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How things are.

So I’ve not really done a general post since I started my P365, and I thought it was about time I did a general update for everyone!

Overall I’m not doing too bad! I was in Ireland for a few weeks in Feb/March which was fantastic. I’ve not been able to spend any proper time with them all in months and missed them to bits. I’ve started to get my room sorted in terms of pictures on walls and storage. I’ve still got a bit to do, and I’m not sure what way I’m going to do the rest. I need to get a chest of drawers in my room but at the moment I just don’t have the room for it. I really need to get it tidied up within the next few days and then I should be able to concentrate on getting it all finished. I’m looking forward to it, because this will be the first time I’ll have my room done the way I want it, and done by me in my first flat. Another reason for wanting to get it finished is that we’re going to start fostering dogs! We are going to be fostering a dog called Lizzie from Weds. She was rescued from Bulgaria where she was found severely malnourished and tied up, about to be poisoned. Luckily she was rescued and flown over here and has now put some weight on. She still has abandonment issues and is very whiny, and she’s not used to walking on a lead, so she’s going to need quite a lot of hard work, but we’re both looking forward to the challenge!

Billy and myself have put our relationship on hold for a bit. He’s really struggling with his mental health at the minute, and he didn’t quite expect it to get to the severity that it is. Being in a relationship with me is hard work at the best of times, but doing it with a pretty severe mental health illness aswell is going to be hard. Right now he needs to concentrate on sorting his head out, and getting better in his way, and having a girlfriend who needs a lot of support and can be a major cause of regular stress is going to make things worse. So while he concentrates on getting his mental health a bit more stable, we’re taking a break. We’re still really good friends and he’s coming round tomorrow, but I’m a bit wary. The last time a relationship ended like this for me, it was quite messy. I was cheated on and hurt in a way that I still haven’t quite got my head round. But I think that this time it will be different, Billy’s a completely different guy and I do still trust him. With Chris it just didn’t fit and he wasn’t the nicest of people, so I was kind of happy when he ended it and I’m pretty gutted about this. But if it means he can get his head into a better place, then I’ll wait.

As you’ve gathered from P365, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in hospital. This for me isn’t anything new, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Luckily I’ve not had an attack requiring ICU in quite a while, and I really do hope to keep it that way. My chest does seem to be better between attacks though, and I find that makes it easier to enjoy other activities. My consultant is fantastic, and although he winds me up something shocking on a regular basis by refusing to change anything to help me stay out of hospital, he has managed to help me reduce the severity of my attacks. Although I still need a lot of IV medications and admissions, I have had worse and consider myself lucky.  My hip is still causing a large amount of problems, and since my latest admission, I have lost a large amount of my mobility and can no longer do a lot of things that healthy people take for granted. I now have to get help putting my socks and shoes on, can’t get in and out of the bath, and in our flat that means the shower aswell, and I now struggle to find comfort in any position apart from lying in bed. It’s as if my joint falls out of place and pops when I’m sitting upright on a chair. It’s a good thing I got a double bed lately, because it makes it a lot easier to have to spend the day lying down when I can have Cookie sitting beside me watching telly and can stretch out properly. I’m seeing my consultant on the 1st April, and I’m going to try and get it across to him that I want my hip sorting sooner rather than later now. I’m getting very bored of being held back from doing things because of my hip and just want to be able to get on with my life. He can’t use the excuse that it’s my chest either because my chest consultant wrote to him and told him that he wasn’t to use my chest as an excuse for delaying the operation to replace it. Hopefully he will do it soon.

We’re off to Grantham on Friday to see Kira. Kira finally had her hip replaced a few week ago, and I’ve wanted to spend some time at hers for quite a while. So we’re going to stay from Fri – Sunday all being well!

Here’s to next time folks, and thanks for reading!

