The end of an era – my last day at work 🚐🚨📞⌨️

Today I wore my Uniform for the last time and today I took my last 999 call.

The last few years I have gone from job to job, gaining experience, life skills and trying to find someone that makes me happier in myself.

I have struggled massively (mostly in secret) with my anxiety, grief and life over the last year or so more than usual and it has effected my health, my mind and my everyday life.

I will be moving on to a job where a I can focus on my health, my mental health and help others at the same time. It will work great alongside my degree as well; and hopefully help settle my insomnia.

The past 17 months has been a rollercoaster and I will miss my colleagues at my old workplace.

Today was scary, exciting and the end of a journey. I am very scared for my new job but I think that is good.

Fear drives motivation. I need to control my fear and not let it control me.

On to my next journey.

22-November-2015 – One Secret I wish to tell others.

What’s one secret or truth you wish you could tell others about your experience with disability, disease or illness?

Published on The Mighty :

The media write about Izzy Judd, Victoria Beckham and Jools Oliver. One thing these three celebrities have in common is PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
‘Do you have trouble getting pregnant, adult acne, is your hair falling out, irregular periods, weight gain or excessive hair growth?’
These are things people look for when seeking a PCOS diagnosis, however nobody truly understands what this diagnosis means.
A few of my relatives and friends are aware of my PCOS, but the details of this condition remain a secret.
In no way am I saying that PCOS is worse than any other condition out there, but it takes its’ toll not only physically but mentally. It is life changing in its’ own right.
Nobody sees my daily struggle with this condition that has plagued me for almost 10 years.
Nobody watches me as I shave my face daily, inspecting for new dark hairs, ingrown hairs or scars, wishing that I was somebody else and that this would all end. Because let’s face it we all hate something about ourselves and we all strive for perfection.
People I have worked with in the past, you have seen my ‘Poker Face’ when I am trying to lift someone more than my weight up their stairs getting them home from hospital, or grasped my stomach when doing patient observations, pretending I have lost my pen (again). It isn’t that I am unable to lift weight or that I am clumsy and lose my pen, secretly I am in agony with unovulated eggs and cysts in my ovaries, enduring daily pelvic pain that can come with this condition.
The hospital ultrasound technician, who was looking for my appendix and ovaries on one hospital admission, who then thought they were clever claiming I had “too much adipose tissue to see anything”. They obviously didn’t realise I understood fully what you meant and I held back my tears, avoiding any more embarrassment.
The Doctor that told me that I probably was pregnant but they weren’t sure because the Positive test on Friday and the heavy bleeding that followed prior to the appointment but it was “most likely I was pregnant”. How can you grieve for something so small that you didn’t know for sure existed in the first place.
The fertility Doctors that say I can’t have my IUI/IVF until my BMI IS 35/30 and that losing a couple of stone in 6 weeks ‘should be easy’. Are you kidding me! Yes it shouldn’t be that difficult but when you have insulin resistance and your body doesn’t like dieting it make things more difficult. The fact that I have to practically starve myself because the diets aren’t working (and this is not an excuse – I do my best and have been very successful so far) but it is never good enough for medical staff. Each day (not recommended) I stand on my scales hoping that the numbers have gone down. The same goes for my measuring each week.

scales Throughout my Weight Battle, it can only go down from here….and it has!!

At the age of 24 I have had to endure appointments, exams, scans, swabs and tests, not to mention seeing several different doctors. Half of which involve me being half naked suspended in front of a Doctor. I haven’t had a period for at least 9 months and now have to endure more medication to bring one on. Adding to the tablets that are about an inch long that I currently take three times a day.

