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Monday, 15 August 2011

How do you deal with life shattering news, you have MS?

Someone asked me the other day how I felt when I received the life shattering news that I had been diagnosed with MS, so I thought I’d share my thoughts and feelings so for those of you who are newly diagnosed know that you’re not alone even though you may feel like it, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I’m not a doctor nor am I claiming to be any sort of expert this is purely my feeling and thoughts after I felt my life had been turned upside down!
My first major attack occurred when my daughter was approximately 18 months old. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening to me at first I can only describe it as a very strange sensation in my right arm. Now any may think my reaction was a little odd in that for some strange reason I couldn’t stop laughing about it. I went to see my GP expecting him to say it was some sort of trapped nerve, here’s some tablets and see how you go! To my horror after a couple of simple reflex tests he told me that he suspected I’d had a stroke and to go straight to A&E at my local hospital. The simple thought that I’d had something a serious as a stroke at the age of 25 was incomprehensible. I spent 4 days in hospital undergoing numerous tests, MRI scans etc. By this stage I had lost the full use of my right arm. It was as dead as a dodo! The consultant confirmed that I definitely hadn’t had a stroke but she had her suspicions as to what was causing the lack of movement in my arm. When I pressed her to answer what she thought it was she advised me that I had a large area of inflammation of the nerve fibres in my brain, something which was more commonly known as Multiple Sclerosis. I just burst into tears, to this day I have no idea why as at that stage I had absolutely no idea what MS was. I’d heard of it, I’d never met anyone that had it before; I had no idea what it meant for me! All I could think about was why was this happening to me?
The consultant had advised me that there was plenty of information around about MS and I would be referred to a dedicated MS nurse who would be there to give me any information I needed and I could call if I had any questions. She advised me not to look on the internet as I would probably scare myself.
I remember for weeks I used to sit at home and cry, frustrated by the fact I could no longer do simple things like dry my hair or fill a pan with water to cook tea. I tried to teach my then fiancĂ© how to blow dry my hair thinking that any sort of style would be better than nothing. He tried his hardest but I think he found it hard to deal with.  I used to just sit and cry in front of the mirror. I felt like I had become this completely different person over night because my body wasn’t doing the things I wanted it to. I didn’t want to be this other person any more I wanted to be me! I didn’t want this damaged body I wanted my fully functional one back.
It took a while to get over the tears and frustration, and with a lot of support from my family, I became determined not to let my dysfunctional body stop me continuing my life. I lived with constant worry that my fate lay in the arms of a wheel chair. Someone told me not to let MS take control of your life but for me to take control of my MS. Since then I have tried to live my life as normal as possible. Although I think in some respects I have let it take control of my life in that I probably would have had another child by now, but because of the uncertainty of the disease and medication I have put off having any more children till now. I have now decided to take the bull by the horns and get on with my life! I refuse to let this disease control any part of my life anymore!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Have I just lost touch?

Forgive me if I’m wrong in questioning myself maybe I’ve completely lost touch in the last 6 years but I need some help!
I have a friend who has a two year old daughter. Her daughter was born 2 months premature. Now as my daughter was full term obviously I have no experience on this front. Reading other peoples stories and experiences my friend seemed to have got away quite lightly. Although it was unfortunate and Lucy was in hospital for some time before she was allowed home, when she was discharged there was nothing physically wrong with Lucy she was in good health. Over the last two years she has undergone regular check-ups at the hospital and every time they have been very pleased with her development and progress, so much so she was discharged 6 months earlier than expected.
Now since her birth my friend has wrapped her up in cotton wool, which to be honest I’m sure I probably would have done if it had been my child. As her daughter was born 2 months premature, when she reached her first birthday she was still treated as if she was only 10 months old not 12.  
After meeting my friend for lunch the other day and I came away not quite sure what to think. Now Lucy is two she is still sleeping at least 14 hours a day some days more!  Most days she goes to bed at 4:30pm and doesn’t wake up till the next morning. She’s still so tired she has a morning sleep around 10:00am and then another after lunch.
Something else that concerned me was the fact she was given a jar of baby food for 4months+! Am I right in thinking there is something wrong here?! Surely a two year old should be eating proper food now. Surely she won’t be getting the nutrients she requires as an active two year old from a jar of stage 1 baby food.
I have wondered about her sleeping habits for some time now, now I’m wondering is there a reason for the tiredness?!
After all it is some 6 years since I had my daughter but I do have other friends with children of similar ages and their routine etc. is completely different.
Can feeding a 2 year old baby food like that do them any harm?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

