What you don’t see – Part two

So can I firstly start by saying, thank you so so much for your awesome response to part one of my story, I had not really imagined how well my words resonated with you all here and across the world.  

After I posted it, I received numerous chats from strangers and friends alike who mentioned how much they have been going through similar situations throughout their life, how we are all united – how we all fight or have fought our way through it.
I think I delayed part two for a few days because it’s a hard one to write, definitely harder than part one – it still feels quite raw.  But here goes …

My visit to the GP was an emotional one, my Mum accompanied me, we discussed how I had been feeling and how my thoughts had led me astray, thinking the world would be a better place without me in it.  My lovely Doctor had said she had been waiting for this to happen because no matter how many times previously she questioned me I would say I was fine, nothing was wrong, but she knew like all the others close to me,  I was on the path of self destruction.

Some of us dont even realize we are depressed, or there are people like me who lived in denial.  I had never voiced how I had been feeling for fear of societal mockery or for fear of dismissal.

I was immediately put onto medication, initially I had Citalopram, this was just the start of many , also  I was referred to my local community mental health team as an emergency case, and was told someone would be in contact.

I remember leaving the Doctors that night needing my Mum to practically hold me upright as I was so sad, drained and I think, exposed would be the right word.

I took the medication as prescribed, and had the call from my Social Worker her name was Caroline she was really kind, gentle and softly spoken, she arranged that initially she would come to me as the aim was to provide intensive home support as an alternative to admission – I had begged them to reassure me that I would not be admitted, as I just couldn’t bear the thought of being apart from my family, as in my mind they were the only thing that kept me going.

The first visit, two people from the crisis team attended, we talked about everything and anything, from then on Caroline would visit two or three times a week, I still remained at work throughout this time, I can imagine some of you thinking well I couldn’t of been that bad if I could still get up and go to work, but genuinely work gave me a purpose, along with my own family, those happy, creative  confident little children I worked with, kept me going, it was my reason to get up, I worked with my amazing mum and best friends so how could I not be able to go to work when I had them getting me through.

I didn’t seem to get any better, the meds were upped and upped but still I remained in that horrific dark place – that then became even more horrific and even more like a huge black hole that I was at the bottom of looking up and still not seeing any light when I lost one of the people that I couldn’t adore any more if I tried – my Grandad (I have blogged about this previously)

This made everything worse – I was then referred to a Psychiatrist, and my home visits were then changed to visits to the mental health unit so I could see him regularly, upon meeting him I’m ashamed to say I didn’t like him at all, he was as he should be professional – but he was cold and spoke to me like I didn’t have a brain cell, now I may not be of high intellect but even though I was unwell I didn’t feel there was a need to speak to me like a child – he even spoke to me reeeeaaallllllyyyy sllllooowwwllllyyyy, didn’t listen to a word I said and I just recall that I knew there was no way he and I were going to gel…it wasn’t just me, Kev said to me as we left the room – in his words – that blokes a knob. 
He diagnosed me with severe depression, anxiety and PTSD, my prescription was changed to Fluoxetine as I had gone as high as I could on the previous drug and there was no no real change to my symptoms. This tablet however definitely changed me and not for the better, I became an insomniac for the first time in my life and developed horrendous anxiety, unlike anything I had ever experienced before, I did suffer from anxiety but not like this, this was out of control, an example of this was, Mum and I went shopping to our local Morrisons, I was pushing the trolley she was putting things in, suddenly I  couldn’t see her, she was no longer within my vision, and bang there it was, my heart was exploding in my chest , I was sweating, everyone around me were just blurry visions  and I stood there in the middle of the shop gripping the trolley crying, because at the age of 30 plus,  I couldn’t see my Mum, who bless her came running back  and soothed me, but do you know  I still can’t bear that shop – there was a stage where I wouldn’t go in, I can now but I still don’t like it.

The drug continued to take over my mind and body, At this point I had begun to question myself profoundly, beginning to believe that I couldn’t trust my body or my brain,  It was like my brain was programmed full of negativity, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t see a way of removing it.

I was desperately trying to be a really good Mum, because even before any medication, I had ingrained in my head that I must be a really good Mummy to my girls, I must not show any signs of illness to them – they deserved more, all because I was petrified that if all the people who were observing me on a weekly basis thought I was failing them or thought I was too mental to care for them,  they would take them away.  Obviously I realise now this would never of happened but at the time that was all I could see.

