Favourite Athleisure – Staying Warm & Comfy!

What’s your favourite Athleisure wear? Do you prefer joggers? Hoodies? Trainers? As a spoonie, I love warm cosy hoodies the most. I have quite a collection of hoodies, especially as I struggle to stay warm. I’ve been doing some online window shopping for comfy Athleisure wear to keep me warm this winter. 

Favourite Athleisure

At the moment my favourite hoody is an Umbro one I picked up in Asda on sale for £4! It’s so cosy and it’s smart enough for me to wear out with my jeans on a cold day too. It’s very similar this one below from the Umbro site. 

Photo Credit: Umbro.co.uk

Hoodie Wishlist

Of course, you can never have enough hoodies! So I’ve been eyeing up a few on the Adidas site. The Mr has an Adidas hoody almost as old as me that is still going strong, so I checked out the range Adidas has right now.

I love this oversized Trefoil Hoodie in blue, it would be perfect with jeans for nipping to the shops and lounging around indoors in.

Oversize Trefoil Hoodie Super Blue DH3181
Photo Credit: Adidas.co.uk

There is a lovely fleece purple Nike Hoodie I have my eyes on right now too! 

Nike Sportswear Women's Fleece Hoodie
Photo Credit: Nike.com 

Another lovely hoodie is this grey Sport ID Hoodie. It looks so cosy and warm! Perfect for keeping wrapped up this winter.

Sport ID Hoodie Medium Grey Heather / White CZ5667
Photo Credit: Adidas.co.uk

I love hoodies, there are so many different styles available and they really keep you warm. They can look smart with a pair of jeans whilst still staying casual and comfortable.

Joggers

I love joggers for lounging around indoors, warm yet not too restrictive! Jogging bottoms are essential for me, if we have people over I need to at least look like I’ve got dressed but due to my chronic pain wearing clothes is painful. Being able to wear joggers and a hoodie makes a big difference and there are some lovely joggers around like these Adidas Essential 3 stripe grey joggers. 

Essentials 3 Stripes Closed Hem Pants Medium Grey Heather / Haze Coral CZ5750
Photo Credit: Adida.co.uk

Trainers

Lastly, my trainers are hugely important. I may not go out much but I need something comfortable, warm and sturdy on my feet. Most boots just don’t feel right to me so I live in my Nike Air Max’s. I currently have a gorgeous black & purple pair I bought from the Nike Outlet Store. 

Favourite Athleisure

I’ve been looking for other purple trainers and the Women’s Originals Superstar range has a fab pair with purple stripes!

Superstar Shoes Ftwr White / Red Night / Silver Met. B41510
Photo Credit: Adidas.co.uk

Do you have favourite Athleisure wear? 

Recovering From A Low Patch

I’m slowly recovering from a low patch. Having felt great following my personal month of blogging challenge, losing my ESA award was a huge blow. It left us struggling financially, we spent every single day and weekend focused on finding a solution. Trying to writing the right letter and applying for the right benefits with 2 kids around can be hellish.

Recovering From A Low Patch

Benefit Changes & Accepting I Need A Carer

DWP Assessors acknowledged all my health issues and agreed they impacted my health. However, I was basically told I could work if I used a wheelchair. Sod my mental health too, just get on with it basically. Luckily I receive PIP and with the Mr spending so much time at home caring for me, doing things I can’t, reminding me to eat regularly, take my medications on time etc allowed him to claim carers allowance which also entitled him to claim income support for us.

Having a Carer

I’m not going to lie, whilst accepting that I do need a carer was hard, it was also a relief. Passing on the burden of having to fill out the form correctly made things less stressful. After 2 months of barely any money to live on, we received the benefit awards the same day as our eviction notice. Luckily that meant we could notify the council and avoid being evicted.

Getting Back On Track

I still struggled for a while, kicking myself for putting us through 2 months of hell because of my health. After a few weeks spent catching up on bills though, things finally turned around. Being able to treat the girls to what they need plus a few extras have been lovely. I felt so selfish when we had nothing, the whole family suffered because of my assessment.

Slowly picking myself back up I’ve managed to get back on track with finding out what’s going on with me. I missed blood tests after losing my award as I felt it was pointless. So what if I was ill? Everyone else was barely able to eat. Obviously now I see it probably would have helped me to carry on with the tests so I have been back to the Dr and getting back on top of it all.

Instead of pushing myself through frustration I’ve slowed down, picked up my crochet hook more and read, having more me time has helped. Recovering from a low patch can be quite wobbly, I’ve had some low days reflecting on these last few months. I’ve also been trying to make the most of being in a better situation and accepting I need more help has helped me feel better about having more me time, something the Mr is always nagging me to do!