My Saturday night!

Well who'd have thought it when I reached 30 I'd be spending my saturday night sat tapping away on my blog amidst adding items for sale on Ebay. Meanwhile I have two Zombies (aka hubby & Emily) sat watching Scooby Doo DVD's! I now have the theme tune to Scooby Doo implanted into my head so much so I can't help but sing along! There's certainly no hope for my sofa with all this zombie chasing going on, Emily's diving all over the place! The only words spoken have been "hurry up Scooby!" No response to any of my questions! I'm getting more response off our deaf dog!
There's no hope for me is there?!
I'm absolutely exhausted today for some reason, I thought you were supposed to get your energy back during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy?! Then again I never had much energy before I was pregnant in the first place.
Some days I'm mentally and physicall exhausted with my MS yet I haven't really felt like that during my first trimester with this pregnancy. Maybe I hadn't noticed it as much because I'm so used to feeling exhausted all the time that I've just got used to it after so many years.
I think I might sneak off to bed with a hot chocolate I'm sure these two zombies wont noticed!
Night everyone.

Friday, 5 August 2011

My poor feet.....

I’m not sure whether your one of those people that like me likes having their feet massaged or even tickled (to an extent) maybe your one of those that can’t stand even the thought of someone touching your feet (like my husband) anyway I’m not sure if it’s the heat or just the fact I’m putting on a bit of weight (therefore putting a tiny bit more pressure on my feet at the moment) but by the end of the day my feet are killing me!  Hubby’s foot rubs just aren’t quite cutting it! I’ve been contemplating booking myself in for a pedicure for the last week or so now but I had a leaflet put through my door last night about one of these new Dr Fish Spa places. Now I’m certainly not keen on the idea of letting a fish chew dead skin off my feet in fact I couldn’t really think of anything worse, but the way my feet are at the moment I’d do anything for some relief! I just can’t see that these things can possibly give you any pleasure or is it just me?!So I just wondered if anyone has tried it and actually enjoyed the experience?! Is it actually any better than a pedicure? Comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Am I just hungry or is that movement down there?!

Seeing as its some 7 years since I was pregnant and my mind isn’t exactly functioning to its full potential, well I’m sure any pregnant woman will agree your brain seems to turn to mush! I can’t remember what I said nor did 30 minutes ago let alone 7 years ago! Most people seem to say they recognise movements earlier on their second pregnancy so I’m not 100% sure if this tickle/rumble is just sheer hunger as I seem to be starving ALL the time! Or it’s the little fella swimming around. As I’m now roughly 16 weeks pregnant I would have thought I would soon be starting to feel something soon.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Nuchal test results

Julia rang as promised and she was very pleased to say that everything looks absolutely fine! Julia said that just going off my age my risks were 1 in 900 which were pretty good to start with but after all the tests the result have come back as  1 in 18,000! This is fantastic! So far so good we will have to wait for the next scan to be sure that everything is developing as it should. It’s a bit like having a carrot dangled things are ok so far but we’ve just got to wait that little bit longer till the next scan to get more answers! I’m sure when it comes to the next one they’ll move the goal posts again and I’ll have to wait for something else (probably till baby pops out and we can all see for ourselves!)

