Saturday, 28 February 2015

Diary Post #78 - Just a short post.

Dear Diary.. 

So last Friday I was supposed to be visiting the doctors to have the stitches taken out of my stomach, I got down there & the receptionist told me that the nurse had been carted off in an ambulance that morning so there was nobody there to do my removal.. I then had a little rant at her & said "Have people never heard of making phone calls? apparently they had called me on my mobile & left a messages, which I denied because nothing had come through on my phone all day.. so yeah, I got that off my chest & then I rearranged for Monday.. 

Monday came round & again I headed to the doctors to have my stitches removed. I got in there, the nurse took my dressing off & what do ya know? there was nothing there to be removed. all my stitches were internal HAHA! :/ At least this time I couldnt really blame the doctors surgery.. im assuming that when I had the "clips" in my stomach the first time round & my scar bust & stuff, that maybe that was one of the reasons I was taken back in again, along with my scar splitting & brain fluid spilling out.. so getting to my point, I am assuming they decided against putting them in again? 

so yeah, I am now stitch & staple free, & on Thursday I was able to take the dressing off my stomach & let it breathe. 

So, in the last four weeks I have been through 3 lots of brain surgery & 1 lot of major stomach surgery, & today I took a "selfie" & was very surprised at how well I look to say that I am still feeling a bit crappy. getting there slowly though, its going to take a while longer but I am beginning to feel the best I have felt in months. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

The story behind my scars.

 On September 30th, 1987 I was born at 27 & half weeks. I was born so early, my lungs weren't properly formed & were therefore just a huge mass that didn't work. My placenta also came away inside my mothers womb, so I was actually born dead. Thankfully surgeons manage to get my heart beating again, but I suffered a 50% ventricular brain haemorrhage & it was a race against time to save my life. I was born in Barrow in Furness Cumbria, & after they managed to get me breathing & stable again I was then transferred over to Leeds General infirmary by ambulance were I was to undergo major brain surgery to get a shunt placed in my head to start helping drain the excess fluid from my brain (hydrocephalus) which was caused by the brain bleed. The journey to Leeds was 3 hours long, to which a paramedic spent the whole time hand pumping air into my lungs with a bag to keep me alive because they were so fragile that if they had of used a machine my lungs would have quite literally blown up! Once I arrived at Leeds I had to have a procedure (which I am not sure of the name) that meant a needle was placed into the centre of my brain to ease the pressure & release as much fluid as possible before I had surgery. I was only a few hours old when this was done. I then had to go through a 9 hour surgery to get the shunt placed into my skull so that it could do the job of draining the fluid. Altogether I spent 7 months in Leeds General Neonatal Unit recovering from a brain haemorrhage & having major brain surgery! I was one very sick baby. I manage to pull through & I am here to tell my story. 

When I was 16 years old, doctors were going to operate & remove the bottom portions of my lungs as they thought that was were the disease sat, only, when they did x-ray's it was revealed that the disease is actually right through both bottoms of my lungs. I don't know many people that also have to live with a disease like this, (other than babies) so I don't tend to talk about it. Today, I am almost 27 years old & although I have been left with severe lung disease throughout both of my lungs, I also live with a vp shunt that drains excess fluid from my brain. I don't let it define or defeat me! I live life to the fullest the best I can. Ever since I was a baby my mum has always been by my side throughout every single one of my shunt surgery's, so going through four operations on my shunt for the first time since I was 16 at the beginning of 2015 all on my own, was really quite scary! Of course though, my mum was on the phone everyday & my husband was constantly updating her, she even rang the hospital herself a few times. I definitely can't imagine how hard for her it must have been, having me go through 4 surgery's & her being 100+ miles away from me. They definitely don't call it "Mummy intuition" for nothing. If I hadn't of called my mum to have a moan about my headaches, & she hadn't of urged me to call an ambulance & i'd of just gone to bed, I wouldn't be here writing this today. I love my mum, even when there is 100+ miles between us, she still managed to keep me safe & look after me.

