Tag Archives: autoimmune disease

Thursday Thoughts ~ Life with an Autoimmune Disease: Getting Sick

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. These are my experiences and this should not replace any advice you have received from your own doctor. You doctor is the expert, not me.

Good day, friends! The weekend is almost here!! I am excited, only because I have prizes coming in the mail. A big order from Sephora and a pretty large Lancôme order from Macy’s. I have gone and gotten myself completely hooked on Lancôme skin care products. My face is happy. My wallet … not so much haha There are also plenty of goodies for me to talk about in the blog, which I am excited about!

Today’s post is not makeup related. That may immediately cause some of you to not read, and that’s okay. The focus of the blog is looking good while living with a chronic condition, and I haven’t talked much about the chronic condition part. Alright then … let’s just jump on in!

Having an autoimmune disease means your immune system goes haywire and begins attacking your body. It sees various parts of your body as a foreign invader, so it does what it’s programmed to do. That often means that the white cell count is pretty high. Normal WBC is anywhere from 4,500-11,000. Mine is consistently around 16,000 and has been as high as 27,000. That one got me a trip to an oncologist to be tested for leukemia, which can be a nasty side effect of these diseases. Now, you’d think that having such a high white count would make you almost immune to getting sick. You body is literally flooded with germ killing machines, at all times. They are on a mission and have called in reinforcements.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. In fact, my family doctor told me it’s actually the opposite. It makes you very prone to getting sick. Yes, the body is flooded with germ killers, but they are laser focused on attacking you, not the cold virus you caught at the grocery store a few days ago. Because the immune system is so focused, it leaves you open and vulnerable for whatever is out there.

A year and a half ago, in the span of four months I caught the flu, had roseola, developed a staph infection on my skin and then pneumonia. I haven’t really been sick since then, until this week. As I mentioned in the previous post, I went to my family doctor yesterday and I have an ear/throat infection and thrush. Haha when I get sick, man do I get sick!

When you start to feel sick, it’s important to get to your doctor as soon as you can. Something as simple as a cold can escalate quickly, especially if you are on immune suppressing drugs. Lucky for me, my doctor had an opening for the next morning. He put me on antibiotics and anti-fungals immediately, to stop anything from getting out of hand.

Because the immune system kind of ignores bacteria and viruses when you have an AI disease, it’s very important to get yearly vaccinations against the flu. The flu is a particularly scary infection when you have an AI disease. You may or may not know, but the flu kills about 36,000 people every year in the US. Worldwide, it is fatal for between 250,000-500,00 people. When you immune system is compromised, complications can arise incredibly quickly … in a matter of hours, oftentimes. The flu is a virus, so there really aren’t many options for treatment, once you get it. There are a few retroviral medications, but they have to be taken within a small window of time. If you can’t get to your doctor in time, you may miss the window. If that happens, don’t hesitate to go to an urgent care facility.

The biggest flu complication is pneumonia. If you’ve never had it, thank your lucky stars. I had a mild case, what would be considered “walking pneumonia”. I have never felt worse in my entire 42 years on this planet! Every breath burned and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Definitely not something I want to go through, ever again.

One thing that can help is taking care of yourself. It’s hard for your body to work properly when you’re healthy if you don’t take proper care. Imagine how difficult it is when you aren’t healthy! First and foremost, eat right! You have to provide your body with the right fuel if you want it to work at the highest level it is capable of.

Second, get proper sleep. This is a difficult one. AI sufferers often deal with extreme fatigue, even getting the recommended eight hours every night. The amount of sleep you need might be vastly different than what sleep experts recommend. For me, most nights, I sleep seven to eight hours at night, but after being up for about 45 minutes in the morning, I need a nap. My morning nap is anywhere from one to two hours … seriously. A lot of days, I need an afternoon nap, too. Fatigue is a huge problem. Healthy people tend to get sick when they get run down, and it’s no different for people with AI diseases. We just need much more sleep than the average person.

