Posted in Health

Some things learnt when I temporarily lost hearing in one ear;

As you may or may not know I went back to work after about 7 months off; I lasted 2 weeks and came down with a horrendous viral infection that of course went straight to my chest….then my throat, nose and then boom……….

black square

Suddenly I had no hearing in my right ear. I thought it was due to the infection and thought it was running its course, I left it about 5/6 days before I went to see my GP (I needed a note for work anyway) and I have an ear infection. I don’t really remember having them as a child and as an adult I had a few painful incidents behind my ear but nothing like this. Even though my other ear still has hearing it has always been a bit muffled (although hearing tests have always been ok) so now I find I cannot use my mobile unless it is on loudspeaker, the house phone is a definite no and volumes on everything are higher than they usually are – plus the subtitles are being used most of the time.

I know it is only temporary (I think!!) but I have learnt some things about hearing loss.

Cherish what senses you have because when you lose one of them (even if temporary) it has a major impact that most people will not understand. I have missed ‘I love you’s’, the dogs asking to go out for a pee, phone calls and a lot of words being spoken.

I have learnt that when people say they have an ear infection, they can really be struggling, I understand the medical aspects of ear infections but realistically had no idea the impact it has on your body when your hearing deteriorates.

Also, ear pain really hurts!! Not only does the inside of my ear hurt, but the outside. My neck is sore and my head throbs and the bone behind my ear is all big and painful. I am hoping to be back in work on Monday (touch wood) I just hope my hearing returns as I am usually struggling to understand and hear people anyway, having hearing in only one ear is making life difficult. My fingers are crossed for my antibiotics to kick in and help

I do not live with hearing loss every day of my life and I really admire those of you that live a life of limited or no hearing. I think this was my wake up call to really sit down and learn Sign Language, I have been saying since primary school I want to learn but never have.

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Posted in Health

2 Weeks!! That is all it took….

dear john and channing tatum image

I know what you are thinking, corny Dear John quote, but nope another sucky health post.

I lasted a whole two weeks at work before someone gave me their unsanitary germs. As I am lying here typing this  I have no sense of smell (although my nose has stopped running so that is a good thing), sore nostrils, sore throat, lungs that feel heavy and are producing a lot of, well crap!! Sweaty, hot and cold at the same time and to top it all off, I am deaf in one ear and suffering with ear pain and a stiff neck, along with numbness in the (deaf) side of my face and a headache of all headaches – looking at the screen is even painful.

Whoever passed me these germs, I WILL FIND YOU AND….

kill you friends GIF

But not literally of course ( I am far too nice for that). In all seriousness I feel like death warmed up, who gets ill in a heatwave – that would be me!!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get better soon and how to bring my hearing back I would appreciate it.

sick lisa kudrow GIF

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

2018 Events – UPDATED JUNE 25TH 2018

As some of you may know, I am challenging myself this year to do events that put me out of my comfort zone, also to fundraise 🙂 Here is a short post with events I am doing this year (This will be edited throughout the year if I take part in additional events) They say exercise is good for chronic pain and mental health, so this is another reason I am doing events this year also 🙂

If you would like links for my fundraising pages, please let me know below and I will provide the link.

Completed Events or Events that I am Booked onto.

RED January 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – January 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Mirror Mirror 5k Challange [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – February 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Run Like a Beast 5K [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – March 2018[Completed]

MedalMad Before Midnight 5k Challenge [Completed]

Kicks count Bunnies for Babies Event 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – April 2018 [Completed]

April 30th – Joined the Gym [Completed]

MedalMad Once Upon a Run 5k Challenge [Completed]

Runr Miles 4 Mind (25 Miles) – May 2018 [Completed]

10k Great Run Manchester – May 2018 [Unable to Attend due to illness]

Booband Virtual Race – 10k – May 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – May 2018 [Completed]

5k Race For Life – July 2018

Cardiff Half Marathon – October 2018

Want to Complete But not yet Booked onto (Pending Finances/Ballot Places)

Virgin London Marathon 2019 – Ballot Entry Placed

Race at your pace 25 Miles – July 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – August 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – September 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – October 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – November 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – December 2018

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

Fitness Update

TRIGGER WARNING

Please be warned this post will include details about my health journey, including weight loss.

