Diary of a journaling girl #2

It’s been quiet on this blog, I apologize! It wasn’t my intention but life got in the way. For people who visit this blog for the first time, I fell off my bike 60 days ago and was bedbound for over 50 days because of it. In the last 2 weeks I have been out of bed more often and training really hard to get my strength and stamina back and it has consumed most of my energy. I am far from my end goal but it’s been great getting my life back piece by piece. I still need a walker when I go out but I haven’t used my wheelchair in a while!

My boyfriend and I have also worked hard of my craft room and office. He did most of the work but I gave directions and helped declutter and organize. I wanted the room to make more sense as it was all over the place before. Now I have a set place for my computer, a place for my printer/laminator/cutting machine/stapler etc. and a set place for crafting. And all my supplies are in the corner where they belong. So I spend a lot less time going around the room getting all my stuff. I love my crafting corner the most, my bright yellow table and RÅSKOG cart make me so happy. Even though I can not spend a lot of time in the room as I can not sit for long periods of time, every second in the room makes me happy. Would you guys like a craft room/office tour? And would you prefer video form or just photos and text?

Next Wednesday is my boyfriends birthday and he is having a party on Saturday. I am an avid baker and I love baking loads of goodies for our birthday parties. This year I am still baking but I am not going as crazy as I would normally go. I also forced my boyfriend to take next Friday off work to help me bake so I can make sure I will get enough rest and don’t have to bend and/or lift anything. On his birthday itself we are going out to dinner, I hope I can make it! I am just going to spend the rest of the day in bed so I will have enough energy.

This week I am going to work on my daily routine. I want to make a list of all the blog content I want to create and going to spend a little bit of time every day working on it. I also want to start journaling more regularly as I journal about once every 10 days now and I would prefer to journal every other day or so. I can’t wait to feel more myself again after spending such a long time in bed. I will always have a disability but I am generally able to make it work with my hobbies and responsibilities. I am even excited about being able to cook and clean again! I would give money to be able to scrub my own toilet again, and yes I am aware that’s a weird thing to say. But I hate having to rely on other people, I love my independence.

Diary of a journaling girl #1

I really want this blog to be a reflection of me, and as a girl with a journal, it only seems fair to me that I use this blog as my online journal. As I am bedbound at the moment I don’t have a lot to talk about but today I felt like it was time for my first online journal entry.

I have been bedbound for 44 days now and things are finally starting to look up for me. Progress is slow, but it is there! The first couple of weeks I only left my bed to go to the toilet and shower, the last couple of weeks I have been walking small laps around the tiny parking lot in front of my house with a walker and taking small trips in my wheelchair. Yesterday I went on a walk with my walker to the local park, I had not left my parking lot with my walker before so I was a little nervous but it went really well! It was still a short walk but to me, it was an amazing trip.

Today I am a lot more tired, my body needs to rest so I am taking things slow today. Getting ready to place an Ikea order for my RÅSKOG cart plus bins which I am very excited about! Yesterday I received my ergonomical chair which hopefully will make sitting a lot easier for me once I am feeling a little better. It is so motivating to be a little more active while the pain does not get worse. Makes me feel like there will be a day when I will feel like my normal old self again. I will always have a chronic pain disorder but being able to  be a part of society again, even if it’s a small part, will make me so happy!

Last weekend I had a girls night in with two friends of mine, they came to my house and made me dinner and we watched a movie afterwards. We made a cheeseburger pie (yes you read that right!) and it was amazing! Imagine a cheeseburger the size of a pie, it tasted even better then expected! It was SO nice to feel normal for one night, even if I spend the night laying down. We laughed until we had tears streaming down our face and talked about girly things. I love having a group of friends who are not bothered by my chronic illness but are willing to help me but also treat me like a human being instead of a patient. It has really helped me stay positive the last 44 days! Gotta love friends!

That’s it for now, hope you liked this style of post!
See you soon xx

Things that make me happy #1

All the happy mail I have been receiving the last couple of weeks from sweet people who want to make me feel better while being bedbound. It makes my day when I receive a sweet card, homemade brownies, a bunch of flowers, sticker sheets or a nice letter.

I got an illustrator to make a custom portrait for my blog and social media and I am in love with it. The actual print will arrive next week and I can’t wait to frame it and put it in my office/craft room. She even added my planner. You can see the image in my header and on my about me page. One of my friends is going to turn it into a sticker, so excited for that!

These little foxes in this blogpost, do I need to say more.
Who doesn’t love a cute fox?!