The sad truth about PCOS is that there is no one cause, the theory is genetics plays a role however this is not proven. The effects are not just physical but they take a huge toll on a person’s mental health. Unfortunately PCOS can also cause other issues, gestational diabetes, premature delivery and miscarriages. Not to mention depression, anxiety, diabetes and sleep apnea. I scared my wife half to death once when I briefly stopped breathing during my sleep, thankfully it only happened once and has not happened since.
PCOS is actually quite common. The condition causes constant embarrassment, pain and fear. Fear that others will see the hairs on your face and comment about them or that the pain may finally mean that your colleagues are aware of the condition as your pain threshold gives in. Fear because you can hear others question why you are in the doctor’s office, why you are sat in maternity surrounded by pregnant women when you have a fat stomach but are there to see the fertility specialist. What really annoys me is that they choose to give the patients with fertility issues appointments in the maternity department. Talk about rubbing it in your face!!

Many suffer with PCOS, but not enough share their true secrets and fears surrounding the condition.

I may be overweight now, but I was Anorexic

I loved school, but I went through hell during Secondary School.

At about aged 14 I started a diet; I was maybe about 10 stone to start and was reasonably fit (I did a lot of sport) even battling with my knee.

When I hit about 8 stone I was getting changed in school for PE and a few of the girls asked if I had lost weight and said I looked good – at this point I felt good because I upped my exercise and limited calories to reach this goal but it dawned on me that these girls actually must have noticed what I looked like before- for them to comment on my weight now.

This made me quite self-conscious, making me concentrate on my weight even more.

Then started the downward spiral to a lighter weight.

I cut back more and more, I did a paper round after school and I use to say that I got food when I was out or that I would grab something later, most of the time my mother left it at that, sometimes I did eat a little later, other times I had some little pasties and I would have one in the evening.(sometimes the bag of 10 would last 10 days, these were tiny little pasties – looking back I am surprised they never went mouldy or made me ill 🤢)

Within these 3 weeks or so I had gone from 10 stone to 7 and in a further week I dropped to about 6 stone – or 38kg /83 lbs.

I was pale and looked ill but nobody noticed!!

I lived on hardly any food and my energy levels started to drop – what brought me back to my sense was the fact that my dentist said I had to have a tooth out under general anaesthetic and because I was 14 I would need an adult with me. So the fear of anyone (especially my mother) finding out forced my to put on 3 stone. I was 9 stone when they weighed me before my general and nobody battered an eyelid.

My 15th Birthday was a few days later; I don’t have any photos of me at my lightest – but this is me at 9 stone on my birthday;

Me at the front in the brown top!

Now I am a lot heavier, I get extremely self conscious and most days I wish I was anorexic again, but I know that is not the way to healthy. My PCOS started at 15, not long after putting my weight back on and due to my metabolism, PCOS, shift work, blood sugar evens and numerous other reasons I am struggling to lose the weight.

Dieting is a culture these days and I don’t want to be a bad example. Exercise and healthier eating is the way forward. And might I add me needing to lose weight is now a medical need and I have to be a “healthy BMI” for some hospital treatment – I am doing it for my health as advised by Medical Professionals.

Please don’t suffer in silence if you are suffering with an eating disorder, you don’t have to be thin to have an eating disorder Speak to someone, reach out and acknowledge you need help.

SSRI’s and Anxiety

My first experience of using a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) also known as antidepressants, was October 2016.

I began on Citalopram 20mg daily and didn’t notice any change, so my dose was upped to 30mg daily – a few days later I was washing my hair in the shower and thought a lot of hair was by my feet, dried my hair and realised the reason a lot of hair was on the shower floor was because my hair had ripped and fallen out, leaving me with a messy, uneven hairstyle and dodgy looking fringe (I didn’t have one before that shower!). 

Saw a GP and explained; the Doctors reply was;

“What is more important to you, you anxiety or your hair?”

Safe to say I stopped those pills a few days later.

I was re-referred to my Primary Mental Health Team and they advised speaking to the GP to find alternative medication to deal with my anxiety – I realised because of them that I don’t deserve to be unhappy and if there is something that can help balance my chemicals and help reduce my anxiety then why not try it.

I have just taken pill number 19 of Sertraline – another SSRI. I am on 50mg daily.

I have noticed more bad days lately and the possibility is that I now have depression as well as my anxiety.

