Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Me, myself and i

I'm laying in bed this evening with tears streaming down my face. 

I type various word combinations into google looking for help, something to take the suffering away, to find answers, to find a purpose.

You see living with chronic illness doesn't come with a manual on how to cope, how to grieve the loss of your past life, but the grief changes day to day as you realise somethings you could do a week ago you can no longer do.

What is my purpose I ask. What do i give to society. 

I realised today that doctors aren't going to cure me. I thought i had stopped hoping but as i sat crying in my gastro doctors office, i became apparent that this is probably it. 

Only i can help myself now, but how do i do that while feeling so unwell.

Maybe it would be better for my mental health to accept the here and now and stop searching, because when my mind is on the future, I'm missing the now.

One day i hope there will be medical psychologist to help people learn how to cope. But for now it's just me, myself and i.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Long overdue update

Gosh I didn't realise how long it had been since I updated my blog. Last year was really tough mentally and physically but I'm still here. There were times I didn't think I would be or even wanted to be.

The end of last year things got abit better. I managed to get my new electric wheelchair which has made life alot easier. Just a recap for people that don't know me. I have ehlers danlos syndone, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, gastroparesis, spinal issues and exhaustion which is beyond exhaustion. I've been a fulltime wheelchair user for nearly 8 years now. Wow it's gone so quick.

My electric wheelchair broke early last year and through people's generosity i managed to get a new chair. It has a tilt on it as i have blood pressure issues and it helps to tilt backwards. Also i have a riser on it so i can now reach my kitchen cupboards 😂 Massive Thankyou to everyone that has donated.


I didn't want to write to much in this post so I'll do another update soon. Hopefully not in 7 months time 😂 

Love Hayley x

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The power of gratitude and fighting back

I'm still here, still fighting and much happier.

My antidepressants are working and I'm really rather content. Grateful that i got through the dark times, grateful for the support received.

On reflection i realised why things got bad. I burnt myself out. I had hospital appointments most days so wasn't getting adequate rest. I was trying to be 'normal '. Well if other people can do it, so can i. The reality is I cannot do it. I live a quiet life for a reason and that is so i can manage my condition and use what little energy i have on things i enjoy.

Now this brings me onto my next reflection. Gratitude.

Last Friday i attended a gratitude workshop. Its run by the council for mental health. I wasn't sure what to expect but it really changed my perception on life. I've been dragging myself through the days, hoping for something better tomorrow, without appreciating what i have in this moment. 

So here is a list of things i am grateful for :

1. I'm incredibly grateful for antidepressants being made. There is no shame to admit it. They have given me a life when i was in the midst of despair and not seeing a way out.

2. I'm grateful to the changingminds service on the nhs who helped me with cbt.

3. i'm hugely grateful for people who have donated or shared my gofundme me page. I cry every time at the incredible generosity  of people. Many i have never met. So thankyou from the bottom of my heart

4. I'm grateful i could hear the birds singing and see the sun shining 

5. I'm grateful that despite living a slower life, i get to watch the plants grow, people smile, the clouds in the sky and my cat playing in the garden.

These are just a few things i am grateful for. What are you grateful for today ?

Before i go i thought I would share a picture of mia helping me plant seeds, or rather just wanting fuss 😂 



I hope you all have a lovely day x

Monday, 17 June 2019

The spiral of hell

My mood improved for a few weeks after restarting my antidepressants. Sadly it seems to be spiralling downwards again. I've decided to up the dose to what i was on before I stopped taking them. Praying it helps.

I'm just so so tired. Tired of living. Tired of the chronic pain. Tired of fighting. I drag myself through everyday hoping tomorrow will be better. That hope never arrives....

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Can I really put myself out there

That is the question I ask myself. Can I really put myself out there? The side of me that I desperately try to hide so that I'm not judged, or even worse, pitied.

Let me elaborate. Since i updated you on my last post, i have been feeling better everyday. I'm ready to start living life again but there is only one problem. My electric wheelchair decided to die. Rip. Without it i'm abit stuck. Unfortunately my bungalow is situated on a steep incline, so i cannot push my manual wheelchair up or down, i can't even push my wheelchair very far without help. This means I'm now back to relying more on my carers and friends just to even go to the shop.