Having A Life Again

Knowing the Mr can pick up a few beers to relax after a day of school runs, shopping, clothes washing, reminding me to person and general tidying is a huge relief. The poor bloke barely has a social life, he spends so much time at home helping us. It’s nice he can sit and relax after a long day with a cold beer.

I’ve had the chance to finally try Contact Lenses with a push from the Mr and eventually decided to go with Daily lenses instead of monthlies without feeling hugely guilty. The benefits have outweighed the costs and as the Mr is now officially my Carer he is using it as an excuse to make me listen & treat myself more!

Contact Lens

Months of apologising to the girls because we couldn’t afford to do this or buy that was hard. Luckily we were able to get out to the Dickens festival & spoilt them slightly. We made the most of being out for the first time in months which felt great. Mum guilt is horrible when you are the reason your kids are going without so it was lovely to finally say YES. Izzy was ecstatic to see The Lamplighter and he sung the Charlie Mops song just for her even though he hadn’t planned to sing it!

Eva spent some birthday money and I treated her to a few extras too. Something I hadn’t been able to do for a while! As she has become a huge Harry Potter fan we picked her up some awesome bits like this box and sign!

Being Robbed By Royal Mail & Fonegiant

The Mr made sure I finally have a working phone (LG G5!) too which was a huge relief after months of phone stress. With Fonegiant and Royal Mail both failing spectacularly with Fonegiant sending out a locked phone, in the wrong colour, followed by Royal mail losing the £180 phone.

Royal Mail can only refund the person who paid the postage which is down to Fonegiant who refuse to claim and instead keep resending me the Royal Mail Claims site page. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a phone from Fonegiant as there is no guarantee you will receive a working phone and clearly they are unwilling to help once they have the money safely in their account.

Royal Mail did eventually give me £60 compensation and accepted they have lost the phone. They refused to refund me the £180 for the phone as Fonegiant have to chase it.. Which of course Adam who owns Fonegiant is refusing to do. Having been robbed by them both in the middle of all this just made me feel even worse. I felt suicidal for the first time in years.

That refund could have fed us when we had no money coming in! Without a phone, I couldn’t book the appointments needed or answer calls from DWP which helped my assessment fail. I was immensely grateful when Mandy offered to send me a phone to help me out. She warned me it may not work with a big crack in the screen. The phone worked enough for me to make those necessary calls and I honestly can’t thank Mandy enough!

The Mr eventually bought me a G5 for £40 less than the one from Fonegiant. It arrived working, the correct colour, on the correct network! Such a relief!

Recovering From A Low Patch

Since things fell back in place, the Mr has bought me a new (working!) LG G5, allowing me to feel connected again. I can keep up with everything again, I can moan on twitter and harass Martyn and Hannah on Whatsapp (Sorry guys but you kept me sane) again. I can call and book appointments and keep in touch with my brother again. All things I felt lost without!

Hopefully, now I’ll find my blogging mojo again. I’m determined to set myself a few goals over the coming months. Blogging definitely keeps me sane, whatever I’m sharing. From sharing cool products, covering my mental & physical health, crafts, books, it all makes me feel happier. Jibbering moany rubbish helps me get everything off my chest so my head can attempt thinking logically. Sharing our ups & downs has been a massive help to me & it’s lovely to look back & see how far we’ve come.

Looking back over the last few months, we’ve been through quite a lot but there are so many positives to focus on! I have realised I have some fantastic friends I can genuinely rely on, talk openly with and feel supported by.

Going through this has shown me we can get through so much as a family. The last few months have been so stressful for us all yet we still come out stronger than ever! When you aren’t worrying so much about where the next meal is coming from everything feels amazing. I’ve been in agony at times but still, I feel grateful to finally have everything back in place.

If you are ever having a low patch, reach out, there’s always someone willing to listen. My DM’s are always open! Sometimes things like this hit us hard & small things on top can tip us over the edge but we can recover from a low patch!

My Monthly Goals – March 2018

I’m listing my monthly goals in the hope it encourages me to at least attempted them all! I rarely set goals and I want to see if setting a few this month has a positive impact. So here goes…

Monthly Goals

Monthly Goals

1. Start crocheting a pair of socks.

I am really enjoying crochet, it’s great for my mind and a distraction when my body needs to rest. Completing items leaves me feeling like I have achieved something, the fact they are practical items, blankets the girls can snuggle with etc… really adds to that. I’m determined to try crocheting socks and having warm feet at the end will be awesome!

2. Complete my 30 days of blogging!

I’ve been quietly attempting to blog for an entire month and I am pleased to say I am rather close to the end of it! It’s helped me busy my mind with upcoming assessments, uncertainty over my health, lack of phone/chasing a refund & the typical day-to-day stresses. Watching my stats jump up has been lovely to see too!

3. Complete my Blanket.

Ok this one may not be doable but it’s on my list just in case I do manage it, I’m getting so close to completing it now! I think perhaps a few crochet only days would help me achieve this by the end of the month.