On Monday 26th January 2015, I phoned my mum at 9pm & told her that I had been having headaches for 2 days, & that a lump had developed underneath my shunt valve. I didn't think it was anything too serious & I was going to go to bed & call the doctors in the morning, but the urgency & fear in my mums voice really spooked me & so I called an ambulance & they took me to Leeds General Infirmary to be checked over. Once I arrived at A&E everything then happened really fast, I was rushed for a ct scan & then I was talking to a neurosurgeon & he was telling me that my shunt valve had broken & it was leaking fluid into my brain, so I needed to go into theatre, straight away. I was taken down for my first lot of surgery at 2am early Tuesday morning, & then later that day I was given another ct scan which revealed that my shunt wasn't positioned properly, so I had to go back into theatre for my second lot of surgery (in 12 hours) to have my shunt repositioned so that it would hopefully start draining properly, as it wasn't doing so & I was still suffering the headaches & I had also started vomiting too. To be honest, I don't remember much of Tuesday I was too "out of it" to remember much. although I do remember one thing & that was my nurse speaking to me & telling me that she was going to place me a catheter in because I kept wetting the bed. Wednesday rolled around & I actually felt a bit better, although I was still having headaches, so I just rested up & I got told that if everything came back okay Thursday I could go home, only Thursday morning I felt so nauseous, I couldn't face breakfast & I could barely lift my head off the pillow without wanting to vomit, so I was placed on "nil by mouth" & monitored for most of the day, to which I either spent crying from hunger or sleeping. at around 3pm Thursday I was sent for another ct scan which revealed that once again my shunt had blocked & broken, so the neurosurgeon made the decision that he was going to reposition my shunt & move it from the back of my head round on to the left side of my head because it just didn't want to work properly on the back of my head any more.. This meant I had been through, 3 lots of brain surgery in just 3 days. I went down to theatre around 5pm on Thursday evening & when I came around properly, I was back on the ward & it was 11.45pm, I remember that so clearly because for the first time since I was admitted on the Monday, I didn't have a headache. I kept telling the nurse "I dont have a headache, that must be good right? & thankfully, she agreed. I slept right through Friday night & I was told that it was the most peaceful the nurses had seen me since I was admitted. Friday morning, I was groggy & a bit dizzy but still no headache (yey) I was starving. I totally demolished four pieces of toast, 3 cups of tea & two bowls of cereal. I had another ct scan Friday morning & finally. it revealed that everything was working as it should be! so I was told that if I was ready, I could go home later that day. I was discharged Friday 30th January in the evening & my husband & father in law came to collect me from the hospital. 

I was back at home for 10 days, then on Tuesday 9th February 2015, I phoned my mum (again) & told her that my scar had split & it was leaking clear fluid, (CSF fluid that was being drained from my brain) it was literally dripping like a leaky tap & it wasn't stopping. So again, I was taken back into hospital, my father in law drove me there whilst my hubby stayed home with our children & his mum. once there, the usual procedures were done, I had to have bloods taken, a canular places in my hand, & th doctors had to get a ct scan & xrays done. After all this, I was then taken to the same ward I had been on 10 days previous. it was at this moment that I knew, surgery was going to be happening again! my fourth operation in 2 weeks! I was told that, the tube that runs from my brain in to my stomach had slipped out of my stomach cavity & it was sitting just above my stomach cavity causing fluid to build up behind my scar, which is why my scar had split & CSF fluid was dripping out of my stomach scar. Had I not once again listened to my mum & gone to hospital, it could have been very dangerous if an infection had got in, because then it would of had a clear run up my tube & straight to my brain! very scary. 

At 1am Tuesday morning, I was taken into theatre & spent 6-7 hours there whilst they fixed me! i'm glad they didn't have to go into my head again I have to admit, everything was fixed just by them going into my stomach. I spent all of Wednesday plagued with headaches due to them wiggling around in my stomach & disturbing my tubes, but on Thursday I woke up feeling loads better, I ate breakfast, I got up out of bed & sat in the chair & I even had a shower to freshen up! then when the doctors came round, they said that if I felt ready I could go home! so I did.

I have now beaten my personal record of surgery's on my shunt, I have been down to theatre 3 times before in just a few days, but never 4 times! I have been back at home for 4 days now, & I am fairly confident that I am finally all sorted, & I am hoping that I wont need to step inside of a hospital again regarding my shunt for another 10/11 years. that would be nice! :) 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Diary post #77. - Swelling or Hernia?

Dear Diary...

If this is just swelling then I have to sy, it's proper freaky.. This is where my tubing to my shunt ends & the fluid from my brain drains into my stomach. I came out of hospital on Friday 30th January & this swelling has suddenly appeared out of nowhere on Thursday 5th Febuary. :/ It doesn't hurt or anything but it feels pretty solid, like it's a huge mass. it's really starting to freak me out now, so this afternoon I am going to the doctors so that they can take a look. I did show the nurse that removed all of my stitches, staples & clips on Friday, but she didn't seem to care all that much, she just told me everything was fine.. hmm? so why have my instincts being going mental since then? 

I will update you all once I know more.. 
I am really hoping that I don't end up in hospital again! 

so please, I ask you to cross your fingers & pray that is is nothing to worry about. X 

The strange looking growth/ lump. it could even be Alien! ;) 

Diary Post #76 - 10 days post op.

Dear Diary. 

