Self care + Chronic illness

I have a really cool book that’s called Health Minder Personal wellness Journal, its really detailed and its great for keeping track of your physical and mental health.

I’ve not used it in 2 years and I thought since I have a lot of the Covid19 symptoms anyway because of my autoimmune disorder, I thought it would be a good idea to start filling it in again as a way to keep an eye on my symptoms and notice any changes there maybe. Also its a good way for me to check in with myself in the morning a and evening, which may help me connect with myself.

I was gifted this book from a friend, but you can get them on Amazon, eBay and MemoryMinder Journals website.

For me it is all helpful but my temperature is usually lower then the average 37 degrees. My temperature can range between 35 degrees and 36.5 degrees, anything higher then that for me indicates that I have a fever. So if I do get sick this book will be good to show to the doctors so they can see what my temperature is usually, so they can see that 38/39+ is a very high fever for me. Plus them being able to look at my symptoms and how things have changed etc and saves me explaining things over and over again.

I think it will be good to keep an eye on the slightest changes in my weight, temperature and symptoms, so I can make sure I am keeping as well as I can and not picking up any infections, whether that be the Covid19 or my usual sinus and chest infections.

I hope you’re all keeping safe and keeping as well as you can.

Peace out

Zak

Sunday Afternoon walk

Yesterday I spent most of the morning relaxing and resting which was very much needed.

I finally got myself up and together, did the house and some laundry and as the sun was shining I decided to take the dogs on a walk to Upon Country Park and back.

It was so nice to be out in the sun even though it was a bit chilly, I love walking really helps me get out of my head and be in the moment. There wasn’t many people around, so I could still practice my social distancing.

The dogs definitely needed a good long walk and run around, they were both shattered when we got back. I had to give Scrappy a shower when we got back, as he’d been in the stinky water and stinky mud! He smelt gross lol!

I got some great pictures while we were out, which always makes me feel good.

Hopefully I can continue to safely take the dogs out on a walk, in these uncertain times we all need a sense of routine.

Peace out

Zak

Self care during self QUARANTINE

I suffer with mental health issues, mainly depression and anxiety. But also struggle with disassociation and gender dysphoria. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I started myself back on trazadone to get through this tough, uncertain times. I’ve been back on it for around 5 days now and I’m already feeling a little better then I was feeling.

I know what its like to be socially isolated and it freaking sucks! It’s super hard! Even though I can be shy and a bit of an introvert, I do love being with other people. But as I am vulnerable to getting the covid19 I am staying away from people, ie not having people over and stuff. So I’ve been thinking of ways that I can stay connected with people, so the social isolation doesn’t hit me so hard and I can stay sane and mentally well.

One thing that has helped so far is that I’ve been reaching out to others who I know are in the same situation as myself and making sure they’re doing good. I find it hard to reach out to others when I need help, but this is a unique situation, we’re all kinda feeling the same anxieties and uncertainties, so I don’t need to express explicitly that I need help or support, as we’re all in the same boat right now. Which is making it much easier for me to reach out, as I feel like I’m helping others instead of asking for help/support which I’m not keen on doing.

I’ve offered people video calls/voice calls and messaging, to ease the social isolation and I’ve had a few video calls and voice calls with a few different people already and its been an absolute blast. Talking with my friends has definitely helped! Video calls makes it feel like I’ve socialised and got that essential interaction with people that we all crave. It makes the days feel less lonely and isolated.

I know I am often viewed as someone who is strong and capable, as I rarely let myself be truly vulnerable in front of people. So I feel like sometimes people don’t check in on me, as I’m seen as someone who can look after themselves quite happily. Whilst yes I am more then capable of looking after myself but I have my struggles. I’m trying my best to keep reaching out and talking to people. So I can feel connected with others and feel like I’m making a difference to others.

At times like this it’s important to remember no matter how alone we may feel, we are not alone! There is a community out there to help get you through this, you just have to be brave and reach out.

I’ve also been trying to keep some sort of routine, although its super flexible, I’ve just been trying to keep doing the things that for me are non negotiable for example I have to make sure I take my meds in the morning and evening, doing my sinus rinse morning and evening, do the housework every other day, walk the dogs twice a day, eat 2 meals a day. I’ve kinda given up on my sleep routine as I’m more awake in the evening hours anyway. I’m still making sure I get enough sleep, whether that’s napping in the day or waking up late.

I try and split my day up into units of time so the day doesn’t feel so overwhelming. I also try and remember that I don’t need to fill every second with an activity, its totally ok to just sit and be.

