Thinking… Thinking… and even more thinking.

I have officially decided that Monday’s are my day of returning back to work, getting back into routine and taking a day off from writing my blog. I thoroughly enjoy writing my blog however Monday’s are such hectic nights that I never have enough time to get it done. I assure you I’ll be back on form on Tuesdays!

Monday’s are manic aren’t they? There’s that feeling of dread as soon as the alarm wakes you first thing Monday morning and you know you have five full days before the smile is cracked open because the weekend has officially begun.

What’s all that about really? Why can’t we just formulate some genius plan to get us through the week without whinging? I mean honestly do we really want to wish our lives away? Personally I don’t think it’s necessary however we all insist on doing it me included.

Well I’ve decided no more drab miserable Monday Saz I’m all about the get up and go. I did my usual made up saying of ONIM (Oh no it’s Monday) in my head before getting prepared for work. Now Tuesday’s arrived I have a little spring in my step (just a little mind) and are sort of raring to go till Thursday afternoon when I’m off till the following Tuesday so not too bad.

Right enough moaning let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Below is a quote that definitely got me thinking.

“If your happiness depends on what someone else does I guess you do have a problem”- Richard Bach.

Problems and happiness in one sentence. Mmmm… I’m thinking….

Happiness is a word we all love to have in our lives. It’s something that makes the apples of our cheeks get that little rosier and makes us want more and more of it till we burst. Although happiness is a joyous feeling leaving it in someone else’s hands can be quite destructive. The idea of being reliant on someone else is something that has taken a significant amount of time to accept. Having control of your life is one thing, being reliant on someone else is another.

Unfortunately there are people who have disabilities who require that additional help. That is an essential. When it comes to someone else deciding what your happiness should be then that’s when you need to get your thinking cap on.

Usually I’m a sort of person who likes to play the game my way. I’m truly a believer in compromising however there are certain things that women like to do for themselves such as maybe making a meal, ironing their own clothes and making sure that their belongings are put in an area that they’re aware of. The idea of someone else breaking that cycle is something I personally find strange and get quite angry with.

When my seizures returned in my late teens the idea of someone else dressing me after a seizure and putting me to bed was something I didn’t like. I didn’t like the idea of them cleaning my bloodied tongue after I’d bitten down hard or the idea of them watching over me when I slept.

At one stage on my return I felt that I was a nuisance like I had caused this upheaval yet again. The thought of my friends and family being on tender hooks for my benefit wasn’t something I could digest. In fact on one occasion I was seriously questioning where I stood in the grand scheme of things because I felt like I was a powerful mind trapped in a body full of uncertainty and fear.

When I met my husband I didn’t want to bare my condition to him. I prayed that he would never see me convulsing and it made me quite wary of my condition. The look on his face when he saw boxes of medication made him understand that Epilepsy wasn’t a walk in the park; in fact it was my life and he was going to be a part of that.

My husband is possibly one of the only people who truly understands what I’m going through because he’s seen situations such as worrying moments, anxiety attacks, shakes and seizures. For someone to witness that regularly must be extremely hard for him however he never bats an eye, he repeatedly shows me support and always reminds me that whatever the outcome I will win. Compared to the way I was five years ago when we met I’m a different person. The moments are there however that’s out of my control.

Words of encouragement is beneficial when a condition is involved. To hear that you’re doing well when you know your condition is on your mind is something I held quite close to my heart. Knowing my loved ones were there to nurture me when times were rough meant the world to me.

Thinking today made me see that everyone needs those words of encouragement to give them the determination to continue. Looking in the present there aren’t encouraged which I find extremely sad. Throughout this blog journey I repeatedly say that you’re never alone and rest assured you’re not. If you need that help then go for it, what’s stopping you?

As a child my parents drummed into me that it takes more of a person to ask for help than face that problem alone. To be independent is an attribute however too much independence can be your downfall. Looking outside the box is something we must all face at some point. Keep your loved ones close to you however realise that there will be situations out of your control. When you have Epilepsy that’s usually the case however we plod on and look at it as a way a life.

Today was all about visiting my gran (as I’ve wrote on many occasion) for a good old chicken dinner, a chinwag and a can of diet coke. My gran is someone who I turn to on a Tuesday night usually for those words of encouragement because she has been there and seen it all. She is someone who has a keen interest in the welfare of her granddaughter and along with banging the world to rights she sees what a change five years has made to me.

