Being Atopic- I’m Highly Sensitive

Not that kind of sensitive…

A kind of serious topic today. Not serious serious but not jokey either.

Today, for once, I looked up something other than personality disorders on health websites.Today I looked up atopic eczema and asthma. Quite some time ago, I had to do this first aid course in school during my P.E. lessons, since being in year 10 (or 11- can’t remember) and not being a P.E. GCSE student, there wasn’t much to do during that time. I felt kind of ashamed that, being the only one in that lesson with asthma, I hardly knew much about it. Same with eczema, though it’s more severe than my asthma so naturally I know more about it.

So, after doing two pieces of homework (yawn) I opened Google and started doing some research. A word I can across often was the word ‘atopic’. I knew what it meant but I didn’t have a solid definition. I found out it meant sensitive to allergens and indeed sensitive I was… and am… currently… I find it ironic that I’m both physically sensitive and emotionally sensitive…

Reading through the page on eczema (and by ‘reading through’ I mean watching a video and quickly skim reading) I didn’t learn much. Most of the stuff I had read or heard before. Still, I learnt a bit about how corticosteroids work and why they can increase blood pressure.

With asthma, I found out that the airway walls swell up due to some trigger which, surprisingly, can be stress or anxiety as well as allergens like dust. When I was learning about renal failure, transplants and dialysis in biology, I had some difficulty breathing which could have actually been caused by the fact that renal failure terrifies me. Not to mention I’m only a couple of months away from my final exams and have a whole truckload of knowledge that I must cram into my head before that time. Yikes…

But going back to eczema, I read about a list of complications that arise with people who are atopic- mainly behavioural problems. The first thing talked about was bullying and I can’t imagine someone bullying someone because they have eczema. Personally, I had never been bullied for that reason. Probably because my eczema affected discrete areas like the back of my knees or the inside of my elbow which were covered by my tights and jump etc. Though, in primary school, sometimes random children asked why I scratched so much and that did annoy me.

Though I kind of agree that eczema can affect you psychologically. Having severe eczema means you can’t do certain things that others can. I couldn’t swim in the ocean because my skin would start to burn, I couldn’t use any cream that isn’t prescribed, there are a lot of make up I can’t wear, I can’t have pets (I had rabbits and a hamster though. But, with my allergies, it was hard and I had to take extreme measures or else. I currently have no pets.), I can’t use bath soap or those cute little bath bombs or gels or whatever (I can’t even use Simple Soap!), I can’t eat certain foods and I can develop allergies randomly to things I’ve never been allergic to. Fish have always been against me. When I was younger, there were a couple of fish I couldn’t eat, but I could still eat stuff like sardines and tuna which I love, but I as I found fish that I didn’t react to, days later I would react to them and it’s horrible. Now I avoid all fish. Just being around cooked fish triggers my eczema. I will never be able to eat sushi with actual fish. It saddens me so… *sob*

The website also said something about sleep disturbance. I can certainly vouch for that. Earlier on this week, I had one of those nights where I think endlessly about something and whether I’m awake or asleep I’m not entirely sure. And then when I ‘wake up’ at about 3am in the morning, I realise I’m covered in rashes and that I had been scratching the entire night. It’s horrible really. That night I was thinking about Peripetie and how Schoenberg removed clarinets from the piece because they somehow caused controversy. That’s not true, of course, but for some reason that was all I could think about. Then for about half an hour or even up to an hour, I had to sit upright because it actually hurt to lie down. Eventually I gave into the pain and fell asleep, but I was grumpy in the morning. Like, really grumpy.

The next morning, I decide to take a slightly stronger antihistamine called chlorophenamine which I had taken regularly once and made me even more irritable than usual. I was already irritable after not getting any sleep that day and the medicine only made it worse.

