A Day In The Life / Invisible Illnesses

To fellow POTSies, this is for you.

“I understand.

It’s starts off slow, one by one you slowly start to notice changes in your self. Less energy, less thinking capacity, more sleep. You slowly start to wonder about your self, but you’re probably just exhausted… despite how much sleep you have gotten recently.

It starts slowly, and then comes all at once.

That’s the thing about invisible illness’s, you never see them coming.

You end up in the emergency room, you’re not overly sure what’s wrong; but every time you stand, you faint and for the life of you, you can’t get your heart to slow down. It aches in your chest, you ache in your bones.

There are lots of questions, and quite usually lack of answers. So you lay there, being poked, prodded and praying for an answer to this misery.

Sometimes, if you really hit the jackpot, you will meet a doctor that knows what POTS is. They will be familiar with the symptoms and recognize them in you, and it will feel so so good to hear them say the name because suddenly it all makes sense. But like I said, this is based off the one and only chance you hit the jack pot.

In other circumstances, you will explain why you’re there over and over. You will tell each and every nurse how awful you feel, what happened and hear yourself ask why. You’ll listen to them as they explain it all again to the next nurse they’re handing over too, or the doctor that has come to see you, and more often then not, they will look just as confused as the one before.

That’s the thing about invisible illnesses, no one ever sees them at all.

So you’ll have tests, you’ll have blood tests, and have several ECG’s at different times, you’ll have echograms and anything and everything that might show an answer. But they never do, and the doctors and nurses stand in front of you, as confused as they were to begin with, which to be noted, is not their fault at all.

They can not know about something, they have never been told. That’s the thing about invisible illness’s, they have to be taught.

So you go about life, as much as you can.

A little differently now though. You quit everything extra in your life, hobbies, gigs, anything that takes away the energy you need.

You stick to what you need. You don’t drop uni because you’re too far through now and you need to finish this.

You haven’t been to class in weeks, you haven’t been anywhere in weeks in fact. You’ve been in bed everyday for the past 15 days in a desperate attempt to finish your assignments from home, knowing full well that your brain isn’t going to cooperate with you for much longer. So you don’t get out of bed on this day either, knowing you need every single piece of energy devoted to thinking, and completing this assignment before the lack of blood going to your brain clouds your judgment.

A few days later, you need to go to class today, it’s compulsory. You made a point of showering the night before to save any extra energy for today. You don’t waste energy on makeup, or anything to make you look more presentable, you put on the clothes closest to you.

You’re not allowed to drive at the moment, so you go through the list of family members who might be able to drive you and ask them kindly.

The walk begins from the car park to your class room. You walk slow, and you wonder what everyone is thinking. Is she lazy? Is she unfit? She’s so slow. So you stand to the edge of every path way and hope no one asks you why.

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Each slow step is a desperate attempt to get closer to your destination, and to keep your heart beat at an okay speed. You pray you’re going to make it there, without fainting or feeling your heart run at a million miles an hour.

Ten minutes later you’ve finally made it, but this means you’re late. You watch as everyone stares as you walk in, wondering if they have even seen you in this class before. You walk faster to find a seat because you don’t want everyone staring while you walk slow. You quickly regret that fast walk when you meet your seat because suddenly your head is spinning, your heart beat is thumbing in your ear and you need to be present.

Your name is ticked off the role, and the teacher begins to speak. You try to pay attention to each and every word their saying but you have trouble making sense of it all. It took all you had, just getting here. You then notice everyone doing a task so you try to follow along and look as if you know what you’re doing, when in reality, your brain is now in the clouds and your body aches. But you try, and try for a little while longer because you made an effort to be here today.

Until eventually, your body gives in. You can’t quite stand up properly without loosing your balance so you take it slow, politely tell the teacher you have to go, you will complete the work from home, and beg another member of the family to come get you.

That’s the thing about invisible illnesses, the pain demands to be felt.

The rest of the day feels like torture. Everything is a mission, and a big one at that.

You don’t get out of bed for the rest of the day, and fall asleep knowing that you probably won’t for the next few days.

 

And you wonder, if it was all worth it. That’s the thing about invisible illnesses.” 

