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. Punctuated by guinea pigs, anime, superheroes, transforming robots and cross stitching.

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 a number of different and complex health problems but I refuse to let anything get me down. 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:

A blog about life. 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 and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. 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'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hanging on again...

I really am hanging on by the skin of my teeth at the moment, peak-flow is down to 150 l/min (my best is about 410 l/min so this really isn't good at all) regular nebbing and I can't seem to complete the simplest tasks like reaching over and talking without becoming short of breath or having an asthma attack. This isn't good at all really and an admission could be just around the corner again. I really don't want this as I have practice tomorrow and a gig on Monday. So I can't afford being ill or rushed in to hospital at the moment. So I am in a quandary.

Go in, get treated for what is probably going to be a chest infection and may need long term treatment, miss the gig and let Ant, Rich and Twitch down big time. Or try and stay out at least until Monday and then go in, chances are, the universe will make that decision for me, and I have a feeling I won't like the answer. Then again, it may be that this gig is not going ahead anyway so I can at least relax, for now. Although I have been wrong before and I will probably be wrong again and again. So I guess I gotta play this one by ear and hope for the best.

I'm not really in a maudlin mood, I just feel generally unwell and don't know where to turn of what to do. Steve, Stacey and Nat are all under the impression that I need to be in hospital, but I wonder what exactly they can do for me there that I can't do here. I have nebs, I have pred, I have everything else but it is a tricky one.I am obviously unwell, but I don't feel unwell enough to be in the hospital, it is an acute hospital and is probably over-run right now.

I guess I have to play this by ear.

Love Ya
Wendy x

Monday, 29 November 2010

Twitchy Veins...

To those of us who have a long term illness, there is one major certainty. Frequent medical tests. Urine tests, x-rays, scans, PFT's (pulmonary function tests) and my least favourite of all. Blood Tests. This morning I had one to check on my liver and glucose levels (2 of my medications cause diabetes so it was much better to be safe than sorry) as well as a full blood count. So off I toddled to my surgery and I waited in the nurse's waiting room.

Upon being called through by the Phlebotomy nurse, I got a sinking feeling as she examined my arms looking for a vein. This has never been easy. Instead I had to wait to see the Sister. She found a vein in my hand and stabbed it. After 40ml, the vein decided to give up the ghost and collapsed. Unfortunately this happens to me a lot and it is an uncomfortable occurrence. I felt bad for the poor nurse as she was very worried as she said she had never dealt with someone with veins like mine.

So now this means only a doctor can get blood from me, which means that blood work is going to be a pain, literally.

I don't get a fat lot of luck these days, but as always, I will keep a positive attitude and keep going as I have come so far in all of this.

Loves
Wendy x

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Taking the piss...

Lovely name for a blog, but right now there really is nothing more to say than my neighbor is really starting to take the piss. After a rather abrupt and rude awakening early this morning, Steve confronting him (not so much as a "Sorry" but a "I can do what I want") and me having to listen to this tripe all day long at horrific levels. It is safe to say we will be contacting the council and YMCA and we will make someone do something as this is really affecting my health adversely. Loud music = stress, lack of rest and ultimately my asthma will flare up and I will end up in hospital as a result of one person's selfishness. I don't expect him to live in silence, I just wish he would be a little more considerate towards those around him.

As you can imagine, my lungs are wreaking havoc and I have spent my day nebbing often, which has left me a little less than chuffed. Not to mention that I have to have a blood test tomorrow to see how my liver is as 2 of my regular meds can cause problems and diabetes. Fun... NOT!

On the plus I have been working on some ADIM concept art today and have been looking at Sephiroth as he grows up from a little kid to the homicidal nut-job that we all know and love. That has been fun, as it was interesting to see him at different ages and different stages of his career. The young boy in the Infantry uniform looks so cute! I promise to post these when I am done!

Loves ya
Wendy x 

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Braving the store room...

Sometimes no matter how much you try, sometimes things get on top of you. For us it was the small store room we have just opposite the bathroom. It is only small but somehow we managed to cram a whole flat full of... well I didn't actually know what it was in there. Books, clothes (half of which either didn't fit, never fit, or were never worn), papers. It was a whole room of just stuff. Although once or twice I was sure I could hear something moving in there (more than likely something falling over, but when your half asleep, it is scary and one does wonder sometimes. I mean there was enough all over the floor to support life.

So we set to work, moving everything out, sifting through, and throwing out rubbish. We usually have a 6 month rule. If something hasn't been used in 6 months, chances are we won't ever use it so we either throw it away or if it is something someone else can and would use, we donate it to charity so that someone else can use it. We also put the old curtains and some cushions in vacuum bags, those things are a GOD SEND.

I also found a book which I found one day in the Works. I saw it and it's simple black and white style so picked it up. I am a sucker for independent art and I had never heard of Simon's Cat. I flicked through and found so many funny illustrations and comics of a cat. It was amazing as the cat was just so funny and I was chortling to myself. I just had to have this book and £6 was a bargain. If you haven't ever experienced it click here and you shan't be disappointed.

Loves
Wendy x

Snow.

This morning I awakened to Steve showing me the freshly fallen snow. Now I love the snow as it looks pretty, but it also means that it will be too cold for me to go out too much. It did make me smile though. I know it sounds silly and such a small thing can bring a smile to my face, but sometimes anything that can boost morale is good enough reason to smile in my books.

After last night's struggle to breathe, things got really hairy last night and this could have so easily have ended in a certain yellow van with blue lights screaming in to the close and waking up in hospital yet again. Luckily I just got on with nebbing and upped my Pred again a little bit to 10mg and touch wood, I may have won. For now. I do owe a lot to Steve, Nat and JP, they helped me through the whole thing and talked to me on YIM, keeping me supported.

I slept well last night which has been something of a rarity while my chest has been a bit off, but I must have been really exhausted. I woke up after a strange dream about school, being on stage for something and my old dogs from when I was a girl. Along with lots of really strange things happening. I think part of my mind is trying to explore what happened when I was at Weston Road, with my Dad and when he left and what my brother used to do to me. Although strangely enough I am not afraid of any of this. I actually think this could be a good thing to explore and it will be great to finally come to terms and lay all of this to rest and recover.

