Monday, 14 April 2014

It's not just a blog. It's a lifeline




For many bloggers their blog is mostly something they do for fun, a hobby if you like. However, for me it is so much more than that. It's a lifeline. 
Initially I started my blog to give me something to do in a boring bedbound crisis. Spending all day everyday stuck indoors unable to do much because of chronic illness soon becomes incredibly tedious and with little to take your mind off the fact your life has been swept away from under your feet, you have to find a way to escape that reality for your own good. Starting a blog seemed like an ideal setup because I could do it from my laptop, from my bed or sofa. I didn't know just how much of an important part of my life it would become back then.

Pre chronic illness, I was a very sociable person. I'd say I was very much a people person and I was always out and about doing things. Now that I am mostly housebound or bedbound I'm not getting the opportunity to socialise or meet new people. I've not made a new friend in 'real life' in several years, since the offset of M.E but I have however, made plenty of friends online thanks to blogging and social media. Some of these friends have been better friends than people I know in 'real life' and without you guys, I'm sure I would be feeling very lonely.

The Internet is a great way for me to stay in touch with the real world. With so many blog categories out there I can do much of what I would do in real life. I can window shop, people watch, attend a cooking class, see and visit places in the world (travel bloggers how I envy you) and most importantly of all interact and talk to people!

I'd like you to imagine yourself in the shoes of myself and many other people living with debilitating illnesses - your living your life, happily doing your thing when suddenly you get so sick that you can't even move, you think it will pass, but it doesn't, it is still there years on and during all of that time your life has dramatically changed and you've lost a lot of friends in the process. You can't work, you are rarely able to go out. Now think about how big an impact this would have on your emotional stability, It'd be pretty tough wouldn't it? People who get the flu for a week or two comment on how they are 'going out of their mind' That is why a 'virtual life' is better than no life at all, which is effectively what I would have if it wasn't for the Internet and all it's wonders.

So thank you to all of the friends I've made online the past few years, thank you to everyone who reads my blog, comments and offers support. Unless you are in the same boat, you honestly have no idea how appreciated you are.

x Hayley-Eszti



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Images in this post sourced from weheartit.com

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Lipstick Tuesday | Calling all spoonies

Calling all spoonie sisters! Tuesday has fast become one of my favourite days of the week. Why you ask? Because every Tuesday is now a lipstick Tuesday!

Lipstick Tuesday is a wonderful idea which was thought up by lovely ladies Anna (www.lifeintheslowlanewithme.blogspot.co.uk) and Cara, for sick chicks worldwide to have one day a week where we can put on some lipstick and feel human and girly, even if we are bedbound or housebound and in reality feel horrendous. For many of us, venturing out in the real world is not an everyday thing, nor is getting dressed up and making ourselves look and feel glamorous. I know a lot of spoonies (click here if you are unfamiliar with this term) miss this normal and fun part of being a female so why just restrict lipstick wearing to rare outings? We all like to have something to look forward to, and we all like to look in the mirror and not actually feel scared of the ghostly looking creature staring back, which is why this idea is great in so many ways. 

It doesn't matter what illness you have, the severity of it, where you live, what language you speak, or whether you are male of female (everyone to their own hey!) - we can all unite through the power of lippy and brighten up our days and our lip colour. There's already a regular bunch of us participating, but we'd like some more amazing and strong sick girls challenging the norm to join us! Upload your photo on instagram or twitter, and make sure to use the hashtag #lipsticktuesday so we can all see your submissions!

I hope to see some new recruits! :)



   

Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Positivity +2

Today's post is the second in my positivity series (first post can be found here) Recently my health issues have really been stressing me out, I don't seem to be moving forward at all, and it's so hard to stay positive when your life is on hold and you so desperately want it back. Chronic pain, and the symptoms attached to ME can have a tendency to eat away at you, and release a smoke machine in your mind making it hard to see any light. I don't want to pretend I'm the most positive person in the world, because I'm not, but all things considered I think I'm giving it a good go! Staying positive is like sticking to a good diet, or using your gym membership, you need to train your mind to allow it to be natural instinct. It takes time to get into a routine with it and there will always be days where it is harder, but it will get easier the more you use positive thinking as a tool.
I definitely need my positive energy boosted a little at the moment, and  in case you do too here are some things that might help your mind smile a little.





































































If you know any good ways to maintain a positive outlook, let me know in the comment section, I could use some tips. Do you consider yourself a positive person?

