For life's little ups and downs.

A rather quirky, funny and sometimes daunting look in to the life of someone who has a lot of health problems but does their best to keep positive.


I started this blog to tell my story, about who I am and what I do. On top of the health problems and raising awareness for those, I also use my blog as a way to help promote other causes, particularly ones which affect the most vulnerable. I live with 2 mental health problems as well as a disabling and sometimes painful physical problem. I know how it feels to be discriminated against or thrown aside. This is me. This is my life. I live it and do what I want with it. Nature sets the limitations. We set the boundaries.

About Me:

I am young, caring and a very smiley. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life and these keep me going through the best and worst of times. I live with Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Chronic IBS, Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis. I live with these conditions, but I refuse to let them keep me down and out. I still try and make the most of my days despite being so poorly and having to rely on my wheelchair, nebulisers, nearly 50 pills a day and 2l/min of oxygen.

I went through hell due to bad diagnosis and poor clinical care, and I suffered a lot as a result. I do my blog to tell a story of hope and how a heart full of pain and sadness can find a beautiful light inside. I agreed with Cissnei in Crisis Core when she said that "Wings symbolise freedom for those who have none". I have always dreamed about having a pair of wings and being able to fly away from all of the things that hurt me in life. Sadly many times my wings were clipped or even pulled away and I was left with nothing.

I'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Monday, 23 May 2016

2016 - So far

I love it when good news hits my inbox. It is always a great honour to be named by Healthline as one of their 12 best asthma blogs. This is something I have been honoured with for 4 years running. I am glad that my blog reaches so many people and provides inspiration and empowerment. That is after all the reason I started this blog 6 years ago. I can't believe how much has changed from those humble beginnings back in the YMCA to where I am now. Maybe it is in the growth and change that I have managed to gain a better understanding of life and where we all fit in. Yes there have been a few negative comments but hey, there are always going to be people out there who want to knock you down, but that is their problem. Not mine. Haters are going to hate, so they say. Instead, I am focusing myself with keeping up with my message of positive thinking and trying to keep the glass half full. That is how life should be.

I have had a lot of things to adapt to over the last few years, from being on home oxygen to getting help with carers coming in every day. Getting used to being in a wheelchair has been particularly frustrating because its like you have to learn how to live all over again. Sounds dramatic but I would happily challenge a non-chair user to spend a couple of days in my shoes. I didn't even realise the challenge we have to face with simple things like getting on/off buses, going around the streets (and looking everywhere for the fabled "dropped curbs" or accessible shops) and the general scorn you get from some people. I think the biggest thing is that its human nature to shun what we don't really understand. Not everyone has had to learn about being in a wheelchair or live on what is basically a cocktail of medications. And I know even more who would rather die than be that way. I think in some ways, its a reminder to me that I have been through the rough stuff and I came out the other end a decent human being.

Admittedly I hadn't been as well as I could be over the last week or so. Actually, I have been feeling off since everyone came down with this weird flu bug. Unfortunately flu and asthma are never a good mix and as a result I developed bacterial bronchitis which has been making me feel drained. I have been keeping myself occupied with old cartoons (curled up in bed with Sephy, my favourite plush doll), games and of course my craft work. I think that by keeping myself occupied, it helps me keep my mind off everything. OK so I got a bit addicted to Tropico 5 (building myself a couple of idyllic tropical islands and running them in different ways, actually a really relaxing game, the music just gets me as well and before I know where I am, 2 hours are gone!) and other games. After all, a depressed mind is often bolstered by boredom. This is why keeping up on my blogging, writing, gaming and general arts and crafts has been something of a lifesaver for me. With plenty to keep my mind busy, I have less time to spend thinking about the whole "woe is me...my life is -sooooooo- hard" crap. Because lets face it, people who compete to have the crappiest hand in life are just pathetic and not worth thinking about. Some people who have real problems are actually going to get things changed because you can't stay miserable forever.

