Update on my physical health

image

After 9 years of trying to get to where I am today . I saw the Neuro last Tuesday .
After going through all of my MRI scans , even the ones they claimed they lost about 3 years ago .

We finally saw my bulging disc . It’s totally gone.  In the centre where there is supposed to be white stuff (as he explained) . Mine is all black and crushed . Which has been caused through an accident many years ago ….. 9 years to be exact and the accident was in college , falling on a wooden floor from running around in socks in an acting class …..

So we have a diagnosis there .
However , they want to leave an operation for as long as possible as I’m young .
They want to get me on pain relief and regular check ups every 4 months to make sure the disc doesn’t bulge out anymore and lean on my nerves .
At the moment , there is a little space which they’re happy with . So long as it doesn’t move outwards anymore .

One thing they did confirm for me though is that my hip and knee pain have nothing to do with my spine .
I need to get hold of my GP and demand further tests for those .
I am currently having pain relief for my right hip (it’s an experiment to see if it helps) . Cortisone injections . I’ve had 2 in my right hip and they have helped a lot . However, my left leg is extremely painful . Today is one of those days .

The Neuro also confirmed my back ache at the top of my spine has nothing to do with the disc either . I have very weak bones and joints through my Ulcerative Colitis.  Which will also need pain relief . But again that is up to my GP to sort .

I am hoping to see my GP next week to sort this out .
I am relieved that they want to wait before an operation . That is a plus . But at the same time , it would help a lot of my pain .

In the mean time I have been told to walk . Military position and walk as far as I can . It should help the disc pain a little . So my furbabies will love this …. More walkies !!

I will update as soon as I know any more .
I’m not letting this get on top of me .
I have decided to keep a pain diary and mark 1-10 pain wise with diagrams as of where the pain is .
So I can show my doctors and consultants .
But I am trying to stay positive .
My furbabies are helping me with that (as I have spoken about in an earlier blog) πŸ˜„

So this is my little update on my health .
I will post about what happens next when I know .
I will also keep you all updated on pain relief etc .

Thanks for reading .

Advertisements

Anxiety and depression with furbabies update

image

Just a little update on how I’m getting along with my furbabies .

We have had Stan and Oscar for a little over 2 months now .
It’s incredible what they do on a daily basis without even knowing it .
By them just being their playful (and naughty) selves , they have majorly made my panic attacks better .
I’ve gone from having a panic attack on a daily basis to having 3 in the last 2 months .

I still wake up every night having my “normal” panic attacks from sleeping . But throughout the days I feel a lot better .
I’ve lost a stone and a half in weight . I’m eating better and healthier . I’m happy .

I am exhausted , which is natural when you’re a sufferer . Doing things on a daily basis is a chour still . But I’m smiling more when doing things .
I’m out more and walking with my parents or partner .
I still can’t walk far , I have to sit down regularly and I am in a lot of pain when I’m home . But that’s because I have weak bones and a bulging disc . 
But I’ll explain that in another post .

So what do my furbabies help me do ?

– They get me up in the mornings . Rather than the afternoons .

– They help me get exercise in a small way. It’s better than zero .

– They help me focus on the present . What’s happening now . Not what could happen or what has happened . Not what I want that everyone else has . I’m focussed on today and what we are all going to do .

– I attempt to make plans . Where as before I couldn’t make any . I still struggle as my health is unpredictable, but I’m trying . Which is a major step .

– I’m focusing on the positive . I may need a spine operation , at the moment they’re monitoring me and getting me pain relief as I’m young . But the option of an operation is still open . However , I’m not scared . I know it would help me do more and feel better . If this operation came about soon, I would plan more with my furbabies and give them a really really good life of being out daily in new places . I have created a positive out of a negative .

– They make me laugh . Even on the days I feel like crying because I’m in pain . They cuddle me and always do something silly . They know when I’m going through a rough day . That may sound silly to people who don’t have a dog . But seriously , they know.  They can read you better than you can read yourself and it’s a godsend .

image

I honestly can’t say a bad word about them . They’re busy Bee’s , but they’re puppies .
They’re my lifeline right now and they’re the best decision we have ever made πŸ™‚

image

image

Clean Food & Depression .

I know you’ve probably heard it all before .

“Eat healthy , fresh , lots of Veggies , it helps” .

Well I’ve tested this .
I used to eat a lot of frozen/ packaged meals . Easy meals . Not so much microwave but just quick cooking meals . So I thought I would change my diet a little to see if it’s true about food and depression .
I’ve cut out A LOT of high sugary foods .
I eat a lot more fresh , although I do love my Quorn frozen foods . So I haven’t completely cut them out .
For example , today’s meal is stew . Fresh Veggies, carrots , potatoes , onions etc and I’ve added Quorn chicken pieces to it .

I do have treats . I will have a bar of chocolate here and there . I haven’t gone completely insane …. Yet haha .

But I feel a lot better for this .
I’ve lost over a stone in 6 weeks .
Granted, walking the dogs has helped , but I have more energy to do this .
I feel less tired throughout the days . I don’t need to nap !!
I used to always go back to bed for a few hours and I didn’t have much of a sleeping pattern . Since eating better I now have one . I get up at 10:30am to see to the dogs and I don’t feel drained through it .

