Saturday, 28 March 2015

Liver Catchup | March 2015

Hey Guys !
Hope your all well?
 
In my last post I was chatting about how I met Pinny in ICU last week but before that I had Liver Clinic to check on my liver and see how my change in medication is going.
 
Last time I was in clinic  one of my anti-rejection medications was stopped since they thought it wasn't really working anymore so that was the end to me taking Sirilimous.
 
As I explained in my last liver clinic catch up post dependant on my last lots of bloods they would stop another drug I am on and put another in its place.
 
source:pintrest
 
So I was very happy to find out I could start the new medication to see how I got on with it.
The best part of all of this is that they will hopefully get my liver numbers into a normal range for the first time ever - and in the long term it would mean me and Gareth can think about trying for children which a few months ago most defiantly wasn't a choice.
 
We won't know until next month whether the tablets are having the desired effect but I am already feeling more alert and even my eyes are a lot brighter so I am really hoping the blood results back up how I am feeling.
 
I have been taken completely off mychophenolate to be put on azathioprine so I am really hoping to have positive blood results next month - it would be the ideal situation for everyone really.
 
I usually have a bang of nervousness for next clinic as you never really get used to waiting for those results to get back but for once I'm feeling a lot more positive about these results, it would be amazing if these tablets do the trick...
 
But if they don't ?
Well I'm not too sure but what I do know is both Me & Gareth will be gutted.
So here's to positive thinking and these tablets changing things for good for me!
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
X O X O


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

And THIS is why I blog

Hi Guys !
Hope your all well?

Many of us bloggers get asked what it is that makes us blog and I have several reasons myself but the main one being support for those affected by transplant and to inform those who are interested / want to know more about organ donation.

I have been using Talking Transplants to not only inform people of my story and what implications liver failure brought to my life but I also try and show people affected by transplant that life can return to some form of 'normality' and that a life post transplant isn't just about taking life long medication it is about taking that second chance of life and using it in the best way possible.

 Since starting my blog around 2 years ago now I have had the opportunity to get in touch with people who have been affected by transplant and swap stories, share advice and the opportunity to try and make a difference.
 
I really hope that I can Inspire / Help others and Support them through the whole situation, which I didn't have myself as such. I want to be able to pick people up when they feel down and I have always been this way!
 

But last week, I did the best thing I have ever done with the use of Talking Transplants.
A few weeks ago, My wedding story was shared once again on the NHS Organ Donation Campaign page and as it always does it lead to a few messages falling into my inbox. As I replied back to them one stood out,it was from a girl called Robyn and she explained her Mom was waiting for a transplant and she had a few questions.

From then on Me & Robyn would message each other every few days and I would ask how things were going and then answer any questions they had. I then found out that she wrote a blog following her journey - a great perspective from a transplant patients family  ( You can read her blog here ).

After I read a few posts I realised her mom wrote a blog too from her perspective as a patient waiting for transplant (  you can read it here). I instantly felt attached to this family and knew I wanted to help them the best I could by sharing my experiences.

Some time passed and Pinny got her call - but sadly it failed and she went on to have a second transplant.

I was in touch with her daughter throughout all of this,and just wanted to give her and her family a big hug as they must have been so scared. After having a chat we decided since I was in clinic last week that we would meet up if her mom was feeling up to it.

So fast forwarding to Thursday (rewinding now really..) I finished up at clinic and made my way up to the restaurant where I met Robyn and her cousin. After a good chat we made our way down to intensive care where I had the pleasure of meeting Robyn's sister and the Lovely Pinny - She Looked BRILLIANT!

There she was sat out in her chair and I had a pretty quick flashback of being sat in that chair myself feeling scared of what the future held for me considering what my journey had already consisted of.
After we had a long chat about a range of different things and I had answered some questions before Pinny started to feel a tad tired so we decided to leave so she could have a well deserved rest - I know just how draining it is sitting out in that chair!

Once we returned to the restaurant Pinny's sister had arrived so we had a chat and I told them some bits and bobs i felt would help them once Pinny was discharged as sometimes there are things doctors forget to tell you - like the fact being told your being discharged should only be taken seriously when you have left the hospital, something a lot of long term patients will be more than aware off!

After we said our Good Byes to this brave and incredibly lovely family I had to hold in the tears.
Going back to ICU made it all so real to me what I have been through myself which I often forget.
Visiting Pinny and her family made me so happy,it reminded me that my blog IS making a difference and  helping those in need of the support.