4. Learn the settings on my camera.

I love my new camera, I’ve been mostly using auto for my photo’s but want to learn a bit more. I want to be able to use it in manual a little more if I can!

5. Read 2 books.

I’m half cheating as I am currently halfway through a book right now. I haven’t read properly in a few years so making 2018 a year to read more! So far I have read Elie Wiesel’s night which I stole from Hannah and motivated me to find another book. Having lost a lot of my books from lending them out I only had a few to read but I am currently reading The Lovely Bones and have Trancer waiting in my email too.

6. Survive my assessment.

With just 3 days until my rescheduled assessment he nerves have been kicking in. The fear and what-ifs floating round and round in my head. I hate having to go through it all, I hate proving how messed up my head and body are. It’s degrading and terrifying. Someone who doesn’t know you is about to make a huge decision & let’s face it, not all assessors are fair! Fingers crossed my records help!

7. Continue chasing my refund.

Having upgraded to an LGG5 last month which I bought from Fonegiant only to find it was blocked and on an American network. I wasn’t happy when the seller talked to me like an idiot who didn’t know how to use a dial pad when he sent several unlock codes. Then I returned the phone using their business labels and somehow Royal Mail have now lost the phone the evening it reached the local depot! Now I am hoping Paypal will resolve our dispute and refund me the £180. Over a month with no phone, £180 down, several stressful phone calls, lots of tears, stressful emails and still I am waiting. I am determined to get this issue resolved. Thanks to the fact I have anxiety this has basically left me stuck at home most of the time as I panic if I can’t call the Mr!

8. Do something new.

I tend to stick to the same routines, visit the same shops, eat from the same paces and I want to mix it up a bit! I’m not sure what yet but I’ll update you when I figure it out!

So these are my monthly goals for March, I hope to manage at least half if not all of them. Finger’s crossed having a list to look back on helps me achieve them!

Do you have any monthly goals?

Looking Back At 2017

Looking back at 2017, I can honestly say it was one of our better years. Things still went wrong.. a lot. But we coped better, we have some amazing people around us who have helped in so many ways to make 2017 survivable.

Looking Back At 2017

Looking Back

2017 was stressful at times, looking back at our year we have had several expensive things break. Our dishwasher was first followed by the washing machine, the new washing machine, the Mr’s phone, the cooker, my phone and of course we couldn’t end the year without one more thing break.. the Mr’s new phone. Less than 90 days old. My good friend Slim and his lovely mum have helped us a lot this year through these issues and I am eternally grateful to them. Fingers crossed 2018 is a better year with less breaking and needing replacing!

2017 has also been great in so many ways! Realising we do have some fantastic friends, blogging friends talking me through the ups and downs and giving me something to giggle over and my confidence has at least grown enough to stand up for  myself again. I have met so many lovely people through the blogging world who have helped me see I am not alone.

Blogging Buddies

We have had some fantastic days out with Martyn (Inside Martyn’s Thoughts) who we went to the Medway English Festival and the Rochester Dickens Festival with. We also met the lovely Hannah (Cupcake Mumma), Martyn’s better half. 😉 Hannah helped Martyn put on a lovely little party for Izzy’s 3rd birthday when we couldn’t manage it ourselves. They are such genuinely lovely people and it brightened up our year. 

Izzy & Martyn

A lot of lovely bloggers chipped in and bought Izzy a replacement pirate ship too. A visitor broke hers and she was absolutely devastated but she loves her new ship even more and plays with it just as much! I actually cried over this, it was such a lovely, thoughtful thing to do for Izzy!

 

Making Progress

I have travelled out of my area via public transport to visit Martyn. A small thing for most but a huge thing for me as I struggle to go too far from home especially alone. Especially just for me to get out for a break and a catch up. I think this has helped a lot with my confidence too, knowing I can do it even with a few small wobbles on the way. I’ve stopped feeling guilty for going out. Looking back I have realised its good for the Mr to spend more time with the girls alone. It’s great for me to have a break occasionally too, something I rarely do.

I have slowly learnt to manage my chronic pain better. Whilst I still over do it at times, it happens less now. I am learning my limits! This has helped with my mood so much, I no longer snap as easily as before. I am able to speak up when I know I need a hand, maybe not all the time but compared to before it is a big change! I still spend a lot of time dosed up curled in my corner recovering from something simple like a walk into town but I know when to admit I have to stop.

Coping Better

My anxiety and depression have become slightly more manageable too. I still have awful days and anxiety still eats away at me regularly but I am recognising the signs of a big meltdown and can at least let someone know I am struggling. More counselling will no doubt be needed at some point but for now I am happy I have made some progress alone. I know my anxiety is still ridiculously out of control (not helped by nurses!) but it isn’t 24/7 now maybe more 20/7. Crocheting is still calming me when I really struggle and so is blogging, hopefully over the next year I can progress some more and try to overcome the choking anxiety I feel most of the time.

