Saturday, 25 October 2014

Smiling is my favourite


I always face the world with a smile and I love to tackle problems with a pinch of humour, it's the only way to keep going even when things are tough.

I have had some testing times and I've ended up rolling around in laughter because I think being too stressed and serious can have a detrimental effect, not only on the way your think, but how you deal with things.

I'm fond of the occasional sexual inuendo, in fact I was compared to a "walking carry on film" oooh matron, but I love seeing others laugh and smile even if it contains an eye roll or two.

Playing in the brass band I'm a member of I often have a giggle with my fellow euphonium player, my partner in crime, mostly because I love to laugh, it relaxes me, I feel less stressed and less nervous when I'm giggling. We share stories on the stand, laugh at our mistakes yet always work hard to play as a team, trying to make our part as best as we can get it, you can't have a good working relationship without humour and he is beyond doubt one of the funniest guys I've met. In fact my entire section are fab and the people in the band and the MD make playing enjoyable and a great social event.


My children have shared my funny bone and they all have great senses of humour, even my son who is four can pull out a movie quote in context and make us all laugh. 

My hubs is truly hilarious that's what attracted me to him many years ago, he could make me laugh, smile and that sold it to me, mine and his humour is very similar so you can imagine what it's like at my house, constant banter, movie quotes and finding the lighter side of life.

Like what elf says - "smiling is my favourite" - 






Sunday, 19 October 2014

Autumn leaves

 
This time of year is my equally my favourite and my saddest. On the 16th October I celebrate the birth of my daughter and also the birthday of my late grandfather. It's always a bitter sweet day, he was always so happy to share his birthday with Belle, always made a fuss of her and it was beautiful. When he passed suddenly in January 2011 his birthday remains a time of happy reflection.

The 18th October is the anniversary of my Nan's death, this day is still very hard for me even though it was now over 10 years ago, she passed away two days before my 18th birthday, it was a shock and I have always approached the 20th of October -my birthday- with a tinge of sadness. So many emotional times our family have experienced in this week before, with not much celebration at all.

This year my hubs took me away to the Lake District a place that we both love, he is currently still suffering with his knee which required me to do the driving but it is such a perfect place that even driving is enjoyable,

Getting away for a few days has been wonderful, feeling the autumnal wind whip around my hair, seeing the tips of the trees slowly setting into their golden colours, the heavy moody sky above that delivered plenty of crisp rain into my face, it was beautiful.

Plenty of hand-holding and laughter was the perscription for a great birthday and it has been the best birthday I have had for a very long time.

Here are a few pictures of the beauty that I've seen this weekend.







Friday, 19 September 2014

Reaching out into the mist

I'm going to apologise firstly because this is a post about my illness, it's not attention seeking or a personal pity party for one but I know after writing this blog for over 5 years, that the people who read this are my friends in either real life or virtual life and it's been the place where I pour out my heart so that's what I'm going to do.

After a fabulous weekend I've certainly been paying for it health wise, thanks to this damn illness that I've been stubbornly trying to ignore. Well it seems that it won't be ignored and it has made that perfectly clear this week.

I've got a neurological illness called iih (intercranial hypertention) , it basically means that the cerebral fluid that is in my head is at a raised pressure. This raised pressure puts pressure on my optic nerves and has changed my quality of vision, I see a bulge in the middle of straight lines which is very annoying when it comes to reading or looking at anything with a straight line.....so most things, it has also reduced my field of vision which is monitored at the eye hospital regularly, my colour vision has changed in two small patches which look like triangular camera flashes and my night vision is pretty poor too. 

Ontop of that I have soul sucking fatigue which is amplified by the medication that I'm taking to reduce the pressure in my eyes, a daily headache which isn't relieved by anything, nausea, photophobia, and when it is really bad it feels like my brain is working slower.

Yesterday I was trying to change a few things in a letter I was typing and I could not figure out how to sort out the spacing on a paragraph, my brain knew what to do but my hands and eyes just weren't working at the same speed, after dropping the keyboard and using every bit of energy I had to concentrate I finished it and cried in furious frustration.

Frustration is what I'm feeling the most at the moment, frustration that I'm inside the house on a sunny day because I know the sun hurts my eyes and my head, which in turn makes me sensitive to anything therefore I become a crabby, moody mess which is no good when you have children, so I'm starting to have to make choices.

For example, Do I go out and enjoy a nice long walk in the sun in the morning, get some well needed fresh air but be so gut wrenchingly tired by the time the children come home from school that I have to go to bed, or do I hide inside the house but be fine for when the children come home?