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Project 365 – Week 7

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Day 47 – 15th Feb – I was very naughty. I’ve wanted a mac for as long as I can remember, and specially since I knew James. Because he worked with Macs, he always had one and I always thought they were fantastic. So I decided with the amount of time I spend in hospital and travelling, and the fact that I got a massive amount of back pay, I was finally able to warrant buying one. I used a pic I’ve nicked off the internet. I had taken a picture of the box that my MacBook Air came in, but it’s really not a fantastic picture so I stole this one! It’s a 13″ MacBook air, which in comparison to my big 17″ Samsung is tiny! It’s very thin and light, which is why it’s so ideal for travelling and taking into hospital. One of the things about these laptops is that they generally have very little hard drive space, and don’t have a DVD Drive installed either, which is part of the reason why they’re able to be so thin and light. Because my old external hard drive was not compatible with Macs I had to order a new external hard drive that I could use with it. I’m going to Ireland in the morning, so I’ve got to pack for 2 weeks in Ireland, install a new laptop and transfer my stuff from one hard drive to another. It was a very busy day. I had to make a few trips out aswell to appointments, the chemist and tesco. So I was definitely ready for my bed that night!

Day 48 – 16th Feb – Off to Ireland today! I’ve not been home now properly for about 4 months since I took TJ home in November. I was going home partly to grieve for my stepdad and partly to see the family. I knew going home was going to be hard and I knew I was going to be going to his Months Mind mass. A months mind is basically a normal mass that’s said, but with a dedication and prayer for the deceased. It’s a bit like a memorial. I knew I’d be going to the one in Monaghan that was being held and organised by my mum, but wasn’t expecting to be going to one in Fermanagh aswell. Unfortunately, things weren’t on the best terms with his family since he died, which is really unfortunate. They had all, bar one of the brothers, been exceptionally nasty to mum. I might go into it at some point, but I don’t think that now is really the right time. But it made me angry. When someone dies, the family is meant to come together to comfort each other, and be there for each other. But this wasn’t the case, and I think that’s partly why I was so angry. But it’s all over now and mum won’t have to deal with them again.

Day 49 – 17th Feb – Anyone who has been to Ireland MUST try Club Orange. It’s a fizzy orange that you can’t actually get in England, and it really is one of my favourite drinks. It’s quite a sweet fizzy orange with bits in it, like the pure orange. Anytime I go home I drink gallons of the stuff (blood sugar allowing! ;)) and end up always trying to bring some back for Cookie. Obviously with the cabin baggage restrictions, it’s not the easiest of things to get back, and being heavy, you can’t stick a shedload in your case and check it in! But I ended up drinking too much of it while I was home, and ended up a bit poorly. I then decided that it was probably best to stick to sugar-free cordial for a bit! Doesn’t mean it’s going to put me of the next time I’m home though!

Day 50! 18th Feb – So I’ve actually managed to do 50days of Project 365 so far! I must say I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ve managed this far! Anyway, meet my doggy! This is Dolly, named after Dolly Parton. My mum and James had been to see Dolly Parton a few days before she showed up at our back door, and they’d bought a calendar while at the show and while we were sitting trying to decide what to call her, I looked at the calendar and piped up with Dolly! She’s a Jack Russell terrier, and we think she’s about 7 or 8 years old. We’ve had her now for about 5 years, and she really is part of the family. When you have a dog that you love as much as we love Dolly, you let them away with murder, and as you can see, she does! I came in to go to bed after brushing my teeth and found her in my spot on the bed! She’s a right charmer! But I promptly shifted her to the other side of the bed and climbed in. She is better than any anti-depressant available. She knows when I’m unwell and is able to tell when I’m having a rubbish day. A few years ago when I was living at home, she used to sleep at the foot of my bed, and if I started to wheeze would come and wake me up. While I was home I was having problems with my sugars, and one morning had a pretty good hypo. (1.7 for those interested!) She somehow knew something was up and started licking my face and nudging me until I woke up and got some sugar in me, then sat watching me for the rest of the day. She’s the best dog I could ask for!

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Day 51 – 19th Feb – Although this isn’t technically a picture, it still happened on the day and makes me smile! I sat Leaving Certificate English, and got an A grade in it, so I’m a mega grammar pedant. So when people make grammar errors I’m forever pulling them up on it. I actually have a friend that takes pictures of all the mistakes he finds in places that should know better and posts them on his website! But I was reading an article on the BBC News app this morning and noticed this classic. “It is the first time the catch-up service has past the 300m viewers mark.” Who wants to find the mistake there then? But considering it’s coming from the BBC, who are meant to have some of the best journalists in the world, it did make me giggle that I could find that error on a first read and I’m nowhere near as qualified as them! (And funnily enough while I was spellchecking this, it came up with me to change it to passed!)

