Chronic Illness Blogs

My Top 5 Skincare Products

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Having a chronic illness, looking after your skin or having a skin routine can seem like an impossible task. Some of the medications can cause you to develop acne, dry or oily skin. The list of medications that can affect our skin that we may take daily is a long list that I won’t bore you with and save you worrying over!

So here’s the thing – you DON’T need to spend a fortune on beauty products to get nice skin! If you have skin like me which is dry and oily, it’s hard to find products that compliment both of these skin types in one.

Here are my top 5 skincare products :

  1. The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Face Wash – Excellent for keeping your skin hydrated, which cleans gently, so gentle for sensitive skin and suitable for all skin types.
  2. The Body Shop Drops of Brightening Day Cream – If you suffer with combination skin then this is perfect. This helps brighten my skin under my eyes as I suffer from dark circles, it dries non sticky, is so light weight and perfect for using before priming!
  3. NovAge Skin Renewing Peel by Oriflame – this is a gentle cream exfoliator that gets rid of dead skin without causing any irritation or redness, it leaves my skin super soft and plump!
  4. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Face Mask – this product is FAB for oily skin, spot/acne prone skin and if you suffer from blackheads.  It has tea tree oil in it as well as himalayan charcoal and tea leaves so zaps those spots pronto, leaving my skin with a subtle healthy glow.
  5. The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner – a hydrating toner which hydrates and soothes skin and works so well with the face wash.

All these products really aren’t expensive, with the face mask starting as little as £6. They also last a really long time due to only needing to use very little that goes a long way!

Look out for my next blog at my favourite bath bombs and body products!

 

 

 

 

People's Stories!

Whats Your Story? Meet Double BagginIt!

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Danielle Gulden and Joe Teeters are IBD warriors and both have permanent ileostomies. They’re comedians, speakers and advocates for other ostomates and chronically ill people! 

Danielle has had Ulcerative Colitis (a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which affects the large bowel) for over twenty-six years, diagnosed at 23 years old (She was originally misdiagnosed with a gluten intolerance for 6 years prior to her UC diagnosis) After going through about every IBD medication available, going to the bathroom upto twenty-five times per day, she finally kicked her diseased colon to the curb in 2007. Upon high-fiving every nurse, doctor, and surgeon on the way to the operating room, she had a full proctocolectomy with end ileostomy. Her ostomy which she has named Stella, saved her life and gave her back her life! Danielle is very passionate about performing in theatre, travelling, being outdoors and eating cheese!

Joe has been living with Crohn’s Disease since he was just 19 years of age (a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which can affect the entire digestive tract) Like Danielle, he has run the gamut of medical treatments and medications. He has had a total of four intestinal surgeries and two resections. In 2012, he underwent a total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy. That surgery landed him a spot alongside Danielle in the “Barbie Butt” (this is what people without a rectum call their once bums!) Due to Joe’s extensive and several surgeries, he has lost all but approximately five feet of his small intestine and has Short Bowel Syndrome (where only a small part of the small bowel is left.) Joe is also passionate about theatre but improv! He also loves spending time with family and friends.

Joe and Danielle met through an ostomy support group and realized that they not only had a similar health journey, but also shared the same sense of humor and positive outlook on life.  They became best friends, and soon after, Double Baggin’ It was born!  

Danielle and Joe use their humor, wisdom, and stories to connect with and support other people living with ostomies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease!  They believe in the power of humor, advocacy and awareness! They have recently done two podcasts with Healthevoices and Ostomy Guy. Danielle and Joe also won an award with The WEGO Health Awards for the category Hilarious Patient Leaders!

Doublebaggin It are available for speaking engagements worldwide!

You can find their social medias here:

Instagram- @doublebagginit

Facebook-Double Baggin It 

Healthe Voices Radio

Ostomy Guy

Personal Blogs, Stoma Products Reviews, Stoma Wear Brands

New Blog Content!

Hi all! As you know, I love to recommend products, services and companies here on my blog.

After thinking about a few ideas over the last few months, I am ready to add new content to my blog! There is always room for more, but what might that be? Well, there are two things I am actively ready to add :

  1. A newsletter
  2. Advertisements

Sponsors and advertisements will be featured in blog posts, social media platforms and via my YouTube channel. This will include myself demonstrating how your products work and including information about your company, services and products. I will also include your relevant links and an optional review.

It would be absolutely fantastic content to add to you all! The benefits for a sponsor or advertisements are also fantastic. Getting the word out about what you do and the products you offer, discounts and more! Any future sponsors will be able to use any blog posts and videos for their own advertising.