Growing The Blog

Looking back the blog has grown a lot this year. Thanks to blogging we have had the chance to review some amazing products over the last few months and visited the Rainforest café to see Santa in exchange for a review which was fantastic fun for the girls. I’ve worked with some great companies on subjects that are important to me.

I wrote about the importance of handwriting in children in collaboration with Stabilo. I shared a lovely 2018 Page A Day Diary from Ryman. There are several gift guides I have worked on and lots of lovely books too. These little things remind me that I am not stupid or lazy for not working. I am still trying to do something useful. It means the girls get a few extras we otherwise couldn’t manage. 

The blog has become a big part of our life and I definitely want to carry on growing it. I would love to review more events and days out with the girls too as we really enjoy it!

Feeling Good

A lot has changed this year. Looking back through the good and the bad, I have realised I am not alone, ever. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, I just need to reach out, someone will be there. Having people to talk to this year ( I am sure some wish I would shut up at times haha!) I’ve managed to get stuff off my chest I have bottled up for years. I honestly think that has been the greatest help. I have stopped beating myself up so much and come to accept a lot of my past. Nobody is perfect and having a group of people who admit they aren’t, who listen with an open mind and just be there (even if it’s just in emoji form) has made 2017 that bit better. Thank you to everyone who has helped make 2017 survivable!

I’m hoping for a better year in 2018 with my Mr and girls with a few good friends around us. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Lets just hope no more appliances or phones die 😂😂

Tammymum

Living In A High Rise With Anxiety & Chronic Pain

Living in a high rise can be hell for me! My regular readers will know quite a bit about my anxiety & chronic pain and those that read my #worldmentalhealthawarenessweek post will know a fair bit more about my mental health. Living in a high rise flat makes all of this much more difficult. When I’m having a bad day it isn’t a case of just opening the door & stepping out into the sunshine. Being 11 floors up makes it feel like a full blown mission just to get out of the building. Sometimes it leaves me feeling so trapped I lock myself away for days at a time just to avoid the going out & coming in the block.

I definitely spend more time worrying about going out now than I did when we were in a house. Living in a high rise means you WILL bump into people on your way in and out which stresses me out, especially on bad days. I’m not a people person, I can’t do small talk, I feel awkward and panic about how I look & sound. Knowing I live in a block with some extremely violent neighbours including the guy above us (who attacked the Mr back in March) can make me panic.

The worst part about living with anxiety & chronic pain on the 11th floor is when there are issues with the lifts. If they go out of service I am either stuck upstairs or downstairs or have to push myself through the pain which generally leaves me struggling for DAYS! Our lifts go out of service quite regularly even though they were ‘replaced’ last year.

On Wednesday, after over 12 hours of hearing one lift screeching up and down and people screaming, banging and ringing the bell getting stuck in the other lift the Mr got stuck for 10 minutes. Eventually he got up to the 14th floor & the doors opened, the Mr instantly called the council to try and get them fixed.

I tried to go out an hour or 2 later and found the lifts just wouldn’t open at all so I had to brave going down the stairs with Izzy. Going down isn’t so bad but with a 2 year old sliding down the concrete steps for 11 floors my back was agony by the time we got downstairs. Relieved to have at least got out we wandered off to town and the lifts seemed to be working when we got back.

We ended up stuck for 5 minutes but we were luckily let out again at the 14th floor and the Mr ran up to meet us and help Izzy as she was a little panicked. Fuming the lifts were still in service and trapping people the Mr went off to hunt down the caretakers to try and get the issue resolved. My anxiety was quite bad at this point and I kept going very dizzy. Trying to remember my calm breathing from CBT I slowly managed to calm myself down.

I’d agreed to do the afternoon school run as the Mr needed to wash his jeans (he’s a nightmare and ruins them instantly) so I started worrying about that too. We left quite early so Izzy could try walking to the school & back for the first time, roughly a mile each way. It’s a good job we did as the lifts were still not working. Again we had to go downstairs & I was dreading coming back.

After a lovely walk to the school & back we stopped a caretaker on our way home to check what was going on. He rang through to the council for me and told me the engineers had fixed it in the time we had been gone. When we got to our block though 2 other caretakers were stood at the bottom with a lift open but dropped a good few inches. They told us it should be fine but there may be a step.

Panicking I asked if they were sure & even joked if we got stuck I’d blame them. The lift stated to move ok, no noises until we got to around the 7th floor where the lift stated banging and jumping/dropping. We had another lady and her teenage son in the lift with us & we were all trying our best not to freak out, especially as I had both girls with me. With the lift doors refusing to open and the lift dropping along with ‘Doors opening, door’s closing’ repeating over and over I had to seriously work on controlling my breathing.

