Positive Friendships

Loyal, kind, caring, encouraging, positive friendships are so important, especially in low moments. As previously mentioned in another post, I am a very mindful friend and want to be with, and around my friends when I feel positive, full of energy and fun. I am slowly learning that it is okay to also pick up the phone when I’m having a difficult day. I say I’m learning, but I’m still not very good at it if I’m honest.

How are you? But how are you really?

I also try to dodge the question, How are you feeling? or, how are you? I know that may sound silly, because if you phone someone, or see someone you generally ask that question, but for me I lose sight of the old me, who would reply on que, “I’m fine” regardless of if I was or not. Now, when people ask me, it feels like it’s a more specific and not just a general ‘how are you?’ The question has become hard because I cannot hide behind ‘I’m fine’ as a reply as my body doesn’t quite look, or feel fine.

My internal voice says: “god, don’t ask me that question, I’m feeling crummy and less and less like the old me, I have no idea if, or when I’m going to feel much better and more like myself.” My outside voice says “yeah, I’m okay” My closest friends know this about me, and I can say ‘I’m okay’ and they know that I am, but they know me well enough to accept my answer and carry on with conversation without dwelling on it and that’s how I like it.

Nearest and dearest

My closest friends are the most amazing people, given the opportunity they are there in a shot if I need them. They come round with food for dinner, sweets for my kids and a bunch of flowers to brighten my day. I love them dearly. They all love and support me, and I am truly grateful to have them in my life.

Be true to yourself

I have read comments within the chronic illness community regarding friendships. It saddens me when I read about how people have had friends, or people they thought were friends be direct and unkind. So called friends that do not take into account how difficult it is to live day to day with challenging symptoms you cannot control. It is hard to stay upbeat when in pain, or overwhelmingly tired from medication you are taking to try and keep symptoms at bay. Chronic illnesses are debilitating and if like me you find it difficult to talk to friends and family when your struggling, you can end up feeling isolated and very lonely. I couldn’t bear the thought of being a burden to anyone, or for my friends to schedule me in because they feel like I need some kind of intervention. I want for them to come and see me because they want to share an hour or two laughing and chatting over a coffee, maybe even make a plan to go for a coffee elsewhere for a change. I am not my illness; I am not defined by it. I am still me, still passionate about life and thinking about how I can jump head-first into something new.

I remember reading something that resonated with me many years ago. I cannot remember it exactly, but it was along the lines of not being afraid to say goodbye to people in your life that make you feel less, people who make you feel sad, or small.    

Sometimes you find friendship in the most unusual places. Sure there are unpleasant people out there ready to jump on someone else’s evil bandwagon, especially on social media. However, there are some incredibly kind people out there, who genuinely want to make a difference in the world and who absolutely want to make a new friend. A few kind words go a very long way and can make such a difference to someone’s day. We all need a little love and kindness in our life. I know I do.

Positive, kind and caring friendships are wonderous… I love them all!

I hope your having an awesome day wherever you are in the world

Much love C x  

 

A mind that says GO! and the body says NO!

What do you do when your mind wants to go here, go there, make this, do that? but your body however is flipping you off. Its like a constant battle of the wills. My mind is like chop, chop we need to do, to achieve, to be helpful. For example, I want to take my son out to treat him to a Kaspa’s.

Mind – I think there is a drive through, its not too far.

Body – but do you feel confident to drive that far, are you alert enough? You know that the medication your now taking makes you feel a bit wobbly sometimes.

Mind – We can go the shorter route to the one that is closer.

Body: yeah, but your forgetting that the closest carpark is still a lengthy walk away from there, would you be able to manage it? AND who might you bump into?

This is what happens to me most days. In the end I just give up and think we’ll just go for a short walk then, that will get us out. When a walk is offered to my son? Well, he’s quite happy to stay at home thanks. I don’t really blame him, I mean who wants to get out of their pj’s to do a short walk with their mum, with no incentive? (His sister would do it 🙄😂).

Its hard to find ways to be productive. I can walk around the house, ticks a couple of boxes, or be out in the garden picking the dead heads off the flowers, (so satisfying) but I get to a point when I just want to be out. Not out, out, but just plain out.