Originally my gran didn’t actually believe that I had Epilepsy and put it down to something else whatever that was at the time. Fortunately me gran has never seen a seizure up close however every single time a documentary is on sky or something’s on the news relating to Epilepsy she cannot help but record it and insist I watch it on my visit.

My gran’s heart’s in the right place and like me believes in support groups and self help guides to assist others in need. It’s only taken Gran twenty years to understand what Epilepsy is and how it can have an adverse effect on life.

This evenings topic was all about the price of poultry in Asda and how you could get two joints of meat for £7. She advised that next time she visited Asda she would “Ensure she got a couple for me to freeze” so that my husband and I wouldn’t starve to death. Gran holds no punches and she assured me that I needed to sustain my happiness by enjoying myself and reflecting on what I actually have.

Another sort of power rant/wise quote from the gran this evening was “You kids you always want it yesterday” I agree with that one however tried not to laugh when she said it.

That’s the one thing about grandparents. They teach you old school and although you have the occasional frown behind their back you know deep down they’re right and have your best interests at heart.

I decided today that my obsession with Cadbury’s twirls must be stopped therefore I refrained from having my 8am chocolate fix from the work’s tuck shop and stuck to my low fat banana yogurt instead with an actual banana thrown in. Lunchtime was all about the small jacket potato with tuna and dinner was a chicken dinner with no Yorkshire puds. All in all the day has been a roaring success.

As for the squat challenge I did 100 squats (my legs were killing me and my arse was making funny noises- not farting I think I may have pulled a muscle) with 2.5kg weights and completed my 150 situps for the evening. Depending upon the old muscle pain tomorrow will decide whether my Davina DVD will be on however fingers crossed because I need to keep going.

A few words of encouragement for my exercise lovers out there. Keep going you’re doing marvellous and keep sending me your delicious recipes because they look good enough to eat! Keep calm and squat on!

To conclude today’s post. Thinking we all do it, actually some do it to excess me included. By creating your own happiness means you’re in charge not someone else dictating how you run your life. In that sentence you and your are the two most important words because ultimately you’re the one who has to make the decision as to what you want and how you move forward.

Cinema issues.

“Get yourself out and have a great time tonight” were the words uttered from my mam on the telephone.

What my mother’s referring to is my evening out with my other half, brother in law and sister in law yesterday evening. We have had a cinema night planned for over two months with us all eagerly awaiting the remake of the Evil Dead movie. Initially I wanted to dodge the night because I didn’t wanna look like a right wimp however thought what the hell let’s give it a go.

The weekend, two days that everyone longs for. Unless you are working over the weekend the sigh of relief as you leave work come Friday afternoon/evening is unreal. You know that for two days you aren’t going to be in work and once chores are done can let your hair down.

Before I discuss the zombification let’s rattle off the quote of the weekend:

“A man needs a little madness or else he never dares to cut the rope and be free”- Nikos Kazantazkis

This applies to us ladies too. My life is full of ups and downs like everyone else out there. There’s been moments where I’ve been a tad too comfortable and a little reserved however as I’m getting older I’m thinking why not? Why do I have to do something because it’s all I know. Get out there and see what’s available. I might as well let my hair down and do things that I enjoy instead of what others expect of me or what society expects adults in my age bracket to do.

There’s many a conversation I’ve overheard in the city centre where I’ve heard people say “I haven’t had a good night unless I’m completely wasted”. What they’re really saying is that they can’t enjoy themselves unless they’ve had a large quantity of alcohol. I’m all for having a couple of drinks however now know my limits. I mean answer me this question why would I want to get rat arsed over a 6 hour period to be lying in bed all day Sunday? What a waste of the two days I actually have off work.

Unless you’re tee total drinking too much is just the devils work. I’m a person that cannot handle her drink very well and have (fortunately in front of the people I love) made an absolute twat of myself by consuming too much, mixing my drinks and feeling rubbish for about two days after. Looking back it was my way of thinking I was letting my hair down however wasn’t. It was just me drinking because everyone else was.