I am so tired, stressed and the past few days I have been soaking with sweat and just want to lie down all day.

This could be a mixture of the new meds, this heat and humidity and tiredness/stress in general.

It is early days I guess – sometimes doses need changing and it could be another few weeks before I notice any change. 

My Day at Buckingham Palace 

I travelled to London March 22nd to go to St James Palace but we were evacuated and cancelled due to the Westminster attacks.

So May 24th, 2017 I made the journey back to London but this time to attend Buckingham Palace for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation.

It was a long day and a very hot day, I got worried I was ill at one point as the sweat was running off me but may have been a mixture of heat, anxiety and dehydration ☹️

Through the Gates of Buckingham Palace

There was a heavy Police presence in London and a long queue to clear through Security at the Palace but it was totally worth it.

Our group from Wales had Tim Rhys Evans MBE talking and presenting our awards and we even had a chat with the Earl of Wessex, I was totally gutted I didn’t get to speak to the Duke of Edinburgh but he was also present at the ceremony. I spoke up (totally unlike me due to the anxiety) when the Earl asked who had gonestraight  to the Gold award rather than do Bronze or Silver first! I was the only Direct Gold Entrant !!

I even got to meet Ross Kemp and Greg Rutherford!!

I am Honoured to be a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Holder and a Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Award Holder. And I am especially Honoured that I got to be within the grounds of Buckingham Palace, especially when the Queen was present in the building. I did not see the Queen but she was in.

If you would like any information, tips or advice about the DofE Scheme, let me know and I will try  my best to help or direct you to your nearest DofE group.

“There is no such word as ‘Can’t “

Instagram : Accounts that inspire me ❤❤

This is my IG page;

I follow a lot of people, celebrities, friends, family as well as many people who Share their chronic illnesses and their stories.

Every day there is two accounts I check and follow their stories and posts.

1 – @bodyposipanda 

A real life account, positive conqueror of anorexia. I hope that one day I can learn to love myself and follow the advice @bodyposipanda gives.

2 – @timetodeflate

I started following when Kayla came up on suggestions of accounts to follow. Whilst I have not had surgery I admire @timetodeflate’s journey, her story and dedication to her lifestyle and health.

I check these two accounts everyday and follow the posts and videos.

I defo recommend you hit follow on these accounts.

You are wondering what is different?? #springclean

So had a lie in, also had a nap and now I am wide awake!!

So I thought ‘ Why don’t I do that spring clean on my blog, make categories and change the theme,’

So that is what I did….

Say bye to the old, 

And hello to the new, 

I have also added several new categories 😀

I have been wanting to do this for ages, so now I am a bit happier .😀😀

Stress Control Course 😱😱

So this was suggested to me a while ago, I know people that have gone on this 4-6 week (once a week) course. Luckily the NHS provide this for free.

I have always dealt with a lot of ‘stress’ in life but never thought I was a stressed person, or someone who was really affected by stress.

I managed to pluck up the courage and walk in, luckily others walked in before me so I just followed. And found a seat towards the back , after the first break I did move my chair over a bit to rest on a table, made me feel more comfortable. 

But overall the first session was useful. We were sent home with a workbook (not compulsory to complete) and a relaxation CD in this first session. Not sure what next weeks session will bring but I think it will benefit me by continuing to attend. I also think it could be useful for me to help others.

3am….we have got to stop meeting this way

So 2 weeks in to my new meds and my sleep is all over the place again.

Although shift work doesn’t really allow me to get into a good sleep pattern.

Sat here rewatching Greys Anatomy from the start again (thanks Sky Box Sets!) just thinking, thinking about pain, myself, things to come and things that have happened.Trying not to dwell on the past – but that’s proven more difficult than planned.

I need tips!! Sleep tips!! Hopefully soon my routine will get better but in he meantime I need to prepare myself! Bath products I can try? Although I do have a lot here to try and test.

What do you all do to help you get relaxed and sleepy?