Sunday, 14 August 2016

The horrible moment your toddler smacks you in the pacemaker.




The passed few weeks have been really good, health wise I've been feeling amazing, Then the other day picking up Kian to head out. Being a typical toddler he had a tantrum and smacked me right in the pacemaker with his elbow, I felt an excruciating  pain but I didn't really think much of it except it hurt.


As I sat down to eat dinner that night, picking up my fork I noticed a strange feeling in my chest, a feeling I haven't ever felt before that my pacemaker had moved, it wasn't the nicest feeling and a feeling I found incredibly difficult to explain.


I haven't really felt my pacemaker before from the outside, so I found it hard to know what it felt like before since I had nothing to compare it to, as I touched it I could feel one side sort of lumpy and bulging and the other side lay flat and smooth.


As I got up from the sofa I called Dougie were panicked  filled me, lifting my top up I told him I think my pacemaker has moved. I spent the next couple of minutes trying to describe to Dougie what it felt like and asked him to feel the bulging lump were  he said he couldn't,he doesn't like the whole idea of feeling this battery under my skin, he agreed looking it definitely stuck out at one side more than the other but he couldn't understand how that feels and he definitely couldn't take the pain away.


Working , meeting friends, having a family meal, I  was still in pain and had this horrible feeling in my chest, but I didn't say to anyone because the sad reality is my pacemaker moving doesn't mean anything to anyone, they can't physically see it  or know how it feels.


When Dougie said to me I should maybe phone the clinic and get it checked out, I know my body and I know when something's not right or when I can sit it all out, so I figured it's probably  something that can wait till my next appointment and hopefully it's no big deal, but as much as I acted all cool joking that I haven't keeled over yet so it must be fine right ? I still felt this huge weight of worry  that I couldn't shift, because deep down I'm worried that it's not ok, worried everything's  going to go wrong again, I worry that I'm just getting back into the swing of working, back doing things I loved doing, and it's all going to be took painfully away again, I worry that this is another setback I worry a lot... You can probably tell.


I didn't tell anyone close to me how worried I actually was, because they would just tell me to stop worrying, but it's easier said than done, they all live by the motto you can't start worrying or stressing over something till its in front of you and as much as this is true, I'm a huge worrier especially when it comes to my heart, because things have never been plain sailing, I always believe you have to think worse case scenario so you can prepare for the worst and anything else is a bonus, hopefully my pacemaker moving isn't a huge big deal.




                                                               



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Sunday, 31 July 2016

The reality of living with scars, Bio-oils #scarsuncovered campaign





Throwing on my bikini the image that stared back at me from the tall mirror was something I had tried to avoid daily,  In fact since the 3rd of November I had succeeded pretty well. I avoided it in every way possible, by covering up with clothes, avoiding mirrors but now I was confronted by it, all I could see was hate, I hated the three ugly raised scars across my chest, instead of lying by the pool in Italy wearing a bikini  I covered up, I was to afraid and embarrassed anyone would notice or comment on my scars.

Not only do I feel really uncomfortable noticing the outline of the pacemaker and the scars, touching them is out of the question not just because physically  they look ugly, mentally it's painful to look at them, it brings back all the horrible memories of every hard painful moment,every life changing decision.

'the hardest part is knowing the scars didn't mean I was fixed they were a small mark but in my eyes a large mark to help me lead a normal life'


Why should I feel embarrassed or ashamed of them and in reality I shouldn't there a huge part of me, each one tells a unique story that represents what I indured  and overcome, that without them I wouldn't be were I am today, but when I did finally pluck the courage to show them off I was met with cruel hurtful comments that really hit my self esteem big time.


'Having someone refer to your chest as horrible and a mess it's hard to respond skilfully to that comment when all your eyes do see is a mess and your mind just feels hate'


That scar causes physical and emotional pain everyday for me and I hate to admit this but when it was confirmed I had nerve damage and the pain specialist prescribed me lidocaine patches to help numb the area been giving a huge patch to cover the scars up by a doctor was ideal because it was like I did have an excuse to keep them hidden. It was easy in winter because the cold was an excuse  but when the hot weather started to arrive everyone close to me would question why I wont  take my jacket off  and of course I didn't want to admit to hide my scars, that would lead to so many questions that mentally I felt I couldn't bring myself to answer, I didn't have to lie anymore a doctor had prescribed me a patch which physically eased the pain, which meant mentally I didn't have to look at them, I didn't have to fear others seeing them.


