When Life Gets In The Way: Blogging Against Adversity

How much do I love this Chesterfield chair!!

I have been meaning to write this post for a while but haven’t much felt like it. Then Roz wrote this amazing post for the IFB, which you should go over and read – then come right back:
Blogging Against Adversity
Both Roz and I have had a medical condition impact our lives so much that we had no choice but to voice it on our blogs. We both agree that whatever fears we had about doing so were swept away by the genuine love and support of our readers and friends. So I thought I would take this chance to give you an update and to fill in new followers. I have rheumatoid arthritis you can read about it here and a follow up regarding problems with the condition and fashion here. Besides the obvious problems such as being in pain and general exhaustion, drug trials and their side effects it has impacted my life in ways I never really imagined. I guess until you go through something like this, you can watch all the episodes of E.R and House you like but you will never know the little things which really get to you.

I don’t wear flats, never have, never will. Er right ok so how do you wear 3″ heels when you knee is so painful it hurts to move, your hip is grating in the socket so much the sheer feeling makes you feel nauseous and your feet, every single joint, feels like it is stuffed with cotton-wool. Even if you can get your swollen little feet into your shoes you certainly aren’t walking anywhere in them. So I have spent the best part of this year in Ugg boots- I am not impressed about this one bit. I have 3 pairs of Uggs now, I have a pair of black flat army boots for when it is rainy, my trusty old Chanel ballerinas and Vivienne Westwood pirate boots for when it is sunny. I have taken to wearing a tatty old black cardi (it is Westwood and thus I will wear it until it drops to shreds) over everything to cover the wrist and elbow supports. Loose fit black peg trousers have always been my thing and my collection has grown to disguise the knee supports. When I do wear heels I now pull them out of my bag at the desired destination – on a positive note it will save me a fortune in re-heeling. Of course there is a lot of smoke and mirrors with the blog. You don’t see the Ugg boot days, I take off the supports for the photos and I certainly don’t wear bloody flats in the photos. I don’t just do this to make the photos look better, though evidently they do. But it makes me feel better that I can at least see what the outfit was intended to look like, rather than having to wear it with the flats and insanely huge bag stuffed with spare supports, gloves, shoes and meds. Clutches have been well and truly abandoned of late, as have totes which put strain on my wrist.

Fortunately the doctors also diagnosed me with a vitamin D deficiency, the medication for this worked fast so I am ten times better than what I was before Christmas, where I could barely get out of bed. I have now started disease modifying drugs to fight the RA, the effects of which I should see in around 8 weeks – if they work for me. I have tried different types of anti-inflammatory all of which my reaction to was far worse than the original problem and decided to show themselves just after the med’s had started working. The last ones I had tried gave me one day of being pain free before the worse onslaught of side effects I have ever had. That was a very strange feeling, I have gotten so used to dealing with the pain I had totally forgotten what it was like to not have it.

But anyway as long as the goodish days are more than the very, very bad ones I can cope for with that. I do worry I will never get the life back I used to have. I can’t burn the candle at both ends and really have to look after myself.

Helga reminded me the other day that Vivienne Westwood used to receive people when she was still in bed. In fact she liked to do everything from her bed, even make the clothes, so next time I am stuck in bed with my laptop I will just pretend I am Queen Viv. I admit I have taken to wearing my pink furry Prada scarf with my PJ’s, I am ridiculous I know, but it makes me smile.

(Mother of Pearl is wearing: Jimmy Choo H&M tunic and trousers, Pierre Hardy clutch, Chanel shoes and Prada stole – more on this topic again to come!!)
I choose these photos to go with this post as I was at a family party to celebrate my cousin’s 1 year anniversary of her having a double lung transplant. No matter where you are and what problems you have there is always someone worse off than you, that is why I have never been one to complain I guess. I also wanted to include this photo of my sidekick and I. I know everyone loves their mum but mine really is my best friend, I’d be lost without her.