I've made that choice this morning to stay home because yesterday I chose the first option and after nearly throwing the computer out of the window in frustration I went to bed to try and sleep off the brain fog and thumping headache. Then I went to band rehearsal which I'm not playing well at either, I feeling like I'm doing everything at 50 percent and not even doing a good job even then.

So what's is the future? Ŵell the damn thing is incurable so it is managed by drugs and apparently weight loss can help so I've dropped 32 pounds over the past two months to see if it reduces my optic disk swelling, I'm back to university in a week and I don't know how the illness is going to react but I will finish my degree even if my eyesight doesn't recover or gets worse.

And me? Well it's been hard to come to terms with having a chronic illness, I feel like I've lost a lot of my independence, the regular hospital trips and the invasive procedures like the lumbar punctures are quite uncomfortable and expensive thanks to hospital car parking charges!! But my husband has been my rock as always and I hope when I go back to the hospital next week they might have some good news for me and the swelling in my eyes has reduced.

This is what I'm facing at the moment and it's tough really tough, having to let go of my 'normal' self and having to ask for help and learning to say no when I'm having a bad day is now a reality, so I apologise if I seem distant and I apologise that I'm not my cheery self. I may look fine on the outside but inside I'm not fine, I'm just trying to reach out into the mist.






Monday, 15 September 2014

Duxford Airshow 2014




I took hubs away for his birthday to see both days of the Duxford Air show and it was without a doubt the best weekend I have had for a while.

My husband is a big aircraft fan and so am I, I grew up watching air shows and loving all things that flew through the air. We managed to see concord's final flight and this is the first air show we have been able to watch as a couple.

We were lucky enough to see the Vulcan, the two Lancaster bombers, the Red Arrows, a spectacular re-enactment of a World War one dog fight with 8 different planes in the air at once, we saw Spitfires, bi-planes, tri-planes, jets, some amazing American war birds (or flying legends) and so many more breath taking aircraft that made the sky buzz with matching excitement from the crowds.

I was fan girling beyond belief and hearing that Vulcan howl was just breath taking!!! I'm already planning for our trip to the show next year!







I took so many pictures so here a few of my favourites and there will be more to follow!!










There pictures are taken by myself and are only to be used/shared with my permission - Thanks!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Miles of time

All the children have gone back to school this week, even my youngest has started full time school, so for the first time in around nine years I have the school hours of the day to myself.

But what will you do with yourself you might be asking?

Well for starters my second year of my Journalism Degree at university begins in a couple of weeks so I will be throwing myself back into learning, I can't wait to get back and get stuck into everything journo and media related. I have three lessons a week at the Media City campus at Salford University.

On top of that hubs and I are addressing our fitness levels and are going to be actively walking 5 to 8 miles a day whilst the children are at school. Hubs still has his knee problem so combined with his physiotherapy, lots of walking should aid his rehabilitation and hopefully get him a step closer to a pain free life.

I've been enjoying taking my camera out on our walks to try and capture some great images of the wonderful wildlife and countryside we have on our doorstep.

You can have a look at some of the images I've already taken of our walks on these posts here and here 

Walking has certainly become a great escape mechanism, especially when I have a bad day with my illness, sometimes it's hard just to get out of bed, but knowing after a few miles I will have my breath taken away by magnificent views is enough motivation to give my illness two fingers as I walk.








Monday, 25 August 2014

Disposable knickers and more bad luck

So my illness saga is still rambling on, I went into hospital on Thursday for an X-ray guided lumbar puncture which I had been dreading as the first three attempts were terribly painful. The whole procedure went surprisingly well, I had to be there for 8am and I was first in. 

I got gowned up and slipped on the very attractive disposable pants which were very much like a shower cap with leg holes, I couldn't figure out which way they were meant to go but on they went and I hoisted them up with all their glory.

I only panicked once and then I did the shuffle to the theatre hoping a large gust of wind didn't bare my disposable knicker adorned arse to the rest of the ward.

 #gownie - selfie but with disposable underwear

The operating table was very narrow and very hard so I was on my side, my gown undone and my arse was once again on show to the theatre staff, I obviously had hoiked up the perilous pants too far as the doctor asked the nurse to pull them down quite a few times. Also it was blooming freezing in there and all the male nurses were called James, it was quite confusing, every second or so someone leaned over my arse, smiled, introduced themselves as James and asked if I was ok.

Anyway the needle went in, I leaked the csf fluid, they got the pressure and told me it was very high, I was patched up and James number 3 told me to "do a roll of faith" onto the trolley, I liked James number 3, James number 2 seemed like he needed more coffee and James number 1 had been too close to my arse watching the doctor do his thing.