Third, take supplements. There isn’t a consensus in the medical community as to whether supplements work, or are even worth it. My experience is that they are. Not to mention that people with autoimmune diseases tend to have vitamin deficiencies. My levels of D, iron and B12 are low. My B12 is still considered normal, but on the low end. We also tend to be anemic. It has to do with having chronically high inflammation levels. Being anemic can increase fatigue and generally feeling blah. Having routine bloodwork to assess your levels and your specific needs is something I recommend.

Finally, be a bit of a germophobe. Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times and USE it. Wash your hands as often as is practical. If you can help it, avoid sick people. I know that’s much easier said than done, especially if you have kids or work outside of the home. If you find yourself stuck in a doctor’s waiting room at the height of flu season, wear a mask! I’m not kidding. A few funny looks are better than finding yourself in the hospital.

None of these tips are foolproof. You will find yourself sick at some point. Don’t panic, but get seen by a medical professional as soon as you can. The sooner you an be treated, the less of a chance you’ll be dealing with complications. Phew … this was a long one, but I hope there was information in this post you found useful.

Do you have a chronic condition? Do you find that you get sick easier and more often than most? What have your experiences been? Lemme know!

Carrie♥

© 2017 Look Good, Feel Good

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Midweek Mask ~ Recovering

**This post contains affiliate links. Read more about that here**

Good Wednesday, friends! I hope everyone is having a great week, so far. Mine has been … meh lol As I mentioned in a few previous posts, I did some traveling last week. Having a few chronic diseases, anything outside of my normal routine is very hard on my body. My fatigue is more pronounced, my joints hurt more, my rosacea flares, my face swells … you get the idea. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do to get my body back to its “normal”. As I get back into my normal routine, my body will slowly follow suit. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, though. One is copious amounts of hot baths. The second is intensive skin care.

What that means for me is I do parts of my normal morning skin routine a few times throughout the day. Briefly, my current morning routine consists of washing with Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, 16 Ounces, applying my current rosacea medicine, misting my face with Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, 8 oz., slathering on generous amounts of Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb the Anti-Oxidant Super Moisturizer, 1.7 Ounce, moisturizing my eye area with Clinique All About Eyes Duo Pack ( Travel Size ) - 2x7ml/0.21oz, with a few drops of squalane oil on my dryer areas. (<< affiliate links)

What I’ve been doing since I got home is the above routine in the morning, like normal. Then, I repeat this process again, sometime around midday, with lots of spritzing my face with either the Mario Badescu mist or my PETER THOMAS ROTH - Cucumber De-Tox Balancing Essence Water Mist by Peter Thomas Roth(<< affiliate link) for an additional bump in hydration. I understand that some of these products are a bit on the spendy side, but when it comes to my skin, I have found that you definitely get what you pay for. When you have problem skin, you just cannot get by with less expensive products sometimes. I tried for years, just buying drugstore products. Some are okay, but some just make the situation much worse.

Considering the condition of my poor face skin over the last few days, I felt I really needed to break out the big guns for tonight’s mask, or should I say, masks haha

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(Sorry this is so large! When I tried to size it down, it got very blurry)

First up was the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask 5.0 ounce (<<affiliate link) I didn’t take a goofy pic with that one because you simply cannot see it. Immediately, I noticed that it was very cooling. Even several minutes into the 10-minute time, if the breeze from the ceiling fan hit my face, it was instantly cooler. I would imagine this could be stored in the fridge for an even more cooling effect, during these final days of summer. Also, the squeeze bottle I have is a deluxe sample size of 1 oz. Like the Sephora sleeping masks, there are easily three to four uses in the bottle, which is awesome. I’m not sure if you are aware of how expensive Peter Thomas Roth skincare tends to be, but it’s up there. (This particular mask is one of the least expensive I have seen from the brand.)Being able to get several uses out of this sample will really give you an idea of how well the mask works for your skin and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for you.

I wish I would have taken a pic of my face with the mask on, so you could see just how much redness it took out. That could be from rinsing with cold water, but that usually doesn’t have much effect on my rosacea. I really think it was the mask. Also, I really dislike rinsing with cold water hahaha My face has NEVER felt softer. I am sitting here, literally rubbing my face and am stunned at how nice it feels. Home run, PTR!!

On to the eye pads !

