About Laura

Introduction

Laura is a former primary school teacher, blogger, poet and jeweller living in Sussex UK. She is a positive thinking, mum of 2 teenage boys and is happily married to Joel. Laura is an IIHer, chronic migraineur, patient advocate and mental health campaigner.

After developing a debilitating brain condition, IIH, in 2014; she sadly had to give up her 14½ year teaching career. Soon after being diagnosed, she turned her life long love of writing into this blog to document her journey with chronic illnesses. This evolved into raising awareness of disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health.

Laura runs the Mission Migraine Twitter account, which raises awareness that migraine is much more than just a headache. Laura started her own business Paprika Jewellery & Accessories after starting to make jewellery as a distraction from the pain.

She writes poetry to explore her own mental health and well-being. Laura writes about positive thinking and living her best life, despite her conditions. She hopes to inspire others to find their own sense of purpose, whatever challenges they face.

Laura is wearing a blue and white top with her dark brown, wavy hair hangs long over her shoulders with some pulled back in a clip. She is smiling anf wearing red sunglasses, sitting in front of a fir tree.
Laura in her garden in Sussex UK

I started this blog to tell my story of living with Chronic Illnesses. I share my own experiences of coping with physical and mental illnesses, positively. You can read my full story her – The Story So Far.

Overview

I’ve been married to my husband Joel since 2003 after we met at university 6 years earlier. We have 2 teenage sons together and have grown stronger together and as a family because we’ve faced physical and mental health battles together. Now we share our family’s story to raise awareness by talking about our journey. This is my story!

In 2009, aged 32, I was diagnosed with migraine after months of daily pain. With the right balance of treatments, including alternative therapies, I returned to normal life as a young mum and teacher. 5 years later, I was diagnosed with chronic migraine and a headache specialist confirmed I’d been living with undiagnosed migraine since puberty.

In 2014 I had what I thought was a migraine attack, but the pain remained constant and nothing eased the pain. I noticed some new symptoms and found a specialist ENT surgeon in Cambridge who diagnosed Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension or IIH, a rare incurable brain condition. When my neurologists found out, they refused to treat me.

My symptoms are atypical and similar to the worst migraines I’ve had, but I knew the difference. My condition deteriorated quickly but I missed the Cambridge team’s medical trial and had to wait 18 months for treatment. I felt like I’d been left to rot by all the specialists and I developed depression and anxiety. The situation was tough on my family.

Paprika Jewellery & Accessories

I started making jewellery for myself and friends as a distraction from the relentless pain. My friends loved what I was doing and persuaded me to start selling my creations. So I started Paprika Jewellery & Accessories ( Link below image) and felt I had a sense of purpose again. I’ve made pieces to fundraise for the charities that have helped me.

Visit my Etsy shop The Paprika Jewellery

I’ve been developing ‘Paprika’ so I can help others through positive thinking. Strength of Tears and Paprika Jewellery have now joined forces and will be reopening soon. Through writing poetry and creating jewellery and accessories from positive themes, I hope to inspire women and sprinkle a little joy in the world. Sign up below for a 15% discount.

Next Steps

Despite 6 major surgeries and some improvement, my condition is still debilitating. I’m mostly bed-bound and need mobility aids, a stairlift and wheelchair. Joel and my boys care for me and I have a carer each weekday. My pain remains but my cognitive function has improved. I hope for a better future, with support from my Cambridge team and GP.

I’ve developed many healthy habits over the years such as meditation and writing to help my mental health. My next step will be working on reducing pain medication, using diet, bed yoga and natural therapies. We continue to adjust our expectations and live life one day at a time. We make a great team, ensuring each day is filled with love and laughter.

Follow me on Social Media

Instagram – Strength Of Tears

Twitter – Strength Of Tears

Facebook – Laughing While You’re Crying

Pinterest – Paprika Jewellery & Strength Of Tears

Twitter – Paprika Jewellery

Instagram – Paprika Jewellery

Facebook – Paprika Jewellery & Accessories

Do you want to be the first to know what’s coming and get your hands on exclusive deals? Grab a 15% coupon code for my Etsy shop and a Free Positive Action Printable when you sign up to my occasionally regular newsletter today! Just click here now: Paprika & Strength of Tears News

Chronic Illness Bloggers

✋ Hey there! You could really help me out. Just one minute of your time to press that share button helps me so much! You’ll literally make me do a bed-bound happy dance. Now there’s an image for you! 

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