Tuesday, 25 April 2017

LIVING ALONE & STARTING YOUTUBE

I feel as though I haven't been very active on social media for a long time. I've been here and there but all in all not really there if you get my drift.

Some of you may be aware that I have had a very busy schedule for the past few months. Not only did I WIN my Personal independence tribunal, OHH and the most exciting news.. I moved into my own house!

Although at first, yes it was daunting thinking that I was going to be living alone whilst trying to control my seizures but I now have my own social worker who has been amazing. Not only has she put my mind at ease by installing a Telecare system into my home but she has made me aware of all of the other help I can get!

I've been living alone now for nearing on 3 months, I love it! Yes somedays I do feel a bit down due to my depression but that's when I take myself out of that situation and go and see my friends or family or even take my camera out on a little photography trip all whilst getting a breath of fresh air. Or I'll take those emotions and go to the gym where I have been able to release all of the bad and sad and really focus my energy on me, on creating a better, healthy and more self confident me.

I started YOUTUBE! yes you read right I uploaded my first video yesterday and I'm over the moon with the responses I've been receiving from family, friends and fellow epileptics. I'm already prepping to film another video which will be a little different but I won't just be posting videos based on epilepsy but I'll be posting haul videos, fitness, lifestyle, cooking etc. I'm open to suggestions :)
For now here is my first video I hope you all like it.










Wednesday, 26 October 2016

People will soon call me the crazy cat lady

Soon enough people will call me the crazy cat lady. But firstly I'm not crazy and secondly my cats will call me mum. I have had several cats in my lifetime and all were as beautiful as the next, I would never replace any of them. Unfortunately those have passed on and my mum gave in and got another one. 

What's different this time? we got a rescue cat!

Meet Freya! She's a 3 year old short haired domestic cat, ginger in colour. We don't know much about where she came from but what we do know is that she is a beautiful loving cat with a lovely temperament. She loves having lots of cuddles and plenty of attention. She is pretty small considering how old she is and is definitely still a kitten at heart.  

We only brought her home today but I can tell already she is going to light up ours lives and really bring me comfort if I'm feeling low. I mean she has made me feel happier already! She is absolutely gorgeous and she was born in September too! Same month as me! It's like we were meant to be together. AHA. 

Oh and I have just found out that she is just as crazy as I am! She has been running across my keyboard for the past 5 minutes trying to write this blog post for me. 


video







Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Music is Magic

We all those days where we just don't feel very upbeat or simply just want to stay in bed all day I know I sure have. On these days to try and cheer myself up by listening to a playlist of music. Music that is so happy and upbeat it makes you want to get up and dance. 

Listening to upbeat songs makes you feel happier, but only if your actively trying to improve your mood by this I mean that you're aware that you trying to make yourself happier. Seeking out happiness through music and other techniques can also improve your health, income and relationship satisfaction. 


Play list can be found HERE

I have always found that music can act as an escape as well, however your feeling, happy, sad or even angry listening to upbeat music always makes me feel happy and distracts me from what's going on around me. I'm able to really disappear into my only little world.

"Music is my escape" & "Music is here for me when no one else is"


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A turn of events

I thought I had everything under control for a while, but I was wrong, clearly. A couple weekends ago ended up with me being taken to hospital following several tonic clonic seizures that had taken place on the kitchen floor. Thankfully I had no serious injuries, only bruising and a nasty looking blood clot in my arm. 


I know exactly why they occurred on that day. I had received a letter through the post on the Saturday morning in regards to my appeal for PIP (Personal independence payment), I got stressed out straight away as anyone in my situation would have.

I'm so lucky my sister was at home when it happened, she had never seen me have a seizure before so as you can imagine she was in a complete state as I've been told. She rang my mum who was back home within 5 minutes, by which time I was still fitting in my second by this point. My mum rang 999, and ambulance and a paramedic were sent out and were there within 5 minutes. Whilst my mum was on the phone I went into a third seizure. By this point I must have been going for 20 minutes or possibly longer I have no idea. The paramedic and ambulance crew managed to bring me round but I was taken straight off to the hospital for blood tests, tests, checks on my vitals then closely monitored for a while until they were happy for me to go home and fully recover.

