"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan




Highlights from my first year on Snapchat

by - Wednesday, October 02, 2019





Until Christmas of 2017 I was using a pretty rubbish smartphone as medical bills had to take priority over getting a new one. The budget phone wasn't too bad in its first year of use; it did the job. But then it turned stupid. So, so stupid.

It began taking terrible pictures. I wasn't able to access the internet longer than a minute. Sometimes I wouldn't know who was calling me even though the caller's number was saved in my contacts. And Instagram, the most important app on my phone, stopped working correctly.

With every software update its performance only got poorer. It was irritating beyond words.

Just before Christmas of 2017 I was ready to throw the piece of junk over our apartment's balcony. So you can imagine my delight when I received a shiny new smart(er) phone for Christmas that year. One that lets me post to Instagram at any time. One with a better camera. One that lets me send and receive picture messages. One that helps me up my makeup selfie game. It's, it's amazing.

The face of someone who got a new phone and tickets to The Script for Christmas.

Besides these wonderful things, I could finally download Snapchat. Out of curiosity and hearing my sister rave about it, I joined the party (extremely late as usual!) at the beginning of 2018. And I'm so glad I did. It makes life more fun.

I think it's a super cool way to share special and funny moments from your day, though I found joining the social media platform a little intimidating at first as I feel like my life is boring and I have little of interest to share. What could I snapchat when I'm at home most of the time and managing symptoms fills my days? Adorable animals and food, that's what. Cute pets and delicious food are never mundane. Right?

I've been sharing snaps of my pet nephews and my parents' dog, Tilly, along with behind the scenes of craft projects, little adventures, and snapshots of my life with illness. To celebrate my first year on Snapchat here are some highlights:



January 2018



This is Ronald the Alexandrine parakeet if you're new here. He's very excited to meet you.


I will eat you aliiiive! Oh and this is Rupert the Mini Lop, if you didn't know.


February 2018


A really happy moment.

Attempting to make a three layer cake for my sister's birthday with a dodgy oven and sore arm. Yes, I am remarkably insane. Admire me. And yes, it turned out well... well the cake did, not the frosting. Turns out it wasn't the oven I needed to worry about, it was the damn frosting! See it on Instagram (it's hilarious!).

He's a Child's Pose addict.



March 2018


Craft stores are better than Disneyland. Yep, I said it. Don't come for me.



Gilmore Girls is an excellent show to binge watch on Netflix on bad days. This fluffball agrees.



April 2018


Best night ever.

I got to see my favourite band The Script play again, which was the pick-me-up I needed after finding out endometriosis had grown back worse. They were incredible as usual. Hearing my favourite new song of theirs Arms Open live made me so happy. It was the best night of my life so far and I can't wait until they tour Australia again.


Always wanting food... just like me.



May 2018



*Destroying



When I was preparing to move out of home this lantern was the first thing I purchased. Home decor was clearly where my priorities laid. Living independent from my parents with so many health challenges was terrifying, but this lantern gave me a bit of hope and helped ignite some excitement about leaving my comfort zone. Pun intended. 

Now whenever I light this lantern I'm reminded of how much I've grown and overcome, and it makes me happy.

My friends threw me a surprise 30th birthday dinner. It was awesome.

I thought I was hosting a girls' night in, completely unaware that my friends had a surprise birthday dinner planned for me at my local cafe. Snacks were bought and takeaway options at the ready. I lit candles and got comfy in my ugg boots, expecting a laid back night with good friends. I was even going to bake a cake until my sister convinced me not to!

My friends came up with a hilarious plan to get me out of my apartment to the table they had decorated without spoiling the surprise. I made it very difficult for them but they did a spectacular job pulling it off. I thought they were acting super weird but I had no idea that asking me to host a girls' night was a cover-up. It wasn't until I saw the gorgeous table that I realised we were celebrating my upcoming thirtieth.



My parents also surprised me with a celebratory lunch spread on my birthday, which didn't take me by surprise because I knew wherever they were taking me would involve food. (And I also guessed where we were going when we were halfway there.)

Our waitress saw me snapchatting and hollered: ''OH MY GOD YES, THAT CHEESE BOARD IS SO SNAPCHAT WORTHY!''


On the last day of May I survived my fifth (maybe sixth, I've lost count) surgery for endometriosis. Although post-op pain was much worse than I'd mentally prepared for this time around I didn't let it stop me from enjoying hospital food. Yes, good hospital food exists! It was at a private hospital, but still, it's a flipping miracle.