It has been 10 days since I was discharged from hospital after having brain surgery three times to sort out my shunt. on Friday (5th Feb) I had my stitches, staples & clips removed from my head & tummy. Whoever said "having stitches & staples removed doesn't hurt, you barely feel a thing" clearly talks out of their backside because it did hurt, it hurt alot. I would of rather have done labour again or had a tattoo! at least you get something at the end. ;) 

My head; Stitch & staple free..

Having the clips taken out of my tummy.

After I had, had my stitches staples out I was told that I was able to have a bath.. & I am not even joking when I say, after waiting 11 days, it was the most amazing bath I have ever had in my entire life. Joel & Felicity decided that they wanted a bath too, so after I had gotten out, I ran them a bath & they had a play together.. I love watching them in the bath together, I just completely melt.. they're so adorable. 

Joel & Felicity in the bath together. My babies love bath time.

After 11 days, this was the most amazing bath in the entire world.

I now feel like a human being once more.. 11 days of not being able to wash my hair & only have strip washes was was a nightmare. although I was washing myself I still felt like a total scruff, it didn't how clean I was, I still wasn't able to wash my hair, & not only did it feel disgusting, it looked it too. Honestly, you could have cooked a full English breakfast on my head it was so rotten! :p 
Me after my bath on Friday.

I finally now feel like a human being again! asides from the dodgy haircuts, due to my ops, which are yet to be sorted once my head isn't so tender. ;) I think it is safe to say, considering I almost lost my life just over a week ago, recovery has been pretty quick.. I still have aches & pains & I am still taking things one day at a time because I am still feeling dizzy, but I do feel 100% better than what I did. <3

Silent Sunday (A Bit Late I know)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Diary Post #74. - My children are my world.

Dear Diary.. 

My children are my absolute world.. waking up to two beautiful faces every morning is the reason I fight this fight of depression & anxiety.. they make me feel like I am doing at least one thing in my life correctly. 

There is no way on this earth to be a perfect mum, but there are a million ways to be a good mum & I have two beautiful little blessings sent from above, so for me it's twice the smiles, twice the cuddles & twice the love! i'm so proud of them my heart could burst. 

I love my babies so damn much. 
Joel & Felicity are my absolute world, my heart, my soul & my entire universe. 

Diary Post #73 - Mummy to a beautiful little girl.

Dear Diary... 

I can't believe that 6 months have passed since I brought Felicity into the world, to me it still only feels like yesterday that I was laid in theatre bawling my eyeballs out cuddling her in my arms after a very long & painful 10 hour back to back labor. It feels incredibly strange to say that in 6 months time, she will be 1 years old, I have been so busy getting to know her & soaking up every last beautiful moment with her & creating memories, that I havent noticed how much she is growing right before my very eyes! time really does go far too quickly. 

At 6 months old her development is at the stage of an 8 month old in most areas. she has been sitting up unaided since she was 5 months old & she is now determined to get crawling... personally I think she might bum shuffle at first, she already does the worm along the floor when she is laid on her back by pushing with her legs, something i've still yet to catch on camera! ;) 

she just totall amazes me, she is the most beautiful & sweetest little girl I have ever laid my eyes on, already she has such a cheeky little personality. when she wants something she has started babbling "mmmm, mmm, mmm" I could swear she is trying to say mum! or maybe that is just my imagination, because I am desparate for her to say mum before she says dad haha. 

to say I am in love would be an utter understatement. 
i'm well & truly besotted, Joel & Felicity have totally completed me. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Diary Post #72.. #RANT. "you can't pick your family - well apparently you can!"

Dear Diary..

So were do I even start? the beginning I suppose.

On 12th Febuary until 16th Febuary I am visiting my home town to see family, friends & celebrate my nephew's first birthday & as always, you cant please everyone. my TWIN sister has kicked off & thrown her teddies out of her pram because I am travelling back to Leeds on the 16th & not staying for her daughters birthday on 17th! - I genuinely forgot. Now, correct me if I am wrong here, but what right did that give her to then start bitching & slagging me off to every tom, dick & harry that would listen to her? so trying to be the better person I calmy phoned her & tried to explain that I had forgot but she totally didnt listen & started going into one of her nonsense rants yadda yadda yadda! then she told me she'd call me back.. & the next time I log online I see she's at it again with her status' only this time she took it way too far. she brought up the fact that I was sexually abused & I now use it for attntion.. I havent mentioned my attack since it happened last year, I spoke of it once when the anniversary of it happening came round & that was it, she's also told me that she doesnt class me as her twin anymore just because I moved away & that she is now a single person - we shared a womb, nothing will ever change that deary. 

