Ruby –  Crazy, Funny and Brave

So a few people who follow my blog have asked about Ruby and why she has hospital appointments in Southampton, apologies for those of you who do know, but there is a little update!

Ruby was born by elective c- section in March 2007 weighing in at a whopping  10lbs 11ozs, after delivery she was not breathing as she should and was whisked away, I can remember lying in the theatre begging for them to tell me she was ok, and them saying she needed a bit of help to breath but would be fine in a few hours, I can still  recall the empty feeling of not being able to hold her, and ringing my Mum to say I’d had her but hadn’t been able to cuddle her or have any skin on skin contact, some might say I had missed out on the initial bonding with my baby girl, but for those of you who know Ruby you know she is the most loving and tactile girl you could meet, never far from my side!

That evening Ruby was back with me, and my second journey through motherhood began, I remember looking at her thinking how could I be this lucky a second time, this beautiful bundle of joy, little did I know what would lie ahead of us.

Ruby wasn’t a particularly easy baby, she cried a lot, she cried night and day, there were smiley happy times don’t get me wrong, but it would happen that the days would become as long as the nights, and I knew there was something not right with her, call it mothers intuition, she had right from birth this horrible crackling sound inside her chest , where sometimes her voice resembled Darth Vaders voice , feeding would be hard as she would feed then be sick, with a mucus coming back with it,  I mentioned it to my health visitor who agreed that something seemed amiss, so I booked her in with my Doctor who was great and said to try some antiobiotics, now this happened several times, chest infections again and again each time the medicine would work, then it would all reoccurr, so my GP said about seeing a Paediatrician in our local hospital, which we did -intially they thought she had Cystic Fibrosis (waiting for the results were the longest hours of my life)  once they knew it wasn’t this they were quite happy and as much as they checked her over and looked at her, would say she was fine, they would just say we will see her again in 6 months.  We had endless trips to A and E for steriods or a nebuliser – I cannot tell you the nights I’d be on the road in the early hours to get her some help because she couldn’t breath properly.

The first 16 months  of her life were really hard, I felt like I was failing her, like no one, bar family and friends would listen to me, I remember sitting with my health visitor saying that I couldn’t cope, and that I was sure something wasn’t right with her,  to which she replied that she thought I had post natal depression and that Ruby was actually ok, she said I had to think that Ruby had been checked by professionals and they hadn’t found anything, but come on as parents  we know in our gut when there is something not right, I probably wouldn’t of admitted at the time I had PND but I was unwell with it (in denial), but that’s a story for another time lol.

I stuck to my guns and went back to my incredibly supportive GP, I cried and cried, telling her that as gorgeous as Ruby was, there was something wrong, even though she was reaching all her milestones, I knew she was struggling, I pleaded with her to help me, and she suggested that  we try another hospital, another consultant,  together  we decided on Poole Hospital, Dorset as Dr Gary Connett is a specialist respiratory paediatrician  who visited there once a week from Southampton General Hospital. 

This for us a family was a massive turning point,  I remember our first visit there as clear as day – I can relive the day moment by moment, we turned up and Ruby was weighed and measured, they then took her sats – I knew something was wrong when the Nurse left the room and got  a Doctor who then asked if they could take Ruby as her sats were really low and she would need some extra help, she was given a nebuliser, after this we met Dr Gary Connett who said that he thought Ruby really was quite unwell, he wasn’t sure why or what  was causing  her to be so  poorly  but he could identify a few things just from how her chest was rising and falling, her skin, her nails and her past history that I previously had explained,  no one ever wants to hear that their child is unwell especially when you don’t know what it is that is wrong, but just 5 days later, I watched Ruby be taken off to theatre I know I’ve had my fair share of crap but that moment was probably one of hardest, my heart was breaking, it felt like she was in surgery forever , and I felt such guilt (Mum guilt hits again) that she had to go through that and that I wasn’t with her.

The thing is even with her ailments and what she went through,  as she got older she would be so happy, smiley and trusting, and everyone loved her, she used to bring laughter to most situations and to be honest she still does.


Whilst in theatre Ruby had a Bronchoscopy, they also removed various cells from her lungs for testing to see if this was the area causing concern.

It took some weeks for the bronchial lavage cell counts to come back, I was at work when Dr Connett rang and I knew he would have some answers for me, I was so anxious as he explained  that the bronchial lavage washes had grown a group of Group A Streptococcus, Some strains of group A streptococci (GAS) cause severe infection. Severe infections are usually invasive, meaning that the bacteria has entered parts of the body where bacteria are not usually found, such as the blood, lungs, deep muscle or fat tissue, in Ruby’s case her lungs, he also said that he had a diagnosis – Middle Lobe Syndrome,  whereby recurrent infection can occurr in the right middle lobe, which has poor collateral ventilation and which is prone to recurrent aspiration and infection, this would explain why we had consistent improvements after antibiotics, but never sunstained due to only being short term doses, also this had caused a cough variant Asthma. 

Finally an answer, an answer that rocked us all, but meant we could help her and finally start treatment, and ensure she had a better quality of life.

He also informed us that severe GAS infections may lead to shock, multisystem organ failure, and death. (Early recognition and treatment are critical) So her treatment began immediately a continuous antibiotic, Bubble PEP Physiotherapy ( this is process to help remove a build up of phlegm/secretions from the lungs) she loves this – blowing through a tube to create a mound of bubbles, huffing and coughing! We also started two inhalers Flixotide and Salbutamol.

