What you don’t see – Part One

This Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, and I guess I’ve been deciding whether or not I wanted to share my Mental Health Journey with so many!

I have thought long and hard about this and decided it can only be a good thing to show that you can hit rock bottom and you can come back from it, though when I went through it – I tried so hard to keep it from people around me.

Looking back I probably have had a touch of depression going right  back into my teenage years and then another spat around the time I was due to get married, I think then I put it down to stress, or I blamed my hormones, it was at this time, I tried medication which I think helped, but I remember not staying on it long as there was such a stigma attached to mental health that I think being a newly wed, buying and decorating a new house I put all of that behind me, I remember being really conscious that after having Maisy, that I didn’t want to show any signs of it coming back or even to allow it too, I had survived a horrendous birth with her – so I think I was just so grateful we were both alive that life was ok.

It was in 2010, three years after the birth of Ruby my second child, that my life took a downward spiral, to most I acted and looked like the same Kirsty.

Kirsty – Kevs wife (he’s been by my side through thick and thin), Kirsty – Maisy and Ruby’s Mummmy, Kirsty – Deputy Manager of a thriving Nursey Pre – School, Kirsty daughter to Guy and Mary (my absolute rocks throughout this time, and always). Kirsty – Michaels sister (poor boy lol).

I was trying to be all of those Kirsty’s and not show that inside I wasn’t coping, now if you have been kind enough to follow my blog you will know that Ruby was/is a poorly child, she took up a lot of my time and a lot of my focus, it was around this time that she received her diagnosis, this was such a relief to me because I had been so strong for so long pushing for someone to listen to me, though the diagnosis took the pressure off of me – it also left me exhausted, washed out and really really low, it had drained all life out of me.

I put on a brave front or what I thought was  a brave front did everything as normal, running a home, looking after my family, working and still doing social things. So many people will have a pre conceived image of someone with Mental Health issues, that we could be unwashed,unkept, we don’t leave our beds, we neglect those around us – and this simply isn’t the case.

Depression comes at you in so many various ways, it is more than just feeling sadness all the time, symptoms vary in type, duration, number and severity – you can feel sadness, lack of enjoyment, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, tiredness, change in eating habits, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, sucidal thoughts. 

I know how it is to feel all of this, and no I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, Each day would be as if I were on autopilot – get up, sort the children, go to work, cry with my mum before work started (we worked together), I would cry because I felt so sad, so tired, and like the whole world hated me, then work the day, then children, tea, be with Kevin.

I am the first to admit, I was a nightmare to live with, if you were close to me watch out,  my emotions were mixed, sad, happy, grumpy, irrational at this point I was still in denial that anything was wrong, so yes I would cry to Mum, she would constantly tell me that she thought I was unwell and maybe I needed to see a Doctor, to which she would of probably got a short, sharp reply.
I did not have Mental Health issues – I was just tired (well that’s what I was constantly telling myself )until …

We went away to Cornwall only for a couple of days –  Kev, the girls and my parents – I remember it as clear as day (sadly).

I had lost weight both my Parents and Kev were worried, My moods were up and down, more down but I remember us having a lovely few days the girls were happy, when I felt really low I only really wanted Kev or my parents, so this was perfect to me – I was always normal for my girls never shunning them and always giving love and affection to them – showing the world I wasn’t ill I was still a good Mum, no matter how unwell I felt in my mind I had to be a good Mummy as they deserved nothing less.

My parents had to leave a day early than us, and what’s the big deal in this? I would see them the next day as we lived next door so why was it breaking my heart? Why did I sob so hard on my Mum that I thought my heart would break, I literally didn’t want to let her go..it was because I had hit rock bottom – the lack of hope had become inescapable – all I could see was blackness.

Kev said we needed to go for a walk to blow away the cobwebs, it was a nice day, my parents had gone, so off we went it was a coastal walk, the girls chattering away – I was blessed I had a man who adored me, and two beautiful children, but in the moments that happened next I could not see that – all I could see or feel was that the world would be a better place without me.

I would hope no one ever has to feel that – I’m sorry if this upsets you for what I am about to write – some will say how selfish was she – how could she even think that – people who think like that are so selfish – by all means think what you like, but I was in a dark place I couldn’t see a way out of..

With Kev and the girls some way behind I walked towards the cliff edge, I then stood looking down at waves crashing onto the rocks and I thought if I just take one step out, I will not have to feel like this pain, this sadness, no one will have to put up with this disappointment of a person –  I felt like I had let every one down, I was so dispondant to life. 

Kevin took my hand – maybe he read my mind – and he led me away, he held me as sobs wracked through my body, there and then I promised to see a Doctor the very next day, and to admit to my Parents that they were right.

I have heard people say when someone has taken their own life – that it’s incrediably selfish but until you have been in that situation, where all you see is blackness and despair I would ask that we don’t judge. But I can also say that mental health problems make you incredibly self-absorbed (and I mean that in a non-value laden way, you literally become caught up in your own head and your own world and there is less space for others).

