Health

Thoughts at the start of our Trying to Conceive journey….

Welcome to something completely different for this blog, or at least I say completely different as this is unlike anything I have ever gone through before. This is something me and my partner have decided we both want so badly, and we are trying to make it happen despite knowing the challenges we are going to come across. And that is why we are now trying for a child of our own.

Although we made this decision a while back, we haven’t been really doing anything about it as my contraception took 10 months to get out of my system enough for my cycles to restart. But this finally happened in December.

What has brought me to write this post is that I’ve actually been going through a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions since we’ve been trying to conceive. BY no means has my mind changed as to what I want, but the initial disappointment of an unsuccessful first month, along with the fear of change just plays on my mind sometimes.

100%, I am certain that I want a baby, as I know me and partner will be great parents together, and we are both absolutely ready for this.

But at night, I have a habit of over thinking. Now, I never sleep well- sleeping is just not my thing! So it is not unheard of for me to over think during that time, so its really not out of the ordinary, however its what I’ve been overthinking about lately that has changed.

I’ve had some very rough relationships in the past, and this is my first long term adult relationship. We have our home, our pets, and his adorable little girl. So I know we can take another child all of our own, we would actually love it more than anything in the world.

One of my biggest fears is to lose what we have, and at night I find myself over thinking that what if adding something new or someone new, ruins what we already have. I have no reason to really think this, we are solid as anything, and a child is something we both really want. But when you are tired and cant sleep, all sorts of things cross you mind.

But that is just the fear of change, and I know that.

The other major thing is whether I will be able to be a mother. With this I mean both whether or not I am able to concieve and carry, as well as how will I be if we do have a little one.

I have always been told that medically it is not known whether or not I can carry a child. With my complex medical history, it is a serious possibility that I can not, but that still not something that I can even begin to imagine. We are under specialists currently so that I am being monitored, and I will under go further investigations if we continue to not be able to.

But a big fear of mine is what if I am a terrible mother. Now I know that most people probably go through this, but I cant say I ever really thought it until now! I cant help but think what if I cant deal with a baby and my already terrible ability to sleep. I’m sure I will write a whole post about my parenting fears when and if we ever get to preparing for a baby.

So now just briefly I want to mention the emotions of our first month of trying. My cycle came and went, and god did we baby dance to try. I tracked my ovulation so I know that that only slightly earlier than my Flo app suggested. Then at 8dpo (days past ovulation), I had some very light spotting, which we over excitedly thought was implantation bleeding. So when 12dpo came along we started testing, but sadly my cycle then reappeared.

Since then my cycle has been incredibly unreliable and has been every two weeks since then- so not sure whats happening there.

I would love to hear from you if you are also trying to conceive as I know how isolating this experience can feel. WE aren’t really telling people so this is my outlet.

What are your experiences? Did you struggle to conceive, or is it something that you are still going through?

 

Books · Health

Bed Rest 2.0 2020

I am sad to sat that this isn’t even a record, but from the third week of the year I am on bed rest.

Only difference with this bed rest experience is it has not got all that much to document! I have been in bed now (Saturday) since Monday, and this is the first time I have even felt like picking my laptop, or a book, or literally anything that wasn’t medication.

For the entirety of the past five days I have been working on the routine of sleeping for 3 hours and then awake for one. This has been a constant cycle, night and day for the last 5 days. Its only really been today where I managed to sleep 14 hours straight- bar waking after 9 hours for some more medication- which has allowed me to be awake for a while, and actually have some small amount of brain energy.

So, whats led to this bed rest? Its been a horrid virus, that has felt like a real combination of glandular fever and the flu. It has a 100% wiped me out, and left me too tired and drained to do anything but sleep! I’ve not eaten anything in this time, my partner has been getting me to eat juice lollies when I am awake in order to keep my sugars up, but that has been about it.

Today, I’m still very rough and stuffy, still using paracetamol and morphine to try and control my pain and swollen glands, and naproxen to try and control gland and tonsil swelling so that I can manage small amounts of food. Although this is just a virus, its playing up my chronic illnesses and weakened immune system, something chronic!

