Through My Eyes

Some people say I talk too much, that I always have a story to tell. I don't know what's round the corner so my blog is about life through my eyes and making every day count.

Archive for the tag “Health”

And so it goes on 

So out of hospital a week, The bronchoscopy was last Thursday and that went well. It was the first time Megan had a general anaesthetic and she was so poorly afterwards, she had a fever and was quite sick but luckily it only lasted a night. 

Then there was the bank holiday, really good weekend, sunny weather and lazy days in the garden. Then came the bank holiday Monday and Megan’s chest got bad again, starting with the cough then the shortness of breaths and at 5.35 we packed a bag and headed Back to hospital. 

1 night in intensive care later we are back on the normal ward and showing no sign of going home soon. Great half term this is going to be for Megan. 

So 3 nights in I’m lay in bed yet again without Megan at home and it’s so difficult knowing she is at hospital on her own.  We have been doing this for 5 months now and it doesn’t get any easier. Financially it takes its toll with all the time off work, the fuel and extra money spent. It’s also mentally draining, all the worry and stress and then trying to be focused at work as well. It’s so hard, I just want my girl home without the worry of her going back to hospital again. 

Progress

Wednesday the 17th May 2017…. 

picked Megan up from hospital to take her to another hospital for a CT scan, the long awaited CT scan than was going to solve all the doctors problems! Following the CT scan we had an appointment at Newcastle RVI. It was a referral I had requested to try and get some answers. On arrival we parked in the multi storey and were wowed by the size of the hospital. Very modern and  good facilities. We went to outpatients and again were very impressed by the clinic and it’s organisation, everything colour coded and running to time. 

We had been to referred to see Mike Mcean who is the top guy at this hospital and waist a guy he was! We learnt more about asthma in the hour we were there than we had in 5 months of trying to find answers. He brought up other things that hadn’t been mentioned before such as anxiety and worry, something to think about as life as a teenager is never straight forward! 

He booked Megan straight in for a bronchoscopy for a week later and so put a plan in place going forward. For the first time in 5 months I feel Megan might be making progress. It’s the best feeling in the world!

Just shows what a different opinion and different hospital can do! I know everyone at a consultant level is at a high standard and expert in their area but sometimes a second set of eyes on the situation can make all the difference. Hopefully now we will get some answers and be able to move forwards! 

More NHS let downs 

In previous posts I have talked about many experiences with the NHS good and bad, I have referred back to experiences I have had when dealing with Breast Cancer but also experiences I have regularly with my daughters asthma problems. 
So here we are again, being g in hospital is not unusual for Megan. As mentioned in previous posts we have regular trips to the hospital with wheezing and chest issues. This year it has escalated to a new level and a lot more serious. When things get more serious and more life threatening it means I rely on the experts more to help me and Megan and get her the best treatment in the fastest time possible. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened this time and I feel due to massive NHS failures we have ended up back in ICU in a very serious condition. 

Without going into detail of each individual situation I have witnessed so many floors in the system that I wonder why I pay my national insurance. I have witnessed A&E doctors yawning throughout examining patients and complain of being tired. I have witnessed doctors looking at X-rays and missing the fact there’s a huge infection on a lung. 6 hour waiting times in A&E with a girl having an asthma attack left untreated. The list goes on. Its worrying when it takes 10 minutes or less for a child to die of asthma. It’s so worrying and the reality is that it’s not Getting any better, I read on the news weekly about various cuts being made to funding, hospitals being closed, services cut. Staff work all ours for very little pay and then are so tired they are putting people’s lives at risk, I pay my taxes yet it seems the more we pay the less we get. Don’t get me wrong the NHS do some amazing things and it’s not all bad, I give credit to the staff that work all hours and save lives and do wonderful things. Unfortunately I can’t say I have experienced anything positive lately and it really makes me concerned about the future of our health service 

Tick Tock… Tick Tock…

TICK….TOCK….TICK….TOCK

So Life is good at the moment, well all things considered!

