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Rough seas.

I’ve kind of neglected my blog lately. I do think about it quite a lot,  but it’s finding the time, energy and motivation to actually take the time to start writing. Even more so when you have more revision to do than you can shake a stick at.

So. Since the last time I’ve posted….

It feels like a lot has happened, but in reality it hasn’t. We changed my anti-depressant to a completely different one, I’ve had 2 assessments by two different branches of the mental health trust, I’ve had surgery on my shoulder (Oh yea, that kind of counts as a lot…) and then all the general shenanigans that I get up to.

So I reckon I should just start with the first thing and work my way down. We (GP, me and Sophie) decided that it was time to do something about my antidepressant. It’s going to be a hell of a while before I’m seen by psychiatry (more on that later) so he’s decided to change it and see where we go. I have swapped from mirtazipine which I’ve been on now for about 2 years to Venlafaxine, which tends to be used more in severe depression but it is difficult to manage because you can only increase it every 2 weeks and it can mess about with your heart a bit, and because I’ve got a history of SVT, they’re being a bit cautious. He increased it again on Wednesday so we shall see how that goes. I’m starting to get frustrated with the amount of meds I’m having to take, and it’s getting more and more difficult to make myself take them. It’s frustrating me that nobody trusts me with more than a weeks worth of meds. I can understand why it’s happening, and I’ve been the one having to make that decision on behalf of someone, but it still isn’t easy. I’m losing control of something that has such a big impact on my life and I don’t like it.

I had an assessment with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), who are tasked with looking after people with severe mental health problems in the community. , which took 4 appointments. It doesn’t normally take as long, but apparently I’m “complex”. Not going to deny that! But the woman doing it was a total tosspot. She was so rude it was unbelievable. I took both Cookie and Sophie along to different appointments to make sure it wasn’t just me taking things the wrong way, but they both said she was totally out of order. She didn’t quite understand that there’s things I struggle to talk about, and that I may not necessarily be able to very easily. Making me feel bad by telling me I don’t want to get better and that they’re never going to be able to help me isn’t helpful. It was an assessment and she really did push me too much in them without giving me any coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions that she brought back to the surface. I had only just got to the point with my PTSD that I could walk past resus in A&E without having a panic attack and she decided that she wanted me to tell her exactly what happened that night. Despite me explaining I really didn’t want to talk about it for self preservation reasons, and I’d appreciate it if she would let Cookie explain it, she wasn’t having any of it, despite me bursting into tears. My psychologist and GP where absolutely furious with her for doing it. My psychologist told me she didn’t actually need to know the specifics for the purpose of that assessment. As well as that, there’s a rule in Manchester that if you miss two appointments with the mental health trust, even if you have a valid reason (eg being in hospital) they’ll discharge you. Not even 2 consecutive appointments, but 2 appointments at all. She wasn’t willing to discuss it with her manager because apparently too many people were taking the biscuit with it. I can understand that there was people taking the piss, I really do. But when I have a discharge letter from the hospital saying I was an inpatient, surely that counts as a valid reason?! In the end she decided to refer me to the Early Intervention Team (EIT) who are there to help treat the early stages of psychosis. So I had to have an assessment at home with them. That was only the one appointment thankfully, but they decided that my psychosis isn’t actually psychosis but is anxiety and PTSD related. Not sure I agree, but that was their call.  So they referred me back to the CMHT and I had to see the tosspot again yesterday. She’s decided she wants to see me for 6 appointments.  I’m not happy about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the help. I understand that there are people who don’t get any help. But she makes things a hell of a lot worse, and I don’t think I have much room to get worse at the minute. But we’ll see.  I just want to be able to get on with my life the way it was before January. It’s one of those vicious circles that once you’re in, it’s damned near impossible to get out of that I want to get back to uni, but going scares me into having a panic attack, but getting back is going to help my head.

