My Pre-Op Bucket List #TheMMLinky 

By | March 5, 2018

I can’t get away from the fact that in six weeks time I’m facing another general anaesthetic (GA) and – what should hopefully be – my final foot operation.

It can’t come quickly enough as a traipse through the snow on Friday and then shovelling it to clear paths has really affected both my “good, operated on last August, foot” and my “wonky, being done in six weeks, foot”.  Ouch.

It’s important though to remain positive about this upcoming op as it really helps that walk to the room adajacent to the operating theatre and my recovery afterwards, I have really quite strange reactions to a GA and I know that the less stress I’m under leading up to it, the better.

I’ve been compiling “to do” lists for both pre and post op to enable our household to run as smoothly as it can whilst I’m laid up afterwards.

I need to:

* Build a shed base as we have a shed/summerhouse installation to arrange.  Fortunately there is a shed  plus installation package but doesn’t include the base being made.  Something I need to tackle now that the snow has melted.

* Pop a coat of paint on our kitchen ceiling.  We had an unfortunate incident after our homecare providers didn’t install a bath waste unit properly and it leaked.  It bugs me looking at the patch of water damage and no doubt it will bug me more when I can’t do anything about it! 

*Stock up the freezer.  T’s staples in  his (limited) diet are bread, rolls and weetabix, I can’t freeze weetabix obviously but we always have plenty of bread and milk frozen.  D is a bit more adaptable but still has her standard three evening meals which I rotate and as long as Hubbie has his carbs, he’ll be okay.

*I’m reluctant to give the front and back Gardens the first mow of the year yet but that’s another one for the list.  Again I’ll feel a bit miffed if I can see it needs doing and physically can’t! 

*Get my “things to do whilst I’m on my backside on the sofa” sorted.  I have a few books I’d like to read and have earmarked my crochet projects.  

*Stock up on pain relief.  From my last two operations, there will be pain.  I can be a “I’m tough, I don’t need anything” but I need to accept that if it hurts (and it will) then I don’t need to be stubborn and resist taking anything. 

The most important thing though is positivity.  My feet journey has so far taken nearly two years from first referral and it will be closer to three by the time I’m fully healed and then…I can start making more lists of what I haven’t been able to do! 

So, that’s my Monday Motivation.  I’m hosting this week so it would be great if you could join in, it doesn’t need to be a post, a motivational picture link would be great.

As ever, I’ve chosen my two favourites from the last link-up, I loved reading the What’s Your Superpower post and could really empathise with this post about remembering what really matters.

I also absolutely love this image:

  

 


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The positives of online dating 

By | March 4, 2018

When a relationship breaks down, for whatever reason, there’s usually a period of grief or disbelief as to the fact that you’re single or maybe anger that the time spent in that relationship has ended.  For women there is also the feeling that that internal biological clock might be ticking, men have it a lot easier at times, don’t they? 

Then you start to re-build your life again. You look for the positives, as opposed to the negatives and, in time, think about potentially meeting someone new, but where to start? 

  
It’s a situation I found myself in about two years before I met Hubbie, I was then a single mum to a 3 year old little boy, working full time and juggling nursery or alternate child care if he was poorly,  worrying about how much potential time I had in the day as I’d always been the main wage earner. I also had the realisation that, after having grown up with a series of “uncles” before my parents’ marriage imploded, I wasn’t going to subject my young son to anyone new before I felt ready.

Friends took me to nightclubs and there’d be the bleary-eyed last dances but it didn’t feel right, or particularly safe, looking back.

It took about two years before I felt ready to dip my toe into the dating scene again and see how I felt – mostly a bit emotionally bruised terrified if I’m honest!  

Maybe (then not now, as I’m a happily married) I should have given – online dating – a try.  

Dating sites have the advantage that you can instantly find potential partners local to you and within a reasonable distance, for example –  if you’d like to date Cheshire singles,  maybe take a look at Lancashire dating sites, or date Strathclyde singles there’s also sites where you can specify you’re interested in certain genres such as naughty dating. I would imagine that the Fifty Shades trilogy has greatly sparked interest in these! 

