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.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Take The Time...

I guess with things being so much quieter recently I have been in a good place mentally to start make plans for the future. After all, to not make the most of the time we have when we can is an insult to anyone who died before getting a chance. Its not like I have been thinking much about death but I did have to get used to the reality of the fragility of life at a relatively young age (at the age of 21 when things asthma-wise got so much worse) as my peers and people who I grew up with were at the start of their lives as parents, spouses or anything else that they worked hard towards. I would be lying if I didn't say that sometimes I envy them and feel a little embittered to have never had that chance, but I do appreciate the wonders of the friendships, love and bonds I share with those who I am closest to.

In the last 4 years I have learned to come to terms with myself and my situation. I don't look at life with an illness as a barrier but more of a set of challenges that I can see a way around. After all, where there is a strong will, there is a way around anything. If only one is willing to look for it. Sometimes I think that being depressed about a situation can push you to forget your strength and can make the adversity seem all the greater. But I also believe that you can be too optimistic and that can lead to dejection when things go wrong.

When things go wrong, its stupidly easy to blame others and lash out. Heck we all do it from time to time, but it is, in my experience, better to just say "OK it happened and it didn't work out the way I wanted. What can I learn from this?" and let it go. Letting go is the best thing in the world and the best part of it is that you choose to do so and in doing that you choose to make a future for yourself. This is why I don't allow the past to follow me like some pathetic ghost that can't just disappear. The past is baggage and a burden that I don't need, or want for that matter.

So, this is my life now. I'm living in a comfortable home with the animals I adore as well as the best friend you could wish for. I'm in a steady and stable relationship with a man who makes me feel special, even on days when I have trouble in seeing it in myself. Its not the perfect life but it is safe to say that I have made the best of it and turned a sows ear in to a silk purse.

Loves
Wendy xx

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Down Time

I'm allowing myself a little bit of downtime today, partly because the doctor and Becky have advised, partly because even after food shopping and having a nice rumble through town, lugging a chest infection around has left me feeling a bit exhausted and if my experience of chronic chest infections has taught me anything, it is that if you feel like you need it, then you probably should go to bed and stay there for as long as you need to. No one ever said that life would be easy. You just have to learn to make the best of things and do what you can or feel up to.

I love going out with Becky to our favourite coffee place for a coffee and panini and to do something with someone I care deeply for. Even though we don't have any blood relation, we are like sisters and we can always understand what the other is thinking. The one thing I like more than having a care agency coming around is that Becky and I have a good rapport. I think its because I am her only client and she gets more than a couple of hours here and there to work with me and she doesn't have to leave for the next name on the list. It allows us the chance to have a relationship on a personal basis which in our situation is very important. For me to accept someone on that kind of level takes a lot of trust, something I don't often give people, as well as these all important bonding activities.  Things like playing a game together or going out to feed the ducks or even just watching a film together.

I recently showed Becky a film that I really like called "Bicentennial Man" with Robbin Williams. It's a touching story about a robot and his relationship to a family over 200 years and his quest to become a human being. It calls in to question the idea of humanity and what it truly means to be a human. It's a really beautiful film and one I whole heartedly recommend.  It has moments of humour, happiness and warmth as well as some of the saddest and most touching moments you can see. The only other film that made me cry like this was Marley and Me. And let's face it, I'm a softy at heart and love a good weepy film. I've been watching a lot of Disney recently to, old favourites and discovering some I'd not seen. I doubt anyone could really hate Disney films as there is always something for everyone.

I'm set up with meds and a comfortable place to rest for now so I'm hoping that I'll improve over the next few days.

Loves
Wendy xx

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Don't Knock It

You know something, the new NHS 111 service has been taking a lot of flack recently. People saying that they don't measure up to other services in the NHS, but I can honestly say that they are a good service and could actually reduce the need for A+E for a lot of patients, although you know that people who have a sniffle or a stubbed toe will still try and go to the Emergency Departments because it's a quick and easy way to access medical care. In the old days, before 111 was introduced, I would have to either wait for a while to see my GP (which when you're really suffering can be really rough) or leave it until it got to the point where I would be fighting for my life and need to call for an ambulance. Today was the first time I used 111, I hadn't been feeling quite myself for the last few days, nothing really worth panicking over really, and I was starting to get to the point where I would need to call for help.

