About Me

Hi! My name is Alex and I am an up-and-coming UK travel and lifestyle blogger writing about my adventures and managing life with multiple chronic illnesses. I initially started my blog after watching videos of Claire Wineland’s speeches. She inspired me and reminded me that my life was more than my disabilities. I have been ill my entire life, and my health will continue to decline. Among other things, I have fibromyalgia, gastroparesis, myalgic encephalomyelitis, depression, and anxiety. These limit my everyday life and I am still learning how to cope with them and still achieve my goals. My first blog at is where I write about learning to manage my illnesses and about how I try and live as normal a life as possible despite my disabilities. I also started a blog at where I document my travel experiences. I have always loved travel and would like to share my passion with others. I have one f

Christmas Gift Guide for the Chronically Ill (Blogmas2019:5)

Sometimes buying gifts for your chronically ill friend or family member can be difficult; and as a chronically ill person, I often receive a lot of gifts that I cannot use. Here are some ideas of what they might like, but keep in mind that every person and every illness is different and so not every gift will be suitable for everyone. 1. A blanket (fleecy/weighted/heated) Spending a lot of time in bed or on the couch, a blanket always helps you get comfortable and relax. A lot of us with chronic illnesses have issues with regulating our body temperature and so a blanket helps with this. Getting them a heated or weighted blanket could also help alleviate some of their symptoms, such as pain. 2. A hot water bottle  Most chronic illnesses cause pain in some form or another, and a hot water bottle is an easy and reusable way to reduce this pain, even slightly, and it is great to cuddle up with during the colder months. 3. An eye mask An eye mask is a great gift for so

Changing Christmas Plans Due To Chronic Illness (Blogmas2019:4)

My entire life, my mum has always thrown a big Christmas dinner. My grandparents would come round and we would eat her delicious food that she had been preparing for days and watch Christmas TV in our pyjamas. However, both my mum and I have multiple chronic illnesses and so this got more difficult to manage every year. A few years ago we had to make some changes that we had never planned to do, but it has turned out so much easier. We decided to start going out for Christmas dinner, at first to a local restaurant and this year we are booked into a carvery. We had always thought of Christmas as a stay-at-home, family day and thought that going out for it would take away something that made Christmas day what it was. If anything, however, it has made our Christmas day so much better! Instead of spending all of our time and energy making a massive meal that involves days of prep, pulling out and setting a table big enough for everyone, and then clearing it all up afterwards, we can

Being Ill During The Holidays (Blogmas2019:1)

The festive season is a time that almost everyone looks forward to. However, when you have a chronic illness, the holidays can be a difficult time for many reasons. Everyone’s illnesses affect them differently, so here are a couple of the ways that my health can taint Christmas for me: As you may know from previous posts, I have a stomach condition called gastroparesis. This means that my stomach is partially paralysed and this can cause issues including sickness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and food intolerances. Almost every holiday is focused around food, and this can make it difficult for me. A lot of the time I cannot eat without throwing up everywhere and when I can eat I am limited to small amount of specific foods in the hopes that it doesn’t make me sick. I can also be sure that if I eat I will be plagued with abdominal pains for hours afterwards. As a big foodie, this causes me enough problems on a normal day; at the holidays, this is downright awful. All of my illne

Slimming World: Weeks 5-14

Although I have been following the Slimming World diet for 18 weeks now, I have unfortunately not managed to post an update since the first month due to a series of personal issues (and some holidays, of course – it is summer). During this time, I have stuck to the diet on and off, with some weeks going better than others. I have faced a number of issues during this time – some diet related, some not – which unfortunately means that I am currently slightly heavier than when I first started in May. When I first started the diet, it took my body time to adjust. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Metamorphosis , I have always had weight issues due to a medical condition called gastroparesis. My gastroparesis also means that my body cannot handle certain foods, most of which are what is recommended for most diets. However, after a few weeks my body began to lose weight very gradually. This was interrupted by my multiple travels (check my travel blog, Alex Alfresco ) and so here

Slimming World: Weeks 1-4

So I’ve just completed my first month on the Slimming World diet, which has been great fun although difficult as I love desserts! I’ve found some amazing low syn or even syn free recipes though which I’m planning on posting in the coming weeks, but this post is more of an introduction. Between my fast metabolism and my stomach condition (gastroparesis), I spend the first 18 years of my life underweight and struggling to gain and body mass. Then my medication changed and I started gaining weight FAST. Currently I am three stone heavier than I’d like to be. Maybe that’s not as much as some other people would like to lose – I am a fairly average body size and don’t look very overweight – but to me that is a big change. I can’t stop the tablets that are making me put on weight so I am trying to lose it healthily, which is why I turned to the Slimming World diet. Slimming World is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. It’s all about managing food, having the right food most of th

What a Pet Means to Someone With Chronic Illness

There’s a few things that most people with chronic illness learn after some time being ill – you will lose friends, maybe all of them; you will spend a lot of time stuck in the house; and you will get extremely lonely there. Staring at the same four walls of your bedroom or living room, no matter how many TV shows you have to binge-watch, will quickly become incredibly boring. A lot of my old hobbies have become unmanageable due to my health, and so I have tried everything – painting, bead-art, movies, TV, books (when I have the energy), blogging, games, embroidery, crafts, and so many other things. But even an introvert like me needs human company. I don’t have much family that I see – my mum, cousin, and boyfriend that I live with and the my dad and sisters who I see as much as possible. And I’ve lost most of my friends as a lot of teenagers – and people in general – don’t understand and, therefore, don’t have the patience for chronic illness. They would invite me out an

What 'Five Feet Apart' Means to Me as a Chronically Ill Teen

**MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD** As some of you might know, a big part of why I started a blog was because of how much Claire Wineland inspired me. Claire was a young woman who got dealt a rubbish hand in life but still won. She lived her life despite having cystic fibrosis and although she died last year aged 21, she achieved so much. She inspired thousands, reminding lots of us with chronic illness that we aren’t alone, and she even set up her own charity to help others living with chronic illness. When I found out that Claire was a consultant on a movie about chronic illness and long term hospital stays as a teen, I couldn’t wait to see it. I was so sure that she wouldn’t let the right messages be lost and, although she unfortunately died before the movie’s release, her influence is clear throughout the entire movie. The protagonist, Stella, was heavily influenced by Claire and everything from her appearance to her attitude towards her illness shows this. Watching the movie