How old are you?
No, really, how old are you?
Contrary to popular belief based on how old I look, I really am 25 years of age. I was born on June 26, 1991, if you don’t believe me. 😛
How do you pronounce your name?
Sha-von. I know, you’d never get that from Siobhan, but it’s Irish and I love it 🙂
Where did you come up with the name Beauty Bylaws?
It’s one of those weird concepts that came to me in the middle of the night. I’ve found that I tend to be most creative when I’m in bed, drifting asleep, with no pen in sight (figures), but this was one of those solid ideas that (luckily) stuck with me until I woke up the next morning!
What did you study in school?
Communications & Media Studies
What’s this sickle cell anemia thing you keep mentioning?
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary blood disorder that affects approximately 2,000,000 people around the world. There are a variety of different forms of sickle cell, but I, personally, have the full blown anemia. It can cause a plethora of complications, minor to major, including blindness, stroke and/or death. You can read more about it here or here.
How has sickle cell anemia affected you?
Well, some people go through life barely being affected by sickle, but I’ve not had the best of luck with it. I haven’t gone through my health scenario blow by blow in a post, but long story short, between the ages of 17-19, so, December 2008 -July 2010, I suffered from 1 subarachnoid hemorrhage and 2 strokes. I lost a variety of things as a result of these events, including speech and movement in my right arm and leg temporarily. On July 10, 2010, I had a cerebral bypass, which basically means a very talented surgeon connected two veins in my brain together so that I no longer have to live in fear of stroke. Of course, there is still a chance that any other veins in my brain could stop functioning properly, but my health team and I take precautions against that. Yes, the traumatic brain events are a direct result of having sickle cell, but there are lots of other factors as well. The important thing, though, is that I managed to recover completely (aside from some mental/emotional scarring, but that will fade in time) and am doing well at present time. 🙂
What’s that funny mark on the right side of your chest? Is it a birthmark? Tattoo?
Haha, no, not a birthmark or a tattoo! In October 2012, I had minor surgery to get a Portacath inserted, and that is the scar that was left behind. A portacath is a tiny little mechanism that is made up of titanium and plastic, and it is designed to sit just underneath someone’s skin. Its main purpose is to lead to/from veins in the chest that make blood exchanges easier to execute. Confused yet? Haha! Basically 90% of the reason why I seem/am so healthy today is because of a monthly blood exchange that I get from a local hospital. During these procedures, my yucky, basically non-functional sickle cells get removed, while healthy, fresh, new, wholesome red blood cells get put back in. The whole procedure takes about 2½ hours and I can fully function as normal after (albeit a little tired). It used to be a pain and a half (no pun intended, ha!) to get these procedures done, because they used to have to find veins in my arms/legs to do it, but since having the portacath, they just do it from there. I have to be honest, I was VERY against the portacath in the beginning, but it has revolutionized my life! I can swim, bathe, sweat as normal, but I don’t have to worry about the nurses in the hospital I go to having to poke me up to 12 times (true story, that has happened TWICE before – not fun). It’s a win, win!
Why do you always look so cheerful? Do you ever get down days?
Of course! I am HUMAN. Especially given what I’ve been through health-wise in my short little lifetime, I get down days and trust me when I say that they are DOWN days. Luckily, though, these down days don’t come too often and I don’t really feel the need to “try” to be happy or cheery or smiley the rest of the time, it’s my natural disposition. It must be the coping mechanism given to me by the universe! 🙂
I’m looking for beauty advice/a friend and/or I have a business opportunity, can I reach out to you?
Of course! Part of the WHOLE REASON for starting a blog was to connect to people just like me, be they fellow beauty-lovers, sickle cell patients, or anything in between! Feel free to contact me anytime through my contact page or email me at siobhan [ at ] beautybylaws.com. You can also find me at any of my social media pages, but I am always easily reached through my twitter. 🙂