About Me

Hello lovelies and welcome to A Paler Shade Of Beauty Blog. First things first let me introduce myself. My name is Avril and I am 32 years old. I live in Dublin with my hubby, parents, brother and two dogs (yep we all live under the same roof). I have been battling illness the past number of years and with the ever-increasing cost of rent coupled with my job situation it made sense to move back in with my parents. At first nobody could discover or diagnose what was wrong with me. I had to fight to see different specialists to try figure out what was going on. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I found an amazing Doctor who carried out specialised testing and discovered I have two strains of Lyme disease along with a co-infection. I have since started treatment which has been bumpy to say the least but I am now just taking things day by day and doing what the doctors say. I know I need to remain patient but it doesn’t help feeling completely and utterly useless sometimes. It has taken a hell of a lot out of me both physically and mentally. Both infections have spread around my entire body creating debilitating symptoms. They are sneaky infections that invade cells and spread around the body whilst remaining undetected by the immune system. The consultant doesn’t know how long I have had these infections, how long it will take to destroy them or what lasting damage they have caused. Fingers crossed things will improve over time and I can get some quality of life back. Right now I am mainly house and bedbound so any improvements even slight ones would be amazing. I suppose all you can do (as Dory from finding Nemo would say) is just “keep swimming”.

The name of my blog “A Paler Shade Of Beauty” was inspired by my husbands late uncle Noel. Noel was very sick for a long time and remained very much the true gentleman right up until he took his final breath in January 2015. He truly inspired me with the courageous, dignified and sometimes humourous battle he fought with his illness. His love of the song “A whiter shade of pale” coupled with my own personal struggle with illness lead to a eureka moment occurring one day in June 2015. I got a strong desire to start blogging about what it is like being ill along with topics I find interesting with the aim of hopefully helping others. The name of my blog was to be called, a paler shade of beauty. The meaning behind this name was not only inspired by Noel himself but the fact that when you are ill and look at yourself in the mirror, all you can see looking back at you is that pale shell of a face and body. All the colour having completely drained from your face. I believe you are still you and you are still beautiful. You are just a paler shade of you, a paler shade of beauty.

The main aim of my blog is to create a supportive, safe and hopefully fun environment for people going through or recovering from illness (be it physical or mental illness) to visit and enjoy. I love all things beauty and fashion related and am a real girly girl at heart so it felt natural for me to incorporate some of this into the blog too. I love trying out skincare and makeup products and try my best to keep abreast of current fashion trends and the latest advances in the beauty industry. I have become increasingly aware of the bad ingredients in products that simply do not need to be there. They are causing more harm than good. People are also becoming more aware of exactly what is going on their skin too. I am also very open and honest about the challenges I face on a daily basis whilst trying to live my life with illness. I hope some day I could go on to create physical areas in hospitals/carehomes/hospices etc for people to escape to, so that they too can feel beautiful even whilst going through illness. I firmly believe that even through illness beauty remains.

I am also a scientist but I had to leave my job as I am unable to work due to my illness. I love everything science related especially the human body. It completely fascinates me. I blame Santa for giving me the game operation one christmas many moons ago. That or after I discovered and read my aunt’s nursing books. I have a true passion for helping others who are going through illness as I don’t like seeing anyone suffer or feel pain. I wish somehow i could take all their pain away and make them feel good again. I know I am an extremely compassionate person but I have also become much stronger as a person whilst going through all of this. I think when you fight so long and hard to get answers your voice becomes that bit stronger. I love my friends and family and hold them dear to my heart. I may not see them as often as I would like due to the limitations of illness but my love and loyalty will always remain with them. It is true what they say, you know who your friends/loved ones are when you go through illness.

I really hope you enjoy the blog as much as I am enjoying writing it.

Love always,

Avril 💋

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14 Comments

  1. 23rd January 2017 / 4:25 PM

    Love your blog, I can relate to so much. Just been diagnosed and started treatment (in dublin) for Lyme after 12+ years of illness. Also a scientist, still managing to work at the moment thanks to flexible working patterns although very anxious about how treatment will affect my ability to work. Also have a blog which I just started last year chronicwarrior.co.uk

    It’s so nice to read stories that feel familiar. Reminds me I’m not alone.

    All the best
    Katie

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      23rd January 2017 / 5:35 PM

      Hey Katie lovely to hear from you and thank you for reaching out. That’s great you’ve started a blog too but obviously crap that your going through Lyme too. I will pop over and check out your blog and add you on social media so we can keep in touch. Being sick is tough and the best advice I can offer is to take things day by day. Sending you lots of ❤ x

  2. Edmond O`Flaherty
    15th January 2017 / 12:08 PM

    One specialist who treats Lyme often uses LDN. Lowdosenaltrexone website is http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org and http://www.ldnscience.org. It gives a little boost to the energy and the immune system..T3 and CoQ10 help fatigue too. LDN works for over 100 conditions,mostly auto-immune diseases. More than 75% of Norwegian doctors prescribe it but few in Ireland,. It is useful for chronic pain but not if on opiates.. LDN can be made by dissolving 50 mg naltrexone which is on the GMS.

