Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

This is How It Feels

Today we get a rare insight into the world of a struggling mind, while battling Depression.

I thank the author for sharing.

Hopefully those who are struggling with Depression, don't feel so alone in their thoughts when they read this and hopefully those who are supporting someone with Depression can develop a further understanding of how the person must be feeling.

My alarm goes off and I feel like shit – only a few hours of sleep again. I press snooze knowing I won’t get back to sleep but may as well try. I lay in bed feeling a deep sadness that comes from my chest and engulfs me. I have nowhere to go, nothing to do for the day, no one to talk to. There’s no point in me even getting out of bed – who in the world would benefit if I moved? Noone. In fact, many people would genuinely benefit if I didn’t move. I could lay there doing nothing all day, willing myself out of existence. If I don’t move or do anything or talk to anyone maybe, just maybe I will just disappear and this hell will be over.

I reach for my phone and check my email and facebook. But I never have any messages. Noone cares. Noone loves you I remind myself. I want to cry but I can’t be bothered. I just sink into a deeper sadness. I know for a fact that out there in the world other people are happy and laughing and having fun so happiness must exist but I can’t feel or believe that. No, in my universe all joy has long been sucked dry and it no longer exists at all.

Eventually I get up and have a shower feeling dead inside. I stop at random moments just to take a deep breath and sigh and force myself to continue knowing that it’s pointless. I never bother to dress nice or wear make up or even brush my hair – no one is going to see me. And the people that may see me, they aren’t friends and I stopped caring what others think long ago. I force myself to eat breakfast – for something to do really. I’m not hungry and all food tastes the same anyway. Then I guess I should and may as well clean my teeth although its not like anyone would notice if I didn’t. 

And then now what? I have nothing to do, no one to talk to, nothing. I am nothing. Anything that I might possibly do – I can’t. I have a list of things that I need to do that has been growing for the past 6 months. But many of them involve leaving the house and I can’t do that, I mean look at me, I’m too embarrassed to go anywhere and if it wasn’t that I would be too anxious to leave the house. Why bother? My life is pointless. I’m useless. Has there ever been a more useless person than me? I drop my head and shoulders knowing the answer to that question is no. I slump into a chair, I have no energy or will to move. What’s the point?

Lunch. Even though it’s a pointless exercise it’s something to do. Check my emails and facebook again – still nothing because I am nothing. No one gives a shit about me. They don’t care anymore. Everyone is sick of me for being down too long. They would be so much better off without me. If I really care about them and was a true friend I would kill myself so that I wouldn’t be a burden to them anymore. I sit and imagine how happy they would be, how much better everyone I’ve ever known would be without me. 

Afternoon turns to evening and I get more and more frustrated. What is wrong with me? I’m such a failure. I can’t do anything. I’ll never amount to anything. I’ll never get better. I can’t do this anymore. I never get anywhere. All the studies show that if you are depressed and get treatment things will get better but I never get anywhere. I’m in the same place I was years ago, yet somehow worse. I reached the end of my coping zone years ago. What is wrong with me? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Dinner. It’s all so pointless. Why the fuck should I bother? I’m nothing. I will never amount to anything. I open the cupboard and close it again. I hate you, you piece of shit. You useless fuck. I hate myself. I literally hate myself. I want to die. Please God, just let this end. You know I’m of no use to anyone. You know it’s in everyone’s best interests. I’m sorry I’m so useless. I’m sorry I’m such a horrible person that no one will even speak to me. Check facebook and email again. See no one cares. They just want me to shut up and die. I want to die. I just want it to be over. PLEASE.

Bed time. Not that I can ever get to sleep. Although everyone else does so I feel slightly less shit that there is no one to talk to. What’s the point? Nothing I say has any point. Noone gives a fucking shit. Even if I had something to say that I hadn’t already said, who would listen? Noone. How would it be any different? It wouldn’t. All I do is upset people by being so fucking miserable. Nothing ever changes. So why fucking say anything? I’m wasting my time and for what? Nothing is ever going to change. This is my life. This is as good as it gets. This is it. Alone. Nothing. For another 5, 10, 20, 50 years. Jesus Christ! It’s all so pointless. I’m wasting my time. Everyone just wants me to shut up and die and I do too. Every day is just hurting more people and delaying the inevitable.

That’s one day in my shoes. Multiply this by 1,000 days (at a conservative estimate). And welcome to my hell.

beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative
 Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Australian Flag Saga

What the hell am I on about?