I decided on butter chicken because it was one of the few dishes I felt like attempting to stomach and I was comfort eating. You know you're a hardcore foodie when you're in a morphine haze, feeble with nausea and can barely sit up, but you still order what seems to be a good option and then you force yourself to eat the entire dish because it's surprisingly delicious. This dish was the silver lining on a dark and brooding cloudy day.


June 2018


Recovering at my parents' house.

Not the healthiest of lunches but I was in too much pain to care. My parents had to help me with everything; I couldn't even get in and out of a chair or bed by myself, so I was more than happy to eat whatever they made me. My dad cooked me a hot breakfast every morning before he left for work, bless him. I even got pancakes one morning! It was a rough recovery but I'm very thankful to have great parents who made that hellish first week easier to get through.

Her fur looks like noodles and it makes me smile. Oh and I forgot to introduce you to this lady. How rude. This is Tilly; she's a Toy Cavoodle and she is my world. Most of you following on social media would know that though.

Recovery expectation: Binge watch Netflix shows and eat comfort food.

Recovery reality: Having an emergency vomit bucket on standby and forcing myself to eat something so I wasn't taking pain medication on an empty stomach, while either being too zonked from all the drugs or in too much pain to keep up with the deep injustices and dark issues of 13 Reasons Why Season 2. At least Tilly was a good napping buddy.



Full glam when I'm out and full bogan when I'm at home is how I roll. My future husband is going to be in for a shock. Ha!

Heading into week three of recovery was when I could concentrate more effectively so I binged-watched The Staircase, twice. That's how fascinating it is. I watched it through the second time with my sister and getting her thoughts and opinions on things and having her pick up on things I had missed made it even more intriguing.

Do I think Michael Peterson killed his wife? No, I don't. However, the documentary is based solely on the defendant's side so I question if I'm being cleverly persuaded to believe Peterson is innocent. Although from what I've watched and read about the American justice system, I believe it can be very corrupt. So I have more faith in Peterson than I do in the criminal justice system.

After watching the documentary twice, I feel that someone may have set Peterson up. I get the feeling someone is covering for someone. I don't think there is a complete innocence to this story and I have so many questions. Gah! 

If you haven't seen The Staircase, what are you doing with your life? You have my permission to stop reading my babble and go engross yourself in the riveting murder trial. You're welcome.


This is what I looked like after surgery!



This risotto tastes like heaven.

A lovely lady at my church organised a meal train for me while I was recovering which was an incredible blessing. The meals helped me get through another few weeks of recovery and rescued me from baked beans on toast. I enjoyed and appreciated every meal but this risotto was a standout. It was better than any risotto I've ordered at a restaurant. #amazing


July 2018



This was not a good day which is why surviving it is a highlight.

At my post-op appointment I endured a pelvic exam while my cervical wound was still healing. Then I had to catch a train into the city to see my neurologist. I was still contending with depression -- a lingering side effect from the general anesthetic; so I wasn't in the mood for another medical appointment, let alone an exhausting trip into the city.

Seeing confronting images of my diseased reproductive organs at that post-op appointment also made me a walking disaster. I couldn't stop crying. But I forged on because I couldn't bear the extensive wait for another appointment in the public health system.

It took all of my strength to hold it together on the train. After a short walk (which felt like an eternity with beaten up insides), finding the waiting room choc-a-block with fellow patients and nowhere for me to sit comfortably nearly broke me. Having to sit on the floor outside the waiting room while healing from having endometriosis lesions cut off my ovaries, cervix, and a ligament was very unpleasant to say the least. 0/10 would not recommend.

To top off the wonderful day I was having I also couldn't get a seat on the train on the way home. I stood the whole 50 minute journey because I couldn't deal with all the stares I would have received for requesting a seat because most humans are judgemental twits.
 
I've never related more to the lyrics ''Oh God, it hurts to be human'' from Hurts 2B Human


We need to come up with a better system in Australia for those travelling with invisible disabilities. We shouldn't have to ask someone for a seat and risk copping judgement and abuse. I know London has the 'please offer me a seat' badges but I don't know if I'd feel comfortable wearing one if it was implemented here.

I personally would love a section of seats or a dedicated carriage that is only accessible to those granted a swipe card. However, I'm aware that this idea would create problems of who does and doesn't qualify for a card. Not to mention that it adds to the stigma and segregation of disability. Despite these flaws though, I'd much rather access to a seat without fear, question and judgement.

But that will never happen. I digress...


I knew my appetite was back when I wanted two burgers for dinner. #carbie




August 2018



Feeling well enough to sit in church again was such a great feeling. I was very glad I went that Sunday morning because something hilarious happened to me courtesy of a dumb guy. Even now I randomly burst into laughing fits about it. And yes, I am deciding whether I will share this story with you. It's just that there are people who may know who I'm writing about and I don't want it misconstrued as gossip. 