So I had the surgery on my shoulder that I’d been waiting on since last year in April. Feck me that was tough. I was in hospital for Cookie’s birthday again though which sucked. But I did my best and made sure she had some presents to open and she brought them and some cake up on her birthday. I was in for a few days beforehand for IV’s to get my chest right because I had to have a general anesthetic, which in people with naughty lungs is a scary concept. The anesthetist I had seen for my assessment a few months prior had been absolutely lovely. He had said I could have someone in the anesthetic room, a PCA post op and would be allowed someone in the recovery room with me. The anesthetist who actually did my operation wasn’t having any of it and I had to pretty much argue the toss to allow Sophie into recovery. He got the huff when I put my iPod in when I was in the anesthetic room because I was starting to totally panic and was just a general arse. He told me he wasn’t having any of it the night before, so needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night. My chest kicked off a smidge when I was in recovery and I had to have some magnesium and hydrocortisone, but apart from that it was all good. I think I was in for about 2 weeks in total, but my shoulder is a hell of a lot better now. I spent 4 weeks in sling instead of 3 because I managed to (being me) fall on my sore shoulder about a week post op. I will say though that I’m terrible at doing my physio. I’ve been trying to do it a bit more in the past few weeks, but I am absolutely terrible at remembering. But even despite that, it’s doing well. I’ve a good bit of movement back in it, and I’m slowly building up the strength in it. I’m still not fully trusting of it, but it was the same after my hip replacements. It took me months to trust my leg to take my weight fully when I was going up and down stairs. It’s only been recently that I’ve trusted them enough to go down stairs without holding onto the banister! But I’ll get there, I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back to the gym. I’m not allowed just yet, but I think once I hit 3 months post op in July they’ll let me.

I’m going to be sitting all my exams at the end of August/beginning of September with all the resits. I’m not actually sitting any of them as resits, but because I missed 2 in January because I was in hospital, and with having surgery and my mental health being so rubbish, my GP, me and uni all decided that deferring my exams to then would be better for me. It put less pressure on me because there was no way in hell I was going to be ready by May to sit the exams. Bearing in mind in two of my 4 modules I have to do 2 semesters worth of revision. So I have a kind of revision plan at the minute and I’m really trying to stick to it. Hopefully I will and it will all pay off. As it stands I’m on the fence about repeating first year so we will see how things go when I sit my exams. Not going to lie, I’m nervous as feck, but uni have been fantastic. Because I missed the majority of my labs, I wouldn’t be able to move onto 2nd year because of that. But my module co-ordinator is going to work with me during July and August to catch up and get me to the level for the must pass exam. So here’s hoping!

Trying to think whether anything else big has happened. I went to Edinburgh to see Dad on Father’s Day. He hadn’t a clue I was coming, and seeing his face when he saw me coming up the stairs has to be in my top 15 moments ever. It was good to see him. I’ve not seen Irene or Sean since November, and although I’ve seen dad since, it was only briefly because he came down for the day.  So it was good to spend some proper time with them all. Sean’s voice has broke and he’s getting so grown up. He’s just a little bit older than TJ, but he’s so much more mature. With TJ’s learning difficulties he’s very naive and innocent and can’t really look after himself to any degree. Whereas Sean is a lot more independant. Hopefully though we will get TJ to that level and he’ll be able to be to live independantly. While I was in Edinburgh, I had a massive haircut. I’m still undecided as to whether I like it. I think it’s too short and I look like an oompa loompa, but everyone else says it’s lovely. I think it’s nicer when I can get it tussled and not like a bob. It actually means I have to use products on my hair for the first time in my life. It’s mad. Although the advantage of having it dried in an hour and it taking about a quarter of the time to shower is a massive one. It’s whether or not I can keep it this short or not! I think I might let it grow a bit, and keep it just above shoulder level. But time will tell.

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Unfortunately a few months ago we lost Dolly. Dolly was my Jack Russell Terrier back in Monaghan. She was a total legend. She got me through the worst of stuff with James and was absolutely epic at making me laugh. She had a heart attack when mum went to pick her up from Nanny’s. I was, and still am totally devastated. I can’t imagine going home now and Dolly not being there. It’s going to take some doing. Miss my puppy 😦

 

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If you’ve managed to get to this point and not fall asleep, I congratulate you. I promise to try to be a bit better at blogging. Hopefully once my head starts to wise up, things will get a bit easier and I will have a bit more motivation to do it. Watch this space.

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Keep on keeping on.

So the past few weeks since I found out about my shoulder have been pretty manic.

Digesting the news that I needed more surgery has been tough. Last year when I had my hips done I thought it was the last time I was going to need surgery for a long time and it just seems like when things start going right for me, something always comes up. It’s a shit one. But there’s nothing really that I can do about it except suck it up and get on with it. Yea, I’m not going to lie. I’m scared of the surgery. I met the anaesthetist on Tuesday and went through my options and whatnot and it seems like the only option is for me to have a general anaesthetic. My chest consultant has said so long as I’m admitted beforehand for IV’s and am sent to ICU after he’s happy enough for it to go ahead. Still scary though.