Self-confidence was the last thing the website talked about and even though generally I have little confidence, if any at all, I’m not entirely sure how that could be cause by having eczema. Still, being atopic means that I’ve had to depend on my parents a lot and I am a very dependent person, though I don’t like to admit it. I can’t even imagine going to uni. I don’t want to go to a uni too far from London- too far from my parents. Even having eczema for 15 years, I’m not confident enough to manage it on my own. And it’s not like I can just have a lie-in every time I have a bad flare up. Eczema complicates my life, though not so much. I can’t even image how many new complications will arise by the time I’m living away from home. I don’t even want to think about it.

Well, I’ve kind of rambled here, but I wanted to talked about eczema and asthma and being atopic and stuff. It’s not something I talk about with other people. I’ve always thought it would just bother those who aren’t suffering from the same thing, or something just as serious.

~EpicCupcake signing out.

Busy Week Ahead!/Scary School Children

My message to all bullies.
You’re gonna hear me…

It sure has been a while… Well, just so you know, I have been studying and eating well and stuff. I haven’t just been lazying about eating biscuits and reading manga…

I’ve been kind of… stuck thinking of a post recently so I haven’t really written anything until now because, finally, I have something to talk about! So… I’ll just get on with that.

This week is quite a bit eventful for me with a couple of stuff line up for me each day including Saturday my beautiful, beautiful rest day that I have to spend in school and church. Horrible, isn’t it?

Anyway, tomorrow I’ve volunteered to do this… well… I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I have to give this talk, along with other year 11 students  to year 9s about GCSE. I’ve already talked to the STEM club in my school some time ago with two other prefects, but that was more science and technology based (because it was STEM club). This is going to be a general talk about GCSEs especially Triple Science, Geography, History and other subjects. I can’t wait to shock the year 9s when I tell them I only got one of my choices. Heh heh. But most importantly, I really want to help them make the right decisions (e.g. don’t take music or extra languages… just kidding.) so that they will be happy with what they are learning, get good grades and be ready for whatever college has to throw at them.

And, you know, thinking about doing this talk thingy makes me think ‘wow, I’ve actually got experience in something!’ And I do; I’ve been doing this for over a year now and, to be quite honest, I want out. buuuuuut, that isn’t going to happen until June so until then, GCSEs have to be my best friend! It’s hard to believe that I’m in the oldest year group in my school. I mean, some students stretch over me and I feel like a dwarf at school, even though I am quite tall. And also, about 90% of the girls in years 7-10 wear 20 times as much make up as I do (which is just, like, Vaseline with the occasional lip gloss) They’re all so scary and intimidating (okay, maybe not all of them) and I forget that I’m a good 2 years older than the scariest ones.

I think one of the worst group of people to get bullied by are younger students. Not only do they just hurt your feelings, they also hurt you pride which is pretty painful.

I would know.

About two years ago, or one, it was a really rainy and humid day and I was just casually on the bus when these boys got on. I overheard them talking about someone (more like mocking someone) and laughing. I assumed they were making fun of this man nearby and I felt sorry for him. It was only when they left the bus that I learnt the cruel truth. One of the boys said to me:

‘Hey, ever heard of a brush?’ And he laughed his stupid laugh as he hopped off the bus quickly with his friends. I glared at them, naturally, but then as I walked home in the pouring unforgiving rain with no umbrella to keep my fuzzy mane of a hair from getting any worse, I started to cry. I had been cruelly mocked in public, the very thing I had always feared. I mean, it’s bad enough in school but in public it’s just… But the worst part was that I took out my mirror and I checked my hair and it was perfectly fine! The same as always. It hadn’t puffed up or disobeyed the laws of gravity. It was absolutely fine and I was furious!

So yeah, no matter how young or childish the younger ones look, they’re still pretty scary. At lot of them are actually mature though I’m starting to view the younger ones as a little annoying. No offense, but they like to challenge and intimidate our year and like to run around moaning about how much homework they have, or at least that’s how it is in my school. When I was in year 7, I used to hate it when the year 11s called us little children, and they were incorrect to call us that, we were still young adults, but I kind of get where they’re coming from.