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      15th January 2017 / 1:35 PM

      Hi Edmond, many thanks for your comment. I am familiar with LDN and know of a few people who have been prescribed it especially those with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. My consultant doesn’t seem to favour it as a form of treatment at present. At the moment he is currently trying to establish and balance multiple antibiotics with supplements created for those of us suffering with these infections and immune suppression. To be honest my body is extremely sensitive so any form of medication has to be introduced slowly. I certainly won’t rule out LDN as a form of treatment and will be interested in picking the experts brains at this years Lyme conference. The supplements from Nutrined contain some fantastic ingredients too.

  3. Caroline
    19th December 2016 / 8:13 PM

    Hi Avril – I saw your link via Bryt skincare on FB. I’m 43 and undergoing treatment for the second time for cancer. I spend many long hours in hospital for chemo then lots of days getting over it so your website will be a welcome read! I am made up to the max and on a drip – your illustration made me smile and giggle. Sending you much strength xx

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      19th December 2016 / 10:29 PM

      Awww Caroline you’ve made me smile. Go you, your some woman!Ugh you must be fed up of being stuck in the hospital. I hope chemo is going as well as it can and that things go your way. Delighted you found the blog. Please keep in touch and sending you lots and lots of hugs x

  4. Reynagh
    31st October 2016 / 3:07 PM

    Avril, my friend just sent me on your link to read as your case is very similar to what I experienced . Like you 8 years ago I have experienced heart palpitations up to 350 bpm, chronic fatigue and paralysis where I had to learn how to walk again. I spent 2 1/2 months in hospital in galway . I was at every doctor/ specialist under the sun and put it down to physcological and anxiety which I knew was not true as I knew my own body. The only thing that showed up in test was that my blood clotted for Lymes Diesease and the lumbar puncher showed negative . I was treated for Lymes at the time but got progressively worse at the time. They then ruled out Lymes . I would like to talk to you or meet you sometime in Dublin and maybe arrange an apt with this doctor in the mater for a 2nd opinion .

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      31st October 2016 / 3:28 PM

      Hey reynagh thank you for popping by. I’m very sorry to hear what you’ve been through. Not knowing what your dealing with is a huge frustration in itself. Unfortunately I’m mainly housebound as my energy is so low. Could you email me on apalershadeofbeauty@gmail.com please and we can have a chat over there. ❤️

  5. 29th October 2016 / 6:03 PM

    I just read the article about you in the Independent. So much echoes my daughter’s illness (bitten 6 years ago at 20, diagnosed (initially by us!) at 24, in treatment since, currently under a US doctor, married last month, slowly getting life back). Find me on twitter @willowlymeinfo. Do see lymediseaseuk.com and join the FB community for support and contacts. Best of luck with the treatment – don’t give up.

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      30th October 2016 / 8:19 AM

      Hi Louise

      Lovely to hear from you and thank you for reaching out. I will pop on to twitter now to follow you and have also followed the Lyme uk facebook page. Aww I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. Please send her my love and I’m delighted she is slowly getting her life back. It really is such a complicated debilitating illness. My road to treatment etc has been bumpy to say the least but I’m remaining hopeful, well trying to be anyway. You sound like a fantastic support to your daughter and one I say she appreciates greatly. My own parents are frustrated by the disease too and upset at seeing me suffering on but they are a fantastic support too. Please keep in touch and I’ll connect with you on twitter. X

  6. Eimear
    29th October 2016 / 2:25 PM

    What a lovely title for a blog. And your positivity is amazing. Thank you for brightening my day and have a super birthday, eimear xxx

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      30th October 2016 / 8:22 AM

      Aww Eimear thank you for brightening my day with your lovely comment. It really gives me so much more strength when people reach out to me. Lol thank you I don’t think I’ll be partying hard but trying to make wonderful memories this birthday X

  7. Micheal Joyce
    29th October 2016 / 1:18 PM

    Hi Avril – Check out another blogger called Tim Ferris. He battled and cured lyme disease and has a number of videos on the internet discussing. Google Tim Ferris Lyme

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3KuJVni5zQ

    Micheal

    • apalershadeofbeauty
      30th October 2016 / 8:23 AM

      Thanks for the info Micheal. I’ll be sure to check him out. X

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