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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Farewell 2014, It's Been Emotional


There are times in your life when you coast along taking life for granted. Too caught up with the trivial naff naff of day to day living to stop and assess quite what you have and to take time to say 'thank you' for such gifts as a warm bed, supportive family and your health and safety.
We are all guilty of this. Guilty of not stopping to take stock. Guilty of not stopping to say 'thank you'.
Life moves so incredibly fast and there are so many trials and pressures on us from so very many areas, that it is understandable that days, weeks, months can sometimes pass without us simply stopping to take a breath.
 When periods of time such as this happen it takes a shock to sober us up.
This shock is more often than not something that scares or saddens us, such a a bereavement or tragedy of some kind in the news.
There have been all too many shocking tragedies in the news this year.
Horrific acts of violence and mindless persecution.
What good are they? What are they for?
We can't take them back or save the people who have been brutally massacred, so how can we make their deaths or loss not in vain?
These are naturally pretty deep questions, ones that have troubled philosophical minds for centuries, but we are entitled to our own opinion on these things and I personally think that in order to find a speck of good from these awful events, we have to try and learn from these mistakes as a collective 'we' of humanity.
If nothing bad ever happened I believe we would become a selfish people, desensitised and ungrateful for the good and wonderful gifts in our own lives.
If we went through life never seeing the bad and dreadful things, then I believe our selfish and greedy sides would ingulf our good and grateful nature.
So in honour of those poor people who have lost their lives tragically to the evil of mankind, we must not only try and learn from the mistakes of their persecutors, but we should also try to value everyday of our own lives in tribute and respect to them and show more love and kindness to one another in an attempt to try and offset the evil that is all too prevalent in our world.
Other than the general world horrors that have naturally troubled us all this year, I like so many of you have had my own personal trials to awaken me from my complacent slumber.
 In July of this year I had everything- everything and more than I had ever wished for.
After years of being told that being a mother would unlikely ever be possible, I was about to celebrate a year of the blissful joy that was being Mummy to my beloved Florrie. I had also just found out that I was expecting another miracle baby.
Garry and I were naturally ecstatic. This was so much more than ever expected and life was amazing.
Then on Florrie's first birthday I miscarried my baby.
Garry and I were naturally deeply saddened, but soon things would take another unexpected twist and challenging twist and our emotional and spiritual strength would be tested.
As the days passed by after the loss of the baby, I became more and more unwell and soon I was being taken back to the hospital.
After many tests I was informed late on a Friday evening that scans had shown I had a blood clot on my brain.
Having thought I was about to be told I was going home, I remember how utterly floored I was by the Dr holding my hand and giving me her heartfelt condolences.
I then went on to spent three days in limbo. Any of you who have had to spend any time in NHS hospitals will know that as wonderful as they are, nothing happens at the weekend.
The staff on my ward were simply wonderful, refusing to send my husband home at the end of visiting hours and moving me into a side room to give me the space to process my news.
And that is exactly what I tried to do, as I woke for observations in the early hours of  that Saturday morning, I felt a strange sense of peace as I watched the sunshine paint the walls of my hospital room with an orangey glow, I grabbed my prayer book and poured out what was in my heart.
I toyed with writing my prayer out for you here, but I don't think there is a need to.
My point of sharing this story with you is to show what this scare did to me.
Prior to that day I, like most of us was consumed by deadlines, panic over the long list of correspondence I had to reply to both social and personal admin, and stressed and exasperated over stupid little things. I am a worrier and am forever being told not to stress about things by my husband but to no avail; everything always seems so important and like so many, I was guilty of working into the night before taking the time to eat, let alone sit and reflect on what was really important.
As I looked down the barrel of uncertainty none of that mattered anymore.
All that mattered on an initial level was seeing my baby girl when she was allowed to visit and then of course finding out just what was going on in my brain.
72 long hours later and the consultants returned after meeting with the neuro consultants from Charing Cross hospital. Incredibly the specialists had now decided that the blob on my brain was not a clot but an Arachnoid Granulation or cyst.
More investigation was needed, but it was decided that this could be done with me as an outpatient, so that I could be at home with my family.
I was allowed home, but I was unable to be alone with my baby girl as my symptoms were such that I was still collapsing to the floor and feeling very unwell.
This period of limbo seemed to go on forever- I was home and thankful to be there, as well as incredibly grateful to not have a blood clot on my brain, yet I was still feeling too poorly to do very much at all and I still didn't know what my 'brain blob' was and what it meant.
