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Pukka Herbs - Clean Greens & Turmeric Supplement Review

I live a pretty hectic life. Working a fast-pased, high-pressured job which can often fall out of the 9-5 hours means if I don't look after myself or take time out, I'll start to feel under the weather. Add Chronic Fatigue into that and most days are a struggle. Supplements are essential to my everyday wellbeing.

I attended the Pukka blogger's event in Whole Foods Market, London back in July and I learnt that not only do Pukka produce Tea, they produce a wide range of organic supplements. I was kindly sent their Wholistic Turmeric and Clean Greens Capsules to try and here are my thoughts.

Clean Greens Capsules
These capsules are an organic blend of 11 green super foods including Spirulina, Nettle leaf and Grass juice. The formula is packed full of highest organic grade of sustainably cultivated herbs and fruits so you can rest assured it's as nature intended. Pukka note on their website that this blend naturally supports the body's ability to cope better with our polluted environment and supplement our diet.

I'm awful at getting my 5 a day and these capsules have helped me work towards that. I have been taking one a day for over a month now and I have noticed some positive changes. I suffer from IBS and I have had less cramping and constipation while taking these. Getting up in the morning is easier and I do feel like I have more energy throughout the day.

If you struggle taking capsules, you can purchase this blend in powder form as well which can be mixed with water, added to smoothies or even made into ice lollies. I sampled the powder form at the blogger event and I was so surprised at how nice it tasted. The dark green colour may put you off, but it really doesn't taste how it looks and Ill definitely be purchasing it once the capsules run out. I would recommend this blend to anyone suffering with low energy levels, digestive concerns or anyone looking to up their green intake.

Check out the Pukka Clean Greens Smoothie Recipe here

Turmeric Wholistic Capsules
You may or may not have heard the recent hype of Turmeric which has popped up again in the media. Turmeric has actually been used for many different purposes for thousands of years. In fact, it has many uses and is proven to benefit us in so many ways. A quick search online will bring up 100's of benefits including treating joint pain and arthritis, preventing many health problems, boosting the immune system and encouraging healthy skin. Plants are powerful things!

The Wholistic Technique
Pukka's "Wholistic" technique uses a combination of extractions which capture the broadest spectrum of compounds found in plants including it's essential oils, waxes, resins and pigments. This means the final product is several times more potent than the standard herb supplements on offer. This type of extraction is also good for the environment as it doesn't use harmful chemicals such as acetone and methanol (which aren't good for our planet or ourselves!) which is usually used to extract herbal compounds.

I have been taking one capsule a day for a month and I have noticed a significant improvement to my complexion. I get less spots and overall my skin looks a lot brighter. I feel more confident in not wearing full foundation which I'm so happy about as I've always worried about my skin.

As for my joints, they have helped to ease my everyday pain and alongside my regular magnesium baths, I have noticed a positive change. Although my joint pain will never fully go away, it's great to find a natural alternative to medication.

I will definitely be buying these again, as for me, it's impossible to ignore the benefits of this wonderful plant.

You can check out the full range of Pukka supplements here

Further Reading

This post contains PR samples but opinions are my own and are honest.

Thanks for reading!

A Day Out To Cambridge By Train

I have often taken East Anglia for granted. I grew up in Suffolk, Ipswich to be precise. When I was a teen, days out would usually involve shopping in Norwich or going a bit further afield to London. I never really thought about days out anywhere else in the East of England. As I've grown older, I've started to appreciate and respect my small part of the country and the variety of things there are to see and do here. Acres and acres of countryside and coasts fill the East of England with some truly stunning cities and market towns nestled inbetween. Alongside this, we have some of the oldest recorded towns in the country and some beautiful architecture that reflects this. 

I was recently given the opportunity to travel with Greater Anglia Trains to the beautiful city of Cambridge and Punting for 2 with Visit Cambridge.