Next, what have I been up to today? Well, I’ve still been feeling rather naff as I said, so I have been continuing my marathon re-watch of Chuck on Amazon Prime. If you have never watched this then you really do need to! It is an amazing (although somewhat old) spy comedy action tv series that has 5 series- making it the perfect binge watch programme! I watched it when I was younger but I couldn’t help myself what I found out it was on amazon prime.

As for reading I have been doing some today. I have read a couple of the short stories in Wonderland the Anthology- the perfect book kind of book to pick up when you aren’t feeling all that great as you can get through one of the little stories before you get tired and want to put it down to rest. I am absolutely loving this book as a whole, so keep an eye out for my review in the coming weeks.

Now for a final comment, not so much to do with my bed rest, but something that has made today a little brighter. I woke up to two lovely packages from Tor and Titan. From Tor, I received a copy of A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff, the first in a new fantasy series. This will definitely by jumping onto my TBR as I can not wait to read this one! I think this will be one to get me completely back into reading! Then from Titan, to satisfy any Thriller cravings, I have a copy of All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen. I’m not 100% if I’ve read her debut, it doesn’t jump out as a book I remember for some reason, but this one I am definitely looking forward to. I love a good thriller relating to family history!

On a positive note, I think it will be a few more days before Im back to strength to get out of bed, so at least this will give me time for reading and some more Chuck watching!

So that’s what my week on bed rest has been like this time around. How has your week been? Have you been effected by this awful virus that has been going around?

 

Books · Health · Lifestyle

2020 Goals and Resolutions

Long time no see…

So as I sit and write this it is the 3rd of January, and I’ve had a lot of thinking to do over the last couple of weeks. I had a serious think about whether or not I wanted to continue on with blogging.

I have been blogging now on and off for several years, and was building it up until about April last year when I moved out with my partner and had to start trying to balance a lot more in life. Many people do it, so I know it isn’t a big deal, but for one reason or another I found it really tough to get into a routine of having a busier schedule while also still trying to fit in reading and blogging.

Cant say that I’m at all proud for letting them both slip so much, but its just the reality of what happened.

That being said, I have been thinking about it a log, and have decided to really give it my best shot this year. We have so many really exciting plans that I would love to document on my blog, so I do want to continue on with it. Or at the very least really give it a shot!!

With all that in mind, I am setting myself a reasonable simple goal for blogging this year. I am not going to set myself any views goals, or any really stat goals; all I am going to set is that I’m going to aim to post at least once each week.

Now I know that that doesn’t seem like very much at all, as I know that at one I was posting three times each week, but while I’m struggling with the balance, that’s just not doable!

Of course with that being said, if I have the extra content over the one post a week, then I will be posting more. I just don’t want to stress myself by aiming higher, while currently I’ve not  been even managing once a month. So don’t worry, if I have an extra review, it WILL get posted.

That is about it for my blogging goals for this year, and that leaves me with only two and a bit more.

Firstly, it wouldn’t be a goals post without mentioning my goodreads goal. I completely failed on my goodreads goal this year, as I had committed to 50 books within the year, but only actually managed a total of 17 books. I am far from proud of that, and it definitely needs to be worked on.

That being said, my aim or the year is much smaller, but I may add to it if I get my act together. So my goal for 2020 is twenty books! I just feel that this is a good goal as it is reasonable compared to how I managed to read last year. Plus it has a nice irony of read 20 books within 2020- ah its a bit of fun!

My last and final goal for this upcoming year, is really one of two halves. The over all goal is that me and my partner are actively trying to conceive our first baby. I’m not going to go into too much detail about this now, as Im hoping as things progress that I will document more about it, but for the time being all Im going to say is this is presenting us with challenges. In other words, its not being as simple as do the deed and get pregnant. We are seeing doctors etc, and I will talk more about it in the future.

But the second half of this that I mentioned is that I need to lose weight in order to make this easier. One again though this isn’t always that easy with my health issues, and terrible habit of comfort eating, but its something I am working hard on. Just before Christmas I had managed to lose half a stone in little under 12 weeks- I know that isn’t great, but its something I’m proud of. Now I just need to brave the scales and go back since Christmas, which I will hopefully be doing next week!

That’s it for my goals of the new year, as I don’t want to overburden myself with things Im just not going to stick to.