Loves

Wendy x

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The smell of magic...

Like most people living with a chronic condition, I have days where I feel so beaten and miserable about life. Then I remind myself that if I stopped trying then I may as well be nailed in my coffin now. I find it strange when people tell me I am brave and strong, when in actual fact, all I am doing is facing my situation and trying to make the best of things. OK so I never had the best start in life and I may have been through a few things, but when did any of that ever stop me? So I thought I would share the things that keep me going.

It is a bit of an open secret that I LOVE aromatherapy and natural bathing products, but with skin like mine, anything else leaves you cracked, sore and scaly so whats a little expense really when it comes to looking, feeling and of course smelling good. Plus, the effect certain smells can have on the mind is something that is just as important really. I discovered something yesterday as I walked in to my local Lush shop (its a new venture in our town, but it certainly distracted me from my yen for Broccoli and Stilton soup, an acquired taste but I do love it.) and was enchanted by this smell of vanilla and lavender. Well I thought it was Vanilla. Turns out what I could smell and was enjoying was a bath bomb called Twilight (not named after the books and films, but the time between dusk and nightfall). I had to get one.

Since buying one, I have been sniffing it almost every few minutes. I have left it in the main room for now to perfume the air, and lungs aren't acting up as a result. This is a rarity in itself really. OK so I still feel cruddy and tired and my temp is still up, BUT... I truly feel that a boost to morale is JUST what the doctor ordered. Its not that I'm feeling sorry for myself, I just go through phases of just feeling a bit fed up and like my body is taking a marathon beating. Colds, Flu, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, other LRTI's, it can sometimes be like a treadmill, that is unstoppable and you can't just jump off. So you keep on running and go through the motions.

Sometimes you just feel like you want to give up and succumb to everything, but then you remember what it was that kept you fighting in the first place. For me, it has been the determination not to become yet another statistic in  a long line. According to Asthma UK there is a death because of Asthma in the UK every 7 hours. I really don't want to be the next one to go, but I know that eventually my time will come. Until then, I want to do everything I want to. My friend asked me what my dreams are or my "Bucket List." A "Bucket List" is a list of things that I want to do before I go. I thought I would share my dreams with all of you, right now.

My Bucket List - By Wendy Bostock.


1. Complete my HND Media and graduate.
2. Be well enough to get and hold down a steady job.
3. To hold my own child despite my PCOS.
4. Learn to Drive.
5. Become a nurse.
6. Have my "Another Day In Midgar" stories either published or recognized by Square Enix.
7. Meet Tetsuya Nomura , the guy who created Sephiroth.
8. Get married.
9. Go to Tokyo.
10. Meet Linkin Park.

I know these are small and some are silly or unrealistic dreams, but they are my dreams and they are the things that keep me going. If I were to be realistic, I know I would probably never be well enough to be a nurse, but if I never tried, I think I would regret that more wouldn't I?


"Embrace your Dreams" - Angeal Hewley, SOLDIER 1st Class.

Loves
Wendy x

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I could never get the hang of Wednesdays....

Is it me or does each day have it's own specific feeling? Monday is the beginning of the week, we're all gearing up for the week ahead. Tuesday has the restless feeling of busying away, and Wednesday always feels a bit flat and people feel apathetic.

On a plus side, after 2 hours of calling about 3 different numbers and arguing with so many different parts of the DWP (first we were worried we would need a crisis loan, THEN I had to call Worcester Benefit Delivery Centre,  told to call back in an couple hours while they sorted it out, Steve had to call RE: JSA can't pay him anymore, but he still has to sign on, even though his money comes from my ESA (joint claim or something) THEN I had to call another number, explain everything for the 18th time in the last week) in order to get my ESA money sorted so we could make rent and do this important thing, like eating for the next week. Money was in. We were happy about that.

Then again, last night wasn't that easy. I was so upset because I thought that maybe me and Steve weren't working any more. After a talk with Vicky, Stacey and Nat, I had a good heart to heart with Steve and I am happy to say it strengthened us. It gave me an outlet and I cried for the first time in months, I actually had a good cry, and it made me feel 100% better about how I felt. About coming to terms with my illnesses and what that meant to me. I am stubborn about everything.

I suppose I was fighting against everything as I never wanted to admit how ill I was or how hard life had become for me. I kept on trying to live as I was before all of this. I never realised how much I was putting on myself and it was so foolish, and so very stubborn. Most importantly I was WRONG and I am sorry for all the times I have scared the people I love the most.  

So we had to go shopping for our food and other stuff for the next 2 weeks. I hope this isn't going to happen every 2 weeks or I might go a bit potty. Or more potty. None of this has helped my lungs and they really had a strop after brushing my hair (!) and I wheezed my way back to my nebuliser. 5mg of Ventolin and 500mcg of Atrovent and I was ready to go out.

Have started some vitamin and mineral supplements to help my immune system and joints through the winter so hopefully I will not be swearing every time I go up and down stairs. My knees are very sore and stiff because of the large amounts of steroids I use to keep going. Not pleasant! The phrase "the price we pay for the games we play" springs to mind here.

Love Ya
Wendy x

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Addition to the blog...

I have added a little bit of my own story to my blog. I thought it was important to show where I came from and where my emotions stem from. No it is not a pretty story, but it, like the rest of my blog is honest and doesn't hide or gloss over anything.