Ended up back in hospital spiking temperatures and feeling shite about 2 weeks after my last admission. They suspected I had a massive infection in my PICC line and had me on IV Domestos for a week. IV Domestos is evvvvillll! It makes you feel like poop in general but I throw up rather spectacularly on it.  But a week after being discharged I’m still feeling rather poop and am throwing temps a lot. It’s annoying me. I’m spending all day in bed trying not to fall asleep. Stupid body.

We did get to go to Aerial Extreme last week though. It was a year since I had my left hip done and I wanted to do something big to mark it. Unfortunately being a day out of hospital with ?sepsis wasn’t the best time to go and do it, but we’d already paid for it so I wasn’t going to lose £78 for it. I made it round the little course fine, but about half way through the big one my heartrate hit 190 and I got really dizzy and had to stop. It was the height of shit (bad pun alert). I was so angry that I had to stop when I’d been looking forward to it for ages. Hearts are totally overrated.

Things in other ways are going well though. I’ve had my application for DSA approved and am just waiting on an assessment for it now. And I’ve just checked my emails to find my acceptance letter from university. I squealed so loudly I set the noise trigger on the CCTV off haha. I’ve got my reading list aswell so I’ve been ordering some of my uni books and trying to revise stuff. I’ve not been in any form of education since 2011 and it’s scaring the crap out of me. I have enough problems trying to keep up with things without not having any idea how I’m going to keep up. I’m a hard worker though, hopefully it’ll work out though. Cookie’s sitting her driving test next week for the 4th time. I think she’ll pass it. The times she’s failed has been something totally stupid that had it have been a different examiner she’d probably have passed.

I’ve got a manic August planned. Dad comes home from Cambodia at the end of the month then I’m going to Edinburgh for a week to stay with him and Irene. It’s Irene and Sean’s birthday about a week after I go up so I’m gonna take them out for food when I’m up and do early presents. Then I’m back in Manchester for about a week then Cookie and I are heading to Ireland for a week. I can’t wait! We’re going to see my family but my best friend Michelle is home from Spain in August so I’m gonna see her. I’ve not seen her in absolutely ages and I can’t wait! Plus it’s Chris’ birthday when I’m home so we’re going to go up to Belfast and stay in a youth hostel overnight so we can see him properly. I’m so excited!!!

Bring on August.

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Christmas.

So I’ve not been a good blogger recently, and have let my blog slide a bit. But I do have a pretty good reason. I think anyway.

It’s been a manic few months. When I last updated in October things were looking pretty good in my life despite a lot of things going on and I was quite optimistic about things. Since then though, there’s been a few setbacks both with my own health, and Cookies. Since then though I’ve been back home twice. Once in November for my Nanny’s 70th birthday and then for Christmas. But along with the trips home came 2 different viruses that caused havoc with my chest, Cookie ending up on the verge of being resectioned and just a lot of things that have taken some getting over.

I went home for Nanny’s 70th birthday in November. She hadn’t a clue I was coming home and we had all been winding her up giving her reasons as to why I wasn’t coming home. We toyed with her a bit by putting up facebook status’s that only she could see saying things like I was unwell, that I was up to my eyes with things and basically trying to put her off my scent. But I’d blocked her from seeing my actual status’s saying I was coming home and was at the airport etc. She had said that the only thing she wanted for her birthday was that we would all be home for it, so we had been mean by making her think it wouldn’t happen! Little did she know! But as part of her Christmas/birthday present we had a photoshoot done with all the grandkids and got it printed for her. There’s 8 of us and it’s the first time we’ve all been together. It was a really symbolic day for me. I’m the eldest in the family, and there’s 5 years between me and Jessica, who is the next eldest. It was brilliant to see all my cousins. I hadn’t met my youngest cousin, Leah, so I really enjoyed meeting her. It was the first time I’d been home since my operation in July, so it was the first time the family had seen me without crutches. It meant I was able to run after the kids and throw them in the air and do airplanes with them. It really is the little things that make you realise just how lucky you are in life. For so long I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be because of the stupid hips, but now I can finally enjoy myself and my cousins.  Unfortunately though, I caught some kind of bug on the way home and ended up dosed to the eyeballs with the cold, which inevitably went straight to my chest and I ended up with pneumonia. That A&E trip was one of the ones that has left an imprint on me, and not for a good reason.

