Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mini Divas

Having the Mini Divas is a journey of ups and downs, banana covered carpets and a house resembling a crime scene.

It is full of love, warmth and learning too - for me as well as them. Those little ladies bring me so much joy, and some reminders of what is important in life.

This is what I learn from my daughters:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Health, exhaustion and a warning tale

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="569" caption="The Scream by the fabulous Edvard Munch"]The Scream - Edvard Munch[/caption]

This week I had a very frightening lesson.

I would like to share it with you, as my story is, sadly, not a rare one.

So. As Diva readers know I am a mum of twins with endometriosis, a journey I document here on the blog. Tiring, right? Oh, and I run my own business. And have just started a very strong treatment of Zoladex for my endo. All very good reasons to be tired.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Zoladex update: a new dawn?

a new dawn

Yesterday I had my second Zoladex injection.

I finally took the plunge last month after 15 years of trying to avoid it; previously, I had been concerned about preserving my fertility. In some cases there is a risk of not coming back out of the menopause when you finish the 6 month course of injections. Also, the side effects of combined Zoladex and the HRT add-back hormone (I am on Livial) read like a who's who of No Thank-You's.

Monday, 14 November 2011

As most regular readers know I am a blogger and a mum, but I wouldn't describe myself as a mummy blogger.
I talk about all sorts here on Dexterous Diva; my health, endometriosis, running, creativity, fashion, beauty, tech, random stuff; it's all part of my life, and it's how I like to write. I do love to share about life with the Mini Divas, my beloved two year old twins, although nappies and small people stuff is not my mainstay.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Running mojo, endometriosis and pep talks

Lunar Glide Love

This week I really struggled with feeling low. Autumn is setting in, and whilst I love the blustery winds and golden hues, I can be rubbish at making myself leave the house and get much needed Vitamin D. Especially if I am in pain, and feeling bloated and unwell.

Yes, Zoladex side effects and the HRT combination are settling in and taking their toll a little. Medications have a habit of doing that and sending the body balance out of whack a little. But having wallowed more than I would like in depression again this week I have been giving myself a serious pep talk. A locker room style hairdryer treatment, if you will.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Autumn, mini spooks and apple pie

Papa Diva and I took great pleasure (perhaps a little too much) this weekend in dressing up the Mini Divas as little spooks and ghouls.  Here is a little Instagram roundup of our weekend, which included my #newdiva365 experiment with a LEON apple tart.



Sunday, 23 October 2011

The broken butterfly

broken butterfly

Hello Dexterous Diva readers. You find me worn down, worn out and fragile at the moment.

As you know, I had 'flu for 10 days after a cold, then endo pain had a good stint leaving me isolated at home for a good fortnight or so. I am not good without social company and this made me feel really low.Depression came back to visit and hasn't really shifted.

started my Zoladex treatment last Thursday, which I am really hopeful may help me, although for now I can feel it hitting me quite hard as my body adjusts to the HRT and strong medication.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mini Divas: Melissa Shoes

Now I know these are in the sale and they are out of season etc...but I do have to point out how much my mini divas (particularly Mia) would LOVE these Melissa shoes for small peeps.

I have a pair in red too, and the girls have admired them avidly from the banned shoe cupboard. (yes, there is a cupboard for shoes in Casa Diva. See them here in the Colour block post.

Find them here .and tell them Mia sent ya xx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Tara Lynn - role model?

I stumbled across a post on Facebook this week about model Tara Lynn.

I "liked" the post but it has caused me to reflect this week and really question. Sometimes we go too far I think with the larger women celebration, as much as we go too far the other way by celebrating size zero figures.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Operation Fit and Fabulous weekly update

Operation fit and fabulous

On Operation Fit and Fabulous we have been gradually building up the list of good habits to get into.

So far, we have on the list as tasks

• Drink 2 litres of water a day
• Dry skin brushing daily
• Being good to yourself
• Eating 5 a day
• Exercising for 1 hour 3 times a week
• Getting enough sleep

All common-sensical, right? Well yes, but we don't often remember to do them all, and health and resulting fabulousness suffers.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Do women need sport to be spoonfed?

Spoonfed sport?

Last week after the Team Bangs graduation at Run to the Beat, there was an interesting debate going on in Twitterland about the dumbing down of sport for women.

Do we really need runs like the Boutique Run and Grazia Bootcamp to lure us into getting sweaty, or is it an insult to our femininity and intelligence to powder puff exercise and give it a spray tan presentation?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Weight loss begins again. No, really...

Earlier on in the year I began to grapple with my weight issue again. You may remember this post where I unveiled at the start of my Team Bangs training (warning - not for the faint hearted).

After having the girls in 2009 I lost all my pregnancy weight and more with Weightwatchers, which has served me well over the years when my weight has fluctuated between endo flare ups. Back in 2004 I lost 2 stone through it and kept it off for 3 years with regular exercise and a change of habits.