Overall I just want to say thank you to Robyn for getting in touch in the first place and allowing me to be there during your mom and your families transplant journey. You have allowed me to see what I want to achieve in the future - To continue supporting transplant patients and there families.

I am planning on seeing Pinny in a few weeks and can't wait to see how well she is doing.

This has just shown me as always how amazing organ donation is,
Thank You to my Amazing Donors & to all the donors who have saved these brave people I continue to meet - Our donors will forever continue to be our heroes.

Hug your Loved Ones & Remind them just how much you love them.

Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
X O X O

Friday, 20 March 2015

Saturday Walk With Friends

Hi Guys!
Hope your all well?
 
A few weekends ago two of our best friends and their little boys came to visit us in our new home, and we all went out walking and played with kites and the puppies !
 
 
 
After speaking to people in the local area we found a huge hill that overlooks the local area where the boys could fly their kite and where Gareth and my friends husband could ride on a long board - who said little boys grow up eh' ?

 
Once we actually got there we soon realised it probably wasn't the best place to fly the kite since there were some huge drops around not ideal for little ones, so in the end we just walked on the little trail they had while taking photos of the views as they were stunning.
 
We were lucky enough to be out on the warmest and sunniest weekend we have seen in months, so all the animals were out and about in the fields and the cows were having a leisurely sunbathe lay right across the path which the boys found pretty funny ! 


 After a lengthy walk we realised we had originally gone to the wrong place - oops.
At this point instead of walking even further we decided to just walk back to the car and fly the kite on the huge field at the base we live at, after we had fussed the horse we saw on the way of course !

 
 
We had an amazing day and I have really missed going out walking while we wait for the puppies to have their last injections done.
Where are your favourite places to go walking ?
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Easter'esque Lush Haul

Hey Guys !
             Hope your all well ?                
 
Today I thought I would share a lush haul with you all since they have some adorable things in store at the moment.
 
 
 When Easter comes around lush bring out the sweetest things,
all of which I end up falling in love with since I'm a big kid at heart.
 
  
 
I popped into LUSH Luton last weekend and the store was super busy and full of people getting last minute mothers day presents, but since I already had that sorted I was more than happy to go around the store smelling all of the brightly coloured Easter treats while catching up with my favourite lush team.
 
 
 
First I want to share my new favourite which was part of the mothers day range, so if  you want to try it out I'd get it ASAP .
As the name suggests this bubble bar has a gorgeous violet scent, it starts of as a Parma violet sweet scent but then turns into a true floral smell.
I used this in a bath cocktail with the hoppity poppity bath bomb, and it was so relaxing.
I have a new favourite, why do I always love limited edition stuff!
 

 
How sweet is this bubbly bunch of carrots?
This trio of carrots creates a bath full of citrusy bubbles - one carrot can get you about three baths so for £5.95 that's great value too.
I think this is a great one for the kids (big and little kids alike mind you..)
I do kind of wish this had a stronger scent to it, so much so I think I will be picking up the matching soap next time I'm in store.


 
I am so glad they brought this back this year because this is possibly one of the best smelling products they have brought out - toffee and caramel scented !
This little golden egg is one of my favourites, what's not to love about an Easter egg covered in gold glitter, packed with moisturising butters and oils.
This is the perfect product when you want a real pamper (also heads up if you want a really amazing bath, chuck in a honey bee bath bomb to fill your bathroom with a heavenly toffee caramel scent)
 
 
 
Honey Bee is part of lush's permanent range but it compliments a lot of the Easter products.
A lot of the ingredients in this bath bomb are super soothing and softening which makes this sweet bath bomb perfect for this time of year when your skin needs some TLC.
I love to use this when I need a bit of a pick me up as this is very refreshing with the use of orange oil. For very dry skin, add this into your bath with golden egg and use honey I washed the kids soap and I promise you will feel super pampered.
 


 
How sweet is this little bunny?
The lavender in this bath bomb makes it very soothing and relaxing but the popping candy and lime oil make it uplifting - making this one great for little ones, its similar to ikkle baby bot, yet it shares the same scent as ultraviolet bubble bar.
At £2.50 this is great as a pocket money friendly Easter treat.
 