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These things are THICK. There was so much serum in the package that it started pouring out as soon as I opened it! That was certainly a first for me. After a few minutes, the tops of my cheeks started burning, and not just a little. I remarked to a friend that I wasn’t sure I would make it the whole 20 minutes with these on. It did fade a few minutes later, thankfully. Once I removed the pads, there was no serum to pat in. My eye area sucked up every bit of serum there was hahaha Yay for an easily absorbed serum … boo for having such dry under eyes.

This is a situation that requires before and after shots.

Ummm … y’all … there is a definite difference in my eye puffiness. My left eye is significantly less puffy than it was. There seem to be less puffiness under my right eye, as well. Do you know how many eye pads I have used and how many have been total fails? Every single one. Until this one. I just knew this one would fail, too. I am tickled pink to be wrong about this one.  Just imagine, if my eyes look this much better after ONE treatment, how good they (and potentially your under eye) would look with regular use?? I am shook … as the kids in the beauty community say hahahaha You can find them from Birchbox (linked above) for $18 for five sets. If you used them once a week, that’s not too bad.

I am in love, y’all. Complete and total love, with both products. Still … forty minutes later, my face is smoother and softer than I have felt in a long, long time. While my under eye area doesn’t look perfect, it sure looks better than it did before the pads. Both of these products have earned a permanent place in my skin care routine, without a doubt.

Have you used either of these products before? What about eye pads … are there some you have used that gave you real results? Lemme know what they are!!

Carrie♥

© 2017 Look Good, Feel Good

Midweek Mask ~ Primrose Oil

Hello lovelies! Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a fabulous day. I have procrastinated writing this evening’s blog for hours haha I took an unexpected nap around 6 this evening and that ruined me for the rest of the night. One of the problems that goes hand in hand with chronic conditions and autoimmune diseases is chronic fatigue. Fatigue isn’t just being tired. It is life altering tired. It’s not being able to control falling asleep. It’s not being able to do the things you need to do because of exhaustion. I sleep about seven hours a night. I putter around for about an hour after I wake up doing things: taking my dogs out (separately, of course), feeding them, taking my medicines. After I get everything finished, about an hour has passed. Then, I usually take an unexpected nap for about an hour and a half. And I take another unexpected nap in the late afternoon/evening, which means I end up going to sleep late. So, if some of my posts come through later (or early, early the next morning) that’s why. Just my body being completely uncooperative with what I’m trying to do with my life hahahaha

Anyway, for this evening’s mask, I chose a really cool one from the Yes to brand. I used to use their cucumber facial wipes until my face skin revolted against wipes. They are all just too scratchy for some reason. But, while I was able to use them, I liked them a lot. The also have some pretty cool face masks. I chose the primrose oil mud mask tonight.

It’s supposed to calm and soothe skin, which I always like, having rosacea. It had a neat cooling effect as I was applying it. It seemed to warm up, though, and got a little bit sting-y. It was short lived, and not that painful. Just something I noticed. The time for this mask was only 5-10 minutes, which I thought was interesting. Most masks are 10-15, or 15-20 minutes. If you’re short on time, this would be a great option.

I tried something new this evening to remove the mask. I saw these at Walmart when I bought this mask and figured they’d be really cool.

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I was mistaken haha Because this was an oil-infused mask, this sponge just moved the mud around on my face. It might be a good tool for other types of masks, but oily ones are just a no. Funny story, after I bought a pack of these sponges, I got a pack in each of my Walmart beauty boxes. So now, I have three packs of them. Let’s hope they work better on another type of mask!! I really want them to work!

After I finally got the mask removed, my face was very soft. Four hours later, it’s still incredibly soft and hydrated feeling, even on the tops of my cheeks, where I experience the most dryness. It didn’t do much for my redness, but it never claimed to remove that. I was kinda hoping it would, since it’s a calming/soothing formula. This one is a winner. And for the price, around $3, this is an excellent choice.

Have you tried this mask? What do you think? Lemme know!

