Friday, 17 March 2017

Still Plodding Along

Hello!

Life has continued in much the same vein since my last post but I have managed to get a bit more productive with regards to my beauty related website.  Even though there's not a massive amount of content on there so far, I built the site myself and it took me daaayyyyyyyyys  - so please have a look.

I am still no further forward with finding any solutions to finding a prevention miracle for my migraines but I am slowly learning to manage them better. 

A few weeks ago I started online Cognitive Therapy and i think I'm doing ok with it so far. Although, to be fair, i do talk the hind legs off a donkey so I suspect the therapist feels like we should be a bit further forward in the plan. 

I have to go on web cam to attend my sessions and on days when I'm struggling with my head, the fact that my therapist is unbelievably good looking doesn't help when you see yourself on screen next to her looking  like a cross between a roly poly and a boiled egg. 😳 
She is very lovely though I might add!

Anyhoo.. I've made small steps with regards to my anxiety when it comes to certain situations so i'm really pleased to have been given the chance to have these sessions. I've got quite a few more left so I fully intend to make the most of it. 

As usual, I am very blessed to have such amazing support from my Maff and Max, as well as my Dad, little sister and Mother & Father In Law. They always help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though it's a bloody long one!



The Next Song on My Playlist 





Word for the day...

 effulgence

n the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
Effulgence is brightness taken to the extreme. You may be dazzled by it, stunned by it, or even overcome by it. Usually used to refer to the sun or some other mega-star, effulgence can also be used more figuratively. 
 
If you're met with the mega-watt effulgence of my friend Mai -  take a moment to marvel at the rays of light shooting from her perfect smile  💖







 


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Migraine or just a headache?

With the start of a new year, like many, I do try and hope that it will bring brighter days when it comes to my health struggles.

So far, it really hasn't.

I think I managed to get approx 10 days from just after boxing day, without a major migraine.

As much as I hate to go on about it , I have recently experienced several instances where people use the word migraine when they simply have a worse than normal headache. And quite frankly, it pisses me off.

Last week, I had a particularly bad migraine. It left me bed bound, up to my eyes in medication (which mainly didn't work), head covered in ice packs, eye mask to block even the tiniest bit of light, sick bucket to hand, and physically unable to even sit up unaided to have a drink.

These times are completely debilitating for me. Thank God that I had Matt here to look after me, otherwise I would not have even had a sip of water all day.

When I see comments on facebook or instagram etc where the person is "having such a bad migraine", I think: Bollocks! I can guarantee that you would not be looking at a screen typing about it if you had a migraine.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that we all have our different pain levels/tolerances etc, but seriously, you cannot assume that a bad headache is the same as having a migraine. Have a look here on the website for The Migraine Trust for a detailed description.

I think what bothers me the most is that the use of the word migraine gets bandied around when people actually only have a headache, and so I feel like it detracts from the severity of what a migraine actually entails for most of us sufferers. Then, for those of us who are genuinely unable to work because of the frequency and severity of them, it makes it just seem like we're just moaners and spongers.

The feelings of low self esteem and self worth, sometimes utter despair, depression and anxiety, for me, go hand in hand with my migraines too. Those feelings are a battle on their own. When you have days on end that you are unable to even perform the simplest of tasks within the home without making yourself physically sick, or to be able to provide your family with a meal at the end of their working day leave you wracked with guilt and upset.

A million people can tell you how great you are for getting through 3 open brain surgeries without any real disabilities, but I am more and more feeling like I actually have been left with a disability.  Yes, I've tried keeping a food diary to see what might trigger the migraines. The trouble is, that the general consensus from the various Neurologists I have seen, is that my migraines are trauma related. From having the surgery basically.

 I have recently just started logging all the headaches and migraines again as I feel that I've come to a stale mate with the Neuro team and am seriously considering paying to see a private headache specialist.