Our train journey started at our closest train station, Sudbury. We set off early as total travel time was 2 hours, 20 minutes and we wanted a full day to explore the city. Our train arrived on time and wasn't overly busy which was a bonus. We really couldn't have picked a better day weather wise, the sun was out and it was quickly starting to warm up outside. My worst nightmare is travelling on public transport with no air conditioning on a hot day and I was so relieved that every train we used had air conditioning. Once we were on our last change of the journey, we sat back, relaxed and took in the stunning views of the countryside. For me, travelling by train adds to the adventure and you get to see so much more than you would when driving, and without the added stress.

This wasn't my first time to Cambridge but nonetheless, I was really excited for the day ahead. There's something truly magical about the city; streets lined with boutique coffee shops, cobbled streets, and bicycles are the way to travel. You're never too far away from beautiful architecture so you can see why this is a very popular tourist destination. It's said that J.K Rowling was inspired by the famous Cambridge University and it's grand dining halls which, have said to have inspired the Great Hall of Hogwarts.

Once we arrived in Cambridge, it was a short walk into the centre and to our boarding location for our punting tour. I've been wanting to go punting ever since I discovered it was a big thing in Cambridge. There are various punting companies to choose from along the river and you have the choice of going on a guided tour or giving a go yourself. We took the 45 minute guided college tour with Scudamore's which took us along the river past the famous Trinity College. As it was half-term and the first hot, sunny day in a while, it was really busy and we had to wait an hour for the next tour. I would advise getting your tickets as soon as you arrive so you don't have to wait too long. This wasn't a problem for us as it gave us the opportunity to see the hustle and bustle of the city. 

The punting tour itself was so informative and such good fun. Our guide was clearly spoken and gave us an insight into the life of a Cambridge University student and the history of the colleges. The highlight for me were the beautiful bridges we travelled under including the St John's College Bridge of Sighs. The river itself was incredibly busy and there were a few near misses, mostly from people doing it themselves. Our guide said people often fall in but we didn't see that happen, luckily! The boats themselves have umbrellas and blankets for rainier, colder days so they really do operate all year round. I'd like to go back in Autumn to see the leaves changing and when it's less busy. 

After the tour, we headed back into the centre and grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading back on the train to embark on our journey home.

I'd recommend Cambridge to anybody looking for a day out destination, as there's so much to see and do and it's so easy to get to by train. Punting was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I've finally done it! I think next time we head to Cambridge, we'll give punting a go ourselves (If I can pluck up the courage to trust the boyfriend).

If you're heading up from London, you can catch the train from Liverpool Street Station and the journey takes around an hour and 20 minutes. You'll be sure to catch the stunning East Anglia countryside along the way.

There are so many great destinations to visit in East Anglia and summer is the perfect time for it. Whether it's visiting the coast, shopping, museums or admiring the countryside, you'll never be stuck for something to do.

Greater Anglia offers great value off peak fares with 2FOR1 on top London attractions and if you book in advance, tickets from Norwich to London are available at just £10, Cambridge – London at £7 and Southend-London just £5 one way. Accompanying children travel for just £2 return. You can now also purchase advance on the day up to 10 minutes before departure and this costs less than the equivalent single ticket.

Discover destinations on the Greater Anglia network and ticket prices: www.greateranglia.co.uk 
Scudamore's Punting: https://www.scudamores.com/

Have you been to East Anglia before? I'd love to hear where! Leave a comment below.

This post contains PR samples but the opinions are my own and are honest.

Thanks for reading!

Cruelty-Free Labelling And How You CAN Buy Cruelty-Free On Your Weekly Shop

Before I made the decision to go cruelty-free, the weekly shop wasn't something I thought too much about. I would usually pick up whatever was on offer, without even glancing at the back label. Back then, I wasn't aware of the vast amount of brands that test on animals and I don't blame myself for that, I just think there wasn't the awareness that we have today. With more and more people opening up their eyes to animal testing, here's my guide to cruelty-free labelling and how you can buy cruelty-free on your weekly shop without the worry.