Day 52 – 20th Feb – This was the view from the front garden of my house. We live quite close to the edge of the town, and right beside the Garda station, which has proved to be both a blessing and a curse in the past! Back when James was hassling mum a lot and she had to take out a restraining order against him, it made it a lot easier to keep it enforced because I don’t think anyone would dare break a restraining order on the police station’s doorstep! But on the other hand, TJ has quite a lot of nightmares and one night had quite a graphic one involving James hurting mum that woke him up. For some reason that night mum had gone to sleep in the spare room and TJ didn’t know this, so when he got up to go into her after her nightmare and she wasn’t there, TJ panicked. Because he was half asleep it didn’t occur to him to check the spare room, and he immediately thought something had happened to mum. His first instinct was to get the police and started walking in his pyjamas and bare feet to the police station at about 2am. Something had made mum wake up, and to this day doesn’t know what it was. She says mothers instinct. But she went to check on TJ and found him not in his bed, but the front door was open. He was halfway up the road to the Garda station to tell them that mum had gone. Bless him.

Day 53 – 21st Feb – The last of the good weather was yesterday, and today it was back to normality with rain! But we were in the shopping center car park driving round while we were looking for a decent spot, I spotted this. I had to take it through the car windscreen, which at the time was covered in rain, so it’s not the best picture in the world! But can you spot what it is? Some adventurous person has obviously been kayaking and has it strapped to the top of their car. It made me giggle because a few years ago there was major flooding in Monaghan, and there was a picture of one of the managers of the Leisure center kayaking across one of the busiest junctions in Monaghan in about 6 foot of water. It really was a sight to behold, and seeing the kayak in the rain just reminded me of that!

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Mad Month.

Well it’s been about a month since I last updated my blog. But it has been a completely nutty month. As I said I got back from Tenerife just before my last blog, and then I had to go to Ireland to collect my little brother for his trip over to Manchester for 10 days. I can honestly say, I’ve only just managed to get time to recover from it all, but it was so worth it. 

Anyway, TJ came over on the 30th October. It was a complete surprise for him, and he didn’t know he was coming until we told him the night before. We were going to wait until I was at the airport and then tell him, but we decided to do it the night before because it meant that we knew he’d go to bed that night for me and get up the next morning when he was told. The look on his face when I told him was magic. And then when I told him about things like my Xbox live, wifi and what he’d be doing, his smile just grew and grew. It really does make the madness worth it. He really was a well behaved kid. 

I ended up having to get an ambulance out on his 2nd night here and I was in hospital overnight with the beginnings of a chest infection. I was lucky that my consultant was fantastic about it and let me out on the provision that if I deteriorated in the slightest I’d come straight back in. But TJ coped magnificently with it all, despite having ambulances out, having to stay at home on his own with cookie and coming to visit me the next day when I was on the ward. 

Most of the time we sat at home watching TV, playing the xbox and just chilling with TJ and cookie. I wasn’t able to do an awful lot because I did have an infection and was feeling pretty rough, and it did annoy me, but I did get to spend a lot of time with him and he just liked being able to pad about in his PJ’s with me and playing games and sitting on his tablet all day. 

On his birthday I took him to the Legoland Discovery Center in the Trafford Center. It was a fantastic day. He was able to enjoy everything in it and appreciate it aswell. I spoilt him rotten and he got to experience everything that was there. He got some good momentos of the day in the form of the pictures they take, a driving licence they made him for driving a Lego City police car. I ended up killing my crutches that day haha. I put the bottom of the crutch pole through the ferrule on the bottom which was a complete pain in the arse, but we got it sorted! I got him loads of presents for his birthday aswell. I never ever get to spoil him properly or spend any decent time with him, and I don’t think I’ll get to do it again for a very long time. It was so worth all the madness. I got him a Sony 4GB MP3 player, skullcandy headphones, an Angry Birds Star Wars flask, a book, Back to the Future for his Wii, Call Of Duty: Black Ops for his xbox, a glow stick torch that lights up red and some clothes. Cookie got him a lego watch and paid for his cake. Then we had Domino’s pizza that night and we all ate far too much, but it was fantastic. 