I cannot wait to get this content up and running for you all!

If you are interested, please email alannahjaynesblog@hotmail.com.

Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs

Fabulous Freebies!

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Good evening everyone! This blog post is about/links to some fabulous freebies I  had found whilst scrolling through the hotukdeals app on my phone!

To find the freebies, simply go onto the hotukdeals website or onto the app and click the ‘freebies‘ tab. There you will find loads of freebies such as apps, books, food, items, free games to download on various gaming consoles and PC and more. There were a few that caught my eye more than others because I knew they would be beneficial to people who either have a chronic illness, insomnia or have felt the burn of the recent benefit cuts. Bare in mind that when you read this a week or a month I have posted that the following might not be available anymore or the deal has expired so do keep an eye on the expiry date of the free offer!

So my eye catching freebie favourites!

Of course there isn’t just this website to get good deals, there is alo Groupon and Wowcher. They both do great meal deals and holiday deals MUCH cheaper than what you pay in the restaurant and at travel agents! Keep an eye for helpful apps I managed to get a painting by colour (not painting by colours brand) app where you can paint pictures like mandala on your phone and save them! Great for when insomnia strikes!

I will be doing more research to see what freebies I can get up for next week and will doa another blog post then! If you have any good websites to recommend that are alike – get in touch! Thankyou!

Personal Blogs

Here’s To 2020!

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Usually I would write about all the new year’s resolutions that I have like every other person, but instead, I wanted to talk about how shitty 2019 has been and what I plan to do in 2020 to make up for that!

2019 I went through a lot mentally and physically that seen me bed bound, riddled with infections, pain, reactions to medications and A LOT of toxic family members that caused me grief. We did however manage to attend the GetYourBellyOut charity ball where I volunteered and did the photography for the evening which I thoroughly enjoyed! We also went to the Enchanted Forest event with complimentary tickets which was lovely and the lights are gorgeous! The most awful parts were going onto antidepressants that made me severely sick and unfortunately we had a miscarriage. However it also gave me luck and I was finally put on the waiting list for wisdom teeth removal and to have my tonsils removed!

Financially it has been the toughest last few months I have ever experienced. We also almost lost the house and our gorgeous dogs. Luckily we are still here but have dreams of moving out this year as not only is the soundproofing terrible, I also have a really disrespectful neighbour who keeps having parties that terrifies the dogs and keeps us awake right through until the next morning. I cut off quite a lot of people and it has done us the world of good – I don’t feel so stressed anymore and don’t have to be treated badly anymore!

I also raised almost £600 for The Purple Wings Charity by being sponsored to do a calendar photoshoot to raise awareness of ostomies! I also collected donations for The Street Friends Helping The Homeless Aberdeen and we go there tomorrow again to drop of the last of what I have managed to collect (HUGE thank you to the community for helping me achieve this.)

So moving onto 2020.. of course I have a few nasty surgeries to have and procedures BUT with GOOD outcomes (hopefully!) I have said to myself that I will make up for all that lost time not being able to see friends and being stuck at home. We have the GetYourBellyOut ball in April to look forward to and hopefully we will also be going to the sea world in Birmingham whilst we are down there! I plan on taking my camera with me a lot more whenever I am out the house – the amount of pretty pictures I could have taken in 2019 would have been fab but I forgot my camera every time! I absolutely plan on a weekend or week down to Glasgow to see one of my best friends. We are also going to be attending the Purple Wings Charity Ball as we missed last years ball.

I also have made it an essential to save and get my passport so I can go abroad once or twice with my friend who models and can take a plus one! Unfortunately I will be selling my beautiful fish tank as I can no longer afford to keep it but the money will be put to good use and pay off some debts. I also have challenged myself to clear out my wardrobes of things I no longer wear either due to they don’t fit anymore or I just never wear them! We have some stoma supplies to donate to The Jacobs Well Appeal too so if you have any spare stoma supplies sitting around that you can no longer use – that’s the best place to send them to! We got a spa day voucher for our christmas so looking very forward to that after my birthday and a little scope around the shops to see what is on sale, I love a good bargain. One of my best friends gets surgery for an Ileostomy this month so will be making sure I go in to visit as much as I can!

So my main goals for 2020:

  • Move house
  • Get a part time job
  • Go on holiday
  • Pay off debt

Here’s to another year of being stoma confident and raising awareness!

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, People's Stories!

Aberdeenshire Barbers Volunteer at NHS

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Two barbers from Hombre in Aberdeenshire, Liam and and Brandon have been assisting the elderly and ill patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary once a week.