Well for those of you who don't know, there's been some debate in Australia about creating a sporting flag that differentiates from the original Australian flag for elite athletes to wear when representing our country.

Olympians, tennis champions, the Aussie cricket team, footballers and the like, would be expected to fly this flag

Instead of this one.

To be honest I don't know how serious these debates are, but let's hope that the 'pro sports flag supporters' stop drinking too many red cans and consider the following:

What's in a flag? Is it just a piece of material with a couple of symbols on it to distinguish between one country and the next? 

I think not.

For me, the flag represents a countries past, present and future.

On the Australian flag, the Union Jack represents white peoples early settlement of the country, the Southern Cross represents that we're from the Southern Hemisphere, and the blue represents that we're surrounded by ocean.

But I'd have to argue that the flag is even more than that.

The flag represents pride in our nation and our heritage, the multiculturalism, and the amazing place that Australia is to call home with freedom of speech, peace and security.

The flag represents respect for our heritage and the brave soldiers who have fought to protect our country.

Bearing the Australian flag is an honour because you are representing your country and all that it stands for.

So if you look beyond the actual physical flag, you can see the true value that it has to a country: pride, respect and honour for a countries past, present and future.

Why then would you want to change the flag that tells the story of our country? Are you not proud of what it represents? Would you like to erase our history? 

And to be incredibly honest, if we were going to change the flag and remove the Union Jack, shouldn't we replace it with an Aboriginal symbol, for they were the first people to call Australian home?

Just some food for thought.

What do you think? Should we change the flag for sporting events?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Your Challenge For Today


Grab life by the balls and give it a good shake up.

You know that call you've been wanting to make to a potential employer looking for your dream role? Well go ahead and make it. What's the worse that can happen? They say no? Well then at least you aren't left wandering what if. 

You know that walk you've been meaning to go for? Well get off your butt and go for that walk. You'll feel a million times better after.

You know that resume you wanted to update? Just chip away at it (or at least open a new or old document and re-read what you've written). Sometimes the hardest part is just starting.

Or you know that new recipe you've wanted to try to jazz up your weekly routine of spag bog and meatballs? Get out a recipe, write down the ingredients you don't have, and go shopping! Your taste buds will love you.

For life's too short to wait for the "right time", or to think too much without action, or to live it full of regrets.

Grab life by the balls and you'll feel empowered, and even if they're a little hairy at times, I promise things will come through clean shaven in the long run!

What's something you've been meaning to do but keep putting off?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Our Renovations: Before and After

In May 2011 my partner and I became indebted to the bank forever very excited home owners to an investment property in Adelaide.

As with most home owners, we had big dreams for our baby.

1. We wanted to paint the inside of the house; bright pinks and greens weren't quite our flavour.

2. We wanted to build a massive outside entertaining area. Being the massive entertainers that we are, we knew that it'd be a great selling point for later. The inside of the house is also quite small (90 metres squared) so we knew that if we wanted to add value, we had to increase the living space.

3. Turn the old run down shed into a granny flat with an ensuite. This would turn the house from a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom into a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a massive outside area as well as garden beds and a grassed area too.

 Bedrooms2Bathrooms1Car Spaces2
 Bedrooms3Bathrooms2Car Spaces1

As with any new renovators we started all excited and I guess naive as to just how much time and money would be invested in these projects.

But, have no fear, 18 months on we have achieved our goals and today I get to share the before and after shots with you!
I can honestly say that renovating has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things that I have ever faced in my life to date!

I'm so proud of everything that we have achieved!

BEFORE The lounge room BEFORE renovating. The walls were a pinkish colour with maroon trimmings.            

AFTER The room looks so much bigger now with cream walls and white trimmings. The best thing about the lounge room is that you can open up the double french turns and combine the inside and outside area!

BEFORE The spare bedroom before renovating. Note the lovely green walls.
AFTER The spare room after painting - keeping the cream theme throughout the house that makes the rooms look so much bigger! 

BEFORE The main room before painting - a lovely shade of pink.
AFTER The main room AFTER painting in the cream.
BEFORE The outside area before renovating. This may make it look nicer then it actually was. There was vine growing everywhere, water would lay near the house, and there was green mouldy shade cloth everywhere.   
AFTER renovating. This photo was taken at the same angle as the above photo. The outside area now has paving, a gable with ceiling fans, the shed has been painted cream and it is much nicer for entertaining, adding an extra 90 square metres of living area to the house!
AFTER renovating. This side of the yard was full of overgrowing bushes and was a wreck. We found dog bones, bouncy balls, golf balls and things you don't even want to know about when landscaping this area!
BEFORE - outside area.