I still believe that moving on from my old place was the right thing for me to do. OK so it wasn't exactly easy and there were times when it wasn't fun to organise (particularly when it was a week before Christmas) but it was something that has worked out for the better for me. The bungalow is a lot bigger than the flat and has more open space. There aren't problems with damp or mould nor are there issues with antisocial behaviour, including foul mouthed kids and even more foul "parents". My animals are safer here too as theres no access or way for kids to come in and open cages. Overall, its been such a good thing and I know I keep harping on about it. But I really do feel so much brighter and more positive here. I don't know what the next years are going to hold, but I think we can safely say that we will all find out together!

Loves
Wendy xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Change. It Can be Good. Honest!

This last week has been one of discovery and getting to know a new console. Since getting my PS4, I have been lost in the adventure of the Transformers Devastation game, seriously good fun and fits in to the storyline pre-Transformers The Movie (1986). With 5 playable Autobots and a bounty of weapons, mods, moves and other stuff (plus some little things to look for like Decepticon flags and Kremzeek! (Kremzeek was like this little electronic bug character that Megatron used to "infect" Teletran 1 during the 2nd season of the original series. Small but it packed a heck of a punch) and side missions). Plenty to keep me occupied and amazed as I watch the characters come back to life once again. OK so my splitter and PS4 didn't agree with each other so now my splitter manages my Xbox, PS3 and Virgin box. That's OK of course, as they are all plugged in and all work but it was a bit of a pain to sort out at the time.

Another thing I have been exploring came in the form of an orange box. Inside the box were some rather interesting and some unusual sweets and snacks all the way from Japan. TokyoTreat is one of those box subscription things you get and every month you get sent a generous amount of interesting new things. This is great because chances are you have never tasted anything quite like it. I experienced the rather delicate sweetness of Matcha (powdered green tea). There are things that I am looking to get again (admittedly buying online) and some things I am not so sure of. Either way it was a great little idea and the snacks and treats definitely add something to my day because you know what they say about stagnating and getting in to ruts. Something I would avoid like the plague. While illness is draining, monotony is worse. Its a fine line between routine and a little bit of spontaneous fun.

You should enjoy yourself and do things that make you happy. Don't be scared of new things and just go with it. After all, we only have so long to do it and when you think about it, what is stopping you from doing the things you want to do? Those who blame others for missed chances are weak willed and foolish. Maybe it's easier to blame others for your misfortunes rather than being adult and taking responsibility? I don't know. Personally, I am making the most of things, yes there are days when I feel so exhausted that I can't move. Yes there are days when I just want to give up and break down in to tears. But then I remind myself of something, I am still alive. Despite the illness, people who tried to drag me down their level or anything else. I am still here. I am still able to hold my head up and say "You know what, yeah the past was a bit rough but who says I am letting the future be the same?"

People ask me how I cope with everything. The simplest answer is "I just do." I can't wave a magic wand and make it better and make years of chronic chest infections and pretty much daily asthma symptoms and attacks disappear. Nor can I erase the damage that has done to my lungs and the knock on effect that has had (and the effects of the treatments) on other parts of my body. There is no cure. I know that. I accept that. BUT I keep on going because I don't see why I should have to stop because of things. I am independent and it is a huge part of who I am. I have my wheelchair and oxygen cylinders so that I may live as comfortably and independently as I can. I have freedom. Maybe not in all the ways that someone would want it, but I still have something, right?

Since moving I have felt so much better in myself. Living in a quiet and more out of the way area of Redditch has been lovely. Sitting around and listening to birds outside. The area is lovely and peaceful and there's no trouble. Ever. OK so its a bit out of the way but I don't mind it too much (OK so the buses still need a lot to be desired at times, last week when Jace was over, the last thing we wanted to hear a bus driver say was "sometimes the brakes work, sometimes they don't", talk about unsettling...) I do feel calmer and I have been able to relax and enjoy my bungalow. One thing I definitely agree with now is that change can be a good thing. Change can bring about growth and often that is where things start to get better. Maybe things will get better healthwise? Maybe not. But I know in myself that I am going to withstand it and I am strong enough to get back up again.

Loves
Wendy xx


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Spring!