The girls were getting quite upset at this point so I tried to calm them down by giving them juice as the lift was getting extremely warm. Suddenly we heard the Mr’s voice asking if we were ok and what was going on. I managed to shakily shout back that we were ok and explain what was going on. We didn’t realise at this point but the 2 caretakers had come up in the lift beside us and had got stuck too. They managed to get out & the Mr asked them to call the fire brigade which they apparently aren’t allowed to do if people are stuck in the lifts!?

The Mr rung the fire brigade instead, he’s not one to hang around when something needs doing & explained there were young children in the lift and people with anxiety. I was sat with the girls at the back of the lift, both of them crying because they were scared. I honestly just wanted to scream myself but I knew I had to keep calm for the girls so I kept them talking instead. ‘That’s daddy, he’s the other side of the doors, it’s ok. You know daddy will fix it, daddy fixes everything’ I told them. Izzy bless her said ‘Just like he always fixes things’. That seemed to calm them down slightly.

Whilst waiting for the fire brigade the Mr kept trying to call the lift to different floors to see if the doors would open at some point. Each time it got stuck I told the other people to ring the alarm so they knew the lift had stopped again. We went up to the 14th but nothing happened, we went back down floor by floor with the lift still jumping & banging as it went. The doors finally opened when we reached the 7th floor with the lift dropped down a good few inches and we all got out as quickly as we could.

As soon as we were out we headed for the stairwell & made our way back up to our floor. I was visibly struggling & the caretaker suggested I stop & sit down but I explained I have chronic pain as well as anxiety so needed to keep going before my legs gave in. Living on the 11th floor of a high rise is not fun! I needed to get us all indoors so I could calm down as the pain was making me shake & struggle to breath along with my heart & head racing like mad. The Mr came looking for us and met us at the 9th floor & took over helping the girls up which was a huge relief.

We got through the door & all collapsed on the sofa, except the Mr. The fire brigade had arrived a minute after the doors opened so the Mr ran down to let the firefighters know what had happened. They agreed the lifts needed turning off until an engineer had been out again like the Mr had been asking the caretakers to do all day. Finally they were shut down & it seems an engineer came out in the early evening as one lift now works but the other is out of service.

I’m extremely nervous about going out again now, more so than before. Living in a high rise is so damn stressful for such a range of reasons. I can’t deal with the pain throughout my body after so many flights of stairs in one day as well as walking. I’ve taken all the meds I can safely take and it’s barely even taken the edge off.  The girl’s are still a bit shaken up & Eva was so worried leaving for school this morning too. I hate living in a high rise with chronic pain & anxiety, things like this just add to it and make me panic and worry more.

The most terrifying part was finding out the alarm isn’t connected to ANYTHING. It simply rings & your best hope is someone will hear it and try to call the lift to get it working again. How can I calmly step into the lift knowing if I get stuck it could be ages before someone hears? We were lucky the caretakers had known & the Mr had been watching for us to come in the block knowing the lifts were playing up & then kept an eye on them. My head keeps going over the what ifs even though I am trying to block them out. We got out safely, we are fine… But what if it happens again?

Do you live in a high rise? Do you struggle with it too?

 

 

 

I’ve Crashed. I Need A Reboot Button.

I’ve crashed. I need a reboot button. My anxiety has hit me hard today. My brain is all messy and I need to write to get it out. I wasn’t going to post today but it feels like the only thing I can do right now.

Why have I crashed? A simple appointment. Contractors coming in to check the ventilation system. It wouldn’t have been a problem for most people but having yet more worker in set me off badly. We’ve had so many rude workers come in who act like I don’t exist. I know my flat is owned by the council but I do pay rent and service charges, surely that gives me some say in what goes on?

The worker’s who came in luckily were alright this time but the idea of the mess and having to repaint any damage etc. really got to me, If you have been following my blog for a while you may remember we had a Kitchen, Bathroom & Toilet refit. Well the places they needed access to was behind all the lovely freshly painted boards.

For almost a year now my flat has looked DREADFUL. I’m really struggling with it now. I just need everything finished. Luckily the workmen listened and seem to understand a little and worked with us to resolve the issues and get the job done. There was no mess or damage in the end thankfully. Once they left though I was almost in tears. The day has just been too much.

I’d waited since 8am and they finally turned up at 12.40pm then had to return an hour later with more parts. I panicked about when they would be back knowing the Mr was doing the afternoon school run as I’d already knackered myself out doing the morning. Being home on my own with work going on gives me panic attacks.