Inside adventure

I have bought a new book, one that I’m hoping will take me on a wee adventure. Its written by the hilarious Rosie Jones and I’m getting stuck in, I will leave a review in the book corner page. Also, Its Friday night and that means takeaway! That absolutely lifts my spirits, I’ve been on a diet, I mean ‘a healthy eating, lifestyle change.’ I am getting a bit bored, so tonight we are having a curry. I’m always so excited about food, its not really frickin helping me. I’ve actually been dreaming of eating a pasty. The other night I dreamt that my husband had turned into a giant marsh mallow and I couldn’t stop licking him. A bit weird, or rather kinky, depends on how you look at it.

I have also been looking at a mobility aid called the Alinker. I think I saw it on Selma Blairs Instagram. I thought it was such a clever way to get around, especially when your body hasn’t got the same stamina it once had. I saw it and thought, what an amazing invention that will be so helpful to people who want to be more independent and who do not want to be pushed around in a wheelchair (me). Anyway, I didn’t think about for me to begin with as I thought that everything would miraculously be back to normal by now and I wouldn’t need something like that. However, I actually am starting to think a bit differently. I have looked into it and have found that they are now being sold from a UK base. Its pricey, maybe I need to have that as a goal, to try and save for one. For those of you that haven’t seen one…

Alinker Walking Bike

I wish you all a lovely day! If any of you have any ideas on something else to jazz up my day feel free to comment

much love C x

If I could turn back time (que music)

Today has been a particularly slow day. If I could only turn back the clocks and be my Izzy whizzy self, the person that everyone seems to be missing. Sigh, me too!

Super market sweep

If anyone wishes that I could be back to my old self its me! I remember whizzing through the super market with a shopping trolley filled with goodies, (and sometimes with my son holding on for dear life underneath. Yes, you read right, not in the seat marked for our little treasures, but underneath it, his choice, I didn’t put him there) making it back in time to not just put it all away (with no help I might add) to also have a quick shower, put a full face on and out I would go in a fraction of time that it now takes me to brush my teeth and put on a pair of socks (not in that order and total over exaggeration). Known as the pocket rocket, always here, there and everywhere. Weirdly, I found that I was proud as punch when my husband would say things like: “where do you get all your energy from?” I would nod my head in recognition and my ‘in head voice’ would say: think yourself lucky you’ve got a wife like me mate! like Tigger, I would then bounce off to find my next adventure.

Having a wobble

I think they (my family) are in shock! They have had to step up and help out more. My husband has been amazing and I know that I am lucky. We have been together since I was sixteen, and have had many ups and downs in our time but we have always managed to find our way. However, recently I have been finding that my thoughts are wandering off to a distant land. I feel vulnerable and more dependent than I have ever been. Its not a nice feeling and I find myself thinking, why would he want to stay with me, maybe that sounds ridiculous, but on our wedding day when the vicar said ‘in sickness and in health’ I wonder if he had quietly added, but just to let you know this ones going to be a bit tricky, and you will be left with a slow, hard of hearing, cant remember how old she is lady at 43! Would he have said: hell yeah, give me some of that!? I feel like a burden, that after all these years I am now slowing HIM down! Words I never thought I would say.

I think that this is a longer journey that I could ever have anticipated, and as usual my family have all buckled themselves in for the ride, some not as voluntarily as others.

If your reading this and you know this struggle, I’m totally with you, your not alone.

all my love C x

Another pound

Good morning, or good evening where ever you are. Today is a good day as even though I have thought about Krispy Kreme doughnuts pretty much all day I haven’t actually bought a box, I mean one, just the one doughnut.

This illness is kicking my not so firm butt and has been for a while now. Its not about eating that beautiful spongy glazed treat, it’s about not being able to go for a walk, or run to feel better after having eaten it. I mean I can go for a walk, a very slow, not too far walk that will graze the fat off my little toe. But definitely will not get rid of the extra person I am growing around my tum. My mum, bless her heart said: remember what you said to me when I was poorly and upset about my weight – Don’t worry about that for now, get better. My idea of reducing the only thing that is comforting to you when you feel rubbish is torture in my book. Well, of course this all made sense until the shoe is on the other foot.