The other day I was waiting at the bus stop and I saw this small girl in year 7 with her mum. The bus came and I hopped on along with her and other people. But then the bus was packed and the door closed before her mother could get on, and the way she cried and shrieked at the bus driver telling him to open the door that her ‘mummy is out there!’ really surprised me. She only had to stay on for one stop and either wait for her mum to come or to walk back which, to be honest, wasn’t that far. Still, I guess the bus driver should’ve let her get off or something, if not let her mum on. I thought I should’ve been a good senpai and helped her, but from her hysterical expression, I was worried she’d scratch me or something, I really was. Plus, I wouldn’t want to let my shyness take over and start stammering or something…

It was kind of funny though… Now that I think about it… Am I a bad person?

~EpicCupcake signing out.

Results’ Day/Exam Pressure and Revision

Yesterday in school, there was a little practice- a ‘dress rehearsal’ was what the teachers called it- of what would happen about seven months from now. Yes… result’s day. After those grueling two weeks of torture known as exams, and a Christmas holiday that was more of a I’m-so-nervous-I’m-gonna-wet my-pants holiday, we finally got our results for our mock exams. I have to say, I was pleased with what I got. All As and A*s except for one grade… English. English language. The exam I thought I pretty much aced it. I didn’t even get a B for it. My grade dropped straight down to a C, which is still good, but it’s three grades below my target grade and, most importantly, my English teacher’s going to give me a hard time about it. Still, it doesn’t bother me that much.

There were an assortment of grades with a mixture of tears of relief and tears or disappointment yesterday and today. People were eagerly asking each other what they got and showing off their amazing grades. Others were in tears, talking to teachers. Like an good teacher, they encouraged then not to give up and to change those grades by the time summer comes. One of my friends told me today that she hated it when people who were smarter than her said their grades and asked what she got. I agreed with her- it’s not fair at all. It’s embarrassing. Which was why I pretty much stayed quiet about my grade only speaking of my English Language grade and only really asking the people in my English class what they got for that. And, like the ‘ever so modest person I am’ when other asked me about my grades, I said them, smiled and kind of looked down. and whispered a thank you when they congratulated me. It’s like I’m torn between being modest and not seeming stuck up. It’s kind of complicated, I can’t really explain it.

I’m sure the buzz about exams won’t die down any soon. Though now that we’ve got our mock results GCSE results’ day style, the tension is building and the pressure is even more suffocating. I’m glad that for a lot of my subject, there’s no coursework, and for the coursework I do have, it’s controlled conditions so I don’t need to work on it at home and in my free time. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot I need to do. I need to start thinking about resits for my music since I’ve got a string of Bs hanging round my neck and it’s only my final exam that can push it to an A. I would redo them, if I wasn’t nervous as hell… and if I hadn’t lost the pieces… That wasn’t very wise of me…

And then there’s English to worry about. I have no idea how I got the grade I did. I tried to pin it on my writing, but I got an A in Literature so I’m not quite sure. It’s horrible to not be good at English Language, because there isn’t really a clear way to up your score. If it’s something like science of maths, you can do quick questions or just look up… I don’t know… limestone on BBC Bitesize.

At the moment, I’m really thinking of strategies to help me revise, but I never look at notes and I get board of cue cards. I tried to make a game on Stencyl, a PowerPoint Presentation, a board game, but nothing seems to fit me. Only test papers seem to work and there are a limited number of test papers out there. There will come a time when the pressure will be too much and I have virtually no time left and I’ll probably crack from the pressure. I suddenly wish I was back in year 10 so I can take my revision more seriously. Every year, the teachers say ‘Start your revision now! From the beginning!’. Every year, everyone ignores them. Every year, they regret it. If I could go back in time, I’d start making my notes. Of course, I can’t go back, and I wouldn’t anyway; I’ve already done so much. To make notes now for everything would take forever though so I’ll stick to my normal revision method: books and the internet.

Wish me luck for… about 4 months?

~EpicCupcake signing out.

Update: Things are looking good!

超可愛い!

