Saturday, 22 November 2014

Psoriasis : Things People Say

Things people say about my psoriasis: 
Some helpful, some not so helpful. 
  • Are you Stressed? 
  • What's happened to your nose?
  • I have this cream, trust me it will work.
  • Have you tried [insert random vegetable / fruit ] face mask.
  • Are you allergic to something?
  • Change your washing powder.
  • Change you pillow.
  • Wash your bed sheets at over 80 degrees to get rid of the bugs.
  • Treat your mattress with a special UV Hoover lamp. (Hoover lamp was left with me to try it out.)
  • You have to tried Hijama / cupping. 
  • Is it related to your hormones? Go back on the pill. 
More about my psoriasis story here

I'm still considering the hijama, I also think the pill is likely to help. I didn't change my pillow but I did wash my sheets at 80 degrees. It's not my washing powder, I'm constantly changing washing powder as my kids both have eczema so I usually go for something that is suitable for their sensitive skin. 

I tried the UV light Hoover once. To be frank, I don't have time for this.

I've never had any skins problems before, So this is all new to me.  I'm becoming self conscious about the flakey skin on my scalp, forehead & nose which everyone can see. I can literally see flakes of skin falling from my forehead during the day. It's been really awkward when having my waxing done or eyebrows threaded, I just imagine that people don't want to touch my horrid skin. 

One day I got talking to a lady who was threading my eyebrows and she told me about her son who had severe exzema until he was about 10. She had tried everything for him. It was so bad that the school would sometimes call her and say his skin was bleeding, causing him pain and he was crying. 

I could completely relate to this as my daughter had awful eczema until she was two. We were at the eczema clinic every other week and would try anything to give her some relief. (Luckily my little one grew out of the worst of it and is left with a mild condition.) 

She told me that she took her son to see a homeopathic doctor after a recommendation from a friend of a friend. 
She told me about the appointment, the medicines she was given and the diet plan she was given for her son. She told me that although they never made a second appointment, they had cleared at least 80% of the problem. 

I left the salon that day with the homeopathic doctors phone number.

To be continued...

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Psoriasis : Diagnosis and the doctors who gave up.

I've developed Psoriasis over the past 6 years. Since around the time that I had children. 

It's taken different forms over the years, initially it was small itchy patches all over arms and legs, leaving white patches on my skin. More recently it's been a scaley scalp, small patches all over my body, very flakey and very itchy, sometimes they are bright red and other times they are white and flakey. 

I've been seeing the doctors at my local surgery intermittently over the past 5 or 6 years. Each time I've been prescribed a variant of a cortisone cream. The creams seemed to work for a short time but then after a few weeks, the creams would have no effect.

I started out using a tar based shampoo and then I was prescribed a shampoo which helped for about 6 months. I couldn't believe it! After I got a second prescription of the shampoo, this also had no effect.

On my last visit I was told that there probably wasn't much more we could try and that I would probably have to learn to live with it and manage it the best that I could. 

It's been a couple of months and the condition has only got worse. Not only is it extremely itchy it's embarrassing too. My scalp and face are flaking right in front of everyone's eyes.

The doctors have given up on me. Should I go back and insist on a referral to a dermatologist or is this it for me now?

To be continued

Monday, 10 February 2014

Return to work from Maternity Leave

Last month I went back to work after 12 months on maternity leave. I've had an amazing year, spending time with my new baby & it worked out so that i spent lots of time with my little girl. I was even around for her first term in Reception at a brand new school. Couldn't have timed it better.

The negative thing is that for 12 months I've had a little ball of stress inside me, constantly thinking about how I'll juggle work with being a mum. I finally chose a childminder for Mini, Izey was signed up at Mini's old nursery. My back to work day was getting closer and closer.

There's a couple of things i did that helped me get back into some sort of routine. Here are my top 5 tips for returning to work after maternity leave.

If you can afford to put your baby in childcare before you go back to work, they should (in theory) settle in by the time you start work. 

Two months before i went back to work, Izey went to nursery 2 mornings a week. After a month, we increased to 2 full days. Last week when i dropped him off at nursery, he knew the people he was with, he knew the routine. He still tried to cling to me & had a little cry but soon got distracted by the breakfast. By the time I was out the front door, peeking in the window he had forgotten all about me.
It made leaving him so much easier & quicker. It's an extra expense but worth every penny.

Set Alarms, lots of them.
Let me start by saying: I'm not a morning person. 
When Mini started school i set a scheduled alarm on my mobile phone. I set it to go off at the time we needed to leave the house and another alarm to go off 5 minutes before that. I call it a 5 minute warning, it means there's no surprises when the 'leave now' alarm goes off.

This has been a life saver for me. I've now adjusted the times to fit in my 'leave for work' routine. Highly recommend it!!!


You might find that you have a huge amount of holidays that have built up while you were away from work. Luckily my boss accepted my request to work 4 days a week. If he hadn't though, I would have asked to use 1 day of holiday per week. That extra day per week will give you a little extra time to get yourself organised, do your shopping, ironing, batch cooking - whatever it is that you need to do.

I know this wont work for everyone but its worth considering if you have lots of holidays to use up.


Don't use all those holidays up just yet!!!
You're babies will pull a sickie - FACT.
Which means you will have to take time off work to look after them. In the UK, you have a statutory right to a certain amount of time (usually 2 days) off to look after dependents. This all depends on your employer and how they choose to handle it. I prefer to keep a couple of days holiday for emergencies.