I wanted to post it as a Blog Post as it is really important for people to know where I came from:

My Story

I was born in the town of Stafford to Mr and Mrs Fullard in 1987. I was an awkward child, and I never really mixed with the other kids. I was a weird kid so its not surprising really. I never made many friends, but the ones I made I loved deeply and they were rocks of strength for me.
I went through Primary school without too much trouble and enjoyed it for the most part, but when I went to Weston Road High School in 1999, my family's reputation followed me and I was branded as so many unpleasant things. I spent 3 years there and was raped by one of my school bullies at the age of 12, it wasn't a standard sexual intercourse, but he forced he to perform oral sex. I felt so worthless and the gleam in my eyes started to fade. I never told people because I was so afraid.
My home life wasn't a bed of roses either. I was pretty much ignored by my mother, abused by my father in so many ways, and a physical and emotional punching bag for my older brother Stephen. I remember very well the mornings when my friend Leona would come to walk to school with me and the scenes she would witness. I would be lying on the floor being punched, kicked and strangled. Always in places I could hide by clothes. I would tell my mother who would accuse me of "making it up", "hurting myself" or "provoking Stephen". At that point I did none of these, unless wishing someone a good morning was ample provocation for a good kicking and a strangling.
I was lonely and depressed by the time I was 13 and spent much time alone in my bedroom harming myself with pencil sharpener blades and other kitchen implements. My friend told people what was going on at home, things went sour as a result in my brother's relationship. I took the blame each time and the beatings got worse. The result is a slight crushing of my larynx, which I had to explain to a bemused doctor as to how it happened. I felt so cornered and there was no escape.
By the time he left home, I was a terrified little kid that was so scared of leaving the safety of her own bedroom. When I was 14, I had my first nervous breakdown and I attempted suicide in my bedroom with blades and pills, although my mum came in before I took them, and was taken out of Weston Road. I spent 13 weeks at home until I started Rising Brook that September. In that time, I attempted suicide a few more times as I felt as though I just couldn't cope anymore.
The rest of my school years passed OK, I got counseling for my depression and anxiety disorders and began to heal my wounds. Until I was raped at 15. I never felt so worthless and I trusted no-one. I attempted suicide again, fortunately, my mother and then Step-father (who I look upon as my Dad) hid the really sharp knives and the ones I could find were dull and blunt.
I then had my relationship with Mike, which had it's ups and downs until we split up.
I now live with Steve and things are looking up. We have had our issues but what relationship hasn't, I now know that he loves me for who I am and respects me for coming through hell, still smiling.
I am who I am and I am not ashamed of that person.


Thank you all for reading.


Wendy x

Procrastination... I has it!

OK I know, I am supposed to be writing a 1500 word paper about Documentaries/genre and form, but I really... REALLY can't muster the enthusiasum. I am hoping this is just a dip really and I am just feeling a bit uninspired and in a rut. I mean we all have days when we feel like that don't we?

I was restless as a little puppy today, I would try and do something and get distracted, usually by the fact I just couldn't be bothered or something else caught my eye. Like all phases, I think this too shall pass and I will come back to it tomorrow a bit more in the mood to work. Knowing me anyway.

Lungs are stroppy again over the cold weather. I know over the winter I will have to use my neb more often, I mean, it is my first winter with this therapy available to me so hopefully I won't spend most of the Christmas season lying in a hospital bed. Failing that if the shit hits the fan then I just have to find a way around it. Like I always do. And to those who don't like, or are getting sick of reading my posts, READ SOMETHING ELSE THEN... simple really, there are people out there who do enjoy my honest posts and what I have to say. If you are not one of them, then feel free to bugger off.


*Rant over* Sorry about that, haters do my head in. I notice the haters usually tend to be the sort who don't read anything of substance or intelligence anyway, so chances are they don't actually understand what I am getting at. OK I am ranting again, sorry about that!

Love Ya
Wendy x

Monday, 22 November 2010

Finishing my HND

You know what they say about when opportunity knocks, well, they say that we should answer. I am most certainly going to answer this golden opportunity that has been offered up to me, it is definitely nothing to sniff at. This chance is of course to finish my Higher National Diploma in Media Studies.

I started my course 2 years ago after my 1st gap year. I was so psyched about it and really wanted to do this. I worked so hard in my first year and I loved it. But I became very ill, and nearly died as a result. I pushed so hard to get to the 2nd year, 6 months work done in 2 days of solid grind. In my 2nd year, my health just took it's toll on me and I never finished my course. I was so gutted. I cried for days, I'd worked so hard and because of the situation, my illness and everything else, I'd never felt so defeated and worthless. Made worse on the day that my peers graduated. I felt so robbed as I should have been standing there with them, getting my diploma and grinning like mad. Alas it wasn't to be and I went back in to my own depression. Not fun.

My ray of hope really shone in when I got a letter from my Tutor Sean, offering me the chance to finish.

Now I know, I CAN DO THIS!!

Loves
Wendy x

OWWWWWWWWWW.....

OK, I fell asleep last night not feeling too bad, yeah, I was tired and had a headache, but I put it all down to one of those things, it is flu season after all and I couldn't get my flu jab this year because I was too ill with another of those infections that I pick up all too easily.

This morning dawned and I woke up feeling hot, sweaty and aching from head to foot, sounds like a barrel of laugh doesn't it. I was shivering so decided to check my temperature again, usually a sure fire way of knowing if I am coming down with something. 38.4 degrees...lovely. I think as I take some paracetamol and snuggle down in bed. This actually explains a lot, why I just can't focus or keep my head in the game today. This could start getting interesting, especially as I am due to be paid my ESA on Wednesday, so need to go out and rustle up some grub for the week ahead.

Now, there is a minefield. ESA, Employment and Support Allowance, the DWP's way of streamlining Income Support and Incapacity Benefit in to one thing. Supposedly to speed up the system, although to be honest, I am not sure that that has worked. To be honest, I was quite happy to carry on looking for work, even though I never feel that well these days and sadly, its like I have almost forgotten what not feeling like hell felt like, oh well, one mustn't complain. I just want to get on with it really, but I suppose I need to accept my lot, the sooner I accept, maybe the sooner I can just adapt and start moving forward, I guess it just feels like I'm being pigeon-holed in this situation  whether I want it or not.

I notice my thoughts are a bit bleak this morning, I'm putting it down to feeling completely and utterly bored and fed up so I guess I am sorry if this seems a little blegh, but I feel blegh in myself. But on a positive note, I may have worked out how to set up my little joke that I have in store, so watch this space, I promise it will be VERY funny if I can pull this off.

