My “Uniforms” for Summer (Or: How I Look Cute On Days When I Don’t Want to Try)

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Hey cuties!

Another fashion post coming at you today, this time all about how to make getting dressed and still looking good on bad days easier.

The Golden Rule

Not to treat others the way you want to be treated– though this is a good rule to follow. I’m talkingabout the golden rule of dressing easily:

Know what works and stick to it: know what outfits you feel comfortable in and don’t have to think about, and wear those on days when you don’t want to worry about what you’re wearing but you still want to look cute.

My “Uniforms”

I have effectively three uniforms, for days when I need to get up early or when I’m feeling pretty shitty. They get progressively more “fancy”:

Uniform Option One: Jeans/jean shorts, a graphic t-shirt, and a comfortable pair of shoes.

Chronically Cute Summer Uniforms 2018
If I want to slightly dress this up, I’ll throw on a scarf as well. This always looks okay, and is a little better than the sweatpants and tank top I usually want to wear. Generally I find shirts that are branded or that I got free from school (is this where my parents’s tax dollars went when I was in high school?) make me feel lazy and not cute, so I go more for shirts with cute sayings or with a pattern.

In this photo I’m wearing a pair of dark wash jean shorts from American Eagle, a t-shirt from Target (admittedly from the sleepwear section), and a pair of pink velvet sneakers from Steve Madden (similar here). My purse is Michael Kors, but you can find a cheaper similar one here (which I have in yellow!). (Though I will say I’ve had my Michael Kors one for three years and it looks good as new and has definitely been worn enough for the price tag).

Uniform Option Two: Jean shorts, a pair of comfortable shoes, and a nicer shirt.

Chronically Cute Summer Uniforms 2018 two

If I’m feeling shitty, I’ll go for a more loose-fitting shirt, but one that’s still nicer than a t-shirt. I’ll wear this generally if I’m trying to impress someone, like yesterday when I went to a workshop. I had a terrible symptoms but I wanted to look nice.

For this picture I wore a shirt from Primark (you can find a similar shirt here and here), the same jean shorts from American Eagle, sandals from Baretraps, and a bomber jacket from Francesca’s (you can find a similar one here). My purse is from Target, but you can find a similar one here.

Uniform Option Three: A comfortable sundress, comfortable shoes, and something sparkly.

Chronically Cute Summer Uniforms 2018 three
The ones I find myself grabbing are from Primark (which is where the one I’m wearing in the picture is from), which isn’t easy to get in the US unless you’re lucky enough like I am to live in a city with a shop. I do also like these dresses from Old Navy, however they’re more structured than the Primark ones in that they have zippers and aren’t made of as stretchy a material.

The closest thing I could find to the Primark dress I’m wearing in the photo (which were only 5$!) are these dresses from H&M. With my Primark dress, I’m wearing the same sandals from the second photo and druzy necklace I got from an arts fair (you can find a similar one from Etsy here)(of course, my phone is blocking the necklace anyways but I thought it was worth mentioning!). My purse is the same brown crossbody from Target.

Of course, there are other outfits I have as go to-s. If you want me to make a post about my go-to outfits for different occasions (class, coffee with friends, doctor’s appointment, etc), let me know in the comments!

What’s your “uniform” for days when you don’t feel like trying?

xx

*please note I cannot vouch for the quality of any substitutes I’ve linked because I do not own them!

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Chronically Cute Summer Uniforms Pinterest Image

 

My Diagnosis and Treatment So Far

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Hey cuties!

Welcome to Chronically Cute 🙂 I’m so excited to be starting this project and to share my story and experience with others out there.

*Please note that I’m not a doctor, I can’t give you medical advice. Any information on this website is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. I am simply sharing my story and experience.*

To start off this journey, I want to tell you the story of how I got my diagnosis and what my current treatment is.

Symptoms

Ever since I can remember, I’ve suffered from chronic fatigue as well as insomnia. Obviously these things are connected, but even when I do get enough sleep, I am still exhausted all the time. As far as the insomnia goes, I’ve always had trouble falling asleep since I was a child, but it got even worse in middle school. Currently I do take a prescribed sleep aid, but while this keeps the issue under control, it is not completely resolved (nor will it ever be).

The symptom that caused me to aggressively seek out a diagnosis was chronic, debilitating pain in my wrists, elbows, arms, and shoulders. Because I’m currently studying music, this pain has prohibited me from playing piano which has significantly affected what classes I can take and my success in others. This was the biggest inconvenience, however I also found that I can’t carry groceries/heavy things, do dishes without pain, or type or write too much without significant pain.

I’ve also been dealing with aphasia (trouble finding words), limited memory, forgetfulness, IBS symptoms, low back and hip pain, easy bruising, neck and head pain, as well as intermittent poor vision and balance issues.

The (Long, Long, Long) Route to Diagnosis

I started off seeking treatment from a chiropractor for the pain, because I’ve had a lot of success in the past with chiropractors treating my back and neck pain. However, months into treatment I still wasn’t seeing results, so I decided to seek treatment from a more specialized doctor.

Initially, both my chiropractors thought I might have EDS (Ehler Danlos Syndrome), because I have such tendency towards subluxations (misalignments of the spine), but it was decided pretty quickly that I don’t have EDS because I don’t have the hyper-flexibility. I actually do have pretty loose ligaments, just not because of EDS.

Who decided I don’t have EDS? A primary care physician who very carefully examined me and then told me my pain was caused by overuse and, without running any tests, referred me to an OT to treat my arms. He completely ignored my lower back pain and other symptoms.