I called them after doing a symptom assessment on my tablet PC, just the usual, my asthma being typical and I was starting to really feel it (when I called, I was actually so wheezy that the nurse really wanted to have me in, but I wanted to stay home and had to promise to get on a nebuliser as soon as I had finished the call) and a doctor was sent out to me as soon as possible, being registered disabled means that I can request house calls where most people my age wouldn't be allowed. The doctor arrived, assessed me and has started me on some medication and told me to be careful of things for the next few days. I honestly didn't think I was getting to that stage, but there we are, even someone who knows their own condition as well as I can make a mistake. I'm just glad that someone was there, prodding me until I made the call, and I am thankful that Becky did that.

The other thing that I did today was finally listening to H.I.M's 8th studio album "Tears on Tape". I was a bit dubious at first, I mean, they have been going for over 20 years and already have some of the best metal albums I have ever heard (including the chunkiness of Love Metal and the smooth and seductive Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights). H.I.M are a band that can make an album as raw and emotional as it is beautiful and seductive. The mix of chunky guitar riffs, keyboards and of course Ville Valo's deep, husky voice that adds the kind of smooth passion that you feel just before you lie with the one you love for the first time (I saw them live in 2004, I swear when Valo started to sing, you could hear the elastic from every girl's knickers snap, it was just that sexy)  really comes together. You can also hear the healing side of the music as the band open up about their deepest and rawest emotions. If you are a long time fan, then I would recommend this and if H.I.M return to the UK soon, I think Becky and I want to be there in the audience (probably in the seated area as I don't think my body is up to standing these days)

So, there we are, it's only a short one tonight as I am a bit tired and well, I have a long few days ahead and want to get myself a good head start!

Loves
Wendy xx

Monday, 20 May 2013

Good Vibes

It's been really nice recently. I've been waking up at a reasonable time after a good long rest overnight which always leaves me in a cheery mood the next day AND my boyfriend was here as well. I miss him greatly when he isn't here and I guess I feel like part of me is missing and when he comes back, I am really happy and feel complete again. I can't wait until we can all be together forever. Also I was a little worried as one of my dear friends was going in for knee surgery this week, I felt like someone had taken a load off of my mind when I was told that she was alright. I really hope that Penny has a speedy and straight forward recovery.

We may not do much when we're all together but I love being in the company of those I care about. Whether we're watching stupid DVDs or playing on games together, its nice. In fact, I am the kind of person who can be just as happy just sitting in a room with people doing whatever we please and not saying a word because we are quietly appreciating each other in our own way. It's nice because we don't have to tell each other constantly just to feel secure. He went home today, and the ride back from the station was a bit blue, but Becky has been keeping my spirits up and I went back to the dentist about my rather sore face. Turns out there was a small infection in the gum from where the blood struggled to clot, a bit of a clean and some special dressing paste later and now the pain is gone and I am again able to resume normality.

Over the next few days, I am going to stay in and allow my body to recover. There's been a lot of trauma to my body and coupled with sinus infections and my asthma being it's usual self, I have to admit I am a little bit worn out and could use a nice long rest. Get plenty of sleep and eat some decent food (after a week of not being able to eat, I have been rather hungry which is understandable) and of course enjoy some DVDs, games and other things that I enjoy. After all, life is about enjoying yourself and making the most of what you have, my life is probably not what would be considered glamourous but it is what I make it. If I want to be happy then I know that the one person who can make that so is me.

I've been troubled with my asthma recently as I mentioned before and its just been a bit flared up again. I think its a mixture between the weather and the fact that I keep picking up random viral infections which are taking their toll on my lungs and they're understandably suffering from congestion, wheeziness and other such things that make me feel rather worn out, but I'm keeping myself going because, well, that's all that I can do. Keep myself going with medications and when things start getting to me, then I have to make the decision to call it in. But I am hoping we won't get that far.