We have been living in the house a year now and it is going great, slowly adding our own personal touch to it and making it wonderful!

Megan’s karting is great and we love our race weekends away racing as well as our weekends at home in the garden. I have a lovely family that make me very happy and all is blissfully good!!

So the scene was this…. It was one sunny afternoon, sat in the garden with a cold cider with the BBQ on and the sun on my face, Megan was playing on the trampoline and my Husband Gardening! I suddenly thought how nice it would be to have more children running round the garden! It had never occurred to me before that I might want more children but now that I have almost everything I could want, a family, the perfect house etc I thought actually it could be something to think about. A little brother or sister for Megan, what would she think to that!!

Following the thoughts of cute baby grows and family bbq’s, my mind strayed to my health and my age, Whilst I am only 32 I am on Tamoxifen for 10 years and I would have to come off that in order to have more children. This would not be an easy decision to make. For a start I was advised I need to be on it for at least 3 years! Currently I am at 2 years and 7 months so got a while to go yet before I could even consider it, then I would have to be off it for a while before trying and then there’s the risk involved.

Coming off Tamoxifen would mean I am at an increased risk of the cancer returning. The consultant couldn’t give me any exact figures but just said the risk would be increased. Now I am never one known for playing it safe, If I want something I am normally happy to take a risk to get it however when the risk is my health I can’t rush into anything. I just keep thinking in my head that if I had another baby and then in a years’ time something happened and I got the cancer back then I couldn’t live with myself knowing I had played a part in that by coming off the tamoxifen.

I know it sounds a bit extreme but imagine if it got really bad and got worse and then I left my family all for another baby. I am maybe over thinking it but these are all the things going through my head. Should I concentrate on the family I have got and not be selfish or should I run the risk of it coming back to extend my family further.

These are all things I have been thinking about then to add to it all my consultant says that due to some new guidelines or something I now fall into the category of genetic testing to see if my cancer was caused by a faulty gene! I will write another blog post on this as it’s a whole new drama in itself but it gives me even more to think about as could seriously affect decisions over having children. I am currently waiting for some genetic test results to come back but trying not to think about that at the moment!

In an ideal world I wouldn’t even be having this dilemma now and would just go with the flow and see what happens but in the back of my mind all I can hear is Tick Tock Tick Tock which is the timer running down as I get older and my window for having more children gets smaller! I am only 32 so maybe need to calm down a bit as I have a few years yet but time seems to go so fast. I Didn’t worry about age till I hit 30 but now I’m looking ahead to 40!

I did put some posts on a forum to speak to anyone that has been in this situation and come off Tamoxifen to have children but not a lot came back. I have spoken to some people at work who are a little older than me and they say they wouldn’t even risk it for more children and that’s it! Bearing in mind they all have more than 1 child and wouldn’t have any more anyway irrelevant of any health risks! They have very little understanding of how I feel. I always imaged I would have 3 children and whilst I am very happy with the family I have I do feel that maybe there’s an option for more?

So the saga goes on, In 5 years’ time I might look back at this smiling with a baby or I might be in a totally different situation. I have learnt over the past years not to plan too far ahead and just to go with the flow and take every day as it comes!! Or at least that’s what I try to do!

 

Always in the back of my mind….

I think no matter how fit and well you are, or how wonderful life is once you have had a cancer scare it’s always in the back of your mind. The happier live gets the scarier it is that it could all be taken away. 

Obviously mine was more than a scare, I survived it and an here to tell the tale but I always wonder what if. So many people are cancer free for ages then it comes back with avengence! 

I watched a film called missing you already the other day about 2 friends one of which gets Breast Cancer. Other than the chemo side of it I could relate to her story. What I couldn’t get my head Round is when her cancer came back and she knew she was going to die. I was sat wondering if I elms prefer to know I was going to die and be able to say good bye or if not knowing would be better do people don’t have to deal with the run up to it knowing what’s going to happen. You hear about people having a bucket list which I understand and totally get however my bucket list would just say cherish every moment with my family. I don’t need to go jump of a bridge to tick a box on a list. To me I would just spend every second of the day I could telling my family I love them. 