It has provided some great entertainment for my friends and I though, so maybe I should just go for it? It's lighthearted, and after all, the poor guy handed me a blog story on a silver platter!

I *might* try to write it for a December post. It will be my Christmas gift to you.


De-stressing and getting excited for better balcony weather.



September 2018





Every day this buffoon demands he has a slice of my apple. He snatches his piece and purrs like a cat (something he does when he's happy) while he munches away. It always makes my day.

Oh, and the aphorism ''an apple a day keeps the doctor away'' is total bullcrap.

I've enjoyed reorganising and getting reacquainted with my craft stash again. I'm still yet to work on the summer cards I have mentally planned though...




October 2018



Getting back into a morning juicing routine post-surgery was a big win and such a good feeling.




Love at first stamp.




Crap colouring in but I did it with a shocking migraine while trying to manage severe endo pain on tramadol, so you should actually be impressed.




Bunny, where'd you get yo body from?




November 2018


I fell in love with making chocolate bouquets last year and had a lot of fun experimenting. This is the base of the third one I worked on.



I love living within walking distance to shops, cafes, and supermarkets. It's such a blessing.




December 2018


Pulling off a chocolate bouquet in two nights for my dad's birthday was a sweet victory. (Hehe, I'm so punny!)





Chronic migraine is the pits. This is my survival kit (for severe days only) and I swear by it. All I feel like eating when I'm nauseous as hell and it feels like my head is in a vice grip is a plain bag of crunchy, salty chips along with my favourite supermarket ice cream (or frozen custard) and sparkling water or orange juice. This time around I went with kombucha to balance out the unhealthiness.

Sometimes on a bad migraine day I have a particular craving... the other week I dragged myself down to the supermarket because my facial pain demanded it be soothed with rice pudding.




I wanted to do some Christmas baking or at the very least make some no-bake desserts for cute little gifts but I sadly wasn't well enough to. As a consolation I enjoyed some leftover Rudolph faces my sister made for her work colleagues.

For Christmas this year I'd like to make a version of these following the butternut snap tartlets recipe I love, but seeing as my health is further down the toilet since having to stop hormone therapy, I'm not holding my breath. It will be hard enough to make Christmas cards.

Side note: All I see when looking at Rudolph's eyes are boobs *chuckles*. Yes, I am a child. But why do chocolate buttons need tits for goodness' sake? (Oh, I laughed way too hard writing that.)

 


Since moving out of home I've been taking full advantage of the opportunity to have a super sparkly and girly Christmas tree. I'm obsessed with a pink Christmas and I don't plan on diverting from this pretty colour scheme anytime soon.
 

Very Discovery Channel.

While I was doing some Christmas shopping with my sister I noticed this X-rated bag. I picked up the bag to share my discovery with her. ''Hey Hollie, I found a great present!'' I said with a grin. ''Oh that's cute'' was not the entertaining response I was hoping for. "Cute? Look again!'' She scurried closer then laughed. ''Oh my god!''

Without saying a word I should have just got the bag to wrap up and put under the tree as a joke present for her. It may have gifted me (haha) a better dose of the amusement I was seeking. What a missed opportunity!

I'd like to know if anyone bought this bag as a serious gift. And who designed it? Call me sexist but I'd put money on that it was a man.
 


Gag.

Although December was a fun month it was also an incredibly frustrating one. On the night of December 1st I awoke in the night with intense sharp flank pain that my strong pain killers wouldn't touch. Thankfully, the pain dulled the following day before disappearing a few days later.

I put it down to a random wacky form of fibromyalgia pain, so when it returned two weeks later I shrugged it off and ignored it. But when I started feeling oddly short of breath and began waking with drenching night sweats I thought I better get it checked out.

I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given strict instructions to drink my body weight in Ural as my urine was ''very acidic.''

For me, the taste of Ural is strikingly similar to drinking bowel prep solutions I've endured in the past which make me nauseous, often to the point of vomiting. So I was not a happy camper.

When the antibiotics I was prescribed failed to work and lab results, get this: showed no infection, I was even more pissed off. (You should have seen that pun coming.) 

Here I am guzzling the vile stuff and making myself sick all for nothing.

As I predicted on the day that all my test results came back negative, I've spent most of 2019 searching for answers and relief. It's been an arduous full-time job.

In July we thought we had worked out what the problem was and resolved it. But some symptoms have recently returned, so it's back to the drawing board. My life is beyond ridiculous sometimes.

If you would like to follow my ridiculous life here is my snapcode. I send out snaps of the cute animals in my life on Fridays (when I remember).


 


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