Even though a few weeks back I witnessed that there are some cruel horrible people out there, there are also kind ones too and this week I was touched with a letter from the wonderful ladies at Pegasus  not only did they send me bottles of bio oil and who doesn't love bio oil right ? I practically bathed in the stuff when I was pregnant because yes I  feared stretch marks but I had a beautiful baby boy they marks brought me so much joy and happiness so it was like they were irelvent , I could embrace them. The letter enclosed brought me so much comfort because for once I didn't feel alone anymore, there are other woman out there who feel exactly like I do, it was completely normal to feel that hiding they scars under clothes meant they were out of sight out of mind and shockingly that number is more than half the woman out there.




Bio-oil have started the mission #scarsuncovered as they believe nobody should be made to feel they have to cover up, accepting a scar is an important part of coming to terms with what happened in order to move on. Which is why I am showing off my scars,  if I can do anyone can  imperfection is individuality after all in a crazy sort of way they scars do actually make me smile because the hurt is over for now.






Your a solider your scars are your medals so polish them off with bio-oil, and I have 3 free bottles up for grabs so there's no excuses all you have to do is watch the video below and comment below with the answer to this question,

What does Laura do at the end of the video ?

But there's a catch because I would love to see your pictures too so don't forget to upload and #scarsuncovered and join me and many other beautiful ladies on bio-oils amazing campaign, winner will be choosing at random on the 13/8/16




Products sent to me for the purpose of this post & giveaway by the lovely people at Pegasus


 
                                                                    

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Thursday, 14 July 2016

'You know you will have this pain for the rest of your life' he said





As I stared at the 2 sheets of paper My eyes met the question on a score from 1 to 10 what's your pain ? as the doctor called my name I was so grateful he called when he did, it stopped me from having to circle my pain was a 10 because I wouldn't of circled that 10.

 filling in a sheet to describe my pain felt physically difficult for me,  I wasn't in a wheelchair or looked in agonizing pain like everyone else did that day in fact the complete opposite I was pulling a toddler on reins who point blank refused to move,  how can you circle on that blank human body a scar that is tattooed on your own body? you can't even circle your heart  because that blank diagram doesn't even display a heart, maybe I should  circled my head instead because was I imagining that the pain was still there, what if I was just a big baby ?

Since the day I got my pacemaker removed I have suffered with pain, my cardiologist didn't know why, the pacemaker was gone yet I suffered pain everyday , he believed me and was understanding when they salty tears dripped down my face as I told him I couldn't cope with this pain anymore.

  There are mornings I wake up and the pain's not there, there are time's I go to work and its gone, its during these times I question maybe I am just a big baby, but it doesn't last without fail that pain comes back and hits me like a wrecking ball taking my happiness with it and it reminds me I'm not a big baby.

Sitting in the office with the pain specialist who was now examining my scars and chest, as he grabbed a swab pushing and testing parts asking what it felt like, he confirmed something that had been mentioned before but having someone confirm it makes it suddenly become real, my nerves in my chest were permanently damaged, hearing you know your going to have this pain for the rest of your life makes it even more devastating. I didn't say anything instead I laughed it off but they words were painful, It feels like you've been giving a life sentence and at the age of 25 a very long life sentence knowing i'm going to spent the rest of my life in this pain.

 

As he looked at kian he asked if he was my only child, were what followed next made the whole situation even more devastating, if I do want more children they will have to be planned in advance with  a plan set up for my pregnancy, and I will have to suffer the pain without medication because the medication would cause extreme abnormalities to a child.

Having more children is something I have always dreamed of, I'm  a huge believer in one child is a lonely child, and growing up with a younger brother we had our fights but we were always joined at the hip, but  the thought of being in pain everyday frightens me, would  I cope a week let alone a whole year ? Not that another baby is on the cards anytime soon but it was in the future, yet I feel like that future I wanted is slowly getting snatched away from me.