It was a strange juxtaposition of feelings, one that to some degree I'm still feeling today.
Fast forward five months and there have been many consultations, scans and investigations but still no concrete answers.
On a day to day level I am much, much better than I was and thankfully able to be alone with my baby again, but the question marks still stand as the investigations have brought to the surface some other issues that may or may not be related.
Despite the natural concern of these investigations, there is so much good that has come from these events- The biggest being a change in me personally, that the complacency I once had has gone and been replaced by a desire to value each day I have and this has to be a good thing.
I have always believed that good has to be found in bad or tricky situations, however difficult it may seem to find it at the time.
There have obviously been events in my life before this that have made me evaluate and reassess things for the better, but this time of celebration that turned to sadness and then uncertainty really hit me hard, but ultimately  for the better I believe.
Like everyone, I was guilty of wishing time away, like those last hours leading up to bedtime when Florrie would be particularly exhausting and my pain especially hard to deal with, particularly if Garry was away, and of course we're all guilty of becoming frustrated with or wishing away the time spent stuck in traffic or in a waiting room or boring work situation.
I now savour the seconds. I try to spin the frustrations of being stuck on a journey into an opportunity to have some child free minutes to say a prayer or be thankful or to just listen to the silence.
Good has come from bad as my happiness and appreciation for life is so much more intense. More than ever thought to be possible.
On this the last day of 2014 I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of my friends and family for being in my life, for making me smile and for helping me achieve my dreams of being a mummy and helping others with Get a Life! Foundation.
After two years of wading through the obstacles of setting up a charity from scratch with no financial backing, we are finally beginning to get somewhere thanks to the amazing efforts of family and friends.
In March, some incredible guys and gals from 32 (The Royal) Sqn of RAF Northolt cycled 90miles around London for our charity, in October the Phoenix Choir, I.W. sung their hearts out for us and throughout the year my good friend and the wonderful soul that is Eltjo De Vries has been raising money for us by donating the proceeds of his wonderful storytelling evenings at Isle of Wight libraries.
Probably the most heartwarming of all of the fundraising efforts has come from the innocence of children, when Eltjo's children Eltjo Kaelin De Vries and Alura Rose De Vries along with their school friends Sophie, Isobel and Sam, took it upon themselves to make bracelets and cakes to sell to their friends and school, completely off their own backs. They raised £43 for Get a Life! Foundation and made me cry with their kindness in the process.
There have been so many other kind donors of raffles prizes and sponsorship over the last year that this blog post would take you until next year to read if I took the time to name them all personally so please know how thankful I and the other Get a Life! trustees are to you all.
At a time when we are all looking at pledging to do things differently in our lives for the coming year, I instead am going to pledge something a little different.
I am going to stick by the lessons I learnt from my challenges of 2014 and keep doing what I've been doing for the latter half of this year- that being, however tired I am at the end of the day, however much pain I am in that I want to be rescued by the sanctuary of sleep- I am going to continue taking the time to reflect on my day and say 'thank you'.
To me as a Christian my 'thank you' is said to God and Jesus, but the point is that it is a 'thank you' that you simply take the time to say, it doesn't have to be to anyone, it may just be a time spent reflecting on what is important. I personally feel that by taking the time to do this since writing that earnest prayer of desperate hope in that hospital bed on 7th August has made me a better and more grateful person ans subsequently made my life richer.
The principle of taking time to give thanks and gratitude also comes from the teachings of Rhonda Byrne's The Secret which I have credited previously for helping me through difficult times.
I have used this book again to keep me strong recently along with 'Diamonds in The Dust' by Joni Eareckson Tada.
Joni has lived the most incredible life after being paralysed after a diving accident as a teenager.
She has been my inspiration for many years and her book of daily deviations and reflections has helped me through many a dark or lost day.
We are human and I am by no means perfect so I know that I am going to disappoint myself at times and revert to being angry or frustrated by the world, but my goal after learning the lessons from my challenges of 2014 is to try to be grateful for all that I have and make the time each evening and/or morning if I can to say 'thanks' because I have so much, not least amazing family and friends and readers of this blog who continue to surprise me with not just your presence, but also your wonderful support with all of your emails and comments on the blog.
I say 'thank you' to you and for you and I wish you all a 2015 blessed with good health and happiness and a presence of mind to stop and take stock of all that you have.
God bless you all.
Have a good one tonight and make some amazing memories with friends and family.
Love and thanks always,
Kaz. X




















Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Savouring those seconds


"Each day we are given a gift of 24hrs free of charge. If you had all of the money in the world, you could not purchase a single extra hour. Make the most of every opportunity."
This is one of my favourite quotes and one of the first to ever grace the walls of my desk area on a little blue post-it note in my first flat. It has since made 'The Desk' of every home I've had since, however old and tattered the bit of paper has become, but I just can't trace where I found it. I know that I've written the origin of the sentiment to be from Colossians 4 : 5, which quote the 'make the most of every opportunity', but it's the first part that really strikes a chord in me.The words are so very true, yet we rarely adhere to what they are saying.
As a mum to an incredibly active one year old, who all too often has to do the solo parent thing, whilst my husband is away with work; I can confess that prior to recent events, I would far too regularly reach that witching hour in the afternoon (usually approximately 4.30pm, when nap time feels like an eternity ago and bed time just as far away in the opposite direction!), when I would count down the minutes until bedtime when I could have two minutes to myself to make a phone call, reply to a message or simply have a wee by myself without a small person's company and babbling commentary!

After having to wait for the gift that is our precious Florrie for many years, (throughout which time there were many points when we thought a child for us might never be possible)- I had promised myself I would savour every minute with my child should God ever bless me with one. However, I'd still foolishly find myself wishing away those precious minutes for that elusive peace or 'me time' a parent to young children craves.
This issue was bought into focus for me recently when after being admitted to hospital for feeling a little unwell following my recent miscarriage, I was told I had a blood clot on my brain.
After a late afternoon CT scan, I was told the news on a Friday evening and subsequently had to spend the next three days in a gut wrenchingly stressful and worrying limbo, whilst I was given blood thinning treatment until the specialists could meet together on the Monday to decide what to do with the clot.
As I awoke in hospital early for my 6am observations on that Saturday morning, I found an incredible peace in the usually busy ward and took this opportunity to take some time to think and pray.
I pulled out my pen and prayer brook and scribbled a pretty frank and desperate prayer as I watched the sun rise outside my window and thought about the news I had been told just a few hours ago.

The prayer's primary request was that God may look after the light of my life that is Florrie and that I may be blessed with being able to continue to be her mummy. I've re-read that prayer almost everyday since to remind me what is really important. When the chips were down and I was facing one of my most daunting days yet, it was Florrie and my family I was caring about and praying for more days spent together as a family doing simple things, spending priceless time just being with one another.
Over the coming days I would be separated from my little pickle and was indeed able to do all of those things I was wishing for prior to their pivotal moment in my life- I could wee in peace, text (with two hands!) and even indulge in some time to think and take my mind off things with a bit of tele!
What I wasn't able to do however was experience the craziness and chaos that is and surrounds my daughter. The little time I was able to spend with her when my husband brought her into my room to see me, was spent frantically trying to keep her entertained enough to sit on the bed with me instead of applying her newly acquired skill of running in a busy hospital ward. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and weak also and even a short time with her would leave me having to lay quietly for some time to recover from the contact with her.
Even upon being allowed home after the specialists reassessed the scan of the lump on my brain and determined it not to be a clot so I could be treated at home whilst they investigated further- I could not be alone with my baby as I would collapse and have visual disturbances too often to be safe alone with her. After getting a little stronger, this week has been the first that I have attempted to spend time alone with my gorgeous girl since this whole saga began.
Far from wishing away the minutes until bedtime, I have now found myself just staring at my little miracle in absolute awe and amazement that she is mine and that I should be privileged enough to have this time with her.
This is not to say that this was a new sensation, rather that the whole situation had brought into focus just how lucky I am and what I have. Florrie at 14 months is like a little sponge and each day amazes me with her growing physical skills and ever increasing vocabulary.