Cruelty-Free Labelling
Leaping Bunny Certification Programme 
The Leaping Bunny Certification is the international standard for brands producing non-animal tested products. Cruelty Free International are a non-profit organisation who are passionate and work tirelessly to help brands to validate their consumer products as cruelty-free. The Leaping Bunny logo is issued to companies which produce cosmetic, personal care and cleaning products and which comply with the Humane Cosmetic and Humane Household Product Standards. 
It remains the most trusted cruelty free certification out there.

PETA Beauty Without Bunnies Program 
PETA has it's own cruelty-free program and logo to go with it. There has been some criticism on the way brands are awarded this certification, they are assessed by completing a questionnaire and asked to sign a statement and, that's literally it. There's no monitoring system in place to ensure these brands are telling the truth. You're quite unlikely to see this logo on UK products as this is used more in the US.

Choose Cruelty Free Accreditation 
CCF is an Independent, non-profit organisation based in Australia. They actively campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics, personal care and household products. CCF will not accredit cruelty-free brands unless their parent companies are also accredited. Brands on the CCF list are regularly asked to undergo re-accreditation to ensure that they still comply with the criteria. Again, you're unlikely to see this unless you're purchasing Australian brands in the UK.

As cruelty-free brands have to pay for certifications, sadly, some choose not to. This can be super confusing for conscious consumers both new and experienced.

The good news is is that brands who aren't in the program are developing their own labelling. There has been some discussion that there are fake cruelty-free logos out there so you should do your research before buying from a brand you don't recognise. Most will state their animal testing policies on their websites. If not, don't be afraid to contact them for clarification.

Supermarket Cruelty Free Own-Brand

Whether you've been cruelty-free for a while or you're just starting out, my top tip to buying cruelty-free on your weekly shop is to go own-brand. Sadly, majority of the major brands you see in your supermarket sell in China, which therefore means testing is required. Most major UK supermarkets have wised up to the fact that consumers are more aware than ever before when it comes to animal testing and either display the Leaping Bunny Logo or their own version.

Here's what the supermarkets say and which of their products are cruelty-free.

Sainsbury's - Own-brand personal care and household products display the Leaping Bunny logo. 

Waitrose - All of their own-brand personal care and household products proudly display the Leaping Bunny logo. 

Aldi - A new addition to the group, Aldi now have Leaping Bunny Certification and it is displayed on their own-brand household cleaning products. They are currently working towards Leaping Bunny Certification for their own-brand personal care range and hope to have this by the end of 2017.

Asda - Although they don't carry the Leaping Bunny logo on their own-brand products, they state the following on their website:

Morrisons - They state that all of their own-brand personal care and cosmetic products are cruelty-free and carry the Leaping Bunny logo.

Marks & Spencer -They offer a great range of own-brand cosmetics, personal care and household products, all of which carry the Leaping Bunny logo.

Tesco - All own-brand personal care, household and cosmetics are cruelty free. Tesco currently aren't part of the Leaping Bunny Certification Programme but they have designed their own labelling which is clearly displayed on their products.

Co Op - They were the first retailer to be awarded the Leaping Bunny logo on their own-brand personal care and household products.

Supermarket Own-Brand Products I Love
Sainsbury's and Waitrose are my favourite supermarkets for buying cruelty-free as they have so much on offer. I find toothpaste and mouthwash are two of the hardest things to buy cruelty free on a weekly shop and I adore Sainsbury’s brand Oral Care named OraCare. It's so reasonably priced and a great alternative to the big brands that test. In regards to Waitrose, I regularly use their own-brand Sensitive Shower Gel and Watermelon Hand Wash. Not only can you buy their products in-store and on their website, you can also pick them up from Ocado.

