Sometimes I like to combine a health update with things that inspire me or make me feel better. One of my previous updates included cutting most of my hair off in a way of creating a new start, it kinda worked I guess.
Battling with my health and being undiagnosed for far too long has left me feeling, at most times very dull, extremely low and lifeless. Dealing with regular chronic pain is definitely no fun. You can lose any glow about you and that’s why I thought I’d update you on my health whilst also walking you through my current makeup routine for spring. A subtle glow and fake freckles, easy, peasy. If the makeup side of things is what you’re keener on reading about, do continue to scroll on down, past my ramble and I’ll label it out for you as this will be long.
Although this update is way over due it will definitely be one to summarise a lot of things that have had an impact on me over the past few months and possibly explain a lot of my moaning on Instagram.
So, the last time I touched on my health, I was kinda mean and left you hanging on the fact that I made the decision to go private and see a well-respected Gastroenterologist at a clinic in Tunbridge Wells. Possibly the best decision I have ever made because I’ve finally been diagnosed. Although getting to that point, still wasn’t easy and I endured a fair bit.
After my first visit to the clinic, Dr Adam Harris immediately made me feel at ease although, in the waiting room, it was another story. Within the space of 15 minutes chatting away and him feeling my stomach he instantly ruled out IBD and Crohns. If I’m brutally honest I was quite disheartened. I would never wish any of those diseases on anyone, however, I’ve been battling with these stomach issues for so long now I was so sure that it was either of those diseases. Anyway, it wasn’t, and we were back discussing IBS. Being labelled with IBS especially for over 15 years makes me want to punch something. IBS is supposed to be manageable with various over the counter medication and/or through your doctor with similar medications. I’ve been on them all. These being antispasmodics, laxatives, antimotility medicines, low-dose antidepressants and I’ve even tried an ‘IBS trial’ on a high dose of Citalopram (antidepressant) where in some cases, has proven to tame IBS. No luck with that and it even made things worse, psychologically. Whilst trying all these medications and being poked and prodded when I was in and out of hospital I still tried to combine it with therapy. From CBT, art therapy and even equestrian therapy although I didn’t follow on with that as much as I would’ve liked to.
The consultation did lead onto the topic of IBS and I was ready, there and then, to either cry or punch something. I didn’t even want to think that I have just paid almost £200 to be told I have IBS. However, that wasn’t the case, well not really. He went on to say my symptoms and patterns were abnormal and that research over a few years now have been able to categorise IBS into groups and it seems I’m very mixed if IBS was still the case. I’ll go into detail but you might not want to read on.
Sometimes, I would go to the loo as normal, in the morning but spontaneously out of nowhere that evening would then experience chronic pain that locks me in a position where I’m either hunched over on the loo or on the floor. I could lift my top up and see my stomach moving, dipping in and out. It’s horrifying. I would experience pain that would come in waves and each time it would be a wave of shit, literally. Not easy to pass either. It would seem as if I was all of a sudden full of painful acid and it was wanting to come out either end. Charming, but it still made absolutely no sense as in my mind I’d be thinking, why am I experiencing this? I’ve already been to the loo today, I haven’t eaten anything dodgy and I’m not stressed. Why is this happening!? Fair enough when sometimes I’ve been in the position where I haven’t gone for days, I’d then almost expect the pain and discomfort but not to come out of nowhere especially when I thought everything seemed to be going ok and regular.
In turn, the whole experience of on and off chronic pain has made me into a little bit of a hermit crab that barely wants to get out of its shell. As I’ve said before, I’m not as bad but I can still fall into old habits where I struggle to do anything, therefore leaving me without a social life. Even wanting to jump in a car and go down to the gym and feel better about myself, for me, is almost impossible.
Now that I’ve gone into detail about my bowel habits, I’ll take you onto what happen towards the end of the consultation. Dr Adam Harris said it was either one of two things, a cousin of IBS, Pain Predominant IBS or Chronic Idiopathic Constipation. He recommended a simple test called, a Colonic Transit Marker Study. This is where you swallow two tablets each day for three days. Each day, inside the tablets, would have different shapes of radiopaque markers. On the sixth day I would then go in for an x-ray and then once receiving the results he would be able to diagnose me. How exciting!
I then stupidly decided to do this test through the NHS which created problems. Firstly, having to go back to the doctors for a referral for this specific test. Then waiting a few weeks for the hospital to receive the referral from my doctor. Then book the test in, which was actually really quick so no moaning need there. All I had to do was confirm my details for the test and at my convenience collect the tablets from the hospital and return on the sixth day for a walk in x-ray, very simple. What I wasn’t told was that it would take the x-ray team 10-14 days to write up the results and issue them back to the clinic. Looking back, doing this test privately would have saved a lot of time and faff but then I wouldn’t have gotten much change out of £500.
Therefore after two months of pussyfooting around the system, as well as waiting for Dr Adam Harris to come back from holiday, I booked in again to see him as a follow-up and finally got my results. £300 later and I now know I have… Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (clapping emoji.) So what next? I am now on and will be on for the rest of my life (I’m assuming) Lubiprostone, which is a very expensive drug that is only legal to receive on the NHS for this specific condition.