When you have brittle asthma, you tend to get treated a bit differently in A&E when you present with breathing difficulties. You’re generally brought into the resuscitation room (resus) and hooked up to monitors. Within about 10 minutes you’ve got doctors all around you, a neb going and several different people fighting to get some IV access. This time, I had the misfortune of bumping into a nurse in there that really doesn’t like me, and has told me it on several occasions. The best line she has come out with was “75% of R’s (consultant) patients have more psychological problems than physiological ones” or when I asked her if she had a problem with me got told “Our system has a note on it for all the patients who come a lot. We know when you’ve been to lots of different hospitals and when you are considered attention seeking.” Up until recently the problems I had with her though were just the things she said to me, but on this occasion it was a lot more. When I got to A&E, the triage nurse sent me through to resus. Ann (names protected etc) decided that I didn’t need to be in resus because I was hyperventilating and tried to get me moved to minors. Luckily whoever was in minors had sense and told her in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t happening. This was only the start of my problems that night. She put me in the very end bay in resus and ignored me for an hour. I jest you not. I saw no doctor, had no observations done, didn’t get a neb, anything. She would pop her head around the screen occasionally and tell me to slow my breathing down because I was hyperventilating and that I was making myself poorly. When I did finally get a neb written up by a doctor who passed me and saw how unwell I was becoming, she refused to give it to me because she believed all I needed was a paper bag. Shortly after this she moved out of resus and I was treated by a different nurse who immediately rang the chest team and got the A&E consultant to see me and I had gases done. In the hour that I had been waiting, my gases had become appalling. As it is my gases tend to be quite bad when I’m admitted, but when I get there and they start pumping me full of stuff, they start to sort themselves out. But because I’d been left for so long, they were really worried and had ICU come and assess me. It took 3x the normal amount of medications to stabilise me again and I was actually starting to get scared. That doesn’t happen often. Eventually I did start to stabilise enough to be moved to the wards on a monitored bed and saw my consultant that evening. I told him about my problems with this nurse, and from what he said, I’m not the first person to have had problems with her. Apparently the new psychologist on the chest team is going to be working with the A&E staff to improve the attitudes towards asthma. As a result of the way I was treated by that nurse, I decided that I was no longer going to attend that A&E because I couldn’t trust her to not do the same again. I was so much more poorly than I was when I arrived and it scared me. But it’s never good when as a severe asthmatic who does have to go to A&E a lot, that you are actually scared to go to A&E because you believe it will actually make you worse. I saw R in clinic a few weeks later and we decided one of the best ways to deal with the situation in the interim was to make me a care plan so that when I get to A&E, they have to treat me a specific way, and if that plan isn’t followed then he can get involved. When I attended A&E on NYE for an infective exacerbation of my asthma, that piece of paper was my saving grace. Granted that Ann* wasn’t there, but I was still seen and treated extremely well and quickly.