At our old house a worker decided to threaten to punch the Mr for pointing out his shabby work & requesting it to be redone. I ended up having to lock the doors when he went to his van because his threats & temper scared me so much. I really freaked out as he started banging the doors and shouting so I called the estate agents to get him to leave the property and eventually he did. With it just being me and a toddler Eva at the time I freaked out and locked us in the play room just in case whilst I made the calls & got the Mr to come home. Ever since I’ve panicked about workers coming in.

The Mr was just leaving when they came back so it was a little easier as he let them in when the knock made me jump. They got on with the work and were back out the door quite quickly but as soon as they were I almost cried. I felt dizzy and weak. A full on crash. I hate how anxiety leaves me so exhausted whilst my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my chest.

I've crashedI’ve crashed

I really need this CBT to start. I’ve crashed again & it’s getting ridiculous. The most simplest stupidest things have me on edge worrying over a million possibilities and feeling ridiculous. It’s hard when you know you are worrying over thing’s that are absolutely ridiculous or impossible but can’t stop. I want my life back. I need to stop worrying about EVERYTHING and having these crashes.

The worst part is I’m finding it hard to chat to people again so I feel even worse. I only rant to 1 or 2 trusted people and over the last week or 2 I’ve even struggled to do that. I keep trying to jump in then panic and feel lost and don’t know what to say so I hide again. I’m sick of this. I am a lively hyper happy person usually but with chronic pain, anxiety & depression fucking me up I don’t feel like me anymore.

Other than waiting for CBT and Pain Psychologist appointment’s I don’t know what to do. I just want to feel like me, I’d like to wake up and make that important call. I want to wake up & not panic Eva will be late when she is NEVER late! I panic about so many stupid little things from the second I wake up & I just want my brain to shut up.

The worst part is today actually wasn’t that bad in the end yet I still feel so upset & drained. I feel ridiculous for getting so worked up over something so simple. I’ve probably left the blokes thinking I am a complete freak but I couldn’t stop my panic attacks. I really wish I could just hit reboot & be me again.

FUCK YOU ANXIETY.

 

A Crazy Few Weeks

It’s been a crazy few weeks after I discovered last Wednesday I was entitled to PIP when I woke up and checked my bank account. A letter followed that afternoon. I didn’t quite know how to feel to be honest so I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog. I was quite relieved to have the back payment and be able to sort a few thing’s we needed but at the same time it made me feel quite low. My Anxiety & Depression have spiralled our of control because of Chronic Pain at the moment that I need this just to help me do simple things and make life a little less stressful!

I’ve found it hard to write or join in properly on twitter again which is quite frustrating but I’m feeling a little bit better about everything now and trying to focus on the positives.

It’s been a struggle to get out and about for month’s thanks to anxiety and pain making my life hell. I’ve been able to get taxi’s over the last week or so, something I usually avoid because of the cost. It’s been quite nice to go out and not hurt instantly from walking there or panicking about missing a bus or train. I have a lot of different appointments coming up with CBT, Psychology etc. It’s difficult having to go alone as the Mr has to look after the girls. Now I know it won’t be half as stressful going alone as I can take a taxi and not be late or stood waiting in the cold for up to 30 minutes!

I’ve been able to sort storage for the girls room so they have no excuse for it to be too messy. Hopefully saving my back from hours of tidying. Something I stress about regularly. I feel a bit guilty as I should have a quick tidy in there every day but I struggle to keep up with it all, hopefully now the girls will know where to put everything and keep it cleaner.

I decided to treat myself a little to try and make me feel a bit better about myself. I had my hair cut last week and then the Mr dyed it for me with my usual Schwarzkopf XXL Live Mystic Purple dye! He even did my brothers hair too which made Alex happy. It’s definitely made me feel a little less-self conscious being purple again.

a crazy few weeks

I bought a dinner table so we can eat properly at a table as a family, great for Family dinner’s! My brother Alex has found our family dinner’s give him a sense of normality and family life he missed out on growing up and he loves that. It’s nice for me too as I rarely see anyone these day’s, now it will be much easier so we can do it more often.

Although our day out this half term didn’t quite go as planned as 360 Play in Basildon were full and had to turn us away, the girls had fun in the arcades at Hollywood Bowl. I was a bit gutted but also quite grateful as the noise in the arcades was bad enough! I felt pretty anxious but with my brother there I managed to stick it out long enough for the girls to have fun.

Martyn & the boys came over this week too for a Greek day, it turned into a not so Greek day with only shields and swords being completed.. me playing with bubble wrap and paint may not have helped haha! It was a rather noisy busy day all round but it was nice to have a catch up and the girls obviously had lots of fun.

Today Eva is off at a Disney Princesses and Princes workshop at the Thameside Theatre run by Creative blast. I surprised her and kept the day a secret right up until the last minute when I pulled her Elsa dress out and explained what she would be doing. She was a little confused at first bless her as she thought I had something important to do haha! The lady at the desk explained what would happen across the day and Eva got excited, even more so when she had her dress on! At the end of the day they are putting on a show which we will go and watch 20 minutes before the end of the day at 4pm. The day only cost £22.50 and it was a fairly small group of kids so I’m sure Eva will have lots of fun getting involved with the others!