So this all started back in 2009, and here we  are now just last week having the six monthly check up in Southampton, Ruby still has the same wonderful consultant, Dr Connett, who treats her with so much care and respect, she thinks very highly of him and each visit they catch up like old friends,  He always wants to hear her latest footballing achievements!


Sadly this last visit wasn’t one of her best, within 15 mins of being there she was on a nebuliser, as her lung function was not as it should be, Ruby never moans, she carries on with life with such enthusiasm and as I mentioned before humour – that you can’t always tell when she isn’t firing on all cyclinders, however she has been struggling a bit the past few weeks, more tired, more out of breath so it was good that she had the visit to be observed and see what we needed to do next, not every visit is like that, most show her moving forward but every so often we take a step backwards , and I try not to let it worry me (who am I kidding) because I know she is strong – a warrior like her mother lol , for the next few months we have to up her meds, give more inhaler before sport, and when the cold winter weather hits, get back on the antibiotics, if you met Ruby you would be none the wiser to what is going on in the inside, she seems to have endless amounts of energy probably from the copious amounts she eats!!

It’s not been easy for her growing up and yes she will still now scare us half to death needing the odd  ambulance ride to A and E but you know what she will still be smiling at the end of it all, she never lets it get in her way of enjoying life, she is brave and beautiful with a twinkle in her eye, and Kevin and I couldn’t be more proud!

Our Children take us to places in our hearts we didn’t know existed! 

Have a happy and healthy week.

ASIBTAF 💕

I get back up..

I’ve mentioned several times about families, friends and the amazing support network I have, there are times when we probably take for granted exactly what and who we have, life throws many an obstacle at us and we all have varying coping mechanisms, it’s part of life to experience ups and downs, and we want to be with people who understand us and can be depended on when we go through a tough time, we need people who are honest with their answers when listening to us, there has been research that has shown, that having a support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills and a longer and healthier life. Studies have also shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety. Some people do best having large support group, while others need just a small support system. Giving and receiving support from others is a basic human need.

There may be people in life who say they don’t need anyone and that’s their prerogative, I am however needy I need a support network, I need those friendly vibes, I need people to bring me back down to earth  now and again, I need people to tell me it will be ok, I make no excuses for myself – I can be a right miserable mare who can only see the worst case scenario at times and that’s why I need my support crew to put me back on the straight and narrow.

A week ago I received the phonecall from my Neurologist to say that the surgeons had said no to a shunt in my back, he said he himself couldn’t understand why they had said no but he couldn’t go over them as they were my second opinion, so the shunt would of done the job of a lumbar puncture  that I have every other month in reducing the pressure as and when needed, but apparently the back ones cause a lot of problems and are a last resort, only used if your sight is failing – I’m blessed that though my right eye has some permanent damage my sight remains ok, which is a positive and my eyes are checked every 2/3 months but it’s still hard to hear, after he had said that,  any words that he was saying to me were falling on deaf ears, I was crying to him asking what exactly was going to happen to me now – I would be stuck like this forever – had he any idea of the pain I was in at times etc etc (sorry moaning again). Poor man just didn’t know what to say except – Kirsty I’ve booked you in for a Lumbar Puncture with me next week – talk about adding insult to injury lol.

Now for me I knew I had been holding onto the fact a Lumbar Shunt might be the answer to my prayers – so that phonecall destroyed me – without sounding like a drama queen – I hit rock bottom right there and then, this makes me feel guilty reading/writing it because I know there are some really poorly people out there fighting horrendous illnesses and I feel selfish, but I did – and this is where my support network came into play Kev shot out of the shower to hug me tightly – Mum was round like a rocket to console me – she knew with her mothers intuition I needed her,but there are times when your own selfishness takes over and nothing anyone says or does can help how you are feeling inside, just that everpending feeling of doom hanging over your head like a black cloud.

I ranted to my friends, I posted on Instagram, the response was amazing (You are all best by the way) support from every which way, I wonder if people realise the impact a simple uplifting text has, or the kind act of giving a bunch of flowers and telling you that you are amazing really has, or the empathy received when you ring a close friend  and cry so much before you can actually speak to them – there they are listening and gently reassuring you because it’s all got to much.

I won’t lie I WAS and FELT until today hell on earth emotionally and physically, I was fed up because my LP was looming, which actually went well, and because I felt like there was no end to the IIH.
We don’t just need our support for illness we need to share our  support in our day to day living, I would like to think that I try to be there for who needs me!

When you have people looking out to you, your support – be it family, friendships, people via social media, some of whom you may have never met, you should feel blessed, I know I do, I’m grateful to literally everyone who likes a post, who reads my blog, who send me postitive vibes – you make me stronger, remember a strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry, a strong person is the one who cries and sheds tears for a moment, then gets up and fights again.

Massive thank you as always!

❤️ ASIBTAF xxx

Glastonbury 2017 

So it’s a few days  after the Glastonbury weekend and I’m sat in the Doctors to get some strong pain relief for my head, I wish I could say I partied hard like usual, or that I visited my favourite Silent Disco but the pain didn’t allow, to be honest if I hadn’t had to work my shifts I may not of even made it there at times.

 Trying not to feel sorry for myself as the pain is so intense I need to get it sorted, and I feel it’s like the final straw, the one thing I really look forward to, and IIH robs me of it yet again, this is so unfair, I even used my stick which I have to say was a god send (thanks Hart mobility ).