Which brings me on to Christmas! I was at home for Christmas this year. I was in Tenerife last year, so it was a bit of a different setting! But it was the first Christmas in five years that my grandparents were home for it. They have an apartment in Tenerife so spend a good part of the winter out there so it was lovely to have them home this year. While I was home I went up to Belfast to see some family and friends. I got to see Kathleen who is like my adopted Grandmother, (My grandma (dads mum) was Kathleen’s Matron of Honour at her wedding, and her husband and my granddad were best friends) Lorraine who I’ve known for as long as I can remember, Aunt Peggy, who was granddads only sister. It was extremely important that I got to see her though because she isn’t well and we don’t think she’s got a lot longer to live. It was an extremely difficult visit, but I made her smile a bit and I feel at peace now with her should the worst happen. I also saw my adopted big brother, Chris. I’ve probably already rambled somewhere else about Chris, so I’m not going to go into details, but he’s my big brother, best friend and awesome aspie! I got thoroughly spoilt this year, but to be honest, It was much more fun watching mum and TJ opening their presents. For the past few years we’ve not really been able to know what the best things to get mum are, but I really put thought into it this year and knew what she wanted. But she also had a stocking this year for the first time. When we were little babies, my aunt in Canada made us all personalised stockings so they’ve always been up at Christmas. But this year even the dog had one and mum didn’t. So we decided it wasn’t very fair that we all had stockings and mum didn’t. So we got one that you put a picture into of the person. I didn’t want to just print out a picture of mum and stick it in, that’s boring! So I got mum to show me how to use her sewing machine, and spent hours and hours learning how to use it. I stitched 4 pieces of fabric together and then used the glue gun to stick a piece of cardboard onto it, and then her picture onto that. That meant more to her than just sticking the picture in anyway, because she knows how long it took me to do it, so that was cool to be able to do. But we put loads of nice stuff into it like ribbons, lush stuff, chocolate and little bits and bobs. Mum got spoilt this year and it was fantastic to be able to do it.  This was a good christmas for me though, because I got to bring Billy home to meet the family. He got the ferry over on the 27th, so I went down to Dublin to pick him up and get him safely back to Monaghan. Unfortunately by this stage though I was loaded with yet another cold and felt like hell, but it was worth it to get to see Billy. He got to meet most of my family and thankfully he got on well with them all. It’s hard not to like him though! Unfortunately while he was over I was completely loaded with the cold and felt like crap for most of it, but I did try and get out of the house with him a bit. But he was really nice about it and didn’t mind just sitting in front of the fire with me. We got the ferry back on NYE because it was going to work out stupidly expensive to fly so we got the ferry to Holyhead, then I got the train back to Manchester via Chester and one of t’other stations in Manch. That was a difficult journey. I was feeling absolutely horrific and knew my chest was going to throw one at any moment. Billy got the train to his parents in Wales to help out at the bar so I was on my own which was not fun. As soon as i got home, I threw my PJ’s, phone charger and tablet into my bag and called an ambulance. Considering it was NYE, the ambulance was out in 10 mins and I was in resus in A&E being sorted within an hour of me calling it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the hospitals are up shit creek at the minute, but I can’t fault the care I received! So I spent yet another NYE in hospital, and spent a few days on IV antibugs and Aminophylline. Still not feeling 100%, but definitely feeling better than I was! On top of that my consultant has finally agreed to give me some decent IV access and I’m having a PICC line put in.

Am quite optimistic about this year. I’m starting uni in September, I’m mobile and able to do so much more and I’ve got a fantastic boyfriend and best friend. Most people make New Years Resolutions, but I don’t understand why they have to be ones that start only on new year. And it’s not so much a resolution as just common sense for a lot of things. So I have aims that I want to achieve, and it’s not something I have a lot of choice in. It’s things that if I want to get better in myself, I have to do. So this year I want to loose 25kg, start uni, get my elective admissions sorted and get to the gym more.

So dear followers (if anyone actually reads this!), Here’s to 2015!

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Growing up.

I’m back in Ireland for a week. It was very much hit and miss as to whether I would get over. I ended up in hospital in SVT 3 days before I was due to fly, and only got out on Wednesday, which was the day I was due to fly. Luckily I was able to rebook it, and flew on Friday instead.

I flew over primarily for my little brother’s confirmation. The confirmation is one of the seven sacraments and it’s meant to be you as a person accepting the responsibilities your parents swore to undertake at your baptism. Being raised as a catholic, do good by the church and believe in your faith etc, so it’s signifying you growing up. You make your confirmation around the age of 12 in your last year of primary school when you are preparing to go into secondary school. I made mine exactly 10 years to the day before TJ, and it was a major sense of dejå vue. When I made mine, everything in our family was right. James’s drinking wasn’t a huge problem, there was a big party with a bouncy castle, big buffet, friends and the whole family, including James’ family, mum’s and dad came. This time it was Mum, TJ and me at KFC. I’m sure if he had wanted a big thing, mum would’ve made it happen, but it just shows you how things have changed in 10 years.

My little brother is growing into a good looking, smart young lad. He’s been through hell in the past year but he’s so resilient and I admire so much about him. He makes me smile on a daily basis, and serves as a reminder to me as to why I fight to stay well. He’s such a good kid, and would do anything for anyone. He is sensitive, caring and kind, and his idea of enjoying himself is sitting watching a DVD with his family, not going out drinking like so many kids. You ask him what he wants to do with his life, and he will tell you he wants to look after his family.

I’m so proud of the lad my little brother is becoming, and I hope that over the next ten years he continues to bloom into the best man he could be.