My Psychiatrist said I needed to have the dose made higher , this still heightened my senses so much so they were uncontrollable, one evening the girls were in bed, Kev was in the shower, I sat on the lounge floor with the sofa propping me up and did my usual – cry but I was crying hysterically, and then rocking to soothe myself, Kev came down, and faced with this rocking snotty mess I think even he was defeated, no amount of hugging me, telling me I would be ok was going to work and he called for back up in the form of my parents, who lived a few steps away.

They came in,  scooped me up – I had one parent on each arm and they walked (I say walked but it was more of a march) me across their fields I was still crying hysterically and stating I was useless, I had let them down etc etc, Mum was making me drink water like it was going out of fashion and we continued to walk, we walked and walked until I had calmed down, which in time I did, and then became slightly saner.

This episode meant another trip to my least favourite person in my least favourite place, I dreaded going there because as I entered the building during my  previous visit, a poor lady around the same age as me was being made to get into an ambulance obviously she was not wanting to do so and thought I should go with her so grabbed my arm so tight and wouldn’t let go -it  took two people to get her off of me and my heart broke for that poor woman.

As I sat in the waiting room, with so many different walks of life, so many poorly people, I thought we are all here for the same reason, we are all mentally unwell, how many other people has been told to try medication one after the other or there worries dismissed, the thing is the resources were stretched, Doctors/ Psychiatrists were so so busy so many people to see, with the added strain of Emergency cases, I think like me most people just want to be listened too.

Still it was decided yet again,  that was not the drug for me and we would try me on Sertraline, I remember Kev asking if I should be weaned off the Fluoxetine and being told no just let’s try her on this new one and add in a sleeping tablet,  the psychiatrist assured him that they were addictive and that this combination was perfectly normal.

About 4/5 days into my withdrawal from the one drug and whilst taking the newest one Sertraline I became so unwell, I was desperate to relieve the physical tension the overwhelming anxiety was causing me, my heart would race and felt like a drum in my chest day and night, pounding hard. I became completely and utterly paralyzed, it was at this point I couldn’t leave my bed, My parents looked after my gorgeous girls and Kev looked after me, I lay there sweating, my stomach griping in pain, intense muscle spasms all over my body, my mouth constantly dry – I remember both of us being up all that night Kev mopping my sweaty brow with a cold flannel and providing me with endless cups of tea. 

That night was without a doubt right up there in my top 10 of worst nights ever.

But it was from this that that there was a massive turning point in my life, here began the pathway of the journey back.

I cannot imagine the torment my husband and my parents went through whilst I was ill, looking back it must of been utterly horrific, and that night broke us all, all I had wanted, was to try and get better, I had listened to those who knew best and it didn’t feel I was getting anywhere, I definitely wasn’t improving.

A lovely friend of mine – who too had suffered badly with mental health issues had previously told me how she has started  her road to recovery, she had done so well and I remember thinking then how she had come so far and looked so much more like her old self , she had been fortunate enough to have private healthcare which enabled her to have private treatment within the private sector.  It was the morning after that awful night – that I was sat in my parents kitchen when my Dad said to me I can’t bear to watch you like this anymore, I want to see if we can get you into where your friend went, we will use our savings and if I have to I will sell my JCB (Excavator), you can’t keep going from tablet to tablet there has to be a better way than this.  My Parents have worked incredibly hard their whole lives for all that they had, my brother and I were very lucky throughout our childhood we were and still are very loved.  That moment with Dad will stay with me forever.
That day my Mum rang my GP, I recall they argued slightly – with the Doctor saying I should keep on with the meds my Psychiatrist had told me to take, and Mum giving her the harsh reality of what would happen if I continued the way I had been.

A few minutes later there was a fax referral from her, and maybe it was a couple of hours later I had an appointment two days later at The Priory Hospital in Bristol. 

We made the trip via train (my Dad accompanied me on every visit) as it was the easiest mode of transport for the pair of us, when we got there, I was amazed by the still and calmness, I do recall however looking around at various people and thinking how poorly they looked I even said to Dad ” Dad they look so ill”  and I felt like a fraud – in my eyes I didn’t look as unwell as them, but to the world around me I was just as unwell if not worse.
I met with my new Psychiatrist, he was great he treated me like an actual person not an imbecile – he listened to me, he spoke in a normal manner, he was as kind and as gentle as Caroline (social worker) had been.