Do you have any goals for the new year, or things you want to improve and work on? Let me know about them in the comments as I would love to know and support you!

Health · Lifestyle

Am I Back?…

Since I’ve moved in with my partner, I have lost sight of any and all organisation. Looking after my home, and building the future has take priority to the point that I think I lost myself a little. The blog was the first thing to go, but I think now I am ready to do all I can to get it back. Back to posting 3 times a week, every week, and giving myself some focus.schizo

Although in every possible way, this move is exactly what I wanted; I see the love of my life every single day, and we are moving forward to set up our own lives, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been stressful. Actually its been incredibly stressful, and I’ve been really struggling with it at times.

I am not one to deal well with pretty much any form of change. Consistency is most definitely my favourite thing, but I appreciate that change is necessary in order to move forward for the better. It is so frustrating the fact I know this, and yet change still scares the life out of me.

But lately not all the changes have been for the better. I have had a bunch of new health issues, some of which have changed my life forever, and that is a very hard thing to wrap your head around. I will talk more about these over the next few weeks, but finding out that your body is uncapable of something you’ve based your life goals around is a really tough thing to come to terms with. I will talk more about this in a post in the future.

So I am now on the path of seeking help for my mental health. More help than just medication- which is all the doctors seem to be able to offer me. But while I wait, I have realised that I need to be doing more to help myself; and that starts with me making time for the things that I get a sense of achievement from. Starting with getting the blog back to a consistency that I am happy with, and starting back at university.

Fingers crossed that I can get my head straight and organised from now on, as I feel that this will really help me in the long run of things. But I guess we will have to wait and see.

Health · Lifestyle

The stress of adulting!!

I still don’t really feel like I’m an adult. I now live with my partner, we have our own home, our fur babies, and have to do everything for ourselves now. Yet I still don’t feel like we (well at least myself) are competent adults. Everything still seems so hard and complicated and completely out of my abilities.schizo

This feeling of being overwhelmed is just making me really rather stressed. I hadn’t realised it until the other night when I was laying in bed (with Ash snoring as always) not able to sleep and then my brain went into overdrive.

The main pinpoint trigger for my stress lately has been because of trying to sort out our universal credit claim. Going into this move we thought that I would be able to carry over my disability benefits and just change the address, however we were only told otherwise about a month into having moved. Because of this we have gone almost two months with only having Ash’s wage (which isn’t great).

Although I can understand that they have to make applying an official process, what I don’t feel like they take into consideration is that the process is a lot to handle for those with mental health issues. Although we have been going through the process for about a month now, we are only just starting to get some idea as to how much we are going to be entitled to.  This has really been a stress to me as I have not known whether we are going to reasonably be able to afford to live alone.

I just briefly want to mention the  nightmare we have been having with citizens advice over these last two months. We have both grown up being told that when you are an adult, and you get into a situation where you don’t know what to do, you can go and get free and accurate advice from The Citizens Advice Bureau.

We did exactly this when we started to realise that we were going to have to make the switch to Universal Credit. After waiting for over an hour, we got to see the lady. We explained the situation, I took all of my benefit paper work and my medical certificates.

After we finished explaining she went of to talk to a colleague, as she ‘didn’t know about this’. She openly said that to us, and that wouldn’t of been a problem if she had come back with any advice from the colleague. But instead she came back and said go onto the citizen advice website and then follow the advice on there. So basically, she was useless. We had already looked online before we decided to go and talk to Citizens advice, so we had already done this.

In the end we had to just bite the bullet and apply for universal credit even though we were still unsure about whether this was the right thing to do. Its only been through doing the application and going through the interviews that we were advised by the assessment people that we should of gone a different way through the system and we then wouldn’t of had to jump through as many hoops. We also wouldn’t of had to go through two months without any support.

I guess what I’m saying is that there is no problem going to Citizens Advice for help when you get yourself stuck in life, however its not all its built up to be. They are only human, and often they don’t know the answers. I just wish they wouldn’t then point you to their website which you have most likely already looked at, as if you don’t have a brain cell and hadn’t already used your own common sense and had a google to try and work it out.

But anyway, that is it. I just felt like it needed to be said as that too often the benefits system causes way too much stress for those of us that already have mental health issues. In this time I have had to up both my anti-depressants and my anti-anxiety medication. I will be doing a bit of an off load post in the near future that will talk about the health issue impacts and some other things.