An advantage of specifying a localised dating site, for example – seeking single women in London – means that you’ll potentially have the chance to go to events and venues near you and this obviously cuts down any travelling time and gives you more date time! It’s also a shorter journey home if things didn’t quite go as expected.

Using online dating or searching for specific interests could not only potentially lead to a relationship but also companionship, idea if you’re seeking someone to visit the cinema, a music event or a festival or maybe a picnic in the park, if the weather allows, but maybe not during “The Beast From The East”, if it returned! 

As my children grow closer to adulthood – both being 13 and 15 – and they don’t necessarily have the opportunities to meet people of  similar ages, once they are old enough, having a chance to search locally for friends and potential dates would be a great advantage

Have you tried online dating? Would love to hear any success stories! 
*this is a collaborative post

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What would renewing our vows mean to me?

By | March 3, 2018

It seems quite a fashionable thing to do amongst celebs, doesn’t it? Come the warmer months, you can guarantee a smattering of high profile vows renewals, covering a few pages of the weekly magazines, airbrushing and all.  

It’s something I’d like to do – apart from the magazine coverage bit, obviously, they wouldn’t be interested in me anyway!

We were married in May 2002 in Jersey.  It was a lovely day, a registry office ceremony with some funny moments when the music we’d chosen didn’t work and some serious moments as we said our vows to each other.  Both of us shed a few emotional tears.

  
We had just immediate family there as people had to travel from mainland UK and it felt right for us, a small ceremony and then a meal in a Italian restaurant.  

We hosted a wedding party a couple of weeks later and that was fun, my mother-in-law was in charge of the cake, plenty of food and dancing, it almost felt like we’d had two weddings as it made for another outfit (tee hee)!

A lot of water has passed under the bridges since then – our children, a house move, their autism diagnoses, deaths in the family, my feet operations and a shedload of stress  – but we’re still together, still finishing each other’s sentences and pre-emoting thoughts and, most importantly, laughing together.  Sometimes at the silliest little things.  That’s what keeps us going.

I know Hubby would be up for renewing our vows tomorrow but I’d prefer to wait a few more years, to get all this foot stress out of the way first and be pain-free when we do it.

Where doesn’t really matter.  It’s the ceremony and the re-affirming of our love that counts.  We used the services of a wedding planner in Jersey as they were based on the island and whatever form our renewal took,  online wedding planning would be an idea as things have moved on rapidly from 16 years ago.

Weddings or vow renewals aren’t cheap and there are suggestions online on how to save money on your wedding.

As for afterwards, I know our children would like a party and there are many, many ideas for cheap wedding favour ideas around with various themes.  To photo booth or not would also be a consideration! 

One thing I won’t scrimp on though is a dress, I “may” have already seen the perfect dress – obviously shoes are a tba – and it “might” include purple.  Well, there has to be some surprises don’t there?

To be continued…

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.

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InstaLinkLove Week 77 

By | March 3, 2018

Welcome to Week 77 of InstaLinkLove! 
 

  

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

 
   

 
  
 Please remember our (very easy) rules:

*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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Snow Go 

By | March 1, 2018

Well, the “Beast from the East”/Storm Emma/snow has arrived.  There’s no denying that we haven’t been warned.

The weather has been playing on our minds a bit these last few days and caused D a few anxieties.

On Tuesday, she was due to take part in a panathlon at the Olympic pool in East London, regular readers might remember that she participated in one at the very same place about 1.5 years ago:

  
  
That second picture just sums D up for me, if she’s comfortable, she’ll join in whole-heartedly. 

Tuesday didn’t happen, it was postponed due to the weather forecast for that area and quite rightly so as it turned out.  

It was quite hard to explain it all to D, that yes, it might be absolutely fine where we are in Berkshire but elsewhere, it wasn’t and that the potential for traffic delays/not actually getting there or back to school easily could occur.

So, it felt like the postponement on Tuesday had been finally justified to D when the snow and winds arrived yesterday.