I have been trying to get out and do some exercise including walking and running to build myself up (I will do the London Marathon One Day!!)

I would also like to point out at this point I do see Medical Professionals on a regular basis and my weight loss is monitored – it is also advised by doctors due to my health conditions and in order for me to get certain hospital treatment I have to me the NHS BMI requirements ( do not get me started on my opinions on BMI!!)

But here is my progress:

The fitness scores at the bottom involve using a piece of machinery at the gym I visit to measure certain strengths, I believe the idea is to increase those scores. My goals are to reduce fat % and increase muscle % as well as lose some weight (kg).

Please don’t judge me, I know my weight is very high.

14/05/2018 05/06/2018
Body Composition
Weight (kg) 122 121.85
Fat (%) 45.22 44.04
Muscle (%) 26.6 27.42
Hydration (%) 41.89 42.67
Fitness Test Results
Overall 81 99
Lower Body Strength 1 3
Lower Body Endurance 108 200
Upper Body Strength 150 180
Upper Body Endurance 200 200
Explosive Muscle Power 41 103
Balance 70 104
Speed Ability N/A N/A
Heart Rate Recovery N/A 6
Posted in Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 21st May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 21 –  Not everyone that has been abused has experienced physical abuse.

There are several forms of abuse, all of which are damaging.

I have never classed myself as an ‘abuse survivor’ because I always thought that what I went through is nowhere near as bad as many others and their stories. However, on the other hand my experiences have been damaging to me in their own right.

Those that have been abused, especially during childhood are far more likely to experience mental illness in their adulthood and often throughout childhood. The abuse may have been physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, verbal or psychological – each type can be identified in different ways, however people can experience more than one ‘category’ of abuse and symptoms can overlap. But abuse is not always obvious and I bet you have seen, walked past or sat by someone this week that is being abused/has been abused and you had no idea!! It can be easy to hide.

Support is crucial , sometimes you do not know what to say to someone when you find out they have been abused, but it is important not to treat a person differently, perhaps be more understanding and allow more time to process information (and of course be careful what you say). But you just need to be there.

Be Considerate

 

 

 

Posted in Health, Life, Mental Health

Update on my Running

Hi everyone!!

I have been quiet over the last few days and I do have a reason why.

I am so upset and sad with myself. I feel like I have let myself and several other people down. As you may be aware I was due to be in Manchester today, running my 10k for Mind. On a run a few days ago I felt so unwell and turned the workout into a short walk as I could not physically run (I could barely walk!!) By that afternoon I had seen the Doctor and had been sent straight to the hospital to see the surgical team.

I felt so unwell, but luckily I did not need to stay in hospital (plus they had no beds!!) and I went home in the early hours after waiting there for several hours. I am still not 100% now and am waiting for an emergency scan which will hopefully take place tomorrow. Due to the pain, fever and dizziness along with tachycardia (fast heart rate), it was not a good idea to run a 10k race, as well as travel the distance to take part. So I had to make the decision to not take part on this occasion.

I will still run a 10k to raise awareness for Mind, I am currently waiting to hear if I can take part later in the year at a different event or whether I will be deferred to next year. I am due to run both the 5k and 10k Race for Life runs in the next few months as well as other runs.

“I am not defeated, I am inspired!!”

I had to take some time away as I felt like such a failure, but like everyone else, sometimes we need to be reminded that failing to do something does not necessarily make us a failure – we learn from these events and it allows us to heal and build upon life experience.

So I need to take my own advice and not take the negatives from this experience but turn them into positives.

 

Posted in Health, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 4th May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 4 – To the Doctor who looked at me and said to your colleague “She has Polycystic Ovaries and Abdo Pain- just send her to gynae and they can discharge her”.