Health

Having Chronic Illness and being in a Relationship…

This isn’t the normal post that I publish on here, my relationship is a rather private thing that I don’t always talk about. But when I started seeing posts about this, I just knew that I had to have my say. As someone who battles a number of chronic illnesses, I can tell you for a certainty that successful relationships are possible.

I first saw this on Instagram, when @chronically.ams posted about it. If you don’t already you really should go and check out her YouTube and Instagram, she is a fellow zebra that is just amazingly inspiring.

‘100 out of 100 relationships that involve caregiving fail’ – Dr Phil

I have been with my partner through the major decline of my health, and we are in the process now of moving out to our very own home.

During our time together he has had to rush my to A&E, visit me on bed rest during my two and a half month stretch of infections, and take me to countless hospital appointments.

He’s been by my side when I was blacking out cold and losing hour long chunks of my memory.

He has learnt how to sort my medications for me, how to strap unstable joints, and even how to do my hair for the days when my hands just wont work.

Now I would count much of that as ‘caregiving’, and we are most certainly in a relationship. And yet, it is not failing?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it makes us stronger, because I don’t feel that it makes a difference. It is something that has been part of my life for a long time, and he knows no different. We have learned about things as they’ve come up together, and its just part of who we are.

But apart from this, if you take chronic illness out of the situation, isn’t caregiving all a part of any healthy relationship?

My partner doesn’t have any chronic illnesses, and yet I still care for him. I often cook, do the laundry, and am there for him when he needs to talk through his day. We regularly have phone calls on his way home from work when he just needs to off load, or if something with his daughter is worrying him.

Relationships are a two way street, you both care for each other in various different ways no matter whether there is chronic illness involved, just because you care for those you love.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are with this. Do you have a chronic illness that effects your relationship? Do you think caring puts a burden on a relationship? schizo

Health

Traveling with Disability…

Travelling is always a stressful thing, with all the security loops to jump through, and the general concerns of making sure you have everything. This is only made worse when you have a chronic illness or disability. There is so much extra stuff that you have to remember when you are fighting a chronic illness, and a lot of it you cant go with out if you were to forget it.schizo

For this holiday, I have taken about two months to prepare everything that I need to take with me- you probably could do it quicker, but I’ve not been well and had to stop driving, so it wasn’t as straight forward as it could be. It has also been a long time for me since I last travelled, so I have been realising new things I need to sort as I have gone along.

The first major thing to sort out is always medication. Most chronic illnesses come alongside an expanse of medication that help you keep symptoms at bay and make basic things tolerable. Now for me, I have a lot of pain medication along with other medication to help with my stomach, sleep and mental health. With certain medications, such as morphine and some antihistamines, you have to have them authenticated by a medical professional. This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is, all you have to do is get a copy of your prescription, a letter from your doctor, and make sure that your medications have the label with your name and pharmacy signature on. I know that I have had to pay for the medical letter than was £20, but otherwise this is all pretty straight forward.

Now it doesn’t matter if you are going to the other side of the world or just to the next town, you always have to think through do you have the extra little things that help you to be comfortable? For me this consists of comfy clothes, supportive shoes, strapping tapes, and probably most importantly, my wheelchair. This time around I have also included a bunch of sterile dressings, I am currently having to use these for some ulcers caused by blood sugar levels. As some one with a lot of allergies I cant use most plasters, so I have to be sure to take everything I might need with me. Last thing I want is to have to try and find a foreign pharmacy and try and find plasters that wont cover me in a rash.

Finally, its just a matter of thinking through how you are going to get yourself and everything you need to the airport and through to the plane. I am lucky that I am travelling with my partner and all of his family, all of whom are very supportive with my disabilities. We are completely prepared (or at least I think we are), and have booked for the added assistance in the airport, so that I can go through security in my wheelchair. Between the eight adults, we should be able to manage the luggage and two children; but having support from those you are traveling with is always a real help- means that although I could self propel the entire time, I should only have to focus on getting myself around.

Although this will be going out too late to help me with this trip, I would love to hear any tips you have for traveling with disability. Do you have anything you find really helps you to prepare and get around?