Sadly I cannot afford to replace my electric wheelchair , so after much consideration i set up a gofundmepage. Now i'm quite a private person (ok you might not think it according to my blog posts)  but in real life I don't actually talk in depth about how my illness affects me. I always want to be treated as a person who just happens to be sitting down.

By not talking about it much ,it gives me the illusion that all is ok and I'm relatively normal. However it has its drawbacks. People assume your ok, you can cope. You eventually burn yourself out try to live up to this false reality. So where do you draw the line from people understanding your limitations to wanting to appear normal.

This is the dilemma i have at the moment. To enable me to fundraise for my page, i have to put myself out there. The raw, vulnerable me. The me that had hopes and dreams before my conditions took them away and I'm terrified. Terrified of peoples reactions, 'what will they think of me', what if they think I don't deserve a new chair', 'will the whole village be gossiping about me', 'will i be scrutinised for every movement i make'.

Although my original hopes and dreams are a distant memory, i long to make new ones, to meet to people, to continue my journey. Just in a different way and hopefully with a new wheelchair i can do just that x

https://www.gofundme.com/hayley039s-wheelchair-fund


Monday, 20 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AND ME

I didn't realise how long it's been since I last posted. I think i got worried that I didn't have anything interesting to say or if people even read my blog. Anyway today I'm going to cover a topic that is affecting my daily life at the moment. Mental health.


Disclaimer: This post discusses suicidal tendencies, so please don't read if easily distressed.




I've suffered with anxiety and depression most of my life and was first prescribed antidepressants at 17. I was going through a difficult time at college and then struggled with full time employment. My colleagues thought I was lazy and miserable and I just couldn't keep up. Little did I know I had my genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome then but I got diagnosed late. Life might have been different otherwise. It took a few years of dark times to find the right antidepressants. After that I was relatively stable, just having a few blips along the way like everybody does.

Fast forward 14 years to now. It's been six months of hell that I hope I never have to go through again. It started with a uti or three, trips to a and e for other conditions and a downwards spiral ensued. It seems the meds I was on were interfering with my antidepressants. My life crumbled around me and I had to move in with my parents as I couldn't cope at home. Each day was filled with sheer panic. Like a brick came down in front of me and I couldn't break it down. I couldn't get in the shower, my mind would panic, I couldn't tidy the house and I couldn't go outside. Things I loved to do I know longer could. No more watching a tv programme, read a book, craft or go on the computer. 

Anxiety is like your body is running terrified from a bear. Your brain doesn't shut down to concentrate, your body doesn't relax to sleep. Everyday I wished I was dead. Every night I wished I didn't wake up in the morning. I had alot of terrible thoughts going through my head on how to end my life. 

I decided to come of my antidepressants for a few weeks because I didn't understand why my mental health was so bad, why stay on them if they weren't working. I soon realised that they did work my moods became even more erratic, so i went back on them. Its been over a week now and I'm already feeling better. Bit by bit I'm piecing my life back together. I have to carry on. I have to climb back up the ladder. With the help of my therapist I am learning to cope. I still have days of panic and I've learned to focus on my breathing, or count to ten. This stops my mind from going into overdrive. 

The other day I had a pile of clothes to sort. My brain panicked and said I just can't do it, so I left it. This created a vicious cycle of anxiety all day, worrying that I can't do it. I eventually did do it and I got so engrossed in the task that i tidied my whole bedroom. I've also started to exercise again (yes you can exercise in a wheelchair) something that used to fill me with joy but i began to dread it. Just venturing out into the garden and listening to the birds relaxes me. I also write down one task a day to do, even if it's just putting some books away. It was hard focusing on it at first but by breaking down tasks I don't feel so overwhelmed. Also by writing the tasks down ,I can see how much i have achieved at the end of the week.

Slowly hour by hour i make it through another day and for that i am proud x 

Friday, 24 August 2018

Homemade Chutney and recipe link

Today I decided to make some chutney with my carer. I've never been brave enough before but thought why not. I had loads of green tomatoes in the garden and felt quite sad picking them all but at least they got used. It made a lovely distraction from health stuff. I was in hospital this week with dehydration but the doctors still can't help me pain wise. I've begged and begged. Just got to carry on.

Anyway here is the recipe for the chutney if you want to have a go yourself. 

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/green_tomato_chutney_41573

  

Enjoy x