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I left TJ back to Ireland on the 9th November, and was back on the 12th. I knew I wasn’t well when I left to be honest. I spent a few days in bed just chilling out and trying to get over it. I was back and forward to the doctors for bits and bobs and I knew they were getting worried but I was able to avoid getting admitted because they knew that if I felt it was needed I’d go. I decided I’d go in on Saturday night. I just wasn’t getting any better and was starting to struggle more and more and couldn’t risk it much longer. What was scary this time was that I called an ambulance at about 19.30. By 20.00 no ambulance had arrived yet. I was on my own and was starting to get scared. I knew I was getting worse and worse, and I had to call them back. Luckily I managed to grab my epipen and that kept me going until the paramedics got here about 10mins later. I dread to think what would’ve happened if I didn’t have my epipens. When I got to A&E, the triage nurse tried sending me to minors.  They had to take me through majors to get there, and they caught me in majors and sent me straight to resus. My gases were all over the show and the fact that they were going to put me in a cubicle on my own scares me. I’m going to speak to my GP and consultant about it because this was not something that I want to have to deal with again if I’m really unwell. But I was in hospital for 6 days, which is about my average now. 

While I was in hospital dad came over. It had been planned for a while that I would be going to see a pyschcologist. The appointment had been made for Thursday, but I thought that being in hospital would mean that it would’ve been cancelled. I didn’t know dad had rung the ward and asked them if I could have leave and had been organising it all behind my back. I was so angry but I’m over it now to be honest. I’m still angry with him for going behind my back but I’ve done something about it now and there’s no point in sitting getting pissed about it again. But I had the pysch assessment anyway and she’s going to send me the report next week. I had a row with dad about it because he was demanding a copy of the report and I was rather pissed off about it. It’s confidential for a reason and if I had of realised he had wanted a copy of it, I don’t think I’d have been able to be as open as I was with the pysch. But I e-mailed her about it and she put my worries at ease by saying that she’d amend the report for me if I felt there was anything in it that would be insensitive to me or dad. 

I got discharged on Friday morning and went straight from the hospital to Edinburgh. My stepbrother was in the Edinburgh Gang Show and I had been planning to go up and see if for weeks. I knew that going up as soon as I’d been discharged was silly, but I couldn’t miss it. I knew it meant a lot to him that I’d got up to see it and I really did enjoy getting up. It was a very funny, musical and entertaining show. And Sean, as usual did fantastically. He is a wee star and I’m so proud of him. He’s been through so much in the past few years and keeps smiling regardless. 

But I got back last night, and I’m just recovering from the past month now to be honest. I’m spending my days watching TV, playing my xbox and just relaxing. I learnt the hard way that overdoing it makes me unwell when I ended up unwell after TJ went home. And as much as I’d do it again in a heartbeat, it’s tiring and hard work. 

But the next few weeks should be relaxing and I need to rest in preparation for my trip to Tenerife over Christmas. But I do enjoy seeing family and friends and as much as my health might moan, I wouldn’t give it up. 

Until next time people! 

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Finally getting stronger.

Well, after months of posts where things have been a bit negative and down, things are finally getting better.

I love being able to say “I’m good!” when people ask if I’m ok. I got back from Tenerife on Wednesday, and although I didn’t finish my holiday on a good note, having had an argument with dad and having a terrible return flight that involved delays, horrendous terbulence and an hours delay at the baggage carasol, in the past few days, I’ve seen just how things can improve.  But while I was away I got to sunbathe, spend some time with my stepbrother, Sean and got back in the pool again. Going back over for christmas though, so that’ll be something to look forward to. It’s a busy few months!

I’ve come back and for some reason, I just feel better. I know people say holidays always make you feel better, but for some reason, I do genuinely feel like I’ve turned a corner. I’m going to be seeing a new pysch soon so I can hopefully start getting somewhere with my mental health, and *whispers* at the minute, my chest is relatively behaving. I’m having the odd blip early in the mornings, but that’s not unusual for me. I’ve now been out of hospital a month, which is seriously good going for me. Lets hope it continues. I’ve also had some of my painkillers changed about. My patch has been changed from BuTrans, which I’ve been on for about 2 years, to Fentanyl. So hopefully I’ll be able to get the pain in my hip more under control.