Physical health and Mental Health go hand in hand. Several years ago during my first ‘appendix scare’, I ended up in a bed in University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and the consultant surgeon came to see me (along with at least 10 Junior Doctors!!) for an assessment. Now by this point, I was already very hungry and thirsty, alone and in pain. But when the surgeon came and told me to lift my shirt up and before saying anything useful she proceeded to point and say what are these marks you have done to yourself? and of course I had no idea what she was talking about, looked down and was like “what these, they are stretch marks!!” and she looked back at them, actually lifted her eyebrow and rolled her eyes, used the hand sanitiser and bend down to stare at them again before touching me for an abdominal exam.

I must have been no older than 21 but had already battled anorexia and at the time really hated my body. This Doctor made me feel fat, ugly and worthless- yes I was curvy but by no means overweight, my stretch marks came from my weight loss rather than gain and I hated myself. You did not help!!

If you are in the healthcare field and you are reading this, please be a bit more mindful of your body language and comments. Patients are not stupid!! We all go through tough times and the marks on our body usually tell a different story rather than a persons first judgement and opinion.

Posted in Health, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 3rd May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 3 – To the people who thought I was ‘Pulling a fast one’ being off work for months because of my appendix.

You may already know that in 2016 my physical health took a turn downhill. Long story short I could have died and felt at my weakest.

Now I heard a lot of gossip (also witnessed it once, unknowingly to them!) and people thought I was pulling a ‘fast one’ to get paid time off.

Luckily where I lived at the time had a downstairs toilet because I literally had to drag myself up and down the stairs if I needed something, I even wet myself once trying to get downstairs to the toilet. I had the district nurse visit me to tend to my infections in my surgical sites (quite common with keyhole surgeries apparently) I cried most days and felt ugly, fat, bloated, worthless and mentally drained.

But people thought I was pulling a fast one because their relative was in and out of hospital and back to work quickly with their appendix. I was back to work 2 weeks after my first keyhole surgery (big mistake and pushed myself too far) but having had a good few weeks of fatigue, infection and illness even before having the appendix removed, the surgeon advised it would not be a quick recovery-my body was physically and mentally drained. When I managed to walk a few doors up to the doctor’s surgery a few weeks after surgery, almost passing out in the front entrance the nurse had to get the doctor to come and “tell me off” for doing too much because I vacuumed once when I spilled a pot of glitter on the carpet.

So to those ‘people’ who thought I was taking advantage of my employer by taking sick pay and sitting at home “doing nothing and making money” – I didn’t see you sending flowers, cards or even popping in to say hi. Your comments really hurt me and coming back to work to face you every day was so difficult, I almost didn’t come back. Then again that wouldn’t have bothered you because you don’t like me anyway.

Think before you make remarks!!

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

I am only 27….

I am only 27 years old (or young!) and I have lived through

  • Emotional Abuse and Bullying

  • Physical Abuse and Bullying

  • Self Harm

  • Anorexia

  • Bulimia

  • Binge Eating Disorders

  • Suicidal Thoughts

  • Loss of a Parent

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

And you know what? I am still here!! Mental Illness is a difficult, harsh and life changing problem.

But

You can do it!! We are here for each other, if you are having a bad time, speak to someone – You can do it!!

Posted in Mental Health, Sports and Fundraising

2018 Events – UPDATED JUNE 25TH 2018

As some of you may know, I am challenging myself this year to do events that put me out of my comfort zone, also to fundraise 🙂 Here is a short post with events I am doing this year (This will be edited throughout the year if I take part in additional events) They say exercise is good for chronic pain and mental health, so this is another reason I am doing events this year also 🙂

If you would like links for my fundraising pages, please let me know below and I will provide the link.

Completed Events or Events that I am Booked onto.