I felt like I hadn’t been heard and that he hadn’t taken my condition seriously enough. Because he didn’t give me a referral, or fully explain to me why he didn’t think it was EDS, I had to take things into my own hands. After talking to some friends and other doctors (my therapist and chiropractors), I got an appointment with a musculoskeletal specialist in my city who luckily did not require a referral.

From there I was referred to a rheumatologist, who finally diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis… until we started talking about treatment.

Treatment

Here’s the thing about fibromyalgia: we know next to nothing about it. Some people don’t even believe it’s a real thing, there isn’t an agreed upon cause of it, and there aren’t many treatment options out there.

I was instructed to start a fitness routine and make other lifestyle changes and given a follow up appointment in case that doesn’t work to then discuss medicine options.

I will note now I am still waiting to take a blood test to check some vitamin levels, so I’ll update you when I hear about that.

Currently for treatment I am seeing an occupational therapist for my arms, a physical therapist for my shoulders (and eventually for my lower back), I’m still seeing my chiropractor, and I’m seeing a therapist. I’m currently working on finding a physical activity schedule that works for me.

So Basically…

I go to the doctor six times a week, can’t keep my apartment clean because all chores hurt, and have been reduced to using a rolling backpack because regular backpacks hurt my back and shoulders.

However, I also have an amazing treatment team, a very strong support system, and my cat is a very good nurse.

So things could be worse.

I will say, my diagnosis and treatment might change. I’ll keep you updated as I go through this journey, but I wanted to give you a starting point.

Talk soon

xx

We All Have Bad Nights

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Hey cuties.

I hate for my second ever post to be a little negative but such is life.

The thing about having a chronic illness is there are no guaranties.

I started today with a slow wake up in bed with a very cuddly kitty cat who was purring and put her paw on my knee and was just the cutest little thing ever. That’s a great way to start the day, if you’ve never had the pleasure.

I got so much done yesterday. And I was so productive today, too. I wrote blog posts, I made a plan for a photo shoot, I sent off my first assignment to my boss, and I scheduled a job interview. I went to the chiropractor, and I went to a creative nonfiction workshop. I got so much done.

On the flip side of that, however: my shoulders hurt, and my right wrist has been giving me trouble all day. The chair at the library that I sat in for the two hour workshop was so hard, my lower back and hips were killing me by the end of the workshop. I was so exhausted and out of it afterwards, I missed my stop on the train, had to get off and take it back a stop.

And there’s not much I can do after like eight PM. I didn’t feel like cooking, and I ended up just making a parfait. Because I can’t cook all that much, and I can’t really do dishes. And I can’t keep my apartment clean because I can’t physically do the cleaning: dishes hurt my wrists, picking things up hurts my lower back, vacuuming hurts… well, everything.

In summary: today had all the makings of a good day. I had a hot chocolate, I did a ton of work, and I had an amazing experience at the writing workshop I went to. My hard work on my resume and cover letter got me a job interview. I’m doing so much right.

And yet I feel exhausted and in pain and uncomfortable, because I have fibromyalgia.

Two days ago a bottle fell off my bathtub’s edge and within minutes it bruised and swelled and it still hurts. Sitting in the same seat for two hours made my back and hips hurt so bad I’m bringing a cushion next week. I’m twenty, and this is what I’m dealing with.

So it’s 1:14 AM, I have to be out the door at 10:40 at the latest for my physical therapy appointment tomorrow, and I only just took my sleeping meds. And right now, emotionally, I’m so drained and run down. And it’s so hard to be dealing with all of this and stay positive. Because I wake up feeling positive, I wake up feeling like I can get shit done, and even if I do I still might end the day feeling the way I do now: shitty.

Because I’m a twenty year old who can’t sit in a chair for two hours without pain. Because I’m twenty years old and it hurts to put weight on my wrists, or to write for too long. Because if the angle of my elbow is too tight while I’m typing on the computer my fingers start to tingle or go numb.

 

I may have had a good day, but the night’s been rough.

But as cliche as it is, tomorrow’s a new day. Here’s hoping it’s a better one, too.

 

xx

Oh My God I’m Starting A Blog

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Hey there cuties!

Welcome!!! I’m so happy to meet you. My name’s Robin, I’m a college junior currently studying music and I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

WHAT IS THIS BLOG?

On this blog, I’ll be sharing fashion tips for people with chronic illness (that totally apply to people with bodies that are more well functioning), tips for dealing with a chronic illness in your twenties (inspired by my own experiences), and stories from my life and how I deal with the day-to-day struggle of chronic pain.

WHO IS THIS BLOG FOR?

  • People with chronic illness looking for help (especially us youngins)
  • People who know someone or love someone with chronic illness
  • People who like fun, fashion, lifestyle, and reading about the human condition.

AKA: Anyone. Whether you need advice or just want to get some insight into what it’s like to struggle with chronic pain, this is a blog for anyone who wants to read it.

WHY IS THIS THE ONLY POST RIGHT NOW?

This very well may not be the only post anymore, but it probably is right now. That’s because I’m just getting started! Yay! I have a lot of fun posts and other projects in the work, but for right now you’ll just have to wallow in anticipation 😉

You can subscribe to this blog to get updated when I post by checking out the “Contact” page, and while you’re over there you should go follow my Instagram too, since that’s where I’ll be posting my outfit posts!

 

Here’s to a new adventure!

xx