Next week though is going to be epic. I have my little brother coming over for 10 days. He hasn’t a clue it’s happening, and I’m extremely excited about it.  It’s going to be his birthday while he’s over, so I’m going to take him to Legoland and Old Trafford while he’s over so it’s going to be a fantastic time for him. It’ll be the first time I’ve had him over here or he’s been away without mum for longer than a few days. I could really do with some good vibes that I stay well while he’s over, because the last thing I want is to end up in hospital while he’s over.  But I’m going to be seriously sensible and do everything in my power to stay well.

Here’s to a fab few months.

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Moving on.

So it’s been about 3 weeks since my last blog post. Where I was just getting over a pretty big meltdown for me. I struggled for a few days after that. My head just wasn’t in the right place, even over my birthday. A day that’s meant to be fun and enjoyed was weighed down by doubts about how I was meant to be a good friend to people when I was such a bad person. A person who keeps loosing her temper with her best friend over the most stupid of reasons. Because her friend makes her get out a chair that she’s sitting in because she wants to sit there.  I shouldn’t loose my temper so easily. Even now I’m struggling to hold my temper. I think I need a break. To get away from all the hospital appointments, bills, messy flats and stresses that are going on in my life. Because I know this isn’t me. I’m not the sort of person who lets things get on top of her. 

I had quite a severe asthma attack a few days after my birthday. My gases were pretty shit and I was in quite a bad way. I was a bit pissed cause I told the resp reg I was struggling over and over again and kept getting told that it was just me panicking. Then I let them have a blood gas and they realised just how much I was struggling. Within 10mins I had IV’s going up left, right and center and ICU doctors assessing me. I couldn’t help but think if they had’ve listened to me in the first place, it wouldn’t have been this bad. It’s tough. It’s the decision of do I put my wrists through hell several times while they try and get a blood gas from me, or do I try and fight through the attack without extra meds? I think from now on I may not be as reluctant to give them gases, because it makes them see just how unwell I am. I ended up having 9 ABG’s over 2 days. I was not happy. But I got out a week later. I’m still not fully back to normal, and am struggling to walk as much as normal without needing to stop. But these are the things that we have to get through after these things. And I will get better. I’ve got so many things that I have to get better for. 

Yesterday I went to see my orthopeadic consultant. I’ve been struggling a lot with my left hip. It was my right one I had replaced in June, but I knew that my left one was going to need done at some point in the future so I’m expecting it. I had an appointment in February, but I had to bring it forward because I can’t keep going the way it is and not know whether I’ve damaged it more or what’s happened. I had some x-rays done and went to see my consultant reg. He said he wanted to replace it as soon as he could before it got any worse. Because it would just get worse and not better. With the condition I have in my hip, it’s never going to get better and that scares me.  He went into speak to my consultant, and he has decided that with the condition of my lungs, it’s too dangerous to do it until it’s absolutely necessary. I don’t understand it because surely it’s just going to be as dangerous in 6/9 months time or whenever they decide to do it as it would be now? How do they know that my chest isn’t going to be worse? I would love that it would be better, but it’s a 50/50 chance that it is going to be worse. As far as he’s concerned it’s a 1 in 5 chance that something serious could happen during my op. And that’s scary. It’s major surgery and it hurts. A hell of a lot. So until he is certain that my want to just get rid of the pain is more than the fear of the pain after, he’s not going to do it.  I think part of me is glad he won’t, but the other part is saying to me that I just want to get it over and done with. I recovered really well, really quickly last time. But they say that just because it happened once before, doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. Here’s hoping my lungs and hip behaves because the next few months are manic for me. 