If you analyse the quote and alcohol together that doesn’t make me feel free, in fact it makes me look like a complete tool and can reduce the effectiveness of my medication thus resulting in an immanent seizure. Being free to me is going outside of my comfort zone as in wearing new fashion trends, dining differently, going on new adventures, seeing films I wouldn’t dare to see or learning new things.

If I was to ask you what was outside of your comfort zone what answer would you give? Have you tried anything new lately that you’d recommend to others? Was it a new eatery or was it a new sport you’ve tried? Everybody’s tastes differ and that’s what makes people more interesting.

Epilepsy for me is a way of life. It’s something I never asked for however have had to adjust my life around. I haven’t given up on life and have still had the opportunity to have a fulfilled one however had to understand very quickly what my limitations are. To me an anxious moment requires rest, a shaky bout can wipe me out for a day and a seizure for two.

Spontaneity is something people love. Being spontaneous is something that should be exhilarating and exciting. Spontaneity freaks me out in some cases. I love the idea of trying something new however feel that I need to build myself up to it.

As sociable as I can be unless it’s something I can research or feel comfortable with then I’m a nervous wreck and need a small glass of wine to calm my nerves. I cannot recall being this way pre diagnosis so why do I have these moments? Nowadays they are very few and far between however about three years ago I was a disaster.

I’m gradually getting better however the anxious moments are there and it makes me wonder why they are. Is the anxiety a result of my medication or not? The therapist and neurologist presume the anxiety is a result of my medication however it’s to be debated.

What I keep telling myself and would recommend to others is what’s the worst that can happen? The answer is maybe I’ll be sick therefore I go home and go to bed, maybe I’ll feel hot therefore I go outside and cool down or maybe I’ll be put on the spot therefore I find that energy and make new friends. There’s never a problem that cannot be solved.

Yesterday’s cinema evening was rather good. Not only did I spend time with my family however came out of my comfort zone and went to see the remake of Evil Dead. Beforehand we dined at an Italian (in which I had a lovely thin crust mushroom pizza with a diet coke) before venturing to the £1 shop to buy some sweet treats (Haribo and a small bag of buttons) and steadily walking into the screening. My mind was unsure what to expect and I was absolutely papping my pants as soon as the trailers came on.

The reason why I’ve homed in on the cinema is because I’m dreadful when it comes to choosing my seats. It can by a right faff however think i’s needed.

Everytime I go to the cinema I have to sit on an end seat just incase the inevitable should happen and I have an episode. By sitting on the end I won’t put others in danger and it’s my way of getting out should I need to. Are any of you the same? Do anyone with Epilepsy out there have that concern when they go to the cinema?

When it comes to 3D I can watch a film however need to take a couple of paracetemol before hand to prevent a headache. I haven’t tried IMAX and have no desire to because I don’t want to jinx a seizure.

Going to the cinema is like an event in itself. The one thing that infuriates me is the price a cinema will charge for you to see a film. Last night it was £9.50 per seat to see a 2D film that was before the confectionary, the meal beforehand and the petrol getting up there. How can they be allowed to charge so much? It was never that expensive when I was younger. Forget it being a cheap night, It’s like going out for a night on the tiles.

For those who know me know that horror films aren’t my thing. Gore doesn’t scare me, in fact gore is quite comical. Clowns, ventriloquist dummies, poltergeist or the unexpected makes me wanna get out of my seat and run for dear life. My first moment of horrific madness had to be when flicking over the channel to see Tim Curry in IT dressed as a clown.

From about the age of 9 all I could envisage was him dressed as a clown staring at me through the TV screen and me thinking that all of a sudden he’d come into my bedroom knife in hand and come after me. The same applies with the Chucky films, Poltergeist or the Exorcist. Get me out of there. Freddie Kruger doesn’t bother me and as for some of the other Zombies wey what more can I say? Hilarious.

Right now Film critic Saz is going to give her synopsis of Evil Dead. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The film wasn’t a disaster. I’ve never seen the original to compare this one against however actually liked it. My brother and sister in law thought the original was better. Thank god for the sweets because there was the occasional moment where I had a little jump. I didn’t shout “Oi man” when I jumped (which I did when watching woman in black) however wasn’t very far off. To me Woman in black was scarier as it had the suspense factor.

