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.