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Project 365 – Week 9

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Day 61 – 1st March – Went into town with mum and nanny today. Had a dander around the town and went into McDonalds for a Shamrock Shake. They generally only bring these out over St Patricks Day, and don’t bring them out in England so when I get home ad they have them out, I do enjoy them! It was nice to be able to out and enjoy some time with family 🙂

Day 62 – 2nd March – Started knitting today. Haven’t been knitting in years and mum does it quite a lot so I decided I was going to give it a go again. I’m not very good at it, and can’t really do a lot with it. But I can knit a scarf! I might actually get good at it and do it a bit more, but for now I’m content just trying to knit simple things haha. It’s meant to be something I’ve tried doing loads of times, but I’ve never managed to keep it up. So will see if I can manage it this time!

Day 63 – 3rd March – Have been doing this for TJ for about a week. He wanted me to draw something for his room but wanted something with a lot in it. I’m rubbish at putting pictures together, So I’m not as happy with this as I could be. But he loved it, and put it up in his room, so as long as he’s happy with it, I’m happy enough! I still like drawing though, but think I will avoid doing anything like this again.

Day 64 – 4th March – Took nanny for lunch today. She had originally wanted to go to McDonalds, but I wanted to take her for a proper lunch and McDonalds didn’t count as that. So we went to one of the local restaurants in Monaghan called Dinkins. It was really nice to be able to do it and we both really enjoyed our lunch. We both had sandwiches and a cake for afters. I don’t get to spend much time with nanny, and I had originally extended my trip for a few days because I wasn’t going to be able to get to see her otherwise, and despite having done that I wasn’t spending much time with her. So getting to do this was great.

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Day 65 – 5th March – Flew home today. Went home from Belfast City which was something I hadn’t done before. I’ve flown from Belfast City before when I was originally moving to England, and once when I flew to Manchester shortly after moving. I quite like flying from Belfast. It’s quite a small airport and is a lot easier to get around than Dublin airport. Mum and Nanny drove me up and I tootled through security and got myself something to eat. Was nice to be able to not have to worry about buses and stuff. I much prefer being able to get lifts but sometimes the only option is the bus.

Day 66 – 6th March – Back home and back into the normality of appointments. Today was endocrinology. it was my first appointment with them, and I’m not feeling as if I got any straight answers from them. The only firm answer I got was that I don’t have an insulinoma as Dr N suspected which was a relief. But things are still very confusing to me. He spoke about my adrenals, the steroids, my hypos and other things. But none of it made sense. They also haven’t written the clinic letter from the appointment yet, and this is now months on. I have chased it up several times but heard absolutely nothing.

Day 67 – 7th March – Went for pancakes with my friend Chris today. Chris stayed overnight last night and i’ve not seen him in ages. He’s from Belfast and I went to school with him when I was about 10. He’s my oldest friend and even though over the years we’ve lost touch a few times, we’re still best friends. He’s been there for me through some really rough times and I love him to bits. We’ve gone out a few times but we work better as friends and I’m happy with things like that. But there’s a place near us that do the most awesome massive crepes. You can get all sorts of different fillings in them and they’re amazing. Was good to be able to get out and have some time with him!

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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 8

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Day 54 – 22nd Feb – Today was James’s months mind mass in Fermanagh. I was really apprehensive about going because of the way things had been with his family. Ted, James’s dad had basically told mum it was her fault that James had died and that he would’ve been better off without her. So the atmosphere was going to be strained. Mum’s sister, Roisin was coming with us. At first I was really confused because mum and Roisin had basically not been on speaking terms for about 15 years and the fact that they were now speaking was something of a miracle. Mum says it’s because Roisin had finally understood what it was like for things to go wrong in someone’s life and she had seen the way mum had been treated and decided to be nice. But the mass wasn’t horrendous. It was quite awkward at the end though when his sisters came up to us and started to talk to us. Nobody had known I was home so I was getting all the questions about my hip and the “God love you” expressions. That bugs me. But the mass was nice enough and once things were over, we talked to them for about 15/20mins and then went home. I think it would quite possibly have been the last time we will ever speak to them again. It’s a 15 year chapter of my life closed. Or at least I hope so.