Each day is a gift.
One that I am striving more and more to appreciate and say thank you for.
This is not to say that I don't ever have my moments of exasperation and exhaustion, (all parents do!)- but that when I do, I remind myself of how much I missed her when I was apart from her and when I feared I may not be with her to have the incredibly blessed role as her mummy.
As for the brain- 'the blob' as I am affectionately naming it until it's nature can be determined, is being examined and assessed by all manner of folk, so I am confident that it will be treated (or left alone) whatever is appropriate very soon.
In between my periods of feeling unwell I am much stronger and back to my regular levels of living.
I'm acutely aware what this limbo period of not knowing is doing to those who love me, but I am just grateful that it is not a clot and that I have each amazing day with my nutty nurse and general entertainer of my days.
I love you my baby girl! x
















Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Life of late





I have been meaning to write for some time now, but with one thing and another, obstacles have been repeatedly placed in my way.

As is so often the case, I currently have in my draft box numerous half written posts- but after a flurry of wonderful and very kind comments to the blog and my Twitter page from readers old and new asking when I might be able to write my next instalment; I thought it time I find a way to clear said obstacles and get on with actually publishing one of these unfinished symphonies!

In the interest of actually being able to press 'submit' before circumstances force me to abandon my typing once again, I shall refer back to a post I have tried to submit a  few times now lately...




 9th August 2014.

Quite a year, culminating in quite a week.

Last Thursday my gorgeous little miracle girl turned one!





I could quite easily spout off all of the cliches of how quickly the time goes when having fun etc. and all would be very accurate, but all I want to say is how blessed I feel to have had this amazing year.






The year ended with a bitter sweet day as whilst celebrating my daughter's special day I sadly lost the second baby I was carrying.

We are fine and after a week or so of monitoring I am beginning to feel much better with this thankfully, but through all of the investigations to explain why I have felt so unwell since this event, I've just been told that I have got a blood clot on my brain.

I came into hospital for something else entirely and incredibly they've detected this blood clot- that's pretty bloody incredible if you ask me!

Not least because if I hadn't have had this other issue and they hadn't have found this clot I would be in a much worse state.
Currently I'm sat in limbo. It was a poor, out of depth gynaecologist who broke the news to me yesterday instead of coming to discharge me from her ward for the weekend, as I was eagerly expecting her to do after my 'better to be safe than sorry CT scan', I was then informed of what they had found.

As warm and sympathetic as she was, she went on to say that this is way beyond her area of expertise and that she would get a specialist to come and talk to me, and that's where we are right now- waiting for said specialists to decide what to do with me.

We have been waiting some time now but the treatment for the clot commenced straight away and I have since seen other Drs as I have had a couple more of these weird dizzy spells I have been feeling all week.

So why am I writing this in my blog right now?

A.) Because whizzing around after a one year old who walks and runs better than me, I have been struggling to find time (and energy!) to post on my blog for too long now.
B.) Because I am currently stuck in a hospital bed playing a waiting game whilst my poor husband sleeps in a hospital chair besides me and with naff all else to do in here, I'd rather keep myself busy right now! (There is also an element of catharsis in this I feel!)
And....
C.) Because I started Discover Disability to talk about the impact of illness or injury on an individual and their loved ones, and I'd say that this pretty much falls into that remit!

Once again, like my spinal injury I feel quite OK myself right now, my fears and worries are for my family and loved ones.

I worry that I blurted to my husband (who was waiting for a call to come and collect me!), who then completely in shock had to drive to my bedside.

I worry about my Mum who is currently running around after the crazy, nutty one year old at home who I miss with all of my heart!

And I worry about, and feel guilty about the crazy one year old who isn't able to have her mummy to give her cuddles when she wakes and won't do for frankly I don't know how long until I find out more information.

I've felt in shock, denial and then deliriously giggly.

Right now I feel frustrated that we aren't as yet getting any more information.

Blood thinning treatment  has begun to help stabilise and attempt to disperse the clot.
Waiting for specialists to have a meeting with other specialists from another hospital to decide their plan of attack.
Just praying lots and enjoying my visits from my baby girl, even if it is hideous waving her goodbye!


... Fast forward 48 hrs and how life can surprise you...

So after waiting what seemed like an eternity for the  neurologists to have a meeting with the other specialists from across London to review my scan we have the most amazing but unexpected  news…

The 'clot' has now been determine to actually be an Arachnoid Granulation.

What does this mean?? Well, short term, treatment for the blood clot can cease and I can get home to my daughter tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INCREDIBLE!

Thank you God!

Long term- ????????????????????????????




Two weeks on…..

So a fortnight on and I have been back into hospital to see the neurologist.