Guess what?
Izey has ALREADY had 1 day where he had such a high temperature that I couldn't take him to nursery, I had to stay home and he slept on me ALL day.

Pre children - I used to pick out what I wanted to wear in the morning, iron it & then wear it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you can save valuable time by choosing your outfit the night before, ironing it & setting it out ready to wear the next day. 

I've tried two variations of this over the years.
The first was to iron 5 work outfits at the weekend, hang them on a temporary clothes rail in my spare room and choose from those 5 outfits during the week. This worked really well because it still gave me a choice of what to wear each day. The only problem was that I wasn't always so organised.

The 2nd option is fairly obvious; to choose the outfit & iron it the night before. Some evenings I get lazy & don't follow through on this but by morning I'm kicking myself, whilst staring at my wardrobe and thinking " I have nothing to wear !!!!!"

I'm sure there's plenty of others that I should try (such as batch cooking, meal planning...)

What are your tips for being organised when going back to work ?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Boxing Day Treat : Frozen

We got organised on Boxing day, instead of heading to the sales at the crack of dawn we wrapped up warm and took ourselves off to the early morning showing of Frozen at our local cinema.  Not surprisingly it wasn't very busy the day after Christmas at 10am. We didn't get the early morning prices with it being a public holiday but since it was a special treat with both me & my hubby taking her out, I didn't mind.

We hadn't seen any trailers for Frozen, I just liked the look of the poster, which mentioned that it was a Disney film by the makers of Tangled & Wreck It Ralph. I also didn't know it was a musical, but I'm now hooked on the 'Let it Go' song from the film. Now I come to think of it, I liked nearly all of the songs.

I was surprised to find out that it was based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, so that's next on my list to read on the Kindle.

As soon as the film started it did remind me of Tangled (which I love by the way) inevitably I loved this. I was also hooked by the story as soon as it started. I started to worry that I was enjoying it more than Mini.

The story isn't your usual prince and princess story, it's actually about 2 sisters, who happen to be princesses...don't worry, no spoilers here.  There's abit of magic as expected & it's beautifully animated.

Everyone I have spoken to has loved it, including a group of girls in their 30's without any children. Another friend with a 5 year old boy wanted to watch it but was worried it might be abit too girly and boring for her son. I suppose I hadn't thought of it from that perspective but I still recommended it to her as the story was cool (no pun intended) & there were plenty of male characters (if that's what little boys want from a film)

I give it 9/10. It's not a 10 because I didn't like the character of Olaf.
If you're still undecided here's the trailer.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Half Term Activities : Despicable Me 2

Anyone who knows me will know i love a bargain. Sometimes i think i should keep my bargain hunting to myself but i cant help it, i just have to share. 

Our first ever half term has been jam packed. We went to the cineworld at Parrs Wood early one morning for the 10am showing of Despicable Me 2. I knew it would be charged at off peak but still pleasantly surprised to only pay £1.50 each.
I treated myself a.k.a blew the budget on a pick n mix to balance it out. I think I paid something ridiculous like £5 for about 7 sweets.

I didn't love the film as much as the first despicable me film but as soon as it started I was chuckling away. Still cant get over how Steve Carell is Gru and Russell Brand is Dr Nefario.

I give it 6/10, it was good fun but couldn't watch again.

Considering a normal child's ticket is currently £5.90, I would highly recommend getting out early with the kids.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Half Term Activities - Reading Practice Made Fun

Mini started in Reception this September, it's been a huge adjustment for us from her nursery routine. 

Ever since she was a baby she has loved flicking through books. She's also been at a private nursery & already knew her alphabet before she started. So I wasn't expecting her to have any problems. I've always had a laid back attitude towards this for 2 reasons:
1) I have the belief that all children will catch up to each other in their own time.
2) If I am being honest, I didn't think she would be academically behind the majority of children in her class.

However, I feel like I'm picking up on a vibe from her teachers that she is a little behind the other children. I'm trying not to compare her to the other children but...
The feedback from her teachers has been to practice, practice, practice but she's bored of reading the same book each night & has it memorised after 2 or 3 days. I've been taking the words from the school reading book and spelling them out of lettered building blocks but I feel it's not helped much. 
One problem Mini has is that she spells the letters out correctly but then guesses a completely random word. For example she says C-A-T = Dog! 

I want her to have fun & enjoy it, it shouldn't be a chore. My mum suggested going old school 'the cat sat on the mat', using sentences rather than just random words so that mini has an idea of what could come next, rather than random words. We tried this out today, I wrote an short sentence, asked her to read it & then draw a picture of it. Mini still needed some prompting but our new 'game' kept her interested so we will definitely try this again.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween - Pumpkin Carving

I've never been one for getting into all of these commercialised events.... Until I had children. Over the past few years, supermarkets in the UK have successfully been pushing Halloween on us. I've resisted the temptation to go crazy on Halloween but i did come home with a rather large pumpkin last year.

This year I got two very small pumpkins, thinking it would be easier to manage. First I got mini to draw her design on the pumpkin. 

Then I cut it open to scoop the insides out. Mini didn't like the smell and lost all interest at this point. You have to scrape quite alot of pumpkin out to make it easier to carve.
One clever idea I pinched from Pintrest was to cut a keyhole shape in the back of the pumpkin. This saves you burning your hand on the candle. 

I ended up carving the pumpkin all on my own. NOT the family activity I was looking for. 

Think I'll give pumpkin carving a miss for a few more years until the kids show an interest in doing it again. Mini was suitably impressed with the finished product, although i'm not sure what i'm doing with the other pumpkin.