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Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome was first recognized as in illness in 1993. In America, POTS is viewed as such a life crippling disease, that service dogs are trained and are available for POTSies to assist with every day actives. Unfortunately, POTS is not so commonly known in Australia, and a lot of professionals are currently unaware of this crippling disease, which sometimes, for patients, can lead to a misdiagnosis, or perhaps no diagnosis at all. My main purpose for writing these blogs, and raising awareness of POTS is to not only minimize the amount of individuals who are falsely diagnosed or not diagnosed at all, to bring it to the attention of health professionals whose careers would benefit from being aware of the existence of POTS, and all that it drags along with it, but mainly to bring it to the attention of everyday individuals of how much POTS, and ANY invisible illnesses can change a person’s life, even if you can’t see it.

*This post was originally written for a university assignment that shed light to what POTS is and what it is like to live with it. For more information about my health journey click here to view my original post. 

** If you are interested in helping me raise awareness for POTS, please do so by sharing these blog posts, or even simply taking the time to read them and share with your loved one your new piece of information for the day. One more person informed, is one person closer to the person walking around undiagnosed, unsure why they are feeling the way they do. So let’s raise awareness, together, because I don’t wish that loneliness or the uncertainty to if anyone believes you that goes along with it, upon anyone.

For further information, check out My Heart Website  and follow ‘Standing Up For Pots’ on Facebook for similar stories, or their website. 

Please message me if there is anything you would like me to clarify or expand on / any questions you may have.

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Until next time,

 

K

x

 

8 Things To Look Forward To, When Your Best Friend Moves Home. 

My brother has been living in Melbourne, (which is several states away from me, for reference) for the past few years. He moved as soon as he graduated high school, at the tender age of 17. Now, at the pinnacle age of 21, he’s finally coming home. & I couldn’t be happier.

So I made a list of just a few reasons, I can’t wait to have him back by my side, and be up to mischief with him again. After all, a sibling is a life long friend.

 1. DATES. They go on dates with you. Whether it’s a “we both slept in way too late, let’s find a place that does all day breakfasts” kinda date. Or a “I’m taking you out to lunch and showing you how a man should treaty a lady” kinda date. Which my brother did a lot for me growing up. So now I’ve got great standards, and a great guy that meets them. In my books, these kinda dates are the greatest.


 2. SPENDING TIME TOGETHER. Whether it be picking on each other, stealing the tv remote, or going on crazy adventures with each other; at least you’re together. Don’t wait until your sibling is on the other side of the country to finally realize how much you love them and miss them. Focus on the good times first and always, even when they’re annoying as hell. 😇

 3. LATE NIGHTS. Out of our parents, other two siblings, and two sibling in laws, we both know that the sibling most likely going to be the only one still awake at this hour, willing to answer your call, is out of us two. Whether it be to plead a case to come pick you up, when you’ve had a drink and can’t drive home, or, you’re having too much fun out dancing so you need your sibling to make sure the side door is unlocked for whatever time you may get home, without waking up the parentals. They’ve always got you covered.

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 4. LAZY MORNINGS. Ah yes, the lazy mornings which tend to arrive after the finale of the late night. These are some of my favorite memories. Whether it be, both waking up starving, and attempting to convince them to cook you breakfast, to no avail. Instead you both end up in the kitchen cooking some random combination of food to fill all your wants and cravings, while listening to your new Spotify play list and trying to avoid the “whipping each other with tea towels” game, because you’d loose, for sure.


 5. HONEY, SMILE. Not only will they go on any kinda adventures with you, they will also second as your personal photographer, AND be willing to pose in photos with you, if you ware them down enough… plus, who doesn’t love cheesy sibling photos?! I know I do! 🙋🏼


 6. THEY’VE GOT YOUR BACK. At all times, on all days, no matter how far away they may be, they’ve got your back. They will answer the late night “help me” phone calls, or the 5pm “I had a bad day at work” phone calls, or my favorite, “hey, I’m trying to convince mum and dad to….” kinda phone calls. They’re always there; even if they’re half a country away, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t trade my brother & best friend for the world.

  1. Being apart, sucks. and you both know it, which is why we need as many images with “I hate being apart from you” faces. You both understand the need for ‘quality’ photos. But soon, there will no need for them, because he’s coming home.

8. NO MORE WAITING. Never again do I have to wait 3-6 months for a desperately needed brother hug, from my best friend.

It’s for all these reasons, and so so many more that I can’t wait to have my brother home in a few days. I’m counting down the days.

Until next time,

K.

