My Endometriosis Diagnosis

Hi,

so as I briefly mentioned in my last blog post,  that I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis last month & took a few weeks off to research, process & make some changes.

My diagnosis came as a  complete relief, after more than 10 years of being sent for ultrasound scans, blood tests, & even being initially diagnosed with  PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Since I was a teenager I spent years of experiencing abnormally long periods, excruciating pain (during my cycle & also before it, during ovulation), which often left me feeling drained, anaemic, doubled up in pain & unable to concentrate. As well as making that time of the month a total burden on me, I also felt like a burden to my doctors. Now I feel completely vindicated & that it wasn’t just in my head.

ENDOMETRIOSIS

What is endometriosis?
It’s when the endometrium tissue that lines the womb grows outside of it. Growing in other areas like on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel & in extreme cases can even spread to other body parts like the lungs. It’s a condition that  leaves you with chronic pain & some women also experience pain during sex, urination, or during bowel movements as well as stomach upset.

endometriosis-womb-diagramPrior to my diagnosis I had no idea about this illness & exactly how common it is. Endometriosis affects around 1.5million women in the UK & 5.5Million in the US alone. It’s crazy to know that a disease that affects so many women around the world can so often go completely undiagnosed. Even more frustrating is that symptoms can often be overlooked by doctors as Menorrhagia (abnormanly heavy period) & period pain.

 

TREATMENT

I still have more tests to undergo, but have spoken to my gynaecologist about possible treatment options. Endometriosis can cause infertility & there is no known cure for it, however doctors can prescribe hormone treatment like the contraceptive pill or IUD. A common procedure is laparoscopic surgery to cut out the tissue. I haven’t had children yet it has been pretty tough news to process, & Im not really trying to rush to surgery without first trying a holistic approach.

As you may recall from a previous post I decided to go vegan on boxing day, & I have really felt the benefits since then. Through eating plant-based, I’ve helped to minimise the pain & have even seen my cycle start to regulate alittle. Dairy causes inflammation & is a known agitator of the condition, so im super happy I listened to my body & cut it out. It really makes me wonder about the hormones & antibiocs the meat industry use & how they can cause such havoc in our bodies (spiritually & physically).

I meditate more frequently & have actively sort to minimise stress in my life. I’ve joined a gym & taken on a personal trainer as weight gain is a symptom & has been an issue for me. I’m devoting time to passion projects & making a point to express myself. I am a firm believer in our bodies ability to heal itself if given the right nourishment. It’s not just what we eat that feeds us so I’ve decided to take a proactive approach to healing.

DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER

My Endometriosis Diagnosis

Sometimes we can feel as if we are demanding too much, & can be intimidated by medical professionals, but you must trust your gut. Especially when it comes to your health trust your gut & don’t take no for an answer. If you feel something is up consult your doctor & don’t be afraid to be persistent. In the UK it takes an average of 7.5 yrs before diagnosis, which could mean the difference between a healthy recovery & infertility  so speak up!

I found some links to a helpful endometriosis sites:

I really hope sharing my experience helps someone. Please comment on your experience & hit me up if you are going through this. Wishing you good health!

HAPPY CONSTRUCTION

A x 💋

POP ART NOIR

Hi!

So as you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a few weeks. I just wanted to take some time to make some changes after my recent endometriosis diagnosis. I’ve really been on a path to connect to self & health & unexpectedly for me, I found a way through design & getting some of my other artistic ideas out outside of music.

I’ve always been able to draw since I was little, but recently I’ve been dabbling in digital art on my Wacom tablet. Digital art drawing on an tablet is a new feeling to adapt to at first, but I really do enjoy it & when I get better I’ll most definitely showcase some of my final art.

POP ART NOIR

With the help of a super talented experienced digital artist, I’ve been designing some merch for my range called POP ART NOIR.

POP ART NOIR is inspired by 1950’s British & later American pop art, which found a way to incorperate popular culture & challenge views on  fine art.  To me (who is by no means an expert), the most recognisable names probably being Roy Lichtenstein & Andy Warhol but my favourite are Japanese artist; being the female conceptual artist who some would say was one of the pioneers of pop art Yayoi Kusama & graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo. Whose Marilyn Monroe piece is so dope to me.

So in the spirit of challenging views, my own or otherwise…I wanted to create  images of a 1950’s style dark skinned pin up. Inspired by Yokoo & Warhols ode to Marilyn Monroe; I wanted to flip the script… hence ‘Melanin Monroe‘ being the first in the POP ART NOIR line.

CHALLENGING BEAUTY STANDARDS

In order to challenge standards, I feel you have to challenge your own, & that was definitely true for me in creating this piece. As a long time wig/weave wearer, taking my natural self & holding that up & calling it art was something I had a pang of doubt about at first. An all too common story in this world where our natural God given afro hair or features can be seen as intimidating or considered unprofessional. reflecting on these feelings, I had a few questions to ask.