If you don’t mind gore then go, if you don’t mind zombies then go otherwise wait for the DVD. To me it was your typical American horror film where you wanna shout “Don’t go down the cellar” but they go. There’s your usual busty blonde however that’s to be expected and there’s the moments where you wanna shout “Really why are you doing that?” however they do. All in all not too bad.

The Great Gatsby is a film I’m dying to see. Not only is Leonardo Dicaprio in it (like a fine wine he’s getting better with age) but I get the impression it’s gonna be a sort of adult version of Bugsy Malone with a bit of adult romance and a bit of scandal. I think that may be a film I’ll go see with my mother because my husband would be bored to tears.

The bets went tits up (I’ve lost count how many times I’ve betted this year) however I did make a couple of sneaky beauty purchases. The squat challenge is well and truly on with me now hitting 140 squats whilst doing my Davina app sweating away and forcing the cat to move from the middle of the living room floor into the spare room so I could prance about. Apart from my small mushroom pizza and cinema snacks I’ve eaten healthily and exercised regularly this weekend.

I’ve decided come tomorrow the snacks are gone. I’m not going to go cold turkey however am going to give myself a challenge that I’ll label the Saz alternative snack challenge. That’s for me to find sweet treats that will sustain my sweet cravings whilst being healthy for me. Fruit’s canny however how many bananas/apples can I eat before getting bored? I’m not a berry lover nor am I lover of anything that sounds like E such as kiwi. Any recommendations?

To conclude today’s post. Go outside your comfort zone, what’s stopping you? I suppose life’s about taking risks and seeing how far you can push yourself without having a detrimental effect on your health. I know there’s not enough days in a weekend therefore make it a priority to enjoy yourself. Go online and see what’s available in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised what you learn and who you meet in the process.

Music, Memories and a way of explaining Epilepsy to others.

The weekend is here and I’m buzzing. Compared to last weekend I’m adamant that I’m going to do everything I failed to do last week like spending time with family, seeing a film at the cinema and just enjoying 48 hours worth of not being at work. That’s what the weekend’s all about.

I’ve always been a lover of music. Music hypes me up, it relaxes me and takes my thought process to another level. Usually people associate certain songs with their mood and can in some cases describe in depth exactly how you’re feeling. Sometimes words get in the way therefore by asking someone to listen to a specific song can get your point across without making a complete fool of yourself.

On the topic of music it would seem wrong to not introduce you all to this evening’s post without a lyric, that lyric is:

“Living is easy with eyes closed”- John Lennon.

For those who aren’t familiar with that lyric it’s from the song Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles.

The Beatles are probably one of my most favourite bands along with John Lennon’s music as a sole artist. The fact that they were British makes me proud of what they achieved and how they contributed towards that vibrant sixties feel.

The Beatles to me are the epitome of musical genius and like other artists of the time they broke barriers and brought Beatlemania everywhere they went. They were idolised and their lyrics meant something. It’s such a damn shame that I wasn’t born back in the day because the fashion of the sixties is stunning.

To me music has changed. Songs are full of regurgitated rubbish. There’s no real beat anymore, the lyrics are all about sex, drugs and rock and roll. The tunes artists are bringing out pose no relevance in my life whatsoever. It’s all dur chickadur shit. All you hear are fifties to early nineties classics supposedly getting revamped to appeal to the youngsters of today. To me give me old school anyday however each to their own.

Approximately six years ago I had the opportunity to walk down the famous Mathew Street in Liverpool. I bopped from the top all the way to the bottom before getting my photo taken with the John Lennon statue in that musical spot. At the time of walking down that very street my seizures had returned, I was on medication, had a stotting headache however made it my priority to walk down Mathew Street, visit The Cavern Club amongst others and feel like a true Beatle fan.

What does music mean to you? Have you ever sat there listened to a song and thought that song has summed up your life in a nutshell? I know I have.

Along with the Beatles I grew up listening to cassette tapes in my mam’s red J reg Nova fun car on a daily basis. Songs varied from Earth, Wind and fire to Lisa Stansfield before turning the volume up for a bit of Chaka Khan. The songs were endless.

My mam and I would sing at the top of our lungs in her car and laugh at the fact that my music background was starting to expand with me singing songs from before I was born. Although I loved bopping away to a bit “Play that funky music white boy” I would always resort back to The Carpenters and sing my heart out from the age of six to any one who had that spare five minutes so I could belt out a tune.