Watching lots of youtube videos about planners and journals and getting really inspired by them. Do you know of any planner channels I should be subscribed to? There’s always room for more, especially while being bedbound.

Planner stickers from Etsy, especially Fox and Cactus stickers. All my stickers are in little photo books but my Fox and Cactus stickers are in a box of their own as I own so many. I just love adding functional stickers to my pages, I might be slightly addicted.

My hairdresser. I send him a message about being bedbound and needing a trim and asking if he knew any hairdressers who did house visits. And he told me he would come after work next week to come trim them for me while that is not something he normally does. And I think that is so sweet of him!

The colour yellow. I used to hate this colour as a child but it makes me so happy nowadays. I recently painted a table bright yellow and every time I see it I have to smile, it’s such a fun colour! I like how it gives my craft room which is mostly grey and white a pop of colour. I also love writing with yellow ink in my fountain pens.

Skype calls with friends. It’s hard to be social when you are bedbound and in a lot of pain and Skype calls are a good way to be social while still resting and looking after yourself.

How amazing my dogs have been since being bedbound, they are very protective of me and always know when I need a little cuddle. It’s amazing how dogs can feel how you are doing before you even know it. Yesterday I woke up with one dog on my feet and one by my side, which had not happened in a long time. Then I realised how awful I felt, I am having severe withdrawal symptoms from my painkillers and my dogs were there for me all day.

A year ago I received a little Pilea baby (it’s a plant) and it has grown into a beautiful plant which produces lots of Pilea babies. I give most away but some of the weaker ones I keep myself. I love naming them, seeing them grow up and it’s such a cute plant to look at. I have given away about 6 babies so far I think and I love making people happy with their own little baby plant. I have 3 babies in soil right now and 1 in a cup of water to grow roots. I have never been so into plants as I am with my Pilea’s but they are just so adorable!

My thoughts on being bedbound

Four weeks ago I fell off my bike while being on holiday. Where normal people would be in pain for a few days and have some bruising, I am not normal and have been bedbound for the last four weeks. I have a pain disorder so my body responds differently to impacts like falling. So instead of enjoying my holiday I laid in bed and went home a couple of days early.

Because of the painkillers I was put on, I was very sleepy and drowsy for the first couple of weeks so I couldn’t really do anything. I couldn’t read because I couldn’t lift a book or focus on what I was reading, I couldn’t watch movies or tv shows because I kept falling asleep or I forgot what I had just seen. I could only lay flat on my back so I couldn’t use my planner or journal. So I just watched a lot of YouTube video playlists because it didn’t matter if I missed a few.

It is very easy to get depressed when you are stuck in bed and unable to do anything. But it has always been my motto that no one ever got any better from crying all day. Not saying that you are not allowed to cry or that everyone has to feel this way, but I always try and stay positive. And yes, I have cried, yelled and gotten very upset. But my main focus is staying positive and look at the small things. So I am going to share a few things I learned along the way.

  • Don’t be stubborn. I am a very stubborn person and have a hard time accepting help from others. But when you are stuck in a bed and unable to do anything you have to ask for help. So I have a friend who walks my dogs, makes me coffee sometimes, sits at my house if I am expecting a package and waits until it gets there and goes to buy me certain things I need. I have a friend who takes me to doctor’s appointments when my boyfriend can’t take me and have several friends and family members who cook us dinner so my boyfriend get’s a little time for himself while looking after me. Because it is important for the person who looks after you to have some free time as well. Otherwise that person will end up in bed as well!
  • bed table
    This was right after I got my bed table and was able to use my planner for the first time in a long time

    Try and get things that will make life easier. I rented a wheelchair and toilet seat raiser. I borrowed a walker from a friend and purchased a bed table so I could use my planner and journal again. This really made things easier and made my world a little bigger.