One thing I am really proud of myself for is being able to kick my mega-caffeine habit. It's been 6 months since I last drank any energy drink (stuff like Red Rooster, Relentless, Black Sun etc) and even though it was rough at first, I am glad to have managed to cut out those drinks for good. I think I knew I was developing a problem with energy drink when I felt sluggish and irritable had I not had a "fix" of the really high impact stimulants. I think I must have been climbing the walls on days when I had really hit it hard and I wasn't really using the energy for much which meant that I did start to pile on the pounds (which led me to my biggest at 16 stone, which on my 5 foot 6 frame looked frankly horrendous) and I was a miserable sod because of it. I'm just glad that Becky helped me kick the habit and I have noticed in 6 months how much better my moods, weight and general health have been. I am back on a normal sleep/live cycle and I eat a lot healthier as well.

I am also considering trying a fitness regime that will be tailored to my asthma and other conditions. This should help me tone up and really get back to being me. I am not expecting it to reverse my disability (obviously I will have to avoid doing anything too cardio or anything to heavy), but anything that can help me with confidence and get me back in to my old clothes is something I think is worth a go and as it is something that is low impact and won't be hard on my lungs, back and other problem areas, that's something I can get on board with. I'm done with feeling defeated and worthless, since I was given my main disability and told that no matter what I did, there would be nothing that would undo it and it would get worse as the years go by, I think I did feel depressed and I think it made me forget that despite this, I am still young and I can still have a good time. I just have to be careful and do things within my limitations. I will probably never be out of my scooter for getting around, but I can do something to make me feel more like the old me.

Mentally I am back to the old me and I am back to that cheerful happy-go-lucky person who used to just wander around town just for the sake of having a wander. Admittedly I do go on my scooter to get there, but that's alright with me, heck if anything it certainly makes bringing the weekly food shopping home a lot easier! I don't feel too scared to go out in case someone sees me or anyone makes any unpleasant comments. I have nothing to feel ashamed about. If anything, I am proud of myself for surviving everything and coming back strong, confident and ready to give 'em hell if anyone thinks that they can do that to me again. I've worked hard to pick myself up from the train-wreck that I was and I am going to keep moving forward and using what I have now to build and maintain a bright and happy future and of course, I will be keeping everyone up to date with my progress!

Loves
Wendy xx

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

So, the infection has finally left my lungs alone (after 6 months of it being absolutely awful and causing my asthma to be unpredictable and liable to go off), but another one decided to hit my sinuses for a bit. Its really not that nice to feel like someone has packed my nose with concrete and coupled with the symptoms of the possible crack in my jaw bone (thanks to an over zealous Dentist), its left me feeling a little like a bear with a sore head. I hope that soon the fug will clear away and leave me feeling better after 10 days of antibiotics and plenty of bed-rest (admittedly, when all you have done for the last 3 days is sleep, watch stuff and sleep some more, that can wear thin) and try and eat, despite the fact that last time I ate something solid, I was nearly crying because it hurt so much.

It's a little frustrating to be honest but there isn't an awful lot we can actually do right now. We hope that in a couple of weeks the swelling should go down and the socket will heal as well as the other is. I feel quite ridiculous right now because one side of my face looks like I have gained 3 stone whereas the other side is perfectly normal. I'm taking my painkillers regularly and getting plenty of rest so forgive me if I forget a few things right now, but I am doing all I can to keep my head up and keep doing normal things, even though I feel like some kind of zombie right now.