RED January 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – January 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Mirror Mirror 5k Challange [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – February 2018 [Completed]

MedalMad Run Like a Beast 5K [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – March 2018[Completed]

MedalMad Before Midnight 5k Challenge [Completed]

Kicks count Bunnies for Babies Event 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – April 2018 [Completed]

April 30th – Joined the Gym [Completed]

MedalMad Once Upon a Run 5k Challenge [Completed]

Runr Miles 4 Mind (25 Miles) – May 2018 [Completed]

10k Great Run Manchester – May 2018 [Unable to Attend due to illness]

Booband Virtual Race – 10k – May 2018 [Completed]

Race at your pace 25 Miles – May 2018 [Completed]

5k Race For Life – July 2018

Cardiff Half Marathon – October 2018

Want to Complete But not yet Booked onto (Pending Finances/Ballot Places)

Virgin London Marathon 2019 – Ballot Entry Placed

Race at your pace 25 Miles – July 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – August 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – September 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – October 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – November 2018

Race at your pace 25 Miles – December 2018

Posted in Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

From the 14th to the 20th of May, Mental Health awareness week is shared across several areas. But the whole month of May is also known as Mental Health Awareness Month.  The idea of an awareness month is to allow people to share time together and talk about mental health, as well as identifying factors that can contribute to negative mental health, such as stress and to find ways to talk about it and find ways to improve the negatives and turn them into positives.

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I am taking part in a virtual event this month with ‘runr’- called ‘Miles For Mind’ to help raise money for Mind and spread the word about mental health.

Mind is a Mental Health Charity with the ultimate goal of ‘support and respect for everyone with a mental health problem’ (Mind). Check out their website to see the amazing work they do!! 

I had a plan for this month to write a letter a day to a person or people who have impacted my own personal health. they are currently in the drafting stage and as of today I am 7 days/letters behind-I will work on that to get them live asap!!

I hope you read them and support my honesty, vulnerability and true experiences.

Posted in Health, Mental Health

April 25th 2018 – 2 Years Post Appendicectomy

I was 2 months into my new job and it was my first time taking an official call at my job. I don’t really remember the first call very well. What I do remember is feeling a heaviness in my chest, I felt ill and not right. I thought I was just scared and pushed through another call. Before admitting I didn’t feel well. My mentor and colleagues said to me that if I felt unwell not to worry and go home. I decided it would be a good idea to go home. This was in early March-if I knew what was to come over the next few months I would have driven myself to A&E straight after work.

If you go back 2 years in my posts you will see the struggles I went through (written in a held back, milder manner!!) Posts such as 6 weeks of health and Apparently “There is no Way it is your Appendix!”.

My life has changed in the past 2 years. I changed jobs, bought a house, moved house in that time. I have battled with my physical and mental health. Been treated badly and cut out certain people-that was a tough decision to take but I have realised that I need to consider my own wellbeing and toxic people are not part of my life anymore.

Posted in Mental Health

I did a whoopsie

Having been in an ill, nocturnal state for the past week or so I decided to request my prescription online from the GP- PRESCRIPTION APPROVED!! But me being me at the moment, I thought it was Friday on Thursday so didn’t collect the prescription from the Doctors as thought they would be closed. Then the next day I went out in the car and realised it was Friday so I went to the Doctors and realised it was closed because it was Good Friday so no prescription for me.

.FAST FORWARD TO MONDAY.

I have no Sertraline in the house. I have been on these for months and never missed a dose, until now. I have to see a Doctor this week anyway so I know I need to go out and get my tablets. Although they do need changing so if anybody has advice on reducing Sertraline in order to swap to another medication please let me know as I have heard withdrawal is awful!!

Posted in Health

To any Healthcare Workers out there….

This article was submitted to my ‘Mighty’ page but has been saved for future release rather than being published straight away.

Roll back to early March 2016: I had just completed training for a new job within the emergency services and it was my first day “set free” to take calls and be “in training.” I felt strange, was having chest pain and really didn’t feel well. Within the first couple of hours into the shift I went home unwell. The 30-mile journey home was the longest ever and I was straight on the phone to NHS direct for advice.

Fast forward to late April, a very long six weeks later. I was still off work and had been to so many nurses, GPs, out of hours and telephone triage appointments I had lost count. That day I spoke to my surgery to request an appointment with a doctor and was told I couldn’t see one but they had a paramedic in the surgery I could see. By this point I had lost the will to live and just wanted the pain to stop.