People keep telling me I shouldn't have another child with the way my health is or that I should be grateful I have a healthy child, because some people can't have any, I'm incredibly grateful that I was giving the greatest gift of a healthy baby boy, but it's my  life and my choice and why should I let my health problems stop me. I know people try and say things to help or because they care but you feel like there making a choice for you when it's not there's to make your left feeling angry because  its not them that sits through every growth scan, its me, its me that has to make the hard decisions it's me that has to sit while they check the babies heart its me that lies in bed every night hoping and praying everything will be ok.



I'm trying to be positive but really I want to hide under a duvet with a huge tub of ice cream, I'm devastated all I keep thinking have I not been through enough ? Have I not had my fair share of bad luck ?  Does the struggle ever end  when will things be ok ? After each of the 5 heart operations I have had in the passed 3 years I always think the pain and heartache will be over but it never is.

I'm tiered of being in pain tiered of being unwell and tiered of being broken, but I do know I have to plod on with life, as us Scottish lassies would say it will  be aw right hen.



 
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Thursday, 7 July 2016

truth is I really have no bloody clue what am doing as a mum






I have a smiley happy little boy who is 20 months old from the outside I appear to know what I'm doing. He's always happy smiling , saying ta,. Shares everything and our life in pictures appears like  I have motherhood sussed. I have managed to get to this stage and look after another human being which for me is brilliant, it's not resulted in what happened when I had fish, yep I killed them all by over feeding them seriously no joke, I share many pictures on social media of my life as a mum and my beautiful boy and apparently I must give this illusion that I do really do know what am doing.


Because I receive so many comments and emails off other mums asking for advice, since it appears like I'm some sort of Mary Poppins with my spoon full of sugar or good old super nanny who knows how to handle every shit situation calmly I'm not and truthfully most days I have no clue what the hell am actually doing.


Nobody does,every day is a school day and everyday is different  and I'm learning and figuring it all out like everyone else is , sometimes things go great and I do think maybe I have this shit together but  some days things go horribly wrong and on occasions I have left a battlefield and stormed out the front door leaving poor Dougie to deal with a tempered toddler lying face down into the kitchen floor screaming because I wouldn't let him eat the cat food and  I considered how much a flight to neverland would cost were I wouldn't need to be a growing up anymore.




Motherhood is bloody hard work, from teething to temper tantrums, sleepless nights, to them learning to move around, everything becomes so much worse which you didn't think could happen because everyone tells you it gets easier, your home no longer looks like something out a Laura Ashley catalogue, instead it's full of toys , stupid tents and of course we can't forget the nippy vtech  cars that seem to randomly sing there stupid tune after you stand on them trying to carry a sleeping child to bed.


A huge word of advice don't read social media were there's the perfect mum who makes dinner and breakfast every morning from scratch, who's kids are nicely dressed everyday without a mark to be seen, who's child is so advance they're smarter than Stephan Hawkins and that perfect mum's hair is always perfectly washed, a full face of make up as she's skipping to work with her designer handbag placed over her shoulders.


Honest mums are the best, they will tell you that time they had forget to strap the child in the buggy and they fell out, or the times they fell off the sofa, they will tell you the times were they lost there temper and raised there voice but felt terrible about it and locked there self in the toilet afterwards and cried until they realised the child was standing at the other side of the door laughing and smiling


They will tell you that they called there child nippy and occasionally wish they had never had children . They will tell you that sausage roll from good old Gregg's with some beans and an apple after it is acceptable.They will tell you the heartache they feel when they loose there cool because sometimes it is hard.


They will tell you Nobody is a perfect mum they don't have all the answers and being a mums bloody  hard work, Honest mums are the best because when they re done being honest about all the shit times you laugh together and then celebrate and talk about all the good times.