 

I Thought Being Around Would Make You Feel Worse

I thought being around would make you feel worse. Actual words I never thought I’d hear from a friend. It’s funny what people assume when you have chronic pain. How could having a long time friend message me or visit me make me feel worse than being pretty much ignored for 3 years?

It got me thinking though, is that what people really think when you have chronic pain or any kind of debilitating illness? Do they really think we just literally want to sit alone all day not talking to anyone at all? Do they really believe we will feel worse chatting to someone? As I told my friend, I am still able to chat and have a cuppa. Isn’t that what friends do?

It would be lovely to have a friend round occasionally to distract me from the pain. I live 5 minutes away from our nearest town. I can (slowly) walk to a café or Subway for lunch and a chat. How even sending me messages would make me feel so awful. I’m in pain, not dead!

Yes, I struggle with going out both physically and mentally but it’s a bit different meeting a friend you have known for over 10 years, why on earth wouldn’t I want to at least chat on Facebook or meet up? I chat on twitter a fair bit, admittedly there are day’s I’ll just like everything but even then it’s nice to be included.

To think someone would think it would make me feel ‘angry’ that I couldn’t do stuff like before simply by seeing a friend is honestly ridiculous! If I was in hospital with a broken bone or an infection people would come to check I’m ok so why because I live with this pain day in day out would someone honestly think it was best to just ignore me completely!?

I actually felt worse after that text in all honesty. It came across very much as now she’s hurt herself and lonely I should forget the fact she’s ignored me. Now she’s struggling and needs a friend. Normally I’d be sympathetic but in this situation I simply can’t be. I haven’t been anywhere, I’m always reachable and she regularly drives past and pops up as nearby on Facebook.

If you have a friend with any kind of chronic pain or disability please STAY IN TOUCH!

Go see them, yes it’s hard adjusting but it’s much easier with extra support and a friend by your side. They may cancel plans like going out because they feel rough, that fine. Go buy a ton of yummy junk food or order in a takeaway and sit with them. Watch a film, chat absolute rubbish with them, I guarantee you’ll be making them feel much better and more able to cope with their pain.

 

Lung Infection & Lupus – Worrying About My Baby Brother

I’ve been worrying about my baby brother over the weekend. Most of you will know from some of my posts and tweets Alex is a big part of my life so to get a panicky call from him on Saturday and hearing him seriously struggling to breath left me worrying, A LOT. As well as struggling to breath he’s had these strange ring rashes appear which look very much like Lupus.

Alex had tried and struggled to go to his nearest shop and rung me worried, he didn’t want to walk to the hospital ‘in case it was a waste of time’. He suggested waiting until the morning..  So I put my Mummy voice on and insisted at the very least he call 111 for some advice.

Panicking

As soon as I put my phone down I began to panic, Alex doesn’t have the greatest immune system and has weak lungs from being born prematurely, he also suffers from Asthma. Temperatures were below 0 and I was worried he would get worse but luckily he did what he was told and called 111. An ambulance was sent out to him and the paramedics decided he needed to go to hospital. His heart rate and irregular breathing was concerning them so they insisted he was wheeled to the ambulance instead of walking which he wasn’t too impressed with.

He text me to let me know he was waiting for the ambulance then understandably I didn’t hear from him for over an hour. I spent the entire time unable to concentrate on anything, constantly checking my phone for an update. Eventually Alex let me know he had bloods taken and had ‘things put all over his chest’ (ECG) and he was scared. I tried to distract him whilst he waited, chatting about a documentary I was watching on the London Graveyard’s by London Liverpool Street Station.

After some rambling back and forth he eventually got his results. It turned out Alex has a lung infection and suspected Lupus. He called me as he walked home, struggling to breathe. Hearing him so vulnerable, crying from the pain, being so scared alone was horrible, I just wanted to be there and give him a hug. He was given antibiotics for the lung infection and his NHS number (At last!!!!) so he can finally register with a GP and get a referral to a dermatologist to confirm the suspected lupus.

The two major symptoms are joint and muscle pain and an extreme tiredness that won’t go away no matter how much you rest.

Rashes, depression, anaemia, feverishness, headaches, possible hair loss and mouth ulcers may all be part of the pattern of lupus.

Noticeably, whilst the two major symptoms are invariably present, people with lupus can differ greatly in their symptoms and how the illness can affect them – life-threatening for a few, very mild for some.