Love ya
Wendy x

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Letters from a friend

Today I went to the cinema with JP, someone I have not known all that long but already he is a part of my extended family. He is a sweet kid and like me also suffers with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and like me has a passion for music and the arts.

He needed help to write some songs so I lent him my diary from the last year. In this notebook, I used to write down some of my deepest and most personal thoughts, about myself, living with my illnesses and the people around me. Even about the times I did things to myself that were horrific from slashing myself open with a knife, to overdosing on painkillers and anti-psychotics (that resulted in one long night and a day in hospital, which I don't remember, but I remember that Steve was terrified). He wrote a letter in the back of it and it really made me smile and brought a happy tear to my eye. I wanted to share it with you, as it really was poignant.

"Dear Wendy,


Reading this diary has shown me so much about you, and the fact that not only were you happy for me to read it, but actually borrow it brings a smile to my face.
   Admittedly, I haven't known you for very long, but hey! You don't have to know someone for YONKS to know know they are a decent person.
   You have seemingly been through so much in your short life, yet through it all you are still here and I am glad you are!


This diary is inspiring. YOU ARE INSPIRING!


I hope very much to remain friends with you and Ste. If you ever need anything, let me know.


Anyways, I'm rambling a bit, so I'll wrap up now. Thanks for letting me read this.


Peace and Love
Good Ol' JP"

It gave me such a warm feeling to read this, along with other kind words said to me about my blog, my diaries and other ways I have expressed myself. I want to take the chance now to thank you all for finding something in my words and I hope you enjoy my writings for years to come.

Love you all so very much
Wendy x

Friday, 19 November 2010

Crisis Core Mug = AWESOME!!

Best Birthday present I have ever had really. A mug printed just for me with a picture of all the characters from my fave game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7. It may not be a Square Enix special or worth millions of pounds, but I LOVE it as it was made just for me and with my favorite piece of concept art.



And most importantly, it is special as it was a gift from Steve. He can be a pain at times, but he is my pain in the ass frankly and he can be the most thoughtful person at times. A mug printed with Crisis Core motif was THE one thing I didn't have in my collection. I collect Final Fantasy memorabilia, from action figures, books, CD's and of course the games that started the whole thing off. This game has been there in my life for all the major ups, downs and everything in between, ever since I was 10 or 11 years old, it was one of the two, and my brother had brought it home. I used to just watch him play at first, then, when we got our own copy, I began playing it and never stopped. Even though I completed the original Final Fantasy VII game many times to 100%, Crisis Core has been completed at least 3 times I think and Dirge of Cerberus which has been done once or twice.

Its fitting that I spent most of yesterday downloading the Complete edition of Advent Children. The original film itself is incredible, but they added another 30 minutes to the story, including back-story on some of the children of the city, Cloud, Reno and Rude and the epic battle at the end was extended. Much to my excitement (I couldn't stop grinning for ages).

I am finally winning with my infection now and it is finally settling down, lungs are a little worse for wear but I guess that is expected really. I also learned the other purpose for the co-codamol I was taking. Codeine is a cough suppressant and since I started taking it regularly as per my doctor's instructions and that beast of a cough has started to calm right down, I don't crack ribs so often now and the pain is definately not as much of an issue as it was. All in all, things are starting to move forward and I got my Birthday wish.

Love You Muchly

Wendy x

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Reflections of my 22nd year...

Well, I am about to go to bed and close the door on another year, and of course open another door to my 23rd year. For those who I have confused at this point, it is the eve of my 23rd Birthday, and I thought I would say a few words before bed.

Things I have learned: TRUST MY INSINCTS, asthma attacks REALLY suck, don't tread on PSP chargers (lest you enjoy having your foot twitch from leaving to arriving at college), I really have some awesome friends and family (whereas others were just arseholes, but I really can't be bothered in getting in to that.)

Things I achieved: Control over my mental health problems, Independance, some kind of control over my asthma (albeit sometimes that does go a little off at times), I got to know myself a little better, perhaps that was due to going to the deeper recesses of my mind. I managed to reconcile an old friendship.

Things I screwed up: I didn't ask for help sooner when it came to my health.

Other thoughts?

It was one of THOSE sort of years really, but for all it's faults, I still came out of this thing standing and I am proud of myself for doing that.

As for the coming year?

I want to go out a lot more, even if my health is a little dodgy I really want to get moving. Also I REALLY want to go to Uni or learn to drive. I hope Omen Shadow have more gigs and we really go far. Lets wait and see.

See you on the other side

Wendy x

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Random silliness.

I used to do this on MySpace, but as no-one visits there anymore, I decided to do this just for fun.

I have given my mascot a blog page, because I want to catalogue everywhere that Sephy has been with me, but somewhere different to my own blog so it doesn't over crowd. Plus I think such an awesome thing needs its own page, all for it's very own.

The Adventures of Sephy

Enjoy

Loves
Wendy xx

Happy Happy Happy!

I am so glad that they opened a LUSH shop in Redditch and so close to my birthday, so with my lovely pennies (donated by the awesome Nathaniel) I went and really treated myself to some new nice smelling things for me to indulge in and feel 10000000% special and loved. Then again as I have said many times before now, Lush cosmetics really are the secret to my good skin and youthful looks, (hehehe, buying meth spirits to fix that pesky DS of mine, if we hadn't been discussing age, I would have got I.D.ed so that has to count for something!) and generally good mood.

It is true, a good smell can equate to a VERY good mood, and a good mood always means a good day. So what took my fancy today? Well, as the money was a gift, I did get myself a lovely gift box, namely the Christmas Candy Box. Around my birthday, as it is so close to Christmas, you start getting the really tasty smelling Christmas treats, which is something I absolutely adore. And in these boxes you tend to get products (such as the Snow Fairy shower gel) which regrettably are unavailable at any time of the year, so now really is the time to stock up on them and make sure that I have enough to tide me over.