Why can’t someone that looks like me been seen as pin up worthy? Why is that beauty real estate, exclusively reserved for skin & hair types that differ from my own? & more importantly, why can’t I, me, Ayak see myself as an example of a pin up?

After a lot of soul searching, armed with my photo I began sketching my idea’s to explain to my digital artist to refine… & POP ART NOIR was born.

Please let me know your feedback in the comments section, I absolutely welcome ideas & discussion. I’d love for this blog to be a safe space to dialogue, to grow & to heal.

HAPPY CONSTRUCTION

A x  💋

 

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We’re #1  with Nano’s ‘Hold on’

 

#1 Nano#1

Super happy to say Hold on by Swedish artist Nano is #1 on Swedish iTunes singles chart, #1 on the album chart (melodifestvalen compilation), is at 10 million + streams on spotify & is the 2nd most played record on swedish radio (Lets be real, there’s no catching this Ed Sheeran train) & makes this my first co-write to top the Swedish chart!

Melodifestvalen 2017

nano 2

Nano performing @ Melodifestvalen final 2017

It was a tense time watching my first Melodifestvalen tonight (Swedish Song competition to pick which song will represent Sweden at the Eurovision song contest) but Nano gave a steller delivery of Hold on, however was pipped to the post by 13 points awarded by the foreign jury (No Shade).

giphy

Eurovision song contest

The Eurovision song contest started in 1956 after the second world war in an effort to create a more peaceful & unified Europe. Each country awards points to it’s favourite song & the winning country gets to host the following years contest. Last year saw Austrailia participate for the first time despite being the only non European country. Eurovision is also the most watched non sports event in the world.

THE PEOPLES CHAMP!

Despite not winning the actual final, Nano has proved to be the peoples champ. Voted first choice by telephone vote by the Swedish people. (I can’t lie, some of the tweets I’ve read have had me in stitches! Comparing the victory to the US electoral college vote vs the popular vote). It’s been a drama filled night but a fun one & either way Nano still wins. Not just being bias, but his personal story is amazing, he’s a talented artist/writer & it has truely been an honour to be part of his first chart success. He really does deserve it!

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Tweet by @Bdkswe

 

Hold On is out now on itunes & Spotify 🍾

HAPPY CONSTRUCTION

A x 💋

 

 

 

Why I keep a Blessing Jar!

Hi,

So I celebrated my birthday over the weekend & I started thinking about life, as we all tend to do this time of year. I really just had to give thanks. Even though I may not have achieved all my goals or ticked off everything from my vision board. I’m alive, healthy & moving towards it a day at a time.

A lot is happening at the moment, both in the world & personally & I just reached a place at the top of the year where I just refuse to let the external shake the internal. Sometimes it’s easier said then done, but Im really making a point to be mindful.

Counting my blessings with a blessing Jar!

This new years eve, I decided not to go the usual route of  seeing the old year out by going out & entering the new year drunk, nursing a hangover or just plane exhausted.

Instead I burnt some sage, meditated & rang in the year with starting a blessing jar. I told myself that each time I feel a blessing, I would acknowledge itwrite it down on a piece of paper, fold it up & put it into the blessing jar (I hung my crystal pendants around the mason jar for extra energy).

This way I can keep my vibes high through gratitude &  if i’m going through a challenging point (which we all do at times) I can just dip into my blessing jar & be reminded that good things happen & to stay encouraged!

I feel like when you’re grateful for the small things, the big things follow & that gratitude really is the gateway to abudance. However i’m human after all & the tendancy to overthink or dwell on the negative is all too easy,  I want  more balance & that’s why I keep a blessing jar!

I got mine off Amazon, & it was pretty cheap. I think it could be an amazing tool to use with children, to practice mindfulness & gratitude. You could turn it into an activity & get them to customise & decorate their own jars.

Let me know if you have any dope tips & tricks you’ve picked up along the way that keep the vibes high.

HAPPY CONSTRUCTION

A x 💋

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That being said, i’ll sign off with my favourite song from Biggie.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of his passing, Im grateful for his life! 🙏🏿 ….

Its all good baby bay-bay

 

Noisey Premiers ‘Lit’ by Banx N Ranx ft Me!

Ok so Noisey just premiered the music video of ‘Lit’ the new single by Banx N Ranx (aka Soké and KNY Factory) featuring vocals from yours truly😁! I’ve been waiting a little while for this one to drop so i’m super excited it’s finally here.

The song was recorded in London, where I’m from & the video was shot in Montreal where the boys are from, so it’s a real UK/Canada link up. Banx N Ranx have been crafting their ECM (electronic Caribbean music) sound  for a minute now & have produced & remixed for the likes of Sean Paul & Sizzla. You can definitley hear the caribbean influence all over this record too. Let me know what you think by dropping a comment  …Enjoy!

A x 💋

Lit is out through parlophone records

ITUNES 

SPOTIFY

APPLE MUSIC