Spring has well and truly sprung here and there are even flowers in my garden. Its now that I can see the scope and sheer size of what I have to work with here. Thanks to a very kind neighbour, I now have proper hutches and runs for the animals (Loki is enjoying being an outdoorsy bunny, the piggies aren't so keen on being outdoors so they're staying inside with me but they LOVE having more space to run about). I think all of us are really seeing the long term benefits of moving, even if the move itself was a logistical nightmare! Its true, you never know just how much crap you own until said crap has to be shifted from place to place. Maybe its the fact that it's the warmer weather or the fact that I am now living in a home that I don't feel scared or threatened in anymore, but I feel more like the old me as the time passes. Maybe I was skeptical at first about the move, it was a heck of a change and I think it was one that had to happen because I was so depressed that I didn't even see how depressed I was feeling until it was nearly too late. My old place was fine but towards the end of my time there, I was restricted on how I could live there. I couldn't use my kitchen

I have mostly unpacked now and just have a few boxes left in storage, otherwise, I can say with certainty that I am unpacked and am living in my happy home. The weird thing is, while I was unpacking, I never noticed how much I was doing and it took me ages to get the place how I like it. Of course now comes the part where I have to maintain it and keep it to the standards that I have put upon myself. I don't mind doing bits of housework. This is all that is left to unpack now, considering that there used to be boxes as far as the eye could see, this is a vast improvement and the few boxes left, I know roughly what's in there. I am house-proud and I find cleaning cathartic, but sometimes I will admit that I push my body too hard and my reward is usually a wheezy chest needing nebs. It's OK though because my home is how it should be. Clean and tidy. Something I couldn't seem to achieve at the old place, maybe it was something in the air (actually there was a lot of damp in the air from way before I lived there) that made me feel more and more like giving up. Its weird but every time I go in to that little room, it gets more tidy and things start making their way to proper places. Its only a little space (just small enough to not be classed as a 2nd bedroom but could easily be used as one)

I guess it isn't important now. I've been in my bungalow for 4 months now (I can hardly believe it myself) and I love being here. There's something nice about waking up and not thinking "What is my neighbour going to do THIS time?" or having their music perforate any peace and quiet you had. Abbeydale isn't in itself a horrible place. Its just a tough place for someone who is sensitive to some things and more likely to suffer due to stress and for someone who values things like privacy and not hearing a street full of kids screeching like banshees all summer. I think that where I am now is a lot more suitable to me and and I am definitely a lot better off here. For one, I can get around this place so much easier and its easier to keep clean tidy and fresh. A better home environment is good for me and it's good for the animals as well. I think they were also suffering at the psycho hands of my neighbour and they knew that it was affecting me to that point.

Funny, looking back at a blog from this time last year, I was making plans of home improvements, new furniture and redecorating. I guess that when you look back on it, I did get a home upgrade. Just not in the way we originally thought. Maybe this is one of those moments where you realise that you went through hell and came out smiling. 

Loves
Wendy xx

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Justice for Baby

Very rarely do I ever come across something that shakes me to the core. Being an animal lover for all of my life means that I have infinite time for our furry, feathered or scaley friends. My pets aren't just animals to me. They are my family. They have the same level of love and attention as I would want to get myself and they are happy and well cared for. They are loved. But they are lucky. Not all animals are fortunate enough to find homes where they are treated not as subservient but as family members in their own right. Its horrible to think that the UK, a nation who are supposed to be known for their love of animals, is seeing more and more animal crime and abuse.

In the UK if an animal is abused and the perpetrator is taken to court, the sentences handed down are so lenient and often with "suspended sentences" the criminals are basically told that if they're a good boy/girl for a little while, they will avoid prison completely. I think this isn't right. I really don't believe in suspended sentencing anyway, especially in cases where either a person or animal was seriously harmed or killed. It's too soft an approach and it just sends out the clear message that even if you do something that is so awful, you'll get a slap on the wrist. People don't take it seriously and I think they have learned that they can be as inhumane towards an animal as they please and get one of these weak "sentences".