Of course, I can make jokes about this as we all sometimes do, but in all seriousness it is starting to get to me. I think it’s the fact that I feel so tight everywhere and it’s uncomfortable. Also, I cannot fit into my summer shorts and dresses. I have been lucky enough to have been given some clothes from a lovely, stylish friend of my mums, which are all amazing, but unfortunately even though they are fab, I also cannot fit into some of that either.

Staying Healthy

I used to be very active, I would go for a run, do Yoga with Adriene, (who is amazing by the way!) and go for lengthy walks with my husband and doggy. I am now confined to settling for a walk around the block, hoping not to bump into the man with the weird looking dog (a story for another time) being at home, or waiting for someone to take me out for a little while, something I always appreciate.

I have been looking at books such as ‘The Fast 800’ to try and find recipes to help me in conjunction with gentle exercise to reduce my expanding body.

I have to admit that there are some really lovely recipes in there and I look forward to trying a few. Watch this space, off I go to try and get fitter while also trying not think of all the delicious treats that I love. (Que rocky music) come on Cassie you can do it!

I would love to hear your stories of how you have fought your way back to a stronger healthier you. Any tips are always greatly appreciated.

Have a fantastic day!

Love C x

Mobility challenges

I wish you all a happy day and may it be filled with love and positivity. Before I talk about today, I just want to tell you briefly about my afternoon yesterday. After baking bread = win

Out and about

My husband and I decided to go out for a little while, now this always has its challenges for so many reasons. Since having issues with mobility, which is really something we all take for granted, me included. I know that going out means using a walking stick and my husband trailing behind me with a wheelchair (because even with the best will in the world and me saying we do not need it, I currently do) which I find really challenging. 1, because I do not want to bump into anyone, especially someone I know, to then feel like I have to explain why I am using mobility aids. I have read so many threads regarding this from others, some who deem it rude of people to ask, or enquire with there eyes, you know when they look at your face and then your mobility aid, then squint their eyes and finish back at your face? However, at least that gives you more time to think about what you are going to say. Unlike the people who just outright ask you. So, these days I tend to try and push through the anxiety of going out and have come up with a rehearsed sentence, one that gives them just enough information without actually telling them anything more than they already know i.e they can see you have a walking stick and wheelchair. Are you ready? It goes like this: My nan passed away many years ago and was reincarnated as a walking stick, I like to take her out, you know its good to get her out of the house for a stroll.

Huh Gif - IceGif

That’s obviously not what I say, but it certainly would baffle them, and they would probably give you a wide berth next time (job done). I actually say: I’m having a few mobility issues at the moment. That’s it! and then, I cleverly change the subject, usually something like – wow, you look fab, how are things? Or its such a lovely day, you off somewhere nice (great diversions) and that’s it. Well, it’s working so far. Also, I think if its someone you know really well and they have not seen you in sometime then I think it’s okay for them to ask as it could be quite shocking for them to see you this way and they care.

I genuinely find going out anxiety provoking and anyone that knows me knows that its not like me to feel this way. Getting out has always been my idea of escapism, that and the fact that sitting still has never been easy for me. I feel embarrassed to be seen with a walking aid, that’s so awful to admit and if my friend said this to me, I would reassure them that its just for now and that’s what my family and friends say to me, but is it? Every time I try to push myself or get on with something simple, I hurt. The longer I am on my feet the worse it gets and I am forced to stop. I remain upbeat most of the time, but sometimes it is hard to smile, or laugh through it. I know that many of you will understand this and if your sitting at home nodding your head, a virtual hug from me to you.

Well, that was hardly brief! Sorry, but it’s good to say it as it is, everything cannot always be rainbows and money pots.