I've been playing on Pokemon a lot recently and have finally managed to catch myself a Pichu (which will evolve in to my favourite Pokemon ever, Pikachu). It was a fun little thing to do and when I did it, I was glad. I know its silly but sometimes you need to set yourself a kind of goal (even if its something stupid like get ----- on a game or something) just to keep you doing something. Boredom can often be more dangerous than anything else and I think when I get bored, I am more likely to become more miserable and sink in to a depressive mood and thats not something I want to entertain because it marks a rather dark time in my life and the scars on my arms kind of make me remember all too well. Its been a long time since I stopped doing it, with help from my adoring friends and "family" and I really am glad to stay off it. It hasn't been exactly easy, heck there have been times when I have been so tempted, but I am proud to have stopped it. It's never easy to admit to those you care about that you had been thinking that your death would solve all their problems and I stand here as proof that no matter how bad things can get, you can come out the other side of it.

I think that sometimes it can get on top of me, I mean it can be hard and frustrating to sit around for weeks and months with XYZ going wrong and I think that if I hadn't let myself feel bad, I would have never allowed myself to see the best in life as well. Life is about light and dark and I think it would be childish to think that life isn't made up of both things. The most important thing to do is learn to roll with the punches and make the best of things. I'm ever the optimist and that is part of the indomitable spirit that I think people have come to admire about me. Maybe that's why Kadaj and I are so close, like me, he has seen the best and worst of human nature, in his case a cruel so-and-so wanted to try and feed him to a snake when he was really young, and if he could learn to trust a human again, it gives me a lot of hope for the future. He is my success story and after countless hours of one on one work with him, a lot of patience and affection and a promise that I would never give up on him no matter what.

I guess here would be a good place to leave it and I hope everyone is keeping well and staying in the warm and dry!

Loves
Wendy xx

Friday, 10 May 2013

Dentist...

Ever since I was younger, I have never been a big fan of the dentist. Maybe it's because my brother used to like playing "Dentist" when I had my baby teeth coming out, this was often painful and unpleasant and as a result I really don't like people putting fingers in my mouth. Actually, on some occasions it has led me to actually bite the dentist, not for any other reason than my anxiety getting the better of me, lucky for me, they understood why it happened.

I went yesterday to the surgery purely expecting a couple of fillings on my lower pre-molars (5th teeth on each side had developed holes due to crowding and me not being able to clean them properly), I thought it would be straight forward and over with before I knew (although I took some medication to make me a little more docile than usual so that I would be calm and relaxed throughout) and I readied myself with my favourite soft pillow and iPod. Once it was numbed, the dentist set to work on drilling the right sided tooth, after a few minutes and the sort of sound you get with broken pottery, the tooth shattered completely. It was decided that after taking quick X-rays and assessing the position of the teeth, (as they had been pushed quite far back) that getting them out now was the best way forward. Since I was already in the chair and would only need a little more numbing, I agreed to go ahead with it.

The left side, which was actually in worse shape, was pulled quickly, painlessly and without any kind of bother at all. It was almost like that one tooth actually wanted to leave my mouth. The other however was a lot more tricky. Because of how the top of it had essentially exploded, there was little to grab and it took a long while, and a lot of pulling, cutting in to the gum and teasing to get it to come out. As a result there was a lot of blood and its only just stopped bleeding 24 hours after the procedure. To be honest, there has already been an improvement in my jawline (its not awkward anymore) and I think that we may have managed to avoid a more complex operation to get rid of my wisdom teeth as there is room for them now. I'm just taking precautions for the next few days and hopefully the swelling around my face (which last night looked like I'd gained 3 stone) will subside soon. I think there is an important lesson to be learned here about not waiting until things are a problem before seeing a dentist.

As for everything else on "Planet Wendy", its all as good as it normally is. I have been trying some new holistic methods of pain relief particularly for my back. My backs been a problem for years and its only gotten worse as I have gotten older. Instead of taking pills upon pills for it, I decided to try a TENS machine. A strange little device, but it sends the electric stimulation to the site of the pain making the nerves less sensitive and the spasms not as severe. I'm happy with how it has worked so far and have been doing regular sessions with it and because of the release of endorphins (the body's natural pain killers and the "happy hormone") I have had a really upbeat attitude towards things.