Carrie♥

Makeup Monday ~ Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! My apologies that this post is going up so late. Today (well, yesterday I guess) has been an awful day. I had some errands to run this morning. I had to run to the dump (no trash service out here in the boonies haha), pick up my pain med prescriptions from my rheumatologist and get one of them filled. Anyone who takes a Schedule II drug understands the frustration in dealing with those meds. No refills and you cannot fill the prescription early, meaning you can only fill it on the day you are scheduled to run out. I am thankful that I don’t have to see my rheumatologist every time I need a new prescription. When my family doctor was handling my pain management, not only did I have to see him every month, but I had to be drug tested. They weren’t looking for other drugs. They were making sure my system had opiates in it. Crazy, right? Sigh … the trials and tribulations of being on Schedule II drugs. As with everything, my situation could be worse, and I am ever thankful for understanding, compassionate doctors. Anyway, after I finished my errands and got home, I started running a low grade fever. Also something pretty common with autoimmune diseases. Because my immune system is so out of whack, random fevers just happen. I’m not sick with a cold or anything like that. I’m not contagious with anything. Just a fever, and high enough to make my body hurt worse than it already does. That was a very long winded way of telling y’all this post is late because I felt like crap most of the day hahaha

While I was at the drug store, waiting on my medicine to be filled, I wandered over to the makeup section. The pharmacy fills your prescription MUCH faster if you tell them you will wait for it. Two hours versus ten minutes. Yes, I’ll wait and spend wayyy too much money on makeup while I’m at it hehe The Maybelline section caught my eye, and in particular their Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon. It claims to give up to 24 hours of wear. Now, I don’t have the patience or the constitution to see if it really lasts 24 hours, and it’s a bad idea to sleep with makeup on, so we’re just going to have to take their word on that. I really like cool toned eyeshadow, so I chose two crayons to test out, 705-Pink Parfait and 720-Lilac Lust.

Aren’t they cute! These were $6.99 and they were buy one get on 50% off. Sweet! They apply quite well. They are very creamy. Blending, however, is another situation entirely. These shadows dry down FAST. I had zero time to blend the purple, so it looks a little choppy. The shadow that wasn’t dry just kinda stuck to my brush and came off of my eye. Blending with my finger didn’t work so well, either. I ended up rubbing the shadow off.

Disregard my face. I didn’t have a stitch of makeup on anywhere except my eyes.

It doesn’t look so bad with my eye open haha I would suggest going into the crease very lightly at first, and build up to the pigmentation that you want, instead of going all in right from the start. This is my first experience with such a pigmented shadow crayon, so it’s a work in progress. I am going to continue to play with these, for sure. There has to be a way to blend these out!! They will not defeat me! I really do like them a lot, despite the blending trouble. They are super easy to apply, they don’t skip across the lid. I didn’t use any sort of eyelid primer, but I don’t think you really need one. I don’t foresee these shadows creasing or fading. These might even look great with a black shadow base. Oooohhhhh … I might play with that look tomorrow!

Have any of you tried these out? Do you have the same trouble blending, or is it just me? That’s entirely possible haha Let me know!

Family fun 

I have a five year old niece, and she totally has me wrapped. Maybe more than my own daughter haha We love to have slumber parties. Tonight is her second night with me this week, and she is sweeter than pie.

You all know I’ve been flaring for about two weeks now. That doesn’t stop us from partying, though. It definitely slows it down, but the party doesn’t stop. Five year olds are not known for their patience, but she tries. Her mommy, (my baby sister), has systemic lupus, so Keyra understands bad days, as much as a five year old is capable of, anyway. 

Hot baths are my go-to when I feel like this, and they happen to be one of her favorite things to do! She LOVES dropping the bath bombs in and watching them fizz. I ordered some random bombs from Amazon a few months ago, and tonight we picked cherry. Phew … talk about highly scented!!! 

After bath time fun, we were in the den, and she had a bowl of cereal. She stopped eating, looked at me and said “Kewy (she says Carrie so funny), what else sweet can I do for you? I could massage your feet?” My heart immediately melted. This precious little angel …


She does give a good foot massage, but what we did instead was a mini facial. I have a Peter Thomas Roth cucumber toner spray and she loves when I spray her face. Not too much though, that stuff sprays like a fire hose hahaha Then I give her two little squirts of ELF hydrating serum and she rubs it all over her face. We finished up with our “scent of the day”, which was a few squirts of Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple.