Let’s get back to today. Let’s lighten the mood and have a little groove

Garden of joy

Its another sunny day and I am looking forward to seeing my lovely mother-in-law. We are going to the garden centre for a coffee and to look at the beautiful plants. This place other than home has become a bit of a safe haven for me, I can get around easily and everything is accessible including the coffee hut. We sat there chatting in the sunshine and enjoyed the scenery. A tiny robin hopped over in our direction and it made me think of Garry my husband’s dad, who passed on not so long ago. It made me smile, such a comforting thought to think of him while we sat there together having a meaningful chat, I wonder what his take would have been.

Work and Illness

At home I am greeted by a very excited Evie and I find myself reflecting on a beautiful morning. However, there is something weighing heavily on me at the moment that I need to share. I am currently on leave from work, and I desperately want to get back to my job as a teaching assistant in a primary school, but I have no idea how I am going to navigate this when mobility is still my biggest hurdle. Is it acceptable for me to go back with a walking stick? Can I manage to do my job properly? How long could I manage for? A morning? An hour? A whole day? I find it extremely stressful! My workplace has been amazing! They are so understanding, and I want to give them what they deserve, a fully functioning member of staff, ready and willing to go to extreme lengths to support the school and the children, but I worry that I will disappoint them and that is too much to bear thinking about. I should call them and organise a meeting to see how I can manage this transition.

I am sure that many of you can relate to this, I have read posts from people that have had to give up work due to chronic illness. I recognised that they also found it upsetting to not be able to do all of the things they used to. On reflection my conclusion is this: that maybe I will be a different me, accepting that is hard and that maybe its okay to mourn a little bit. It comes back to how I felt yesterday when I looked around and found myself feeling envious of women around my age physically doing things I was able to do up until a few months ago. It is frustrating, but I continue to keep as positive as I can. I find comfort in reading stories of others who have ventured down a similar path. I have been so inspired and it has helped me to channel all of those thoughts and feelings into this blog.

I would be interested in hearing about your stories.

Oodles of love

C x

Positive Vibes

The birds are in full swing this morning, while they have a mini feast from the bird feeder, I’m slowly getting myself set up for the day! Starting with a small concoction of medication. I have managed to stop taking high dosage pain relief tablets, 1, because my body is quite sensitive to them and 2, I really don’t like taking them. I would much rather try and take an alternative route if I can, this works for some people and not for others. I have just finished my last session with the physio and I’m now on my own trying to navigate my physical self. I’ve started a very gentle yoga session at home, it’s about 15min, some days is harder than others, but even if I am struggling with pain, I always try and do something and push on through.

Finding what works for you

I do believe a positive mindset is crucial when dealing with physical pain, but I do know how easy it can be to find yourself falling down the rabbit hole and disappear for a day or two, for some people it can be weeks, or months. I totally understand I have been there myself, it’s tough! In my experience I find trying to achieve something every day, no matter how small helps, and having a good support system keeps your spirits up. People around you who can make you laugh even when you are at your lowest. I listen to music, I drink tea with CBD, which is amazing by the way! I know CBD doesn’t work for some, but I have been having a little try of CBD products recently and have found the tea really helps. It is a little on the pricey side for tea, but I get two and a half cups out of one teabag, I would say that’s pretty good! (I smile as I write this as I have family members that would try and get a second, or third cup out of a Tetley) Just in case any of you are interested in this, its called: Body and Mind Botanicals, I buy it from a shop that stocks it, but you can buy it on their website. I have only tried the peppermint, but there are others if you’re not keen on peppermint. I will put there website in the ‘useful resources’ page.

So, after writing and showing you my best efforts at finally getting my sourdough loaves into their proofing baskets, I have the pleasure of introducing my sourdough loaves, came out pretty good. I’m sure Joshua Weissman would be proud of me, I don’t know him, but I can just tell that he seems like the kind of guy that would applaud my efforts.

Celebrate every success! (dust pan and brush the fails)

However, there were a couple of minor fails – In preparation of cooking said loaves, I managed to cook a cable and the plug in the pot while preheating the oven! My husband and I got a blast of plastic infused smoke as I opened the oven door ready to put my dough in. Oops! Luckily, I had something else I could use. But the clumsiness did not stop there, oh, no! I then accidently dropped a Santa gravy boat 🤦‍♀️. I didn’t like it much anyway (I wonder where I can get another one) eventually as you can see, I got the bread in the oven = success!