So for now, at least, the battle continues. Meanwhile. Do me a favour please.  If you or anyone you know are having a bad headache,  please just describe it as such.  Please don't belittle what some of us have to endure on a very regular basis.  Cheers ♡

WORD FOR THE DAY:


troglodyte

noun
noun: troglodyte; plural noun: troglodytes
  1. (especially in prehistoric times) a person who lived in a cave.
    • a hermit.
    • a person who is regarded as being deliberately ignorant or old-fashioned.
      THE NEXT SONG ON MY PLAYLIST: BEYONCE - HALO



Thursday, 8 December 2016

Just a little update

I've not posted for a while and so I thought I had better get typing something.

When I think about what I'm going to write about I often worry that I 'm going to be writing about the same old things and as such will end up boring you all to tears. Assuming I haven't already done so, of course. It's difficult to know what to write about that doesn't involve my headaches and migraine news to  be honest. 

I have recently been trying to do more exploring with regards to the beauty and skincare stuff. And some of you will already know that I recently posted my first attempt at a review on my youtube channel. (Click here if you'd like to see it). I received a fair amount of feedback which was really helpful and constructive, so I aim to be producing better things very soon. Thank you to those who messaged me with ideas. 

I seem to be in the midst of a "manageable run" with my headaches which allows me to behave a little bit more like a human wich is always nice. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts a while longer, if not forever!

With Christmas fast approaching I am beginning to feel the tension that this time of year seems to create for me - but instead of going on about that, I am going to leave it alone. Not give it (too much) "life".

I started CBT sessions a few weeks ago and so far,I've found it pretty helpful with certain aspects. I generally will get bouts of depression following migaines that have lasted more than 24hours. The depression can last sometimes up to the best part of a week. During those times i have zero motivation to even try and do anything and actually this ends up with me just going round in circles. My CBT therapist suggested a technique called pacing which has actually really helped me out. I won't go into the details of it, i'm sure there is plenty of info online about it, and actually the name of it is pretty self-explanatory.

With regards to my panic episodes, so far i'm managing them quite well. I seem to be on a bit of a break from the big ones.The problem i have is that i'm never just able to accept that i feel alright, whether it's  anxiety or headaches. It's  like I'm  constantly  waiting for them to happen. Maybe I actually trigger things myself by the continuous expectation of them? I dunno..... but this is all stuff i am gradually working through with my therapist.

So all in all, things are good this end. How are you? Are you looking forward to Christmas etc? 

Here is the next song on my playlist: Click & have a listen

Multiplied - By Needtobreathe


I will leave you with my word of the day which immediately made me think of Mrs Mangel on Neighbours hahahahaha.

stickybeak

Australian/NZinformal
noun
noun: stickybeak; plural noun: stickybeaks; noun: sticky-beak; plural noun: sticky-beaks
  1. 1.
    an inquisitive and prying person.
    • an inquisitive or prying look or investigation.

      "guests were invited to have a good old stickybeak around"
verb
verb: stickybeak; 3rd person present: stickybeaks; past tense: stickybeaked; past participle: stickybeaked; gerund or present participle: stickybeaking; verb: sticky-beak; 3rd person present: sticky-beaks; past tense: sticky-beaked; past participle: sticky-beaked; gerund or present participle: sticky-beaking
  1. 1.
    pry into other people's affairs.

    "I don't mean to stickybeak, but when is he going to leave?"






Monday, 24 October 2016

Finding your way

Sometimes we find ourselves struggling to focus on the good that is in our lives.  I know I do.  Daily.  I know there are some people who might consider me to be a negative person.  First of all,  I personally dislike the use of the words negative and positive when describing a person. I think this is because it can depend on that persons circumstances and situation which then may make them come across in a certain way. Having said that, I must admit that I do on occasion use those phrases.

As some of you will already know, I have struggled for around 8 years with pretty much daily headaches and migraines since undergoing brain surgeries to deal with haemorrhage,  aneurysms and most recently a brain tumour.

Seriously...... You could. Not. Make. It. Up.

I have some good weeks, where I may just experience what I call a background headache with a little bit of tightness in my temples here and there, which generally I am able to ignore and so go about having a reasonably normal day. But I also get weeks were I have a level 10 headache and/or migraine practically every day. I will sometimes have a pretty bad run with those kind of weeks and have recently just come out of around 3 weeks worth.

