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 Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Crohns Disease (my IBS was rediagnosed as Crohns), Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. I have recently also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (which makes me stop breathing in my sleep) 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 and CPAP.

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

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Getting Unpacked.

I can't believe how much better things are for me here in my new home. Its so quiet and secluded so I don't get any noisy people around (even with a pub over the road) which has made such a positive impact on my mental health. I never realised before (maybe it was because I never had time to sit back and reflect) but I think my old place was just becoming a cage for my depression and I was struggling to get free of it. I am free of it now and I couldn't be happier. Admittedly there is still a lot of work but its my home now. And the best part is, where I am is so secluded and out of the way that if I don't want anyone in particular knowing where I am, they won't ever find out. In a way this has been a chance to cut ties to the past and things that were getting me down. Its not running away, its finding something that works better and makes you feel less negative about the past.

Moving has been a huge change for me. Change is scary sometimes and when you are wired the way I am, it can be scary. Maybe I was desperately clinging on to the old place like some kind of comfort thing and never realised that really it was becoming a rut and I was just getting more and more miserable as a result. The problem is there is that you start feeling like nothing is ever going to get better or there's no reason to fight anymore. It's not the healthiest way of looking at it and I think that if you can't even manage to get up and make a cup of tea in your home let alone anything else, then your home isn't a home anymore. As hard as the move was, and as stressful, it has been worth it. It has empowered me. It has allowed me to say "Well, that was then this is now." My new neighbours have helped me in more ways than I could even say and I feel like part of the community here unlike back in Abbeydale where it was becoming cliquey and there was a strong "us vs them" attitude.

I think the hardest part of moving is in the unpacking. I literally had days to move (which when you're in a wheelchair and not really able to move about as much is even more hectic) and it was a completely crazy experience. I think I spent my first few days here wandering back and forth thinking "where do I even start?!" with all boxes, bags and who knows what else. Talk about overwhelming! Gradually though, I have found my pace and I feel so calm. I feel so much less stressed and I really do like the peace and quiet. My lovely new neighbours have helped me so much over the whole thing and I couldn't be more grateful to them. It makes such a difference to have nice, helpful neighbours!

One of the things I decided when I moved (admittedly down to someone giving me a "push") was that I wasn't going to go on the "it'll do" idea for furniture. I have gotten rid of the tattiest stuff and am replacing a lot with nice new stuff which looks so much better and cleaner and it is shaping up to look like the home I want, rather than the typical "benefit squat" that so many people feel that they have to have because they convince themselves that it's the best they can do. I may be on benefits but I get enough to ensure that I have at least got myself a comfortable, clean home which is all I ever really wanted. Looking around, I haven't done at all badly and considering my conditions and how they affect me, I am getting it together (with help) and the place looks and feels incredible. Of course I haven't said much about the area I live in for privacy reasons (because to be honest, its not really anyone's business unless I choose for them to know).

I am still in the process of getting unpacked. Its harder to do things like unpacking and building furniture when you are breathless or in a wheelchair but once it's done, it'll be set. I think in some ways, I had all but given up when I was in the old place because the more I did, the more things seemed to pile up. It looked like a squat towards the end and it felt that way too and I needed to get away from the negative feeling of the place and the fact that the place just didn't suit me anymore. When I moved in to the old place, I was a lot more mobile and able to do things. My knees and back didn't hurt all the time and I wasn't in the chair. It suited me then and for 5 years it was a pretty cool little place. But I don't know, maybe it was the old "temporary" things that lasted way longer than they should have while others were replaced more readily or the fact that it was so small and clustered in a block that it just didn't seem to be very comfy towards the end of my time there. Not to mention the problems with damp and mold which never ever got solved. Turns out it's a problem a lot of the old flats in Abbeydale have. They're just lumped on top of each other and you're always too close to the neighbours because they're there. Above your head.

I won't live in a flat again. Not now that I have such a wonderful place.

Wendy xx

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Start. Definitely a New Start.

Have you ever noticed how people only accept sickness from certain types of people? The small sickly child who no one questions about having cancer or the people who make the diseases look like they're fashionable. Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair, the shoot that offended a lot of us. Because people would have seen her in the chair and how glamorous that looked and completely brush off those of us who use wheelchairs for real. Wheelchairs are not a fashion statement. I have been in a wheelchair properly now for 2 years. The hardest thing about going from "normality" to life on wheels was the level of denial I had. I didn't want to accept that now I would need a wheelchair to get around and even the simple stuff leaves me tired and breathless. It isn't ideal and sometimes I find it rather annoying because I can't do things like I used to. At first I kind of felt like I had been robbed of my independence and then as I got myself used to it, I realised that actually the wheelchair means that I have more independence than I have had in years. But with everything that happened when I was little and what we know now, I think I managed well to stay mobile for 26 years and maybe it was for the best that I accepted the help being offered and stopped struggling for the sake of my pride.

Being able to help another person in a similar position as I was in a few years back has been one of the things that has really made a difference. And after all the help they gave to me while moving, it was the least I could do really. Since getting my powered wheelchair my life has been so much happier and then getting oxygen as well has made all the difference in the world. Funnily enough, with the oxygen, I find that I am a lot more lucid and feel less like I have crawled out of a pit backwards. Its been with those and the love and support from friends and family that I have been able to get my independence back from what it was. And it was because of that that I realised my old flat just wasn't right for me anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I did like my old flat and after 5 years it had been made a home. But I don't think I ever made it a permanent home for myself. The place was damp and mouldy, I couldn't get in and out of the kitchen and couldn't prepare my own food or drink. The living room was narrow and always felt cluttered. And I won't even begin when it comes to the game we had with the bathroom! I never really liked the area and never really felt safe or happy there. It's hard to explain but Abbeydale is a bit of a difficult area to live in. I have been in my bungalow for 3 weeks now and I really like it here. It's so much different here that it is like being in a whole other town! I won't say where it is for privacy's sake but my friends know where to find me so thats OK and the people I don't want knowing will never find out because they have no reason to.

I'm still in the process of unpacking which is a bigger job than I ever thought of. I am getting it done gradually and I am setting up my home to be exactly as I like it. I haven't blogged due to being so busy but its a new year and a really good new start for me as well.

Wendy xx


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