Good bye 2016 ..Welcome 2017

So as I prepare to pop away the Christmas decorations, with slight disbelief that it’s actually all over, I take a little time to reflect on the year gone by.

Christmas itself has flown by, I actually have had my husband home for a whole week, this in itself is unheard of so had been really nice, I’m sure as many women out there over this period, there has been many a moment thinking of the day everyone goes back and normality resumes, I can’t moan too much though as he tells me, “I have been quite helpful around the house haven’t I? ” he means he has washed the floor, (that has taken two days to dry) and daily he has picked up the hoover and hoovered the lounge. “Yes” I reply “domestic god” 

The best thing about this Christmas for all of us was the fact I was up and about, 2015 the pain was that bad that I should probably of been in hospital but wanted to be with everyone, though sadly spent most of it in bed, I think the November 16 lumbar puncture made sure that this Christmas I was relatively on good form! I love Christmas, everything about it from decorating the house, to my Mums amazing Christmas lunch to that feeling in your stomach when you see everyone together, laughing and happy,  to me it makes any shitty thing to do with IIH a distant memory. 

My oldest  daughter however has morphed into what I would call as Kevin the teenager.  To everyone else she is sweet and kind, to us she spent from Christmas Day to probably the following Wednesday thinking I’m the worst mother in the world, and her every other sentence was “god everyone is so horrible to me, I haven’t done anything wrong” with the added touch of a grrrr at the beginning or end 

And right now as I type, I’m the worst mother in the world because I won’t buy her a bloody floating interactive turtle, she is using my favourite words “it’s in the sale, do you not get it Mummy”, apparently she needs it so it can swim alongside her on the rare occasion that we actually swim, she has now left me whining away about how I don’t understand why she needs this darn turtle 🐢, and has moved onto her Dad, I can hear the conversation and it is similar to the one I have just had only his tone is  a tad more cross as he has nearly reached his limits with politeness to her on her millionth time of asking and him saying he is spent out – this is one of the things that happened in 2016 – I realised my beautiful sweet natured kind girl was turning into a young lady.

My 12 year old, 13 this year, left primary school and went to Secondary school in September 2016 as I’m sure like many Mums out there, you could literally see the change in her overnight, she seemed so grown up, mature and a bit more independent and with it came sass and attitude, in some ways I was glad, as she was a very shy timid child who never spoke up for herself out of the house

 We couldn’t be more proud of her results from her first term at secondary school or the beautiful girl she is becoming but this Christmas I’m sure hormones have joined in the with the sass to create my mini turtle loving diva, but she really is the most thoughtful, loving girl who I wouldn’t change for the world.

My illness made them grow up faster, both of my girls as you can imagine suffered, because we are generally always together, the 3 of us, my husband works long hours – weekends also, so it’s the three amigos most of the time, my hospital stays can be any length of time from 10 days to 4 days, in small people’s lives that feels like an eternity, I usually know when I need a lumbar puncture, I try to put it off for as long as I can as I know just how much it disrupts their little lives, My oldest will hide her upset for a day or so, pretending she is ok and my smallest will crumble immediately with the worst thoughts running through her head, she needs constant reassurance, then after a day or so the oldest will send me heartbreaking messages of how she needs me home, it’s so hard on them, another reason why I dislike this shitting illness so much.  However the support network the girls and my husband have is amazing, we are blessed that the minute I’m not at home they are loved and cared for, they are collected from school, fed, watered, loved! all from my family, close friends.

My girls are either inseparable or need separating there is no in between, my smallest is 9 her smile is infectious, her personality is crazy,she loves playing football for the local girls team, playing minecraft, winding up her sister, and generally being on the go, she is though a real thinker and I tend to hide my symptoms from her, this is because if I mention that my head hurts  you can see the fear go across her face, the fear of what it may lead too, no mother wants to see that, 2016 brought a lot of that look to her, this makes me more determined to ensure 2017 is better for them, my husband and I.

2016 was a year of eye appointments, hospital appointments, lumbar punctures, numerous  appointments with my Neurologist and GP, it brought sadness and worry to those really close to me, it’s brought actual tears of frustration and fear from my husband 2016 also brought the loss of a son to a family  who didn’t deserve such a  tragedy – they are have been constantly in my thoughts this Christmas, it brought some of my own family members various illnesses and pain  they didn’t deserve.

BUT  it wasn’t all bad, 2016 brought me, one of the best adventures of my life- a week of happiness, sunshine and laughter in Kefalonia with my favourite people it has brought me new friendships, friends that are keepers, it has brought me lovely memories made with my parents in Cornwall, it has brought me much happiness with close friends arranging a Charity ball raising money for The Brain and Spine Foundation, The Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance and Verrington Hospital.

It brought my mother in laws 70th birthday and my Dads 65th all special memories made, laughter and yummy food to be had.

Yes it’s been rollarcoaster but the happy times outweigh the low times, the happy times are the memories we need to keep in the fore front of our minds, when we feel wobbly, nervous, upset, grumpy or think we can’t face another medical procedure, I know I will think of the reasons I have to be thankful and make 2017 another year of happy memories it is after all my last year of being in my 30s.

2017  will bring my whole new eating plan (one for another day) more positivity that I will somehow beat Idiopathic intercranial Hypertension, more happy times with family and friends, a new GP, more hospital appointments which I WILL enter with a more positive attitude.
Thank you to each and every one of you who reads this, and thank you to those who know me who have loved and supported me this past year, I love you all so much.