I roughly know how much time certain things will take me to do, like doing the housework takes about 30-40 mins, having a shower and getting dressed takes between 10 and 20 mins depending on how long I’m sitting in the shower for. So I know that when I decide to wake up and start my day how long it takes for me to get ready for the day and that’s like the first unit of the day and then depending on how I feel and what the weather is like helps me decide on what to do with the dogs, either a long walk or a short run around across the road. That’s another unit of time take up and you get the idea, cutting the day into more manageable chunks without feeling so overwhelmed about having to fill a whole day.

I wrote a list of things I can do on my own whilst were all on lockdown, so I’ll share with you what I wrote down

Things to do during self isolation –

Check in with myself daily

Video call friends

Reach out on social media

Write and blog

Try and read (I have adhd so I struggle to concentrate sometimes)

Listen to podcasts and audiobooks

Colour/draw/create something

Teach Scrappy new tricks

Play video games

Teach myself to play solitaire with playing cards

Nextflix/Amazon/DVD’s

Spring clean the flat

Walk the dogs

Watch YouTube videos

Create a cosy fort/nest

Yoga

Make bread, cakes, biscuits, meals

Nap

Be silly

I hope you’re all coping as well as you can during these uncertain times. We need to come together as one, show each other the kindness, the compassion and the unconditional love that I know we are all capable of.

If there’s anything you want me to write about/comment on please let me know and I shall try my best. Please like, share, comment and follow my blog

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy

So just a quick update really as I don’t have a whole lot to say regarding my transition. As at the moment it feels like it’s on pause.

20/3/2020 marked 7 months post op top surgery! Which is cool but as I’ve spoken about over and over, I still feel that lack of connection with my chest and body in general. So whilst I’m extremely grateful that I was lucky enough to have the surgery, I don’t feel the happiness I thought I would feel. Maybe I put too much expectations of surgery making everything better.

Now we’re in this quarantine times, I intend to try and slow down and connect with my innermost self and really trust myself and learn to love myself unconditionally. Maybe this will help ease the dysphoria and help with the connection. I need to lose weight too as that definitely isn’t helping. But I feel stuck inside myself, I can’t move.

I intend to look after myself better because I deserve it.

Here are some pictures of my chest 7 months after life changing, life saving surgery

Peace out

Zak

Gratitude

Now we’re facing times of such uncertainties, I think it’s a good opportunity to stop and look for the positives and be grateful for what we do have.

I’m going to try and write a gratitude list everyday.

Who’s going to join me?

I made a start, here are my lists.

I hope this gives you hope and inspiration

Peace out

Zak

Self isolation – My favourite podcasts

As were self isolating, lockdown is on the horizon. I thought I’d share some of the stuff I like to do when I’m at home.

One is listening to podcasts, please feel free to share your favourite podcasts with me too 🙂

Ask Iliza anything

Did I stutter Drew Lynch

Nobel blood

Cabinet of curiosities

Lore

Happy place

Nothing much happens – Great for getting to sleep

Unobscured

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing more posts like this.

Please feel free to share my blogs, please like, subscribe and comment.

Take care everyone

Peace out

Zak

Surviving self isolation

I’ve spent the last few days thinking about stuff, I think being forced into self/social isolation has a tendency to do that. Whilst I am used to social isolation, its something that is really bad for my mental health. So I’ve had to really think about how I am going to get through this, without spiralling into the darkness.

The first thing I decided was to start back on trazadone, I decided to stop taking it as I felt like I no longer needed it. Although having stopped it, I realised they were helping more then I thought they were. They helped me focus, stop disassociating as much as I am right now, took the edge off anxiety and depression, all which have come back but I’ve been able to keep on top of them a bit. Now we are in this self isolation and not being able to do everything I enjoy I know my mood, anxiety and disassociation will get worse, so I know I need to get on top of this. Not something I really wanted to do but I need to do.

I need to write down a list of things I need and see if I can try and get hold of them, I don’t need much just a few bits to get by. But as I’m vulnerable to this condition I need to try and be as prepared as possible.

I also need to write a list of things I can do inside, things I can do to keep the fur babies occupied as well. I can still take them for walks but with my chronic pain and fatigue I can’t always be outside with them.

I need to write out a rough routine that I can try and follow, I do better with a routine. Although I know I easily get bored of routine, so it won’t be something I will follow strictly just guidelines really so I don’t feel like I’m just floating around.

My asthma clinic appointment was cancelled as my doctors aren’t doing face to face appointments unless they are an emergencies, which I understand. I can still get my testosterone injection as that is something I need, so that is booked in for 14th April. I did ask if I can get paracetamol on prescription just for now, as I cannot find it anywhere and I don’t want to search the shops. I was told to ring back, but wasn’t able to get through, so I will try again tomorrow.

I plan on writing more, whether that is a blog or just scribbling down in my notebooks. I’ve felt so disconnected from myself I’ve struggled to write anything that I felt connected with.