 

They sure are! I started school on Monday and I’ve actually been trying my best to live up to the promises I made for the new year. Like I said, I’m sick of being upset, socially awkward and shy and I want to just be happy and live my life the way I want. For Christmas, I got three notebooks from my sister, A4, A5 and A6 and with my now large collection of beautiful colourful notebooks, I’ve decided to use the A6 one (which I named the ‘Ferris’ because I’m weird enough to name notebooks…) to track my progress and to keep a little diary-like thingy. It doesn’t feel like a diary, because I don’t really go into that much detail about my emotions and stuff, only when necessary.

At the end of every day, I sit on my bed and get out the Ferris and write an entry called ‘Evaluation of Day’. I’ve given all my problems a number. 1=social anxiety, 2=health, 3=studying and 4=emotions and regrets. I write the numbers down and record all the important stuff I did today and give them points. I can tell you now, according to the Ferris, I’m doing quite well in the social anxiety section and the health section, because I’m setting new challenges for myself and I’m doing regular exercise (rather than none at all) and eating my five-a-day (I even ate a bloody fruit pot today! I normally hate fruit that aren’t apples or oranges, but I have to admit, it was kind of nice). On the other hand, on the studying section, I’m not doing so well. 6 points so far, from new years to now. Not very good, but I’m very lazy.

There’s also been another downside. I’ve been exercising as if I was back in primary school (I was very active back then), but my body isn’t used to exercise so now I’m half walking, half limping around everywhere. So, until next week, I’m only doing sit ups and maybe star jumps, if it doesn’t kill me…

But even with the limping, I think I’m heading towards a success. I was really worried about going back to school. I was worrying about ‘School Fever’ but I’ve been doing fine. My mood has been very stable over these last couple of days. Although I still find it a bit hard to look at Grace, things are close to being back to normal. It’s not so awkward between us anymore and I can tolerate sitting next to her in English. In fact, we still talk and laugh and have the whole class yell shut up at us every lesson, though I don’t feel any closer to her. It feels like the distance between us has increased a little. Although sometimes I do long for the days we were friends, it doesn’t actually bother me that much. I can sit on my own in the computer room with her and the other cackling away at each other and not feel any discomfort. I’m slowly getting over her. I don’t talk to her that much, and I don’t try to, though now I feel she talks to me more than I talk to her, she even complemented my hair even though it wasn’t anything special, and it makes me wonder… but I’m not going to over think this.

As for friends, I still feel a bit like a lone wolf, but Cinnamon is a great friend who’s always by my side and I don’t want to take advantage of that. Cinnamon is a little weird though, I’ve noticed. She seems to like it when people die in books… At the moment, she’s re-reading ‘Bec’, part of Darren Shan’s Demonata Saga. She told me she loved reading it because all the characters die, even the main character (a little confusing considering it was the fourth book out of ten books…) But she’s a nice and interesting person and I’m grateful to have her as my friend. Also, I very much appreciate weird people!

So… yeah, just a little update… I’ll end on this final note: I’m still working on my Challenge- I’m mixing it up with my evaluation thing and so far I’ve got about 23 points! But I’ve only really done basic stuff so from now on I’m going to challenge myself a little bit more. I have a mental list of the stuff I want to tick off such as calling people by their name which I am just unable to do. I always feel to shy to use someone’s name. I only want to do some sort of eye contact challenge, but I’ll save that for when I feel more confident. When I write my evaluation, I make a little list. Today, I managed to listen to music on the bus, something that absolutely scares me. I don’t know why, I guess I’m just worried that somehow other people can hear my music and make fun of me. But I was listening to Green Day anyway and no one can say anything bad about Green Day… I’m more worried about the songs I have that are in another language. Today I started listening to this Indonesian rock group called J-rock. Really confusing. I was expecting them to be Japanese, so I was a little confused when I didn’t hear any Japanese.

Okay! That’s enough for today! Thank you for spending a little time reading this post! 🙂

~EpicCupcake signing out.