BEFORE - the dodgey old green shed that looked like it needed pulling down.
AFTER The shed has been painted cream, a door and window has been added, and it's been turned into a granny flat!

AFTER The inside of the granny flat!
AFTER The granny flat looks AMAZING!

AFTER  The ensuite inside the granny flat.

As you can see there have been some major changes!

We are super happy and proud of our efforts!

Have you ever renovated? What have you love/hated about it?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Overeater Alert!

Hi, my name is Kirsty and I am an over eater.
Phew - glad that's out there (haha).

So, as I feel my muffin top overflowing over the top of my pants, and I feel as though I could offer a spare tyre from my belly if ever anyone had a blow out, that's when I started to think that perhaps, maybe, I should take a little peak at my eating habits.

I started looking a little like this! Ek! Via
Hold right there.

I do not own scales - in fact I don't even care about how MUCH I weigh, I just care about how I FEEL. I am not going to give up chocolate. I am NOT about to announce the latest diet craze, or heck, even mention the word diet (fail!), but what I have pledged to do is to try and stop my overeating.

Yup, I'm THAT girl who, even when I'm full and overflowing with food, really-can't-leave-those-last-few-mouthfuls-on-my-plate-because-well-that'd-just-be-wasteful so I stuff myself silly and put myself into a food coma.

Yes I coordinate my outfits around where we are going for dinner, and by that I don't mean whether I should go casual, semi casual or formal, I mean, should I wear the skirt with buttons, or the stretchy pants or the one with no zips so that I can fit optimal amounts of food in?

I often find myself searching frantically for the green tea bags to make myself a cuppa, which in effect makes me poo and feel less bloated after a meal.

And that has GOT to stop. 

As my partner says whenever I'm moaning and groaning about feeling like a fatty boom ba "well Kirsty, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!"

For years I got away with it and my body stayed the same old size, but now, eeeek, it ain't staying that size no more!

So, I'm making myself more conscious of how full I am - yes, a full radar!

 And well, it seems to be working so far.

I feel less like a big fat pig after eating a meal and more, well content?

I no longer have to undo the top button on my skirt after my lunch break, or the little zip down the side.

I no longer feel as though I need to take an afternoon Nanna nap.

So here's to PORTION CONTROL (and by portion I mean half a block of chocolate and not a full one!) hahaha I might still have some work to go!

Are you an over eater? Do you have any tips for shedding a few kilos that doesn't involve exercising like a man woman and giving up treats?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Baby + Eczema & Allergies = Miracle Mum!

Today I welcome Morgan to my blog. When your friends have babies you just develop a new level of love and respect for them. After reading Morgan's story I got a little teary - what a journey she has been on - but what a spunk of a boy she has! Very proud of the amazing mum she is! 

Take it away Morgs!
I know I’m one of many thousands of Mums, who has a child dealing with the frustrations of Eczema.

I have become all too familiar with the sleepless nights, scratching until bleeding, countless doctors & specialists appointments and the expense involved with trial and errors of both oral and topical medications.

Here’s My story.
In May 2010 we welcomed our beautiful baby boy ‘Ryder’ into the world. From day one he had a small patch of eczema above his eye.

I, like all other Mums wanted to give my child the best start to life, so tried to breastfeed. I persevered through all the pain & screams of my poor boy for three months. Even though I was a new mother, I didn’t think it was ‘normal’ for a child to scream after every feed. Numerous trips we made to the doctors (only to be told it was probably reflux, so to try the oral medication Nexium). I did this up until the 3rd month of his life –when we gave him a formula bottle, each time he had formula his reactions began to worsen. This one day he continuously vomitted and became quite unresponsive…this was scary and I knew there must have been more to it than “reflux”.

 Ryder age 7 months
Ryder was prescribed formula from the Doctor called Neocate (which I since found out is generally prescribed to babies that are allergic to both dairy and soy). Instead we should have been told to try him on the soy formula which you can buy off the shelf in supermarkets, then if he reacted to that then go to the Neocate. At the time I wasn’t to know, I did as the doctor said because they are qualified in that field, and I knew no different. However Ryder’s stomach didn’t agree with with the Neocate and it was a very expensive way of buying formula. At around 5 months his skin was showing no signs of improvement so our local doctor referred us to a Dermatologist in Adelaide.