I felt totally at ease, we talked about why I was there, how I was feeling and how we were going to manage my mental health,  firstly I was going to start by reducing then stopping the medication I was currently on,  then commence with a new one  – Duloxetine. I also had to attend some weekly therapy sessions and to visit him monthly.

It was hard coming off of the last drug but was made easier by  gradually reducing  it rather than cold turkey as before, the new meds did seem to work over a period of time, it felt like the fog was lifting, the therapy sessions were amazing – enabling me to put various coping mechanisms into place as and when needed.  Finally I could see an end to the darkness and begin to get the old me back.

I have always loved reading – but during my recovery I read, and as strange as it sounds I read loads of biographys of people who had had depression and come through it, It really helped to read people hitting their darkest hour and then coming out the other side – the two that stick in my mind for really giving me hope of better days are:- 

  1. Shoot the damn dog by Sally Brampton.
  2. Sunbathing in the rain by Gwyneth Lewis.

It was reassuring to read that life may take you off course but you can and do eventually rejoin the human race, I felt like I could empathise with all that they had written.

I won’t lie my recovery took some time, I continued on the Duloxetine for around 3/4 years, I had weekly counselling, again this was for a long period of time around 18 months consisting of EMDR, CBT and talking therapy, I continued to see the counsellor up until 2015 as and when needed. I wouldn’t say I am completely cured there is still the odd day when my anxiety will rear its ugly head, but the majority of the time I can mask it, and of course I have down days – it’s just about learning to manage them best I can.

Now I do realise that not everyone is as blessed as me to have private treatment and yes I was incredibly lucky,  but there were more issues that I encountered in my first mental health unit – worse than I have written about but don’t wish to share – things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  All things I’m sure that other people also had to endure and it makes me so sad to think by paying for my treatment I received second to none care, I wish we were all made to feel as I was –  in both the NHS and Private sector, sadly though the NHS doesn’t have the funding or the resources, also within the NHS I guess it’s the luck of the draw – because I know there must be so many people who have had the best care and brilliant experiences, I’m so happy for you! But I found my experience with them very clinical, I was constantly unheard, with a quick, cold turnaround.

Around the time I was unwell, the NHS was under a lot of financial pressure due to the £1 billion spending cut issued by the government. The number of cancelled operations from April 2011 rose to 250 within seven months and the number of casualty patients left waiting for a bed for more than four hours doubled. If physical care was spread thin, it was inevitable that treatment for mental health would follow suit, so many people waiting for treatment or to be heard. We are unbelievably lucky to have the NHS, but more people of all ages are becoming ill as a result of the pressures of modern life.

Even now in 2017 Mental health services are so overwhelmed by soaring demand, there are patients whom are facing long delays to access the care that is so desperately needed, in a new report by NHS Providers, which represents almost all of England’s 240 NHS hospital, mental health and ambulance trusts. The report concludes that children, older people and people in a mental health crisis too often receive inadequate care for conditions such as anxiety, depression. 

We all need to write to our local MP’s to highlight the problem of long waiting times for counselling , if treatment was available sooner I know that so many of us would not sink to such depths which brings me to say that please please talk to someone about how you are feeling, a family member or a friend.

The more I talk to people the more I realise just how many people have suffered in silence. There is no shame in having a mental illness, it is an illness, you don’t feel ashamed for being ill normally so why should it be any different for having a mental illness.

With the right help and support there is light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes the light might flicker but you will have the skills to get on the right path once again.

Massive love to you all and thank you so much for your ongoing support 💕.

ASIBTAF xxxx

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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

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

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

Dear Kev,

Dear Kev
I said to you just this morning, I didn’t know what to blog about as I’m sure people are bored of me droning on about my illness, you said write it about something else for a change then.