Music to me was a way of me shutting off from the world, sitting there in my room with my headphones in and writing down in my seizure diary an honest account of my feelings. Upbeat songs made me see that life wasn’t all about seizures and shakes. Listening to music took me to another place, a happier place. A one full of zest and one with no regret.

I can probably remember nearly every song I listened to on the radio or on my discman before entering a specialist appointment or the artist I may have been listening to before having a seizure. Everytime I had a seizure there was always a TV on or music on in the background. Music was my barrier.

Sometimes I would question my relatives how many songs had been on from the moment I started convulsing to the moment where I actually knew what had happened. I usually predicted right at about eight songs. As the years went on I’d say that reduced to five.

Growing up was eventful. You have your good days and bad days. If someone gave me a magic want and asked would I change it for the world? My response would be maybe I would back then but definitely not now. No one likes having a seizure or even being in the company of one however it has made me the person I am today. A one who’s appreciative of life and always wanting to learn something new. Life’s about learning new things, understanding cultures and adapting to change. That’s what makes the world go round.

Memories are something you cannot take away from someone. Whatever despair you may have or worries you may go through no one can take those memories from you.

Today’s events have consisted of working, exercising and not snacking as much. I’m afraid to say I did have a chicken balti at work however only ended up eating a small portion. I succumbed to a cadburys twirl however have eaten lean meat and vegetables on my return and not ran to the biscuit barrel for any additional sweet treats. I’m up to 140 squats on the squat challenge therefore must be doing something right.

The Sazzle choccie challenge may have gone out the window however I’m understanding more about the whole ins and outs of refined sugar, food emotions and changing your food to suit your body’s needs. The blogs I keep myself updated with are inspiring and makes me even more determined to look after myself and tone up. This in itself will help my medication as well as enhancing my mood.

For me healthy eating is not about losing weight it’s the maintaining a healthy lifestyle that’s more important so thank you all for keeping me going.

To conclude today’s post. Music is a powerful tool. Downloading a variety of tunes onto your IPod and having a boogie releases tension and makes you see that life is to be lived. It’s all about having fun and radiating that light to others. Sometimes you can’t be happy unless you have been unhappy. By being unhappy gives you the chance to change it sooner rather than later.

Everyone has down days however it’s all about how you approach a situation can determine how you move forward. It’s all about finding a balance and understanding that life is all about that balance. Without that balance life would either be boring or extremely fake. Be true to you and always remember there’s only one of you. No one else even comes close.

Confidence, preperation.. whatever. The routine’s back.

No more incubation period. I can officially leave the house without worrying about contaminating somebody.

I’m overjoyed to say no more Jezza Kyle, I’ll love watching you again one day however today won’t be that day. I am however missing my mid afternoon snooze. I was actually getting quite fond of it. Never mind.

I never thought in a million years that I’d say this but since returning to work on Wednesday I’ve actually liked being at work, the days have flown by and the idea of not being cooped up is bliss. In fact my spirits are well and truly on the increase. Ask me tomorrow when the majority of the world actually say “Thank god it’s Friday” and the weekend kicks in.

Without further a do let’s start this evening’s post with a quote:

“One important key to success is self confidence. An important key to self confidence is preparation”- Arthur Ashe

Preparation like anything is usually required in order to succeed. Whether you be writing a diary seizure one or not, preparing a meal, preparing a new diet plan, slotting in exercise, decorating or just choosing an outfit to start the day it all needs a certain level of preparation.

There has been many a time where I’ve misinterpreted preparation for something else, heaven knows at the time what it actually was. I’ve been the sort of person who wanted everything done yesterday. When I see something the impulse kicks in.

To my family I always say the saying “I’ve never been one to do a half arsed job” meaning that I try and give my all in whatever I actually set my mind on. If I fail then I’ve given it a go, if I succeed then good job. There have been moments where I have failed and kicked myself something rotten for it. Looking back why did I do that?

The majority of preparation is in the mind. What do you actually want? How are you going to reach that goal and better still do you want to be confident whilst trying to achieve that goal?

When using these questions to analyse my Epilepsy then I’d say that I’ve always wanted to be seizure free however knew that unfortunately I cannot make that decision to remove Epilepsy from my life. No I don’t control my brain activity however take my medication regularly, try to remain stress free along with trying to keep fit, eat healthy (ish) and not lose focus as to what life’s really all about.