I think that right now, I am getting through everything as best as I can and I no longer feel ashamed of my disability. Yes, I have a lot of medical problems. Yes it can be hard, but I am still managing to keep a smile on my face and look at the bright side of it all. This does kind of show that the attitude you have towards life can actually be the thing that makes the difference. Even if it does seem like a hard thing to keep on with, I actually managed to keep a smile though pain, frustration or even those moments where that part of me actually wished for an end to come and then it would be all over. I think those thoughts are cowardly and I think that had I allowed myself to just throw in the towel because I couldn't cope, then that would have been an insult to anyone out there with a disability and would have meant that the people who want to put me down would have won. Instead, I look at those people with contempt and know that I am winning here and I will never lay down and die for anyone.

Well, I think I am set for the weekend, going to allow myself to recover from minor dental surgery and this 'flu bug that is still tearing through my body and making me feel a bit like someone has been jumping on me while I sleep. I'm sure that with plenty to watch on Netflix, my iPod and other things to keep me amused, plus the love of 5 guinea pigs (right now, Edward has discovered that he likes his rattle toy and has been throwing it at poor old Kadaj) and people who make me feel every bit of special to them as they are to me, I will be soon on the mend again and ready for the next task.

Loves
Wendy xx

Monday, 6 May 2013

Golden Afternoons...

I can't believe how much has changed in the last few weeks, its gone from being unbearably cold to nice balmy early summer days where we can have the guinea pigs out in the garden (seriously who needs a lawnmower when you have these things) and we've been having our windows wide open to let in the fresh sweet air. We also have been enjoying our wanders around (well Becky on foot and me on my ever willing servant "Scoots") and spending time just enjoying the days while we can.

It's nice to think that just over a year ago, Becky came to live here and if anything we have come closer (people actually think we are related rather than being just 2 really close friends) and its been nice to live with someone who I wasn't dating or involved with in any other way. Usually I live with boyfriends, but this has been a different experience and I am happy to say it works for us. We allow each other to really blossom and because of Becky, I have really come out of my shy little shell again. Its weird to be out of my shell like this, usually I am so timid and shy that I hide away from everyone and refuse to look up. It was one of the reasons that I was becoming well known for my nervous demenour and not really a lot much else. I'm glad that the "nervous girl" is now becoming well known for a friendly and approachable personality and I'm networking better too.

I wish I could say that the warmer weather has yielded better control of my asthma. Its been really up in the air again recently and we are still at a loss as to why that is. I'm doing what I can to treat it day to day symptomatically but despite everything I'm already doing, there really isn't much of a margin of error or "wriggle room" and that in itself can make you feel as though you're under a lot of pressure to make the right call at the right time and sometimes that stress itself can make things worse. I hate that feeling after making what I thought at the time was a good choice was actually a really stupid one. The worst thing I tend to do is keep trying to cope at home by myself when I know full well that things are well out of my hands and there is no amount of nebs, pred or sleep that can fix this up. Sometimes you need to get everything checked to make sure that there isn't much else going on, even if it is a stressful experience or one where you feel completely vulnerable.

I wonder sometimes if had I not been at the point I had been in the past, would I have still ended up in the situation I am in now. I needed to be stronger back then and in a way, this is kind of shown me as to why I should have stood up a lot sooner and said "No more" to the people who were causing all of this. Hindsight being a wonderful thing and all, but not a practical application as we are never able to truly predict the future. Its neither a punishment nor a gift but a consequence of something that was out of my hands then and has left the future in a similarly uncertain state. I'm coping better now than I was because I'm gradually understanding more about rolling with the punches and going with the flow. Some days are better than others and I had to accept that and in a way, it was like accepting myself again, before I could accept others in to the crazy and sometimes terrifying mess that is my silly life and I had to learn to accept their love, friendship and support without looking for suspicion or feeling afraid that once they see the reality of my conditions that they would turn around and run from me.