So.....what now?!

Last Sunday I ran the Nike Run to the Beat with my Team Bangs ladies.

I have been training for this event since May, as those of you who followed my progress will know.

It has been a really, really busy Summer. Since July it has been non-stop with house move, hen party organising, training, wedding and family stuff, then half marathon. Suddenly, my weekends are empty.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Downloadable endo symptom diary

As an advocate of endo awareness and an endo warrior myself I want to help as many women as possible get a diagnosis for their pelvic pain in the least amount of time.

Mine took 8 years, and it is my mission that women who suspect that they might have endo have the right information to hand to show their GP's.

Here is a printable symptom diary to help track pelvic pain and symptoms.

Downloadable symptom diary

Help yourself, pass the word around and I hope it helps.


Monday, 26 September 2011

This goes down in history...

....as the best photo of this year for me.

The day endo didn't win, depression didn't win and I won. With my team, my family and friends supporting, and a host of amazing brands and icons behind us.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Doing it differently before it's done

doing things differently

So. In less than a week I am going to be doing my half marathon, my much blogged, trained for and longed for day is almost here.

I have been struggling this last week with endo which has been causing me no end of pain and tiredness. I am so hoping it won't be in full effect on Sunday.

Anyway....aside from that my learning curve with training has been huge, and already there are things I would do differently. And things I WILL do differently, for the next half marathon - oh yes, I am booked onto the Reading Half in April with my Team Bangs buddy Sarah Scribbles - the journey of improvement has begun.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Most people are surprised to hear that  I have an ongoing chronic illness.

When you meet me I am bubbly, chatty, loud, energetic, a little bit overweight (cuddly!?), enthusiastic, confident.

Geek chic - a real pain

Geek chick - a real pain


One of the strangest outcomes of my endo is that it has really brought out the geek in me.

Not in the sense that I have a range of gadgets to help me cope, but that when I am incapacitated and having to veg out, I turn to my trusty Mac. Blogging takes my mind off things, and the fact that I am, without fail, having to spend a lot of time on my own dealing with pain and fatigue I have a new found love for social media and all it entails.  Twitter, Facebook, blogs and RSS feeds rock my world in those long hours.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Friday, 2 September 2011

Life, but not as you know it.

Life...not as you know it

This little post is to share with you all how saddening, maddening, frustrating, painful and tiring it is living with endometriosis and it's associated entourage of symptoms.

Every few weeks the pain gets so much that my body hits a wall of exhaustion and chronic fatigue sets it. I don't just mean tiredness like you have after a big night out, or even the wall of foggy sleep deprivation I felt when the twins were still night feeding.  No, this is a tiredness that makes my very bones ache. My glands come up, I feel sick with tiredness, my pain reaches a whole new level of attacking every nerve, sinew and muscle. My head aches, my whole body feels battered. Shattered. Broken.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Being broken to be re-built

I was explaining pregnancy to a lovely late 20's lady this weekend, which, after a few glasses of champers turned into a long regaling horror story much to her wide-eyed terror.

I concluded that motherhood, and adjusting to it, is like military training. You are completely and utterly broken in every way - physically, mentally, emotionally, hormonally, sleeplessly - and from there you can rebuild in your new life as a mum.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Endo awareness video

This is the lovely video made by Alyssa Pinto, which I posted about last week featuring the faces of endo (myself included).

Please share it, re-tweet, and pass on.

And, most importantly, if you live in pain - don't feel alone.



Pain, acceptance and winning

Pain, acceptance and winning

So, today I am in a lot of pain.

A slightly ill-fated trip to Cambridge:  trying to find shoes for my bridesmaid dress + busy shops + humid Autumn + pain + tired Mini Divas = me stumbling around shops trying to not cry/hit people/cry/faint/cry.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A moment with Bangs

[caption id="attachment_1567" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Mumma Run with some one the Team at Nike"][/caption]

As you know, I am an honoured member of Team Bangs on the Run 2, and readers will have been tracking my progress here on Dexterous Diva.

Team Bangs on the Run is the brainchild of blogger extraordinare,  prolific Tweeter and all round slice of awesomeness that is Bangs and a Bun, also known to some by her real name Muirrean, but to us girls on Team Bangs as Mumma Run. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Asking for help; a learning curve

Asking for help

One of the hardest lessons I have been learning over the last few years is that asking for help is ok.

In fact, it's not only ok, it's often necessary, a relief to the person being asked, and down right easier all round.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

#endowarriors: The faces of endometriosis video project


This week on Twitter I stumbled across a project by Alyssa Pinto, a fellow endo sister who is curating a project to raise awareness of our disease.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Endometriosis: 10 reasons to go running

Endometriosis: 10 reasons to go running

Endometriosis is crippling. Pain management is important, and  I know ladies, exercise can be THE LAST thing on your mind when the pain strikes.

