Monday, 20 May 2013

Psoriasis flare up - May 2013

I am losing patience with my body and all it's ailments, if I could have a body swap I would jump at the chance!
So aside from my dodgy pancreas and insides, I also suffer the misfortune of having psoriasis.
I've had the skin condition for over 25 years, I think I was first diagnosed when I was about 6 years old. I've had the torment of being bullied all my way through school from people who didn't know what it was. At one point I told people I had eczema ( because it was easier to explain ) and for some reason the bullying stopped, I never understood why eczema was "normal" and not something to be bullied about yet psoriasis was some horrible disease and the person suffering deserved to be tormented and have names called at them!

I've tried all manner of lotions and potions, ranging from topical steroid creams to coal tar based lotions. I've spent many a week on the dermatology ward as a child being bandaged from head to toe in order to keep the ointment on me. I've also tried UVB light therapy which is like an industrial sunbed, you start off by going on for about 30 seconds to a minute and then gradually build up in 30 second increments. You spend more time getting undressed and dressed again than you do in the machine!

So I'm still battling the ailment today and am currently covered from head to toe. I'm going to be brave and show you all photos of my lower legs.

I cannot describe how much my entire body itches at the moment, but it's so bad that I wake myself up scratching and bleeding. I sometimes feel the only way I could get some proper relief is if I was to rub myself down with sandpaper ( and I have been known to do that to my legs and feet in the past !! )

So anyway, I have been to see the dermatologist this morning to see what help they can give me. The keep recommending that I try a new auto immune injection which apparently has had some fantastic results, however it does significantly lower your own immune system. If I hadn't have had my pancreatitis and currently be waiting for further operations I would probably have jumped at the chance of trying the injections but I cannot risk my health at the moment. The only thing that has actually ever worked and kept my skin clear for a good few weeks, is two weeks holiday in the sun. The combination of sun and sea water works wonders on my skin, but the NHS won't pay for a holiday for me so instead, it's back to the old UVB light treatment and short contact ointment. So that means for the next few weeks I shall be visiting the hospital every day for treatment - easier said than done when you have a 3 year old in tow! I cannot expect him to sit and be quiet in the treatment room whilst myself and other patients are covered from head to toe in ointment that stains everything it comes into contact with, so, I guess I'll be calling in a few favours of my relatives to babysit him for a few hours every day whilst I try and get myself sorted.

Do any of my readers suffer from any skin problems and/or have any solutions that they would care to share? - you can post anonymously if you like.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Swimming with Squiggle

OK, so I decided to brave it and take Squiggle swimming on my own, well when I say on my own I mean without the help of my other half or my mum. I met my friend and her one year old daughter for an afternoon of splishing and splashing in the pool.

Squiggle is getting braver and braver every time he goes, we haven't been since before Christmas so I thought he might be a bit wary - but no, he was flopping underwater in the shallow end as kids do, splashing everyone and even let me bob him in and out of the water. He used to hate getting his face wet in the bath but he loved going underwater this afternoon! He loved it when the wave machine came on, the pool played the Jaws theme tune before the waves started and Squiggle's face just lit up when he heard the music.

At one point he started to wander to the deep end and so I followed behind, I noticed that his feet weren't touching the bottom, my little Squiggle was "swimming"!
He managed to do a full length doggy paddling and I didn't know who was happier me or him - now we only need to work on getting his daddy to swim - he never learnt so it makes it hard when we go to the pool or on holiday and I'm the one on my own in the sea whilst he's just paddling his toes on the beach!

So after Squiggle's triumph with swimming - he decided he was big boy and wanted to go down the water slide. Not wanting to upset him, I agreed to take him down, so off came the glasses and up the stairs we went. I had barely sat down when he jumped on my lap and we were off. He loved it. So we had to go again, and again, and again.......

Swimming will never be the same again with Squiggle - he's growing up far too quickly but it's nice being able to have fun with him.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Review: E45 Lotion

Right, let's see how this goes, my first proper online blog review of a product. Firstly I will disclose that I'm a BzzAgent and I have been sent some of the new E45 lotions to try, review and spread the word about - whether it be good or bad!

A little bit about BzzAgent first, it's free to sign up and once your profile has been completed you will be eligible to join trials of products. They send you free stuff, you try it and then share the deals and samples with your friends, in return they just ask you to create a buzz about the product and then return to their site to fill in details about what you thought of the product, who you've spoken to about it and what they thought and then you just simply wait for the next campaign to come along and do it all again.

I was sent a bottle of E45 Moisturising Lotion and a bottle of E45 Nourish & Restore Body Lotion.

The Moisturising Lotion is good for every day use, it does what it says on the label which is soothes, softens and relieves dry and sensitive skin. It's fragrance free and is very easy to apply. It quickly soaked into my skin and wasn't greasy or sticky. I applied it once in the morning and it kept my skin soft and smooth till bedtime.

The Nourish & Restore Body Lotion is also great for everyday use. It claims to restore skin suppleness within 3 weeks. I was very impressed after the first use. My skin wasn't as red looking and felt soft and smooth for 24 hours. I have even tried it on my face and it's got rid of the dry skin I had on my nose and forehead after 3 days of use. It's lightly fragranced and reminded me of baby powder. Again it was easy to apply and soaked nicely into my skin without feeling sticky or greasy.

I'm normally very fussy about body and moisturising lotions because I suffer from psoriasis and so I have very dry, red scaly, itchy skin. But even after only 3 days use of the Nourish & Restore Body Lotion, I think I have found something worth sticking with.

If you would like to try a free sample of E45 for yourself then click here

E45 can be found in all good retailers and comes in a variety of sizes.

Have any of my readers tried this or do you use something else?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you use to look after your skin.

Disclaimer, although I was sent the products to test, all words and photos are my own.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Charity Day at Playgroup

I take squiggle to a play group on a Friday morning, it's mainly for the under 5's, but does open up to older children in the school holidays. It's held in the local Salvation Army Hall, and every year they have a charity day where they open the doors and have stalls selling bric-a-brac, toys, books, the usual church fete type of things in order to raise money for a children's charity, this year they are raising money for Children with Cancer UK

As Children with Cancer UK are promoting a Bake Club Month I decided to to bring out the sheep again, and well, they went down a treat with everybody.

 I also baked some caramel muffins ( see above ) and some Devil's chocolate cakes ( see below ).

 My mum helped out by making chocolate krispies and we also both spent a day making cards.

Unfortunately the weather on the day was horrendous, it was pouring with rain so we didn't get as many people through the door as we expected, but those who did come along all bought a cake off my stall. The playgroup also invited hairdressing students from the local college to come along and give haircuts for donations, they had quite a few takers as well.

One of the girls also had a nail stall and used it to her advantage to practice her nail art and applying false nails!

Despite the weather and lack of people the playgroup managed to raise about £75 for the charity which we all thought was really good.

Now I know we've not even had a Summer yet, but I've suggested we try another one nearer Christmas and maybe try and invite local people to bring their own stalls so they can sell their trinkets and things for Christmas presents, so watch this space!

As the playgroup is part of the Salvation Army and their rules forbid any form of gambling, the group isn't allowed to hold any tombolas or raffles, as they are classed as gambling, so do any of my readers have any ideas for other stalls the playgroup could have if they were to do another charity day?