I must say though there were definate Glastonbury festival highlights for me, with the added bonus I can remember it all as I couldn’t drink lol, my husband and I, as I mentioned volunteer there as Fire Stewards in the John Peel Tent, so have the added bonus of backstage wristbands, but this year I was also given Disabled Registered Access, which initially mortified me, as I in my mind I like to think I am still the old Kirsty who loved a visit to the Rum Shack and dancing til the early hours but it was amazing we had access to areas we hadn’t been to before which was great for us it felt like a whole new festival we met the totally gorgeous Fearne Cotton and had to have a cheeky photo, as I do love Fearne, equally as gorge Sienna Miller said the girls were gorgeous, much to the three girls pleasure (the girls only came in on the Sunday).


Not only did the passes allow us access all areas, but it really helped with getting around, the short cuts were much appreciated! Our shifts were really busy the busiest we have actually ever experienced, we were on shift when the Killers were on it was total bedlam, I think they overestimated just how popular it would be, as in the end all exits to the John Peel were blocked with Security, people were so desperate to get in, people begged Kev and I to let them in by paying us sums of money, it was really sad not to be able to help them, most were really lovely with the exception of some, one famous footballer who shall remain nameless threatened Kev will flooring him unless Kev let him through the fence, and became really aggressive, he did leave Kev alone but did end up having an altercation with the security guy which was quite frightening to watch, people were desperate and would do anything it would seem to watch them,  and I hate to say it they were AMAZING..

This was the first year I had worked shifts with Kev, it was nice to be together and working together as a team, all be it harrowing at times lol, when not on shift  we enjoyed some fantastic bands one of my highlights were a duo from my younger years Altern8, anyone else remember them?, wearing their boiler suits and masks It was a great set, also amazing and worth looking up Showhawk Duo, loved every second of their set – brilliant, I think they will be on a bigger stage in 2019! 

So I wasn’t a huge fan of Foo Fighters, Kev and my friends are, so naturally had to watch them, and they totally rocked, I really did think they were awesome, definitely converted!!

Overall more memories made with my gorgeous friends and family, dealt with some really friendly people, some not friendly, helped people who may have taken a little too much of a certain substance, dealt with a bag scare that turned out to be a child’s bag of wet pants, and generally had a lot of fun with everyone, I’m sure I’m not the only one but it did feel with the main acts that the crowds were more excessive than usual, whether this is because it was good weather and everyone which was out and about which of course is only natural or because there was more people than in the past I’m not sure but at times it was too much for me.. is this a sign I’m getting old?.

Health wise I did suffer, I was on various types medication which we had to leave site to get, it made me so frustrated that events I look forward to get ruined by my head kicking out the pain, I try to be positive but of late it really gets me down.
More so when on Wednesday I speak to my Neurologist, to arrange a Lumbar Puncture, who says to me, “I have just realised when I saw your name, I was meant to discuss with the surgeons about you having surgery wasn’t I?, I’m really sorry I have forgotten to do this”.  You all literally have no idea how frustrated this makes me,  I know I should admire his honestly and yes I realise how busy every one who works within the NHS is don’t get me wrong, but when you have been sat waiting for a letter to come for the past few months, it really doesn’t do much for me trying to be optimistic in attitude, to me I had been focusing on this as perhaps an end to the pain, but sadly nothing had actually been said to anyone, hopefully now I’m fresh in his mind there will be some action taken! I can only hope.

To those of you who were also there I hope you are all slowly recovering from what is otherwise known as the Glasto blues and that you all made loads of amazing memories, feel free to share with me your best and worst bits, and to those almost 21 million people (20.9m) who watched Glastonbury on the TV from the comfort of your sofa – I hope your weekend was awesome too.
Big ❤️ ASIBTAF xxx

A week in the life 

It’s been a really busy week, made up of School runs, hospital appointments, ferrying the girls around, , and trying to get back into a gym routine, nothing manic, just getting back on the bike and being guided on how to get my fitness back somehow!, think it’s going to be a long journey but positivity is key!

Hospital appointments have had us in three in different hospital venues,  Ruby had an ophthalmology appointment which went well, then on the same day I had a check up about a non head related problem, which again went well.

This week brought a visit me a visit to Endocrinology,   Which I dread this shouldn’t really be the case, should it? I know I’m very lucky to be seeing a specialist (I realise others don’t get this luxury), but it’s always so demoralising. I’m always made to feel like I’m not doing enough to make myself better,  I know there’s very little on offer for me bar continuing to lose weight, Or a LP Shunt, so I was in a foul mood the whole day  the closer it drew near the worse I was, and didn’t those close to me know it  but this was due to my previous experience which  hadn’t gone too well, with it generally being a lecture on losing weight and gastric banding.  However I should not of been so hasty with my worries  as this appointment was actually really good, it’s just a shame the evening was ruined as for the third time during this illness an unpleasant man aggressively shouted at me in front of the girls about using a blue badge when none of us were actually disabled  🤷‍♀️! I give up.

So onto the really exciting part of my week today I ventured to a shop that’s been on my radar for a while, I have wanted to go for some time eagerly following their progress and watching them grow from afar on social media, and because everything I see online – I need (must have)

The shop in question is a fantastic shop called Belle Modelle, http://www.belle-modelle.co.uk when you enter the shop you are greeted by a wonderful array of colours, with so many beautiful items of clothing, home accessories, jewellery, shoes and bags, and not only that you receive such a warm welcome on your arrival from the gorgeous proprietor Leila Gregory.  


Now as many of you know, I’m partial to a new shoe, (what lady isn’t) and there were plenty to choose from, a wide range of colours and sizes, wedges, sandals, brogues.

I found a fantastic pair of Dolce and Gabbana Inspired embellished slides called Daisy stud slides. They are so comfortable! 