I’m getting my break away from everything! I’m going to Tenerife on Sunday with Irene and Sean. My stepmum and stepbrother. Irene and dad got engaged last year. It’s a big deal for me because I’ve seen my dad go through absolute hell for years. With loosing both of his parents to horrendous conditions and then getting married to a pyscho and divorcing her a year later. Its tough for him to be alone. Yes he’s in Tenerife and he’s far away from her, but they do see one another a lot and they are making it work. They’re right for each other and it makes me happy seeing how happy my dad is. Nobody wants it to work for him more than me. I’m his closest relative. He doesn’t see his sister an awful lot and they’ve never completely seen eye to eye. But dad and I have always been really close. Of course we occasionally argue, but it’s generally for a good reason.  But I can’t wait to spend some times with family in the sunshine. I just need to pack!

I get back from Tenerife on the 23rd October and then I’m flying to Ireland on the 29th. My little brother is coming over for 10days and because he’s under 16 he’s now allowed to fly unaccompanied so I’m going to get him. Then I’m flying back with him the next day and have him for 10 days.  I can’t wait. It’s the first time he’s actually spent some proper time with me, and I’ll be able to take him on the plane and see his face when he figures out where he’s going and what he’s doing. I haven’t told him he’s coming and am going to make it a big surprise for him. It’s going to be fantastic. Just to see his face when we show up at the airport. He’s going to be over here for his birthday and I can’t wait. I’m going to take him to LegoLand, Old Trafford, Manchester Airport and The Trafford Center. I’m so excited!!!

Things are going to get better. Things are going to go right. I can get there. 

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Losing the Blogging Will

Sorry I’ve not blogged in so long, things have been kind of manic.

I’m still living in Manchester with my friend, but I’ve put in an application for my own place now which will make things easier. I’ve also asked that it be a 2 bed so said friend can move in with me. It’s good because neither of us do living on our own very well. As was discovered when I last lived on my own, and I’ve been living with her for the past 8 months because she struggles living on her own. It’s a big commitment to undertake being someones carer, but I’m finding it a lot less stressful than I originally thought. Probably because I don’t really act as her carer. I’m more a friend that helps out when needed. But that’s what friends are for, right?

We went to Tenerife in April for 2 weeks to celebrate her 21st. It was absolutely brilliant and we both really enjoyed it. It was the break both of us needed and getting to see dad and just chill out without having to worry about appointments and stuff was excellent. What ruined it though was getting home and finding out the electric had gone off, which had knocked the freezer off and we’d lost £50 worth of food. We had left £7.50 on the electric meter to make sure there was enough to run the freezer etc which had to stay on while we were away. There was enough food in there to make sure that when we got back we weren’t running around trying to buy food etc but had forgotten that Scottish Power have a standing charge of 50p a day. We were away for 3 weeks in total and then running the freezer killed it. So we get back, there’s no electric, no food and no money. Bollox. Luckily we had enough money to get the electric sorted and cancel the debt that had run into it and our support worker and cookie’s mum rallied to get us some food and things sorted. The day was saved!

I’ve been back in hospital a few times aswell, but that’s nothing new. I think it’s just a case of being something I have to learn to live with, but hopefully my new consultant will have some better ideas than the one in Leicester. So crossing fingers! 

Love till next time! 

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One More…

Ok, so I’ve been home now for about 2 weeks from hospital. And I’m getting seriously fed up with bouncing between home and hospital. This time just took the piss. In all fairness I didn’t feel as shite as I could do during an attack but it wasn’t something I could control at home. So going in at 2am with the other half coming out in the ambo… (interesting scenario) seemed like the most sensible idea. Getting onto the ward at about 7am feeling a little better, ICU decided I’d gone into metabolic and lactic acidosis and I ended up back in ICU. It’s not fair, and what’s even better is that they don’t know why it keeps happening. Argh. If it’s not one thing it’s another.

Anyway, things are doing better and I’m feeling better. Well, We’re not counting the past few days because the weather’s been seriously fucked and we had a thunder storm today which just completely complicated matters. But the air’s a lot clearer now so lungs are starting to behave a lot better. Here’s hoping it stays that way, because… I’m going on holidays tomorrow!

We’re not going far, Just down south to Torquay. Me and Chris went there last year and liked it. Why go abroad when it’s 28degrees here?! I have been packing tonight, and for 5 days you’d think I was going for abot 3 weeks with all the crap I’ve to bring.

5 days packing!

Talk when I get back next week!