Since then I have been to see my GP for a follow up to make sure I was recovering well as well as discussing the likely change with my medication and dosages. My Dr also prescribed me with emergency medication, finally..

For some reason I never knew about emergency medication and none of my doctors had never mentioned them either. Considering I've had some extremely serious occurrences and my tonic clonic seizures have always lasted 10 minutes or more the emergency medication would have be pretty handy. But I guess at least I have it now.

Now it's time to look further into the support, equipment and any resources that may benefit me in the long run. Let's turn my negative experiences into something positive. Instead of dwelling on the past I shall do nothing except looking to the future and keeping positive always.



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The diet & exercise routine of one epileptic warrior.

Credits of imagery: Kaltenbachfitness

There have been many ''nutritionists'' claiming that if you eat certain foods or go onto a certain diet that it will help in controlling the status of the amount of seizures you have. I along with many people I know don't believe this. I believe as long as you eat a healthy and balanced diet accompanied with regular exercise that anyone's health will generally improve. Yes, I do think that it should be consistent but who am I to say otherwise.

I generally eat a more Mediterranean diet, lots of fish, plenty of vegetables either steamed or roasted. I avoid eating white potatoes and tend to stick with sweet potatoes. I have substituted rice for quinoa and regular semi-skimmed milk with unsweetened almond milk. As for snacks I like to have unsalted nuts and dried fruits like raisins and/or rice cakes. I drink a lot of green teas as I find it's great for flushing out any toxins within the body and no more than 2 litres of water per day, both of which I spread throughout the day evenly. Not only that I actually love the taste of green tea especially 'Twinings mango & lychee/cranberry/jasmine green tea' and 'Clipper white tea'. I've definitely become a tea addict! 

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have great affects on your body. Human research studies show that green tea help improve brain function, fat loss, show a  lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits which you can find here 

When it comes to exercise, I like to do a fair amount as it's a good form of stress relief for me and allows me to focus on something else rather than daily anxieties or being alone. Since I got diagnosed with depression more recently it has been even more important for me to try and get out of the house. Along with the fact that with my constant changes to my medication my weight has constantly been fluctuating and I just want to get it under control. 

My workout schedule is as follows although sometimes it differs depending on the weeks appointments and tasks.


Monday: Gym session/Class
Tuesday: Group cycling/spinning class
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Group cycling/spinning class
Friday: Gym session/Class
Saturday: Kettle bell class
Sunday: Rest day


Some people think I'm crazy for doing so much but it has really helped me not only physically but mentally too. Although I do still have my seizures I manage to work around them and am always carefully watched by a members of staff who know of my condition and are trained in what to do. Obviously if I've had a tonic clonic I tend to take a few days off to recover fully and then gradually work back into my exercise routine starting with only gentle exercise. 

Well that's about as much as I can tell you for now, if there is anything you'd like to know just message me and I'll respond as soon as I can.




Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A downward spiral


A downward spiral//
My experience working with the Deaf community was amazing it was so fulfilling and rewarding knowing that the work we were doing was really being appreciated by all. And what's more I was doing it with some awesome people, not only were they my co-volunteers and counter parts but they were my friends, well most of them were.. But I'm not gonna get into that. 

So with only 3 weeks left of the programme I spent one of those weeks in hospital and the following two back in the UK recovering. Basically I was taken into hospital with a high temperature and excruciating lower back pain, which actually turned out to be some sort of virus that I'd caught out there. So I went through into A&E where I had Valium injected straight into my blood stream for the back pain which helped tremendously. Shortly after I had a seizure and was sedated, that week in hospital was a blur to say the least but overall I had 8 tonic clonic seizures within 5 days? I was so drained it was stupid. I can't even remember how long I was in there for. A couple days after being discharged from the hospital I was flown home accompanied by a lovely Thai doctor in 1st class, all thanks to AXA insurance and I didn't really get the chance to experience 1st class fully due to being asleep the majority of the way.

It was in the Philippines that the doctors increased my medications, put me on sleeping tablets along with a load of other tablets.


I'm not gonna get into the whole friendship deal because like I have always said ''Friends come and go but family is forever''. 