The lump of fluid on my brain has to be looked at more closely to decide just whether it is an Arachnoid Cyst or Arachnoid Granulation and in turn whether that is linked to my Arachnoiditis and/or the many symptoms I have been experiencing lately.

Life is a little strange at the moment.

My family and I are in a bizarre limbo once again.

We are obviously elated that I don't have a blood clot on my brain and relived to have me home, but sadly life is by no means back to normal.

Since the miscarriage I have been experiencing a number of symptoms which lead them to investigate and scan my brain including disturbed vision, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and collapsing to the floor with no warning.

Sadly these symptoms have not improved and in some elements have become notably worse.

Mostly I am confined to my bed or the sofa until they complete their further scans and investigations, and because I have these periods of not quite feeling in the room and that I am about to pass out,
I am currently unable to be alone with my daughter.

With a husband with a demanding job in the military this naturally has its own complications, but we are thankful to have incredible friends and family who have been travelling from all over the country to come and be child care for Florrie and nurses for me and I also have to say that this is where 'the military family' come into their own, pulling together to help us with everything from child care to a good old chinwag with tea and biccies!

The reason I chose to share this difficult time with you on my blog, (and despite my very frank and open blog, I did debate for a while whether to share this right now as we are still living through the uncertainty rather than reflecting back upon it as I have done previously about my spinal surgery and Arachnoiditis)- but then it occurred to me that that is precisely why I should be writ in g this right no- because Discover Disability is about writing about the emotional impact on individuals and their families when they are affected by illness or injury, which is exactly why is happening right now.

 This current situation reminds Garry and I so much of the period of limbo we lived through after my car accident and watching one another try and cope right now brings home to us both just how needed Get a Life! Foundatiopn's goals to set up tailored emotional support for people who become disabled through illness or injury and their family really are.

Despite having lived through me becoming disabled, we are both noticing those difficult emotional strains on one another once again, as we both naturally revert back to our default coping mechanisms.

I'm sure all will be fine. There is a possibility that the fluid lump on my brain may just sit there and cause no future harm and that my current symptoms can eventually be explained away by the fact that the huge hormonal change in my body from the pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage triggered this reaction in my body and it may be that as the cyst or granulation is sitting on the Arachnoid membrane of my brain, that this is linked to my Arachnoiditis I have been suffering with since my spinal procedures.

Either way, we hope that I am able to return to my usual level of functionality asap and that the impending scans and investigations I am due to have over the coming weeks enlighten us somewhat as to what is going on and can be done to help.

My time with Florrie is more limited than ever at the moment as my visual disturbances and 'wobbly head' symptoms are restricting me from being alone with her or even being able to play and interact with her in my usual way.

This enforced rest time in bed both in hospital and now at home has once again given me time to think and reflect.

I am so much in my life to be thankful for, not least the friendship and support of my family and friends and my readers of my blog, for supporting me on my two biggest achievements in life- having Florrie when I was told that it was almost certainly not going to be possible and starting Get a Life! Foundation  when I was told starting a charity with no finical backer would be one of the hardest battles of my life.
Its true both are very difficult indeed, but both are hugely important to me and your support has been and continues to be what keeps me going through the more difficult times.

I thank you for this and I hope to share more news from Get a Life! once I return to full strength.

Until then, I think of you facing your own uphill battles as we all have them as I remind myself in times like these of the Epictetus quote we use on the Get a Life! Foundation website...

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

With a little help from my friends (make that a bucket load!) and some tools learnt along my path to creating our help sheet for Get a Life! Foundation, I choose to react to this current situation by attempting to stay calm and take one step at a time whilst I live through this period of limbo.

I try to focus on all that I still have, which may not be some of the freedom like driving and whizzing about in my wheelchair that I have only  recently regained since losing them after my car accident- but I  still have the most important things to treasure and savour, like visits, calls and cards from friends and precious moments spent cuddling my daughter and husband and dog- the best medicine ever if you ask me.

I hope to be in a position to update you again very soon.

Take care,

Kaz.







































Tuesday, 6 May 2014

HE'S BACK!!

I have a Pimms in hand whilst sat at a computer writing a blog post, it could only mean one thing…

He's back!

What has seemed the longest ever time that my husband has ever been away, (even though it isn't even remotely close to being so), has finally come to an end, after his safe return yesterday. Thank God.