But, as an endo warrior who is on a journey with my running and training for a half marathon, here is why I think you should give it a go:

1. Exercise gives you back control; one day you may be in bed on painkillers but the next you are out there doing 9 miles and winning.

The Twin thing

The Twin Thing

I am a mum of twins, the gorgeous Mini Divas Eva and Mia.

I have written before about my postnatal depression, breastfeeding and the like, but never yet about The Twin Thing.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Painkillers, addiction and endo

Painkiller addict

Pain management is one of the main factors in which Western medicine manages endometriosis. Where pain cannot be eradicated it is "managed", and a cocktail of pharmaceuticals issued to numb the nerves and make life liveable.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Disrobing part 2

You may remember my Disrobing Dysmorphia post back in May.


For anyone prone to feel queasy you have been warned, but the post is here.

So. It's now August. I am by no means Kate Moss in stature but I am on the way to being fitter and healthier. I now weigh 10 stone 8, so a few pounds lighter but my body is changing shape and I am learning all the time about food nutrition and fitness.

Team Bangs at Nike with Charlotte Purdue

On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting up with my Team Bangs ladies (with a few absent friends who weren't able to make it!) at Nike Town in London.

Nike were wonderful hosts to us, and arranged for us ladies to meet and interview elite runner Charlotte Purdue.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Why running is brilliant and what I've learned about plans

Running Girl


Running is changing my life in so many ways; is helping my depression no end, it is helping my battle against endometriosis and it is giving me a new positivity and focus in my life alongside the girls.

Running is utterly brilliant. What I am learning about the way that I am approaching my training for this half marathon I realise can be applied to so many other areas in life. My schedule for training the Half  is broken down into weeks, into days, into various speeds, length of sessions and rest days.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

My running essentials

Running essentials


As I get more used to this running lark and progress from being an utter beginner to slightly less of a beginner, these are the things I find essential:

Saturday, 6 August 2011

NHS, private ethics and me



So, my lovely readers, where do you stand with the ethics of private healthcare versus our good old NHS?

Do you have an opinion? Ever thought about it? Me neither, until recently.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My interview on Sherryl's World on Bang FM

For anyone who missed it, here is the link to my interview last week on Bang FM with the wonderful Sherryl Blu talking about endometriosis.

Thanks to Sherryl for the airtime and for fabulous Team Bangs on the Run crew member Cass for the opportunity.


Cosmo blog awards- nominate me!

Dear lovely readers,

I would be honoured and delighted if you could help me spread the word of endo and it's effect on life by nominating me in the Cosmo 2011 blog awards.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Endo - playing the waiting game

Endo - playing the waiting game

I read with interest this week some findings of a survey conducted by Endometriosis UK on their news page.

The survey found that:

bullet On average it takes over 7.5 years to diagnose endometriosis

bullet Women wait nearly 2 years before visiting their GP about their symptoms

bullet GPs then took on average 4 years to refer the patient to a specialist

bullet It then takes a further 1 year 9 months to get a formal diagnosis

bullet Over 50% of participants waited more than 6 years for a diagnosis

bullet Less than 20% of those who responded received a diagnosis within two years

bullet One third of respondents waited at least 10 years, and 15% waited for over 15 years, to be diagnosed.

One third waited TEN YEARS.

I had 8 years from initial pain to diagnosis and that was incredibly hard. Not knowing what causes pain or what could be causing it meant I had no idea that endo could be a potential condition and therefore no power to insist on further investigations.
This is why I am so adamant about spreading awareness of endometriosis and it's symptoms so that women don't have to suffer so long without a diagnosis and a pain management plan.

So, symptoms:
  • Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Infertility
  • Problems on opening bowels
  • Fatigue
These are the main bad boys. I would also add in ovarian pain, white hot shooting and burning pains, exhaustion, and abdomen bloating.

Don't sit for 10 years in silence girls, you know your body and if it feels wrong make sure you get seen.


Friday, 29 July 2011

The ups and downs of empathy

Dont forget

So, last night I ran 9 miles. Massive achievement for me, so pleased and proud.

Today I am in pain, it's fairly bad but bearable and I need to rest.

So, that means plans have to change. As always, I need to be aware of my limitations and go with the flow.

Sadly, not everyone understands this, and it happens often. A friend today said she gives up on me for cancelling "again" .

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Project Endo callout for creativity!

Right, you lovely lot.

Project Endo is starting to take shape and I would love YOU to get involved.

For the very first campaign I would like to use some imagery that depicts Project Endo and what it is about, and how endometriosis affects women, their lives and families.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Why every run is a victory

Why every run is a victory

So. If you haven't checked out the awesome ladies that are Team Bangs on the Run 2, I suggest you do.

Follow our hashtag on Twitter, follow us all and see what we are all up to.

As a team of 13 ladies, we are all coming at this challenge with our own stories. We have been sharing with each other the reasons why we run, and I assure you, every time I read about why a team-mate is running it makes me cry.