Basically she has now "disowned" me & doesnt want to speak to me ever again, all because I forgot about her daughters birthday.. it stung, i'm not going to lie she is my sister, & she's basically now wiping me from her life! but if that is the way she wants it then so be it. my children wont miss out by not knowing who she is! they have the people around them that truly love & care for them & i'm sure I will eventually get over it, I have 3 other sisters, I have all of my family & I also have my husbands family.. she clearly doesnt know how lucky she is to have sisters! let her carry on sulking, i'm done! 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Diary post #72. "I don't know how depression took over me, it just did"

Dear Diary...

so recently I have found myself feeling better than ever mood wise!

this year I am determined to get back to were I was a year ago, having my daughter & my post natal depression resurfacing has knocked me off course slightly, but I am slowly fighting back & along the way I have learnt a lot of things & as you do when shit happens, I have also come to realize who I can & cannot lean on in my time of need.. 

I don't put my depression about & advertise it for attention. I talk about my depression because it helps me to cope. I expect my friends to stand by me & support me, not stab me in the back when they're having a bad time & make me out to look like i've gone nuts. I don't know how depression took over me, it just did & everyday I fight this fight to beat it..

so I have made a pact with myself & have decided that from now, I will no longer accociate with people who "pretend" to be my friend & "support me" when really they don't give a shit & never did. I am STRONGER than I was because I have fought to get where I am today, I don't need others dragging me down because they feel lousy about themselves & their life. 

no longer am I going to dwell on the past & let the negativity in! I am not were I was, but I am also not quite were I want to be just yet. although I can definetely say; now that I have rid of certain people from my life, there is no longer anything or anyone stopping me getting better & eventually beating depression! people say that a depressed person cant be friends with another depressed person but in my eyes thats bollocks, unless of course the other person is so hell bent on being miserable it starts to affect you too! I don't have time for people like that.. some people might not want to help themselves, but I certainly do, & as of now, there is no stopping me! one day I will beat depression, but until then, I know I have the people around me that I know for a FACT I can lean on & talk to when I need them without them using it against me. 

Lesson learnt: stay away from people with 40 faces.


Friday, 9 January 2015

Diary post #71 - 'Six months as a mum of two!'

Dear Diary...

The past six months has been the most life changing time of my life.. I have experienced good days, bad days, & a lot of challenging days, but it has all been so rewarding & amazing at the same time. On 3rd July 2014 at 39 weeks gestation, our little girl Felicity was born weighing 7lb 14oz! she was & is, the most beautiful little girl that I have ever laid my eyes on. 

From day one her big brother Joel has been utterly besotted. even now he adores the bones of her, his nickname for her is "misses" when he is talking to her it's always "hello misses" it's so damn cute! I have had my struggles adjusting to a life with two children, when Felicity was just 10 weeks old, my post natal depression started rearing it's ugly head once more, but this time round, I knew the signs, I could tell I was slipping! so I spoke with my health visitor & she arranged weekly visits to come & see me & I went back onto my medication.. I am still having those visits, although they're every 3 weeks now! which can only be a good thing, right? 

so far, I am taking each day as it comes when it comes to my moods & depression & when it comes to my children, I am cherishing every last moment whilst they are young because although they get along now, things could very well change once the "teenage years" begin ;) 

Thank you for reading. X 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Diary Post #70! hopes on a new house!

Dear Diary.. 

So this year we are hoping to move house. we desparately need to get onto the council housing list so that we can start bidding for somewhere new to live! the conditions we are living in right now are hurrendous. we have been living in a house riddled with damp for amost 2 years now.. I live with servere lung disease, our son Joel also has a lung condition, & our 6 month old daughter Felicity has lived with a chest infection for the past 6 weeks that even with antibiotics doesnt want to shift. :( 

so today we have filled out forms for the council register & we just need to provide a few documents to prove we are who we say we are & also I need proof that I am in reciept of disability living allowance due to my lung condition! I have made lots of phone calls & my health visitor is coming to see me tomorrow & she has said she will back me 100% as she has seen the state of our house & also seen how poorly myself & Felicity have been! its even beginning to affect Joel's chest now! :( our doctor is writing up a letter to say I am currently on medications for depression & anxiety & that both myself & my daughter have been given antibiotics recently for chest infections! on top of that, the estate agent we are with came to inspect our house on 28th December & they have said that the conditions are "disgusting" & "unhealthy" for our children aswell as ourselves to be living in, so they are also getting on the banwagon now to help us! my health visitor is also writing a letter to say that our living conditions at the moment is having a huge impact on my mental state, which isn't a lie! so hopefully all of this will make the council see that we need somewhere new to live!

this is our livingroom!

this is our bedroom, were our 6 month old daughter also sleeps! 

& this is the window at the top of our stairs..

Would you want your children living in these conditions when one has lung conditions & the other is only very young! :( 

Please keep your fingers crossed for us! I do hope that at some point this year I can say we are moving house.. because I really am fed up of living here in a house that Jack built.