Lots of love and positive vibes,
Hayley-Eszti



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Wigs and weave

















































































Having a friend who makes and works with wigs comes in pretty handy when you have an illness which causes extreme exhaustion, meaning you rarely get the chance to play around and have some fun with your hair without causing a burn out! I had a super fun time being real life hair doll for my friend and playing about with all of the different looks. I used to love trying new hair styles and regularly mixing it up, but these days I don't have the energy for that which made this 10x more fun. The little girl within me has never grown out of lusting over and dreaming of having the perfect head of hair, so I jump at any chance to spruce up my Barnett. I really like the light brown wig, and the long blonde one made me feel like a doll. Which one do you like?
Check out my friends work here he's amazing at what he does, and makes a lot of his wigs from scratch, pretty nifty huh!

Hayley-Eszti x



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Meet Barney!



Meet the newest member of the family, Barney, AKA MR adorable. He has been living with my Auntie and Uncle for 4 years, but sadly he started fighting with their other dog so it was the best thing for them to be separated before it got ugly, so we thought he should come and live with us so we know he will have a good home and we can keep him in the family. He is such a lovely, affectionate dog and loves cuddles, he is going to be the best company! We haven't had a dog since our dog of 15 years passed away a few years ago (despite my best efforts to persuade my Mum to get another furry friend) so finally our home feels complete again. I'm sure you will be seeing more of this little guy on the blog, my phone is already full of a ton of photos, he is such a poser!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend, just a short post from me today as I'm recovering from travelling to Bedford to visit the family and pick up Barmy Barney so I'm not feeling too great, but thankful I managed the trip.
Have a great week lovely readers :)

x Hayley-Eszti



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Saturday, 15 March 2014

My lumbar puncture experience



I've had a few requests to share my experiences with various tests and ordeals I have had to go through since getting ill, to help get an official diagnosis, and also further tests to help rule out or discover which ever the case may be, any additional problems. I will share my experiences with the tests so if anyone is about to undergo any of them, they should know what to expect and how to prepare to make it as easy and as comfortable as you can.

I will start the series with the lumbar puncture.

What is a lumbar puncture?

A lumbar puncture is a medical procedure where a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine to look for evidence of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system.



My personal experience with the lumbar puncture

Without a doubt, the lumbar puncture was the most horrific most painful experience of my life, and I think of myself as being quite tough. Considering when I had it done I was 'out of it' and mostly completely unaware of what was going on. I have no memory of the night, but I can remember the lumbar puncture, although I wish I didn't. I was in Spain at the time and was rushed into hospital with my first seizure, they thought I was having a stroke. They carried out the procedure and I wasn't under any local anaesthetic, so for me it was pure, although I'm told normally it is done under general anaesthetic. Also, to add to the ordeal, the team of about seven doctors were finding it very difficult to get a reading, which meant I had to have the needle injected around six times. I was screaming and balling like a baby, I'm ashamed to say. It's not like me to make a kick and fuss like that, but every time they said told me I had to go through it again, I naturally like anyone in so much pain begged them no. I was in a bed only divided by a curtain, so the poor people in the department had to hear me, and my poor boyfriend must have felt so helpless, I feel bad people had to hear that.

Following the test, I was admitted into hospital and was not allowed to sit up or stand for a few days, and when I did have to for reasons like using the toilet I was so sick, and had the worst headache I have ever experienced. This is because the cerebrospinal fluid within the spinal canal is low, and you are unbalanced. The fluid was leaking through a hole in my spine for about one week. I had an IV bag full of caffeine, and the nurses kept giving me coffee, because they recommend high levels of caffeine helps decrease the pain and after effects once the procedure has been carried out. Every time I was sick, it tasted of coffee (a really horrible cheap coffee just to add to it) I haven't been able to drink coffee since, which might be a blessing in disguise as coffee is not the best drink in the world for us!
















Will my experience be as bad as this?

Since I had the test done, and having researched more into it, I believe generally the procedure isn't as uncomfortable as mine was. If you have one done in an emergency situation like I did, chances are it will be worse, but if you know in advance you will have one done, you will be given better pain relief beforehand and you won't need to be admitted into hospital. Also bare in mind I had the lumbar puncture done whilst abroad in Spain, so certain things will have been done differently. The experience of the Doctor doing the procedure will make a difference, an experienced doctor will mean a better experience for you. It makes me wonder if my Doctor was doing it for the first time! Knowing my luck he/she probably was!

My advice

If you know you will be having a lumbar puncture done, go in and be brave. If it is planned ahead it should be better for you anyway. Stock up on caffeine, and drink lots of it! Lay down as much as you can, do not sit up for anything you don't need to, you might also want to do your business in a bed pan for a few days, not ideal I know but peeing in a bowel is nothing compared to the discomfort you could experience just from standing up for less than a minute. Also consider using a wheelchair upon leaving the hospital, and if you can lay down in the car lay down! 