Her school’s announcement of closure came through before 7am this morning and then we had twenty minutes or so before the confirmation that T’s would be closed too – which was a relief as one being off and the other having to go in, would not have made for harmony.

So, it’s been a onesie day for D, the bitterly cold wind meaning that snow play didn’t happen today, hopefully if that bitter wind-chill factor goes, it might happen soon.

Keep warm! 

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If I were a driver 

By | February 28, 2018

This is a Sponsored Post.

We are fortunate to live where we do. It’s five minutes walk to bus stops where I can either catch a bus to our local shops (albeit a half hour ride as it goes everywhere before getting there) or a bus to the large town near us, a small train station is 15 minutes walk away too. For day-to-day for me, it’s okay.

But what happens if something unexpected occurs? For example, D had a head collision at school last year and we needed to get her seen quickly, luckily Hubby was at home and he drove us to get D checked out but, as a non-driver, I’d have had problems and wasted potentially valuable time getting to school quickly.

It’s never been my intention not to be a driver, it just happened. During my last bout of driving lessons, I was oh-so close to a test date and then, life stresses took over and I just couldn’t carry the lessons on.

I do want to re-start lessons in a couple of years once funds and my post-op feet allow. I’ve always had an idea of the vehicle I’d like and have a playlist stored on my phone, currently under “walking tunes” but it would be wonderful to re-name that “driving tunes”.

Oh, it would be fantastic to know that if we wanted to head off for the day to a beach (D’s main wish but not in the current weather!) or a visit to D’s favourite place (a SN playground), we could just do it, without the bus/train rides and the risk of her getting over anxious due to her sensory issues/stranger anxieties.

Of course, running a vehicle isn’t cheap, there’s not only the initial vehicle purchase cost, but fuel costs, insurance and maintenance,  cars.com have a handy  loan calculator tool which would really help in any decision when (not if) I eventually go for it.

There is also a search tool on the site, so I could quickly and easily ascertain if the car of my dreams was just down the road from me too.

  
“If I were a driver” will turn into “yes, I am a driver, shall we go to the beach today?” one day. 

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Countdown to number 3

By | February 28, 2018

One of the reasons I’ve backed away from blogging recently (which I shouldn’t really as it’s like free therapy for me!) is that foot operation number 3 is looming.

No, I don’t have three feet (for any new readers), I had a both-feet operation in October 2016 which didn’t work, a remedial and successful operation on my right foot in August 2017 and then there will be a remedial operation on my left foot in April.  In six and a bit weeks, to be precise!

That will mean I’ll have had three general anaesthetics in 18 months and whilst I don’t want to count up the recovery and in-pain weeks, it has been a lot.  No wonder I’m feeling a bit “meh”!  I have nerve damage in the foot to be rectified and neither feet like the severe cold, as they both have metal in them.

But, there is a positive aspect to all this, my right foot operation was a total success and the letter I recently had from my surgeon said I was “keen for a matching pair” (of feet) and he “hope(s) to give her (me) a matching pair).  A letter that did make me chuckle somewhat.

The other positives are that I’ll be able to recuperate during some Spring weather hopefully and that, as last year’s operation went so well, that we have the good memories from that to get us through the upheaval that my being sofa-bound will bring.

Yep, it will all be fine.

  

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When D shared her worries … 

By | February 27, 2018

I know, I’ve not been a regular blogger so far this year, let’s just blame “stuff”, shall we?

But today, I just had to share an achievement by our D.  D – if you’ve read my posts previously – finds it very, very difficult to tell anyone at school if she’s worried about something.

She gets anxious about either being “told off” about either “telling tales” or appearing rude.  

She, if she wakes up anxious, will have an internal snowball rolling fast inside and, after masking her emotions all day, will come home and BOOM! 

Know what I mean? That “I’m fine!” remark when you know, just know, that she is anything but fine.

This had had – and still does – have an impact on her school day.  A particular time when she was being emotionally and bullied led to her telling me “I’m not going to eat and make myself ill so that I don’t have to go to school”.  