On the topic of self confidence what does that actually mean exactly?

To ooze self confidence does that mean that you are in fact extremely confident or is it all about putting on a show? Are you the sort of person who wants to be self confident or are you a person that thinks to hell with it I’m gonna have a good time and I’m not bothered about what people think or are you one of those people in between?

I’ve drawn the conclusion that maybe I’m one of those women who fall in the “in between” category who wants to live life to the full without any hesitation however has the occasional moment where she feels that by expressing that new opinion that she will lose that personality that people know.

Self esteem is another thing that I’ve felt that I’ve lacked on occasion. The idea where I’ve thought others are better than me whether that be smarter, prettier, funnier the list can be endless. Self esteem in my eyes isn’t just about being perfect or something of materialistic value.

Other issues include the not wanting to leave the house out of the fear of being unwell or the concerns that you don’t have sufficient medication is something that has in the past dominated my thought process.

As I’m getting older the concept of not bothering is entering my head more and the idea of worrying to the far ends of a fart over absolutely nothing is starting to become a distant memory. I fail to say that there are moments of lapse however I know along with everyone else that unfortunately time doesn’t stand still, challenges are faced and you move on.

The worry of my seizures always took pride of place in my life. The idea of taking on a new role or an examination put the shits up me to the detriment of my own wellbeing. The idea of allowing my personality to shine through a condition wasn’t something that even entered my head because as far as I was concerned nothing could supersede my condition. There was this sense of monotony; day in day out feeling the same way.

Putting on a brave face is extremely hard to do when you have a condition such as Epilepsy. It’s hard when you’re hurting inside however there comes a stage where enough’s enough. With me I chose to make that stand, seek advice and learn from it and would recommend for anyone in that worried state to run through your options, seek that second opinion and see what’ll benefit you.

During my late teens I couldn’t tell the difference between the expected and the unexpected. I felt afraid. It was only when therapy entered my life that it got much easier. Like a lighthouse there was this glimmer of light reflecting onto the sea before bouncing up at me. That light was something that made me see that life was hard however could be manageable if I let it.

Age can also benefit you when you’ve had a condition three quarters of your lifetime. The ability to accept what you have irrespective of you disliking it and the ability to try your utmost to laugh in the face of danger is another cross to your bow.

Lately I have been allowing myself to read more into my condition and look into the other seizure types out there. In my case it’s all about the grande mal seizures. When you have a specific seizure type you focus on that type and very rarely drift into another field of Epilepsy. By understanding my condition I can then see the struggles others have to face, what services are available to them and how they get on with life the only way they know how.

The support groups particularly in the UK have given the opportunity for people of all ages, race and disabilities the tools for us to go out there and help others, to want to be a part of a charity and to give us that broader understanding that we all need in order to help the people we love. To me that’s priceless and without charity/support workers well.. Let’s just say the world wouldn’t be quite the same without them.

At present I’m following a variety of organisations that I would highly recommend you follow should you wish to raise Epilepsy awareness or require any information about Epilepsy as a whole. For any advice please free to go onto my twitter page and should you wish follow the organisations out there promoting awareness like only they know how. It would be much appreciated.

Anyhow the past 48 hours have consisted of work, eating, checking on my mother who has been unwell (with an extremely bad chest infection amongst other symptoms) and getting my exercise in.

Saz and the Squat challenge are back. Doing 130 squats today killed me however I persevered and kept on saying a little verse to myself “You will have that shapely bot, so you better squat with all you’ve got” and it got me through.. only just.

My Davina DVD is out and I’ve been doing squat jumps, sit ups, leg raises, fast jogging the works. Doing intense training is difficult however thanks to my trusty blue inhaler I’m getting through each day at a time. To me exercise initially leaves that sense of dread however once you’re done the adrenaline’s pumping, you’re shattered however know you’ve accomplished your goal for the day.

I have to admit I had a chocolate twirl today however remained healthy for the remainder of the day. I’ve gobbled a tuna pasta, a sandwich, a bowl of shreddies, a couple of coffees and a good few glasses of water. All in all I’m getting there.