I hate that this disease has caused a five year old to be so concerned about making me feel good. At the same time, it has allowed her sweet soul to shine. And does it shine!! Don’t misunderstand me, she can be hell on wheels sometimes. Most times haha, but in my worst moments, her best moments shine bigger and brighter than anything I’ve ever seen. 

Do you have a special little in your life? When do they shine their brightest? What are the little things they do to show that sweet side?

Be on the look out tomorrow for a Dior mask review. I am super stoked to share it with y’all! Have a great day today! 

Carrie❤️

Nifty nail polish

There are a few YouTube beauty gurus that I watch all the time. One is Kathleen Lights. She’s so precious and she stays away from the beauty community drama. That drama is NEXT LEVEL, y’all!! Anyway, Kathleen started a nail polish company a while back and her new summer collection just hit the web. If you sign up for emails on her website, they’ll send a 10% off code for your first purchase. Pretty cool deal! You can find her collection here.

She has some pretty cool shades in her summer collection, so I thought I would give one a try. I’m pretty boring when it comes to polish shades haha I’m a darker pink, deep berry kinda girl. I chose Mia, which is an iridescent pink. The shipping was pretty quick. I think I received my package 3-4 days after I placed my order. If you are having a polish emergency, that’s not too bad, really.

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One thing I noticed right away is this color is on the sheer side. It will become more opaque as you add layers, though. This first picture is one coat. I don’t know how well you can see the sheerness, but it’s there. The second picture is with two coats. There doesn’t seem to be much difference in the photos, but there’s a big difference in real life. I would suggest at least three coats. With two, you can still see the white tips of my nails underneath the polish.

Kindly disregard my red sausage fingers … still flaring. Although, they are always red and a bit swollen. I think keeping my nails polished may actually distract from my fingers. They certainly look prettier with polish hahaha Anything I can do to camouflage what the RA is doing to my hands (and body, for that matter), I am down for.

This polish dries down to a matte or semi-matte finish. That struck me as a little odd. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different from what I’m used to in a polish. If you need a shiny finish, a good topcoat will give you that look. I think I like the way this looks, just as it is, personally. These polishes are $8.50. With my 10% discount, then shipping, I paid $12.60, which I think is a fair price. Any time I don’t have to leave my house for something I consider it a win. $5 shipping is a bit steep for one polish, but if I had ordered more, it would have been very worth it. Overall, I think this is a great polish. Go to the website and check out Kathleen’s collection. What is your favorite nail color? Do you have a go-to brand? How do you disguise a flare, or do you even try? Lemme know your thoughts!

Carrie♥

Flare I go again … 

Or, should I say still. I’m ready for whatever is going on with my body to be over with. My hands and fingers have been ridiculously swollen over the last few days, and I have had absolutely no energy to do anything. My fingers legit look like sausages. That makes typing challenging.

Of course, flares happen at the most inconvenient of times. My hubby is leaving tomorrow to go to Texas for several weeks. That means we had to make a trip to Walmart. On a Saturday afternoon. I think that must be a “thing” to do on Saturdays in my town. I swear, everyone was in that store. Surely several fire codes were violated with the number of people there.

For those who don’t have chronic illnesses, it’s hard to imagine why that might be difficult. Well, aside from the fact that it was two hours in Walmart. That, in and of itself is tough haha The best way I can describe it is to imagine your legs are filled with wet concrete. They get heavier and heavier with each step you take. Then, imagine someone set sandbags on your shoulders. And they add sandbags every few minutes until you are totally hunched over from the weight. Now, imagine someone has put your ankles in a vice. With every step, the vise gets tighter and tighter until you are sure the next step will shatter your ankles beyond repair. I honestly don’t know what I would do without shopping carts. They are my lifeline in those situations, truly.

I am so thankful for a caring and understanding spouse. So many of us who deal with chronic health issues do not have caring and supportive partners. I can’t even tell you the sadness I have experienced, reading the stories from women whose families actually think they are faking it. Who would choose to fake something like this?? Who would want a life like this? No one needs attention that badly.