One thing I had to learn in life is that in looking for blame in others to push the blame from me never made things better or easier to accept. Blame is a simple way of saddling others with our own emotions rather than facing them ourselves. It's even easier when you blame someone who can't defend themselves, but it is pure cowardice to do so. I don't rise to certain challenges or provocations because to me, the matter is over and no amount of mudslinging or trying to open it up to throw blame around is going to change anything. The past is over and done with and I for one won't be dragging it up constantly to try and further my own case or vie for sympathy.

I have let it all go.

I'm currently working hard on some ideas for my writing project as well as working on a sewing project that I started about 2 months ago on a trip to see another friend (another trip to see her is on the cards as well) and I have almost half completed it. It has been pretty labour intensive but the work has been more than worth it. I am hoping to have it nearly finished in the next few weeks (a feat that I am determined to achieve) and then I will work on a variant of it. I changed the eyes on the blue haired version to give her my trademark hazel eyes. The other version will have red hair and pale blue eyes, much like Becky. I also need to finish my "Dictionary of Tea" piece as well to go in to the kitchen. I find it helpful to do things that keep my mind occupied as I find that depression will set in and quickly with boredom. And I really don't want that ever again, as interesting as the experience was, I think its kind of a one time thing and I think that revisiting that would be not only an exercise in futility and not something that would benefit anyone.

For now I think my best course of action is to carry on with treating what I can and hopefully things should carry on moving forward and I'll do what I have to when I have to do it.

Loves
Wendy xx

Friday, 3 May 2013

Forward!

Well, I am finally moving in the right direction and I feel really good for it. Managing my asthma has proven time and again to be a tricky balance between taking the right meds at the right time, not doing things I shouldn't and caring for my wellbeing in general. My wellbeing can and is sometimes hard to keep on top of, what with the challenge of everything else around me, but I am coping better with that now and I don't feel so afraid of my condition and I don't think of it as a death knell anymore. Because to be honest, the more I dwell on it, the more depressed I became.

I guess my biggest fear in all of this was going back to the stage I was at 2 and a half years ago when I was in hospital once or twice a week because we just couldn't get any kind of control regardless of what we tried and we did all we could as it is tricky to get the hang of and sometimes even then we didn't always get it right. I wasn't helped by the huge deal of stress due to my circumstances and the fact that I was never actually permitted to recover from my attacks after they had subsided. It pushed me to the edge in more ways than I care to imagine or mention but knowing that my strength and courage always shone through and I found my way again thanks to my friends and the adoptive family I found here. Not just through AUK or Facebook but College and other places, it was those people who kept me sane and the ones who were there for me whenever I needed them most.

I think that if ever went back to that situation, I wouldn't want to ride it out again. I would rather stay put than take the momentous step back like that. I mean, the YMCA is alright if you like it there, but I hated it. I hated the paper thin walls, the noise and the general grey of desolation and concrete that surrounded it. It made me feel unfocused and I lost hope in the future and getting a better life, not to mention all the crime and drug use in the place. I don't think I could have survived there for much longer as I was slowly losing my mind and deteriorating physically. So that moment when I walked out of there, with my backpack and keys to this place, I vowed to never cross that threshold ever again. And I never will.

I do love the area around here and this flat is just right for what we use it for. I just don't like how the flat above us is used as a halfway house for people who made their own misery (either through drugs, crime or other things) and use it as a drugs den or a hive of antisocial behavior. I'm hoping the next people up there aren't going to be more of the same, I really am. I mean these are people that threaten and try and intimidate us because I use a nebuliser which (if you have one, you will be well aware) can be very noisy. I don't use it because I want to. I use it because if I didn't then I would be in some serious trouble. I'm not ashamed of my problems and I don't see them as anything that makes me more or less than anyone else.

Well, I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful sunshine out there and making the most of it.

Loves
Wendy xx

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Making Some Changes.

Just a mini thing here to say that I am currently making some rather interesting changes to the blog, I'm not abandoning it, don't you worry, I am just changing a few things around and as you can see, I have also added some pages that can take you to some rather cool extra content as well as adding some sites to the "Further Information" box. The reason behind this is just because well I like to show how not only is my life changing, but I am changing too. So, click on the pages, have a read, I will also probably introduce a photo gallery eventually as well so that you can see some of the many pictures that have been taken now that I am no longer shy of the camera.