So I thought I would write you this, we met properly way back in Sherborne in 1999, as you know I thought that you were a total tit, you approached me drunk, waving a carrier bag in your hand and a pint of Guinness in the other, you apologised for the look you were going for that day, but you had to buy this tshirt to replace the one you had spilt Guinness down.  Now this was not the first time we had met, we originally met in your home town in a pub, where back then you and your friends thought you were the top totty of town, and I was,  in your words “Gobby with big boobs” and not worth talking too! I can remember Lucy trying to get in your car, and you being very displeased at her actions as your car was your pride and joy, I used to watch you cruise around town in your white VW Convertible with your tunes banging out wishing I could be in it, only to be too young, too gobby but in my favour a good pair of breasts!

Fast forward a few years and we go back to that night in Sherborne, the tables had turnt, I am now worth talking too, but the feeling is not reciprocated, I thought you were too drunk, too old and too shy for me! But you didn’t give up, and we finally started our blossoming romance with a smooch or two in Pego (Pego those that know me will smile, and those that don’t, Pego was The Pegasus Club,our local small nightclub where the locals went on a Friday or Saturday night until 2am for a dance, stick to the floor, make new friends in the loo, drink and to check out the talent, many a relationship started at Pego, we all have many happy fun memories made in there, sad to think it’s now an empty boarded up shell.)

We went on many dates, and I just wasn’t sure, we were such opposites, you were quiet, shy and gentle, plus you drank way too much – which I later realised was as you said because you had no reason to stay at home, I was young loud, confident and out there, and a into Young farmers (the group rather than any random young male farmer!!)

You were established in life as a builder, you had a mortgage, a nice car, and I was just starting out, I was really scared of commitment as I had never really done so before, and just continued to mess you around  so you finally gave me an ultimatum – commit or go away and never come back, I chose the latter, I remember going home to Mum and Dad saying you had shouted that at me, crying my eyes out thinking you were such a knobhead, and them saying I shouldn’t see you again if you were like that.

6 months later I missed you, I missed you every darn day from that night you told me to go away, but I was stubborn (yes I know I still am), I missed you that much I would make my little brother come with me to stalk you in my Rover 25  poor Mike would be doing laps round town unaware we were actually following you around, then thankfully, out of the blue you text me on my birthday “Happy Birthday love Kev.”

A few nights later  I tried to contact you I rang, I text and nothing, just answerphone, I was with Sharon – whom I must say played a big part in this love story as she was generally there willing me on – we waited and waited –  finally you called me back, it was late but I didn’t care I had to see you and met you down moor lane bridge lol.

From that night onwards we were never apart, I guess I realised that you were a definate keeper, you may not be a man of many words, but the beautiful  words you have said I will treasure in my heart – for example on our wedding day you said –  you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen (and then you added I thought the wrong woman walked in haha)  I had to write that in as I was crying at the time and it made me laugh, which is what you always try to do, make me laugh,  we must be the only couple that cry with laughter because one time as your going off to work you stop, kiss me good bye and say I’m counting down the hours until I see you again!  any other woman would be find that a loving gesture but all we could do was laugh.

Now Kev not to say we haven’t been through some dark times we have, we have known what it’s like to hit rock bottom, for you to have no work, me have to borrow money from my parents to feed and cloth the girls, we had to sell my beautiful ring (un beknown to me my gorgeous parents brought it back and you paid them weekly for some time then presented it to me on my birthday – my heart burst that day I genuinely thought I would never see it again) to pay the bills.

We have argued, even got to a point where we wondered if we had future  – and we can’t change the past – I know We have both been in some bleak places you after losing your lovely Nan, me with the god awful depression after our second child was born, Losing my Grandad and recently with the IIH but you and my parents have got me through it, I am sorry that recently I told you to leave me, and that you should find someone better than me, someone who wasn’t ill, overweight and a pain in the arse, I thought you deserved a better life, one where your not always working to provide for us, because I cannot work, one where I’m not being whisked off to hospital – which I know crucifies you, you try and hide your feelings and until last September it made me think you didn’t care. (I know you do)

Last September you accompanied me to a Lumbar Puncture, you had never been with me before it was one of the good ones, I remember thinking you looked traumatised when you left me, but seemed ok the next day.

