Sunday 22 May 2016

You can let it break you or make you


Whilst I have been taking into consideration ways to try and stay positive and change my way of thinking we are all human and we all have those days were we feel down and sad for no apparent reason, we digest those moments in our own way. Sometimes it's easy others times it's difficult am finding it difficult at the moment, The drastic feeling of grieving my old life, and the hardest one my lack of ability to separate my heart problems from being me as a person.

Its only occasionally I break down, as I write this post it's just been one of those weeks, we all have them, we all go through tricky times, Ronan keating once sang a song about life being a roller coaster and as much as I dislike the song he has a point.

After speaking with my cardiologist, he's now spoke with some plastic surgeons and I have been referred to them, along with an appointment for some pain management and new tablets to try, A routine check up with the nurse turned into having to be seen by the doctor who phoned a few minutes later saying 'am sorry but you have to go to the hospital to get an ECG and chest X-ray', were the doctor at the hospital said the good old favourite my hearts fast go back to my GP who knows my history, and my dermatology appointment resulted in being put on tablets that will make me so sensitive to light even standing at a window will cause me to burn with the added side effect of sickness and all this had happened by Tuesday afternoon. The fatigue from work is just the worst, a phase return only working a couple of hours with days off, but they days off aren't really days off because the days I finish early or are off are spent at hospital appointments so I'm never getting 2 minutes to just recover from the hours I have worked,  the smallest of tasks are proving more difficult. I spent the whole of Sunday in bed with a racing heart, I know the moment will pass  no matter how bad it feels, it may feel like you will never get through these attacks but eventually I know it stops, you find the strength inside and try your best to ignore it,  but that attack left me even more physically and mentally exhausted, and it made it harder knowing I had a busy week ahead and  that I wouldn't be able to lie down to it all.

I constantly find myself reflecting back and grieving how my life used to be, I hate that my heart has robbed the life I had, everything I ever dreamed of doing feels impossible and just the whole ability to be able to function like a normal human being is hard. It's difficult to accept this because I'm only 25 , I constantly find myself looking at others my age and feeling nothing but jealousy , the long 12 hour shifts I used to do each day at work I'm doing 4 hours and a week of that I'm stuck in bed with that little hamster coming  out and running round that stupid wheel attached to the cage which is what my heart felt like it was doing, the career I always wanted since as long as I can remember, growing up every Saturday I would sit In front of the TV with Casualty on saying one day I will be a nurse, just seems physically  impossible, and it's heart breaking knowing how hard I worked, being so close to doing that nursing course yet never being well enough or able to do it.

 I was stuck with the same questions  will I ever be able ?  Am I happy about the situation ? am I terrified that this will always be my life ? am I worried i'm never going to achieve my goals in life ? Do I realise others are worse off than me ? how can I change my way of thinking ? How can I separate my problems from the life I want to live ?  ... i'm stuck I don't know because sometimes it just feels overwhelming 

Although I actually didn't shed a tear, I locked myself in my room and processed all my thoughts, avoiding everyone even my phone , I hate to be babied or pitted, over how I feel,  I get angry at myself when I bundle everything up as I know that makes everything worse so I found myself feeling even more angry for hiding it all,because a problem shared is a problem halved but sometimes it's easier to keep it all to yourself because you know it hurts the people close to you because they cant physically do anything to help,  when I was at the hospital getting an ECG and a chest x-ray the nurse asked if anyone knew I was here, or with me ? I said yes, even though that was flat lie, but for once I didn't want people worrying or changing plans. I seemed to have lost what I'm normally good at analysing and breaking down the situation even if it is a rubbish one, I just shut myself away from everything, shoving in my iPod and blocking out the world, and my feelings.

One afternoon Dougie said to me you can either let your heart problems break you or make you   were shortly after the words followed "right now it's breaking you I think at this point I did cry, because as much as it gets me I don't think I'm letting it break me, but am I ? But then I figured I'm trying, trying so hard to manage work no matter how exhausted I am, no matter how much work effected my heart that day I stayed and finished my shift, how tired I was mentally from being at the hospital the night before, I still got out of bed early and made it to work the next day, trying so hard to juggle work, hospital appointments,being a mum just trying to live a some what normal life, all at the same time as trying so hard to function like a normal human.