There is a good selection of clothing, so many summer outfits, again a good range of sizes available, this year we are seeing the Pom Pom taking to the shelves, colourful, fun and cheerful, so I couldn’t resist this lovely lightweight poncho – which will be making its debut at Glastonbury next week, I chose the grey colourway, they look fab on! 

So for those fashionistas out there I highly recommend a visit to this shop, it was well worth the wait for me, I’ve wanted to go for so long and I’m glad I did, everything was bang on trend, with something for everyone and if you cannot get to the shop then hit the link and do some online shopping http://www.belle-modelle.co.uk/index.php use code KABM10 for 10% off your order.

(Disclosure: This post was not sponsored, I received a complimentary Poncho to try out. I wasn’t required to write anything good, but I genuinely think this business is fab and would love to see their business grow even more .)

Retail therapy is always the way forward, it’s an effective way to improve your mood and excercise control over your environment, it can help with the transition  from negative to positive emotions, so go on what’s stopping you! Happy Shopping.

Have a lovely weekend 

ASIBTAF ❤️

Ruby’s Football trials (and tribulations!)

As some of you know, last week I took Ruby my youngest to her football trials, now Ruby started playing football about 2 years ago,  she just decided she would like to try it and started out in a local mixed team, she really enjoyed it but where she was new to the game she struggled, the other players had been playing for some time, the boys were really quite skilled and found Ruby just hampered their game, sadly people would make fun of her, either on the pitch or worse carry it on at School. 

We would say to her practice makes perfect Rubes, keep at it, but her confidence dwindled along with her passion of the game.  There was no changing the opinions of the boys, who would pass to one another,  and the other girls who could definately bend it like Beckham.  

I knew I had to do something, and via the internet I think it was,  I found an all girls development centre training under 10s held by Yeovil Town Ladies adult team, I emailed and explained Ruby’s situation and her capabilities, and was told to bring her along, the only drawback was it was held in Bridgwater (which is around an hour away from us) for us that was the best thing we could of done for her, she loved it it boosted her confidence, she made new friends and best of all she smiled throughout each hour and half training session, they could see she had potential and they built on it, we then became fans of Yeovil Town Ladies football team, attending each home game, Kev and I didnt even like football, however it would seem we do now,  Ruby has a definate soft spot for two players her coach Ellie Curson https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellie_Curson and another player Annie Heatherson https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann-Marie_Heatherson (more on her later).

We could see a definate change in her football skills, and in her confidence, and if she was happy, I was happy.   We moved her from the local team to an all girls team in a neighbouring town at around the same time, a recommendation from a girl from the development centre  who also attended and said it was a great team to play for. So Ruby began playing for Frome Town Youth girls team, again she loves this and tries her best, plays in tournaments or matches.

The development centre training ended at the end of the year and I will always be grateful for the kindness, care and enthausium they showed the Girls, it was definately the turning point for Ruby’s confidence, and the base of her football journey.

So back to the trial, I recieved an email about the under YTLFC 12 trials, I have and never would make Ruby do football, I always ask her if she would like to do it, I knew she would jump at the chance, but in the back of mind I did wonder if I should put her through that, no not because I don’t have faith in her or that I don’t think she is very good, but because I know that again some of these girls have been playing since they were 4/5 and plus Ruby is just 10 and the girls would be mixed ages up to 12, but nonetheless Ruby was determined to attend that trial, so I booked her in.

I mentioned earlier Ruby’s idol is a footballer called Annie Heatherson, Annie is good to Ruby, offering advice when needed, a hug,  or a photo opportunity, Ruby thinks of her as her friend, the evening before the trial, she offered Rubes a few words of advice and told her that even if she didn’t get it in it was good experience, I too had said that in this life if at first we don’t succeed then try and try again, which she seemed to understand.


The day of the trial, I literally felt sick to my stomach, not because of Ruby doing it, but because I wanted to protect her from the fear of rejection, she was my baby and I personally thought she was great lol,  I know we have to stand by and watch, knowing what we know inside ( I will never forget my Mum watching me do Hurdles in the rain for County I totally messed them up near the end slipping due to the rain I  ended up going over one and under another sliding the duration on my bum, but you know what aside from the humiliation I do remember her telling me how proud she was of me and how well I had done).  Ruby had a new found confidence where I think she thought she would get in, and as Mums we don’t want our child to feel the pain of not getting where they want to be, but at the same time you don’t want to knock their confidence or say I don’t think you good enough just yet.

Off she trotted a bit nervous, but not as nervous as her mother and played the best she could, she definately enjoyed it, and it was fun to watch,  there were all ages abilities and talents, from years 5/6 and I felt incrediably proud she was there.

Ruby came away from the trial full of excitement, and was looking forward to Fridays announcement of who would make the team, part of you hopes and prays that actually she was good enough and part of you knows she wouldn’t of made the grade, I did gently say to her, there were lots of girls there, you were all great, some looked older than you didn’t they?  To which she replied yes Mummy but I was thinking I’m going to be so upset if I don’t get in I think my heart will break! – and from that very moment I dreaded that email on Friday, I even discussed with Kev who would tell her, actually nominating him. 

The email came – and it was No she didn’t get in, I cannot tell you how much I dreaded her 3.30pm pick up, I collected her and she didn’t mention it, but I knew I would have too and when I told her  – I did watch her heart break a bit right there in front of me, she cried and cried, proper from the heart tears, I felt like the crappiest mother ever, every day I like to think I try the best for my girls and I felt like I had set her up for a fall, I could of prevented the upset and tears, by not entering her but she would go through life assuming that she could get into every team, the sadness showed that she was passionate about something, and that it was something she really wanted, we have all known what’s it like to not get where we wanted in life immediately, I reassured her it took me years to get into teams and then go further to County and Nationals with my various sporting achievements. 