Looking To Treat Yourself?
If you're looking for more luxurious personal care or greener options on your weekly shop, Ocado is the place to shop. I only use SLS-free, green shampoos and Ocado have an amazing choice. Here is a list of cruelty-free brands they currently sell:

Further reading and Resources:
https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ - search for brands that are certified
http://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/ - list of CCF accredited brands 

Thanks for reading!

5 Things I Can't Live Without - Life with Chronic Illness

If you follow me on Twitter or have read my past health diary posts, you'll know I have a Chronic Illness called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The condition (of which there is more than 1 type) causes extreme joint pain, chronic fatigue and is often linked with many other health conditions and complications. Although my condition cannot be cured, there are aids that help with everyday life that I now just simply couldn't live without. I thought it would be great to share my tips with other Chronic Illness warriors or anyone struggling with their health.

TENS Machine A TENS machine is a small electronic device which emits electrical impulses through electrodes and into the body. It works by sending pulses along the nerve strands which help prevent pain signals reaching the brain. You're likely to experience a tingly sensation which can feel strange for first time, newbie users.

I use a TENS machine regularly on my back, shoulders and lower abdomen and it really helps to lessen muscle pain around the joints and ease period cramping. You're able to adjust the machine from 1 to 10 depending on your level of pain. The machine I purchased has variable pulse rates and pulse widths so you're able to adjust to your specific needs. Most come with different modes including constant & modulation which gives you even more control. The machine can be clipped to your clothing and worn throughout the day, under clothes discreetly. I rely on my TENS so much as it helps keep me away from taking prescribed painkillers everyday. I purchased mine here.

Electric Heat Pad Heat helps ease my joint pain more than anything else and before I discovered heat pads, I was getting fed up of having to refill a hot water bottle every 15 minutes. A heat pad presents the same comfort and warmth of a hot water bottle with the benefit of lasting heat. They're usually rectangle in shape although there are others on the market targeted to specific areas of the body. Often quilted, they are super comfortable to hold close, lay on or wrap around you. 

I've worked my way through a couple of brands over the last couple of years and because of the great amount of use, they last no longer than 2/3 months.

I'm currently using this Heat Pad and I love how comfortable the outer fleece cover is. The control panel is large in size making it incredibly user friendly for anyone who suffers finger joint pain or Arthritis. I honestly cannot recommend Heat Pads enough, they are magical!

Tisserand Aromatherapy Roller Balls I received a set of roller balls as a gift last Christmas and I've made good use of them in the last 6 months. I received De-Stress, Pause and Harmony. As the names suggest, they all have a unique blend that is suited to the bodies specific "need". Due to anxiety and joint pain, I often find it difficult to fall asleep and the De-Stress blend helps me to relax and to forget about the days woes. I apply this to my temples, wrists and behind my ears just before going to bed.

Tisserand have many other blends on the market, you won't struggle to find a blend that suits your needs.

Magnesium Bath Flakes It's no secret that over 90% of us have some sort of Magnesium deficiency and a quick online search will show you the many symptoms related to low levels. It's crazy to think that one mineral can affect the body in so many ways. As someone who lives with Chronic Illness, Magnesium plays a big part in my life and basically, keeps me going. I add a handful of flakes with a few drops of essential oils (whatever I fancy!) to a hot bath and relax. For me, it works wonders with joint pain, chronic fatigue and headaches. You can buy flakes from most online health shops and if you're quick, you can sometimes pick them up in TK Maxx for a really reasonable price.

Memory Foam Pillow This may be an obvious one but I'm still going to shout about it. Neck and back pain is a real struggle for me when I'm trying to fall asleep. I often found myself waking up with an incredibly stiff neck, unable to move freely which then caused tension headaches. Since I switched over to a memory foam pillow, I've seen a significant improvement and I feel a lot more supported. I think sometimes we get "attached" to our old, limp pillows but the reality is, they offer little or no support to our neck and shoulders. Nowadays, memory foam is a lot more affordable and I picked mine up from Matalan for a very reasonable price. It's time to let go of that old pillow!