Its interesting actually when I look back on my earlier blog posts from years ago, I really was in a bad way physically and emotionally so to see how I've managed to bounce back, and the process of doing so is something that makes me feel like this whole thing has been worth while.

Where's The "Off" Button...

Last night I wound up in, and the attack was quite the usual standard (although by the time I got to A+E, the show was all but over and I was just absolutely exhausted) and its been kind of happening on and off for a while now. We have no idea why its become such a pain and I think it's time to go back to the consultant and really raise hell. We need to get this back under control because, well, its gotten to a point where it's ridiculous and I haven't really been able to do much else but live intermittently between treatments and resting.

I think one of the main things I need to work on personally is my general complacency. I think most of us out there live on the philosophy of "One more neb" or "See how I am in 10 minutes" and end up waiting until things get drastic before taking any relief medications. That is my biggest let down and I have been so used to waiting to be prompted to take my medication rather than realising my symptoms are coming back (and there are often a lot of them) and then by the time I have finally realised (usually because when you live on a constant stream of feeling like you've been dug up from your own grave, you don't always notice when you feel just that little crappier than usual) and it can get frustrating because it hurts and it makes you feel like crap. You feel like you're on the ropes sometimes and that you're edging ever closer to that last one. Its hard to keep those thoughts from your mind, especially when you don't feel well and haven't for quite some time.

The reassuring thing is that we have finally cleared the last of that bacterial infection that had been causing me so much bother. The only real issue (and what had probably been triggering me) is the fact that because of the constant infection and runs of attacks, I had developed a light touch of pleurisy again on top of a rather interesting viral bug which has been hitting people all over the show. I find it hard sometimes to work out what triggered my asthma and when there is no real cause, I find that the most frustrating thing at all. Maybe it's because I always thought that all I would have to do is take the meds and be fine, never have attacks, but I guess even I still have a lot to learn. They don't call it "Brittle" asthma for no reason after all. It is as the name suggests, brittle, easy to break or gives with little to no provocation, it has just been my asthma causing all of my problems recently and I think we seriously need to get that back on some kind of an even keel again, how we achieve that, I am not sure, but well, we can all but try and make it happen can't we?

Another thing that has come to light is the fact that I haven't been looking after my mind either. I haven't really been sleeping (as a result of a few different things, including the stress of the idiot above us, general worries and having to stay strong for everyone else) and I think I was trying to stay too strong for everyone else's sake rather than looking after my own needs and wants. Its something I've done for years and its hard to get out of the habit, especially when someone needs you to take care of them and you feel bad for even asking for a second of help. As a result I do really push myself too hard and its something I need to do. I need to stop holding my emotions inwards because I don't like my friends and family seeing me in a vulnerable state, its something I have never been comfortable with and I doubt that even now, I will ever find comfort in people knowing when I feel depressed. To finally let out 6 months of frustration, tears, pain and anger about everything that happened, its been like someone finally went to the pressure valve and started to undo it, letting the emotions run and leave my body.

Its been a rough couple of months as we have lost so many pets due to the stress of the man upstairs, his constant loud music, screaming out of the window and banging around really upset a lot of our animals and for some, it just all got too much and they were just dropping like flies. It was harder still last night to find one of our baby guinea pigs had sadly passed while I was in hospital. Poor little Gatsby was just 10 weeks old and barely had a chance to live. To me, it was like when I found Lucky had died all over again at only 9 days old. Its kind of rough when pets die, but when you only had a short time with them, I think it just reminds you of how delicate life can be. Its not been one of my best weeks admittedly, but I am keeping my chin up, doing what I need to and surviving and if you ask me, thats better than not being here at all.

I'm hoping that now with better asthma management, I can get better from all of this and I think that as for learning my lesson on leaving it too late, I really REALLY hope I can use this as a wake up call and get this thing back under control.

Loves
Wendy xx

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