I've tried and failed at many things in life but I will never stop giving 100% at being the best mum I can be


Because motherhood is like anything you will have good and bad days and although its tough and something I say a lot its even tougher when you don't have the best of health but being giving the title mum is the greatest thing in the world and its something I would never change, although I hate to admit it the day I found out I was pregnant I cried my eyes out saying to my husband my life's over which we now laugh about . From the moment I gave birth to Kian and held him I felt like my life had a purpose. As I stared at him for hours as he slept I knew my life had changed forever, that I would forever love and protect him. Watching them grow right before your eyes and develop into there own little character who gives you cuddles and smiles when they see you is just beautiful. as you teach them you see there little minds process all the information, you watch them learn and grow and the pride you feel when you see them achieve is brilliant. As Kian is slowly getting closer to his 2nd birthday I suddenly find myself thinking back to that tiny baby who I cradled in my arms every night and part of me doesn't want to let go of that baby who is now a toddler because when did that happen time really does fly when your having fun. The other week at soft play Kian came walking over to me at the table and he cuddled me tightly, I didn't want to let go I wanted to hold onto that moment because I know eventually it will reach a stage were he's not that little Caterpillar, he will turn into that beautiful butterfly that will eventually fly away and not want to cuddle me like that anymore.





I love him and I try my best everyday but I still freely admit I have no bloody clue what am doing but what mum can say they have it all sussed not even that perfect mum who hides behind social media acting like she does because 100 percent guaranteed she doesn't have a bloody clue either she's learning like the rest of us.


Honest mums are the most vital, they stop you going completely insane when you do see they perfect mums and you question if it's maybe just you that actually has no clue not to mention the amazing tricks and tips you can learn from they honest mums who freely admit it's not just you that doesn't have a clue.

                                                         
                                                                   
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Friday, 24 June 2016

I know what its like to be afraid

                                     


They say what's for you wouldn't go passed you, I gave it my all or at least I thought I did ,something I was so passionate about but maybe  it wasn't meant to be because it did go right passed me.

A few months back I applied for a job, I didn't tell anyone for the fear of failure, it wasn't just any old job, but a job that meant I would be achieving a huge dream and goal helping and working with others with heart problems, when I received a letter inviting me for an interview I was buzzing with excitement but also stuck with so many worries.

I had spent weeks questioning was it a good idea ? was I being stupid ?  Could I even do it ?  Would my health allow me to do it ? Would my health knock me back because of how much time I have had off being  sick ?   I even hesitated over sending the application, because if I got the job it meant working with the staff who do all my checks and heart scans  I  felt embarrassed over it,  because on some occasions my checks and procedures means your forced to be naked but was it anything to be embarrassed about ? it isn't , I throw all they thoughts to one side and figured  if it's meant to be then it's meant to be.

Sitting in the same corridor I was met with the same faces most of them had treated me at some point except this time was different, I wasn't a sick patient coming for a ECG or a pacemaker check as I walked into the room the lady interviewing knew me she was there through every ablation, that had failed yet I still shook her hand like we hadn't met before, when they asked if I wanted to be showing around,  I had been in nearly every room all for different reasons yet all the outcome of my condition, I still said yes ,it was the strangest experience knowing this time it was different, it didn't even feel like an interview because she already knew so much about me because she had asked in the passed about my life, my family and my job.

I was asked  why I would be good at the job ? Were I spoke about my own job  and what I have done which meant I could bring experience but suddenly I thought of something I could bring that most people couldn't, I could relate, I know what it's like, I know what it's like to feel frightened and afraid I can put myself in their shoes because I've been there on more than one occasion.

I know what's it like to feel afraid the main organ in your body that keeps you alive doesn't work properly

When the words "well done out of 67 you made it to our 9"  felt like a huge achievement except they words stuck for some reason, as I left the hospital I told my family I didn't think I got the job you get that feeling were you just know

 I was right.

When the phone rang and the words "don't be dishearted you didn't get the job you probably don't want to hear this but you lost out by 1 point if there was 2 positions you were second and would of got it," and there was "nothing differently you could of done"


'She wanted something else, something different, something more, knowledge excitement perhaps or maybe success in something she had a passion for just not second best'



And do you know something  when I came off the phone I cried , I gave it everything but that everything wasn't enough a huge dream shattered in 2 small seconds were I questioned what could I have done differently or what do I need to improve on for next time, except I had asked that and the words "nothing",  someone just had more experience in that aspect than I had, I still questioned everything afterwords , maybe if I had spoke more or less maybe if I had just gave it more than I already did ,I just didn't sell myself enough I guess,  I was also stuck with the embarrassment of  I need to go back and face all they staff members as a patient for the rest of my life... Yes the rest of my life because I will never be free from heart checks, and the hardest of it all knowing I was there second choice.