I would love to hear what works for you, please leave a comment below!

Laidbare Skincare Review

Subscribing to a monthly Cruelty Free beauty box means I get to try out a variety of products and brands. I have been subscribed to the Love Lula beauty box for around a year and during this time, I have discovered so many lovely products. You often see the same brands popping up and that's great if you enjoyed one of their products from a previous box. These Laidbare products were all from the Love Lula box over the last year and I've saved these to write an honest review.

I've never been a massive fan of facial toner's but I couldn't praise this 2 in 1 enough. On a full coverage make-up day, I use the Kat Von D Tattoo Lock-It Foundation and if you have worn this foundation, you'll know the staying power of it and that includes trying to wash it off! This gel formula cuts through the foundation and you're instantly able to wipe it away. I love the juicy subtle apple scent. You really don't need a lot of product so I imagine this tube will last a good while. I use this once a day and finish off with a facial moisturiser. I will certainly be repurchasing once this runs out.

This product contains Brazil Nut Extract so if you have a nut allergy, please bare this in mind. 

I'm a big fan of face masks and for me, it's the ultimate treat and a great way to relax. This mask is definitely more gentle than others I've used. It's creamy, soft consistency glides onto the face and neck with ease. It has a natural, gentle exfoliant which I think is the Japanese Seaweed. As for pore minimisation, I haven't really noticed a difference. I have very large pores and I prefer a harder exfoliation for this area. Although the mask says it suits Oily/Combo skin, it's great for dry skin as well as it's so moisturising. This is a good everyday, gentle face mask to help replenish moisture.

This product contains Palm Oil, see my thoughts below.

As a Chronic Illness sufferer, I often have sleepless nights and the dark eye circles to go with it. I have sensitive under eyes and in the past, certain eye creams have stung and caused redness. This eye cream is gentle and soaks in quickly, offering intense moisture. The magic ingredient, Buckwheat is known to help reduce puffiness and lighten dark circles. I dab a small amount underneath my eyes and towards the corners every night and it really does help to diminish the dark circles.

Please note this product contains Palm Oil, see my thoughts below.

Sadly, as the Eye Cream and Face Mask both contain Palm Oil (which is a massive shame), I will not be repurchasing as I'm starting to reduce the use of Palm Oil in my home. Unfortunately it's used widely in food and beauty products so it can be very difficult to completely cut it out of our lives. This shouldn't and isn't meant to discourage you, every small change helps and I hope by making these changes that unethical Palm Oil will one day be a thing of the past.

I'd love to hear you thoughts on the products I've reviewed and your views on Palm Oil. Please leave a comment below.

Konjac Sponge Review - The Konjac Sponge Company

Up until very recently, I had very little knowledge of Konjac sponges but I'd seen a few people talking about them on social media. Having seen mixed reviews, I started to do a little research of my own. I discovered The Konjac Sponge Company and I contacted them asking if they could send out some products for me to try, which they very kindly did!

What is Konjac? Konjac is a plant which is 97% water and it grows in tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Asia. It's rich in minerals, high in fibre and is a natural food source. The plant has been used for over a thousand years in Asia for many different uses including medicine, weight loss and beauty products. Naturally alkaline and PH neutral, it's a perfect choice for skincare. Sounds like a pretty powerful plant doesn't it? 

Who are The Konjac Sponge Company? They are the original and only Konjac Sponge Company, supplying premium grade Konjac Sponge products to the world. Their sponges are made by hand in the volcanic hills of Jeju Island in South Korea. Jeju Island is a UNESCO world heritage protected site and is renowned as an area of outstanding beauty and reputed to have some of the purest water in the world. They only use the finest food grade Konjac and only accept the purest products free from microbes or pollutants so you can rest assured you are purchasing a good quality sponge. 

The Konjac Sponge Company carry the Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society symbols on all of their products.  