I can only imagine the hurt, the pain, the devastation that is caused by such an action such as taking your own life – but as that person who feels the world is better off without you, you are totally blinded by these overwhelming emotions that are in overdrive and you only have one focus.

My heart goes out to those families left behind, hearts breaking for their loss – never ever would I condone such an action, all that  I mean is we must take the time to look at the bigger picture.
So after agreeing that I would visit the Doctor to get help, in my mind – I thought the road to recovery would  be smoother than the path I had taken to get there.

How wrong could I be……

To be continued 

 

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They grow so fast.

As a Mother, Wife and sufferer of a Chronic illness, there are times when I feel completely overwhelmed, a million things running through my head, the majority of them questioning my parenting skills, I never realised or should I say thought,  how much the girls growing up would affect me.

It’s very bittersweet them growing up isn’t it? I can remember those night feeds willing them to sleep through the night, yearning for a whole 8 hours sleep, loving those times when you would pop them for a daytime nap so you could catch up on jobs, or sit with a cuppa that didn’t go cold, still now there are days when I’d love nothing more than for them to have a nap when they have a day of bickering even though they are 13 and 10 years of age,or remembering that feeling of euphoria as we became no longer bound to the eat, sleep and pooh schedule that as babies we were tied too.

So this week Maisy became a teenager, 13 whole years of age, that was hard enough to cope with, then I received Ruby’s application to secondary school – and out of the blue, I suddenly missed when my babies clung to me, the all day eating sessions, the middle of the night cuddles, the early morning smiles, first words,  the cute podgy toddlers learning all about life, those days however scarily don’t seem like that long ago, it’s like we have fast forwarded to here and I am presented with two independent, strong minded and beautiful girls.

The week presented a mixture of emotions, how on earth can Ruby be going to secondary school next year , she still seems so young to me, I know I’m totally overprotective of her, I don’t even let her walk to School on her own yet despite her protests, I think this is because of all she has encountered in her little life I wrap her in cotton wool, but also it makes me feel I’m still doing my Mum duty of the School run, holding her hand when she allows whilst I still can. I am not ready to be made redundant of my Mummy duties yet…

Maisy entering her teenage years – how on earth did that happen? I looked at her opening her presents and I couldn’t of felt any prouder, yes she has probably had the worst year of her little life, and yes she may struggle from time to time, but when I think how far she has come, I know that she will hopefully continue to flourish, but it doesn’t stop you worrying does it, at the beginning I think we are so naive about just how much we will worry about our bundles of joy, and that worry never eases – so I’m told by my own Mother! 

One evening this week, following on from the various excitement, I mentioned to Kev that I wasn’t feeling myself, In my own words I said I felt a bit wobbly (mentally) as I totes have wobbly bits on board lol.  

He asked why – and I said in three months I’m 40, our children are growing up way to fast, I’m stuck with a bad head, and muscles that are giving me hassle, and I think we should have a baby…. never have I seen him   a) look at me like I’ve gone totally mental b) move away from me as fast as a rocket.

Those of me who know me well – know that a Baby would never ever happen due to a lady op a few years back – hence the look of confusion on my dear husbands face, he responded with the following 

A baby Kirsty a baby if you want a baby it will be with another man, not me that’s for sure – god I was laughing, he was hilarious,  He carried on with im nearly 50, I can’t cope with the three of you let alone a baby – anyway we can’t have anymore children.  I obviously was joking and to be honest his reaction was highly amusing, totally worth the passing comment.

So how do we deal with the transition of our children becoming gradually more and more independent, part of me wants them to stay little forever, to keep their voices small and their worries simple.

However I think we should just continue to enjoy them as they are now.. and be glad for who they have become because we have transformed them from that pink or blue squealing bundle of joy to the person they are today.. everything they are comes from you… how proud are you?

And yes I’m  knocking on 40, the quickest way to age is to be miserable, I’m wishing that I was younger but regretting the passing of time is a sure way of accelerating the aging process, the best way to age dynamically is to enjoy life, all that we’ve learned and gained along the path to midlife. 

It’s simply a new phase of life, I need to embrace it and go with it 💕

Have a happy and healthy weekend 

ASIBTAF xxx

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 💕

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

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 

How do we beat the bullies?

I don’t think anything prepares us for seeing our child/children struggle with life, watching them become a shadow of their former self, their kind, loving, giggly nature transform into a child who looks petrified at the mere mention of school, whose temper has appeared from no where because she cannot control her emotions, a child who cannot bear to leave your side because you are her safety, the child who won’t sleep alone in her room because she can’t sleep and is frightened of her thoughts going over and over in her head, the child who is your whole world and you just don’t know how to fix it, well this has been my life the past few months, and no nothing prepared me for it, it literally had been the worst thing that could happen, I would have my IIH ten times worse if it meant her worries would go away.