Liam Robertson (23) who has been there for 4 years, came up with the idea to assist patients at ARI that are unable to leave the hospital with Brandan Milne (18) who started a year ago. Liam reached out to the hospital about volunteering at the ward, as they are off from the barbers on a Tuesday. They now spend their day off at the hospital giving haircuts to patients at the green zone. Liams main purpose and what strived him to start volunteering was to give back to those in the community who can’t manage to get anywhere especially their barbers shop and felt he was the man for giving back!

“I felt this time of year it’s important to help those that either don’t have families or can’t see them due to age/illness. The patients were elderly, the smile and extra enjoyment after having a chat with us and feeling normal again felt amazing. Our plan was to try make them feel relaxed and trying. To take their mind off things for a little while.”

The two men take their own supplies and make their own ways to the hospital for 11am, finishing at 4:30pm. Through the day, they see patients who are unable to leave the hospital and struggle to maintain with simple tasks that many of us can do without any problems and take for granted, including keeping up with their hair and facial hair. Nurses care for their patients every day with medicine, clean bedding and assist with washing however they are so stretched with time and funding that it is not possible for them to hire a barber or take patients out to a barber for the patients who are able. Not only are the nurses at the ward very grateful and appreciative of Liam and Brandan’s selfless and passionate work every tuesday, many other social media pages have thanked them!

When I asked Liam what was the best part about the day, he said how the mood and atmosphere changes of the patient’s from when they first arrive to the end of the day – “everyone had that extra kick and they became very warming.”

I think this is absolutely fantastic and patients can have such a confidence boost, as a chronic illness sufferer I know how difficult it can be being stuck in hospital and I know fellow chronic illness sufferers can relate! It’s also fantastic to see the young part of our generation spending their free time helping those in need.

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NHS Grampian Acute Sector 

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Fubar News

Friends and family of the two men have also shown their support via social media platforms, as well as family of patients!

To anyone who has thought about doing something similar or are young and haven’t yet thought about volunteering, Liam says the following: 

“I strongly believe we’re all far too caught up in our own lives and it is time that we start giving back, even with something small. Doing something small will make a massive impact in someone else’s life. It’s nice to be nice!” 

Awareness, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs

Christmas Wishes

Hello everyone, it’s been just a wee while since I updated you all about my health and everything else in my life! So here goes;

Mental Health

So many who follow my social media will know my mental health hasn’t been so good. You will think “is there a particular reason or trigger?” The answer to that is yes. Myself and Jaimie have had a very hard past few months financially which has been extremely stressful. Last month I sadly had a miscarry and not long after that, I had family members treat me like absolute dog poop due to not having money to attend a baby shower before hand – it got really nasty and my mental health has been spiralling downwards ever since. This isn’t because of the lies they said to me and about me, just more so that they felt the need to directly be nasty towards me rather than just be quiet and leave me alone with their negativity. Anyway, I see my doctor next week so I can try yet another medication for my Anxiety and Depression.

I get so scared over the silliest of things such as the shower curtain being closed, the door not being locked and when Jaimie isn’t in the house I feel panicked. I am barely sleeping and sit awake all night and lucky to get a nap in the morning without someone knocking on the door (usually post that sort of thing!)

Chronic Illnesses

The fun part, I wish! My wound where my rectal stump had been, is a real pain in the ass – pun intended!! My fistulas have been leaking and giving me infections which is super sore, my Tonsilitis/Tonsil stones won’t clear and my wisdom teeth keep getting abscessed (currently on the waiting list as urgent to have the four of them removed.)

My arthritis of course has flared with this cold weather so most days I need to use my walking stick and last week I had an appointment at ARI so used the bus, BIG mistake. I really struggled with sickness and my joint pain was just exhausting so Jaimie came to pick me up after offering to as he knew I was struggling.

I continue to fight the constant fatigue whether I manage to sleep or not and have also been in and out of hospital recently with my chronic migraines, sickness and wound problems. I’m also waiting for a capsule camera endoscopy to find out what is wrong with my small bowel and stoma which is four months overdue.

Charity Volunteering

I have done quite a bit of charity volunteering via social media this year!

I have just made a hamper in aid of GetYourBellyOut to raise money for those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, it’s almost finished! I also did the photography for the charity ball in April this year when my friend Hanna took really poorly and was admitted to hospital, thankfully she was okay and recieved really good care. We will be attending the ball next April again to see some of the most amazing people ever including my best friends Levi and Steph!

I have been collecting donations for Street Friends Aberdeen charity who help the homeless of Aberdeen, run by volunteers making them warm meals a few nights a week. (If you would like to help please click here for the items list.)