There are many questions I find unanswered, so many worries,the more I think of all the bad points the harder it feels to cope which makes everything feel so overwhelming, sometimes it's easier to not over think life and just take each day at a time, sometimes I just feel sad that my life is like this, but then I remind myself there is a flip side to this, I'm young enough to still achieve something even if that something isn't what I had planned or dreamed it to be, I'm young enough to find balance even if I need to start over , it's difficult when months and years pass you by in illness, I'm still young enough to build blocks very slowly to find my way.

I'm trying my best to remain optimistic not necessary forcing myself to be positive over the whole rubbish situation but optimistic that I can still achieve something with my life, find happiness and ways to cope and move on and not how Dougie had put it let it "break me " find a steady balance that I feel I can work with and it's something no doctor or fortune teller can tell you what the future holds, if building blocks slowly will work out or if I need to build my blocks and form a different path to find that balance.

Although I'm not on the path were I wanted to be at the moment am closer than I was yesterday or even last year and I hope eventually I will find that path were I have a steady balance with life, work and my health that I will be grateful and thankful for. They say things happen for a reason and although at this point I have never found that reason I hope one day I will look back and understand why things turned out the way they did.

 'it feels like everyone else is moving on with their lives while i'm stuck here in this hole that I can't climb out of'

Life isn't always fair or clear sailing for any of us, I think we all sometimes wish we could run away from our problems especially when everything builds up, a place were problems don't exist, but that isn't possible, we all need to find that balance in life and is finding that balance letting go of how life used to be like because as much as you want it to be like before, its never going to be that way or  starting over with new blocks and building that new path that does form balance, they say thing's fall apart so better things fall together is this what's happening ? do  I just need to let it fall apart and let it come together how it should ? I know I need to find that balance because its the only choice I have to be happy in a negative situation that is having a damage heart that's never going to get better.




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Saturday 14 May 2016

Have I gone entirely 'bonkers'


 When you get sick doctors have the answer don't they? You feel unwell you go to the doctor they either know right away what's wrong or you have a test or few done then bingo you have an answer.

You leave with a brand new shiny diagnosis in your pocket and your doctor fixes it, maybe it's medication, surgery or a simple change of life style  but the doctor always has the answer.

So what happens if your doctor doesn't have an answer, neither does the next one or the next one after that, are you really unwell ? Or have you gone completely mad ?

Is it in our heads ? Are we being big pathetic babies,?  A little over dramatic,?  imagining it all,? wimps?

The way I always seen it , growing up you got sick, you seen a doctor,  you got antibiotics, whatever but you got better, but what happens when this doesn't happen ? What happens when doctor after doctor doesn't know or have an answer,  self doubt you blame yourself , you start to question everything including your own sanity if the person who should know, doesn't know, the big question you ask yourself is are you truly suffering or is it in your head ?

'There are two types of people in the world ones who blame themselves and ones who  blame others for there problems'

Over the years since my heart started acting up I met many cardiologists, doctors, even the pain management team as at one point the pain became to unbearable, I was admitted into hospital,they even sent in the specialist who deals with all the infected pacemakers across the whole of Scotland, not only once but twice when they couldn't find a reason for my racing heart.

Over the years I would lie in bed as my heart raced I would question everything my brain couldn't shut off , maybe it was anxiety, maybe I was just really unfit, maybe I should even loose weight, or was it all in my head ?,the pain from my pacemaker being removed was I being a big wimp, a drama queen maybe I should just get on with it, maybe it wasn't really that bad I just had to man up, maybe it did just need time to heal they do say   times a healer don't they ?

