A chronic pain blogger, Alice talks openly about how her condition affects her, the symptoms and treatments that come with chronic pain. Alice gives tips and advice to those in similar situations and discusses what it is like to have an invisible disability, one that you cannot explain to people.
A ’Happy Box’ is such a lovely idea, for anybody really, to just appreciate the small stuff a little more.
I’d never even thought about that response to question 16 Alice but it would be interesting to see your own situation from another’s perspective, particularly somebody close to you.
A lie down desk?! I’m off to google that now…
I absolutely agree with you on question 19 Alice. Not that you’ve never really got in trouble, I don’t know that! But that having to consider everything before you do something can be both good and bad. Sometimes I’m sure I can prepare or think something through too much.
My Questions/Alice’s Answers
1. What made you decide to write a blog?
I decided to start a blog to give me something to do in my spare time. It’s also something I can do lying down – I suffer from chronic pain and am in pain when I sit down, so having something to do whilst lying down is important to me as it means I feel productive and am achieving something at the same time as managing my pain.
2. What do you want your blog to achieve?
My blog’s mission is to raise awareness of life with chronic pain and to support and inspire people to live their lives despite their pain. I work full time, so I write my blog as and when I can. I have no long term goals with it, but I hope that over time the right people get to read it and can learn from my blog posts and experiences.
3. What is the most difficult thing for you about having a disability?
I’d say not having a proper diagnosis to explain to people what is causing my pain. Having an invisible disability or illness can be challenging enough, but when you have no proper reason to give to people, it’s really hard to justify. Before I had my coccyx removed, I was told that it was dislocated in two places, and this was easy to explain to people. After surgery my pain is not better and I have no idea what is causing it. I can’t even say I have coccyx pain as I don’t even have a coccyx anymore.
4. What is the biggest positive about having a disability?
I’ve really learnt to appreciate the small things in life, and to be grateful to have the amazing support from my partner and my family. My partner bought me a ‘Happy Box’ a few years ago when I was having a really tough time (it’s surprising how chronic pain can impact on your mental health) and I use it to capture one positive thing every day. It’s changed my mindset about how I think about things, and means that I can stay as positive as possible despite suffering pain every day. I also got a reasonable adjustment in work under the Equality Act to work from home, so this means I get to spend more time with my two Westies, Milo and Wesley. I had to drop a grade, but spending more time with my boys is a huge positive as they are a crucial part of my chronic pain survival kit and my pain management.
5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is a tough question as I love my food, but I’d have to say pick ‘n’ mix sweets. I just love them. They always put a smile on my face.
6. An apocalypse is imminent, you have 30 minutes to prepare, what 3 items do you pack?
I’m going to assume my partner is already out the door, so I’d grab Milo and Wesley, my iPhone and a heat pack. I couldn’t cope without any of these.
7. When making tea would you pour the milk or water in first?
You won’t like my answer to this question, but I’m not a tea drinker. I love my coffee. To answer your question though, my Grandpa used to love his cups of tea, and I used to make them for him. I’d always put the water in first and let it brew properly before adding the milk.
8. What is your favourite way to relax?
I love family snuggle time on the sofa watching a good drama series or film. We can just fit the 4 of us on the sofa, and we all get comfy and snuggled with a blanket or duvet, eating pick ‘n’ mix (well the boys don’t obviously).
9. If you could interview any human, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask?
I’d love to interview P!nk and ask where she gets her confidence from. She inspires me and I just love her attitude to life. She’s a great ambassador for the LGBT community as well as women in general.
10. What would be your dream job?
I would love to be able to blog full time. I love the fact that you can do it anywhere – home, in a cafe, on your travels, and more importantly for me, lying down or in bed.
11. You’ve just won 10 million pounds (congratulations!), what 3 things would you do with the money?
1. I’d buy a mobile home for us to take Milo and Wesley on a very long holiday around the UK.
2. I’d buy a lie-down desk that I’ve seen on the internet. It would be perfect for me!
3. I’d donate some money to some dog rescue centres (Wesley is a rescue dog)
12. Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?
I’d love to take my partner to Thailand as she really wants to go. I went when I was 9 so can’t remember too much. I’d love to revisit some of the places I went before, and explore some new places together.
13. What one thing would you change about yourself?
I’d get rid of my anxiety. I’ve always been quite an anxious person, but it has got worse since I started with chronic pain, and it really holds me back. I was going to say develop some more self-confidence in answer to this question, but I think if my anxiety disappeared then my confidence would naturally grow.
14. If you could play any part in a film, past or future, real or fiction, who would you be?
I would love to play a female army or MI5 officer in an action film. I find these real life roles quite fascinating, so it’d be good to experience it in a fictional role and not experience the real danger part.
15. If there was a pill that would freeze you at your current age and you could live forever as you are now, would you take it? And why?
If my partner and Westies stayed with me I’d definitely say yes, otherwise I’d have to say no. Who knows, my pain may disappear over time (I can wish anyway).
16. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I’d love to be my partner for the day, to get an understanding of what it is like to live with someone with chronic pain. I’d also love to be as confident and assertive as she is so it’d be nice to have those traits for the day and then hopefully put them in to practice from that day on.
17. If you could time travel, where would you go?
I’d go back to my first date with my partner. That was a very special day and my life changed from that day on.
18. If you were made Queen and allowed to pass one new law, what would it be, and why?
I’d ban the sale of fireworks for public use and only allow them to be set off at specific times of the year. Milo and Wesley hate them and they get so scared and stressed with them. They also cause so much distress to lots of other pets, wild animals, and those who have come back from war. I sign a government petition every year but nothing changes. This would be my first objective in my role as the Queen.
19. What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
I’ve never really got in too much trouble if I’m honest. But I’d say I didn’t always think before I did something. My chronic pain has changed this as I always think and prepare for everything these days. This can be both a good and a bad thing.
20. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
I think I changed my mind every week, going from a vet, to a police officer, to a van driver.
If you want to read more from Alice (I think you should!) then you can follow her brilliant blog Notebooks and Glasses. Also you can find her hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
I’m also up for a blogging award (I know, right!). Read my little plea and vote. Only if you want of course. But I will buy you cake!