Life Sparkles ✨

Changes.

Recently I have read Blogs, Facebook posts and Tweets which all have a similar theme. Change. People are changing. People are swapping their day job, career, lifestyle in order to follow their dream, their passion, to follow what they feel within is their destiny. I felt in awe of these people. They weren’t randomly throwing caution to the wind and resigning right, left and centre. They had thought hard about this decision. Had followed up training courses, downsized their homes as they would no longer be earning as before and as well as feeling excited about the new page in their life, they felt scared too, which was also kind of exciting.

I started to think about me. My job, my hopes and dreams, my life. Other people were making the changes they wanted to, what was stopping me? And then the answer arrived. Me!!! I am stopping me. I’m in my comfort zone with my day job, I like it, I’d go as far as to say I enjoy it but do I still want to be doing it in five years time? Three years time? One year from now?

So, whilst I am in post operative recovery mode, I have a lot of thinking to do.  What do I really want to do and how am I going to make this happen? I’m beginning to think this enforced rest has been sent to me in order to take time to reflect. There are some things about my life I cannot change but there are other aspects that I can change. I’m lacking in the confidence to spread my wings and fly some of those dreams for myself, and that needs to change.

Until the next time…


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Life Sparkles ✨

Positives and Opportunities.

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“Our Gallbladder is a 4 inch pear-shaped organ positioned under your liver in the upper right section of the abdomen. The Gallbladder stores bile, a combination of fluids, fat and cholesterol.  The bile helps break down fat from the food in our intestine”. (www.healthline.com).

It appears that I have chronic (long-term) inflammation of the gallbladder. This has recently come to a head in the last two months after I experienced two bouts of pain like never before.  I couldn’t sit, stand, lie down – I just had to keep walking and no relief from the pain for hours.  After ultrasounds, blood tests and Dr’s appointments it was decided that to save further attacks and to prevent further damage to surrounding organs, I am to have the gallbladder removed.  Oh joy!

As a carer, this news put me into stress city.  I would be out of action for some weeks post operation. The consultant said I would have to stay in hospital overnight – further stress, how can I leave my parents alone overnight?!!!  I can’t just bring strangers in to the home?

And therein is the dilemma of millions of carers the world over. Who cares for the carer? There is no way I can put off the operation, apart from the constant pain and other symptoms which I have daily, (pain in the left side which radiates through the to back to up to the shoulder, heartburn, hot flushes and sometimes a chronic attack of pain and swollen tummy). things could take a nasty turn if left unattended. Which would untimely means further pressure on my caring responsibilities.

Therefore I have just had to plan around this.  I have worked like a demon for the last three or so weeks, getting the house clean, shopping in advance, getting up to date and prepared for a handover in the day job.  I can use my post operation time off to study, I have another assignment due on 16th March.  I won’t be able to sing for a little while until my muscles regain their strength but I can check out backing tracks and lyrics.   The way I see it is that I have been given a period of enforced rest, thinking time, sorting out time, regain health and fitness time – really, a time to start again, a new page, a new phase of life.

I am thankful to God that he sent me a wonderful boyfriend who has rearranged his caring responsibilities in order to come over to stay with my parents the night I am in hospital. This removes the bulk of my stress and  I will not be trying to walk home with my drip attached during the evening or overnight  to ensure they are ok.  Anxiety can make you irrational!

I will be away from the day job for at least two, possibly three weeks depending on my healing and I intend to use this time wisely. There are so many things I want to investigate for my studies, health and social care, carers, mental health first aid.  Then there is my passion for singing and researching music, recordings and video’s.  I’ve ordered the box set of “Nashville” as I will be off to see the show in June.  This will also be a great opportunity to get my healthy eating, diet and fitness back into harness.  A chance to start over.  I can also blog a little more, I really enjoy blogging, very therapeutic and I love to read other blogs.  People lead such interesting lives, have wonderful talents and some have difficult lives and their words give you an understanding of other aspects of our world.

My thought to leave you with today is to check out any symptoms, pains and aches you may be experiencing, your body has a way of letting you know something isn’t right, don’t leave them unattended. Look for the positives in your situation, grab your opportunities and make the most of each moment.

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Life Sparkles ✨

Caring, Anxiety and Me.

Prolonged anxiety is something new to me.  In the past, like most people, I have suffered anxiousness at various times; pre exam nerves, driving test nerves, medical emergencies within the family nerves and let us not forget first date nerves!!  We all encounter bouts of stress and anxiety at times of our lives.