 I can tell you 4 years on from when my problems started, if I have a string of good days I still question everything,, my hearts been fine, maybe I am imaging it worse than it is, maybe I'm even clinging onto feeling unwell  because  I'm afraid of all the things  I done before that caused me to faint and made my heart race, the whole fear of it going wrong again. It's all the questions of self doubt mixed in to ... my sick /bonkers brain ?

Let's face it, we all have those days don't we ?, were we do feel good and question ourselves wither it was trying to find a diagnosis or being in pain , when that little naughty voice whispers "am I making it up ?" ' Am I just a wimp?'

But it wasn't anxiety, or in my head I wasn't making it all up or crazy I ended up with a pacemaker because my heart just point blank refused  to work normal and god I had even questioned myself over needing a pacemaker, maybe the breathless and chest pain from my heart beating to slow wasn't really that bad, maybe I am a drama queen I even searched for another reason to explain the faints because my heart had started to pause.

But the reality is we all question ourselves in some way or another and we all at times blame our mind, my Nana always taught me your mind is a powerful thing that barely anyone can understand what goes on inside your own mind, so maybe it's normal to feel bonkers but even if you don't know what's wrong that doesn't change the fact that something is wrong even when you come across doctors who don't believe you there not worth worrying over there's always another one out there, somewhere who will listen and take you seriously even if they don't know what's wrong.

'Just because you have good days don't let that horrible whisper in your head tell you that your crazy' 

When we doubt ourselves it's  because we think doctors know everything so when they can't find a reason for our problems you question yourself your brain for that matter, thinking  if a doctor doesn't know it mustn't be real, it mustn't be in that big medical book you find lying on their desks because if it was they would know and you would leave with that shiny new diagnosis.

But if there's anything i learned doctors don't know everything, when I dislocated my knee when I was 20 I ended up with chronic pain afterwards every step bend I made I was in agony MRI scans showed nothing and during one appointment I had a doctor even  tell me "maybe it was my hormones making the pain worse" I left sobbing and did question that reason, even though deep down I knew it wasn't but he was a orthopaedic surgeon In fact he was the best knee specialist in Scotland so if he could find nothing wrong then was there anything wrong there couldn't be right ?

But there was after years of pain, endless sleepless nights and tears shed they decided to look in my knee because I kept appearing back with the same problem no matter how much they didn't believe me I shut off that self doubt because it was real, I wasn't crazy and it definitely wasn't hormones they discovered the positioning of my knee cap was off and had wore away most of the cartilage in my knee which explained everything, so that was proof  right there tests don't always show what's wrong and doctors aren't always right.

We have to learn to trust our bodies and instincts when we know something is wrong, just because they don't know doesn't mean it's not real or happening,

I was always blessed and really lucky with my heart to have a good cardiologist who never doubted anything instead always looked for the answers and when he didn't know he would ask someone else who would know and eventually I could shout house in bingo because I had an answer, so I always found myself questioning why I feel the need to beat myself up about it all but in my crazy brain I don't know, I guess it's easier to blame your problems on yourself or others.



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Saturday 7 May 2016

Forever the new girl trying to fit in.

I finally got to experience that Monday morning feeling again, well it was a Wednesday morning,   but you get my drift the feeling of having work again. Nervous was an understatement a full 19 months off work having a baby another ablation and 2 pacemakers, I was finally going back, I had achieved what was such a big thing,  Something I thought was impossible, a day I never thought was ever going to happen again, months of recovering numerous set backs persuading my own doctor and the hardest one occupational health that I was fit and well enough to return to work. The tears I had shed after every heart breaking moment that sick note was signed 'not fit for work' Was finally in the past locked away in my brain were I happily want to forget that part of my life ever happened , as much as my heart is always going to be a problem and  I will have bad days ,and  I'm not going to lie I came home after my first shift and god I acted like the world was ending every part of my body ached and I thought I just can't do this as I crashed into bed in a heap,  I had only done 4 hours But they 4 hours of standing working were tough I'm such a granny scrap that I'm just not used to working it's been so long but I had done it I completed that first shift which is always going to be the hardest.