The only good thing out of it is they asked to keep my number and if the opportunity arises within 3 months they can still offer me the job and I will be first in line to get the position except at this point in time all I see is that fail, did she just say that to make me feel better ? I guess no one knows what the future holds if we did then we would all be up at the shops putting on the lottery and we wouldn't  have to work right ?

Except that's not the case for me my goals and dreams of helping and working with people who have heart problems will always remain the same, it's a huge passion of mine and always will be, it's something I refuse to give up on, despite that fail. I do feel so dishearted right now, but who doesn't ?we all go through stages  in our lives were we fail, wither it be an exam, a job, or even something simple like trying to loose weight (my picture says it all I fail at trying to diet all the time because I have no will power).  I will take time to work and grow and focus on the life and job I have right now  and hope that a new opportunity does arise somewhere at some point, don't get me wrong that lottery win would help out  I could live in luxury and  do a job because I want to not because I need to, to make ends meet.



It wasn't meant to be and maybe it will never mean to be? Maybe there's something better waiting just round the corner, but losing out by 1 point hits hard how close you really were, which just makes the whole situation even more upsetting.

I found comfort in my sadness, it's ok to to cry,  a dream will always be a dream unless you go out and get it and I tried  but I guess if you keep believing in they dreams and yourself one day it will come true because you can't give up on dreams life's to short to not keep believing. We all have so much to give despite illnesses knocking us back throughout life  having the experience being on the other side is something special that not many can give or offer and that's something you cannot gain because it's giving without choice.


                                                                



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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Life is only what you make of it






If you were to write on paper what your illness has taken from you, the list would probably  be incredibly long even upsetting to stare at it, you grieve how your life used to be, a lot of us go through that stage, I felt nothing but misery in the early days and still to this day I have my low days and days were mentally and physically I feel nothing but sadness looking at how things used to be.

When your life was spent most days in bed, being housebound because physically you couldn't ,your going out was completely  different to others  it usual meant going to hospital and your idea of fun was making it through to the sofa  to watch a film on Netflix, it's not climbing mountains right ? That unwanted shadow follows you around everywhere and there's never any light at the end of the tunnel.

Life doesn't feel adventurous,it's always a struggle you risk setbacks you lack the ability to just feel alive and live life on the edge. Fear is an emotion even the bravest of people face at some point in their lives, and fear is something I slowly realised I had to face head on, fear was a huge demon of mine,  the fear of a setback, fear of the pain and the whole fear of something going wrong again.

At one of my worst times with my heart, walking was a challenge, it was physical, physically because I was unable my heart physically wouldn't function how it should, and for the last 2 summers I spent days in hospital feeling like that was how my life was always going to be something so simple I physically couldn't do, the pain of it all stuck fresh in my mind.

I was always stuck with the "I want to do it "  I knew I had to find the mental strength inside, it will always be physical,  but I was only making the impossible, impossible by allowing my fear to take Over and for once I had to forget fear and face that problem, it's the only choice I had to make steps to aim for positive progression.

       'Fear has two meanings, forget everything and run, 

                    or face everything and rise'




Nobody chooses to have an illness, nobody would choose for an illness to make them frightened,
Life is only what you make of it,live for yourself,it may feel like you've been giving a life sentence, but it doesn't have to be, your outlook on life by changing that impossible to possible by simply trying your best that's all anyone can ask for, there's always time to just make the most out of the situation.

Little steps can appear from just facing and acknowledging it all  you will realize they baby steps were an important part in helping you get to were you are in the present, look at your small achievements which in time will turn into your biggest victories always be kind to yourself it's not about winning a race its about finishing, and don't forget to walk before you can run. Who knows maybe one day that 40 minute Mountain walk wouldn't take me nearly 3 hours but for now that's an achievement I'm proud of.