The dermatologist told us that Eczema, allergies and asthma go hand in hand, and are unfortunately genetic, therefore there really is no cure. She did a swab of Ryder’s nose for staph infection, then prescribed him with cortisone creams and referred us onto an Allergist who would be able to test for allergens that could be a contributing factor to the eczema. 

Looking back I wish they had referred us straight to the Allergist, and we could have got on top of it straight away, instead we were again put on a waiting list.
By this stage I reckon I would have bought every sensitive skin product that can be bought, in both the chemist and supermarket.

For months I could never seem to find anything that helped with my sons condition. Everything seemed to only be a short term fix. I had to go back to work to help pay for all the trips to Doctors and specialists, plus all the creams, ointments and naturopath and chiropractic appointments, believe me we tried everything to help our boy stop the itch, and give him a chance to see how good it feels to have a good nights sleep. 

Finally in July 2011 we were able to see the allergist. He informed us that our boy had a severe form of cows milk protein allergy, called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES).

He explained to us that topical treatments could be improved using a greasy moisturiser such as Dermeze or QV intensive, rather than any sorbolene creams or any lotions (as these can sting anyone with severe cases). He recommended more regular use of a moderate topical corticosteroid, that is Celestone rather than intermittent use of mometasone. Naturally I was concerned I was over using the cortisone creams, as I thought it could strip his skin, however, given his current untreated eczema skin damage is much more likely to arise from uncontrolled eczema rather than steroid use.  Dr Gold explained to us the correct procedure for applying the creams, and incorporating wet wraps with the QV intensive moisturiser, which we continue to use to this very day.

Ryder  would require a bath twice weekly in QV flare up, given that it contains an antiseptic. Every other night he is to be bathed in normal QV oil. Lastly the Allergist recommended giving Zyrtec (an oral non-sedating antihistamine) twice daily on a regular basis, then if worse came to worse we could use Promethazine (a sedating oral antihistamine) at night time.

The allergist then decided to do an allergy prick test, this showed Ryder was allergic to Dairy and egg. Which meant more trips to Adelaide for food challenges at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to determine if he would outgrow these allergies (which the allergist believed he would by age 3).

This has been a hard road for me and my husband. While he was working full time, I was  trying to work 3 days a week, trying to maintain house work, and cook foods that my son was able to eat (that didn’t contain dairy or egg and that looked like foods everyone else was eating).

I felt guilty every time I would drop our little boy off at child care, knowing that he was itchy, and half the time he had open sores from scratching, therefore picking up germs and bacteria a lot easier than a child without a skin condition. This would then lead to staph infections, which require antibiotics and would sometimes take months to clear up.

I felt like such a failure at times, because I absolutely love our dear son and wanted to spend all the time in the world with him, and take him to the playground, swimming pool, and do all those fun things that parents should include their child in. But because of his skin condition I have avoided chlorinated swimming pools, and on my days off I felt I was running around catching up on day to day chores, researching what there was left for me to do to minimise the severity of eczema, I even found myself doing this in the early hours of the morning whilst trying to comfort our poor little boy.

Symptoms of staph with eczema:

* Crusting of skin with a yellow to brown layer
* Infected blisters or eruptions
* Redness, swelling, inflammation or puffiness
* Heat in the general area, or heat in the body as a fever

If you notice anything like this on or around the area of your eczema , you should seek medical advice to get the infection under control before it causes too many problems.
I have now quit work to spend quality time with our beautiful boy, focussing on what he eats, and helping him get into a good routine before we welcome a new addition to our family in June this year. Our boy will be three in May, to this day I wouldn’t say Ryder’s skin is 100% clear, but it is definitely better  than it was from 6 months of age. This has taken a lot of trial and error, and definitely put a strain on the relationship between my husband and I. But through patience, perseverance and good family and friend support, our relationship as a family is only going to get stronger, as we continue to watch our boy grow and see what the future holds for him. Hopefully one day he will experience what its like to have a scratch free day!! 

Ryder swimming January this year – the first time he has been laying in the sea water – which is good for his eczema but also very drying so therefore we need to apply more moisturiser! Also when out in the sun we use a sensitive sunscreen and even that makes his skin quite itchy after. But our boy loves being outdoors and we wouldn’t stop him from doing things he loves.
If I can give any advice to the Mum’s out there who are starting from the beginning, it would be to not give up.  Keep reading, researching, emailing,  everything. Even though you feel as though you are not achieving anything, remind yourself that you are trying and you are doing everything you possibly can to help your child.

