Monday, 11 April 2016

Serving It

Serving it! I spent six months like this in 2015... I put on a lot of weight and had to make a lot of adaptations... I thought I was absolutely fine mentally if that was the way the rest of my life was to be. I felt happy with all the achievements I'd already made in my 39 years on the planet and so I set out to be the best wheelchair roller and wear the finest outfits that my body could manage...

I'd been ill for some time, sleeping an awful lot and struggling with my memory, so I was already going through tests.

Then I basically woke up one morning completely numb from the waist down. At this point I struggled to walk and became incontinent. Amazing. At first, I found it funny... Then when it didn't go away after a few days, I got a little worried and wondered if I'd had a stroke and then decided to go to my doctor. Who sent me straight to hospital for tests.

At first they thought it was MS, but very rapidly I started going so downhill with muscle twitches, spasms, numbness, a constant tremor, extreme fatigue that had me sleeping for days on end and worst of all, a brain that literally couldn't put a sentence together. I spent days lying in my own urine soaked sheets, too embarrassed to ask for help and not wanting to trouble my already exhausted children. Harsh times.

On top of that, I couldn't run my business and was actually too ill and confused to fill in any forms to claim benefits, so the debt began piling up. I am so lucky to have generous friends and family and a kind landlord who waited patiently for me to pay my rent.

They were thinking it could be motor neurones disease. And to be honest, everything certainly looked that way for a while. I didn't let it worry me too much... I had achieved an awful lot with my life because I have always lived it to the max under the belief that I have to live life for both myself and my already severely disabled sister. I joked that we could now play bumper cars together and I figured that if my body shut down and I ended up like Stephen Hawkin, it would be a good thing, because then at least I would finally get to finish my book and sort out my blog because there'd be no physical distractions getting in the way.

I'd always known I'd been under too much stress for the last few years, but was sure I could manage it. It wasn't work and business that was the problem, it was all the other hell that we were facing behind he scenes.

And so, after all the scans and tests came back inconclusive and my neurologist began looking at autoimmune disorders, I began my own research and took matters into my own hands. I forced myself to walk to the shops using crutches. I would often stop and cry with frustration and I overhauled my diet following the autoimmune protocol... Little by little I began to have more good days than bad... 

Once I got down to using just the one crutch I went to see my consultant neurologist to show her how much better I was... "Well done," she exclaimed! "You're doing everything right. Now don't get stressed..." Errrr, how exactly does one not get stressed? 

At that point, I literally dragged myself to the gym, still using my crutch, climbing onto the equipment and making myself work at the astonishment of other gym goers. It was hard and hellish. But every push helped.

In October 2015, just before my 40th birthday I was able to leave the house and walk a decent distance unaided. 

So now I'm in a very good place. I still have extreme pain and days when I just can't do anything but sleep. But the muscle twitches are much less frequent and less severe and the numbness has pretty much gone which was causing me to walk funnily. I stick to the diet 90% of the time, but I'm human, I do give in to cravings, it just means I pay for it with my energy levels.

And seeing as I can't eat and drink what I want to and have to eat like an athlete, I'm working on getting the body of an athlete and trying my best to train as hard as I can on the days that my health will let me.

Now I can dance, I can run and my God do I bloody love life.

I'm very lucky that I am a head strong switched on intelligent woman and have been able to help myself. I don't know how others just manage who fall into the system of the unhelpable... I'm still working out how I can help others in this situation.

As a result of my own experience. I wrote myself a cheap and manageable bucket list which I call my #bargainbucketlist no doubt I will keep adding to it. Because asides from bringing up my children i need there to be purpose in life and I love a challenge.

Bargain bucketlist 

Walk to the shop unaided  ✔️
Ride a bike again ✔️ (managed this before I could walk properly)

Run again✔️ (got on my nemesis the treadmill in jan 2016)

Climb again✔️ (had my first climb in March 2016, felt exhilarating)

Enter pancake race at school even if it's in a wheelchair✔️ (I won it on foot)
Get a bikini body

Model in fit wear/bikini

Go up the shard✔️
Learn to use my sewing machine

Fall in love

Follow my progress on Instagram: Headhuntress

And for daily updates and whole load of comedy, follow my snapchat story which is also: Headhuntress

Monday, 14 March 2016

Onwards and Upwards (Going back to 2012)

I have many guises... Mother,  Boutique Market Owner, trader, writer, music maker, singer, social media whore, event organiser, wearer of ridiculous clothes...  They all have their own online sites.  But this blog is one of my earliest. It is not "the" earliest as some of my earlier personal blogs have well and truly been scrapped.  The angst ridden years from around 2003-2006 in which I blogged about pain and horror are long gone without even so much as a sedentary Myspace account as proof.

Because this is one of my earliest blogs and it doesn't really have it's niche or in fact any rhyme or reason.  It is my haven.  A place where I can write what I want to.  Only, last year was full of so many incredible highs and lows that I wonder how I am not in an asylum.

I have suffered from depression in the passed.  But despite the horrors the children and I have experienced, I have not felt the need to go the doctor.  I haven't asked for medication, or counselling or help from friends and family.  People look at me and are amazed at the things I achieve as a lone parent.  I like to be a good role model and am happy to be an inspiration.  But very few people know the truth of what the children and I have had to endure last year.  

In time I am sure that I will share with my readers of what we have been through as I want to raise awareness of some of the issues we have faced.  I wish I wasn't being dramatic.  I look at people suffering with their daily miseries - and I think - "Wow, you would not survive for ten minutes in my life."

And when it comes down to it.  I think that is just it, because I have had to deal with so many incredibly difficult things, it makes absolutely everything else seem easy.  When the difficult things rear their ugly heads, I am in a position to deal with them better and move on even though I feel like rolling around on the floor wailing and gnashing my teeth. It also makes all the wonderful lovely things that happen, even more appreciated.

I want to begin with the beginning, so I will write a series of posts chronicling our life in the past few years.

2012 began on a high. I was single and not exactly loving it because I was suddenly realising that most of Southsea men were single for a reason.  I very much wanted to remain single, but at the same time, I just couldn't do the player thing.  I am Mrs Monogomous through and through. I can only manage one man at a time, no matter how casual.  But many of the men I met seem to have different ideas.  I think this bohemian attitude may be down to the fact that Southsea men are spoilt.  It's a tremendously small place.  Every woman I see is thoroughly gorgeous in all shapes and sizes and they can all hold a conversation and make me laugh.  A lot.

Anyway, that's no my point, I digress....I had made amazing tracks with the Boutique Market and had just been accepted for Victorious Vintage a festival I was looking to put on at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with another business, Love Southsea.  It was exciting times.  Suddenly I was doing work that I loved.  Work that mattered.  Work that meant something.  I knew that I wasn't going to be making any real money as the scale of what we were hoping to achieve was way beyond our budget.  But if we all pulled it off, it would mean good things for the following year.  Incidentally, I asked my friend Ben if he could help and the entire Little Johnny Russells/Belle Isle team came on board. Victorious Vintage was better than any of us could have imagined, but more about that later.

James my oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD.  Now,  it took me along time to get his autism diagnosed and now that he had the ADHD diagnosis, it looked like he was finally going to get the help that he needed from his school.

Trailer for Solitary the movie