But enough about smellies or I could go on about them all day, because lets face it, I am a girl and I LOVE smelling like nice stuff rather than chemical poisons. But yet again, as I am prone to, I digress. After a truely wonderful day yesterday, I feel so much happier and closer to the me that I usually am, bright, perky and just generally in that sort of mood where smiling isn't an option. It's a must. Its been a while admittedly since I felt this happy, but I figure that if I can feel this happy more often then maybe life will not seem so glass half empty, if you know what I mean.

Whoever came up with that idea anyway that the glass was half empty? Personally I think it was just an excuse for the pessimists of the world to walk around with faces like smacked backsides and sulk until the day that the guy in the black shroud comes to collect them. That's OK, if you really want to be and think that way, BUT it really can't be all that exciting or fun, can it?

I guess what I really am getting at here, rather than rambling, as I do about everything and nothing all at once, is that if we can all take 5 minutes out of every day and think about everything we are either thankful for or are proud of instead of what makes us angry or disgusted, maybe that would make the human race a happier one.

Just some food for thought really.

Love You Muchly

Wendy x

Monday, 15 November 2010

Getting Creative...

I am known by those closest to me for my creativity. Be it from interesting pieces of illustration work, tattoo flash or even my custom made Christmas or Birthday cards. After a week of this (for want of a better word)  fucktard next door and his fondness for THE SAME beat day in, day out at the STUPIDEST levels imaginable (I mean this music actually rattles everything in our flat), and a housing officer who doesn't do anything, not because he "Can't" as he says, but because he WON'T, his reason, me and Steve don't work, OK I am long term disabled, so I think I have a pretty fair reason, correct me if I am wrong here.

But I digress, I decided that enough was enough. I had tried bumping and banging on the walls in fury (the multiple holes in the walls show as testament to this) to actually going round, asking the idiot to turn it down as the lack of rest makes me ILL. No avail. So I got imaginative, my nebuliser compressor is loud. VERY loud, and it has a strong, vibration. Now I put this against the wall and just let it vibrate for a while. Funnily enough, I think he got the point as the music turned down and we were able to resume our festivities in peace.

Our celebration? Well today is my Unofficial Birthday as it was the only time Nat could visit so we had a bit of a bash today. Pizza, pop and movies, I know this sounds tame by most standards, but as ill as I feel, getting sloshed just wouldn't be my best option. So we had some fun, music and films. Just a nice night in, and just what the doctor ordered.

As I am about to get to the presents, its time for the online THANK-YOU! to Nat and Josh for coming down, as well as thank you to Josh for the new Sephy plushie, (not that my dear old one is retiring, but the new one will be my shelf guardian), and an ENORMOUS THANK YOU to Nat for his VERY generous present, £100 cash. (You can imagine my face at this, but all the same LOVE YOU NATTY!!!!!) and to my wonderful friend Penny for her delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Well I'm off now to enjoy the lovely company, play more cards and then crash out from exhaustion till morning.

Love ya muchly

Wendy x

Sunday, 14 November 2010

One of my off days...

Today has been one of those days really. I didn't wake up properly until about mid-day which really isn't like me at all, but I guess the way I see it, I really needed the extra sleep. It happens I guess. I felt better for the extra sleep and when the doorbell went, signaling the arrival of 2 very lovely kids. Luke and Catherine came to see us which was nice.

We hung out, as we always do, and we told Luke and Catherine about our plan and what was bothering us. Catherine seemed to understand, but Luke, well I guess he's just a kid and let's face it, this sort of thing is difficult for even us adults can comprehend. I mean this isn't a small and petty thing anymore. This is HUGE and lets face it, it will be life-changing. Heck, it could even result in a criminal prosecution. OK in this case this may not be an entirely bad thing and Luke would be safe, but its still a long and stressful route, but on the plus side, I am convinced that we are making the best choice we can for the poor little kid.

As for my lungs, well today they just don't want to cope with anything so the nebuliser has been in full flow and its really helped me. I'll sleep well tonight because I am starting to feel a bit better for having the attacks and coughing up the muck.

Love to you all

Wendy x

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Interview with an asthmatic...

In living with Asthma to the extent that I do, I often get asked many questions. Even though I have already posted today, I just fancied answering some of those questions that people ask me:

1. What is the difference between an asthma attack and a panic attack?

This is a common question. During an asthma attack the person who is going through it will be experiencing any combination of the following symptoms: tightness in the chest, wheezy breathing (usually it feels harder to get air out of your lungs, but this does vary), cough. Although not all these symptoms have to be present for an asthma attack. This is all caused by the airways going in to spasm and closing up.

Outwardly, a panic attack can look very similar. The person who is suffering will be hyperventilating (breathing very fast and shallow) and usually calms down on their own. The best you can do with a panic attack is to calm the person down and remove them from the subject of distress.


2. What does an asthma attack feel like?

Each asthmatic feels an attack differently so it is impossible to define it in a way that relates to everyone. For me, it starts with generally feeling tired and run down, I won't be interested in very much at all or all I will want to do is sleep, although I find it hard to get to sleep. I won't eat very much nor will I really get up and move around much. It feels like someone who is sitting on me and I won't be myself at all. After this, I develop a chesty, rattling cough and become wheezy. It is here that I start treating my attack and hope for the best. This can and often does progress and deteriorate very quickly.

3. How do you know when to use your medication or call for an ambulance?

I have been told many times by my doctors to go by my instincts and let my symptoms be my guide. I know to reach for the inhaler when my symptoms start, and I will use up to 10 puffs of that if needed to calm things down. If that doesn't help, then I move to my nebulisers. I will have 1 of each nebule to begin with and another of salbutamol (Ventolin) on it's own afterward if the first didn't do the trick. If this hasn't worked as it should have, this doesn't happen often now but it used to be a regular thing, then Steve or whoever is with me will dial 999 and get an ambulance to me. This will usually result in either time on wards or the A & E department where I will be given nebulisers, steroids (either pills or IV) and oxygen to stablise my breathing and get me back to normal. Once I have been discharged, I will usually have extra steroids for a week and antibiotics because I usually have an infection.

4. How do you feel after an asthma attack?

In short, exhausted, sore and I will just curl up and go to sleep. It can take up to a week for me to recover, even longer if that recovery time has been interrupted by further asthma attacks. An asthma attack is a very tiring thing.