The films was so sad and has me in tears as normal. I think because it’s quite close to home anyway but it starts Making you think about life and making the most if it, cherishing every day and most of all telling your loved ones that they are loved every day.

 3 simple words, I LOVE YOU could make all the difference to someone’s day. 

A bad week

Any parent knows that one of the worst things in the world is when your child is poorly. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child in pain or not feeling well and knowing there’s not s huge amount you can do about it. 

Megan is now 11 years old and suffers from Asthma on a severe level. It started when she was just a baby and developed a cough that turned into breathing difficulties and a hospital visit. This was repeated twice a year until she was 5 and Asthma was diagnosed. Since then we have at least 2 hospital visits a year some which result in a week in intensive care on machines recovering. 

The thing about Megan’s Asthma Is that when she is well she is as healthy as the average child. Megan is very sporty and plays on the school Football team, Netball team, plays cricket and rugby and is on the Athletics and cross country team. Not to mention karting! I am so proud of Megan, at any point she could have a serious Asthma attack but doesn’t let that stop her doing anything. 

The thing with Asthma is that an attack can happen at any time, and last week out the blue it did. Tuesday morning Megan woke up and couldn’t breath. An hour later we were in hospital on nebulisers which then turned into spending the week there as her lung function was that low she couldn’t go without oxygen and constant nebulisers. The doctors told me if she didn’t improve we would be going round to the HDU to try and get her lungs working better. 

As a mum it’s the scariest thing in the world to know that your child’s lungs aren’t working of functioning very well. It’s hearbreaking to see her there struggling to breath and relying on the oxygen and trying not to panic as she struggles for breath! 

So a week in hospital then home to recover, not the best week ever but something we are quite used to. I sometimes sit and think what if… What If we are not there next time, what if school don’t recognise the signs, what if there’s nobody to help her next time, what if it’s worse next time? I have to put it to the back of my mind because I will just sit and worry and get in a right state over the reality of it. 

Megan has told me no matter how bad her asthma gets she won’t let it stop her doing her sports. Most kids these days are sat in front of the TV eating junk food so I’m so proud of Megan’s attitude. 

So next weekend back to Rowrah karting. Megan has begged all week so thought we would give it a go, she seems back to full health now, until next time!  

   

Diets – a huge money making con

Since my health issues I decided I am going to lose a bit of weight and live a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to do it in the best way possible so joined the local boot camp and started researching the best ways to lose weight and get fit!
Try putting in any of the key words in google, weight loss, diets etc and straight away you get billions of websites all saying different things!
I have spent hours researching weight loss, and the more I read the more I get annoyed with companies such as weight watchers and slimming world.
To me they are taking advantage of overweight people who are desperate to get thin!
Take weight watchers for example, they work on a points basis so you can only have a certain amount of points every day. They then have their own range of food showing the amount of points on, a clever marketing tool.
So the weight watcher dieters go shopping and buy all the weight watchers range of foods, funding this billion dollar industry!
While in the supermarket the other week I had a quick look at the weight watchers variety of foods available and was surprised at my findings. I found weight watchers cakes, biscuits, crisps, ready meals, sausages, bread, cookies and packed sandwiches all at a higher price than the non weight watchers normal foods.
How many people when getting these products look at the salt level, the additives or chemicals in the ingredients?
All these foods have been produced in a factory with god knows what chemicals and additives yet according to weight watchers are the way to lose weight?!
It’s not just weight watchers though, there are many diet company’s like this that you sign up for, follow their diet, get weighed and lose weight! So if the person is losing weight then what’s the problem I hear you asking?! Well it’s all good and well losing weight, but what happens when you get to your goal? Do you stop dieting and go back to normal, therefore putting the weight back on and starting the diet again, or do you carry on paying for the rest of your life which isn’t realistic and will never last?!