My husband has been beyond incredible. He knows when I’m having a hard day, just by looking at me. I try my best to hide it, but he sees through me. He has been to countless doctor’s appointments, cooked, cleaned, dealt with the laundry, made our daughter’s breakfasts and packed her lunches (when she was still in school). He’s not the most patient of men haha, and he was raised in a family where all of the above was “women’s work”.  When it comes to me, though, he is the kindest, most patient, most helpful and considerate man in the universe. He is truly my rock. He has the biggest shoulders, I swear. They carry so much weight. I don’t know how he does it.

I hope I don’t sound whiney. That’s not my intention, because I am not a whiney person. I don’t dwell on the negatives of this disease. There’s no point. It won’t go away and it would be a never ending downward spiral. I just wanted to offer a glimpse into what many chronic illness sufferers go through with a simple Saturday afternoon trip to the store.

Okay, now that all that is out of the way, I have some really cool items up for review over the coming weeks. Here’s a sneak peak of just a few things:

With my entire family gone for a least the next week, I should have plenty of time to pamper myself and work through this nasty flare. What are some things you do to help yourself feel better? Any tips and tricks you’d like to share?

 

Carrie♥

Yucky Weekend

I hate flares. I really do. Not only is my pain much greater, but they really mess up my plans. I started flaring late Thursday, with some increased pain. Friday afternoon, the pain in my hips was so intense that I was near tears. My pain meds weren’t helping. I even tried a prescription muscle relaxer, thinking that maybe the way I was sitting caused the problem. Those didn’t help, either. On top of that, I started running a fever Friday, which is what clued me in that it was a flare. It only lasted a few hours, but returned Saturday evening. Because I was in such a state, Skin Care Saturday didn’t happen. I was also going to do an unboxing of the Wal-Mart Beauty boxes that came in Saturday’s mail, as well as my prize for winning an Instagram contest with SOO AE Beauty.

Honestly, I didn’t even feel like blogging this little bit today, but I decided that I should let you all know what happened. My blog plan for the next few weeks is shifting back a few days. Something to look forward to (at some point) is an interview with a local spa owner, massage therapist and aesthetician. We will talk about the benefits of massage therapy for chronic illness sufferers, as well as the effects chronic conditions can have on the skin. The goal was to already have the interview done and posted. At this point, I cannot say when the interview will happen, just that it IS happening.

This is our reality. These are but a few of the non-physical and non-emotional ways that chronic conditions affect our lives. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, so to speak. Unfortunately, a lot of “healthy” people don’t understand. They look at me and see a healthy 40-something woman. When I have to cancel plans or adjust my schedule (more than once) they think I’m lazy and not doing what I can do. I WISH I was just lounging on my couch, being lazy, instead of fighting back tears with every movement. It’s all good, though. Really. These days are few and far between, for now, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I do what I can, when I can, and I don’t sweat the rest. Hope everyone had a restful and peaceful weekend. Let’s show life who’s the boss this week!

Carrie ♥

Working for the weekend

Whoohooo … the weekend is here! I don’t work outside of my home, so the “weekend” is a bit irrelevant to me. Every day is a “work” day on a homestead. For many of my fellow chronic illness warriors, however, working outside of the home is a necessity. Relaxation for my pals out there is a MUST, and the weekend is the most obvious time to do that. When I am feeling stressed out, run down, exhausted (take your pick), I have several methods I use to recharge my batteries.

The first thing is to demand (yes, I said demand haha) some “you” time from your family. Alone time can be incredibly rejuvenating, even if it’s 30 minutes in your room, with the door closed. Read a book, watch a show, take a quick nap, or just sit quietly and reflect on the week. Another method I use to relax is a hot, hot bath. I am the queen of bath products haha! I have bubble baths, bath salts, bath bombs, bath fizzies, bath oils … you name it and I probably have it. I incorporate baths into my “me” time. I get the water as hot as I can stand it and soak for 20 minutes or so. It can be even more relaxing by using candlelight, rather than harsh bathroom lighting. I use scents that are known to be relaxing (see yesterday’s blog post about aromatherapy). For me, that’s lavender, rose, gardenia and just anything from Bath and Body Works. They have a specific aromatherapy line that is really nice.