You will remember earlier this year in March, I took part in a charity photo shoot for The Purple Wings Charity Calendar where I raised almost £600 in sponsors and by auctioning off items for the charity. The calendars are now on sale for next year and can be bought by clicking here. It was great fun!

Everything Else

A lot to take in right?! I know it is a lot, sorry! This saturday we get our first ever real christmas tree! Most of the christmas presents have been wrapped up for everyone, just literally one or two left to wrap and that is all done yay! The dogs are all doing fine and have been squished up to me or on my knee giving me loads of cuddles whilst I have been poorly. They always seem to know how to make me feel comforted, bless their little but big hearts.

My Christmas Wishes

Lastly, my wishes for this christmas.

  • Have tests done
  • Be seen in the IBD clinic
  • For friends and family to have a lovely christmas and new year
  • More donations for Street Friends Aberdeen
  • Get my GetYourBellyOut volunteer shirt!
  • Not end up in hospital
  • To be well enough to enjoy christmas day without being tired and being able to eat Christmas dinner without feeling sick

Seems silly christmas wishes to many but for me, it’s big wishes.

What’s your christmas wish(es) this year?

recipes

Spicy Parsnip Soup

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The end of this week has been super cold with snow and frost so I thought making a nice hot soup with a kick to it would be nice for us!

Luckily I can digest parsnips no problem no matter how they are cooked! My partner (Jaimie) however struggles with them. Isn’t it strange how we both have the same illness and stoma but we digest things differently?!

Now, the good thing about this soup is you can add as much spices, as little or none at all depending on what you like. For me, I add in quite a bit as I LOVE spicy foods! This is also a very good soup to have if you are suffering from constipation – it will clear you out! ha ha.

So, let’s get right to what you need to make the Spicy Parsnip Soup –

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chilli powder
  • chilli flakes
  • smoked paprika
  • butter
  • 675 grams of parsnips (one packet and a big from another)
  • Vegetable stock

Starting the prep, peel the parsnips and cut into chunks. Do the same with the onion and add into the pan with olive oil, put in two garlic cloves, butter and spices.

Add in vegetable stock and boil for two hours.

Blend to a consistency that you like and serve!

recipes

Beef Stew

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It’s that lovely time of year where the snow is starting to fall,the grass is crisp and you want a good nutritious meal that is easy to make.  Beef stew or ‘casserole’ is a lovely meal and super easy to prepare which includes soft beef chunks and soft cooked vegetables.

As this recipe is done in the slow cooker, it makes everything soft and easier to digest!

For the recipe, you will need :

  • diced beef
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • bisto gravy granules
  • beef stock cube
  • vegetable stock cube
  • two garlic cloves
  • one diced onion
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • ground pepper for seasoning

I started firstly by dicing my onion, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and garlic. I put olive oil and onions into the slow cooker to fry first. Then added the other vegetables in.

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I then put in the diced beef with the gravy granules, water (thickness of gravy is up to you) beef and vegetable stock with garlic, butter and some ground pepper.

Leave on the stew selection of the menu (or leave on heat mark 4 for 90 minutes) if it is an ordinary slow cooker you have, leave on high for 2 hours.

Serve with whatever you like! For example; bread and butter, white pudding or steam cooked vegetables!

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Personal Blogs

BBC Radio Brain waves

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After talking with the lovely Pennie from BBC Radio Scotland, we had a cuppa at my home and recorded some conversations on topics for the Brainwaves Podcast edition for Series 7 in 2020.

In Pennie’s Brainwaves series, she explores the science behind our everyday experiences and shares this with scientists who work in Scotland. The first series which started in 2014, covers topics such as Edinburgh Science Festival, Obesity Figures in Scotland. Series 2 covers topics such as how sounds affect people, meeting and talking with scientists and professors and meeting Karen Vousden, director of Cancer Research. Series 3 covers topics such as Biometrics, The Psychology of Cheating, Donating your body to science and The Flu virus. Series 4 covers topics such as The Northern Lights, Antimicrobial Resistance and the Anatomy of a stroke. Series 5 covers topics such as The problem with plastic, The Invisible Disease and Child Tissue Donation. Series 6 which covers various topics such as Food For Thought, Street Drugs and Pain.

Series 7 which is set to be released early 2020, is currently being recorded. Subjects include a shocking insight into the prevalence of perinatal PTSD, a real eye opener on what might be the next big environmental pollution issue plus a few good, bad and ugly facts about fat.

I am VERY excited for you all to hear our one which covers many subjects! When it is published, I will make sure to update you all!