When I had fully recovered, I saw my doctor and was referred back to the hospital to see yet another neurologist, so only time could tell what's was next on the health cards for me. Along with that I started the application process to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and to get a free bus pass as I was and still am unable to drive due to my epilepsy. 

The job hunt began//
For some reason job hunting seemed so much more difficult than it used to, I mean I left Next in November 2014 in preparation for my volunteering adventure so really I had only been unemployed since my return from Cebu which was late March and I had applied for countless jobs including back at Next but in different stores and just kept on being turned down. I had never been turned down for a job until then. It was really starting to take a toll on me and my motivation, so I had no other choice than to sign on with the Job centre..

It was a first experience for me and one that I didn't intend on being in for long. Never in my life had I had to sign on, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I'd not even had my first payment and I had pretty much got a job in the bag! :D Happy Days!! I had an hour trial run on a Wednesday then I whether the job is for me or not.

I swear forms are the bane of my existence, I have lost count how many forms and application forms I've had to fill out. 

Since leaving that job I've had one other employment which ended March 2016 due to health reasons and the company. I won't name the company but it was an energy company, not a place I would ever go back to. Since then I moved back in with my mum and siblings and have been signed off from working until my epilepsy and depression are under control.

In my next post I'll be discussing my experience so far with the applications of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Earning support allowance (ESA).




Saturday, 24 September 2016

My Volunteering experience in Cebu, Philippines. #Part 2

So after and fun filled first 2 weeks the following two got even better! Oh I forgot to mention I tried Balut! And if you don't know what Balut is it's a half formed duck egg, sounds gross I know! And honestly I thought it was really good, to the point where I had 2!


The came around and we all knew what that meant... SINULOG!!! Sinulog is the largest festival in all of the Philippines, with over 3 million people attending in Cebu! All in celebration to Santo Nino. It's was crazy, but overall an incredible experience! It was full of colour street performers, a parade, paint being thrown everywhere and awesome DIY sinulog tshirts!

Yeah so we ran into the parade and got a group picture with a group of the performers! Cool right?!


Next came our first beach day! In Mactan! It took 20 mins on a boat and 20 minutes on a tricycle to get to the beach we found. And then an entrance fee of 50 pesos.


Then on to our Mid phase review hunt, so we were all put into different committees and I was in the MPR so we were to plan the accommodation, food, location etc and activities. We travelled from Cebu city south bus terminal to Moal Boal which was our chosen location which took us approximately 4 hours to get there by bus then a further 30 minutes on a tricycle.


I'm basically just bombarding you all with pictures upon more pictures from my trip so far.



We met the Mayor of Cebu City! What an awesome guy, and he came out with some cracking lines like ''From womb to tomb, that's life''  

That's all for now another post will be up shortly as I have a lot to catch you guys up on!













My Volunteering experience in Cebu, Philippines. #Part 1

Let's GO, Hey ho!
So the day finally arrived when I begun my volunteering adventure. I was so ready for the ridiculous amount of travelling I had ahead of me. Basically 24 hours of travelling by car, train, coach, plane and minibus! So 7th January, I began travelling with a 3 hour train journey to London where we had our Pre-departure training [PPT] at the Indian YMCA where we spent the night before getting the coach to Heathrow airport where we caught our plane to Cebu via Singapore.


My travel experience was not my luckiest time I'd had. As they say bad luck always comes in three's! So it started on the flight to Singapore... 1. I spilt food down myself. 2. My yoghurt exploded in my face! That was so not cool! and finally once on our connecting flight to Cebu I thought my bad luck was over, but far from it! My travel pillow also decided it was going to explode all over me! This surely was the hardest thing to try and clean up! especially because the filling was micro-beads. Oh and at Heathrow airport I got my bag full on searched and swabbed! Scariest experience ever, even though I had done nothing wrong I clearly looked like I was a drug mule... I'm NOT by the way aha.

OMG Finally we made it to Cebu! 
Oh hey Lisa! 

Yeah so we finally landed in Cebu where we met by Lisa our UK team leader. CENDET our home for the next week was where we met the ICV's our counterparts!