                                   'An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards.
                                  When life is dragging you back with  difficulties, 
                               it means it's going to launch you into something great 
                                                  so just focus and keep aiming"

 Over the years at work some people have asked if I'm ok ? Am I feeling better ? or why I'm always off ? And some don't, maybe there too afraid to ask in fear of being too noisy or maybe they don't even notice I guess  it's hard  it's like when someone dies you never know what to say as saying sorry wouldn't bring that person back, it's not something I talk about at work in fact it's really the opposite when I am well enough to work I do anything to avoid the topic because I like to forget my hearts an issue, but also I don't want to be treated differently, I don't ever drag attention or mention it even on days my heart is acting up as I just want to be like everyone else but also I fear being put in the situation were I feel like I have to explain  a big thing for me is telling people because they do treat you different they mean well and it's such a lovely thing knowing that people do care but I don't want people to be over cautious and I definitely don't want to be treated differently.

One of my biggest worries  and something that upsets me the most is the amount of time I have off 'being sick 'were I not only feel frustrated and angry, I always feel like I never fit in, I experience  that new girl in a new job feeling time and time again. heading in on my second day I walked in turned around and walked straight back out the door were I said to one of the nurses am in the wrong theatre because as I walked in through the door I looked around and didn't know or recognise anyone so I assumed I was in the wrong place but in actual fact I was in the right place it was just lots of new faces I just hadn't met.

Being in the same job nearly 8 years working in theatre, granted I  think I have been a patient more than I have worked there especially this year and last but my worries and sadness about being the new girl  all the time hit me right in the face when I walked in and discovered next to my name on my locker were the words who is this ? I really felt like someone had stuck the knife in and twisted it but basically it  just proved The whole thing about being the new girl and I mean really it's just some words but the whole thing about being the new girl slapped me right in the face, maybe the person who wrote it genuinely didn't know who I was, or done it as a laugh and it was supposed to make me smile and they didn't know it would make me feel so bad  about the whole situation  and properly 100 percent they didn't know me or anything about me including why I was off but I found myself thinking back to every hard moment that had led me to to be off work, how just under a year ago as I lay on the bathroom floor the paramedics tried so hard to get my blood pressure and heart rate back up I watched the monitor slowly dip as my heart just got slower and slower, They gave up trying to help me and made the decision the hospital wasn't far away getting there quickly and phoning the crash team gave me the best chance, my heart was slowly giving up as I lay on the trolley in resus the monitor flashed up 27bpm I felt helpless and scared it was the most strangest feeling I have ever felt felt  as I was always used to my heart racing as I grabbed the young doctors hand in fear I  asked her not to let go I thought That was it Was this what dying felt like,  my whole life swirled round my brain, everything I would never get to see or do and one thing that stuck from that day was I would never get to experience what work is like again. That was the easy part trying to prove that I was well enough and would manage to work again was tough and soul destroying  were for that split second on my first day back I thought was it all worth it.

                                                         "Dream believe achieve"

But you know something that's ok and I can say that's ok because fitting in being the new kid on the block I'm used to, I did vent scream and shout in my fit of rage as I returned home  I got it out my system I let off the steam and moved on as the new girl trying to fit in and of course I have to add the shoeless girl because everything I owned was gone too, it was like I had actually never existed or maybe everyone believed I wouldn't ever come back.

I know what it's like to feel like you don't fit in to be an outsider because of how many times I have wore that T-shirt and I always try to not make people feel that same way because it's the worst feeling and situation you can be placed in being new but forever being the  new girl trying to fit, is even harder I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason and I do truly believe that constantly having that experience of being the new girl and being signed off work will help me grow later in life, I mean when the time comes for me to get a new job, it will be a walk in the park because I'm used to always being the new girl, but it will be so much easier actually being the new girl.

 never ever give up fighting for what you want to achieve in life, anything worth having is never easy and even if it feels impossible just remember life is only 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react so if you truly want to do something you have to leave your comfort zone and just give it your best shot.


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