  • Make a list of things you want to do when you get out of bed. This list really motivates me in my recovery. It includes small things like “go on a walk with the dogs” and “cook a meal” but also big things like go on a day trip with my boyfriend (we had to cancel our summer holiday due to this but I hope we can go on a day trip eventually). The list gets longer every day and it will probably take me a really long time to accomplish it all but I love looking at it.
  • Appreciate the tiny steps forward! This is really important as your recovery might take a long time and seem slow. But if you really look at it, these tiny steps are so important. Last week I sat in my wheelchair for 30 minutes while my friend Kirsten pushed me and walked my dogs. It was my first time outside in a while and it was amazing. It really hurt and I was exhausted afterwards but I did it, and I could not have done that a week before. I have also started walking with my walker around the parking lot in front of my house. It is a 30-metre walk which seems short but to me, it is a marathon and I have to rest a couple of hours after doing it. But I am persevering and try to add laps every couple of days. These small steps will add up and help me get back to normal.
  • Treat yourself! It sucks being in bed so it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself a little bit. Buy yourself some nice new pyjamas or a nice shower gel. Try not to eat too many treats as you are not burning a lot of calories while you are stuck in bed. Offcourse you can eat some chocolate every now and then but portion control is important. You don’t want to gain too much weight during your bed rest.
  • Ask friends to come over. Please make sure you do limit these stays because they are exhausting and might cause extra pain but it is nice to have some social interaction. I try and limit visits to 30-60 minutes.
  • Look after yourself! Even though everything you do takes up a lot of energy and will hurt I feel like it is important to keep looking after yourself. Eat good foods, take daily showers, change your pyjamas and bedding often, brush your teeth and comb your hair. These things are normal things when you are healthy but it is easy to want to skip when in pain. You will need help doing these things and it will take up energy but it will also make you feel human. Which is important.
  • When you are in a relationship, this can really take a toll on your partner. My boyfriend works full time and has to look after me before and after work. He makes me lunch, prepares drinks for the entire day and feeds the dogs before work. He then leaves for work at seven in the morning and comes back at half past five. He then has to make me dinner, help me undress, shower and dress. He has to clean the house, walk the dogs, do groceries and help me with other things I need. Sometimes I feel like he only is my caretaker and not my boyfriend. Those are the times when I have to turn that around and do something to make us feel part of a relationship. I try and take away some of his duties, spend some quality time with him or surprise him with a small gift.

I am very motivated to get back to normal and be able to live my life again. By noting down my small steps it all seems much more manageable! I will conquer this!
If you are bedbound, stay strong and a big virtual hug for you, because actual hugs might hurt 😉

A little introduction

My very first blog post on my new journey as an English blogger. I have had Dutch blogs for about 15 years but I wanted to broaden my audience a little bit by going English. So, let me introduce myself first *does a little wave*.

My name is Emma and I am 29 years old. I live in Groningen which is a city in the Northern part of the Netherlands. I live with my boyfriend Jasper, two European shorthair cats Jack & Sparrow and two Galgo dogs Pelo & Nero. My dogs are both rescued dogs from Spain where they were used and abused for hunting. One of them was very traumatised when we adopted him but they are both very happy boys now.

I was diagnosed with a pain disorder 6 years ago and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre to learn how to incorporate the pain into daily life. Planning out my days was a huge part of the training and it has helped me better my life quality. I have always used planners to note down appointments and such but this showed me a different way of planning. When I found the planner community 3,5 years ago I found like I had found my tribe. Finally I found a way to better my life and make it look awesome. I have learned so many things from the community to make my life even better.

I also love organising, tidying and cleaning, which is kind of funny as I should have been awarded for the messiest bedroom as a teenager. I used to have stuff all over the floor and a few small clean spots on the floor so I could hop to my desk and bed. My mum was always telling me to go clean it and get rid of all the junk. Fast forward 15 years and I love to find new ways to organise my stuff. I have an obsession for baskets and bins and go organise cabinets for fun. I blame my boyfriend for this new hobby, he is the tidiest person I have ever met. He puts away every single thing he touches after using it and can not stand a messy environment. I am nowhere near as tidy but I have started to love a tidy house where each item has a set “home”. It makes tidying so much easier, and I don’t spend as much time looking for certain items and finding them in random spots.

Galgo Olly Blanket

Besides planning and organising, I love to crochet. I mostly make blankets and love gifting people baby blankets when they are expecting. I also love to bake and will be sharing some recipes on my blog every now and then. I don’t bake very often as I love making unhealthy things and I don’t want to eat them all by myself. So I only try to bake when we are expecting guests. I am known to make loads of cakes and pies for our birthdays. It is my goal to make at least 3 new recipes each birthday. Nowadays I even get asked by friends and family to bake stuff for their birthdays. I love walking my dogs and have met some amazing people while doing so. And to get back to my blog name; I love to journal about everyday life. I chose to name my blog “a girl and her journal” because I felt like it was general enough to blog about all the things I love. As I would also journal about all these things!

I hope you feel like you have gotten to know me a little bit better by reading this first blog post. Feel free to leave me any questions you might have. I am happy to answer them! Hope to see you again soon.