During much of that time with which I am in a lot of pain - not just with the actual headache, but also neck and shoulder  pain, I am utterly miserable, and no amount of reminding myself of the good in my life can pull me from the mixture of negative emotions I am experiencing. I cannot begin to tell you how useeless it makes me feel, not just as a mum and a wife,  but just as "me".

Call me old fashioned, but I like to make sure that the house is  clean and tidy, that the ( actually endless) supply of laundry is done and that there is always a decent meal for when Max and Matt are home from college or work. I feel like the home is completely down to me as because of my headaches and migraines I am unable to work. I mean, seriously, who will employ someone on the basis that they may only actually turn up once a week? So when those basics get missed because I am literally unable to do anything, down I go again.

I am constantly trying to discover new ways to treat migraines.  Part of the issue for me is that I don't really have a set pattern with them. I can't really seem to find any obvious triggers for them and I am in a constant quandry over the amount and frequency of pain killers I should be taking. Standard over the counter pain killers don't really do anything for me when I have a particularly bad headache and certainly don't help with migraine.  I have a Triptan drug prescribed to me specifically for migraine but I am in the midst of battling to see a headache specialist to sort out a proper regime when it comes to the frequency of which I can takes these drugs, as, astoundingly, my GP doesn't know. 
I have tried preventative drugs such as Amitriptyline (anti depressant) and Propranolol (beta blocker) - both of which did not work. The  next drug they want me to take is an anti epileptic drug which, aside from it's side effects, is something you really cannot take if there's any chance you could fall pregnant. Matt and I are still trying on that front! So with the Neuro department refusing me an appointment with their headache specialist I'm effectively being penalised because of not wanting to try another pretty hard core drug. 

Every so often, someone will mention the "daith" piercing as  miracle cure. I've read so much stuff about this and I just don't believe the hype I'm afraid. I'm not saying it hasn't worked for some who have been suffering with headaches, and I appreciate that we all have different pain thresholds,  but unless you've ever experienced a migraine proper, with all due respect, you really don't have a clue. 

I think it's easy for some to look at me, even after reading this, and still be like, "oh, she's a negative person" or think that I spend my life complaining and moaning about it all, and I understand that it can perhaps come across in that way. But I would perhaps just ask for those of you who have someone in their life who they consider to always be moaning or being negative, to just have a think about it for a minute. Do you know what is actually going on in their day to day life? Not just the stuff they might present on social media. Do you actually even care enough to try and find out? Perhaps you might even consider offering help, even in a small way. Like sending them a little message to actually ask how they are. 


Negativity can spread like wildfire. You can put a negative status on your fb page without really going into detail and it can be hugely misinterpreted (I know this from personal experience) - and instead of people trying to ask what's wrong, they then go off with negative thoughts about you and it all just goes round in circles. I've seen a few people's posts on fb that suggest they're not in the best places right now and so I've messaged privately to ask if I can help in any way. So what if they're people I may not have seen for years? So what if I don't actually end up in a big conversation about it all? I know that in a small way I may have helped someone to feel a bit better that day. 

I'm on my own pretty much all day most days. So I know that I probably have a bit too much time on my hands to think about the stuff that gets me down. And there are plenty of time that it seems to be that my pea brain is all i talk about. But I have come to realise that that does not define who I am. 

I can only ever do my best with each day as it is given to me and so I try to remember that. 

I know that all though there are times that I feel like giving up completely, I have got blessings in my life. 

And i do know that although I stumble here and there, I  will eventually find my way. 




The next song on my play list - Jess Glynne - hold my hand


Word of the day ;

compunction

noun
  1. a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad.

    "Sandra downed 4 bottles of wine without compunction"

    synonyms:scruples, misgivings, qualms, worries, uneaseuneasiness, hesitationhesitancydoubts, reluctance,reservations; 

Friday, 23 September 2016

A very unexpected goodbye

Marjorie Crawford 1921 - 2016


So, before rambling on about holidays and how the Summer has been, I wanted to share a post about a lady who was one of my biggest supporters throughout my entire life. My Nan. Marjorie Crawford.

At risk of her not being happy about me writing about her in the public domain, I just wanted to share a few thoughts about her and the part she has played in my life.