The reason why this detachment has seemed so long compared to the others, I can put down to one thing- Florrie can move and FAST!

Fast out-crawling, out-toddling and at times outwitting me, the little monkey has spent the last five weeks acquiring all of these new skills to show off to her Daddy upon his return,


at the cost of her Mummy's sanity!

Despite the use of play pens, (or Baby Cages as they are affectionately known in our household!), stand in walkers and numerous other baby entertaining devices, the little monkey would still rather splash in the dog bowl, climb on the poor long suffering pooch, or play with the drain cover in my downstairs wetroom to keep herself amused!

I am of course naturally thrilled that she is able and so inclined to fulfil all of her milestones, and of course enjoy the wonderful feeling of freedom whilst toddling around on her little feet, but boy, it was a whole lot easier when you could put her down and know where she was! That being said her ability to stand up does help me when trying to lift her up.
 I looks like I just have to appreciate that this is just a new chapter and stage to learn and adapt to, which of course, naturally comes at a time when I just felt like I was getting the hang of the last stage!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm sure I am receiving knowing smirks from any parents amongst you lovely Discover Disability readers: these little miracles really are sent to challenge us and push us to and past all known physical and emotional limits aren't they!

It has and continues to be my personal physical limitations that I worry about, but I just have to adapt to things as best as I can and spend extra time and energy baby proofing and reiterating the things that are 'hot' and 'ouchy'.
To be honest the little monkey does a lot better than my hubby after a couple of beers and he's nearly 40 years not 40 weeks!

It's only when I sit to write this blog that I remind myself that some people regard my parenting as any different to anyone else's, after all, it is all I know doing this parenting thing with my mobility and chronic pain issues, and I can also always appreciate that so many of us have restrictions/complications of one form or another, it's just at times mine are a little more obvious to the outside world when I am driving my 'road-train' as friends have been known to refer to my wheelchair, buggy, dog convoy!
I am also reminded that I am slightly different when remarks are made in my presence.

Only today my little family and I were sat enjoying a lovely pub lunch in the sunshine on this gorgeous Bank Holiday, when two lovely old ladies came to join us on our table.
Both ladies were very friendly and besotted with both baby and pooch: we sat chatting with them for about half an hour before I excused myself to go to the ladies. As I handed over my daughter and adjusted my control panel on my chair to reverse out of the tight space in the beer garden, I caught one of the lovely ladies leaning forward to the other and forgetting all meaning of the world 'subtlety', cupped her hand in front of her mouth and stage whispered,
"Oi Betty, she's in a wheelchair!"

Not wanting to embarrass this lovely lady, I did my best to suppress my smirk and continue on my way to spend a penny.

Garry had missed this remark altogether which was probably just as well, as he wouldn't have been so successful at suppressing that smirk or gentle comment, although informed me afterwards that my absence was filled with questions about how I cope and what I do in this and that situation.

Most of those questions I would have struggled to answer myself, as as much as you can try to be prepared and think ahead to how you would get around certain situations, the simple truth is that babies and children are as unpredictable as life itself and in many cases I just have to get through whatever happens that second, minute or hour the best that I can.

Naturally certain provisions are put in place for when Garry is away with work, but even then curve balls are thrown at me as they were on this occasion, but I do have AMAZING friends and family who help me so much to be the parent I dreamt so long of being!

I do find that when I am out with Florrie and my wheelchair I am so often given a second look by those passing me in the street. Some, whilst on bus journeys or sat in a social situation like today, will ask me what I do for certain things and some before I even became pregnant even expressed to me that they didn't think it was fair on the child for me to attempt this challenge, but I also assured them that my child would never go short of love and I would strive to do my very best, which is a lot more than some parents do who don't have some of the
physical obstacles or limitations that I do.

On the whole, the reaction I receive from strangers on the street is positive, when confronted by my 'road train'.  Many will smile or even rest a hand on me and say 'well done'. Some may find this patronising, but I know that it is meant with kindness and encouragement - but it always takes me by surprise, I always forget that I should look any different to the mum next to me pushing her pram. I'm just parenting the best that I can, which all to often through teething and it's associated sleepless night, doesn't feel that great!





…and on that note, I must dash, as the 'In The Night Garden' draws to a close, so perfectly in sync with my daughter's batteries, I must dash and remind Garry of where all of the bath and bedtime bits belong!

