So a few weeks ago I had to see a gastroenterologist, after a year of complex stomach-related issues. I won’t go into detail because it’s gross, but I’m sure you can imagine. My consultation lasted an hour, and included an impromptu ‘examination’ and me donating a good portion of my blood for testing. The doctor (who was lovely, just FYI) thinks I have Crohns Disease.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Crohns Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It causes patches of inflammation and bleeding in the bowel, which can spread to pretty much anywhere in the digestive tract (or so I’m told). It also comes with a range of non-stomach related symptoms, such as mouth ulcers, sore, itchy eyes, skin rashes and the worst fatigue. Seriously, I felt less tired in my first trimester than I do now – and we all know how exhausting that can be.
Needless to say I left full of questions and feeling a bit miserable. My mother has a chronic illness and I watched it progress as I grew up. I don’t want to put that on my own daughter.
I was sent away with an appointment for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy, a huge box of nuclear-grade laxatives, and instructions about restricting my diet and preparing for the proceedures. Did I mention that my appointment is on November 25th? As in, Black Friday??
Black Friday is an American tradition that has infiltrated the UK in the past few years. On Black Friday, prices are insanely low, on almost everything. Last year the price of a large TV in Asda (our version of Walmart) was so low that people physically fought each other for the last one – it was madness. People were arrested, tantrums ensued at stores where the dramatically marked-down stock had sold out. It’s the shopping event of the year for those of us who are skint and need a bargain right before Christmas.
So as I sat with The Boyfriend last night, feeling a little sorry for myself as I explained what I can and can’t eat next week, I realised that my appointment coincided with the shopping mania that is Black Friday. “I’m going to miss black friday!” I wailed, pouting hard and resenting my messed-up insides. The Boyfriend offered his condolences and reminded me that finding out why I can’t retain food was a little more important, which obviously I know and agree with, but I still feel a little miffed.
In my absence, I’d like to share with you some Black Friday deals I have scouted out, so that you can make the most of shopping-frenzy.
- Amazon is the first place you should be looking; their Black Friday event started on the 14th of November and will continue until 23.59pm on the 25th. They are running offers including 60% off Sharpie products – a great gift for teens, students and artistic adults – and have a PS4 headset with microphone at £14.99 for the gamer in your life. All of their offers will be while stock lasts, and they will have new “lightening deals” every day, so keep your eyes peeled.
- Another retailer who has already started Black Friday sales is Argos – which you probably know thanks to their colourful yeti advert on TV. The great thing about Argos is that their prices are already competitive, and you have the option of reserving a product for convenient store collection or ordering online – most products can be delivered same day for a small fee. Offers include a Bush Spira B1 10inch 32gb tablet at £79.99 (was £149.99), a Babyliss for Men Carbon Titanium Grooming Kit at £24.99 (was £69.99) and a VTech Toot Toot Ride On at £31.99 (was £79.99). Plus plenty more, of course.
- Tesco are playing their cards close to their chest this year, with a Black Friday countdown on their website. Offers will be visible on the 25th, and are expected to mirror last years up to 1/3rd off tech – as well as competing with Sainsburys and Asda on toys.
- Catalogue type stores such as Littlewoods or Very tend to do very well on Black Friday. They aim at low prices anyway, and often stock the ‘popular’ gift options at this time of year, so hop onto their websites and check out their deals.
Along with the above, be sure to check out your local town centre as in-store deals will go quickly. Watch out for ‘fake’ deals online, where a product claims to be reduced but actually isn’t; to avoid this stick to trusted websites like Amazon – places you have shopped before.
Most importantly, don’t spend more than you have and don’t be bummed out if you miss a deal – there are others! Just try to enjoy the crazy sales weekend, and be kind to one another!