Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here are some pictures of my Halloween 2012 =). I was a Spider Queen!

I tried to do a spidery manicure, but it was a very rushed job, and the polish I used was really old and didn't dry properly :/ On the upside - it washed off in the shower without me having to use nail polish remover... 

I made myself  a spidery crown out of beads, wire, cotton, and fake spider webs, then added a black rubber spider - just to top it off. I also made a spider necklace out of wire and beads - so his legs are pose-able! 

I like the rainbow eye shadow =D And the eye liner spider webs! Also, I like to pose... lol! Now you know where Shelley gets it from!

The BYS black lipstick was a bit of a downer though. It thinned out and kept getting on my teeth... 
 Although, I guess Spider Queens probably do have black teeth?

I started off wearing a cape, but got too hot, and discarded it... 
 Moke thought it made a good pillow =D

Sadly, I had done a lot of things that day, and felt a bit too queasy to eat much at tea time - but Kecap made some lovely green pasta with green cheese for dinner... 
And, of course, we had lots of 'Halloween Candy' (lollies!) - which I am enjoying today! We also had cute decorations =)

I like Halloween =D. It gives me something to plan for, look forward to, and dress up for - and any holiday where you dress up and eat food has to be awesome! Hehe!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Collage II

A couple of months ago, I posted a collage of pictures of my life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It has been a while (and a heck of a lot of dislocations) since then, so I have composed an updated version - created using pictures taken from June to August, 2012:

For those who don't know, I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). Basically, this means that the glue that holds my body together is faulty because of a deficiency in collagen - a protein which gives skin, muscles, organs, blood vessels, ligaments, and other connective tissues in the body their strength and elasticity. Having faulty connective tissue means that I have extremely hypermobile joints that dislocate frequently, fragile and stretchy skin that bruises easily, and a host of other problems.

EDS is a genetic disorder that I was born with. However, I was not officially diagnosed as having EDS until I was in my 20s (by which time I had also developed ME/CFS and secondary fibromyalgia). I have been dislocating bones since the age of 11, as well as experiencing a myriad of other EDS symptoms. Over the years, my easy bruising, dental abnormalities, frequent injuries and illnesses, scoliosis, joint dislocations, and a randomly collapsed lung had all been put down to a weak immune system or benign hypermobility. Unfortunately, my symptoms worsened as I got older. I was referred to lots of specialists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, consulting physicians and orthopaedic surgeons, and it eventually became apparent that I had EDS. 

At the time of my original collage, in June 2012, I was dislocating an average of two joints per day. Unfortunately, my condition has worsened considerably over the last couple of months. I now dislocate joints around a dozen times per day. My doctor has tripled my dose of morphine so that I can deal with the pain, and try to live as much of a life as I can (although, often I am stuck in bed). The joints that I dislocate most often are my jaw, ribs, left wrist, fingers, thumbs, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and a bone in my foot that keeps popping out to the side. It is really scary to think about the damage that is being done to my joints from all of the dislocations! I already have osteoarthritis in my left hand and thumb, both hips, and my right knee and foot. 

I now wear braces, splints and tape each day to try to keep my joints in place, but the tape burns my skin if I wear it for more than a couple of days in a row. I also use a wheelchair, mobility scooter and crutches to help me to get around. I like to decorate my mobility aids so that they look pretty and glittery - I don't like drab grey! 

Anyway, I snapped the pictures in the collage above over the last couple of months. They may not be pretty or flattering, but I have put them together in a collage for a couple of reasons: The first is that I would like to raise awareness of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I reckon that pictures speak louder than words. The other reason is more personal, in that it's hard for me to look back at all of the injuries I have had - but at the same time, it makes me feel kind of powerful - like 'this is how strong I am - I survived and I am still smiling' ;D. 

Thanks for reading this uncharacteristically long post! =D If you would like to learn more about EDS, please follow these links:
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Friday, August 3, 2012


Sally was one of the severum babies that was too small to sell. I had to hand feed him/her when he/she was small and very weak - Sally spent much of the time hiding in a tree and leaning on the leaves to keep upright. However, after a while of hand-feeding several times a day, Sally rallied and became a very strong and healthy fish!  

Here are some pics of Sally's parents - Chomp and Shortie (and Sally and his/her brothers and sisters):
Laying eggs! 

When small, Sally was completely white - and almost transparent.Later, he/she began to show bright yellow on the bottom fins around feeding time (just like his/her parents - green severum Chomp, and blue severum Shorty). Then, the yellow colour was mostly there most of the time.

But over the last couple of days, Sally has just started getting his/her adult colours! Bright yellow fins with yellow freckles and patterns all over his/her body! 

As can be seen in the pictures above, severums can alter their colour with their mood - they tend to become brighter coloured and/or stripy when they are excited (dinner time, trying to impress a mate, scaring off other fish etc.), and duller when they are sleepy (or sick). They change colour in seconds (especially when they see people walking to the fish food fridge...) - it's like magic! 

Getting a picture of an excited severum isn't easy - they don't stay still lol! But here are some pictures of Sally today:

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