Two weeks later we had a night out, with our closest friends,  the alcohol made all of your true feelings come out –  everything came out, it upset me so much to see you broken, and how you said that Lumbar Puncture had made you realise you wished there was something you could do to make me better and that you generally feel helpless, do you know what Kev you do something to help, your there everyday when I open my eyes, you make me laugh, you are a fantastic Father to our girls,  you drive me crazy at times, your time spent in the bathroom makes me want to scream, when you forget things it drives me demented, when you can’t keep to the speed limits I literally want to karate chop you, but I want you to know I appreciate all you do, you do work so hard, we never go without and you know what else Kev in your own words like you said to me last week, Kirsty I do love you,  you know , always have done and always will- this is enough for me Kev your love, caring nature and sense of humour. 

So Kev when I’m being a complete bitch raving on about something that’s not really worth kicking off about – generally it’s when your driving my car, been in the bathroom for an hour or making me watch Sci- Fi, remember this –  we are team, and though I cry, whinge, can be hormonal, demand chocolate,  we have come through so so much and I thank you for being you, the other half me and I thank you for persevering all those years ago because you have made me who I am, wife, Mother family member and friend.

In the words of Whitney – And I will always love you.

All my love 

The Gobby one with the big boobs.

Remember kindness makes a difference.

I’m 3 days post lumbar puncture, still suffering slightly with a low pressure headache, but my pain, is mainly radiating from my back.  I had my ‘new patient’ appointment with my new GP first thing yesterday, which went really well, the Dr was really supportive and said though she didn’t know much about IIH, she would try her best to support me medically through my journey,  she said we would work together to see what works, which was really reassuring (positivity yay)she thinks a nerve may be damaged in my back temporarily due to LP, but should heal up soon, am hoping so as I feel like I’m walking like a duck!!


Later that morning, my brother and I attended the funeral of a friend of our family, she was well known, much liked/loved by so many, she was a very special lady, back when I was 15 she employed me every Saturday to do odd jobs, enabling me to pay for the School Ski trip, I would cycle ten minutes up the road to her house spend two hours with her, then two hours with house opposite, they were happy times each lady a wealth of knowledge (there were 4) , when I was with her, we would cook, garden and clean together, her cooking was lovely, one of my favourite memories is making her well known sausage rolls,  best bit for me was sampling! She would tell me about her childhood, her work career and I remember thinking how much she must of had to come through,but had that motivated her to  be all that she became? she was born in Germany and, because her grand mother was Jewish, her Austrian/German parents sent her to England for her own safety in 1939, hoping that one day they would all be reunited, sadly though her mother died in 1943, and her poor father was in a concentration camp,  she arrived on the kinder-transport, and was then homed with Dr Barnados, where she was educated and found work, a friend of her employer at the time, helped her to pursue her career in nursing, she trained in Southend General Hospital onto Charing Cross, from here she went to the Strand, it was here that she was the ENT Sister in charge of three wards and operating theatre for 16 years, she moved to the village I lived most of my life in, in 1972, where she eventually became Matron until 1986 in a local town hospital. I learnt yesterday that she had no memory whatsoever of  the time she was put on the kinder-transport at the tender age of 11 and sent away, I look at my eldest thinking she is not long past that age,  how heartbreaking for both parties that must of been,  that must of been why she had erased it from her memory, but did that make her the kind, caring lady she became? 

It was said yesterday

People will remember her totally dedicated care, not only of her patients, but of everyone she knew.

This is so true, she did care for us all in different ways, how wonderful to be remembered for being kind and caring.  I will always remember her, may she rest in peace.

If one person remembered me for an act of kindness how fulfilling would that be.. the reasons for being kind are innumerable

  • Being kind feels good
  • Kindness broadens our perspective
  • Kindness helps people feel respected and less alone
  • Kindness softens our heart
  • Your children will follow by example (thanks Mum and Dad)
  • People will want to spend time you
  • Kindness is free


I myself have recieved so many acts of kindness in the past 48 hours (if the truth is known every single day) , from my beautiful family, wonderful parents, brother, fabulous friends, each one daily checking on me with texts, messages, emails, cooking and waiting on me (thank you Mum,Dad and hubby)

A friend bringing me flowers ‘to brighten my day’


To people speaking to me as they walk to work with a cheery hi, then another friend stopping and asking if I needed a lift because she knew I was in pain and it was raining.

All of these small acts of kindness mean so much, since becoming unwell  I am grateful for each and every one I receive.

Think how happy a day can be when kindness touches it x
Lots of ❤️ ASIBTAF