How do I use a Konjac Sponge? When you first buy the sponge, it'll be really hard and rough. You just need to run it under the tap and it'll soften up in seconds. Once it dries, it'll go hard again so you just repeat the method next time you use. They all come with a handy string for hanging up in your bathroom for easy drying.

Onto the reviews:

French Red Clay Mini Pore Refiner Sponge - Red Clay is known for regenerating tissue and skin structure. Icleanses, detoxifies and exfoliates the skin, leaving it refreshed, toned and rejuvenated.

This sponge is a lot smaller than the usual sized Konjac sponge. I found it really easy to use and I actually preferred this size than the larger sponge. I got into a routine of using it to remove my make up at the end of the day. I added a small amount of the Nip & Fab Glycolic Acid Scrub to the sponge and worked it around my face and neck in a circular motion. This method removed my make up quickly and effectively. Once I had finished scrubbing away, I rinsed the residue off of my face, rinsed the sponge and went back over my face with cold water. My skin felt a lot softer and there wasn't any sign of redness or irritation. I also noticed a reduction to the pores around my nose and cheeks, where they are at their worst.

If you prefer a rough exfoliation like me, this may not be enough on it's own but using with a scrub, I found it very effective for removing dead skin.

French Green Clay Mini Pore Refiner Sponge Green Clay is known for purifying and detoxifying. It gets rid of impurities and is used to treat congested skin, acne, cellulite, sprains, cuts, and infections.

I used this sponge on my T zone as I suffer from spots in the summer months. I used this sponge with the Alba Botanical Acne Deep Pore Wash and applied in circular motions. After a few days, I did notice a difference and my spots were reduced and less angry. I have continued this routine and have seen a great improvement. 

Konjac Facial Puff Sponge With Green Tea - This full sized sponge has added Green tea which is known to improve skin complexion and it helps flush out toxins from the skin, heals blemishes and scars and reduces inflammation. It even improves the skin elasticity making it a great anti ageing ingredient.

I haven't used this sponge as much as the other two, purely because I'm happy with the routine I have with the mini sponges. I use this to cleanse my already make up free face and neck in the bath without any cleanser, soaking it in my Magnesium salt bath water. Magnesium is good for everything so why not! I find it more of a gentle cleanse than the mini sponges and a great choice for more sensitive skin days.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the sponges I tried and my favourite has to be the Mini Red Clay. I've always used cotton pads or just my hands to wash my face and this has massively stepped up my skincare routine. By switching over to a Konjac Sponge from cotton pads, you'll also be helping out the environment as these bad boys are 100% Biodegradable. 

You can shop The Konjac Sponge Company's full range here.

This post contains PR samples. The above products have been tried and tested over a course of 2 months. My opinions are honest.

Thanks for reading!

May Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month - My Journey To Diagnosis

I've been wanting to share this with you all for a while but as it's a personal one, it's taken some encouragement and determination.

As far back as I can remember, I have suffered from pain in my joints. The pain started in my knees, some days were pain free and others, agony. I went on living like this for years and as I was young, I put it down to growing pains.

How wrong I was.

One day, my mum demonstrated her 'party trick'. She could touch her wrist with her thumb and I thought, that's so weird. I gave it a try myself and low and behold, I could do it too. I looked into it online and this is when I discovered Hypermobility and the syndrome itself.

HMSA's Definition of Hypermobility Joint Syndrome:

Photo & information: Hypermobility Syndromes Association - http://hypermobility.org/

It was like a light was switched on and the more and more I looked into it, I could relate. I tested the Beighton Score on myself and I scored high. I knew I was more flexible than others as in school, I often chose to sit in the Buddha position while on the floor and I found that comfortable.