Alarm bells? You bet.  To their credit, D’s school dealt with this incident very quickly once they were aware of what she had said.

But the worries still overwhelm her.  She will quite forthrightly speak up if a school friend needs a hand but, if she’s feeling intimidated by someone, she won’t.  It’s always been a concern.

The fact that she needs to display more confidence in dealing with situations has always been a factor of her IEP and now her EHCP, so, for this to come home today was just amazing!

  
The accompanying letter from her Head Teacher said:

“Meeting one of her EHCP targets by talking to staff and sharing her worries when upset.  This is great progress as she finds this very difficult.”


The “worry” this refers to was a bit of a mega one last week, we had a few home-school diary notes.  For her to mention this to school staff is fantastic, we are very proud of her, the fact that this has been recognised by the school too is wonderful. 

Well done D!! 

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InstaLinkLove – Week 76 #instalinklove 

By | February 24, 2018

Welcome to week 76 of InstaLinkLove!

  
If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky.

All you need to do is link up the URL from up to four of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.
The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:
  
  
  
  
Please remember our (very easy) rules:

*You can link up to 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.
 
It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.
 

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x


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Autistic adults have meltdowns too 

By | February 21, 2018

This is an anonymous guest post.

  

There is so much talk about children with autism having meltdowns these days. 

There is much more awareness that a child may not be naughty, that they could be autistic and the National Autistic Society  did a recent high profile campaign highlighting the issues when children with autism have sensory overload. 

Yet no-one seems to talk about adults with autism having meltdowns.

I have an autism adult friend.He is kind, gently, friendly and placid … until he has a meltdown. 
If you think seeing a child with autism having a meltdown is scary you should witness an adult autistic meltdown. Adult autistic meltdowns are terrifying. 

The causes are often the same as they are for children: high stress building up, feeling out of control, too much pressure placed on them and an overload of sensory stimuli all at once. These issues can build over minutes, hours, days or even weeks until they become like an over-inflated balloon and just pop. 

I have seen so many children have sensory meltdowns because I parent more than one child on the spectrum. I also attend events for families with children on the spectrum and see meltdowns of all shapes and sizes every week.  They are noisy, frightening, unpredictable, hard to manage and involve high emotions.  I see parents having to restrain their child for their own safety, some giving bear hugs and others strapping children into buggies or cat seats for everyone’s safety. 

In full autistic meltdown the person loses control of their emotions, reasoning, rational thinking and logic.  

They need to fight, let it out, scream it out or somehow release the build up of tension and stress that has mounted up within them. 

They lose control of all rational thought often putting themselves and others in danger. 

This is exactly the same for adults except the person is stronger, louder and potentially able to cause more damage. 

Watching my autistic adult friend have a huge meltdown was not pretty and I was scared. His very character changed and it was like a switch went off in his head while his body exploded in ways he would be utterly ashamed of when he recovered. 

His language changed. A man I had never heard swear cursed like a trooper.

His nature changed. He went from sweet and caring to aggressive and unpredictable. 

His body changed. He went from relaxed and calm to angry and defensive.

His volume changed. He went from quiet and subdued to loud and violent. 

Things were thrown, punched, kicked and broken. Exactly the same as I had seen happen with children but on a much bigger scale. 

I could have called the police but would that have helped?  I kept thinking what if this was my child?  The thing is in a few years time my autistic child will be an adult and what if someone calls the police on him when he has an autistic meltdown? My friend is someone’s child too. No-one deserves to be locked up because they had an autistic meltdown. 

My friend calmed down. He won’t talk about his meltdown because for him talking just brings it all back to his head again and causes it all to build up to explosion again. Neither of us want that to happen. 

I don’t want my friend to know I have written about him. I don’t want him embarrassed by that day or defined as some awful person because he has an autism meltdown. No-one would judge my son if it was him so why do we judge adults? 

I think it’s because we still have this expectation that you grow out of autism, which includes having meltdowns. 

Autism is a life-long disability and my friend proved to me that adults with autism can and do have meltdowns too. 

I only wish people realised this more.  

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