 
This soap looks so heavenly with it's multi-coloured chunks and iridescent glitter. 
It is full of neroli, rose & mandarin oils so is defiantly a soap which has up lifting properties in mind.
It is very softening and it is a fab soap but the scent just isn't as strong as I'd like it too be.
This may be perfect for those of you who aren't into some of the strong scented products lush have.
Don't get me wrong though I do love how sparkly this is!
 

 
Another permanent product lush has to offer which reminds me of toffee apples or sherbet!
Again this goes so well with a lot of Easter products.
This is a fun one for adults and children as it swirls out like a Catherine wheel shooting out blue colours and popping candy - definition of bath time fun!
 

 
This shower jelly has a super rich caramel scent something I wasn't expecting considering it has pineapple juice in it.
That aside this makes your skin super silky so all that together gives you a super pampering product.
It smells so luxurious, and with the addition of glitter you just have to love it!
As you all may have already gathered I am a bath person but this stuff gives a shower a bit more jazz so I actually find myself wanting showers instead now.
 
 
What are your favourites from lush?
Is there anything you want to try from the Easter range?
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
 
X O X O
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

BAKING | Milk & White Chocolate Cookies.

Hey Guys!
Hope your all well?
 
Today I thought I would share a recipe with you all after a bunch of people requested it after seeing me post photos of cookies I have been making.
This is my second attempt of photos because I lost the first lot of triple choc cookie photos - grrr (don't worry I will upload that recipe soon too ! )
 
 
In February I baked these cookies about 5 times,
They are super quick and easy to bake and went down really well so I knew I had to share the recipe with you.
 
Ingredients
 
200g Butter
300g Caster Sugar
325g Self Raising Flour
1 Large Egg
200g White Chocolate
200g Milk Chocolate
 
 
Take your room temp butter and mix this in with your sugar - since I don't have a fancy mixer I just get in there with my hands. If you ask me that's what baking is all about !

 
Make a well in the centre of your mixture and crack in your egg.

 
 
Then gradually pop in your flour, you should sieve it in but I don't have a sieve so I just gradually pop it in, but I have never had a bad result doing this so who knows...
If your mixture looks a tad too dry then just add in a dash of milk.
 
 
Once you have your cookie dough you then want to break your chocolate into your bowl,I added in a bit of dark chocolate I had left in the baking cupboard and at this point you really can put in whatever you want.
I even did a batch of white chocolate and raspberry cookies recently and they were fab, just be sure to the follow the main recipe for the dough.
 
To make sure the chocolate spreads evenly you want to take the dough from the bottom of the mixing bowl and bring it up to the top, and keep doing that until its evenly mixed again.

 
Roll your dough into ten equal balls then pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven at 200c for 12 minutes - Yes just trust me, nly 12 minutes no longer!
Above I have put five on each tray but if you have the time / oven space pop three on each tray as these cookies really do spread out,so prevents them getting stuck together during the bake.

 
Once baked you need to let them cool for 25 minute's, which will leave you with a crunchy outside and a gooey inside YUM!

 
These are super easy and quick to bake so I hope you all enjoy giving them a go and mixing up the flavours inside of them, I will be uploading some more baking posts soon, so feel free to comment below any things you would like to see me bake :)
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon.
Kate
x o x o
 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Monthly Round Up | FEBRUARY

Hey Guys !
Hope your all well ?
 
Another Month has flown by so here I am about to tell you all about my February.
I hope you all had a great month, here is what I got up to.
 
Told my anxiety where to go...
 
This month has been an amazing month for me and dealing with my anxiety.
I have been to a bloggers event, had a few other days full of meeting people due to my blog and not one anxiety attack has come.
This month has been a pretty hectic one and then we found out Gareth will be going a way for a few months at some point with work so usually this would be a huge trigger, but using breathing techniques, every time I have got through it with no problem at all!
I have been so proud of myself and it's allowing me to do so much more - Wahoo.
I have been using a few apps that I think may have helped so will do a blog post telling you all about those soon. Just shows sometimes you just have to push past that anxious feeling and it gets easier each time then.
 
 
Got our new puppies.
 
The big thing this month was when we got our new little puppies - Squidge & Smudge.
They are brothers and are cocker spaniels, they are beautiful little boys, cheeky though of course!
They are getting there last injections at the end of the month and am so excited to get them out walking with us - more than anything to drain some of there surplus energy bless them.
As you can imagine I currently have a iPhone full of puppy photos so be sure to follow them over on instagram - yes they have so many pictures they have an instagram (@squidge_smudge)
 
 
Getting my bake on!
 