The tears did flow for a while that evening as did mine in private  –  but after a pep talk face time from the Golden One Heatherson.  Ruby picked herself up and that smile was back, she said to Kev and I, if I don’t at first succeed then I will try and try again and Annie said as one door opens another one closes so you know what Mummy I WILL play for Yeovil Town Ladies one day.

That’s my girl 💕💪🏻 

ASIBTAF xxx

Embrace what makes you unique.

So apparently one in four British adults is obese, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, prompting fears that the UK has become the “fat man of Europe”.The UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe, ahead of countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, the report says.

Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050.

Source: The State of Food and Agriculture 2013 (PDF, 2.44Mb), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

I am that one in four person, I hold my hands up to it, I’m Kirsty and I’m obese, most of my adult years I have been overweight and struggled, though I have been fitter and healthier and happy with how I looked, how I felt, and naturally I long to get back to those days, I wasn’t a size 10 or anything but I was happy, I was a bit more body confident , throughout my adult years my body shape has changed frequently, and my husband has not once commented negatively, he loves me unconditionally, love handles and all.

Back then though it was a really dedicated journey to get to where I wanted to be, Most days  I was up and out of bed to the gym at 5.30am before Kev went to work, I had the best personal trainer you could ever ask for (thank you SB), she did my meal plans on a 6 weekly rota and she beasted me, but you know what I loved it!  The photo on the left was at Kevs 40th and on the right before I got ill in 2015 😏 I was strong not skinny lol. 

My personal weight issues go right back to secondary school, when you see this photo what do you see?

Hopefully like me you see a group of healthy and happy teenage girls? (I am back second from left) However people – ok boys at school didn’t see me like that, more often than not I would walk round with something stuck to my back saying ‘wide load’ or I would have derogatory comments from said boys. So from a young age I assumed I was “fat”, it didn’t matter how much my parents told me I was a normal healthy weight my brain was implanted with the fact I was overweight, I think this is so sad because looking back, I wasn’t I was “normal”.

I think there is such pressure in this day and age to achieve perfection, I have yet to meet one person (apologies if I have) who says to me – oh yes I’m so happy with my body image, it seems we are not,  we always wish for a change of something, I know I have said to friends who are tall, slender and stunning, how amazing they look, how I wish I had a figure like that.. to be told that they too are unhappy with their body, it would seem most of us have body insecurities, and it’s so sad but I totally understand, I have two daughters, and I tell them they are both beautiful and I encourage them to embrace their bodies, I try my best not to say I’m on a diet, I try to say that I’m healthy eating to help my head,  Sometimes one of them asks me what I think about her body shape, I have and always will tell her it’s just perfect like her. It’s a struggle enough for our children to grow up in this day and age with all that occurs plus threats of what society says we should look like via social media, all I wish is for all of our children to be happy with themselves, to love what they have, not too worry about body image, like I did.

I ask myself why do we feel so insecure  about our bodies, why do we wish we had bigger breasts, smaller bottom, or if we could be a stone lighter/ or even heavier and we all want that washboard stomach?
Historically, the ideal female body was strong and full-figured, (god I love this) as seen in icons such as Marilyn Monroe. But we have to remember every body shape is different, yet even as early as the 1800s, when painful, health-impairing corsets were used to accentuate the breasts, hips and buttocks, women were expected to strive for a specific ideal of beauty.

Below is taken from an article in the Daily Mail

Only 3% of women in the UK are totally happy with their body and 73% think about their size or shape every single day, a new survey has found. The survey of 5,000 women, commissioned by REAL magazine, found that 91% of women were unhappy with their hips and thighs, 77% were dissatisfied with their waist and 78% said they had cellulite. Three-quarters of British women were unhappy with their shape, 71% with their weight and six out of 10 said their body image made them feel depressed. Some 65% of those surveyed felt their life would improve considerably if they were happy with their body. 

Word has it, that we culminated our body image worries from catwalk models, tv, and the fad diets, that have seemed so appealing at the time because we too could lose 5 stone in 3 months if we drink a milkshake, (then you have the hard work of keeping it off) but the actual point here is that trying to create the ideal body shape shouldn’t be our ultimate aim anyway – we need to stop judging people by their looks in the first place.

Can we just take a second to remember that every single person is beautiful in their own way, if you think someone looks good tell them – think how you would feel from a positive comment, go on make someone’s day, they may look lovely, have a lovely smile,amazing make up, smell good or my personal fav – amazing shoes lol – tell them,  my Mum will be reading this thinking that I should practice what I write as her shoulder has been wet many a time from tears due to my own body insecurities.

For me it’s thought that my IIH will improve if I continue to lose weight, so far this month I’ve been back in hospital twice, I thought perhaps it was because I must of put on a lot of weight, as I hadn’t had weigh day for a while – no I had put on a pound from the last weigh day, I can honestly say I’m not happy with my appearance so yes my weight loss journey is for me to feel better mentally and physically.  As I’m sure most women (or men) can relate to this, I’m one of these people who gives it my all at the beginning – I’ve done slimming world, Gillian McKeith, Dukan, Herbalife, Cabbage soup,Slim fast, ADF,  you name it I’ve done it – I dedicate a few months too it then I remember just how much I love food,  cake, chocolate, fish and chips – the list is endless, my willpower sucks, I want to give massive shout out to people who do stick at it, I have one old school friend who has lost 10 stone and she totally has my upmost respect such willpower and determination!