5. What do I do if I suspect someone is suffering from an asthma attack?

My first advice would be DO NOT PANIC. If they can speak ask them if they have their medication and help them take it as instructed or by the Asthma UK Guidelines. Click here to find these. If the inhalers don't help or YOU ARE IN DOUBT, call for help STRAIGHT AWAY. Remember asthma attacks can be fatal, so PLEASE be sensible about it and take it seriously.

That's it for the questions, but if you do have more don't be afraid to email them to me at w_bostock@hotmail.co.uk, I may not be able to answer them all, but I promise to do my best to answer as many as I can, also I really would recommend a look through the Asthma UK website and find out as much information as you can.

Much Love

Wendy x

I can't wait for you to shut me up...

Living with a lung disease can be very tiresome at times indeed, but I never was one to stop and do nothing because of it. Heck, I always believed in living my life and doing whatever I wanted in spite of my problems, more proof that, as a friend of mine says, Life is what you make it.

Today was a good day. A friend of mine introduced me to a guy called Josh. Josh is young, vibrant and has a fiery passion for music and the arts. Something I can relate to very well. He came with his guitar, amp, pedal and other equipment. We had a good guitar session, I even tried singing (although I confess, I am a little rusty as I haven't sung for quiet some time). It was great fun. Until about 3 when my lungs decided that they really REALLY didn't want to play anymore and they did, as asthmatic lungs do, begin to tighten and become wheezy and breathing became difficult and painful. It took me about 2 nebs again to calm it down and get things back under my control.

It left me tired and weak unfortunately, as those of us who live with asthma know it can. So I decided to recount my thoughts for today and how I was feeling about things. Interestingly it seemed like the right time to do this, as I had merged and coloured 2 separate pieces of work and making them in to one image. I'd never tried this before and it actually worked out well, the 2 images solo didn't fill the page, so the 2 put together made the picture complete.

I guess today's lesson is to push back when your body wants to rebel, its not a bad thing to challenge whatever is going on inside you, just as long as your sensible obviously.

Carpe Diem!

Wendy x

Friday, 12 November 2010

Mixed feelings...

Have you ever had mixed feelings about a situation but really have no idea where it is you should turn to for either advice or just some sort of confirmation that you are doing the right thing.

My worries are about Steve's little brother, Luke. Luke lives in a squalid house that you smell before you see. He is never looked after properly and it scares me that he is being neglected so much. While everything inside screamed at me to phone the social, everything else says give him another chance. Even though we have given him more chances than we can even count on both our fingers and toes. I encouraged Steve to take action and start the council on an investigation. But was I right in doing this? Everyone who knows the score says yes, but theres this part of me that is waiting to be told to STFU frankly and I guess I'm just feeling so lost right now. I love Luke, he is like either my own child or little brother and would love to give him a home where he is safe, loved and free from psychological bullying from his dad. I pray to every deity going that he doesn't end up being just as beaten down, depressed and unhappy as Steve did. It was bad enough that one of them went through this.

As for me? Well I've just kept quiet ready to be the first in the firing line on this one, the scapegoat. I am always so ready to look out for every one else and make sure they're going to be OK. I learned a long time ago to always help others, and thats what I always did.

My infection has left me feeling tired and weak, but my neighbor still insists on being noisy, while he sits on his backside all day getting high and drinking cheap cider. He is unemployed, but unlike me he is actually well enough to work. I won't get back in to THIS rant, but I think it's obvious what I think.

I'm going to go and get what rest I can, until it all begins anew tomorrow...

Love ya all!
Wendy x

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Paying the price...

Despite my better judgement, I went out for a treat today, courtesy of my wonderful friend Nathaniel. He took me, Bean, Josh and Lydia to see Despicable Me at the cinema. A brilliant film and such a lovely treat, almost making me forget that I have been ill today. My temp was down and I was really starting to feel better and getting my strength back.

After a great film, a quick stop at the supermarket to grab some odds and ends and then home to rest. Thats where it all played catch-up. All of a sudden, I felt so tired and had a cough, but it is November so I guess its one of those things.

Do I regret going out? Not a jot.

Loves
Wendy x

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Review with Dr Pike...

This morning was my review with Dr Pike after the last couple of turbulent weeks. I like Dr Pike, he is a good doctor and he treats me almost like a friend, instead of a ball of neuroses, but this appointment went a lot better than I expected really. After a chat, a peak-flow and a good listen in to my lungs, he said that yep, the infection was still there. Which would explain the fact I was shivering, sweating and had a temperature which one minute was really low (34.4) and then high (38.9) the next. I was in a right tizzy. Also was told to use my neb as much as I needed to, refills on my prescription are always on the cards. That was reassuring. The same with my Prednisolone, let my peak flow and general feeling be my guide.

Basically I'm being told by everyone to trust my instincts, because they're usually right. He also put my painkillers which were usually acute to a repeat prescription as he said that after 2 weeks of me using them and having them available, I looked better for a few nights better sleep and without that look of pain that usually makes me look all the more haggard at times.

So the glass is definitely more full these days and I feel a lot better in myself, spending hours with a sketch book, or just curled up with a good book, now I'm on incapacity indefinitely I guess it means I have WAY more time on my hands to do what ever it is I do these days. Usually it involves drawing, sleeping, sewing and card making.

Any ideas?

Love Ya
Wendy x

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Bit more of an Update...

I felt bad for copping out and not giving you guys a more through update on how I've been these last few days. I think its probably because I wanted to avoid it, its a pride thing and me not wanting to be a bother to anyone.

I ended up with another LRTI (to the layman a lower respiratory tract infection, which most signs point to the beginnings of another pneumonia, something I have had many times and know full well the consequences, hopefully we got it early again before it had chance to get nasty). and LRTI isn't that big of a deal usually, just extra Prednisolone and Antibiotics to clear it up and build me up a bit. Unfortunately, this one could be a little more stubborn to clear. Am going to see my GP tomorrow and see what he says and recommends, if I get out of there without more Antibiotics I will be lucky. Worst case scenario could be another trip in to hospital and even a few days in, which is not a prospect I really relish.