Happy New Year beautiful people
Big love ASIBTAF ❤️


Time spent with family and friends is time well spent.

So the past couple of days have been packed with seeing some friends and family, I am blessed that my parents live around the corner, some might say that’s too close but for 10 or so years we were closer than that, and they were very happy times, we moved and went our separate ways to relocate here around 2 years ago, so around the corner actually feels like miles away! My brother and his wife live in our town too so it’s lovely for my children knowing they can see them regularly.

Yesterday began with a quick trip to the nail salon for some Christmas nails, now this and my shoe habit I seem unable to give up, I wish I could stop being so vain, BUT : Depending who you ask, they’re either works of art, an absolute necessity, tacky nonsense, or a special-occasion treat. To me, they’re miracles, I feel more confident with them on,  in the words of Shania Twain – Man I feel like woman! 

Also I like the people who do my nails for me, again people have divided opinions on where you should go, there is a husband and wife Vietnamese couple who do mine, she is always so welcoming,  and offers a cup of tea or coffee to her regulars, I don’t think her English is as good as her husband, and I can quite often natter on to her and I don’t think she has a clue but nonetheless smiles laughs and nods leading me to wonder what I said that was so funny, yesterday though confirmed our language barrier, I sometimes get a photo from the internet and she will happily do the same for me,  so as the norm I showed her my picture and she nodded.

She then said ( well what I thought she said was) Same same and pointed to the picture.

I said yes great, she then said it again, I said yes great, again.

I now realise that what she was saying was SAME SHAPE, how do I know this I bet you wonder? Because I now have the Coffin shape nail, which sadly isn’t my thing, but will teach me to maybe listen harder next time! 

After rocking my Christmas coffins, I met up with one of my lovely friends Lu, we literally haven’t seen each other for weeks, down to illness in her family and various hospital appointments on my part, So it was great to catch up,  share our news, hit Tesco and grab a Costa to go, she literally makes me laugh at most things usually her random messages, sometimes they are so needed, during my last hospital stay I was so blessed to have her and Lucy by my side, usually my husband or my Mum nurse me through my Lumbar Puncture but this time it was the job of poor Lu, as Luce had just left, I will always be grateful for the love and care they gave me that day, anyway enough sentimentality, our reunion was short lived as her daughters Carol service awaited her.

So then onto The FMLY Store, this is the newest shop in our town and I love everything in it and about it.

The paragraph below is taken from the website not my own words, just so you get an insight into one of my favourite shops.

Selfish Mother’s #GoodTees were created with the simple idea that selling clothes shouldn’t just be about profit – they should do good, too!

#GoodTees are more than just items of clothing. The T-shirts and Sweatshirts not only look good and feel very good, but they support GOOD causes. 

From the original MOTHER Tee, which Molly Gunn created back in July 2014 to support Women for Women UK – the #GoodTees brand has grown thanks to brand’s ‘wear and share’ philosophy and supportive crew on social media (thank you!).#GoodTees has donated £218K to charities as of July 2016. Simply by donating every time an item is sold. As of July 2016 we donate £10 per adult item and £5 per child’s item. These donations have been divided between the following charities – which we truly believe in, and are all doing amazing work in different areas: Women for Women UK, Kids Charity, Help Refugees, The Refugee Council, Starlight UK, Mothers to mothers.

I followed Molly Gunn aka Selfish Mother on social media before she too relocated to this town, I admired what she had done and why she was doing it.

So this is where the Idiopathic intercranial Hypertension rears its ugly head, this time it did beat me and there are times when I actually am angry it did as now the store is here up and running, I feel like I am missing out, and here is why.

Whilst flicking through Instagram imagine my excitement when I see that Selfish Mother is recruiting in my home town , I apply, I get an interview (in which I felt I was a nervous sweaty mess!) but get offered THE JOB to which I was beyond excited.

I was having a really good few months, no  awful head pain, I had energy and I thought I was in remission (so why not apply for your dream job) apparently you can do that with this condition go into remission for years or in my case it was short lived. I had bagged myself a job I really wanted, then BAM the last week of August the whole lot came back and when I say back I mean back with a vengeance, the wonky walk where you bounce off people or walls, the vision that feels like you are walking on water, the pain in your head like a vice is crushing it in two, the random speech, the painful right eye (more on that too follow)and lastly the random memory!

I knew then I could not take the job and I felt gutted, part of you feels angry because your not the person you were before and the other part wants to say bugger it just do it, your letting it beat you, but this time I really couldn’t beat it, I have had two hospital stays as I mentioned before the last one was the worst I’ve ever been in the 15 months of having IIH, so I had to write and explain I couldn’t take the job which to me was so demoralising, but something I had to do.

So back to my day of socialising at The FMLY store, I met another fab friend, and we took advantage of the honesty cafe and had a good natter, the highlight though of this visit had to be the vintage photo booth, so with my friend carefully balanced on my knee we set about taking our photos whilst getting in the festive spirit wearing some festive glasses, it could only happen to us that she nearly fell off my knee my hand shot up her bare back to grab her resulting in a shock for both and me missing my last photo, the first attempt didn’t work though as the camera was playing up, so will show you the two that were successful!

You know when times are hard, or you don’t feel your self, look around you at what you do have, I do this a lot my husband, my children, my amazing parents,my family and my beautiful friends, they are my reason for not dwelling on having a chronic illness, sure I may do this from time to time and for sure you will hear me moan, but today I am thankful, thankful for all the joy they bring me.

They are my reason to smile.