But I’m saying it loud and clear I need to refocus make my body healthier and my mind positive, I have to do this for myself, Kev and my children, I almost feel selfish by not trying harder to lose weight as if its my fault my IIH is not improving because of it.  But it’s so hard when I can’t excercise like I did, I’ve tried HIIT, Kettlebells and classes during one of these times my  intercranial pressure raised so quickly I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home,  without droning and whinging too much (sorry) even walking at the moment is an effort with my new Diamox dosage so I am literally just taking each day as it comes.

So my weight loss journey continues – for a healthier and stronger me, I can dwell on the past Kirsty who was fit and healthier or I can focus on the future to a healthier Kirsty by busting IIHs arse and to everyone out there dieting, excercising, having surgery, those who are comfortable in their own skin or fighting an illness  – you are all amazing each and everyone of you,  may you too feel gorgeous and banish any insecurities, instill the positivity to our children also because we will stop worrying about our looks when society stops telling us that they’re all we’re worth. Let’s all of us focus on that first!

Have a lovely week

ASIBTAF 💖

Fight the fight 

So the inevitable happened, the thing that most sufferers of IIH, (Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension) dread the absolute most – The Lumbar Puncture, I knew it was looming over me, high pressure hanging over my head like a huge dark grey cloud, I have tried to ignore it, pretend it wasn’t happening, carry on with life as normal, but I guess there is only so long you can pretend that your ok, I know I shouldn’t do it and I should of had my LP back late February but with all that was happening already in our life, it just wasn’t the right time.

Saturday evening my head hurt a bit, by the early hours it was unbearable, I tried paracetamol, ibuprofen and when I could take it no more – Codeine, none of which worked or touched the pain, this was by far the worst pain I had ever yet to encounter.

I made the phone call to my Mum at 7.45am,(she is my LP partner!!) by 9am I was in A and E,  I am always so dubious about having an LP, I know most of you will have read my last experience and it was not one that I ever want to repeat, it’s always at the back of my mind when I need one.

Due to the amount of pain I was in, I was given morphine and admitted, the first lot of meds didn’t help, thankfully though the second batch did, and I the pain subsided, I CANNOT fault the care and attention, I had during this admission, I knew that the LP would be coming at some point in the day, Kev and the children came in at 6ish, I had hoped that it may have been done by the time they were visiting.

Now anyone that knows us well, knows that you can rely on Ruby my youngest to brighten your day, she is a ray of sunshine, and can make you smile on your darkest of days – imagine Mum, Kev, Maisy and Ruby sat around my bed, I’m led in bed wishing I was at home when Rubes comes out with one of her I think potential best corkers. – 

Mummy what’s a condom?

Maisy looks like she is going to die of embarrassment, Kevs eyes are popping out of his head, Mums trying her best not to laugh, and I can’t believe my ears! 

Maisy says um excuse me but I was like way older than you when I found that out – I can’t actually believe you just asked that Ruby, can you believe her Mum? Urhhh god  she finishes by rolling her eyes .

I have to think quickly, and say Rubes I’m not sure this is the time or the place to discuss this in the detail that’s needed, but you use them to stop you having babies, she looks at me confused – where do you put it Mummy? Kev looks at me as if to say well you started to you need to finish it, again I say could we talk about this when we are all home together not in this ward, Ruby has that cheeky glint in her eye, looks at Kev and says Daddy have you used one or does Mummy? By now my poor Mum, is biting her lips off holding her laughter in, Maisy is looking at Ruby like she is going to strangle her, and Kev looks at me for back up,  Rubes I say, look they are used to help you if aren’t wanting to have babies yet, (there was no way I was adding STDs into the equation yet) and yes the Daddy generally uses them, again Maisy is looking at her sister with the look of please let the floor open and swallow me.

I feel I have to ask Ruby why she has asked me this question, to which 

I have Bruno Mars and Maisy to thank.. , well Mummy she says – Maisy heard a song on the radio on the way here,  Maisy said this song is so rude listen he is singing I’ve got a condom in ma hand can you believe that Dad? Kev adds well I did think it was wierd, now let me tell you the actual song lyrics 🙈

Hey, hey, hey

I got a condo in Manhattan

Baby girl, what’s hatnin’?

So slight misinterpretation by Maisy, but defiantly a moment that brought laughter and humour when it was needed by Ruby. 

My Lumbar Puncture  started at  9.10pm with my amazing Mum by my side, Kev and the girls in the day room, (they were not leaving until it was done) and it was done with kindness, continual consideration for my needs, lots of reassurance,  a Doctor that made me feel at ease even though he had worked at 13 hour shift, he was emphatic and carried out what he needed to do profesionally, the pressure was high, and sadly it took until 10.20pm to remove 26mls of fluid generally I have around 10mls so this was my best yet!

I am relieved it’s done, no idea really when the next one will be needed, but hopefully it will run as smoothly as that one, I feel ok, no low pressure headache, but I do feel washed out, and if I’m totally honest struggling this week, I’m going through that whole why me, why have I got to go through this, I feel guilty writing it or even thinking it when there are people fighting for their lives, or enduring painful cancer treatment, it’s not often I let it get to me, but I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t think one day this will be gone, there is no miracle cure, part of me feels like it’s won,  then theres the part of me who has the most amazing supportive husband, parents, family and friends right behind me supporting me all the way, their love pushing me, their positive words echoing in my mind. 

Maybe I have need to feel like this to regain my strength to start up the fight again, – well that’s what I’m telling my self and as I look at all that I have, I know I am truly blessed and ever grateful.

