So I guess I ought to start at the beginning. From one of my favourite films, The Sound of Music 🎶, “You start at the very beginning, a very good place to start”. Trust me I can find a song for everything, just ask my husband, it annoys the hell out of him but I find myself terribly amusing and I’m sure every time I belt out some Beyoncé when someone comes up to me at work and says “Question” they think I am hilarious, right? Anyway, I digress!! (Another imperfection)
This might be a long read so apologies…… stick with it!
Around 3 years ago, I found myself struggling with dealing with, well pretty much everything life threw at me. Trying to be a wife, a Mum, have a full time job, have parents with their own issues, manage a rugby team, …. you name it I was probably trying to do it. To be fair, like we all do. Life is just busy! I don’t know about you but I felt like I was being pulled in all sorts of directions with so much being expected of me all of the time and every hour of the day that I didn’t know which way was up! Have you ever been there? I’m sure I’m not alone.
Life has changed, particularly for women over the years with the expectations on them. They aren’t running a home any more or looking after their children at home; they are running their own businesses, running homes, and doing a million and one other things and being expected to do them all to the same level of competency as when they did the one thing. Now men, please don’t get me wrong I don’t think you get an easy ride either but I think the change has been greater over the years for women although the pressures of the 24 hour fully contactable world can be seen on everyone. The digital world is a blessing and a curse.
So, in short I was struggling and I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t talk to anyone. Who would I talk to? I had friends but I didn’t want to bother them with my problems; they had plenty of their own and bigger than mine. I’m an only child so no siblings to share with. This was however a great thing when I was growing up!! (And I was not spoiled honest!! 😉). My parents thought I was doing so well in my career and I was (and still am) and I didn’t want them to think otherwise. And … I certainly wasn’t going to talk to a stranger!! So I went to my GP who agreed with my self diagnosis that I was suffering with Stress and Anxiety and needed to be on Anti-Depressants.
Now, we can agree or disagree on the use of medication but it has helped me over the past 3 years. It isn’t for everyone I know that and I don’t want to be on them forever but for now and how things have been that’s where we are.
But moreover, I have learned through these 3 years to talk to strangers, talk to my friends, talk to my family and to talk to others who are struggling. That is the best treatment ever!! If any of my friends ever need anyone please know I am there and come and talk to me – I will be there to just listen. No judgement. Whatever you need!!
I thought this was the worst things would get but hey, apparently not! Somebody or something had other ideas!!
During 2016 I had learned to run in a running group! I know! Me? A runner! I never thought I’d see the day but I was going to run the Great South Run in October 2016 – a 10 mile run along the south coast. Now for those who knew me at school I was never much of a sportsperson! More the type to fake a sick note – sorry Mrs Leech! – so this was major!! I was trained and ready and then …. I was injured. Tragedy struck two weeks before and my left ankle was refusing to bend back as far as it should causing pain in my hip. I had a couple of sports massage sessions to get me to the start line and I was given the ok to run but told it was going to hurt!! Well, Verity (my lovely running instructor who had got me this far) was right, it did hurt but only for the first half a mile and adrenaline kicked in and got me round along with the cheers and music from the amazing crowds. I loved it and made it across the finish line with a sprint finish that I was so proud of.
Unfortunately that was my last race ….. injury continued and after months of appointments I was finally diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
I have been hypermobile all my life – always thought it was a bit of a party trick!! Loved being able to make people grimace at how I could fold my fingers round or fold myself in two to pick the smallest piece of paper off the floor. Apparently, I shouldn’t do that anymore as my body doesn’t like it and shouldn’t be able to do it!! Now not all hypermobile people get this and on the flip side there are certainly people a lot worse off than me. Touch wood I’m not too bad right now but winters are worse and I’m sometimes on crutches and can’t do too much walking or I have “balloon feet” – honestly I’m such a catch!!! Painkillers and anti-inflammatories galore! 39 going on 89!!
Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there …. 28th November 2018, I was driving my car home from Reading at 8.30pm after work and I lost all feeling down the right hand side of my body – my foot, my leg, my hand, my arm, my face, my eye and my sight. I thought – as most people would – I was having a stroke.
Long story short and after 16 episodes and still counting I was diagnosed in January 2019 with Hemiplegic Migraine. This is a rare type of migraine often without the typical migraine headache present and is like having a stroke over and over again.
I am at the beginning of my journey on this one and am on preventative medication that it seems will be for life and some additional nerve inhibitors otherwise my head acts like one of those lightning balls you played with as a kid in the science museum. Fun there but not in the head trust me!! Many many side effects I won’t bore you with here …..
The biggest change people might see in me is I’m Tea-Total these days, which is a bit of a shocker!! There will be more on that in my blogs as I’ve found some fab alternatives!!
So this has been me! Now don’t get me wrong there have been some amazing things happen in the past three years – my life is seriously not all doom and gloom!! But these 3 things over the past 3 years have led me to this point and why I want to do this blog and put me down in writing. That’s the point. People are way worse off than me – this is not a “woe is me” story. This is a background so you know why I’m here, why I’m doing this and why I am mad to add another thing to my To-Do list of my already amazingly full calendar!!
These three things are not me. I am me and they just add to me and my life and this blog will see the ups and downs and laughter and tears that life brings.
Thank you if you’ve managed to read all of this!! I am so grateful. Let’s get on to some more fun posts and you can see and share in this oddness we call life!!
#hemiplegicmigraine #mentalhealth #jointhypermobilitysyndrome