It’s a drug that was recently (back in August 2014) approved for the condition to help aid regular bowel movements. I was told that with this condition my bowel is basically very dehydrated and becomes somewhat lazy and unable to function properly. Lubiprostone is a drug that is combined with two controlled laxatives that promote movement within the bowel. The last drug I tried was quite similar and is called Linaclotide. This is a drug that is easily distributed and accessible for people with IBS constipation because it’s apparently quite cheap. This drug makes you go, I kid you not for me I was going all the time, which ends up being a really nasty side effect. Although I had a few funny encounters with this drug, it really wasn’t for me. Lubiprostone is and has been working so well, I sometimes have a little cry that I’m going to the loo like a regular person, how sad. I didn’t seem to appreciate that I actually wasn’t going enough and when I was it wasn’t a suitable amount, oh my lord I’m turning into Gillian McKeith!
Anywho, the only side effect I’m experiencing with Lubiprostone is sickness, really nasty sickness. It’s a tablet you take to twice a day, morning and night. You take it with food and in the morning, especially in the week when I’m working I tend to eat something light. This tablet, with me, doesn’t like that. To avoid sickness you need to be eating quite a starchy meal. That’s just not me, in the morning I can really struggle to eat, so for right now I’ve gone back to the doctors and been prescribed anti-sickness tablets which are working fine.
I’m not at all 100% by any means but I am so much better than I was. It doesn’t help that all through March I’ve contracted every single bug/viral infection going, hence the lack of posting but here I am and there was the explanation. I’ve been diagnosed, I’m on the right medication and starting to feel like a new person but still, one step at a time!
Moving onto my ‘goto’ glowy (even when you’re sick as a dog) look with added fake freckles for spring. Firstly, what you might be interested in getting would be a gradual facial tanner. I’m an all year round tanner kinda gal so I will always have colour, however when you’re cleansing your face daily, the colour definitely can go very quickly.
The St. Tropez (Naturals) gradual facial tanner is heaven. As I said, I do tan my face and although the tan fades quicker, this product helps to maintain a light colour and a glow. With summer right around the corner, we first face spring and this is such a lovely product to start using before you begin prepping for that heavier summer glow (which I have other products for.) This applies so effortlessly and leaves your skin with an obvious glow. To help with the application I use a stippling brush and buff the product into the skin. Remember that this does have a faint tanning agent so make sure to properly cleanse and tone your face for a flawless look.
Then moving onto my 5 product face, after applying the tanner so 6 in total if you will. As you can see, this is obviously a casual look, so very natural. If that isn’t for you, maybe just take a few tips on the products I use and see if they might work into your current routine?
bareMinerals is definitely my regular go to foundation. I don’t break out with it so using it on the regular as my go to works perfectly. At the weekend, I do sometimes turn to something liquidy and that has more coverage but that’s only when I’m doing something that involves a full face of makeup. This look is easy and what I go for in the week for work and suits me best.
Having the bareMinerals powder foundation applied over the tanner, it does tame a bit of glow whilst still peaking through over an even covered complexion. A very light coverage finish but a ‘your skin but better’ kinda look.
I’ve recently invested in a high-end bronzer as there is nothing worse than ‘contouring’ or shaping your face with the completely wrong colour for your skin tone and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m now avoiding that streaky look and not using colours that are either too warm or too muddy for my skin tone. I’ve finally found a perfect bronzer but that came at a price, which cost me £24 with MAC Skin Finish powder in Dark Tan but I’m in love. Pairing that with my Chanel blusher in 72 pulls through my natural, rosy cheek colour whilst adding a bit of shape and glow.
I do my eyebrows as normal, with an eyebrow pencil and sometimes brown powder and always set them with a clear gel. I love making them look bushy at the front for a bit of character and to avoid that ‘perfection’ look. As I don’t always wear eye makeup I put my extra efforts into my brows, very sad I know but I’ve really grown to love those hairy caterpillars. I’ve also recently experienced threading at my local, London Nail Company in Tunbridge wells and I’m blown away. I will never go back to waxing, never.
With everything all done and finished, to complete my recent look has been fake freckles. I never used to do this because I’d analyse and think that people would give me dodgy looks and that it wouldn’t look natural but I just don’t care anymore. I like the freckles look, it’s spring, so I’m going to draw some on! So if that’s for you, here are my tips and tricks.
Choosing the right freckle colour can be personal preference however I’ve judged it with my brow colour. I fill my brows in with the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown so therefore I do my freckles in the one down from that which is Hazel, a shade lighter. Always make sure your pencil is very sharp. There is nothing worse than dotting on freckles with a blunt or averagely sharp pencil, that’s where people will definitely start to notice that they really aren’t real. The next step is to not think about it too much, dot them on where you would normally get freckles whilst still making it quite random. Then on selected dots add another one next to it because I remember that when I do get freckles in the summer, some can come in pairs, so why not try that out? You want to aim for natural as possible for this look.
In the end, for me, it was very much trial and error. Whether you want to go bold, press down harder/darker colour or go for that really natural look and choose an even lighter colour and place dots on faintly, creating less obvious freckles. It’s entirely up to you but definitely, give it a go if it tickles your fancy. When the summer rolls around I’m definitely going to attempt a tutorial on multi-coloured freckles. Make makeup fun. I know I’m definitely done with what people might think of me because half of the time they probably aren’t thinking anything at all!
I’m again incredibly sorry if this was a bit too much for you but for the people that do stick around till there very end/or often check in I hope you now understand my almost months absence. I also hope you enjoyed the update and I hope that you were able to take something from this makeup look.
Peace and blessings, x
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