Friday, 15 July 2011

12 Week scan!

The 12 week mark has finally been reached and we're all off to Baby premier for our next scan!
Emily has escaped from school early so she's very excited to be able to see her little brother or sister swimming around in mummy's tummy!

When we arrived at the clinic Julia soon came to greet us again, and it wasn't long before she found our little baby squirming around! Julia carefully explained everything while she took all the measurements to make sure everything was in order. To our surprise Julia found that our baby is actually 13.5 weeks not 12. We had decided to have the Nuchal scan just to give us extra peace of mind during the pregnancy. Julia showed us the blood flow around the babies body and measured the fluid around the babies neck. She advised us that everything seemed normal but the additional blood test would help to give a better idea at the risk of our baby having Down's syndrome, they also test for Edward's syndrome and Patau's syndrome. Julia advised us that the results would take a week to come back and that she would ring me with the results.

We're all amazed after seeing our tiny baby wriggling around Emily especially she keeps wiggling my tummy thinking it'll make the baby move! Julia was wonderful AGAIN! and we can't thank her enough!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Too fat for my clothes HELP!!

Well I've given in I can't possibly squeeze myself into my old pants anymore! So I've had to reach for my good old comfy maternity pants! I'd forgotten how comfy they were, it's been so long! why have I tortured myself into squeezing into my old pants for so long?! I've got a friends birthday night out coming up and god knows what on earth I'm going to wear! Do they make tents all sparkly and pretty these days?! I desperately need to find some nice maternity clothes for going out etc but everywhere seems to be boring casual clothes! HELP!!! Any suggestions desperately needed and very welcome!
I don't remember having to wear maternity clothes this early last time I hope this isn't some sort of elephant I'm going to end up giving birth to!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Dating and viability scan...

I know this is a bit late as I'm 10weeks now but I thought I would just update you on what's been happening over the last few weeks!

From around 5 and a half weeks I had some light bleeding, something that I can remember having with my first pregnancy. Whilst it was a little comforting that I had experienced this previously it seemed to be a bit more than last time, so I went to see my GP. He explained that it is very common and is usually nothing to worry about but as I wasn't yet 6 weeks if I went for a scan nothing would show yet. So as usual he advised me to take things easy and if it gets worse or hasn't stopped in a week to come back and he'd send me for a scan.
Mean while my mum advised me to have one of these dating a viability scans. So she booked me in with Baby Premier as they specialised in all forms of baby scans.
So after the 6 weeks I went not expecting to be able to see very much at all! The Sonographer Julia was lovely, she was very friendly and went through everything with me. She quickly found our baby, she measured everything and confirmed my dates were correct. Although it didn't look like a baby Julia was able to find the heart beat and we listened to that. It was amazing to hear a heart beat from something so tiny!
Julia gave us copies of the pictures she took during the scan.
Overall it was a wonderful experience as Emily got to find out there actually was a baby in mummy's tummy. It was wonderful to see it actually sinking in that she was going to be a big sister after all, the excitement that followed was priceless!
We all just can't wait to go back for the next one!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Pregnant with MS?

Pregnant with MS?