No case illustrates how wrong this is more than the sad story of a bulldog named Baby. You may have heard Baby's story already since it went viral last week. Baby's last few months were torture at the hands of the humans she thought would love her and keep her safe. In the videos online you see the shocking way that Andrew and Daniel Frankish, of Redcar, pick her up and throw her repeatedly down a flight of stairs while laughing and joking about what they were doing. Picking her up by the ears to "make it scream some more" or head-butting her against the walls. Standing on her chest and using her as a trampoline while the poor dog lay submissive and still obedient towards these thugs. This was all filmed and 3 months later, Baby was put to sleep due to her losing the use of her back legs (those last few months must have been so painful for her, having had a spinal injury myself that was left untreated, I know first hand how hard that can be). 2 years later and the memory chip containing the footage was found on a supermarket floor, the RSPCA and police got involved and the lads both got suspended sentences and 6 month tagging/curfew.

These two were defended by their mother who said that they were "fucked" on drugs and that they didn't know what they were doing. The fact that they actually filmed the attack on Baby and kept the memory card and footage shows that they not only knew what they did but they were probably proud of themselves for doing so. Keeping the videos as some kind of sick trophy to relive the moment where they were "big men" and attacked a defenseless pet. Obviously the boys are pretty much going to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders in case someone decides to give them a beating but they aren't the victims here.

Baby's case wasn't exactly isolated and there have been numerous incidents of animal abuse and the poor sentencing of judges that almost make it OK to abuse an animal. As usual Facebook has been used positively to promote the plight of Baby and to call the authorities to drag these scumbags back in to court, get them proper sentences and use this case as a landmark to point towards tougher consequences for animal abusers. If you would like to get involved please click here to join the Facebook group as well as signing the petitions here and here.

Please help us get justice for Baby and stop something this horrible from ever happening again.

Loves
Wendy xx

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Turning Around.

Sometimes, I get so sick of people telling me how "easy" my life is. Especially when people assume that it's easy being disabled. Let's be clear about on this and I know many people would agree when I say it. Being disabled is hard. Being disabled is sometimes incredibly frustrating. Being disabled means that crossing paths with ignorant people can be the worst thing ever. Someone once said that due to my illnesses, which mean that I'm on ESA instead of being made to look for work, that they were jealous. How can someone be jealous of this?! It's sick! I have missed out on things due to my conditions and have also lost a lot of things I enjoyed. I have days when I can go out but sometimes even something as simple as getting on a bus can start a huge confrontation, usually due to lazy drivers and parents with buggies that shove you out of the way (not all of them are like it but I have met my share). 

And before ANYONE starts. I am NOT saying that babies should be thrown off of buses. If a wheelchair and a pram are waiting at the same stop, the person who arrived first should get the place, unless there is room for both. If a wheelchair wanted to get on and there were already prams there and they couldn't be folded, then fine. I can wait. All I am saying is that if you can hold your child and theres a wheelchair to get on, please be considerate and DO NOT shove someone out of the way to barge past them. It's rude. Oh and to be told that "that thing on [my] face is disgusting..." yeah... Its keeping me alive whereas some people and their ignorant attitudes are probably sending them to an early grave.

When you have brittle asthma its fair to say that there are days where you really can't do very much. Heck recently I have been having a period of that and it drives me mad because I am an active and very independent person. I choose to live in a home which is clean and fresh. I choose not to live like a slob. I choose to not let aspects of my life affect others because I was brought up better than that. Obviously I do have bad days and I get really annoyed with them because I know there is work needing to be done and I need to get up and do it, even if I have no energy or am in pain because who else is going to do it for me? It may seem harsh but that is how it is and it is sometimes harder work on my body than I ever realise.

When I get up in a morning, I start my days with food and the first fistful of tablets of the day. Followed by liquid meds and nebuliser meds. Then I can get up and get going and do whatever it is I do some days. A large proportion of my day is spent working on sewing projects, gaming and playing with my pets. Loki has recently (thanks to the kind donation from next door, seriously, everyone is amazing here!) moved outside in to an outdoor hutch/run. He loves it! It's warm and cozy at night and during the day he has all the room he wants to just be a bunny. This means that he is in a more suitable environment and hes a lot happier as a result. That to me is a sign of owning a pet and doing it responsibly. I do go out to him daily with food/water/greens and hay so he is not starving. None of my pets are given less than complete love, care and compassion.