So, here I am, exhausted and nebbing every couple of hours or so again and trying to keep a fever in check. Steve has been brilliant and making sure I rest and keep warm, but I can't help but think he is getting resentful of this situation or even sick of me. I do wish I could change this and make it so I wasn't getting so ill all the time, but it hurts more that I can't do anything about it. I'd be lying if I didn't admit it makes me unhappy at times. But at other times, I understand, and have learned to accept my situation, so perhaps its now his turn.

Now, I've got that off my chest, I feel slightly less saddened by this situation. Heck having a certain jerk contacting me out of the blue to attack me and try and start a slanging match didn't bother me that much. On the contrary, I found being called a "Pathological Liar" by a person who is a cleptomaniac, sadist and bully really very VERY funny, and for the record dear "brother", yes, I do deserve the everything I am getting, every single win and success that I am enjoying. I do deserve the support from a loving family and some of the most amazing friends in the world ever. Oh and Yes, I do deserve the happiness that I enjoy every single day of my life, while you are left to wallow in the past because you can't let go.

Now I call THAT therapy!

Love ya
Wendy x 

Furry Con Artists!

Yes, you did read that right. Right now, Patch is being a furry little con-artist. He does this daily, if someone moves near the cage, he begins to wheek loudly for more food. Regardless of whether we have fed him or not. So it comes down to either more food or fuss. It's all rather cute.

As for me, well, I've launched both a blog and website for my FF7 Fan-Fic, its only taken me 2 years to get to the point where I could do this and do it well. And I am currently working on some new odds and ends to jazz up this blog, so as they say, Watch This Space.

Loves

Wendy x

Monday, 8 November 2010

Getting there...

I'm getting better, OK its a little slow and shaky but its progress. I know this sort of thing cannot be rushed really, but I can't wait to be back to my old, creative self. But this has given me time to meditate and plan some new ideas, even a Christmas card and a way of finally putting a lot of stuff in to words.

OK this will only make sense to some but I will try and explain it as best as possible. In the original Transformers cartoons from the 1980's there were groups on both sides called the Combiner Teams. Each one consisted of around 5 or 6 different robots, and sometimes these robots all had very different personalities and attitudes. The most extreme of cases was a robot called Menasor who was made from the Stunticons.

All of them hated each other and when they combined, they created this beast that was often so confused as to what it would do that individual parts acted independantly, but usually it was to the detriment of those around, friend or foe.

Now, I mention this, not for any sort of promotion for the Transformers, but as an analogy for medical teams. A lot of medical teams in the UK now-days work separately to help a patient, regardless of what other teams are doing and it leads to an awful lot of confusion. I guess what I am getting at here is that perhaps doctors and hospitals should liase with each other better and improve safety, and if there is a reason for treatments to be withheld, perhaps those reasons should be discussed with the patient. Maybe its that transparancy that is what is needed with the NHS these days.

And I go off on a tangent again, as I am liable to do. Right now, I have cannonballed a can of berry Relentless, chocolate and shortbread. I should be a lot more awake really, but right now am not and am really starting to think that this is unhealthy. A diet of high sugar and not much else, OK my weights dropped off, but I am either hyperactive and nuts or sleeping for hours, and even days on end. Need to get back in sync methinks...

Love you all
Wendy x

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Organ Donation.

I know this is a bit of a band-wagon subject, particularly on Blogs, but I wanted to share my view and support for this lifesaving treatment. I agree that it is galling that nearly everyone would happily accept a donor organ if they needed it, but only a staggering 28% of people in the UK have registered themselves on the Organ Donor Register (myself and Steve included here). With 7932 people waiting for that precious gift of life (since April 2010) this is something that is disturbing. Considering how many people who tragically lose their lives and those organs that they could have donated to help another going regrettably to waste. Its nothing short of madness.

This year, someone I know received her gift of a new pair of lungs, after many years of degenerative disease and nearly losing her battle for life. Rachael Wakefield campaigned tirelessly for people to join the register and raised awareness. Now her selflessness should stand as an example to us all, and her determination should be admired. She truly is an amazing person and an honor to have spoken to from time to time.

EDIT: I just wanted to mention, after talking with Rachy today, that she has admirably inspired 17,000 people in the North-west alone to sign up. This is an amazing feat.

I suppose what I want to say to people is, if you can help another, even if it is after your own death, why not? I suppose this is some food for thought really and I hope in posting this, I can at least motivate more people to join the vital register and save more lives.

For further information on Rachael Wakefield, please visit:
http://lungs-for-life.blogspot.com

And for more information on organ donation, please visit:
http://www.lltgl.com (Live Life Then Give Life)
http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ukt/default.jsp (NHS Organ Donation, and Registration.)

Much Love
Wendy x

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Thank you for the support :D

Hey everyone! I just checked my stats, comments and messages, I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone who reads this blog and for your support. Its wonderful to hear from you all and it really makes me smile to know you all enjoy my anecdotes and honesty.

I love you guys!!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Recovery time...

It takes a week to recover from an asthma attack, as a lot of people know and understand. But for those who go through it, its a week of fatigue, aching and if you take lots of Pred, a short temper. Today has begun with serious weakness in everything. I couldn't stand for very long, which meant cooking was difficult. But this is par for the course really.

Generally things have felt a bit better, my wrists are so bruised from ABG stabs and my hand has a bruise from my drip, the vein actually collapsed again so I can't pick things up, how frustrating! But I spent my day drawing lots and lots of Chocobos for people, even a family of them with a little baby! I love doing things like this as it is relaxing and makes me smile when people look at their chocobo and it makes them happy.

Love ya
Wendy x

Oh my God I can't believe it, I've got my self stuck far away from home...

After yesterday's rough and bumpy ride, it finally happened. The exacerbation my lungs had been dreaming of and plotting for the last week finally happened. I finally had my backside handed to me and it was so bad, I ended up at the local hospital for more of the usual meds. Oh and an Arterial Blood Gas stab that took 4 attempts, a drip that wouldn't lay down and a fever that caused me to sweat through my sheet, blanket and hospital gown.