However, now that I am caring for both of my parents, anxiety is something I live with daily. Dad has physical health issues; heart, chronic debilitating arthritis and oedema are the main attackers.  Mom is so healthy it is untrue thank God but Mom’s issues are cognitive degeneration and sundowning.  Both fall under the umbrella of dementia but do not receive a diagnosis of dementia because they are very different and don’t fit the usual symptoms.

Today, post World Mental Health Day, it is my own mental health that I am aware of. I know the real me is in there somewhere, frantically struggling to stay afloat and keep my sparkle alive but it is so easy to just get swamped, to fall into the blackness of the stress, anxiety, dare I say depression that comes with continuous care for loved ones whilst also trying to keep your own life afloat.

I now see the important of finding time for me, to do things that I like to do, to be me, to feel alive no matter what the anxiety is doing to me.  Himself, worries for me, my friends worry for me.  Yet I feel that I am acting in my usual scatty, day dreaming, mad ideas kind of way – of course they see “me”, the changes in my personality because I am worrying, because I don’t know when there will be a sudden mood swing to deal with, because I don’t know when Mom will decide she is not going to bed and I am awake all night with  her. Everything can change in a second here at home and I am learning to adapt to the changes. To deal with doing tasks at perhaps what wouldn’t be considered the usual time for housework, for cooking, for logging into the day job – overnight, for studying whenever there is time.  I take pleasure in half an hour of me time in a coffee shop. An evening out with himself, who has his own caring responsibilities, is very rare but when we get them, they are treasured.  Both of us now feel our time together is precious and no longer take it for granted.  We can easily go three to four weeks without seeing each other but we understand our commitments to home.

Understanding is very important, understanding of the people we care for, understanding of adapting our lives, understanding friends who accept that you may need to cancel plans at short notice.

My anxiety manifests as tightness in the chest, dizziness, slowness of speech and movement in extreme moments of stress.  I find a walk in the fresh air helps whatever the weather.  I have taken up running again, in all weathers and although I hate it when I start off, the sense of achievement for even ten minutes of running is amazing, I feel good, I am alone, I can make sense of my world.

As you know, I love my singing and I escape the real world when I start to sing. However my anxiety has affected my ability to remember lyrics and I quite often go wrong when I am singing a song…but I persevere, it is almost as if I am having a quiet war with my anxiety. I will overcome the memory issue and sing out the whole song without prompting.  I have ambitions for my singing and I find these ambitions help to keep me strong, to have something to focus on outside of caring, a dream, a wish, a promise to myself.

Life changes, each day is a blessing and each day brings it’s own struggles, it’s own happiness and it’s own sparkle and whatever happens, we must try and keep our sparkle alive, even if it is more of a twinkle some days.

Thank you for reading my blog and sharing my thoughts.

look-for-the-positive-vibes

 

Life Sparkles ✨

In the quiet…

In the quiet of the early morning, before the day gets started, I find myself reflecting on the day ahead and thinking of the days that are gone.  It is unusual for me to have time for these few minutes of thought. Usually Mom is up very early as the morning’s are so bright, she thinks it is much later in the day and therefore I too must get up. At 4 am it can seem like a very long day ahead, especially when I have to attend to the day job a few hours later and it will possibly be 11 pm or later when I finally get into bed. 

Although it is early July and this morning the sun streams beautifully through the window, there is a feel of Autumn about the day. There isn’t any of the heat of Summer, the morning has a look of late September. I hear Mom walking around her room and I’m wondering if I will soon have to start the day; preparing breakfast, putting on some music, awaiting Dad getting up to join us in the kitchen which will enable me to get a few tasks done.

I’m lucky in that I can go out, see himself when he too is not caring for his Mother, catch up with my friends or perhaps attend a gig or event.  Often I am called home from these small snatches of release as either Dad just can’t cope with the day or with Mom if she has a “Sundowning” moment.  Not having great health himself, I’ve noticed Dad has become more frail and is less able to deal with things, which leaves me to step in to ensure all is covered.

So, in the quiet of the day, when I get a few minutes to myself I wonder. I wonder should I give up the day job? Stay at home more? Throw myself into my dream of singing; playing the guitar and completing my studies?  I wonder about the people like me, some with families of their own, trying to look after their parents or care for other members of the family, friends or neighbours whilst also trying to keep their own life on the go and enjoy some down time. 

I’ve had thoughts recently about setting up a FB page for Carers, to inject some positive sparkle into their day. What do people do to keep their sparkle alive in the toughest of conditions? How do they release the stress? What has happened to their hopes and dreams? 

In the quiet of the day…our minds are perhaps not very quiet at all.

Thank you for reading my blog 😎


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