Kate the (Almost) Great

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How To Cheer Up A Friend Who's Feeling Down

When we see a close friend going through a hard time, sometimes we can feel powerless to help. It can be hard seeing someone you care about struggling, especially when all you want to do is help and support them.

Whether someone they care about has passed away, they’ve lost their job or just broken up with someone, it can be hard to know how to help. While you want to help your friend, sometimes fear of making the situation worse can hold you back.

Don’t worry that what you say or do will make things worse, just realize that what matters is that you are there to support your friend. If you put your foot in it, apologize - it’s pretty simple. If you say the wrong thing, the chances are that your friend won’t even care, they’ll just be glad that you are there.

How To Cheer Up a Friend Who's Feeling Down - Kate the (Almost) Great


To help you raise their spirits and support them, here are a few tips and ideas to take a look at:

- Let them talk

The best thing you can do as a friend is listen to them as they talk. Sometimes, being able to get everything off of their chest is all it takes to help your friend cheer up.

Give your friend the chance to talk, don’t interrupt, simply listen and nod to show that you are listening. Don’t try to give your friend advice about how they should deal with the situation, just show them that you understand.

- Make them laugh

Your friend might not feel like laughing at the moment, but laughter really is the best medicine. Book tickets to see their favorite comedian, watch a funny DVD or reminisce about old times.

Once your friend can see the funny side of life, they will realize that life isn’t over. Something bad might have happened, but that doesn’t mean that life won’t go on.

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- Surprise them with a gift

There’s nothing like a present to perk you up, so why not surprise your friend with a gift? It’s up to you how much you want to spend; it’s not about how much the present costs, it’s the thought that counts.

Whether you surprise your friend with flowers or with one of the Shinola gold watches she’s been wanting, it doesn’t matter. It’s the thought that counts, not how much you spend on the gift.

- Book a spa day

There’s nothing like a pamper day to make you forget your troubles. Book a spa day for you and your friend and spend some time relaxing and being pampered.

As well as relaxing in the sauna and sipping champagne all day, why not treat your friend to a calming massage? It’s amazing how much better your friend will feel after having a soothing massage.

When a friend is feeling down it can be hard to know what to do to make things better, especially when you don't want to make things worse. The most important thing you can do is be there for them and take the time to listen.




Buy The Essential Grammar Handbook, an ebook based on my experiences as a high school English teacher. For just $10, you can dramatically improve your writing, and therefore your life. It contains rules, explanations, examples, and practice.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

BaubleBar Giveaway

Keeping it short and sweet today because I'm still recovering from my infusion last Friday. This month, my sponsors and I are giving away a $25 gift card to Bauble Bar!




You must live in the USA and be over 18 years old to enter. The giveaway runs from 12:00 AM EST 6/29/15 to 11:59 PM EST 7/5/15. The winner will be chosen within 48 hours, and they have 48 hours to respond in order to claim their prize. If they do not, another winner will be chosen. 

Don't cheat. Not only is it wrong, but if your winning entry is a cheated one, you will be disqualified. I can't believe I have to say this, but it has happened in the past. Don't do it. If you want to participate in next month's giveaway, considering sponsoring Kate the (Almost) Great.




Buy The Essential Grammar Handbook, an ebook based on my experiences as a high school English teacher. For just $10, you can dramatically improve your writing, and therefore your life. It contains rules, explanations, examples, and practice.

Sign up for the monthly newsletter! Become one of the greatest people you will ever meet and get a recap of the best blog posts, extra writing tips, and free downloads. I will never give your email address to anyone or use it for any other purpose without your express permission. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Spoonie Spotlight: Meg

Welcome to this week's Spoonie Spotlight. Today I'm featuring Meg! Spoonie Spotlight is my way to use my platform to share the stories of others living with arthritis or an arthritis-related condition. The point is to share the realities of living with arthritis and to make others' voices heard. (New posts every 2 weeks.) If you would like to participate, fill out the form!


What's your diagnosis?

Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

When were you diagnosed?

Early 2013

How long have you had symptoms?

So long. I have been in pain for so many years, it all blurs!

Have you been limited in any way from your illness? If so, how?

Yes, in everyday things - I have to think how much something is going to tire me before I actually do it.

What's your story?

I have had back pains since the age of 6, when I jolted my spine on bumper cars. Had physio for a while, and then moved home a fair few times over the years - as I got older, the back pain seemed to get worse. Constantly went to the doctors, they would just tell me to rest up.

It wasn't until I was working as a waitress and I'd do long days (8am-10pm), and one evening, I was in so much pain, I had to run off and vomit. It hurt to stand so much but my boss wouldn't believe me about this pain I was suffering.

Went to the doctors in 2012, after googling and seeing Fibromyalgia as a possible condition I could be suffering with. I told the doctor this, they did blood tests then sent me to a rheumatoid specialist, who confirmed I had both Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (I don't get the bendy side of this, I get the pain!!!)