My wonderfully honest, caring, intelligent, open minded yet old school Nan passed away on 14th August, aged 95 years old.

I was away in Jersey and so did not know until I returned. It was a hard decision for certain family members to not get in touch to tell me and I appreciate their decision to just wait until we were home 2 days later. 

My initial reaction was surprise; I really wasn't expecting her to go! At 95, I think I had somehow convinced myself that that meant she'd never die. She was such a strong lady. But my consolation was that it was sudden and painless for her and so she would have felt no fear. 

During my life, and particularly in my teenage years, I had some difficult times. And sadly, some of those times I couldn't get the emotional support I needed from my parents or siblings. My Nan did not hesitate in showing me that she would always be there for me and she would always believe in me and what I am. She whole heartedly trusted me and never once failed to let me know that she loved me. Don't get me wrong, Nan didn't announce her undying love every five minutes, she wasn't like that. But just for the way she always listened to any problems I might share and of course, offer her advice. 

Nan was sad that Max had so much to go through in life and she would often tell me how sorry she was that there was nothing she could do to change that situation. I know she found it heartbreaking at times, but in good old Nan style, she never showed her upset. I thank God that Max had the opportunity to have a good, close and strong bond with his Great Nan. There’s not a lot of kids out there that get to have that chance. Nan was very proud of him.

My Nan was one of my closest friends and confidantes and she loved to hear stories about my bunch of idiot cats.

We did have some good laughs during our phone calls and on days that we managed to visit her in the care home, we still managed to get a bit of fun and mischief in.

 I had the utmost respect for her and I will always think of her with a smile. I will miss her greatly.











Instead of the next song on my playlist, I’m sharing one of Nan's favourites: 


She loved a bit of Harry! haha x




And a word for the day - which was one my Nan used on a reasonably regular basis (not aimed at me btw!):  

imbecile

noun
informal
1.     1.
a stupid person.
synonyms:
adjective
1.     1.
stupid; idiotic.
"try not to make imbecile remarks"
synonyms:





Sunday, 24 July 2016

memories good & bad

I'd been trying to think of what to write about as I've not posted for a few weeks and I was still struggling even this morning.

I’ve been trying to get a bit more interest generated in the beauty stuff that I’ve been looking into and trying out. I'm looking at eventually trying to make some kind of business out of it but I think it's really important to do plenty of research into it and to also generate plenty of interest before committing to spending money on stock, 

Things are moving, albeit slowly, and I hope to be a doing a bit more towards the end of the summer maybe. So keep your eyes peeled on my social media pages and of course on my website http://liveandlovebeauty.com

Today and yesterday Matt and I were doing a few jobs in the house and this morning, Matt was sent a message from his photo library app on his phone. It basically will send him a random picture and tell him when it was. So today, he received this photo, telling him, 9 years ago today.

As much as it's not one of my best shots, I wanted to share it with you. This photo was taken after I’d had a second brain haemorrhage which required open brain surgery to repair. As you can see, a few staples and a bit of shaved hairline doesn't look particularly comfortable or indeed pain free. This photo brought back the memories of that time. 


But, I think that despite the memories that I have, in a lot of ways, Matt & Max's memories of that time and indeed that day are possibly worse. Matt had to sit and wait for me to come out of a surgery that, when he had asked if I was going to be alright, he was told "your wife is very ill". I think he looked things ups and saw that it was approximately 50/50 survival and around 66% of survivors of brain haemorrhage are left with some kind of permanent mental deficit. Now, I could go into all the various versions of what could be permanently wrong but that's not what this post is about. 

My post is really about how we have this idea of how we should be always trying to create happy memories for us and our friends and families. I feel we should never dismiss the sad or frightening memories. Those memories of a truly difficult time in our lives play a huge part in what keeps the love and the bonds between us strong. For us they are every bit as important as the happy memories. Matt and I had only been together around 4 years when I had the haemorrhages. And in the years since, we have created plenty of happy memories despite having sometimes long periods of time when I just haven't been well enough to go and do things that would enable us to create happy memories. 

