It’s favourites time, but this time they’re supercharged. The first favourite thing has changed my life and I’m not being dramatic and clickbait-y about it, either; the second favourite is a book that had me audibly cheering as I read it (in just two sittings) in bed last week. The rest of the favourites are also brilliant but it was the first two that inspired my latest video (bottom of the page) and therefore this, the accompanying post. And so without further ado:
I’m sick of saying and writing the word Waterfall; the video took me three attempts, then I spent an hour editing it, now I’m writing about it. I’ve said Waterfall more times in the past day than in the entire rest of my life. But all is forgiven because honestly, these little chewable D-Mannose tablets have changed my life.
You know how I had constant cystitis? You can read the odd post here and there, I think I tailed off with talking about it because it was frankly depressing and I had a cystoscopy which was horrible and I just didn’t want to share anymore, but – in short – it’s something I had suffered with since late teens. Triggers include winter, sitting down for long periods, not sitting down for long periods, getting a cold back, sex, any alcohol, no alcohol, no sex, holidays, breathing. You get the picture.
After numerous tests, both NHS and private and with no discernible outcome, I had just resigned myself to a lifetime of antibiotic bouts and not being able to drink wine and/or have raucous sex. But two of the things I had been recommended by both consultants was to a) up my fibre and b) try out regular intake of D-Mannose. I tried with the upping of the fibre but the D-Mannose intake was one of those things I – for unknown reasons – resisted. I think it was maybe because the cheap tablets I had were SO big (I have to break them in half) and when I wasn’t actually getting any cystitis warning symptoms I’d simply forget to take them.
Well after my third consecutive cystitis knock-down before Christmas I was desperate to find a way to reduce the occurrences. Also one of the courses of my usual antibiotics had failed to work, which terrified me, and so I ordered a whole load of different D-Mannose products to try them out. Powders, pills and these: the Waterfall Peppermint chewable tablets (here*).
Now I don’t really know whether they are any better than the others out there on the market, in terms of strength or ingredients, but it’s the pure fact that they are like a sweet that keeps me eating them. I have six a day and increase it on the rare occasion I’m going to be doing one of my “cystitis danger activities”, and because I have them on me, whether they’re in my handbag or on my desk or in the car, I know I’ll remember to take them.
They are very pricey compared to my usual ones but – touch wood – I haven’t had a problem since mid-December. Not only that, my usual “irritable bladder” symptoms, – ie always feeling I need to go for a wee, a constant feeling of dread, etc – have almost entirely disappeared.
All of this is completely my own experience and obviously I’m not even remotely a medical expert or advisor, but it’s actually not an expensive outlay to give D-Mannose – regular and consistent taking of D-Mannose – a go. You can get far cheaper options than the Waterfall peppermint ones, it’s just that they make me take them more regularly. Because it’s like chomping sweets. Which has been the gamechanger, I think.
(Realise suddenly chomping six more sweets a day has its own drawbacks but they’re not big. And anyway, preferable to constantly feeling as though your bladder is about to self-combust.)
Anyway, give D-Mannose a Google. There’s plenty of NHS stuff about it – it’s basically a sugar that stops E-Coli bacteria from growing in the urinary system. I wish I had taken it more seriously years ago, it would have saved me a hell of a lot of aggravation and upset!
You can find the peppermint tablets here*.
Enough of my bladder and urethra, though – let’s talk books!
Rarely have I read a book that resonated with me more. Which is weird because (mild spoiler alert) it’s about a mother who is turning into a dog. But of course that’s not really what it’s all about: it’s about losing your identity in stay-at-home-motherhood and (whispers!) boredom in stay-at-home-motherhood and it’s also all about the trade-offs and anxieties and losses of identity for mothers who don’t entirely stay at home, or who are barely at home. It’s a raw, almost feral examination of transformation after childbirth and also of inequalities in relationships with regards to childcare and nurture and – oh God, just read it.
There were parts that didn’t resonate with me, of course, but there were entire passages, pages, chapters that just had me agog with how accurate they were and how in any other hands the subjects being discussed would perhaps make the protagonist sound ungrateful, spoiled, self-indulgent, mad, all of the above. But you just know what she’s about. It’s great. I loved it and have been recommending it to all of my friends, even if most of them have given me an odd look and said ‘wait, you’ve only just read Nightbitch?’
Nightbitch in paperback is online here*
Alas, sold out now in black but there’s an incredibly funky lighter one here*, I’ve found my perfect chunky winter cardicoatigan. It has distinct seventies ski lodge vibes, which is a vibe I can get along with, and it was from The Outnet so had money off. Always a bonus.
You may recall that I’m on a constant search for good long cardis – just found this post from years ago! – because they are so versatile and a dream for lazy dressers like me. I think my love of cardigans will follow me to the grave.
I’m massively pleased with my latest haircut. And I know I’ve said this for the past few, since it’s been shorter, but it’s something of a new era for me. I’ve finally managed to get past my obsession with having to tie it up all the time. I’ve become accustomed to the feeling of it hanging loose and the odd tickle around my face no longer irritates me quite so much. Interestingly I’ve also had less stress headaches since I’ve stopped pulling my hair back into a bun for 90% of the time.
Curing my own ailments, one favourite at a time!
I get my hair done at The Suite in Bath – usually by Mathilde but currently with Cassie Permial, if you’re in Bath and want to ask for her! Both are brilliant.
Final favourite, or “fave” or “favorite” depending on your age and geographical location: the Support Equilibrium Bath & Body Oil from Aromatherapy Associates. It’s just gorgeous. I’ve always been a die-hard Deep Relax blend person (and so is my Mum, we both find it so effective when we need to de-stress and get a good sleep) but recently I started experimenting with other blends and Support has almost immediately placed itself right up there with Deep Relax on my leaderboard.
It’s far more floral and optimistic than Deep Relax but still with a very grounding, deep sort of base. Ooh, I’ve just Googled: it has Frankincense in it! No wonder I bloody love it. Anything with Frankincense usually worms its way into my stash quite quickly.
Harrods currently have this on sale, for some reason – no idea why as it’s full price elsewhere but I’m not complaining! It’s £38.50 instead of £55 here*. AA oils are expensive but for a reason: I haven’t found any better for the bath and body yet and I’ve been testing hundreds of them over the course of thirteen years.
Added to my bargain basement Epsom Salts (here*) it’s the best luxurious bathing experience money can buy! I like to think that the savings on the salts justify the price of the oils, but in fact the oils are so good they need no justification and you need the teeniest bit each time.
Marvellous: here’s the video for extra info and enthusiasm and drama.