As you may have gathered this is my 2nd pregnancy so you may ask what the difference from my 1st is? Well when I had my daughter apart from being a little (well actually a lot) younger than I am now, when my daughter was 18 months old I lost the full use of the right hand side of my body. At the time it was very traumatic as the doctors didn’t know what was causing it at first I was rushed into hospital with a suspected stroke. Not being able to look after my little girl was the worst thing of all.  I couldn’t hold her, I couldn’t even walk properly or push her in the pram.
After seeing numerous Neurologists and undergoing a number of tests I was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This was a huge shock to me and my family, but I somehow managed to find some relief over the fact I now had a diagnosis and explanation for what happened and could happen to me in the future. Before my diagnosis I had no idea what MS was I’d heard people talk about it but had no knowledge as to what it was or what it meant for me and my family.
I was very lucky in that I had the support of my family and a designated MS specialist nurse, someone I could just telephone if I had any questions or concerns about anything. After being diagnosed I soon realised I had a lot to learn about my condition, how it would affect my everyday life, my career, my health long-term. One thing we hadn’t considered initially was what if we wanted any more children? How would the strain of pregnancy and the hormonal changes to my body affect my MS? I was put on Beta interferon injections soon after my diagnosis, Paul and I felt it was important to concentrate on coming to terms with the diagnosis and get used to the medication and let the side effects subside. After all as I had just been diagnosed we were uncertain as to how this was going to affect me, or how the MS was going to progress.
I spent a long time living under a cloud of uncertainty and wonder not knowing if I’d wake up one morning and not be able to move! Sounds silly I know but when things happened as suddenly as last time it’s very hard to carry on your day to day life without worrying what might happen. After a lot of soul searching, support from my family and speaking to people that either suffered with MS or knew a lot about it I realised I couldn’t live my life in fear of what might happen I needed get on with my life and to take each day as it came and not let MS rule my life.
So here I am some 5 years later pregnant with my 2nd child! So what does this mean for me and my baby? To be completely honest I’m not 100% sure of the answer to that question. I have had conflicting information whichever way I turn! I was always told from starting my medication a few years ago I was always told that if I was to try for a baby I had to be off my medication for 3 months before even trying to conceive. Then about 18 months ago I was told the goal posts had changed in that I could continue on my medication whilst trying to conceive but I would be at a higher risk of miscarriage and there was no evidence as to what effect the medication would have on the development of my unborn child as it wasn’t something that had been tested. So the truth being I’m not sure anyone has the exact answer as to what effect the medication can have on my unborn child. Either that or I just haven’t found the right person that holds the answer to my questions.
Prior to me finding out I was pregnant I had not had my medication for approximately 2 weeks. As soon as I found out I contacted my MS nurse to ask her advice. Other than stop taking my medication no one seems to be able to advise me as to whether the medication will have any effects on my unborn baby. Every medical professional has given me conflicting advice! Why do they never give you a straight answer when you want one?! My GP and midwife have said they have no idea what effect my medication will have on the baby yet they have both said my MS could get worse during the pregnancy or get better! I suppose I should be grateful that they’re honest when they don’t know! Extra confusing when everything I’ve read about pregnancy and MS was that you were protected during pregnancy because of your hormones.
In a way I'm glad this is not my first pregnancy and I haven't got all the concerns and the unknown's that I had the first time round! All I have been able to extract from the medical mumbo jumbo is that I am at a higher risk of having a miscarriage! Great! Just what I want to hear!
The thought of this doesn't bear thinking about so I have decided I'm not going to spend the next 9 months worrying what might happen, what will be will be! All I can do is make sure I take things easy, eat healthily and look after myself as best I can, and hope that everything will be ok!
Fingers crossed!
If anyone has any experience or advice I’d be grateful for your input!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

It Starts!

So as you may well have guessed from the title I'm pregnant! For the 2nd time, the first being some 7 years ago now! It's funny how time flies, and how you kid yourself that it was only two minutes ago since you gave birth to the last one! All those vivid memories which now I need to remember seem to have just disappeared!
I am currently 10 weeks pregnant so I'm a little late in starting this, but hey better late than never right?!
Paul and I found out on the day of my beautiful God son's Christening day. What a day it was!
Anyone that knows me, knows I'm crap at keeping secrets and can't lie to save my life! So it has been torture trying to keep my mouth shut for so long! As you may well guess keeping it quiet was Pauls idea!
We had a few chuckles to ourselves at the christening as people were taking pics of what has been the three of us for the last 6 years and making comments like "oh that's a great picture of the 3 of you!" and me thinking if only you knew!
Well I lasted a week before I managed to pressurise Paul into telling our parents. I felt as they were about to become grandparents for the third time they had a right to know. Our family were over the moon! They all knew it was something we'd wanted for a while so they were really pleased for us.

I hope you'll follow our progress over the next nine months!