Matt uses those memories of the struggle I’ve had to get back on my feet, to point out where I am now. On the days that I feel utterly useless and feel like I’m not achieving anything, he is there to remind me of where I’ve come from. He is a bright light in every memory I have. The darkest of my days will always end with being filled with light when he is there. 

So - as weird as it may sound - you must cherish the tough memories to a degree - and maybe learn from them. I think it helps to keep you going on whatever path you might find yourself on. Use the memories of the bad times to help to fuel creating the good ones.












Friday, 8 July 2016

overly sensitive or just too much information?

So with the development of messaging apps over the last few years, I'm just wondering if perhaps we are actually given a bit too much information?

When you send a message on WhatsApp you get the initial Grey tick that tells you the message has been sent. 2 Grey ticks means that the message has reached the other person's phone. And then 2 Blue ticks means that the message has been read. 

Facebook messenger app has a similar setup. You know the message has been sent, gone through and then a thumbnail of the person's profile picture comes up next to the message when it's been read.

Now - that in itself is ok. A confirmation that things have gone through can be useful. 

The other piece of information that you are given is when that person was last online or active. This is where I think the problems can start.

Here's an example: You've sent a message on WhatsApp. You've got your 2 Grey ticks. So the message is sitting on your contact's phone, waiting to be read. Now, some people might claim that they do not get any notification of new messages. That's ok. Maybe it is the case. Although my understanding is that you can go into your phone settings and switch notifications on. Anyway... 

So days (and, sometimes, even more days) go by and you get no response, so you keep checking whether you've still got Grey ticks or whether they've changed to Blue. Nope - still on Grey. The message still hasn't been read. You then notice the banner that scrolls across underneath the contact's name. Last seen at such and such day/time. So that's fine. Until you realise that it indicates that your contact was last on there after you had sent your message and got your 2 Grey ticks. And yet they still haven't opened your message. But you can't tell me that they are unaware of your message sitting there waiting to be opened. The same goes for FB messenger. You're informed of when that contact was last Active.

I must point out that this post is not me aiming a rant at anyone in particular, it's actually based on a few conversations I've had recently with others who find this whole act of others reading their messages and then not responding - and sometimes claiming that they were unaware of any message - really upsetting. Of course, in a world of apps, computers and gadgets, generally, there will always be blips and crashes etc so you may have to accept that it may not be as simple as you being ignored. 

So without these receipts or read confirmations, perhaps we wouldn't be so predisposed to taking a non-response so personally. I know some of you will just be reading this and thinking "what's the big deal?" "who cares?"... But when, as an example, you might live away from one of your children (who is now pretty much an adult) and you are messaging them on a reasonably regular basis, and you're seeing your 2 Blue ticks or FB confirmation of message read - and you literally get no response, that's got to hurt. 

I am a bit of a stickler for people having manners. And a bit of respect for one another. Especially when they're meant to be your friend / family. I know that more often than not I'm having a bit of a bad head day and so don't always want to get too involved with a text message conversation. So, because I am aware of the fact that the sender will see that I've read their message or have indeed not even opened it, but yet have "been online" I make a point of not opening anyone's messages until I'm ready to read them properly and respond. Call me old-fashioned, but the last thing I want is to make people I care about feel like I can't be bothered to respond to them. 

I guess my point is that maybe it would be better to not have this much information at our fingertips. There's too much out there. Even this post will probably baffle a few of you as to why I even feel the need to write about it. But at the same time, there will probably be even more of you who understand what I'm saying and actually agree.

There are some days that I like the idea of going a bit old skool and sending a letter in the post. Just a little note or card to let someone know that you're thinking of them - it can mean the world to someone.

I think it's important to treat people how you would like to be treated and I always try my best to do that. I also know, from personal experience, that you can actually never just assume others will think the same as you. But that's human nature. Perhaps some of us could do with being a little less sensitive and perhaps some of us could do with being a little more considerate. 



WORD OF THE DAY:   SELENOTROPISM
                                         biology - growth in response to moonlight




THE NEXT SONG ON MY PLAYLIST:
                                                                    ELI PAPERBOY REED - COME & GET IT