic information about it in order to sell it. And can I just say Apple are making it harder each year to sell their new products. And when customers come up to the counter and ask questions about the new iPhone I could be honest but instead, I have to make up some believable bullshit.

To be honest I’m sure I could say the only way to charge the new iPhone is by sticking it up your arsehole and you’d still buy it.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are basically the same as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus besides a couple features. Apple have decided to make the back of the phone glass as well so not only does the phone attract fingerprints like there is no tomorrow but when you drop your phone you will have twice the amount of damage and therefore twice the amount of cost to fix it. You will also get to see your sad disappointed face on both sides of the cracked phone.

The new iPhone 8 is more powerful than the 7, however, Apple have actually made the battery life worse because the people who buy Apple products don’t complain enough about the battery life. The megapixels on the camera haven’t actually been improved; it is the same as in the iPhone 6s. So, whilst they have improved features on the camera you won’t actually be getting any clearer of an image.

The iPhone X which isn’t actually out until the beginning of November will start at a small loan of a grand to buy, and that is only the 64gb version let alone the 256gb version. Now I understand there are people out there who can warrant and afford to spend £1000 on a phone so for those people, I shall explain if it is actually worth it.

The iPhone X is very similar to the new Samsung S8 (£689) and S8 Plus (£779), in the fact they got rid of the home button so there is more space for the screen. However, one trick Apple missed out on is that they only made one size of the iPhone X so for customers who like the larger screen they will have to sacrifice that feature if they want the iPhone X.

One feature that the iPhone X has that the Samsung S8 and S8 Plus doesn’t is facial recognition. This basically means you can open your phone with your face because that is how lazy we have all got now apparently. It does also mean looking like you are taking a selfie every time you open your phone; which is just embarrassing as no one actually wants to be caught taking a selfie.

And it is really easy; you just scan your face once when you’re wearing makeup, then again when you’re not, then again when you get your hair cut, then again when you lose that weight for your holiday and then again when that dickhead breaks up with you and you gain that weight again. But yeah easy stuff.

Whilst this new feature is exciting is it worth the extra £300? Definitely not.  

Gracie x

My Book: “Letters to my Past”

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

 

 

Being Alone is Okay

Being Alone is Okay

I have never been a huge lover of other people. Some I can tolerate more than others but mostly I prefer to be by myself.

Before you ask, no I’m not sad by myself nor do I feel lonely by myself.

People assume that being alone is a negative thing or a problem that needs to be fixed. When in reality it isn’t even a problem in the first place. Whilst we need some social interaction, we also need some alone time.

When I say alone time I’m not talking about being lonely. Being alone and feeling lonely are two different things. Feeling alone is a positive mind set whilst feeling lonely is a negative one. Being lonely normally means you feel you need other people to fill a void in you.

For those who know me, I have been single for the last couple months now after being in a 2 and a half year relationship. It’s been great, for one I’ve had more money but also I have had more alone time. Break ups are never easy and I’m not saying I was able to walk away from it without a little pain but after all that time with someone always being there; it is peaceful to be alone. Some people find breakups more difficult than others and just because someone is able to move on quicker than others doesn’t mean they are a bad person or were never “in love”.

Being alone is seen as socially acceptable in certain circumstances; such as having a beverage in a coffee shop, going to the gym or travelling on public transport. But suddenly seen as not socially acceptable when you start going shopping by yourself or eating by yourself.

At the end of the day, I would rather be alone than surround myself with people who didn’t care about me or who made me feel down about myself.

If you have read up to this section of the post congratulations. For those of you who possibly care you may have noticed that this is the first blog post in about 2 weeks; read the previous blog post to work out why that is. I have also decided to maintain this blog I am only going to write once a week rather than three times. I will most likely be posting every Wednesday from now on, however, you can either read my past blog entries or get yourself a copy of my book if you miss me that much!

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”

I am an Extroverted Introvert

I am an Extroverted Introvert

Like with most personality traits there is a scale when it comes to introversion and extroversion. Some people are definitely either one or the other but some people are a bit of both.

Don’t tell me I can’t be both, I mean I’m already bi so I obviously have a thing with not making decisions.

An ambivert is someone who has the combination of both introvert and extrovert characteristics. The fact there is a definition for this must mean it’s a thing as well.

Here are a few examples of why I believe I’m an extroverted introvert:

  1. Whether my evening consists of going out for drinks with a few mates or ordering pizza and watching Netflix alone, I will enjoy both options equally. It does also depend on my mood as I may be more inclined to do one than the other.
  2. Introverts tend to find socialising emotionally draining, whereas with me there are some people where I can feel physically exhausted from talking to them for 5 minutes. However, there are some people I could talk to for days and I would never feel drained.
  3. There are times where I can be with a group of people and be completely quiet the entire time and sometimes I can be the loudest one in the room.
  4. I don’t actually mind meeting new people. Although I’d probably prefer hanging out with people I already know quite well.
  5. Whilst I can do small talk I secretly hate it. I can’t be bothered with all this “How are you and how was your weekend” bullshit. In all honesty, I don’t care about your weekend and I know you don’t care about mine.
  6. I love my alone time like any other introvert, however, after too much alone time, I can either feel bored or lonely.
  7. I can be a good listener but I also appreciate it when someone listens to my endless rants.

It is basically all about balance so some days I will be a bit more introverted and some days I will be more extroverted. It also depends on my mood. But if you’ve felt that you have never been able to put into yourself in one category or the other it may be because you’re an ambivert.

Gracie x

My Book: “Letters to my Past”

Facebook: facebook.com/graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Instagram: @graciehemphill

 

 

What Happens When You Think You’re Attractive

What Happens When You Think You’re Attractive

There is this unwritten social rule that suggests that if someone gives you a compliment you have two choices on how to respond:

  1. Deny anything they say
  2. Say thanks and accept the compliment

Apparently agreeing with the person makes you a narcissist. Especially for girls, we are expected to be beautiful but not know it. We are meant to be all these great things but act as though we are worthless.

Suddenly, as soon as we agree with the compliment men tend to get angry and take back what they have just said. They may even get to the point of giving you an insult instead. Because what is the point in telling me I’m attractive if I already know? Just because I agree with what you said doesn’t make it any less true.

Now I decide to agree with what you said I’m suddenly full of myself.

We live in a society where men are believed to be these overconfident walking pieces of art and women are little insecure school girls who depend on a man to make her feel good about herself.

What really makes me laugh and something I will never understand is when women give other women compliments. As an automatic reaction, we will give ourselves unrealistic insults instead of accepting praise. Suddenly, we all become obese, ugly whores. Suddenly, if you agree you’re the over confident bitch of the friendship group that everyone is green with envy over. For those of you who don’t understand what girls are like when it comes to compliments from other girls this video explains it all.

Moral of the story, whether it is men or women we are not allowed to accept compliments.

It makes us arrogant if we agree with your compliments but it is also attention seeking if we constantly deny them all. So, what are we meant to do?

Another thing to bear in mind is that if someone’s comments on you or your appearance make you feel uncomfortable, you don’t owe them a thank you. You don’t owe them anything.

Isn’t it crazy it is more socially acceptable to walk around self-loathing yourself than to accept compliments?

Gracie x

Facebook: graciehemphill98

Twitter: @gracievhemphill

Intsagram: @graciehemphill