Day 55 – 23rd Feb – I didn’t actually do a lot today. I got a new sketchbook in January so I’ve been working on getting some more drawings into it and building it up to the amount of the one from last year. I like doing it by year because then I can see how I’m progressing with my drawing. I’m never going to be Pablo Picasso, or Claude Monet, but I’m still able to draw more than a stick person, which if you had of seen my drawings 6 years ago, you wouldn’t have thought it possible. But mum had been knitting an Eeyore teddy for her neighbours and it put it into my head to try and draw something from Winnie the Pooh. So I tried Piglett and Eeyore! It’s something to work on! TJ wants me to do a drawing for his wall, so I need to come up with an idea for that. But we’ll see how it goes. I’ve a few things in mind!

Day 56 – 24th Feb – For the first time in about 2 years I had to buy ketosticks. For those not in the know of what they are, ketosticks are test strips for checking to see if there’s ketones in your urine. It can be a sign that your diabetes is out of control and you need further intevention. I was getting a fruity breath and feeling rather rubbish so thought it would be worth checking, especially considering how much Club Orange I’d been drinking! It showed traces of ketones, which was quite odd because I’ve not had that problem since Nov 2012. I managed to get it under control by drinking a lot of water and taking better control of my diet. Thankfully it did resolve and I didn’t have to take any more action. But it was a bit of a wake up call that I needed to not drink as many fizzy or sugary drinks. Since then I have actually been a lot better at controlling my diet. I’ve got to see an Endocrinology consultant when I get back, so we will see what he says!

Day 57 – 25th Feb – We managed to have an early pancake Tuesday. I got confused when Cookie posted a facebook status saying she was going to her nanna’s for pancakes. I thought that meant it was Pancake Tuesday and so mum made an absolute shed load of pancakes with some of thee most amazing toppings I’ve ever heard of. We had raspberries, bananas, ham, cheese, strawberries and cream, all different sauces and other stuff. Even if it was an early pancake tuesday, it was amazeballs. When I was in secondary school on Pancake Tuesday you’d get lemon juice, sugar and nutella as toppings, and even then you had to pay for each one!  TJ loved them aswell and it was great fun watching mum flipping them and trying to catch them. Mum’s fantastic. She worked really hard to make sure that we were happy while I was home and I actually enjoyed spending time with them tonight!

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Day 58 – 26th Feb – Mum bought me a tub of ice cream today. Cookies and Cream ice cream is amazing. It’s not quite as nice as Ben And Jerry’s, but it’s still up there among the greats. I’m just having a really rubbish few days. My joints are aching and I feel quite rubbish. And for some reason ice cream always makes me feel better. I think I need to just hide under my duvet for a few days, but I know that I can’t. I think Cookie Dough Ice Cream is still the best ice cream known to man though.

Day 59 – 27th Feb – We went to get Dolly a new collar today because the one she had was falling to pieces. When we were at the pet shop we had a look around at the other stuff they had. Although having a cage saying “Hampsters May Bite” with no hamster in it, with horrendous spelling on the notice! Considering it’s a pet shop, you’d think they were going to be able to spell it right! But while we were there we got her a new bed and some treats. She has never been properly treated before cause it’s never been a case that any of us could afford it, but cause I could I decided I would. So she got a new Toy Story bed that she can’t destroy by clawing it, a nice purple collar and treats. It was funny because Dolly isn’t really a treats kind of dog. She doesn’t really know what to do with toys. I got her one of those shoe things and she took it into the back garden and buried it. So I got the other one and put treats in it. It was funny watching her trying to get them out. She could see and smell the treats inside, but couldn’t get to them. It sent her mad. I will teach my dog what to do with treats! I will!

Day 60 – 28th Feb – Went into town with mum today. TJ’s going out tonight with friends to youth club, so mum and I are planning a DVD night. Think I want to watch Gravity. That new one with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney that everyone has been raving about. Everyone I’ve spoken to says it was brilliant so I want to decide that one for myself.

Every year in Ireland the registration plates change. So for 2014, it becomes 14 – MN – XXXX. Because I haven’t been home since before Christmas I hadn’t seen any of the new plates. For some reason they’re doing it in halves where the first half of the year has 141 and the second has 142. They did it in 2013 and apparently it was because of people being superstitious about the whole 13 thing on license plates. But when I was younger I used to think I was amazing because I could recognise all the different counties on the number plates. Every county has an abbreviation, so Monaghan was MN, Dublin was D and so on. So it’s always been something that makes me smile when I see the new plates!

So until next time!