                                                 


                                                              
                                                        

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Hey supermum you can't be super all the time


 The day they two lines appear either by chance or choice, it brings so much happiness,and  excitement, Your faced with so many new challenges and rewards it will exhaust and enlighten you, its the best job in the world but having a chronic illness that brings even more challenges, along with new highs and lows, no textbook or midwife can prepare you or tell you how to manage and get through some of your darkest days.

You wouldn't ask for help  , you will feel like a failure, you will cry till you have no tears left, you will feel helpless, inadequate, and there will be days were life itself will feel impossible. and who could blame you for feeling like this ?, I can see it in your eyes the struggling and fatigue that is, I'm not judging you I am you or at least I used to be you.

You will feel guilt like you have never felt before, there is no benefit in self blame, so stop blaming yourself for things that aren't and weren't your fault you didn't ask for life to turn out the way it did, you didn't set out to be a sick mum so get rid of that guilt, Make decisions based on your own set of circumstances, yours is completely different to others, so stop comparing yourself to other mums , no two mothering journeys are the same, exactly like no two children are the same.You will learn you need to stop putting others first and take more time for you, you will learn to let what's supposed to be fall by the wayside, you will learn you need to stop being so hard on yourself and most importantly you will learn the fine balance of caring for yourself whilst caring for others.

The night feeds, which I found one of the hardest tasks ,you thought you were exhausted before you didn't know the meaning of exhausted till the 4 hour night feeds arrive.  you prize yourself away from your bed trying to calm a screaming baby while the bottle cools and they few minutes feel like forever everything is so much worse with very little sleep, you hope and pray to even make it to 5 hours because really that extra hour would help and work wonders, each day you question will this ever get easier ?  You would give anything to just have a full nights sleep. all though they times might feel like there never going to end they do end, cherish they moments because they don't last and you will miss and want  that special moment of cuddling up on the sofa watching your baby fall asleep in your arms and you will give anything to experience that moment one last time.



Mums don't get sick leave I'm really sorry to be the one  to tell you this you can't call in sick your on the job 24/7 with no breaks you might be lucky enough to get a nap ,but it's hard having eyes on the back of your head all day everyday your days filled with  changing endless nappies and clothes yours and there's , fighting through the tiredness ,counting down the hours till bedtime, these days will get easier I promise you they will you find new ways to cope and deal with illness and being a mum it just takes time, its amazing how you learn to manage , as each day passes you do find new ways to cope and balance how you feel while being a mum, Rome wasn't built in a day and if you look at, it from that perspective your on the first step in the right direction to figuring out the balance of motherhood and illness because it all takes time.

There will be days you will feel Inadequate and helpless and that's ok every mum feels this way from time to time, it doesn't matter if your unable to do things, nobodies perfect, just because you can't do things or be there in ways you had originally planned or hoped doesn't mean the ways you are there, are any less valuable or meaningful,wiping the grazed knees, a cuddle reading a story,saying the words I love you are the most powerful things you can ever do as a mum.

          'There will be so many times you feel like you've failed

                  But in the eyes, heart and mind of your child

                                        Your supermum'

 

Your not and never will be supermum or even mum of the year your human, chances are you wouldn't ask for help or even accept help you will try and be supermum, you will fear being judged  help is for the weak,you aren't weak your a mum and a strong mum.






But you do need help  and that's ok let's face it everyone needs help at times, your strength  isn't determined by your inability or ability of asking for help, struggling to juggle the  balance of caring for yourself as well as others, were you like me and turned down all the help that was offered from friends, Family even doctors and health visitors ? You wanted to do it all on your own why ? What were you trying to prove ? what did you achieve ? Why do we push away help when we really need it ? chances are you wouldn't have achieved anything you will be exactly like me and just ended up suffering more than you had to, did you ever stop and think maybe these people wanted to help ?

I guess what am trying to tell you is being a mum with a chronic condition, its no walk in the park, but you will find that balance you have to, because its the only choice you have in making the most out of the rubbish situation which is having a  bad heart and being a mum.

 The children in your life don't see you as sick mum they just see a mum they need and love, they don't need you to be perfect they just need you, your a  supermum in their eyes, but even supermums need help and guess what that's ok.





                                                      
                                                  


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