To all who remain by my side – I adore you all.

To everyone who wishes me well, and takes time to contact me – I am so grateful, it means so much.

And finally –  IIH you can’t keep a good girl down …..

Loads of ❤ ASIBTAF xxx

United we stand – Motherhood

My week started with a trip to the Doctors, as I developed Sinusitis, my god it was so painful, my eyes streamed and the front of my face felt like it would explode, breathing through my nose was a no go, and in turn it seemed to play my head up, so I had the head pain from the sinusitis and my IHH, so following some fab nasal spray and codeine, it’s  finally today I’m feeling loads better but washed out.
Acupunture is going well, the session I had this week we decided against adding the electrodes, as lately the needles have not stayed in and flown out after a few seconds, so to ensure a good session we left it out. I have also got some small individual pads to use on myself every other day, they are good you pop them on the pressure points and every hour or so you gently apply pressure and massage the points on your hands and arms!

All over the country today we celebrate Mother’s Day, I feel truly blessed to have two beautiful daughters, age 12 and 10,  I never knew there could be love like the love I have for them, (they are however currently fighting over minecraft in the background) it some what ruins the ambiance I’m trying to create lol.

Our mother hood journey begins before us woman give birth, pregnancy tinkers with the very structure of our  brain,  After centuries of observing behavioral changes in new mothers, scientists are only recently beginning to definitively link the way a woman acts with what’s happening in their prefrontal cortex, midbrain, parietal lobes, and elsewhere. Grey matter becomes more concentrated. Activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby. In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry (this lasts forever I think) begin with reactions in the brain. (The atlantic.com)  So you’re actually primed to form strong bonds with your child and your child is equally ready to connect with you, and I think you will all agree those bonds are unbreakable,  from the moment I gave birth, I was completely overwhelmed with love for my children, which turned into feeling overwhelmed that this was how much my Mum (and Dad) have loved me, no matter what I did- mood swings, school reports, boyfriend choices, car accidents (sorry) it was just something I couldn’t grasp until I experienced it as a mother myself, only mood swings so far in this household.

My mum is the best mum in the world. She’s my rock and she is without a doubt my superhero but without the cape, I am lucky to be able to say that my mum is my best friend and even though I tell her I love her every day, I still don’t think she quite understands how much she means to me, there is still the strongest bond possible, and always will be.

I know there are times when I open my mouth and my mother comes out,  however, when I think about the prospect of “turning into my mother” my thoughts are more hopeful than full of dread, as in, I hope there’s a chance that I will.

Motherhood makes us laugh, cry, tests our patience, we worry, we get scared, we feel proud, sometimes maybe ashamed, we endure changes to our bodies (10 years on I can’t get away with it’s baby weight lol)  but you know what we are all in this together, united we stand – us mothers we rock – and as the day draws to an end, take a moment to think of those who have lost their mother, those who have loved and lost, those who yearn to be a mother, and the parents who are both the mother and father  – We are all amazing remember totally amazing.

On a personal note I would like to thank the gorgeous women in my both of my girls lives who love, care and cherish them – we love you all today and every day.

Loads of ❤️ ASIBTAF 

Not all disabilities are visable…

Sorry I have been quiet… two words that don’t usually go together – Kirsty and Quiet lol, have had lots going on, trying to sort various things that life seems to be throwing at me.

Today I had to take my eldest daughter to an appointment near Southampton, having been there before, I hoped I would park nearby as I had done previously my head (Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension)has been playing up yesterday and again today,  I won’t lie I’m shattered both physically and mentally.

Mum, Maisy and I get to the destination, pull up and park in the parking space which is on a road, with boxes provided so you know where to park, I put my blue badge in the window, get out of the car, walk a few steps and hear a voice shouting,

Is that a blue badge in the window?

All three of us turn around to see a man approximately in his 60s stood by the car,

I reply ‘yes it is’
He then looks at the three of us with disgust and says ‘ So which one of you exactly is the disabled one?’

Me like a startled schoolgirl – put my hand in the air and said ‘me’ he shakes his head at me with disbelief, in my head I act out the scenario of me screaming at him ‘sorry what is  your problem is it because I appear to have all my limbs or is it because I’m not in a wheelchair, do tell me why you feel the need to question and shout at us like we are committing a crime’ but of course I don’t I stand there with my hand in the air humiliated, red faced, at this point though this is where  my trusty side kick /lifetime protector steps in – Mum – she politely but firmly asks if he would like to see the badge and the photo, he just looks crossly at us and gestures to wave us on, she looks ready to explode.

Whilst this has been going on, another gentleman has witnessed all of this and kindly steps in, he shouts from across the road ‘excuse me sir, it’s a parking space anyone can park there, and it’s none of your business what is wrong with her, the  rude  man disappears and the kind gentleman shakes his head, apologising for the behaviour of the other man, ‘I can’t believe I just watched that, or that it happened!.  Mum thanked him for his kindness and we went on to the appointment.

The sad thing is this does happen, for me that was the second time, the first time was in a supermarket car park, an elderly lady was really angry with me, I was on my own, had just pulled into the space and she banged on the window shouting at me to let her look at the photo on the back of the badge, telling me I looked perfectly normal and to move as she needed to get to an appointment.

I may be nearly 40, I may look ok bar the eye bags, but not all disabilities are what you look like, how you act, or how you walk , and anyone who knows me well knows that I wouldn’t use that badge unless I really really had too, but to the person who shouted at me/us today, you will never how much you offend me, how your words echo in my head,  how you make me dread putting my badge on the dash board,  If you knew what I actually went through to have the badge, how embarrassed I felt at the assessment I had to attend, you might of thought before you shouted and disbelieved me, I hope you may think again before you shout at someone else!