X
P.s. Please don’t be offended other siblings, I’ll put it on my “to-do” list to write a blog post about how great you guys are too 😇

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10 Tips For Being A Good Friend

Good friends are hard to find these days. But when you do search high and low for that quality person, you’ll want to hang onto that friendship. However, it goes both ways. A friendship can hardly flourish if it is just one sided.

So, I sat down with my lovely life-long friend Elly-Grace, at Dancing in Violent Fields and discussed what it means to be a good friend.

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  1. TAKE THE TIME: Taking the time to listen to each other’s Spotify playlists, knowing full well their blood and sweat went into creating their own little slice of heaven.

 

  1. VISIT THEM: When they’re sick, and provide any sort of comfort food. They will remember this next time you’re sick.

 

  1. BE NATURAL: Be raw with them. Make sure you give your friends the privilege of knowing the real you at all times, even if it drags a whole range of emotions with it.

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  1. BE HONEST: Call them on their shit. It’s 100% okay that if you feel they are making a crazy life decision to pull them up on it. However, when they’re being over emotional, let them cry and rant to you as well. Sometimes you might not have the wisdom to give to them but they will find it comforting just knowing that you are listening.

 

  1. ANSWER CALLS: Answer their Skype calls or phone calls when their overseas and need your help ASAP and be willing to spend hours on the phone with them talking about every situation with them, and wishing you were together again. We get it, everyone has busy schedules so if you can’t answer their calls then just send them a message saying you’re thinking of them. It’s simple.

 

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  1. SUPPORT THEM: Celebrate with them. They’re victory is your victory. Seeing them happy makes you happy. So make sure you show it.

 

  1. SHARE: What’s mine is yours. Be so comfortable around them that there is no boundaries and what you can and can’t borrow and share…just not boyfriends.

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  1. LOVE THE FAM: Treat their family like you’d treat your own. Ask about them, because almost instinctively you already care about them.

 

  1. DON’T BE OVERPROTECTIVE: And don’t be overly clingy. Be happy in who you are, and your confidence that the friendship makes you both shine – not one of you hiding behind the other.

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  1. ESCAPE WITH THEM: They will escape with you when you feel the need to get away. Even if it’s just to pick you up for an ice-cream or a long road trip. They will be there.

 

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Let us know your thoughts!

 

Until next time,

 

K x

 

ABOUT DANCING IN VIOLENT FIELDS Dancing In Violent Fields is a lifestyle and travel blog for souls seeking inspiration. Elly-Grace is usually daydreaming about a Greek Summer so she writes as a means of escape. She often struggles between the need for travel money and the battle of wanting to spend money on coffee dates

Elly Graces;

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Image Credit; Shelby Campell

My love

 

For quite some time now, I’ve avoided the topic of ‘being in love’ on my blog; mostly because I was afraid of peoples opinions, or rejections. I quite frankly didn’t want to hear the words “You’re to young to be in love, or even know what love is.” So I avoided posting about it on this blog, although I write of it consistently.

Now I’ve explained; let me begin with staying that love is what you make it.

I’m not sure it’s possible to define love, for every interpretation is stated differently, taken differently, and most importantly, each person feels love differently. Even if I had the words to show you, that explain the love I feel perfectly, I’m not sure everyone would understand. Yet here I am, still explaining, and completely willing to try.

Love, I’ve leant, is not one thing, but a vast majority of thing; its found in the little things, that can go unseen if you don’t pay attention. All little insignificant things that come together to make a feeling that is bigger then us all.

and love, is most definitely not limited to the person you’re in love with, yet all who you love.

Love, I’ve learnt, is learning to be selfless – in a world that is raised on being selfish.

Love is taking care of someone you love, even if you don’t feel great yourself, because what matters to you, is them being okay.

Love is letting your loved ones help you up when you fall, they already know you’re capable of doing it on your own, but the point of loving people is that you don’t have too.

(Side note, it took a while to learn this one, and I’m still stubborn at times, but I’m never alone.) 

Love is going out of your way for someone.

and I know, that I could go on and on about the little things that make all the difference in the world, but honestly nothing gets past just being there for someone. Listening to them rant, cry, laugh. Spending the time to know them, memorise them.

For me, there is nothing more beautiful then knowing the person I am in love with knows my personality and my mind inside out, and always does what he can to show me how much he loves me.