(Wearing: my favorites! Ann Demeulemeester leather jacket, Vivienne Westwood Anglomana ‘Miller’ dress and Christopher Kane embroidered boots – them being too big ended up being a bonus as I put padded insoles in them so comfy, Christopher Kane for Topshop bag – another bonus being at a family party means there are plenty of other people you can get to carry your stuff )

Keep safe and well, where ever you are,


37 thoughts on “When Life Gets In The Way: Blogging Against Adversity

  1. Bless you, P, I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better, and it's amazing to hear that your cousin is doing so well after a double lung transplant. I think you do amazingly well. I feel guilty for bombarding you with emails…though I do love the thought of you answering them a la Queen Viv, wrapped in your Prada fur! xx

  2. I was not aware you had these health problems – you are one courageous lady to grin and go ahead…. I suffer backpain practically chronically and only recently discovered that apart from massage, Pilates can also help alleviate it. We all have some cross to bear… thank God for beautiful shoes to perk us up eh?

  3. Firstly – amazing photos of you and your mum. You look fabulous in that chesterfield, very sultry.

    Re: the RA, I don't have much insight without posts like yours, and I don't want to write a trite 'oh how awful' comment from my current lucky posistion of good health. But I have seen many family members – like you – cope with all kinds of debilitating conditions, from liver transplants to car accident injuries to MS. And I admired them all. You too.

    I hope you soon find a course of treatment which allows you to be more active and in less pain.

    Lakota x

  4. @Mrs Bossa – I love your emails, in fact I think getting emails from people helps keep me sane!

    @FairyFiligree – yep, shoes always make you feel better 😉

    @Lakota – Thank you x

  5. Thank you for the updates and the photos all show you looking so lovely! I really hope these meds work for you.
    I adore that Chesterfield too and great to see your Mum!

  6. Oh Pearl, I had no idea! big hugs from me! I am glad you are feeling better than you used to and it sounds like you are coping fabulously! As I'm getting older I've come to believe that looking after oneself and not overdoing things is the most important thing whether with chronic health conditions or not! x

  7. You are such an example, my dear Pearl. Even in pain high heels. Life is too short to wear boring clothes.
    I will think of you next time I am in pain, with my knee) and I will make the most of it.
    Much love and admiration, my dear friend.

  8. You look alot like your Mom…expecially the smile!
    However I'm writing you from my bed because I have a quite bad stomach-ache but I'm getting better. I just realized through a test that I can no longer eat certain type of food.
    So thanks for the update on your status… can't wait for another one saying everything is better!!


  9. You look fab and it is hard to believe you are ill at all, well done for putting on such a positive attitude girl. If I ever have another daughter (which I wont now, done with all the child-rearing stuff) I will call her Pearl, because I want to be 'mother of pearl' – inspired!

  10. You look great in that chair! All the best with continuing to make the most of life in spite of the bad obstacles out there.

  11. You look bloody gorgeous. Shiny hair + killer shoes + sleek black outfit = glamarama sqaured.

    Good for you for having a sense of humour about your conditions – but also for having an excellent perspective. There is always someone worse off.

    Give your Mum a big squeezy hug for me, you lucky duck.

    Sarah xxx

  12. I'm so happy to hear you're feeling much better!!! I wish you all the best Pearl, dealing with such chronic deseases is very hard on the long term (both my father and little sister have a stomach chronic desease so I can understand your feelings since I see them everyday…).
    When I'm sick at home (very rarely, though), I usually wear new clothes or something glamorous because it makes me feel so good!!! Therefore I can image the effects of the amazing Prada stole on your days 😉
    Big hugs babe!


  13. Hi my dear-you are such an inspirational young lady and despite your health problems, stay optimistic, produce lovely quality posts and always look so stylish-the pictures of your mum and you are fabulous, the Prada faux fur stoles look so amazing!! Keep up the good work and sending hugs, take care xxx

  14. I love seeing pictures of you and your Mom together.
    So good to hear that your medication helped, I hope you see real difference in these long 8 weeks… You right about "there always being someone worse off than you". I'm prone to whingeing now and then (even if it's only to myself). My son came home from school the other day and said "Mom, I have to count my blessings". He was obvously repeating something he heard on TV or read in a book, but he's so right! I'm sending you a huge hug.

  15. Looks like you've had a rough year, I am sorry to hear about your health problems, I hope you will recover as soon as possible.
    It's great you are so positive and you don't let this disease take over your life.