These last few days I have been really suffering from my infection and the fact that I have been working daily to keep my home to the standard it should be kept to. The people who lived here before didn't give it the care and attention it needs and as a result there was a sadness in the air when I first moved in, probably because the people who had it before me used it as some kind of squalid pit with it's own personal fly-tip. I fell in love with the bungalow from the moment I saw it and wanted to live here.  Now I am spending time sorting it out and making a home for myself. It looks nice already but there are still some things that need to be sorted and a few things that need to go up before I consider it finished. It's a long project to come to life but I do take great pride in keeping my home neat, tidy and keeping that pesky dust down! I have become quite adept at wheelchair hoovering! So I have no excuse to live in a filthy home. Then again, I am of the belief that no one has the excuse to live in a dirty shit-pit (excuse my language).
 
I loved the quiet surroundings and the fact that the people here are just so much nicer than my old neighbours. I started working on a cross stitch project when I knew I was moving. It was the last thing I started at my old place and the biggest thing I've finished here in my new home. I did a cross stitch of Sephiroth from Dissidia, it took me 3 months of hard work. 3 months of nights spent curled up with it and now it is framed and mounted. I felt an amazing sense of pride when I put the finished work in to the frame. Even more so when people started seeing it out on display and saying how amazing the piece was to watch it grow. I did take photos and they are on my Instagram page of the process, along with other pictures of the things I do in the place I do them. I like to live my life despite having things that make it harder for me to do so and I hate it when people think that because I am disabled that I won't enjoy going out or socialising. I am still here and I am making the best of my lot here because I have to. I can't sit around and feel sorry for myself forever now can I? I like to make the most of the days I can do things and on the days where I just don't have the energy, I try and give myself things to do so that I don't stagnate or get in to a routine of not doing much.

Its been since moving that my whole attitude has been turned around. If someone had said to me last year that I would have moved in to a new home and found myself incredibly happy once more, I would have thought "Yeah. OK..." but look at how things have turned around for me!

Loves
Wendy xx

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Another Door Closes, Another Door Opens.

Unpacking is pretty much done with and OK there's boxes of misc stuff but we had misc boxes at the old place so to be honest they're not worrying me. To be honest it's stuff I can browse through whenever I feel up to it really. I've shifted the last few boxes of belongings and unpacked everything I use and need so I'm doing OK with that. It's amazing how much you acquire over the years but at the same time you do sometimes look at stuff and ask yourself "what exactly was I going to do with this?!" But I think that I have my bungalow as I want it. It's clean and tidy and importantly, its secure and tucked right up and away from all the hustle and bustle. Even with a pub over the road, we don't have drunken chavs walking down the street shouting and swearing in the early morning. It's something I don't miss to be honest.

I've been so much better here and it's been wonderful for me to have a home where I can feel safer. I didn't like leaving the flat on Abbeydale unguarded as it didn't feel like that secure an area. I kept the curtains closed because of kids playing "look at the freak" and I felt like my privacy was being invaded, especially when they would run around my garden. To be honest, I think I had reached a point in Abbeydale where I was closed to giving up in myself, my home suffered through. I won't go into the specifics about how, who and why because it holds no purpose to play the "blame game". I'm not a little kid anymore and I'm doing my best to let go of the past and keep looking forward to the future, whether that's 5 years or 50+.

I owe it to myself to keep trying. I owe it to my loved ones to keep smiling, even on the bad days and know that the pain and other stuff doesn't last forever. Heck, I even owe it to the people who try to bring me down because nothing quite says " Fuck you" (excuse the language) better than when someone who tried to destroy you sees you grow and thrive and they realise that despite them, you're living your life and making it better and they won't even get a look in, because they don't deserve it. Simple really. I'm not making it obvious where my address is to anyone unless I want them to know and the people who do know have promised to keep it secret and they know who not to tell, not that they would tell that individual anything anyway.