Once I have some stuff written down about how to get through this self isolation, I will share it on here and hopefully as a community we can come together and help each other get through this.

Peace out

Zak

Chronic illness – Covid19

I’ve been back and forth about writing this as the entire world is talking about it and rightly so as its serious.

There’s lots of information out there, misinformation, real information and so on. There’s also a lot of people panicking. So it’s hard to know what to believe, what to do etc.

Obviously there are countries like Italy that are on complete shut down, to contain the virus.

I am stuck between trying not to panic but also panicking a bit, as I have an autoimmune disorder, I am on immunosuppressants, I have no immune system to fight off simple infections. For me a common cold will go to my chest and sinuses and I will need a 2 week course of antibiotics to try and get rid of it.

My mum is panicking a bit, keeps asking if I have stuff in, which is a bit annoying but also my local shop is out of the basic necessities. Luckily I have what I need for now but I can’t get paracetamol anywhere, so I may need to ask the doctor for a prescription but that’s if they will let me as I will run out eventually.

I can’t not go out main reason being is the dogs, I have to take them out to pee and for a run. But also I cannot stand staying in for long periods of time, it makes me feel claustrophobic and just isn’t great for my mental health. So whilst yes I probably need to stay away from populated things like the cinema (my fave thing to do) public transport etc, I still need to go out in the fresh air.

Until the government tell us not to go out at all, I am going to continue to walk the dogs.

I’m just trying to remain calm, not read everything I see on the coronavirus and carry on kinda as normal.

I was lucky enough to not get swine flu and bird flu when that hit, so am I hoping I wont catch this either.

My poor step dad is currently in hospital in isolation, not because of the coronavirus but he has a condition that effects his lungs and he’s been in and out of hospital for a few months now, which hasn’t been looking great. I don’t know how long he has left but I can’t risk going to see him, I can’t risk infecting him with anything and I can’t risk picking anything up either, which really sucks.

I’m just trying to rationalise this whole thing, try and keep myself safe as I can and just be sensible about the whole thing and not panic.

Stay safe, be sensible, please consider those around you, wash your hands, if your sick stay home! Do as your government advises.

Peace out

Zak

Birthday blues

Despite have a good birthday, I always feel a bit low around my birthday. Apparently it’s quite a common thing to feel low or even depressed around your birthday for a number of reasons.

One reason is because it forces you to look back over the past year and feeling like you’ve not accomplished enough over the last year, also feeling disappointed by not having expectations met.

Both of those examples I really struggle with, I often feel let down by people, as I have been let down a lot. I also feel like I’ve not done enough, I’m not doing enough, I’m not good enough etc.. So birthdays bring up so much crap and always throws me off and makes me feel so shitty.

I try and manage my expectations of people and my birthday but its really hard. I try my best to make sure I ask friends if they want to do stuff, so I’m not alone. But I still struggle to verbalise what I really want for my birthday, which makes managing expectations difficult.

But I had a great birthday despite feeling a bit low about everything and I am feeling grateful. It just knocks me down a bit, but I always get back up stronger then before.

Does anyone struggle around birthdays? Do you feel low? How do you cope with birthdays?

Peace out

Zak

Birthday Boy!

As I said in my blog the other day, I’ve been struggling to sit down and concentrate and a lot of that is because I’ve had a case of ‘I can’t be bothered’ been feeling a bit low, stressed and tense. I’ve withdrawn myself from life a bit, withdrawn from people and from doing anything at all. It’s been a huge struggle to get up and do the most basic of things.

I’ve been a bit depressed and a bit lazy but I am going to try my best to get out and do stuff.

Anyway, last week 2nd March, was my 35th Birthday! Which is insane! 5 years until I’m 40! WTF LOL!

I had a really great week, on my actual birthday I had two friends over and we had pizza and cake! Which was awesome. Thursday my friend and I went to Brighton for the day which was so much fun, we went to the aquarium and wow I loved it there! I love Brighton so much. On the Saturday my two friends came down for the weekend, we ate loads, drank, watched movies and chilled.

It was a really great birthday week, I am so grateful for all the people I shared my birthday with. I was a bit worried about this birthday as its the first without the 2 big friendships I’ve had over the years, so I was worried that I wouldn’t have anyone to do anything with.

I thought I’d share some pictures of my birthday week

Safe to say I took a billion pictures at the aquarium lol!

I was in such a different place when I turned 30, I’d just come out as trans, I was surrounded by different people, good and bad friendships. I’m now 2 1/2 years on testosterone, nearly 7 months post op top surgery, I have a very different friend circle. Things are not perfect, I’m still figuring stuff out but I am slowly becoming the person I want to be and I will continue to change and grow.

That’s all for now, as I am struggling to feel connected to what I’m writing so it doesn’t feel quite right. So I’m going to stop.

Peace out

Zak