The doctor was really nice about things and at least took it all in good humour, I myself, well I stayed as cheerful as I could with the same spot on one hand being stabbed and then the other for good measure. I can tell you now, it really REALLY is not fun. Then theres the chest x-ray, confirmed a LRTI (lower respiratory tract infection). So its antibiotics, painkillers and 40mg of Pred. Fun, huh? You would have thought after the first 100 times, I'd watch my asthma, but unfortunately its as stubborn as I am. And I am VERY stubborn, I don't want to admit, but the evidence speaks for itself really.

I suppose I'm glad its done now, I can recover and get better. But I must take this chance here and now to thank one of my best friends ever. Ant Tremaine, you are a total, utter and complete legend for helping us get home tonight (LOVE YOU MAN!!) and to Nat, Stacey and Vicky for helping me through. Love you all loads.

Love ya

Wendy x

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

To THRASH a noisy neighbour...

I know at my age, I should know better, but when you get woken up from your mid-morning nap (after an early appointment to see whether its JSA or ESA that I should be claiming, (turns out that for now, ESA, the DWP's idea of an incapacity benefit without the confusion, yeah OK) ESA (Employment Support Allowance) for now as I am too sick to work. No matter how many times I'm told that, it is still a kick in the pants really as I always went with the idea of "It's not death if you don't accept it." from James O'Barr's graphic novel, The Crow. Unfortunately, no matter how much I try and hide it with bravado and me just being me, it doesn't hide the fact I am sick and I am classed as "Disabled". I hate labels.

So you can imagine the mood I was in when I got home, just wanting a nap, a drink and maybe something to eat when I woke up again. So having to deal with my neighbor and his 'Drum and Base' rubbish was the last thing I wanted. I'm not, by nature, an irritable person, nor do I begrudge anyone of what they like or enjoy, but I do get irritated when people play music so loudly that it rattles everything in my own room and I can't hear myself think. So I took the logical answer, well the typical of me answer and dug out various CD's of Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Industrial, Steam Punk and everything else that just seemed to take my fancy at the time and let it rip. As loud as my speakers went. I know its not the moral high ground, but he got the point in the end, even in his usual cannabis induced stupor.

Now, I have nothing against anyone, but it does annoy me when able-bodied people sit around all day, either drinking or smoking themselves in to a blind stupor. It's like a slap in the face to someone like myself who lives healthy, doesn't drink or smoke and suffers endlessly due to my long term, life limiting condition. It just seems a bit unjust at times I think, but it really gets my goat. Especially when you hear that drug addicts or alcoholics who got themselves in to that state get DLA and all sorts of government hand-outs, where as there are people such as myself and many others out there who have to fight for any kind of help from the state. Its twisted. If you can work, you should.

I realise that this has been a rant about "Benefit Britain", but I really do find it an insult that the system works in such a way that some lazy pleb can get all the handouts they want, have kids that the tax-payer pays for and doesn't get a job because getting drunk or high is more profitable, and someone with a crippling condition, or like someone I know, a serious brain tumor has to fight just to survive. I think that is exactly why I don't take any rubbish from any of these morons as I find them just too pathetic to feel sorry for.

On a positive note, I would like to say a Happy Birthday to one of my dearest friends, Stacey. As well as a hearty congratulations to Mike, Daimon and the rest of Labas! for their recent success at a gig locally and of course wish good luck to my friend Georgina in her interview for her internship.

Love ya

Wendy x 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cuddles with Guinea Pigs...

After a long, symptomatic day, I enjoy nothing more than to lie in bed, next to my beautiful Rex Guinea Pig, Patch. I have had Patch for about 2 years now and he is pretty much one of my closest companions. When I adopted him, it had been a rough week, one of my hamsters had died, I was in a turbulent relationship and I was about to go down a road that I never want to even think of again.

So sometimes when I lay in bed, Patch lays at my side, falling asleep next to me. I've been struggling again today and its still feeling hard to catch my breath. But tomorrow is way too busy for me to be able to afford time in hospital. So I hope I can battle on until tomorrow, I've been struggling for nearly 4 days now, which is typical before a biggie. I really hope I'm wrong. I REALLY hope I'm wrong.

I slept most of the afternoon away, I just felt to exhausted before my chest tried to play up. I got up and went to the loo, nothing too exciting there, but I went and did my, shall we say biz and I just couldn't breathe. I was wheezing and coughing. General nastiness until I got on my neb, a good session of that later and I felt better. Maybe its just the hope that the little snap was just that, a little snap really.

I'm actually hungry so this may be a good sign, so I'm gonna fix me some egg fried rice.

LOVES YOU!

Wendy x

Monday, 1 November 2010

Have you ever...

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just sucks? You know, things like you burn your toast or miss your bus or someone just rubs you up the wrong way? Or is that a typical Monday feeling really?

Today has been one of those off days. I woke up this morning and everything was hurting, my back (from lying funny), my joints and worst of all, my chest. It hurts some days because of the fact it takes just more and more effort on some days just to take a breath in and out. This can be scary and the extra effort can leave me somewhat exhausted and drained. I guess that is just how I feel at the moment. I just feel very drained and tired. Using my nebuliser more than I would really want to, but the inhaler just doesn't cut it sometimes.

I was reading a post on the Asthma UK forum this morning and it was about one poor sufferer and her surgery only allowing 3 Ventolin inhalers a year. 3! I can go through that in a month, heck before I got my nebuliser, I was going through 2 a week! I'm glad my doctor doesn't limit me like that.

Although there are times I wish it was that simple, just a blue inhaler once in a while, but I guess this is a test of my character and inner strength. I refuse to let this illness beat me. I gave in to my emotions too many times in the past and it caused problems, lost me friends and gained me enemies. I broke my hand punching a door in temper, I slashed my arm in anger with a freezer saw, but I'm not ashamed of myself anymore, I'm proud to be me. I'm happy that I don't hide anymore.

I may not always win, but even a small victory is a victory non the less.

Love ya

Wendy x

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