I have always loved to cook since I left home, and always share recipes here on my blog (lots more on the way!) but I have never really taken to baking - until this month.
What put me off baking is you have to be so accurate where as with cooking you can pretty much change up a recipe and its fine, but with baking it needs to be a bit more structured but I have been making cookies and brownies nearly every weekend this month - so I am pretty sure my waistline dislikes me. I have been sending them into work with Gareth though and he has said they were a win at work, so with my new found love for baking I think the lads he works with will be happy enough to keep receiving cookies on their tea breaks !
 
This month has been a very exciting yet normal month for me,
A lot has changed, A lot has stayed the same.
That's life really isn't it, just because people seem to be doing super exciting things around you it doesn't mean your personal life is any less interesting :)
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o
 


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Reason behind lack of body confidence?


Hey Guys!
Hope your all well?

Now I have been seeing a few images circling facebook which just really hit a nerve with me, and decided I wanted to chat about here..
I completely understand men also have problems with body image and body confidence but today I want to talk about women (a male post is coming soon for you lads.)


Source : Facebook.com

This was the image that I saw and it made me actually feel really quite sad.
In the image a girl is stood looking at herself in the mirror and she zips down her side and takes out stuffing from her body then she is seen to be sparkling looking in the mirror of a thinner version of herself.

Source : Google.

Then when researching into more of these types of images for this post I found this post about change.
The character evidently looses weight and is seen to be smiling..

These kind of images ?
They make me feel so angry and sad.
I understand as much as anyone else we aren't always happy with the ways we look but posting images like these just gives drive to these thoughts and all I can think is what age girls are viewing these on social media and thinking they need to change?
 


This image in particular actually made me want to cry..
Back in 2013 I was going through a pretty bad time when it came to my body confidence and I remember feeling just like this image indicates.
I remember looking at my post transplant stomach and hating it, I have been left with excess skin and deep stretch marks all over my body from the fluctuating weight liver failure put me through and I felt disgusting.
The problem was never with my scar as I have always seen my 'shark bite' as my mark of survival as such, but I hated how I looked.



With help I learnt that this wasn't a healthy way to think, and it was a much more rooted issue linked to more emotional things going on in my life at the time.
I am now in a much happier place, but still from time to time struggle and seeing images like these just make me blood boil, images like these just justify how young people may be feeling so they think its okay to have such a distorted image of themselves - yes we all have days where we would probably change how we looked from time to time but to feel like you want to take scissors to your stomach ? that's a whole new extreme that needs to be spoke about.


But then I come round to the one thing that I think is a huge part to play with a lack in body confidence and body image - girls being bitches about other girls.
Now I'm not saying everyone does this, as I know myself I don't but when I see images like the one above it makes me so angry.
Who is one person to judge another?

I have been on both sides of the spectrum,as a young teen I carried a bit of weight then lost it and was just really curvy at the end of school/before transplant and then after transplant lost a ton of weight, so much so had to have a ng tube put in to help me gain weight (an ng tube gives you a liquidised diet through your nose directly to your stomach)

 

Year 7 & Year 11.

 
Before transplant number 3,as you can see the first image my stomach is full of fluid and then my weight plummeted.
 
 
Stomach post transplant.
Here my stomach is very flat but the truth is, I wasn't in good health!
So really what is more important - our figure or our health?
 
Sadly though I was scrutinised and laughed at for being all sizes, but I must say when I was 6 stone due to my transplant people would really stare and make horrible comments but they didn't know WHY I was so thin,proof that we never know why people are the size they are and what they are going through !
 
When I was 6 stone though I didn't realise just how thin I was until I look back now at 10 stone.
This really scares me as it shows just how easy it is to have a distorted self image.
When I was at a healthy weight in year 11 (and currently) I was very body confident, and this showed as I ignored anything negative people had to say.
 
I still struggle with the way I look from time to time, but deep down I know there is nothing at all wrong with the way I look - we are ALL beautiful.

So honestly girls bitching on girls?
Come on what's going on there ladies?
Instead lets reinforce how BEAUTIFUL woman of all sizes are!
Together we can promote a healthy body image :)
So maybe think in future if you are about to scrutinise someone's image, if you have nothing nice to say? Stay quite.

Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o