In my early 20's, the pain had gotten worse and targeted more of my joints. I raised concerns with my GP and I was advised to self refer to the NHS Physio, which I did. For years, I went in and out of NHS Physio rooms with no one really understanding Hypermobility. I often found certain exercises were actually making my pain worse. The GP informed me that there was nothing he could do for me and it's quite normal for young people to be hypermobile. You may already know that yes, that can be true but not it's not normal to suffer pain from being hypermobile. A lot of athletes and dancers are hypermobile and it's perceived as a positive thing for their career and they can go on living life pain free.

I went in and out of flare ups for years with widespread joint pain and I had run out of energy and fight. When I was at my worst, I worked a full time driving job and that's when I needed crutches. I was used to working in active roles where I was on my feet all day and my body was in shock. I stuck at it for a year until I found more active work again.

At the grand old age of 29 (feeling more like 69), I'd had enough of being fobbed off and plucked up the courage to see my GP. By this time, I was back to working a non active job, full time in Admin. I had recently moved into the area so didn't know any of the GP's at my local surgery. I went through every GP in the surgery until I found someone who would listen. As expected, I again was fobbed off. I was down to the last GP and she was the one who listened. We talked about Hypermobility and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which she admitted she knew very little about. I wasn't worried as it's often stated that GP's have never heard of the condition and I really respected her for admitting she had little knowledge. After years of not being believed, being told it was all in my head and that I was too young to suffer with joint pain, I could have cried when she said she would look into EDS. A week later, I had a phone call from her secretary who advised me I had been referred to Rheumatology at my local hospital, hooray!

I waited around 4 weeks for an appointment and the day soon came around. I was so incredibly anxious that after all of this, I would be fobbed off again and just told to get on with it. I turned up to my appointment early as my anxiety was at an all time high and I worried about parking and getting lost. Before the consultation itself, the nurse took my blood pressure and she could tell I was really nervous. She was so incredibly kind and told me everything was going to be OK and I would get the help I needed. Her lovely words helped me to relax and I was soon called through to the Rheumatologist.

The consultation began with a list of questions including family history, when the pain started and what other symptoms was I experiencing. The Rheumatologist then examined me. I was pulled, pushed and bended into every possible angle, I felt like a rag doll! During the examination, my shoulder went back into place and it made the loudest pop, we both laughed. After the physical examination, we discussed my low blood pressure result. I wasn't aware I'd had low BP but it made total sense as I regularly suffer from dizzy spells and heart palpitations. We neared the end of the consultation and that's when I received the official diagnosis, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 3 and PoTS. I honestly could have cried right in front of her, I felt so much relief.

Where I am now
I received the report from the Rheumatologist by post a week later. Unfortunately, I wasn't offered a follow up appointment but I was told she would be happy to see me again if there were any developing issues. I'm now on regular pain medication that I'm still getting used to and it doesn't stop my pain completely. I use a TENS machine almost daily which helps with my back and knees. I use heat pads and water bottles throughout the day and I feel this is truly the only thing that eases the pain, at least short term.

I am lucky enough to be able to afford a private Physio who specialises in EDS and I have to work hard with exercises at home. I've tried going to the gym but the pain is just too much. I've started taking short walks again, I used to love walking and breathing in the fresh air.

Now, I have to wait for my Podiatry referral. My ankles roll in severely so I'm hoping for Orthotics. I have to say, I'm not looking forward to someone touching my feet, I am so ticklish!

If you're currently fighting a diagnosis whether it's EDS or anything else, please don't give up. I promise you, you will find someone who will listen and can help. You might have to go through a million health professionals to get there, but you will. It's taken me the best part of my twenties to get there. I did want to give up at times but I knew I couldn't live a lifetime of pain and why should I have to? We all deserve to be listened to by our health professionals and to receive the right treatment.

Can I truly say that getting a diagnosis has opened me up to the right treatment? It's still early stages but it's good to know I have the support of my GP. The current state of the NHS and pressure on the service saddens me and my future does worry me. Something has to give.

You can read more about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and the different types here: https://www.ehlers-danlos.org/

Thank you for reading and I'd love to hear where you are with your condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed. Leave a comment below.