We are all extremely worried about his health, he has had all the symptoms that point to lupus for a while now. This worried me just as much as the lung infection. He is my baby brother and I hate that I couldn’t be there with him. Not having a car is becoming more and more stressful, things like this happen and I’m left helplessly worrying instead of being there to look after him. I’ve always tried to look out for my baby brother, I remember holding his tiny little hand through the incubator for the first time. He was so tiny and fragile and spent a long time in NICU so when he finally came home I couldn’t leave him alone.

I fed him & changed him as a baby, I taught him his first words, how to read and write. He learnt his first colours from a song I made up with a row of coloured teddies over his bouncer. Red teddy, yellow teddy, green teddy, blue! He may be my baby brother but I guess in a way he’s always been my baby too which is why I’m so protective of him. To me he’s just like the girls, he’s a huge part of my world and I always feel the need to care for him so times like this are extremely tough.

Brother & Sister forever

Alex and I had an unusual childhood, he was in care from 7/8 years old but this has never stopped us having a strong relationship. We have only lost contact once for a few months when I left home and went into a women’s refuge, I didn’t have any contact details for him but eventually we sorted it and contact resumed. When I had Eva he had been sectioned and was in hospital after several suicide attempts. I knew I had to jump in some how and bring some normality back to his life so I arranged home visits, had visits from Social services etc. to ensure our flat was safe for him.

Since then we have kept in regular contact and gone through a lot together, I know he almost see’s me as a mum to him too and with him not talking to ‘her’ right now means I am pretty much all he has, knowing that and not being there was so difficult. We were brought up to avoid Dr’s and Hospital’s, terrified that anything and everything would end in needles.. no wonder I had a needle phobia! Knowing he was sat in the same A&E room where he sat as a child being told off for having a broken leg worried me, he’s also overdosed several times and ended up there too. He suffers from PTSD and I was terrified this would set him off but distracting him did seem to help.

Going forward

I’m hoping the antibiotics help and his lung infection goes away. I’ll be focusing on getting over to him as much as I possibly can over the next few weeks to help get him registered at a GP. We also need to get his referral for a dermatologist to find out if he does have Lupus and what we can do to keep him as healthy as possible. Lupus is extremely complicated and Alex is understandably terrified as he has no clue what’s going on. He’s had so many of the symptoms that it really is worrying but I intend to look after my baby brother as much as possible!

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Do you know anything about Lupus that may help? Please do leave a comment if you have any experience with Lupus.

My Medication Review

My medication review was this morning. Knowing I have pain clinic next week I decided I really needed to focus more in my mental health. My anxiety has been through the roof lately and I’ve struggled to brain.. a lot!

I was completely honest about how I’ve been feeling and I was basically given 2 options.

1. Be referred to a psychiatrist so I can be put in stronger medication as I’m already on such a low dose. (Something I’d prefer to avoid if possible)

2. Refer myself to the therapy centre above the surgery.

I decided to go upstairs and refer myself for therapy. I recieved a call later in the afternoon going over how I feel, my symptoms and my mental health history. Once I had finished the questionnaire the lady suggested referring me for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).

I panicked but decided I need to do something because I hate struggling so much. I hate feeling like I can’t do anything right and I’m useless. I hate not being able to go out without panicking. I hate being invited somewhere and feeling like its just out of politeness. I want to enjoy things & believe in myself a little bit more. I know it may not help fully but if it can calm me down even slightly I might not be such an anti-social stresshead!

I spoke to my brother about it this evening and he told me he went through a CBT course and mentioned it made him feel patronised at first but after a few sessions it did help change his way of thinking. I’m hoping it can help me too and I’m also glad for the heads up as I think I might have struggled to continue if the first few sessions don’t seem to help.

I now have to wait for a call when an appointment is free to start the CBT. I’ve no idea how long that will be but I’m hoping it’s not too long.

As I said I have pain clinic on Tuesday too. Whilst the Gabapentin has helped massively I am still struggling. I’m still feeling those electric bolts through my legs, pain in my hips & back. Now it’s getting much colder my ribs hurt too so I need to bring all of this up and see if they can suggest anything that may help.

I’m quite exhausted after today but I’m glad in between all of it I still managed to join the Mr & Izzy at the pub. Our favourite pub is always quiet & we know the regulars. Sometimes I do mire than smile politely and say hi too. Today wasn’t one of those days but it was nice to be acknowledged and left alone to enjoy being outside of these walls.

I now want to hide away for a few days though. It’s been a very hectic, peopley, emotional day with too many phone calls & talking to ‘important people’. I’ve gone over a lot of my past in a 20 minute phone call which has left my head hurting a bit aswell as admitting my crazy is getting too crazy.

I decided to write and publish this before I decide it isn’t worth it as I usually do but now I’m off to curl up and feel sorry for myself because I hurt all over and feel so cold!

Have you tried CBT? Did it help at all? I’m honestly quite nervous about it all and would love some feedback!