So my point is that diets are actually pointless and just a short term fix. These diet companies know people don’t diet forever and that is how they make their money!!

When you think about it the word diet is a really negative word. you automatically think of the word diet as cutting out the foods we love, no treats, no takeaways etc. And we all know that when we are told we can’t have something we want it even more!!

So how do we lose weight in a positive way and make the weight stay off? Forget the word diet for a start, forget the local clubs and schemes people pay into to get thin. Pick a day but not a day to start a diet but a day to change your life!
What works is a lifestyle change not a diet!
Healthy eating and regular exercise is all it takes and you don’t need to pay someone to tell you that!
When people say exercise it can be quite daunting but there’s so much you can do that fits in with every day life without being too scary! (I will do another post on exercise because I have loads to say on exercise!!) And as far as Food goes, it’s simple…. Anything that was on the earth before us! So meats, fish vegetables, fruit and try to avoid anything processed like crisps, ready meals, frozen foods like burgers and nuggets etc.
That’s not to say don’t have treats, my favourite food us Chinese and I love crisps but rather than eat them all the time I eat them as a treat in a weekend and seeming as I’m exercising it balances it out so it doesn’t cause me to put on loads of weight!
Often people think skipping meals will make you lose weight which is a complete myth! People need calories and energy to get through the day so skipping meals will just make you unwell and slow down your metabolism which won’t help with weight loss. By eating breakfast then regular meals it sets your metabolism going, gives you energy and burns more calories as the day goes on!!

So yes I may have written the longest blog post ever but it’s taken ten min to read it and hasn’t cost anyone anything! But the billion pound diet industry will go on for as long as people want to lose weight! What will it be next week? A new celeb fitness diet, the baby food diet, the no carb diet, the juice diet?
I’m not suddenly a nutritionist but i know enough to know they are all a load of rubbish and the only safe and effective way to lose weight long term is to have a lifestyle change, eat healthy age exercise!! Simples!!!

Post without a subject!

I have not blogged anything for a while, I don’t even have any hot topic to blog about today, I just feel a post is well overdue so am typing away but not sure what the subject actually is!

So what’s happened since my last post….. Erm……
Well I have been training 3 times a week at the gym for the 2 race for life’s that I am doing. Despite this training I have not lost any weight and don’t feel remotely fitter! I think I need to work a lot harder if I’m going to actually make it over the finish line! Not only that but I have a duty to my sponsors now! People have been so generous, I have raised nearly £600 so far and so am over half way to my target of £1000 for cancer research.
www.justgiving.com/stephenson25

In other news an aeroplane has mysteriously dropped out the sky and nobody has a clue where it is! If that’s not the biggest government cover up ever then I don’t know what is! In this day and age we can put men on the moon yet a plane full of people vanish off the face of the earth and nobody can find it! There’s so wreckage, no debris, no radar yet the relatives get told its in the sea and everyone is dead! Based on what information? It’s all very strange I think but that’s just my opinion!!

And last but not least social networking has amazed me again, this time with the no make up selfie for cancer research! So my Facebook was full of people without make up and of I am honest some were not a pretty sight! Others though were truly beautiful though and the people looked better than with make up on! My reaction to this was not good. I put a status saying there was no way I was going to put a no make up selfie on Facebook! My confidence is low anyway since my mastectomy and I don’t need to put a picture of me looking rough to prove I do my bit for charity……. Famous last words!
It was then on the news that 2 million pounds had been raised by people putting a no make up selfie on then donating £3 to cancer research! How can I slate something like that that has raised that much money, again showing the power of social networking! So I did it, I put my
No make up selfie on and jumped on the bandwagon! Wasn’t my proudest picture but when it helps raise awareness and money for charity then why not! And here it is!! Anyway until next time, ciao for now!!

20140326-222108.jpg

Fundraising for cancer research

Race for life 2014, – sponsor me!

