Tuesday, June 28, 2016

All About Big



This is a special blog post. It's special because we're going to be talking about the most special thing in my life... My rescue cat sidekick, Big! Now I call him my sidekick for good reason. Things get pretty lonely when you're chronically ill, home most of the time, and out of school and work. Big tends to follow me around everywhere. I like it that way. I've always been an animal person, but my mother has not. I begged for a pet for years. About 17 or so actually. It seemed pretty hopeless. But somehow, someway, I convinced my mom to let me get a cat at the age of 20. I went to the SPCA with my grandmother to look at the cats. There was a litter of kittens and I thought they were all cute. 4 of them were all tabby and one of them was white and tabby. Right away my grandmother thought that the white and tabby one was the cutest. We went toward the cage and he lifted his chin against it wanting rubs. And when we rubbed his chin he closed his eyes in complete pleasure. I will never forget the day I took Big home. It was meant to be. 

Facts about Big:

- We adopted Big from the SPCA in November 2012. 
- He was 2 months old when we adopted him.
- His litter was found with their mother in a box on the street. 
- His foster dad kept calling him "Big guy" and that's how we gave him his name. It just suited him so much. He was so tiny. 
- We don't know his exact birthday so we estimated it September 1st, 2012. 
- In case you don't feel like doing the math, he's 3 years old now. 
- He has green eyes and his fur is tabby and white. I always thought he looked like a little white tiger when he was a kitten. 
- He is the biggest scaredy cat. Everything scares him. Sudden noises, vacuums, trucks driving by, tinfoil, balloons, certain strangers, the doorbell. Sometimes I really think the term scaredy cat could have been coined from him. 
- He loves his cuddles (but only from certain people). He especially loves his cuddles with me which obviously I love. He kneads my belly for ages and then plops down on my chest with his butt in my face and then eventually I turn him around! This is our daily routine. 
- He has a very dainty meow. It is not what I would call manly. It's very small and high pitched. I think it's pretty cute. 
- His favorite toys are ones he can pick up with his mouth and kick around like a soccer ball. Little pom poms, springs, and tiny little mice. 
- His nicknames are Biggie, Bigaloo, Bug, Big Bug, Buggy, Mr. Big and the list will surely go on. 
- At around 10pm is his time to go wild and gallop around the house like a horse. 
- He gets annoyed when I take pictures of him. How does he know?! I do it anyway. 
- He loves treats. Especially Party Mix.
- He has a blue bed that he sleeps in every night and a blue blanket that he lays on and grooms every night while we watch TV. 
- He loves playing rough. But he knows that he's playing and doesn't take out his claws. 
- He usually waits by the door when we get home. 
- Words I know he understands that he actually responds to: "dinner" "blue blanket time" "are you hungry" "treat" "come on",  and his name. I also think he knows "present". 






So now you know a little bit more about Big. I could talk about him all day because he makes me so happy. I wish you could all meet him but for now I will just continue to flood you with pictures. And let's be real, if you're not one of the lucky ones, he would probably run away. I hope you enjoyed this slightly different blog post. I definitely enjoyed writing it! 

Michelle 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

To the Person Glaring at Me as I Inject My Insulin in Public

To the person I see glaring at me as I inject my insulin at the table across from you in the food court,

Hello, my name is Michelle. I see that you saw me injecting myself and from the look on your face, you didn't like it very much. Maybe you're afraid of needles. Maybe you thought I should have gone somewhere private to do this and thought I was weird for doing it in broad daylight. Maybe it just really grossed you out. There was a time I would have let your judgmental stare really upset me. Times have changed. I'll tell you why.

I have Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease - it is NOT caused by weight, eating too much sugar, or not getting enough exercise. Type 1 diabetes can happen to anyone. It can happen to the fittest person you know. In a person with Type 1 diabetes, their immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in their pancreas. Without insulin, a person will die. No ifs ands or buts. Insulin helps control your blood sugar. So Type 1s literally have many highs and lows. We usually have to give ourselves injections of insulin every single time we eat. Would you enjoy finding the closest dirty washroom, going into the tiny stall, trying to prepare your insulin, inject yourself, and do this over and over again for the rest of your life? I don't think so. 

