Monday, 6 January 2014

Recent Absence

Good Day Everyone,

I hope you’ve been keeping well over this past month and had a great festive season. I know I’ve been absent for the best part of a month but trust me I didn’t have much choice in the matter. 

So what have I been up to? Well, in December my hubby surprised me by booking me a ticket back home which was wonderful. He had to go back to England for a week on business and given how expensive the ticket prices were and the fact that the journey home takes 2 x 7.5hr flights and 2-3hrs transit time in between flights, I’d made the decision not to go back with him as I didn’t think Arthur (aka arthritis) could cope and I certainly couldn’t cope with a moody Arthur! However, I’d also been feeling a bit homesick during November/December time which my hubby picked up on and so a trip home was just what I needed :o)

As it was only the second week of December most friends were not on holiday leave yet so I didn’t see everyone I wanted but I was so happy to see those that I could. It’s amazing how much of a tonic a catch up with a few close girlfriends can be. My spirits were lifted and I felt a lot more positive and happier after this brief trip back home. Even though we’ve been in Singapore over two and half a years I do still occasionally get bouts of homesickness, after all there’s no place like home, right?

It was lovely spending some quality time with my mum too. Naturally we had a couple of girly shopping days. I always use a trip back home as an opportunity to stock up on my toiletries and things that I can’t get in Singapore. My mum (and dad of course) treated me to a couple of early birthday presents as it's my birthday this month and I obviously won't be seeing them. The day before we were due to fly back I popped into Boots (drugstore) to pick up a prescription when my mum and I spotted what must be (in my opinion) the best beauty bargain of 2013. If you live in England and shop at Boots then I’m sure you know what I’m talking about ;o) and if you don’t then not to worry I’ll be sharing it in a blog post very soon. Having heard the frenzy around this beauty bargain I was surprised to see it still on the shelves as it sold out at most Boots ridiculously quickly. When I explained the hysteria around it to my mum, we both took it as a sign that I was meant to have one ;o)

Once back in Singapore I got ill, really ill. You see over the past few months I’ve known (at the back of my mind) that I wasn’t looking after Arthur as best as I should and tensions between us had been mounting for some time. Needless to say things came to a head after the long return journey from England. Clearly Arthur had had enough and he wasn’t shy in letting me know either! Whilst I was very good at looking after Arthur through a healthy diet and daily exercise and physio sessions the first half of 2013, I let things slip during the second half of the year. Mid 2013 my hubby’s office got very busy and they were short staffed so I stepped in and started helping out 3-4 days a week working just half days (my joints couldn’t cope with full days). As I was feeling much better and Arthur and I had been getting along wonderfully I thought I’d be fine working part time but then complacency set in. I wasn’t going to the gym much and my diet started to slip too. Healthy breakfasts of fresh fruit and smoothies were being replaced by croissants and iced mochas. Even though I was only working half days, typically afternoons, I found I was too tired to cook in the evenings and too tired for the gym in the mornings. Gradually things slipped further and further and I knew I needed to take control but I was having too much fun spending time with hubby and being in a work environment and ultimately ended up neglecting Arthur.

Since mid December I've had a severe case of pleuritis (inflammation in and around the lungs) which has been very painful as it causes chest pains when breathing, especially when taking deep breaths - a bit scary to say the least. I also had severe inflammation of the tissue and cartilage around my ribs on the left side. That, in particular, was excruciatingly painful and I had a week of nauseating pain, sleepless nights and being unable to eat properly. Many people think that arthritis is just a few aches and pains in ones joints and that most of us probably suffer from this at some stage in our lives. But trust me that is so not the case. Arthritis is so much more than a few aches and pains. It can cause excruciating, nauseating pain as well as debilitating fatigue where you don’t even have the energy to get out of bed. It causes joint deformity that can be very visible (and embarrassing). It restricts your movement and ability to do simple everyday tasks - it really is a life changing condition.

The arthritis in my right wrist has been and still is very active and inflamed which makes typing difficult and that was another reason for my recent absence. I’ve been trying to rest my wrist as much as possible and sleeping with a wrist support at night. With all this going on I was completely out of action for a while. After lots of rest, heat therapy, healthy eating and Thai massages I finally started to feel better after Christmas. Around New Year I got severe mouth ulcers and a bad case of fatigue. As a result, Christmas and New Year was a pretty quite affair for us. I did manage to attend my hubby’s work Christmas lunch and take part in their office Secret Santa. I got a tube of the Urban Decay Primer Potion in my Secret Santa. Most people in my hubby’s office know I love makeup, especially eye shadows. In fact, one afternoon I had a Naked session with the girls in my hubby’s office. A couple of the girls had bought the Naked 3 palette and wanted me to show them how to create various looks. So one afternoon, I took in my Naked original and Naked 2 palette and the girls brought in their Naked 3 palette and we all got to compare and contrast the three palettes and have some fun :o)
I started New Year’s Day with a severe headache that lasted three whole days and not feeling particularly great which is not the best way to start 2014. However, I have started 2014 with the realisation that I need to prioritise Arthur above all else, even when I am feeling well and we are getting along just fine, because if I get complacent he won’t hesitate in letting me know and I really don’t want to go through another bad arthritic flare. So with that in mind, I have made a good start with a much cleaner diet this first week. Next week I plan to start my exercise regime again and getting back into a routine of looking after my permanent, albeit unwanted, guest. I won’t be helping out at my hubby’s office anymore as I need to reserve all my energy for getting along with Arthur and that does make me a little sad as I really miss working (and having a career) but I also appreciate that keeping my health for as long as I can is much more important – c’est la vie.

I hope you gorgeous glisteners glistened over the festive period and had a great Christmas. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014 for us all :o)

Love Sheen xxx
P.S. I hope you enjoyed the few more shots above of Christmas lights in Singapore

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