This happens to so many people all over the country, and it shouldn’t,  our disabilities are all individual to us, and it’s so sad.

I feel let down by some of our society today , that my daughter who I teach to respect her elders, care for others had to witness that, but what I do know is she will grow up with the realisation that we are all different, disabilities come in all shapes and forms and she will hopefully  never judge.

It wasn’t the first time it happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last – but let’s spread the word :-

Not all disabilities are visable ❤

Have a lovely week

ASIBTAF 🙏🏻

When you wish you could make everything better!

When I agreed that my eldest could have a rabbit, not for one minute did I imagine how attached to him we, well me would become, I’m more a dog as a pet kind of girl.  I agreed to us having this rabbit under the pretence that Maisy would feed it, clean it and generally look after him and most of this she does, though I have found myself cleaning him out most weeks with the help of Mais, I say help but it’s more  of her being the foreman giving out orders on how, what to do and if I’m doing it correctly whilst she dances around the patio with the brush.

Initially I found this gorgeous small and cute bunny on the internet from a breeder Wayback Warren, http://www.waybackwarren.co.uk/

They breed French and mini lops, the photo I first saw of our rabbit was deceiving because when we went to see him he was huge, I am so naive I thought the tiny rabbit in the photo was staying that size, I remember doing a double take at the one she presented to us, I said to her that’s not the one in the photo surely, yes she said it’s just grown, and hasn’t finished growing yet, I was actually scared this animal resembled a small puppy, Kev was the only one who would handle it, the rest of us were scared!!!

So we took what we thought was a female home, Maisy was besotted with it, she loved it, cared for it, dressed HER in the pretty build a bear dresses, pushed HER around in a pink pushchair and Flo as the rabbit was then called loved it, sitting like a queen as she rode around…..

All until one day My Mum and Maisy came across something unusual,

It goes like this via text message:-

Mum: Kirsty are you sure Flo is a girl?

Me: Yes of course, that’s what they told me, why would you think otherwise?

Mum: Well Maisy has just held the rabbit up to me, she said she thought Flo was unwell because she has found a lump or two.

Me: Oh god is she ill then Mum? Does she need to see the vet?

Mum: Kirsty the rabbit has balls, not lumps Flo is a boy not a girl and Maisy is not happy at all.

Maisy not happy at all was an understatement, she was devastated, totally inconsolable, and almost disgusted, when trying to reason with her that it was still her rabbit, her best friend who loved her, she replied with : 

Mummy you have no idea what it feels like, no idea at all, my rabbit has been dressing up as a woman for the past 6 months, I have been loving my baby girl, how would you like it Mummy if you gave birth to me as a girl, then suddenly I changed to a boy? You wouldn’t like it one bit.!!!

I saw her point ..

It took some adjusting for her to get used to us calling Flo, Archie instead, if we dare mix up the names, we would get the death stare from Maisy, Archie soon adjusted to rocking his manliness, with his new male wardrobe and yellow instead of pink lead for when he cruised around the pavements of where we live.

Archie has also had the closest near death experience I think you could possibly get:- by deciding to venture to next doors garden and nearly become their terriers new toy, how on earth he didn’t get eaten that day I will never know, Maisy noticed he had gone from the garden, she was venturing on hysterical, my baby has gone my baby has gone she cried, I thought I know where that little bugger is I hopped on the garden chair to peer over the fence  to see him in a stand off with the dog, literally the dog would chase him, Archie would chase the dog, by now Kev is running like Mo Farah to get to the neighbours to rescue him, I’m still balanced on the chair hanging off of the fence praying that I don’t have to witness the carnage that could occur, gently shouting his name like it’s actually helping, Maisy is now at the point of no return screaming, he’s dead, he’s dead, how will I cope without him, Kev the superhero is swiftly in the garden, the dog does not want to give his new found friend up, Archie literally jumps into Kevs arms, gives the dog the V sign and comes home.

Definately shaken from this little adventure, one I hasten to add he hasn’t repeated, he was out of sorts for a good week, with a few war wounds on his long ears but generally unscathed, he survived and went back to being my daughters confidant, and partner in crime.

Now I’m sure your wondering why is she prattling on about that Rabbit?, well last night he was taken unwell, so my day started with a trip to the vets, I knew he was poorly as he hasn’t really moved, he and I have this huge battle getting him into the carrier, and today he just went into it, the vet did some assessments on him, and came to the conclusion that he is very ill, this made me sob like a baby, this rabbit who I was so sure I wouldn’t really like intially, this rabbit who would try and eat my new trainers as I walked around and would literally hang of my feet, but do you know I think most of my tears are for Maisy not me, her world at the moment is tough, she is so sensitive, kind and loving, she needs no more crap in her life, she struggles with me being ill, school life, and the perils of being a nearly teenager, taking away her best friend will I know destroy her, so as I begged the vet to do what she could I knew I was doing it for my m

girl, to please please not add any more sadness to her little life, for her to at least have the happiness she deserves with her rabbit, no it’s not insured but can you actually put a price on happiness? 

As I always rave about my amazing friends and family that support me, I know that in Maisy’s world Archie and I are her best friends, so please can you all have your fingers crossed for her that he pulls through this, he is spending the day at the vets, we will see what 5.30pm brings!

I have learnt that no matter what size or what your pet is, they are part of your family, the provide love, happiness and friendship – all that we need x
Lots of love ASIBTAF 🐰