I have only gone and signed up today, but not for just one event but for 2!
I always quite fancied having a go at the 10k race, a couple of years ago we did the 5k and even though we didn’t manage to run the whole thing and did walk some we finished in a respectable time and enjoyed it. So this left me thinking if we could push ourselves a bit more and do the 10k. After all nobody is going to sponsor us if it’s not a challenge!
So today I went on the website to sign up, only when I did I saw another even advertised, the 5k pretty muddy run! This looked interesting, a 5k assault course involving a lot of physical activity and a lot of mud!
It may only be 5k but looks twice as much work trying to tackle the obstacles and mud!
That was me sold and I signed up! The only problem was that the minimum age for this event is 13 years old! That means my 10 year old daughter couldn’t take part.
When I broke the news to her she was really upset which surprised me and to cut a long story short she ended up persuading me to sign up to another 5k event but not a pretty muddy one this time, just a run. So I’m still doing the 10k as initially planned but in 2 stages!

I have set up a just giving page which is http://www.justgiving.com/Stephenson25

I now need to start getting fit! A bit difficult when I can do any major exercise just yet and still get back pains and aches!
If it wasn’t for Cancer Research I may not have been diagnosed as early as I was and the cancer may have spread all over by the time they found it. Cancer research has enabled doctors to have the technology and expertise in place to diagnose earlier and earlier diagnoses have a much better outlook.

Hopefully lots of people will donate even if it’s just £1 and in the meantime I need to think about some exercise!!

Laura’s Just Giving Page

Summary of 2013

Happy New Year!

Looking at social networking sites it seems 2013 hasn’t been the best for a lot of people! Everybody has something to moan about on Facebook!
For me I will remember 2013 as the year I got breast cancer and had a huge operation which changed my life forever. Despite this i am not one for moaning, I just get on with it, there’s always worse off people and I have so much to be grateful for in my life so I’m not going to let silly illnesses get me down!
Cancer aside though what else do I think of when I think of 2013?
Autograss racing was big for me in 2013. A lot of people say they are going to do something and then don’t do it, well I like to try and make things happen and so a mini was bought, painted, covered in stickers and raced all year! Brilliant and the highlight of my year. I even raced (and won a trophy) 2 days after an operation! My surgeon would have gone mad if I told him but I’m not one to let a small thing like cancer stop me living my life! The funniest thing was that I was worried about hurting myself so stuffed bubble wrap down my race suit to add padding in case I crashed! It wasn’t the most comfortable racing but still managed to come away with a trophy and nobody knew I had been wrapped in bubble wrap!!

So what else in 2013….. Well we had an amazing holiday, it was just after another operation so was a much needed break and I loved every second, I even managed to swim in the sea and has a go at snorkelling which is something I have always been a bit scared to do!
I also got a promotion at work
Which was quite significant. I was a receptionist but have now been promoted to customer services and HR. Makes me feel a little smug which I know is silly but when I left my previous job my boss basically told me I was stupid and making a huge mistake leaving a good job for a temp receptionist role! Well it just shows that life is what you make it and if you work hard you can achieve anything.

So, 2014 what do I hope it brings? One of the big things is to try get used to the new me! Gone was the skinny confident girl who spent a fortune on compulsive online shopping and wouldn’t go on a night out without a camera for selfies!
Instead the new me is not so skinny due to being unable to exercise for long time and the new me avoids cameras at all costs! Not only that but the new me can’t buy random clothes online knowing they will look good because I need to try everything on now as nothing seems to look
Good!
That aside though I’m still the same person and I’m sure 2014 will bring more of the same fab things I fill my life with, more racing, more family time and maybe even a new house and a new car at some point!!
I Also plan to run the 10k race for life for cancer research. I can’t run yet as it’s too soon after surgery but hoping to start training soon as I need to get for for that!! I also want to plan an event to raise money for the Benjamin Gautrey foundation so have that to
Think about as well!

Whatever happens in 2014 good or bad I know that with my family by my side I can deal with it and I look forward to the challenges and fun times ahead!

All the best for 2014

Post Navigation