While I sit there and inject my insulin manually, your body is automatically doing the same work for you as you eat. I consider you quite lucky in that respect. I'm already stuck injecting myself up to 10 times a day, which sucks, so why should I have to get up and hide myself away? Why should I be ashamed?  

I used to be terrified of injecting in public. I refused to, actually. It took a lot of encouragement from some great friends to start doing it. I would occasionally whine and say "Ugh, I don't feel like going to the bathroom to inject", and they'd say "Why don't you do it right here?" For some reason it was branded into my mind that it was an impossible idea. Then one day when they suggested it, I did it. And it felt so liberating. It felt so freeing to tell myself that I didn't have to care about the judgment of strangers and that I felt better doing it this way, so this was how I was going to do it. This was easier for me and this is the way it was going to be. 

So stranger, I hope you can now understand my decision to inject in public a little more. I hope that you can understand that, and that maybe, if you really don't like needles, you can just turn away. I hope you learned something new today.

Until next time. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

To The People Who Ask Me What I'm Doing With my Life

To the person who asked me what I’m doing these days,

As a young adult at university age, society expects many things out of you. They expect you to be well on your way to a degree. They expect you to be employed. They expect you to have a serious significant other. They expect you to be either moved out or on your way to moving out. So when it’s time for a family event, I personally always know what questions are going to be thrown my way. Those include “So what are you studying?”, or “Do you have a man in your life?”. After saying that I’m not studying at the moment, the next question that comes is “Oh, so are you working?”, and this is usually when I get a sinking feeling in my stomach and shame washes over me… because the answer is no.

I have spent the last 3 years battling multiple chronic illnesses. It all started with fatigue that became more debilitating as each day went on. Then came pain, strange neurological episodes, and a long search for a diagnosis. My days did not consist of going to school. My days consisted of hospital visits, doctors appointments, and test after test after test. They consisted of fighting to stay awake, and pushing to do what to healthy people would seem like everyday tasks. 
 
I have looked on longingly at the lives of my friends. I have yearned to be studying something I enjoy, and I have felt envy watching them go out on weekends with the friends they’ve made in their classes or at work. I have watched them blossom and become amazing young adults. I have wished that I was them.

I try to remind myself that I’m doing my best. I am handling more than I ever thought I could. I am walking better than I was months ago. I am staying awake for hours more than I was last year. I am fighting.

So the answer is yes, I am working. I am working every single day to stay standing. I am fighting every day to keep my spirits up. I am hoping every day to one day have a great career that I love and can handle. I do not have a man in my life. Being sick and stuck in the house a lot, I don’t have many opportunities these days to meet new people, but I know my day will come. The truth is, being chronically ill takes up a lot of time. It may seem like a life of laying around and doing nothing, but that is far from the truth. It’s a full time job and it takes a lot of work. So when I tell you I’m not working or studying you may be thinking “That’s so sad/lazy that she’s not doing anything with her life”. But that is far from the truth. I do have a job. I’m a fighter.


Michelle

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Top 10 Beauty Favorites



There is nothing easier for me to spend all of my money on (okay, except for maybe food..) than on makeup. I love testing out new things and playing around with things. I also spend more time than I'd like to admit on YouTube watching my favorite beauty gurus. Some of my favorite videos are of their favorite products, so without futher ado, in no particular order, here are mine:


1. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Opal 01
 I don't really know what to call this. Is it a foundation, a CC cream, a tinted moisturizer? I don't know, and it doesn't really matter, because it really works for me. I am a very freckly girl. I don't just have a few freckles over the bridge of my nose, I have them all over my face. I am also extremely pale, some would probably say ghostly. With this combination I always found it very difficult to find a foundation that matched me well and didn't look completely unnatural. While my skin is very freckly, I am quite lucky not to have a lot of blemishes I need to cover. This has a sheer but very, very buildable coverage. It's beautifully dewy and lets my freckles peek through while smoothing my skin and making it look glowy. I've been using this since November and don't see myself switching anytime soon!
2. Benefit Hoola Bronzer
This is another product that I've been using religiously since November. Going back to the fact that I'm very pale, finding a bronzer that doesn't make me look orange is a challenge. I saw a lot of hype about Hoola prior to me buying it but it just looked to dark for me. On top of that it felt a bit pricey at the time. A specialist at Sephora tried it on me and that's all it took for me to fall in love with it. I didn't look orange and all of the sudden I didn't look like a ghost anymore. I truly believe that this bronzer probably looks good on everyone.



3. Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara in Very Black 800
With my health not being terrific and my iron being low, I've dealt with a lot of hair loss. Unfortunately this has included my eyelashes. They've become very short, straight and more sparse. I am not going to lie, I am still on the hunt for the perfect mascara for lashes like mine. I seems like nothing can save my lashes. However, this mascara works the best on them. My cousin Jess recommended it to me and her eyelashes always look incredible. This mascara doesn't look as incredible on me as it does on her, but it definitely makes my lashes look less tiny and gives them some volume!



4. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
This has been my holy grail for about 3 years. I am a winged liner girl. I wear winged liner almost every day. It's just easy for me and gives the illusion of me having thicker lashes I find. This is by far my favorite liquid liner and I've gone through many of them!




5. Wet N' Wild Megalast Lip Color in Cherry Picking and Mauve Outta Here
These lipsticks are heaven sent in my opinion. They cost 3 dollars. 3 dollars! They're matte so they're slightly drying but I don't find them drying at all if I put a bit of lip balm under (I use EOS). Prior to this I always used M.A.C lipstick, but I just feel guilty buying expensive lipstick after discovering these! I always go back to them. Cherry Picking is a red-pink color and Mauve Outta Here is a pinky mauve color. Highly recommend.




6. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizing Primer in Redness Correcting
I actually bought this product very recently but I definitely love it. I have quite a bit of redness on my cheeks, on my nose, and around my nose. This green primer neutralizes the redness and does quite a good job at it if I say so myself! Really enjoying this product, even though it's pricey!
 
 
7. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
I tried several under eye powders before settling on this one. For some reason, being pale was a problem for me with translucent powders. After applying my concealer, when I applied the translucent powder it would somehow oxidize and darken it. Not what you want to get rid of dark under eye circles! So I was on a hunt for a translucent powder that wouldn't darken my under eye. I tried Make Up For Ever's translucent setting powder, I tried Besame's Vanilla powder, and I tried Laura Mercier's translucent powder, all to no avail. Then I read about the Secret Brightening Powder and though "Hey, this might work." And so far so good! I'm definitely enjoying this powder to set my under eye.  
8. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Pearl
I ogled for ages at the Becca highlighters before purchasing one. They're so pricey and it was just a highlighter and did I really need it? The answer was yes, I really needed it. The most popular shade in this highlighter is Opal from what I've seen. However, after trying a few on in Sephora, I thought Pearl suited my skintone the best. I also wanted something that would be quite easy for me to apply considering I'm still learning my ways around makeup. I've been absolutely loving this, I think it's a pale girls dream!



9. Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Not much to say about this product, but it works. I ran out of it the other day and though that maybe I could go without it, but I quickly realized that I needed to repurchase it. 


10. The MakeUp Eraser
I wrote a huge post about the MakeUp Eraser on my Instagram months ago. I loved it then, and I still love it now. I was so skeptical before buying this thing. I could not wrap my head around a cloth and warm water actually removing all your makeup. I have very sensitive skin and makeup wipes irritate my eyes like crazy. They sting, they burn, and they make them red. So I decided to finally try this when I'd had enough and wanted something more gentle. I use this every day. When it's dirty I throw it in the wash. It takes off all my makeup with no problem at all and feels so nice and soft on my skin. I wish I purchased this earlier!