And although, sometimes I become lost for words – I know that I am the luckiest young woman in the world to be in love with a young man who always takes the time to know me, and love me, and I don’t want to go a day without showing not only him, but all who I love, that I do love them – and will always take the time to know them, inside out.

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Until next time,

Katie J,

x

Familiarità

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I’m in a deep thinking mood; and tonight I’m thinking about familiarity. Like do we stay, because it’s what we know? Because it’s safe? Or because, we love these things we are familiar with, and it is because we love them that we are familiar with them, and not the other way around? Or perhaps do we only love them, because we are familiar?

A friend questioned me on this a few days ago, and it got me thinking quite a bit.

So the theory goes; people stay or reconnect with what they know because it is familiar, and that provides comfort. This, I’m sure is true in same cases. Take a hometown, or a relationship for example.

But then, although your location or the person you’re dating isn’t changing, doesn’t mean everything else isn’t. Life can never be completely familiar because life is always changing. And although, some attributes of our lives stay the same, they adapt to new environments and shift based upon the changes around it. Think of it like this; when you buy a house, you can change and shift every object inside to a way that sits within your mind peacefully. But you can’t stop the world outside of your house. You can’t stop the wind blowing the trees or the cars driving past your house. But you adapt. You buy curtains to block the headlights, and as life evolves, you, and your house (although the inside is familiar for you) evolve with it. So I decline the thought that people stay in a place or with a person, purely because it is familiar, because no one moment is ever the same. Maybe you wake up in the same bed every day, maybe you have dated the same person for the past 2 tears, and yeah, you are familiar with them. But just because you woke up the same place you did yesterday – doesn’t mean you’re going to have the same day you had yesterday, or even a day remotely similar to ever before. Just because you kissed the same boy you kissed a year ago and the year before – does not mean you are in the same relationship you were in when it began. Because time moves on, you adapt, and you hold on to the things that make you heart hold hope, and you fall in love with the familiarity, not because you have seen it before, but oh God, how could you not love the way he looks at you when he smiles?

Maybe I’m getting a little carried away.

Please give and share with me your thoughts. I want your opinion. Do people stay because they are familiar? Answer this for me in your own words, and send stories even. I look forward to hearing from you.

Until The Next Late Night Thought,

– K

Photographer: Tess Robertson

Instragram: vi.vanta

London, Paris, Madrid, I become lost in the midst.

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All this talk of travel, makes my heart spring forth, and head race with all the the places I wish to go, some even again. I am usually a patient person, until a cheap flight advertisement appears in my e-mail, or a phone call from a friend over seas, starts to make my heart race, and my head wonder. I am flustered, I am curious, I am content with the thought of leaving, and certain on the thought of returning. I am in love. In love with travelling, and it is both a blessing and a curse.

Two & a half years ago, I fell in love, completely on accident. Then again, when do you ever purposely fall in love? I fell in love with the nerve racking experience of hopping on a plane this big, for the first time. I fell in love with the complete and utter freedom of being somewhere you have never been, running into people you have only ever, never known. I fell in love with the wide open landscapes of Scotland, coloured by green pastures, and flowing rivers. I fell in love with the silence that sat within the wind, and blew past my icy cold hair. I was in love.

A few weeks on, I fell in love again, with the hustle and bustle of a busy city (as much as a small town girl can love a big city). I fell in love with the thought of endless opportunities, and an on-the-go attitude, although, more often then not, my body couldn’t keep up with my racing mind. Weeks turned to months, and over the last few years I have fallen in love with many places, in many cities, and mostly, my own.

It wasn’t until the nest that had kept me within its safe and warm walls, set me free, and let me return, did I really fall in love with the city I live in, although it is not much of a city, really at all.

But it took my leaving, to look at this place I had called home all these years, to see it for what it really is. A glorious wonder, filled with many hidden surprises. And for a third time, I have fallen in love, not with the freedom of not knowing anyone, and certainly not with the hustle and bustle, of this serene place, but rather so, with the feelings that accompany it. With getting lost over and over, and always finding my way home. With each simple day, and simple exploration creating a life long memory with people that mean the most to me. With every hidden beauty, comes along with this feeling of serenity, and all this time my mind was racing with leaving – when I have left a million places unexplored, right before my eyes.

Sometime the big planes, don’t bring the biggest adventures, sometimes the greatest story you’ve yet to be told, happened here, right at home.

Until Next Day Dream,

– K

Photographer; Tess Robertson

Instagram; vi.vanta