To conclude today’s post. Preparation is required to achieve what we want, having confidence enables us to excel and everything in between is just everything in between. I’m a great lover of wanting what’s best for you. Unfortunately there are on occasions going to be that restriction. Looking back we have all probably made mistakes in our lives however as long as you learn something from that mistake then leave it well alone.

Routine is something we seek comfort in. Having a routine keeps some of us sane however never rule out spontaneity because that too can keep you second guessing and bring vibrancy back when you least expect it. Never be too hard on yourself. It’s only in times of change that we realise that we should embrace what we have and move onwards and upwards.

Mind over matter.

Good afternoon everyone. This morning I visited my GP for a quick glance over. I was overjoyed at the fact that my optimism paid off and that come tomorrow I can return back to normality because I’m fit for work.

Whilst ordering the food shopping online earlier I stumbled across the following quote:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”- Dr Seuss.

A question for you all. Honestly do you worry about what other’s think or do you think bollocks to it and move on?

Do those who mind matter? Well at one stage of my life I thought they did. Whilst of work I started thinking about my blog and about people in general. When you merge the two I thought to myself what would the people who know me think about me writing a blog like this. Will they think I’m daft? Will they think it be beneficial to my wellbeing or will I be a complete laughing stock?

I don’t for one second think that there will be a selection of people reading this who think who’s she? Who’s she to offer advice? Why would someone want to offer their life on a plate like she’s doing?

My question for them would be if I’m trying to raise Epilepsy awareness what’s the point in telling you that Epilepsy’s all hunky dory? Epilepsy can be scary and intimidating for those who don’t see seizures regularly. For those who live with it Epilepsy throws up a multitude of problems however we try to remain strong and keep going because we are soldiers all standing tall for a good cause.

In response to the questions above my life has always been on a plate and if you don’t like it then bollocks. I’m not going to please everybody. There are certain aspects of my life that I do intend to keep private however in the main my life does consist of shakes and the occasional bout of anxiety.

The worry entered my mind for all of ten minutes however the more I analysed the situation the more I realised that if people don’t like it then tough. This is my hobby, my passion and something for many years that I’ve to pursue. By writing my blog keeps me on course.

I never got a journalism degree therefore never thought that I was good enough to go into writing permanently. Although I had read blogs in the past I didn’t have a clue on how to set one up and get it out there via social media.

It was only by chance one day that I went onto word-press, had a fiddle with the buttons on my laptop and started writing. Initially my blog was a reference for me to refer to when I was feeling low.

This blog was put in place as something that I could look back on and allow my family to see how far we’ve all come with this condition because it has been a rollercoaster. Making the decision to publish it onto twitter was a difficult decision but a step I felt was necessary to promote Epilepsy awareness.

The one thing however that I’ve always felt was required was to help others anyway that I could. The idea of helping one person meant that I was achieving my goal because in times of need although my parents and I were close I did have moments where I felt alone and just needed that one person my age to tell me that they faced the same problems as I did hence why I’m documenting this online.

As mentioned in previous posts I wasn’t the most academic however when I am passionate about something I run with it and I want to learn. You give me any geographic and I go to sleep, you give me anything historic and I want to know.

My purpose is to raise Epilepsy awareness by telling my story openly and honestly, by raising issues people are afraid to discuss with the medical profession and to try to find out answers about my own condition. Although I’ve coped with Epilepsy for twenty years I’m still learning something new everyday. So far I’ve managed to speak to people about our similarities that we have with Epilepsy, our medication troubles, our anxieties and most importantly the desire to be the best we can be right now.

As a youngster growing up with Epilepsy was something I couldn’t cope with at certain stages. I never wanted the sympathy I just wanted people to understand where I was coming from.

The whole mind over matter never really came into play until I reached my early twenties where life changing decisions such as getting a job, owning your own home and getting married became the number one priority in my life. My Epilepsy never left me however had to take a back seat in order for me to move forward. To change my thought pattern from shakes and seizures to deciding what the décor of my home’s gonna be or how many people are coming to our wedding was something I found quite strange. It was new and exciting but strange all the same.

Every woman loves to organise their house and make plans however I felt like I was running on a treadmill. I had to get it done yesterday just incase an episode would emerge. It takes a while to train your mind to think differently however trust me you can do it. It just takes time.