I’m not completely 100% healed or anything . I still get panic attacks in my sleep , which cause a broken sleep . But I’m able to get up and do things . Even if I am slow at doing things throughout the day , I’m not as bad as I used to be .
I used to get up at 12pm EARLIEST. I’d be back in bed by 4pm . Sleep until 7/8pm and then be up until 3am and it’ll all start all over again .
Now I feel better about myself.  My depression is still there but I can control it better .
I still stay up late but only until about 12am then I force myself into bed .
I may not sleep straight away but I am relaxed .

I find eating less sugar has helped stop some panic attacks throughout the day too .
I’m also not breaking out in spots as often .
And I’m actually tired at a normal time.
Strangely , my hair is healthier .
I have no idea if food does that to you, but it feels and looks great πŸ™‚

I’m not a chef . I don’t cook amazing meals . I can’t be trusted around a cooker as I walk off . So I use a slow cooker . I can leave the food to cook and not worry about it boiling over or burning .
It’s a life saver !!

Stew is my favourite meal to make as it’s so easy . It’s fresh and colourful and full of goodness .
It picks my spirits up on those cold , wet nights and it gives me the energy that I need .

I don’t know why I didn’t listen to people sooner .
I suppose it was just easier not to ?
But I’m glad I have now .
I’m still looking at ways to eat better . I’d love to shop at places which sell better foods . It would have to be online as I can’t go shopping yet due to my anxieties . But I’m trying πŸ™‚

I highly recommend trying this .
It doesn’t have to be boring . Stew doesn’t take long .
All Veggies don’t take long to cook .
Also, remember , dieting doesn’t have to mean cutting all the nice stuff out . It just means to have it in moderation . I love my chocolate and there’s no way I will give that up . But instead of having a bar a day , I look forward to my weekly treat . I work hard for it and it feels amazing !

A side note about food as well . Veggies can be bought frozen and it’s not cheating when they’re precut.  All the goodness stays in them πŸ™‚
However , it is always better to grow them yourself …. I will be looking into growing my own fruit and veg soon.

image

What speaking out has done for me.

Many people are terrified to speak out about suffering from mental illness .
I was one of these.

For many years my life was tough and 90% of it was down to me.
I wasn’t willing to accept my illness.

I hid it the best that I could when I was out of the house.
People just saw me as a timid child, but my home life was hell.
Constant arguing and fighting over stupid things. I couldn’t control my anger.
I wasn’t angry at my family, I was angry at myself, but I would blame them as it was easier.

Hiding anxiety is tough and when you lash out, you normally lash out at those closest to you.
My parents just thought I was a naughty child, but there was so much more to it, I just couldn’t tell them.

Eventually, I went to see a doctor when I was 16. I was diagnosed with depression at aged 6 but they put it down to school and being a “school phobic”.
I was a phobic of most things, anything that included people and strangers.
I spoke to the doctor and they advised me that I should take medication. They gave me leaflets and told me to speak about how I was feeling and to keep diaries to help me speak about it.
I did the diary part, but I never spoke out about it.
I refused medication for as long as I could. I did speak to my parents about my anxieties but very vaguely.

I went through a lot in my short life, counselling being a main thing in my life. I hated it. Strangers wanting to know everything about me and asking me why I was feeling this way etc etc. It’s not my cup of tea.

I gave in to medications at the age of 24. It made me spiral backwards and I was at an all time low. The doctors kept changing them often. I was getting worse and worse.
I managed, after a year and a half, to pull myself off them .

Eventually, when I was 25. I started CBT.
CBT changed my life.
I spoke to my family and loved ones about my illness. I opened up completely.
It lifted a massive weight.

CBT only lasts 8 weeks. One session , one hour a week, but it made a HUGE difference to me.
Alun helped me focus on the here and now. He made me realise I wasn’t weird or an outcast. I accepted my illness and I managed to help others accept meΒ to.
He helped me make this blog page which in turn has helped a few other people cope with their mental illness. I have also made new friends through this and I don’t feel lost anymore.

Speaking out has helped me:

  • Stopped the arguments.
  • Made others understand that I’m not cutting them out, my anxieties restrict me.
  • Made new friends.
  • Helped others speak out.
  • See my friends more now.
  • Made a blog.
  • Taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.
  • Got people off my back about working again.
  • I’ve spoken about all of my physical illnesses, as speaking out about my mental illness has given me the confidence to be open.
  • Made me feel more “normal”.
  • I have accepted myself and the hand I have been dealt.

As terrifying as it is to think about, it really isn’t anything like that. Thinking about it is the worst part.
Once you know you’re ready to accept yourself, speaking is part of the healing process.
I’m no where near “cured”, but I am getting there. I am slowly taking steps in the right direction, and as long as this road may be, I know I can get through it.
Day by day, little by little.

I highly recommend speaking out to everyone.
The best people to start with are the ones closest to you. Eg. Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, etc.

You’ll be surprised by how many people understand.