I hope that you too have had a lovely Bank Holiday.

….Hark- that cry tells me that Mummy's computer time has most definitely drawn to a close!

Have a lovely evening folks, I may be absent for a few more days than I would like to be as birthday plans are afoot along with some essential post-deployment Reader family catch up time!

Until the next time.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A well overdue catch up...



Hello all, how is life treating you?
 Apologies as always for such a break in proceedings, life has been somewhat crazy this end with my husband away with the RAF for almost half of the time since I last managed to write a post.

Parenting with my pain levels and restricted mobility I will admit can be pretty tricky at times, but doing so solo just hampers my ability to do many things, not least write my blog, so huge apologies for my absence.
As always, the laws of being a military wife/mother state that everything that could go wrong, does so whilst you're other half is away!
Last time Garry was away you simply couldn't make it up, as amongst other events my Dad was admitted to hospital, my daughter developed scarlet fever and then shortly after developing a severe upset stomach (we were living in a flat on the 11th floor at the time!)- the dog decided to do a kamikaze jump off a sea wall damaging his already severely arthritic hips!

Thankfully I have now moved from my 11th storey flat to a specially converted house which has made life considerably easier: however moving to this house has been difficult enough in its own right, after 4 years without having to move, I believe that I had indeed forgotten the truth in the old adage that moving house is the 3rd most stressful life event, particularly when you're husband has to do so whilst preparing to be deployed.
Despite the craziness that has been my home life of late, I am pleased to report that life in general is still pretty wonderful, not least because Florrie continues to bring joy and increased purpose to my life.
At 8 months old now, and considerably more mobile than I, she continues to test my physical limitations as I struggle to keep up with her and her cheekiness in stealing my walking sticks, driving my electric wheelchair round in circles when I'm not looking at the distance between her hands and the controls and generally using the dog as a climbing frame!
Despite these tests, my heart is so full of love and joy that it makes all the pain and obstacles worthwhile.
I know now the true extent of how much emotional health can assist living with chronic physical pain and health. Despite this being expressed to me countless times by my pain clinic psychologist, and even me setting up my charity Get a life! Foundation to help provide emotional support for people who become disabled and their families- I don't think I have ever realised this fully until now.
I find that chronic pain is often easier to cope with when your mind and spirit are in a good place, but getting to that healthy place in body and spirit is such a hard thing to do after becoming disabled/ill as the worry and despair of your situation can exacerbate pain through stress and anxiety which are proven to cause tension in your body which can make some pain worse.
I always feel slightly concerned when expressing this sentiment, as people who have been fortunate enough to have never felt the nightmare of chronic pain sometimes misunderstand and think that I am saying that my neurological pain is somehow within my control, whereas the actual truth for myself presently, is that it is just made easier to cope with by practising mindfulness, keeping myself positive and drawing strength from my faith and the wonderful blessings that surround me.
What is also making my pain easier to cope with today, is that my little monkeys (Florrie and Barley the long suffering Golden Retriever), are both currently napping peacefully and allowing me to rest my weary body on the sofa for twenty minutes and catch up on some jobs on my iPhone. Woo Hoo for naps and
Woo Hoo for wireless technology!

Wishing you all a lovely day in the sunshine. (This blog was started earlier in the week when the sun was indeed shining! Sadly poorly dogs and babies once again got in the way of completing this post and hitting 'send', so I shall now add a "Happy Easter' greeting, to my already rambling list of wishes to finally conclude this little ditty!)
If the sunshine has made you smile this morning and you fancy doing something wonderful today, then take a look at the Facebook page of my charity Get a Life! Foundation.
Last week four members of my husband's RAF Squadron did an amazing thing and cycled 15 hours over a 90 mile route around every football league club in London for my charity!
The guys also did a huge collection around RAF Northolt raising over £1000 for Get a Life! Foundation.
The donation page is still open for another month and half, so if you have a spare £1 today, do please click this link to donate whatever you can.
Donate to 32 Sqn Fundraising for GAL! Foundation
As a charity so much in its infancy, your pennies really do make a massive difference!

I hope to be back in touch when the husband returns allowing my hands time away enough from my teething little monkey to fit in a little catch up to you all.

…and finally to you all, I send huge thanks and gratitude- as I see over 80,000 of you have now taken the time to actually enter my little site and take a read and share with others. Thank you.

Until the next time...