How has your illness changed your life?

It's changed how I think. Everything I do? I have to work out if I can do it, or if it will exhaust me too much. I'm not overly social because I get achy really easily and in turn, tired. I have learnt that maybe I can push myself in other areas of my life, but not physically as I WILL pay for it. It's not fun, but I'm trying to live with what I have, and that's that.

What are your goals for the future? (Not related to your health)

I've just finished up my second year of university studying Television Production, and I am not carrying on to do a third year (it's not compulsory).

The stress of assignments and whatnot has just exhausted me so much, and I kinda want to get out there and just start living my life. I am hoping I can get a job to fund my photography, and maybe further down the road, make that my full-time job. But we'll see!

What are your goals for the future? (Health related)

Possibly try and do yoga. I tried it recently at home and it helped a little, for a while. So, I may buy a mat and just try that at my own pace.

Do you consider yourself handicapped or disabled? Why or why not?

I sort of consider myself disabled, but only when I'm talking to other people who have fibro or any other chronic pain or obvious disability. Like, to friends and family, I don't? I just feel that even though they know I have Fibro, that because I can stand and do stuff that they'd think it's silly that I would label myself disabled if I can still move about.

It's not though. It does limit what I can do, and it's a disability, just one you can't physically see.

What would you like readers to take from your experience?

That any folks out there that have chronic pain - we have our bad days, but we also have our good days. We need to take those good days, to push on through the crappy ones.

We may not be able to live as energetically as other people, but we live in the way we can.

Find Meg Online!





Buy The Essential Grammar Handbook, an ebook based on my experiences as a high school English teacher. For just $10, you can dramatically improve your writing, and therefore your life. It contains rules, explanations, examples, and practice.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

How To Make Having an Infusion Easier

I'm so happy - today, Friday, June 26, 2015, I'm having my arthritis treatment. Every 4 months, I have an infusion therapy of chemotherapy, and it works wonders. Of course, it takes a few weeks to kick in, but it is what it is. It's still better than not being on a working treatment at all!

Anyway, I felt like it would be appropriate to discuss how to make infusions - chemotherapy or otherwise - easier. If you're asking, "What is infusion therapy?", it's when you have an IV in and receive medications directly to your bloodstream. I know that there are tons of patients who receive an infusion of some kind, and there are even more who might receive one at some point in their life. I hope that you can take my experiences (today's infusion will be my tenth) and make your life easier!

How To Make Having an Infusion Easier - Kate the (Almost) Great


At least 24 hours before your infusion, start drinking a ton of water. The more hydrated you are, the better your veins are for having needles in them, and that makes you more comfortable for receiving your medication. I always am sure to drink as much water as possible in the 24 hours leading up to my infusion, and it makes a huge difference.

I also suggest avoiding caffeine that day. In most cases, you'll be given a heavy dose of Benadryl to counteract any possible allergic reactions. If you don't have caffeine, it will knock you out and you'll sleep through most of the the infusion. If you do, you'll be really tired but unable to actually fall asleep. Talking from personal experience here, so take that as you will.

The day of your infusion, there are several things you'll want to have with you. Definitely have a list of your medications, as many times they will go over that. You'll also want things to do. I used to bring a whole big bag of things, but now that I'm a couple years into this, I'm pretty much just bringing my computer and a book. I really don't need anything other than that, especially if I sleep through the first hour or two. What and how much you bring will depend on how long you'll be at the hospital, so definitely check that out beforehand.

How To Make Having an Infusion Easier - Kate the (Almost) Great
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I also suggest that you bring some snacks. Many people will feel a little off during or for a few days after their infusion, so you might want to make them bland snacks like rice cakes, chips, etc. If you're going to be at the hospital for at least 2 hours, you'll probably get hungry at some point.

Make sure you also wear comfortable clothes. I usually go for yoga pants and a t-shirt or athletic shorts and a t-shirt. And I always, always have a sweatshirt. Hospitals get cold, man! (Oh, and you can ask the nurse to use one of your wrist or hand veins instead of your elbow if you want to wear the sweatshirt on both arms! If you're hydrated enough, your veins should be good enough for that.)

Last but not least, have someone to take you home. Don't take yourself home if possible. You'll be tired and uncomfortable and perhaps still affected by Benadryl.

Do you have any questions about having infusions? How about anything else to add to my suggestions? I'd love to hear them!



Buy The Essential Grammar Handbook, an ebook based on my experiences as a high school English teacher. For just $10, you can dramatically improve your writing, and therefore your life. It contains rules, explanations, examples, and practice.

Sign up for the monthly newsletter! Become one of the greatest people you will ever meet and get a recap of the best blog posts, extra writing tips, and free downloads. I will never give your email address to anyone or use it for any other purpose without your express permission. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...