I will never forget the kindness I received from that paramedic. I was told to go to the hospital and a letter was written and faxed to the emergency department for me to go to see the surgeons.

I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and while this condition is being talked about more, there is still a stigma with the condition. I had abdominal pain that had lasted about six weeks and had been referred to the surgical team, not the gynaecology team.

One of the worst comments I have ever overheard from a person was: “She has polycystic ovaries, just send her to gynae and they can discharge her.”

While this comment may only be minor, I also saw these people shaking their heads and asking about beds for other patients. Might I add, this person was a doctor.

Three days later, I had surgery and my appendix was removed and then two days later I went home. I continued to use the services of my GP, district nurse and NHS Direct as I had an infection in one wound that turned out to be two different infections as well as several water infections.

I will never be the same person again, but I am very thankful to that paramedic who believed me and listened to me and the surgeon who listened to me and didn’t presume it was just my polycystic ovaries – because it wasn’t!!

To any healthcare workers or those who wish to become a healthcare professional: If a patient comes to you with a problem, please do not presume it is “just” their pre-existing condition. Yes, take it into account, but don’t use it as the first excuse to discharge your patient.

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Healthwise Wales

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 19.08.18
https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

Healthwise Wales is working to improve the health and wellbeing services for the Welsh population. They ask that we help them by answering questions about health topics and our own information to help them with their work. Whether you have health conditions or are fit and healthy, you can still help them with their work, no matter your age or health status.

I signed up to Healthwise Wales as I thought it was a fantastic idea when I received a work email encouraging us to sign up.

I received a phonecall and was asked if I would be willing to share my experiences, I never thought about a camera and filming taking place (duh….how else will I share my story). But I am glad I took part (even though I forgot half the stuff I wanted to say and forgot at points how to speak Welsh so ended up doing the ‘Wenglish’ version 😉

If you are interested in finding out more information and signing up to Healthwise Wales then go to;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

If you click under ‘Research stories’ there you will see my face and the article written.

or click on this link;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/research_stories/?id=16

You can also register and help Healthwise Wales.

If for some reason you do not want to follow the link, or cannot access it then keep scrolling to read on this page.

The Below Research Story is my story but published by Healthwise Wales;

Stacie-Mai’s Story

 

A woman from Barry who suffers from anxiety and depression has joined a unique health research initiative in Wales to help fight major diseases, and is urging others to do the same.

26-year-old Stacie-Mai Pemberton has signed up to HealthWise Wales, a flagship study aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation to inform new healthcare treatments in Wales.

It is the first large-scale survey in Wales to build a picture of the health of the nation, using detailed health information gathered from people of all ages to help inform future health service planning.

People aged 16 and over and living in Wales are asked to complete short questionnaires every six months as part of the project, which is led by Cardiff University and backed by the Welsh Government.

Once registered, participants are then invited to help inform relevant health research on specific conditions, their management and treatment.

Stacie-Mai, who works as a peer mentor for Welsh mental health charity Hafal, began to suffer from anxiety and depression when doctors struggled to diagnose her appendicitis.

This, combined with previous insight into different healthcare issues gained while working for the Welsh Ambulance Service, made Stacie-Mai sign up to HealthWise Wales.

She said: “My appendicitis wasn’t a textbook case of the illness, so when I went to the doctors with complaints they struggled to diagnose my illness. I was upset and frustrated and developed depression and anxiety. I was finally diagnosed and operated on, and my appendicitis cured, but I felt very mentally fragile.

“Supporting people who suffer from mental health issues at Hafal has meant that I’ve realised things about my own mental health too. I know now, for example, that there were also more long-term reasons for my depression and anxiety, aside from the appendicitis.

“Trauma from my early childhood, such as losing a parent, have definitely contributed to my mental health issues. Knowledge and education on mental health is vital, which is why I feel so passionate about improving the NHS by supporting initiatives like HealthWise Wales.

“The NHS is a great service, but there is still room for improvement. For this reason, I am committed to initiatives like HealthWise Wales that strive to paint a clearer picture of the changes that need to be made to improve the state of healthcare in Wales, and I’d urge others to do the same.”