I've been a bit off since having a tumble from my futon. Trying to get in at the doctors has been a nightmare (booked up for the next month!) and I can't justify going to A&E for it. They probably make more fuss about my asthma being a pain but I don't want to have to go in. There's something nice about not being taken away from a place that I want to hold on to. Don't get me wrong, we are fortunate enough to have the NHS and we all have a grumble and a gripe with it but it's obvious that they're stretched to the limit. Obviously if things go really down hill then I will go but for now I'm comfortable where I am.

I did have to say goodbye to an old friend though. After 4 years, my old Samsung just had enough and was ready to retire to the place where mobile phones go when they die. Maybe holding on to it was like holding on to another part of the life I've left behind and it was buggy. Nothing updated. Nothing worked properly. It lagged. So I treated myself because it was time to do something nice that was for me.

Loves
Wendy xx

Friday, 19 February 2016

Making a Home.

Well, we're further in the cause of unpacking the new place. Today, I managed to get the rest of the corner clear in the bedroom and now theres only 2 boxes of bric-a-brac waiting to be sifted through and put away properly. Those are now waiting in the little room out of the way. The bungalow is actually bigger than we realised it was originally (with all my stuff in place and organised, admittedly theres space to spare), not to mention the rather generous garden space I have (which was cleared by the council). I was talking to Natt recently and he said that I seemed to be so much brighter and happier here, more like the old me. The girl who used to live in her attic and love it there. Since moving, I've been a bit busy what with unpacking the boxes upon boxes of personal possessions and putting my savings to good use on buying more nice storage space for my collection of books, games, DVDs and CDs. I like having things tidy and organised so its rewarding to see my effort coming to something. Now I'm putting what we call the finishing touches to the bungalow but all in all, its a nice, clean place to live. It really came together yesterday when the rug I ordered arrived and now it's just the little finishing touches to bring the place to life completely. 

When people ask me "was it worth it?" I can honestly say it was. It really was. I think that although I liked my old place, it just wasn't right for me anymore and as my health declined over the years, I became less able to live and maintain it to the standards I'd always been able to keep before. When I mean standards, I mean the floor being vacuumed than once a month and the dusting being done regularly too. I know its a lot of work but to be honest, what is the point in having a place when you don't strive to make it a home. Even if it's only simple little touches like hanging curtains or splurging on a rug and new units but to be honest, the things at the flat were being held together by duct tape and happy thoughts. There are a few things we managed to salvage but most of the furniture here is new and I brought what I needed bit by bit (with a generous back-payment with my PIP/ESA when things went a bit off due to the last tenant not telling the DWP that the council had kicked them out so they thought they were still living here. Cheek of it!) but in all, I think it has been a worthy investment. It's an investment in my own future and that is something in itself. And who wants to come home to a place that was damp, mouldy and generally never felt that clean and sanitary?

I think this bungalow is a great place and it is in such a lovely part of town. I won't say where exactly for security reasons but I can honestly say it is quiet and secluded down here. I live at the end of the row as well but no one here is any trouble. I get on with the neighbours (Mr and Mrs S (names not given, again for privacy reasons) have been wonderful and so helpful and kind to me) and I feel something I have not felt in some time. I feel safe and secure. I feel comfortable and I feel happy. I'm not scared of what could happen outside anymore or who could invite themselves in and as it's a bungalow, there isn't anyone living upstairs. I have an enclosed garden which is fenced off and the boundaries are clear and no mistake could be made. 

I think that my mental health has seen the biggest improvement over the last few weeks. I have stopped being so quiet and timid and become more outgoing and vibrant. I feel more myself here and it shows in so many ways. My neighbours have said that in the short time I've been here, I've gone from that timid, frightened girl to a vibrant and boisterous young woman who is the real me. I don't feel so hopeless. I have a future and that's something no one can take away. Today I even ventured out to find the local shops and explore the area a bit. It was a pleasant run and I felt proud because I'd motivated myself to go and look around. I guess the reason I hadn't blogged was that there was so much I needed to do to set myself up here and settle in. When I came back home after Christmas, the thought in my mind was "Right, I've got the move over with. Everything's here and the keys to the old place are gone. Now it's time for a fresh new beginning." Its taken me ages to get to this point but I'm taking pride in my home and I plan to carry that on.

Loves
Wendy xx


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