A Thought: Failure

My New Year Resolutions are proving to be tough, though the year only just started. As I though, I’ve already started to try and eat more vegetables and stuff and I did star jumps and sit ups yesterday, but I’m not really making progress on my social anxiety (if it is social anxiety, whatever this is…). I went out today to visit a family friend and for the whole time I was there, I didn’t speak to anyone except to say if I could have juice and what are my plans for the future etc. I pretty much just sat there.

I know it’s only the second of January and I shouldn’t really be worrying about this now, but not long ago my mum forced me to vacuum the house and as soon as I touched the vacuum cleaner, it broke. Just like that. I fixed it with some tape and it was fine to use but I got really mad, nonetheless and as I vacuumed, I rammed it into the wall repeatedly. I was angry because I break everything I touch. Of all the phones I’ve had, I’ve either smashed them or they’ve gone missing, all within a year of having them. I’ve never had a phone for more than a year. And they break in the most ridiculous ways. When I started high school, my dad got me my first phone. I smashed it with the car door when it accidentally fell out of my bag as I shut the door. My mum gave me her old phone to use. I lost it.The next phone my dad bought, I dropped it in a park in Italy. It had a crack in the screen and I was seriously confused. A crack from falling in a park. Well… okay, the park had, like, stones so that might be why… I think then I got my mum’s old blackberry. I stepped on it with my boots. I never normally wear anything with heals, but than day I happened to be wearing them… Just my luck… I got my sister’s old blackberry afterwards, and although to this day I haven’t broken it, my sister did. That’s my horrible history with phones. And it’s not just phones. I break everything…

So after vowing that I’d change myself this year, I did something that my old self would have always done. Suddenly, I thought, ‘This is a sign. My year’s going to be horrible.’ And I even convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to talk and I would never make friends etc. etc. I just imagined myself in college, all by myself, feeling miserable everyday.

And while I was thinking of all this, there was a voice inside of my head that was like, ‘Hey! Slow down, a sec!’ I didn’t want to listen and kept wallowing in my self-pity and conjuring up all these scenarios. My dad came home after I finished vacuuming and he asked me what was wrong. I told him about the vacuum cleaner. Afterwards he asked me, ‘So, did the vacuum cleaner hurt you?’. My dad’s sense of humour is truly something else, but he made a good point and after I came back up, I took a moment to calm down and think logically, like a true scientist. The voice took over and showed me how irrational I was being. I broke one tiny piece of plastic and all of a sudden the earth below me will open up and I’ll be dragged to the furthest corner of hell to whinge and moan for all eternity. Stupid, right?

Breaking things isn’t good, but at least it showed me that I am starting to get better to the point where I can recognise my irrational thinking. As far as I’m concerned, that’s an accomplishment, not a failure.

And even so, we can’t be perfectionists. We can’t expect everything to go 100% well just because you are determined and then crash and burn when it’s only 99% or less. As they say, ‘Practice makes perfect.’ so practice means there’s got to be some obstacle along the way that’s guaranteed to make you fail at least once or twice.

So a new challenge: I’m going to try to stay positive. Staying positive keeps your passion burning. It makes you determined to achieve your goal. But first thing’s first, I’ve got to accept failure as a part of success. There will be times when I won’t talk, or when I’ll skip a meal or too or even overeat. There will be times when I’ll remember things from the past that belong in the past. As long as I stay positive and stay clear of irrational thinking, I’ll be okay. 🙂

~EpicCupcake signing out.

7 Nonviolent Ways To Tell If Your Friend Is A Robot

Daniel is funny

History and Terminators have shown us that the best way to tell if someone is a robot is to stab them and then pull at their innards until computer parts come out. What they don’t show you, however, is all the times this turns out to be a mistake, and you’re left with an “Ooops” and one less friend.

Using a scale that I’ve devised from intense research of not only robotics, but human emotions too, I’ve concocted seven non-violent methods to determine whether or not your friend or family member is a machine. Don’t get me wrong, you can save the violent parts for when the test results come back positive, but at least you’ll never be caught screaming “I swear to God, I thought he was a robot!” while you’re being handcuffed.

1) Tell them that you have the flu. If they remain at your side, they’re either…

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