  16. It's so good to see that you are strong and even if you're in pain you don't just throw your life away! I love that you carry your style into everything, just like Vivienne would and does! 🙂

  17. Pearl, to begin with – thank you so much for referencing my article. I really did have you at the forefront of my thoughts as I was writing, as I have absolute respect for you. The positive support from the blogging community is truly uplifting.
    Re your 'Queen Viv' impression – I have a suggestion. Why not buy a pair of classic men's silk pyjamas (a vintage silk dressing gown is also optional), don some Westwood heels and recline on in splendour ready to 'receive' your visitors – thereby referencing both Westwood's habits as well as Coco Chanel's early sartorial elegance.
    By the way, my mum just peered over my shoulder and said "I love the fact that that her mum is referred to as 'Mother of Pearl' – and what a stylish pair they make"!

  18. A Prada scarf with PJ's? Definitely not ridiculous! Fabulous, definitely, ridiculous, definitely not, so no need to worry about that.

    On a more serious note, fingers crossed that you find your ideal regimen. As said above, you are an inspiration and you deserve more than one pain-free day at a time.

  19. You look fab as ever Pearl, you are pretty amazing to go through so much pain and still come out the other side looking fabulous and being a style icon! My mum is my bestie too, so loved this photo of you two. xxx

  20. You deal with your health problems so positively, you would make a great spokesperson for people suffering with RA. I love your pictures and how amazing for your cousins first year of having new lungs. We don't realise what capacity we have for overcoming adversity! Take care xx

  21. Even though I find it next to impossible to completely identify with your pain (I mean, really, how can I?), I am blown away by the honesty and frankness with which you discuss your ailment and your incredibly positive attitude toward it all. It's really inspirational.

    xoxo ~ Courtney

  22. You are such a soldier Pearl, big love to you. And I love the idea of receiving people in bed as a positive, you need a glam bed jacket. And you can use Barbara Cartland as inspiration too 😉 Great to see your mum on here, doesn't she look great in her Prada fur xx

  23. wow, im so touched at your post, i remember you mentioning arthritis but i had no idea it was so difficult for you.
    i hope things continue to get better, you and your blog are so inspiring. wishing you all the best xxx

  24. You are amazing! So glad to see you being so positive but you are allowed to cry and have bad days too, when you have a chronic medical problem I feel you have earnt the right to a bad day. I call mine Moaning Minnie day!!
    Great post, love the jacket and shoes on you lovely oufit

  25. You and your mum (and the Chesterfield!) look amazing. I sympathise with your RA, It affects me in my knees and fingers but I've never spoken about it to anyone, so bravo (bravo?! I can't think of another word so early in the day, haha) xx

  26. Such a heartfelt post. You are so authentic and inspiring – so happy you are feeling better and in good spirits and I'm also glad you cousin's transplant went well. Vitamin D is very important for the bones as is calcium but both need the other. xx

  27. Love these pics, dear Pearl and Mother of Pearl, you both look gorgeous. Never mind blogging in adversity, you're dressing in it, looking fantastic and creative. Its quite an art you have to write about your condition so frankly but without self-pity – I do hope you're able to get some real relief soon. xxx

  28. Thank you for sharing! You're my inspiration! I absolutely admire your strength, stamina and your resolve to wear high heels despite the pain!

  29. Looking fabulous!
    Have you thought of trying acupuncture? I was a massive cynic (still am) but got offered some for free for my creaky knees (cold weather makes them stiff and I have to stretch and click a lot) and I was genuinely amazed at how noticeable the difference was. I know a lot of people (me included most of the time) dismiss that sort of alternative therapy but this is the one thing I couldn't recommend enough, for whatever reason placebo or real it worked and I was happy either way! xx

  30. So glad you are able to share this with us and still wear what you want to wear! there's so many things we have to endure in life and its always nice to have an outlet where we can forget about it all and talk about and show things we love! Love all the black in this outfit, you look amazing! x

  31. Hi Pearl i found you today as Lakota from faith, hope and charity left me a comment against my post and mentioned your RA. I am so sorry to hear about the amount of pain you are in and have immense admiration for you i have been reading your past posts. I won't go into details as to why she linked me up to here. But if you fancy popping over to my blog that would be lovely. Take lots of care, dee x

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