Whenever anything happens to your children, you immediately want to fix it, to make the issues stop, to make them smile again.

It all began when when we noticed that our daughter was becoming withdrawn – not talking, (she was quiet anyway so this meant she was really quiet), she distanced herself from us all,  there were changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive, not able to control how she spoke to us,  she was sleeping badly, up and down through the night,  complaining of headaches or stomach aches every day before school, and as she became more and more unhappy, she would beg not to go to School, and I mean literally beg to point where I would want to just scoop her up, and tell her everything would be ok and keep her home with me.

I didn’t but I wanted too.

I remember saying to my Mum, and to her god mother that her behaviour had changed, and if this is what the teenage hormones were like then god knows how I would cope  during the next 5 years – if only it had just been hormones – I may have been able to deal with it better than her being bullied.

Bullying is a problem that can derail a child’s schooling, social life, and emotional well-being 

Everyone wants to believe that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but for some children and teenagers, even us adults – that’s not true. Words can be just as harmful, or even more so, than physical abuse.  My daughter has always been uber sensitive, and a worrier, it didn’t usually hold her back but she doesn’t have the confidence of her younger sister, and I know she wished she was a bit more outgoing – I think she just wanted to fit in and friendship meant a lot her.

Bullying is a behaviour that includes a whole range of actions that cause physical or emotional pain, from spreading rumours, to intentional exclusion which was a massive factor in my daughters school life, people that were her friends completely ignoring her, walking or running away from her, turning away rather than speak to her and yes she suffered physical abuse. 
It may be subtle and many children don’t tell their parents or teachers about it out of fear of shame or retribution, she didn’t tell me she had been slapped for a few days because I’d been in hospital and she didn’t want me to have to go back in as she was scared,  thinking that would make me more unwell,  this however just made matters worse for her, and actually me, I received a a text myself that wasn’t pleasant from a girls mother ending our friendship  because her child had been questioned for the incident, and I hadn’t gone to her first.

Children may also fear they won’t be taken seriously if they report being bullied. It’s important that parents, teachers, and other adults constantly look for bullying behaviours.  From power struggles to conflicting impulses, hormones  and strong emotions, girls really do have a lot to deal with. 

We all know girls may bicker, from time to time, it’s part of the growing up, teenagers are on their apprenticeship to adulthood not wanting to be take responsibility for their actions but still wanting to find their way – how can we help them, this is happening all over the country Children as unhappy as my daughter, some who have sadly ended their lives because they were badly bullied, destroyed, not wanting to live, some suffering in silence.  My daughter talked to me openly – the whole experience nearly broke her – it tormented me taking her to School, me her Mother taking her to an environment she couldn’t bear, she would cry before School, I would cry after dropping her off, every day I would wonder what sort of Mother I was  – putting her into a situation that was actually destroying her, the final staw for me was her becoming really unwell and in pain – possibly caused by the stress, I had to ring an ambulance who came in took one look at her, popped her on a stretcher and took her to A and E, as she lay in the ambulance, crying, the  blue light shining through onto her little head, I wondered how on earth had it come to this and right there and then I knew I wouldn’t stand for it anymore – some might say I have let them win by moving my daughter to another School, I tried the stick it out, it might get better method – it didnt and neither did she.

I personally think  there needs to be more input into relationships from us as parents and schools as early as Primary school looking  into relationships and how cruel words or  silences can damage children. We as parents need to take time to discuss with our children how to manage thoughts and feelings and how to cherish friendships. There has been within my youngest child’s primary school lots of talk about Social Media and I’m glad – this is one of the biggest threats in our children’s Society – even a child’s Instagram Bio can cause such hurt and upset, offending intentionally or unintentionally by not adding a friends name or by being there then being removed, The Snap Chat bullying game, Facebook bullying –  its all out there ( I hate it and wish rules were stricter for our children)
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have launched This Morning’s Be Kind anti-bullying Campaign to help save the lives of young victims.

As part of ‘This Morning’s Be Kind’ campaign we want you to watch this video. You’ll hear from two mums whose children took their own lives as a result of the bullying they experienced. Then hit the pledge button. Pledge to watch this video with your children. Pledge to help your children know they can ask for help, for them to know someone cares and for them to know how important it is to BE KIND.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/pledge-to-share-our-anti-bullying-message
I have done this with both of my girls, perhaps we could all share this around.

My daughter is slowly regaining her life back and her sense of humour – thank goodness!!! I am blessed that she confided in me even if it wasn’t straight away,  she is no saint I am certainly not blinkered,  she can be grumpy, moany, teenagery  12 year old but she is my daughter, and someone said to me just this week you are ‘only as happy as your least happy child’, this is so true and when this happens we work tirelessly to get life back to normality again.

It’s not a question of happiness or sadness, but a journey of life lessons that we gently guide them through the best we can.
❤ ASIBTAF xx