Something else I really enjoy using to relax is hot tea, or tea to my European friends. I really like hot tea, no matter the season. A few of my favorites are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, peppermint, chamomile and a chamomile, lavender blend. There is nothing better to me, after a rough day, than getting out of a hot bath, lounging on my bed with a good book and a cup of hot tea. It is manna for the soul, I swear.

Some of us with more extroverted personalities find they recharge by being around people, which is totally fine! I don’t get it haha, but if that’s you, plan an evening out with some friends, catch a movie or have dinner and drinks, if your meds allow for alcohol consumption. However you are able to best recharge yourself, do that.

Studies show that most of us afflicted with chronic diseases are women, and despite our illnesses or conditions, we are still the backbone of our families. Our lives (and the lives of those around us) can be impacted in a negative way if we aren’t operating at our peak, whatever that might be. Those of us with chronic diseases/illnesses/conditions tend to operate with a disadvantage as it is, so anything we can do to keep our emotional system running smoothly will help every other aspect of our lives.

Your peace of mind is so important on this journey. It can be almost impossible to not fall into a depression when we are faced with our unique challenges. Keeping our heads above water has to be a priority, and finding time to really relax can help. I hope you can find some quiet time (or fun time, for you extroverts) and recharge this weekend.

Carrie ♥

 

Our first mid-week mask together

**This post contains affiliate links**

Happy Wednesday, readers! This is the first in a series I call mid-week mask. Basically, on Wednesdays I choose some type of facial mask and review it. First, though, I thought I would talk a little bit about my skin issues.

Now, the chronic illness gods thought it would be funny to, not only throw RA and fibromyalgia my way, but rosacea, as well. I’ve actually dealt with this one the longest. It showed up shortly after my daughter was born, nineteen years ago. I thought it was just a hormonal shift. Nope. I went to my family physician and he prescribed a gel of some sort. I honestly don’t remember the name because it was so long ago. What I DO remember was the sting and burn. Needless to say, I didn’t continue to use it, and I tried to ignore the redness.

Years pass and I get more self-conscious about my face. Every time I go out, people remark on my “sunburn” and I have to explain my situation. Repeatedly. I sought out color correctors. If you aren’t aware, green is opposite of red on the color wheel, so they cancel each other out. My first experience was with a green-tinted moisturizer. I hated it! It was greasy and weird. Not only did it remove the redness, but it took every last bit of color out of my face! All of it!! Ghosts would have been jealous by how pale I was. I used it, but only on certain occasions, and I wasn’t happy about it.

I finally got fed up and was talking to my aunt about my face. She mentioned a product she had seen infomercials about. I pulled up the Ulta website and low and behold … there it was. IT Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Redness. To call this a miracle product is an understatement. It’s a beige-tinted cream (it is supposed to accommodate a wide range of skin tones), and I don’t know how it works, but WOW! A little goes a long way, and I buff it in with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I find I don’t really need foundation when I use it, which is really nice in the summer, especially in the South.

I also decided it was high time to see a dermatologist, which was yesterday. He was really impressed with my skin care routine, except for the lack of sunscreen (I know, I know). He wrote me a prescription for Metrogel and we talked about adding retinols, since I am at that age, and the rosacea has created some unwanted texture to my cheekbone area (plus, I do have some fine lines, around my eye and mouth areas). I applied the Metrogel this morning and was pleasantly surprised … no burning and no stinging! YAY!!

Now, on to the mask! Tonight I chose Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Revealing Peel-off Mask, Pomegranate, 6 Ounce. I don’t know about y’all, but there is something so darned satisfying about peeling a mask off. And if it comes off in one piece, my day has been made hahaha

Don’t you just love how your skin looks with a peel-off mask  on there? Sooo shiny and yes, mine came off in one piece hahaha! I don’t know that my skin looked any more revitalized or clarified after using, but my face does feel nice. After removing, follow up with your normal skin care routine. I will talk about my entire skin care routine in upcoming posts. I hope everyone has a wonderful evening. I’ll be back tomorrow!

~Carrie♥