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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