I went into recovery for 20 minutes as my blood pressure dropped and then was wheeled back to my cubical, I felt fine off I went home all sorted.

Friday

Someone has removed my brain and replaced it with bricks and someone is bashing the bricks everytime I move, what is this fresh hell?

Seriously why can I not sit or stand up without pain..........

*reads discharge notes* 

"side effect of headache quite common, drink plenty, drink caffeine, take pain killers

I do all these things, in agony, go to bed early hoping it goes away.

Saturday

Nope head is still made of bricks and more people are smashing them, oh and nausea now and vomiting how lovely.

I tolerated the pain all day but I look and feel terrible so I phone up my ward I was on for a bit of advice and they aren't happy with the way I'm feeling, so I have to go back in to hospital. Not as easy as it sounds as my mum was working, my dad was playing in his brass band and hubs has to watch the children, so I travelled to A&E in a rapid response ambulance, that was fun apart from trying not to throw up, was admitted to hospital and shoved in a cupboard with a drip as there are no beds.

 Driptastic

Finally after seeing a consultant comfy bed and oramorph, lovely anaesthetist comes to see me and explains that the place where the needle punctured during my lumbar puncture to get my csf fluid, is leaking and that is causing the immense headaches and why I only get relief when lying down. It should heal but I've just been unlucky but it's not uncommon for some people to experience this, hopefully in a few days I'll feel better.

The light is hurting my head so I decide to wear my sunglasses in my hospital bed, it was a good idea as I eventually fell asleep and they kept the lights on until 1am!!!!! I looked like a diva but I wasn't in pain which was a winner.

 Not a diva, medicinal photophobia reasons 

Sunday

Feeling a bit better and allowed to go home with oramorph.

Monday

 Breakfast

Boredom has took over but I'm still in pain, I'm hoping that I'll feel better enough tomorrow to be able to sit up and not have to lie down all the time. 

 Flowers from very lovely hubs who has been so fantastic.



Monday, 18 August 2014

Hike to the Pike

I've had a terrible couple of days with my illness, it really knocks me off my feet when it flares up so when I woke up again with my head pounding and my vision was terrible I decided that I just had to push through it hoping that some lovely clean air might brighten me up a bit.

On our travels around Park Bridge we came across a walking route to Hartshead Pike, a tower that stands at 940 feet above sea level. it has always fascinated me so off I went to go see it up close and personal.

The weather was not in my favour as it blasted me shower after shower but I carried on, half of the route was on paths and bridleways but it soon turned to field and mud.




This field in particular, where the directions said 

"At the top of the hill, cross the stile and bear right along the side of the ditch. On reaching the pond go left over a small bridge"

After a week of rain the pond was a river and the bridge was submerged, I nearly lost my shoe in some particularly deep, cold mud which was mixed with cow pats....yum. But the target was in sight and I wasn't about to give up!





After the field it wanted me to go through more mud soaked grass, I folded the map up put it into my backpack and got out the gps on my phone and followed the driving instructions which took me down some amazing quiet lanes with beautiful houses, the wind was whistling but the rain had stopped, after a swig of water I continued the steady climb which gradually got steeper and steeper.

Finally I got there and oh was it worth it, the sun came out and it was gorgeous.













It was a long walk, 10.69 Miles in total but I felt great afterwards and I absolutely love having this beautiful scenery near my home.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Summer holiday walks

This week has been a week of exploring and walking. We love a good adventure in our family so we decided to do a local trail walk to an old ruin of an iron works. It was a longish walk for the children, a 5 mile circular trek but we enjoyed it and took in the sights and sounds of the local countryside.


We did a bit of wild blackberry picking which I've not done before but we got a great haul of beautiful richly coloured berries.


The scenery is gorgeous and the children loved wandering around looking at the brightly coloured plants, spotting wildlife and dodging plenty of horse manure on the bridleways.





We walked past this purple paradise which was wonderful.





We arrived at our destination, it is called Park Bridge and is a great space for the children to explore and to have a well deserved picnic.


 We successfully walked over 10 miles as a family this week and hopefully will do the same next week, hubs and I are tackling a longer walk on Sunday as the children are off to their grandparents to be spoilt so I will as some more photos of that walk soon.

Hope you all are surviving the summer holidays, have a look at my other post for some more cheap family days out ideas if you need some inspiration. Oh and the wild blackberries turned into a fantastic jam which i will share the recipe for soon.