The lumbar puncture is a big, important procedure, and if the results show any faults they could be life saving. It shouldn't be feared. Once it's done it's done, so the sooner it's over the better. The best of luck to anyone about to have it done, hopefully the results come back as normal.

x Hayley-Eszti



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here

Monday, 10 March 2014

Argan oil hair product review













I've not done a review on here before, but after using various argan oil products for a couple of months, I thought I would. I bleached my hair from black to a light brown blonde colour in November, and as it was being raved about in the hair salon by the staff I decided to take the professionals advice and give it a try to help avoid the inevitable post bleaching dryness and to generally give my hair some TLC.
The products I bought were all in an offer for just a few pounds each so I had to get my hands on a bargain, especially as I hadn't tried any argan oil products before and didn't know how I would find them. 

Argan oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the argan tree, which is native to Southwestern Morocco. Often refereed to as 'liquid gold' generally I think the product/s within recent years have been growing in popularity and are fast becoming a favourite by both professionals and consumers. 





Argan Oil Hair Mask

After bleaching my locks I knew I would need to apply a deep conditioning hair mask once a week. The mask has a thick consistency and is rich in protein which is essential for damaged hair.
Application: I completely cover my hair in the mask being quite generous with it so as to ensure all the hair is covered. I put a plastic bag on my head (hairdresser tip! It helps to lock in heat for a deeper condition) and then wrap a towel over the plastic bag. I leave it on for an hour or sometimes even overnight depending on how tired I am, and how badly my hair needs some TLC. After I wash it out my hair feels lovely, soft and smooth, and after I had been using it for a couple of weeks I was starting to notice a considerable difference and my hair felt stronger.
This mask lasted me about two and a half months which is brilliant for how much I use a week, and how much it actually costs! After washing off the hair mask it recommends applying a little bit of normal conditioner on the ends. I tend to use the argan oil conditioner (see below) just to emphasise the whole argan thing going on, and they compliment each other well. 


Argan Oil Heat Proof Spray

We all know heat can damage our hair. I don't use much heat on my hair, but when I do I want to make sure I am protecting it as much as I can. For me heat defence sprays are all pretty much the same, but the good thing about this spray is it is long lasting, and smells nice. It contains argan oil extract and protein, so it helps give your hair a few extra nutrients when you apply it, which can only be a good thing. Out of all the heat defence sprays I've used in the past, this one has become one of my favourites.


Argan Oil Conditioner

For a conditioner, this one does the job just fine. I like to use quite a lot of conditioner on the ends of my hair, and for that reason it didn't last that long as the bottle is quite small, but I'd use it again. Considering it was only a few pounds it is of pretty good quality, although I would also want to use a higher quality or branded conditioner during the week, as I feel solely using this conditioner all the time isn't quite enough.


Pure Oil Hair Treatment

So this is probably the most used argan oil product. Mr Popular. I like to use this product generously on the ends of my hair where it needs extra attention and applying it before I sleep to give my hair chance to absorb it and see the benefits the next day. Out of all of the products mentioned in this post this is the one I like the best and have found the most difference after using. The ends of my hair have become stronger, less frizzy and more manageable.  The oil is rich in vitamin D so If I haven't washed my hair in a few days or if it is particularly dry or corpse it soon sorts that out. 
Application: It can be applied to both wet and dry hair as a treatment or a finishing product to add a bit of shine, but using on dry hair can make it look greasy and oily if you apply too much (funny that huh!) Apply 2-3 pumps into your hands and rub into the middle down to the ends of your hair. The good thing is that it is applied via a pump so you avoid some serious mess and everything getting completely covered in oil, which would not be good.
This oil has lasted me a good few months so it is long lasting and good value, I'm really happy with it and will probably continue using it for a long time.




I'd definitely recommend argan oil products if you haven't tried them before. There isn't a strong scent to the products, they have a nice subtle fresh and natural scent which I like and it doesn't overpower. I now see what all the fuss and hype is about about argan oil, and considering the brands I have reviewed in this post are more of the cheap and cheerful variety, you would probably find even more benefits when using a slightly higher quality argon oil product. The products featured in this post can be found in most high street drugstores in the UK, I purchased mine from Savers.

Have you tried argan oil products before? How have you found them?

x Hayley-Eszti




*I have not been sponsored or gifted the products in this post. It was my own decision to review them and I am not receiving anything for doing so*



Twitter: @hayleyszucs     Instagram: @hayley_eszti     Bloglovin: here