Down to the nitty gritty.
In country orientation [ICO] this is where we got down to all the nitty gritty, and were informed about all the security and health risks etc etc. Lot's of fun information that has disappeared out of my head. Oh and not forgetting all the fun energizers we did! Was awesome getting to know everyone, and was even more excited to find out who I'd be matched up with for our host homes and work placements!





And then it was farewell! Not forever, don't worry, we found out where we were all going to be living for the next 3 months and with whom! So excitedddddd!!! I'm gonna be staying with Tin, Sarah and Evie! and Tita Dolorus's home! Whoop whoop!



This is our BEAutiful family! Ahaha. 

Keep a look out for my Next post for Weeks 3-4! :)








Medication Drama

I'm constantly asking myself ''Did I take this mornings medication?''. I know for some not all of you who suffer with epilepsy you have trouble remembering to do daily tasks. Me I can't even remember to pass on one simple message to my mum. 


When I first started taking medication I was only on a small dose, only taking 2 pills per day now I'm taking 4-5 pills a day. Anti epileptic drugs (AED), anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. Sometimes I actually feel like a walking pharmacy or some sort of drug dealer. 

I guess on the bright side I've only been on 2 forms of medication just a multiple of different dosages. I have found it very helpful using a pill organiser that way I'm able to see whether I've actually taken my medication or not. You can pick them up pretty cheap, amazon, Ebay google it and you'll find loads. 

Now don't get me started on all the different side effects, almost falling asleep at the dinner table, feeling sick and anxious, having more seizures before controlling them and don't get me started on the mood swings. I have found so many times I've got angry or upset at the switch of a button. These in linked with my depression make it double as hard to control them hence why I'm also on anti depressants. 

My current medications include: Keppra, Lamotrigine & Citalopram. First off I think we have finally found the correct dosage to control my seizures, for now that is. 

There's so many symptoms when taking Keppra, I won't list them all but here's a few of the most common ones: anxiety, change in personality, headaches, irritability, mental depression, quick to react or overreact emotionally, shaking and trouble sleeping. If I'm completely honest I have all of these symptoms often especially when it comes to overreacting and getting emotional. With Lamotrigine there are symptoms but luckily I can't say I noticed any whilst I've been taken them. And citalopram well they had begun to help working and did help for a certain amount of time, but more recently I have found myself drifting back to where I started with my depression. 

I can see this may be quite daunting for some but in the long run it's totally worth the trouble. 

If anyone has any questions just give me a message and I'll get back to you as promptly as I can. 







Friday, 23 September 2016

How my story begins

So this is how it all began..

It was 2010, I was in my 2nd year of college studying to gain a national diploma in art & design. Like any 18 year old I went to a house party, for someone who has never been much of a drinker I went anyway to hang out with all my friends and have a good time instead of doing what most of us should have been doing 'Coursework'. 



I was tired anyway so by 11pm and having had only 2 glasses of cider I decided to go upstairs to get some sleep whilst the other stayed up drinking. I woke at about 2am desperately needing a drink of water so carried myself downstairs to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. Next thing I know I felt myself hit the floor, from there I had no recollection of what happened. All I know is that I didn't go to hospital. When I woke up in the morning I was in a lot of pain, sore and achey. My friend was there when I woke with a glass of water, she told me everything that happened.

The obvious thing now was to go to the doctors to get checked out and explain what had happened. Other than my blood pressure being quite high the doctors still wanted to have me the consultant at my local hospital to do a couple of tests. After concluding those test the consultant in a&e told me there was nothing wrong with me and that I had probably just fainted. I wasn't happy with that outcome, they didn't even look into it but there wasn't anything I could say or do so carried on with my college studies as normal.



It wasn't until I had graduated from college and begun university at Bournemouth that I had another seizure, even worse than before. I was in halls of residence at the time luckily my friend was next door and heard what happened and literally came to my rescue, calling the ambulance and getting our uni warden. I was admitted into hospital.. and the rest is self explanatory.

A week or 2 later I went back to the hospital to undergo and EEG, ECG and an MRI.. a few days later I took yet another trip to the hospital to see my neurologist who diagnosed me with epilepsy!  

I started medication almost immediately, 100mg Lamotrigine twice daily.

And that's how it all started for me.