I'm still learning new things now, for example in the middle of last year I saw another Naturopath and she explained the benefits of Rice Milk over soy milk. Luckily Ryder didn’t notice a change in the milk and is still enjoying his cups of Rice milk to this day; also I am swapping dairy milk to Rice milk in my cooking.

Lots of people will give you advice (even if they don’t know you but they see your child has ‘a rash’) but be selective in what you choose to try, because what has worked for some does not always work for others. You will probably spend thousands of dollars (as we have) trying products but you will soon work out your child’s skin and how it reacts to different products.
Last but not least remember you are not alone and there is help available!

Thank you for letting me share our story.

Morgan McDonald

January 2013 I may have eczema but I'm still a spunk!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Please Don't Let Us Forget

We have a pre loved couch handed down to us by my aunty.

When guests stay, they sleep on a mattress on the floor.

Our fridge was bought second hand from a mate.

Our meals are served on mis matching plates.

Our guests are gathered around a hand me down dining table.

We drink from cups of all shapes and sizes.

We eat using cutlery with a multitude of patterns.

Our cupboards are filled with a mixture of new and old plastics.

And all I ask is that please, one day, when we can afford nice things, don't let us forget what truly made us happy all of those moons ago.

It wasn't being surrounded by brand spanking new things, it was the laughter, joy, and comfort that filled our home from friends, family and each other.

Please never let the comfort of a brand new chair replace the comfort of Mick's arms.

Please never let our future fine china fool you into thinking we appreciate things over people.

Please don't let us get caught up in thinking we're in search of happiness when we already have all that we need.

Please don't let us be fooled into thinking that you need nice things to be loved, for we were loved when we had nothing.

Please never let us judge our successes on what we have, instead of who we have in our life.

Please don't let us forget.

What do you take from this post?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Why It's Important to Donate Blood! You Can Dooooo It!


The gorgeous Beej looking happy and healthy thanks to a blood donator!
 Today I welcome Belinda-Jane to my blog to remind us of why it's important to donate blood. Now if you're anything like me, you go light headed at the sound of needles and blood, but even I, the weakest of weak, am going to donate, because that simple act can save a life.

Take it away Beej.

My parents have this sticker on the bin lid in the toilet (I bet that makes you want to read on huh!). The sticker is this hippy flower type design and read ‘Blood Donors Love Life’. As a kid the sticker puzzled me a lot, not because it was in this odd location, but because I didn’t understand the nature and reason behind giving blood. Until some 15 odd years later that is.

2010 was going to be the year of firsts for me, I was turning 21, on my first ‘overseas’ trip going on a cruise with my closest friends, playing for a new netball club (Go Doggies!), by the end of the year, moving to my partners farm 7 hours from where I grew up, and my first ever Big Day Out! Well wasn’t I pumped about that! I still had to work most of the day of BDO, and it was a busy stressful day – not to mention hot walking from Fullarton Road where I worked to the showgrounds. So when I fainted watching Calvin Harris not even 30 minutes into being there, I put it down to a lack of food and water on a hot day. And before you assume otherwise, I’d had not even half a can of drink there, and I’ve never even touched a drug (eww…dirty) in my life – unlike the 2 ‘emergency nurses’ who lovingly slapped me from my stupor argued that I had – they on the other hand were very drunk!

So that was the end of that adventure, I was given a ride home from my friend after promptly downing some food and water, and being walked to the gate by my dear friends. I was the only incident that day according to the paper, and apparently it was on TV….I was in a skirt. Shit.

Trying to escape the tent that day was so surreal. I knew something was wrong, so I tried to make it out for some fresh air. A few steps later and the world was going black, so I knelt down until it cleared, stood up, and tried again. I was cold but I was sweaty, I could barely hear the music anymore, and my heart was racing. Again and again I tried, until near the outside of the tent, I knelt down, my eyes rolled into the back of my head, and my head went in the direction with the motion, hitting the concrete like it should my pillow. Then came the aforementioned slap. Fun.