Enjoy your day!

love C x

Productive Morning, check ✔

The sun is shining, and the garden is inviting. Today is a new day! I have said goodbye to my daughter, husband and son and I am now alone with my Evie…

She is always in a playful mood!

I plan to make sourdough bread today, my lovely friend Sarah sent me a great YouTube video recently. After seeing a picture of hers that were like professional baker standard, I thought I would have another try. It is a bit of a faff to get your starter established, but once you do its pretty easy. In ‘Useful Resources’ is a link to Joshua Weissman YouTube videos, if you feel the need to make your own sourdough bread, I highly recommend it. I find bread making therapeutic! I recently listened to a ‘Deliciously Ella’ podcast with Pauline Beaumont, author of ‘The mindful art to making bread’ it is a lovely book and like me she did not discover her love of baking bread until later on in her life. You will find the podcast in ‘Useful Resources’ I really enjoyed it!

I love baking! in-between making my own bread I get a loaf from this gorgeous little bakery in Whitstable. If you ever come this way for a little get away, Grain and Hearth Bakery is definitely worth a visit. They also do the most gorgeous cakes!

So, more about the little things that keep me sane during my day other than my garden and bread making. I am currently making a quilted blanket. My sister from another mother comes to see me often, she brings sewn hexagon squares as well as dinner for my family, or a tub of ice-cream and always with a smile. She sits and sews with me, and for me and so far…

Its getting there and it keeps me busy, but also like she says you can pick it up and put it down to do something else. Please let me know if there is anything creative you enjoy and post pictures of your creations, I would love to see what inspires you.

I am currently listening to Greatest Hits Radio, I love this station! Its so upbeat and at the moment they have a competition called Cash Register, I keep entering every day (I hear the phrase – you’ve got to be in it to win it often). I think my mum thought I was slightly unhinged when on the phone to my husband I told him I needed to go as I was waiting for Greg Burns to call me! Haha!

Have a great day! C x

Family

be happier than a seagull with a stolen a chip!

I have no idea who said it, but I found this quote quite amusing!
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My Happy Place

When I was younger Friday nights were party nights at my nan and grandads. My nan would buy this massive turkey leg, which she cooked and shared with us if we wanted some, but my sister and I were more interested in the Sara Lee gateaux and the collection of sweets laid out on the small glassed coffee table. Sometimes my grandad would arrive home with some Chinese food and we would also tuck into that. At 10pm the familiar tune of the Golden Girls would start and we would chorus the theme tune, (a tune that I still remember to this day). My nan, my sister and I would sit down to watch Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia light up the screen with their wit, beauty, ditziness and charm.

I think I need a little reminder..

These days my happy place is in my house with my family and our dog Evie, (who you will hear more about at a later date). eating good food while we chat and listen to what has happened in the day for each of us. There is always jokes, fun and laughter and can sometimes be a disaster! But it is my happy place. my lovely family, no matter how cross we can get with each other we actually do love each other fiercely. (although, my daughter would definitely dispute this when it comes to her brother, I am still trying to convince her that one day they will need each other, so be nice).

When I have a difficult day, it cheers me up when we all sit together around our oval kitchen table (whether its to eat, or to be together and just be silly) to share our news and enjoy each others company. After that everyone normally, and quite cleverly have an excuse as to why they cannot possibly help with tidying up, this ranges from I need the toilet, Ill be back in a minute (my daughter) to, my son, who is like ‘The Flash’ I will be having a conversation with him one minute, turn around and he’s gone! Then there is “I’m just going to sit down a minute” (my husband). However, mostly he’s amazing and it is usually him and I left to tidy up.

When my Mum and step-dad come over they always bring treats and when I say treats 99% of the time this means food. My Mum is a foodie like me. In my opinion her curries are high end restaurant worthy. My husband rubs his hands with glee when he knows she is coming over, he loves her food more than mine. She is a absolute character and never fails to make me laugh when things are a bit bleak, always ready to jump into action when you need her and I would not be without her.

What does your happy place look like?