That was the first time I fainted, but it wasn’t the last. I experienced the same thing at the conclusion of the Anzac Day March in my hometown. I embarrassingly had to excuse myself before I’d even finished saying ‘Lest We Forget’ and made it halfway home before I hit the dirt. Again – I thought it was the lack of food before the dawn service that did it. The doctor had nothing to tell me, other than I had to get up from sitting slower, as the blood wasn’t quite keeping up. Good one Doc. Later in the year when I was still having troubles she even had me wear a halter monitor to measure my heartbeats for 24hours – she never told me how that went (GET A SECOND OPINION PEOPLE!).

I started getting cravings to eat ice (the water kind people). It started as just eating the ice in my glass at the pub. Soon I was flogging my partner’s ice out of his glass too. I ended up buying more ice trays for our house because there wasn’t enough and the freezer couldn’t keep up with my ice addiction (haha). I was putting a fresh tray in, and eating the slightly frozen layer of the last one I put in – eventually I started filling the trays with less water so they would freeze faster. People thought this was a diet trick, and in fact I think they convinced me it was too – that I wanted to chew on something, but I wasn’t hungry, so I had ice. Ice all day, even at work. Now I know it is a sign of anaemia…and some other sufferers have also been known to crave dirt and paper. Thank goodness I wasn’t one of those!

The year didn’t go how I had planned. I was really tired all the time, even getting through a drill at netball sometimes had me seeing stars, and I was an embarrassment to myself, my team, and my club when I had to squat down when the ball was at the other end of the netball court so I could catch my breath. I had gone from someone who was running or walking almost every day, to someone who lost breath climbing the 20 steps from the carpark to my office. I didn’t have the energy to go out with my friends on Saturday night. I needed lollies to keep me perked up, but that only brought on more ‘you’re getting so lazy and unmotivated – and soon fat’ guilt, which sent me on the exercise bike. When I couldn’t get through 3 minutes on that without feeling the same fainting symptoms as before, it only made me feel worse. I started to feel pretty terrible about myself. And sadder yet because I was missing the social interaction with my friends who had the energy to go out and dance all night – and though they didn’t say it, I knew they were getting upset with me for my apparent ‘laziness’ or ‘lack of effort’.

One day in September, when my best friend came home to find me cutting my vegies up on the floor because it was too hard to stand up, she urged me to see the doctor again. Netball was over, so I wasn’t worried about hearing something that was going to make me stop playing (nothing comes between me and netball!) and smartly, I went somewhere else for another opinion. The day he got the blood results back (can you believe the other doctor didn’t ask for any blood tests?) he asked me to get to the emergency department immediately because my blood count was really low. Well, I’d been fine this long, so I rang my mum, asked that if after work could she come down to get me and take me to the Royal Adelaide, because by the time she got to Adelaide from home, I’d be finished work too. (Giggle).

I can’t even explain the looks I got from nurses and doctors there. I soon learned that I had not even a third of the red blood cells in my body that a person needed to function normally....huh, that explained a lot. When I’d told them I’d still been working daily, playing netball, trying to exercise and the likes, they could not believe it. One doctor even brought up his students, pulling at my eyelids and lip and lifting my hands, putting his arm against mine and demonstrating how truly pale I was (I’d put that symptom down to a lack of tan with winter/so much time inside!).

Don't let the mosquitos steal your blood - donate instead! Via
While it was never discovered how I’d got this way over that long period, the cure felt like an instant miracle fix. I spent a few nights in hospital receiving 4 blood transfusions and an iron infusion, the only trouble I had was keeping my arm straight so not to stop the flow/set off the alarm, as well as a fever reaction to one of the transfusions, but it made me feel like Wonder Woman when it was all complete.

Never did I think I’d be receiving a blood transfusion, let alone 4. I wasn’t a cancer patient. I wasn’t in an accident or had just given birth and had lost a lot of blood. I was just someone who felt tired and pale, and apparently wasn’t producing red blood cells as I should have been. But if I had not been able to have those transfusions, who knows where I would be now. Every day I am thankful for the people who selflessly gave what was rightfully theirs in their spare time, with no thanks from the receiver of that gift, just their own pride in knowing they have saved a life, or at least made one better.

Beej receiving her blood transfusion!
Now I don’t waste an ounce of my energy, and I don’t put myself down for needing rest either.  I encourage each and every eligible person to donate blood, even if you’re in a regional area, the Red Cross visit most regional centres on a regular basis. You truly never know who you are helping, and how that makes them feel; you could be pulling them back from the brink for all you know. 

I also encourage you to always get a second opinion!

Belinda-Jane x