Apart from the outdoor visit today has revolved around watching TV, tidying up and sending the occasional tweet. As I want to get back on course I thought it may be worthwhile to see if I could train my mind to NOT eat chocolate. Oh dear. That fell right on it’s arse. Seemingly there’s something on the market called the slimpod. Unlike an IPod this pod is supposed to train my mind to NOT reach for that chocolate bar. Too good to be true? Seemingly the results speak for themselves.

A link has been sent to me so I’m going to give the sample a go. I don’t want to lose weight I just want to eat healthily and tone up. To buy the pod is £45, the more I think about it the more I think what’s more important two new summer tops or a couple of CD’s I may not like? Surely we are all allowed a treat. I am undecided.

The squat challenge will resume again tomorrow along with me preparing my lunches so fingers crossed that I stay true to my healthy eating. Whilst I’ve been off work my eating pattern hasn’t been dreadful so we’ll wait and see.

To conclude today’s post. Should we care about what others think of us? Nope. The only people who care are the people that love us the most. Why do we feel this way from time to time? Who knows. There’s a second quote today that I felt was needed add to this conclusion.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happy and just be happy”- Guillaume Apollinaire.

And rightly so. Sod everyone else and keep going. Be as happy as you want to be because you deserve it.

Relaxation = Stronger person?

“Take care of your body, then the rest will automatically get stronger”- Chuang Tzu

Your body is a vital tool and you must and I repeat must listen to it when you’re feeling low. This quote says it all.

Usually it’s my shakes that tell my body that rest is required. To have a healthy mind can have such a feel good factor on your body therefore eating healthy, getting sufficient sleep, having regular nightly baths with your favourite bubble bath or just watching a good film can wind you down and ensure that you’re feeling relaxed.

With me it’s all about getting the exercise completed when I get in, making the evening meal and before then doing a couple of chores, writing my blog and winding down for the evening. Usually my routine is the same however apart from the shakes making a nightly appearance I usually have a decent night sleep.

Over the years it’s been extremely hard to relax.

When you suffer from Epilepsy medication plays a major role in your life and to relax isn’t the easiest thing. Medication can heighten your senses thus making you more alert and disrupting your daily pattern. When I first started taking medication I couldn’t shut off. I didn’t know how to. When I was younger I noticed that my sleep was disrupted because of my medication. I was never a light sleeper so to have a new drug causing problems wasn’t something I enjoyed.

It took a while to find that happy medium when my medication was involved. My neurologist helped by advising me various relaxation techniques and providing me with a relaxation VHS (back in the good old days) to watch to try and calm down.

The motto I’ve always tried to adhere to is go to work, get your jobs done and then relax. Not having that required me time can wear you down and burn you out. I appreciate it may sound easier than it looks coming from a person who doesn’t have kids and doesn’t have an irregular shift pattern however I do advise that everyone has that moment of rest.

As most of you are aware stress in your life can be a good thing however too much of it can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Stress is probably one of the biggest contributors in people’s lives. People put undue stress onto themselves and looking back I’ve done plenty of that.

There’s been many a time when I was younger where I’d stress out over the simplest of things. In doing so this would result in me either getting angry, panicking or on the one occasion was having a seizure before waking up lying on bedroom floor. By being organised this enables you to focus on your day and prevent any un-necessary stress.

My parents believe that I think too deeply and get myself engrossed in problems that don’t involve me. I have had a tendency over the years to worry about everyone and everything. In doing so this forced my mind to constantly be on panic mode. I never relaxed I just went hell for leather with everything. I didn’t listen to my body I just did what I wanted.

My parents have tried for over twenty years to promote relaxation to me. They’ve encouraged me to relax and it’s only over the past year that I’m starting to listen and to realise that having that time is good for the body and soul. I’d advise you all do the same thing.

A question for you all what is your stress reliever? Is it exercising or reading a good book? Is it watching TV or spending time with the kids colouring in or dancing to your favourite tune?

The two biggest stress relievers for me is either shopping or watching my DVD collection in bed with a bar of chocolate and a cup of coffee. The majority of people would love nothing more than to chill out in bed, resting and doing bugger all.

Me I’m a big fan of having my bedtime moments and doing sweet F A however all in moderation. Shopping on the other hand are some people’s worst nightmare. The idea of pushing, shoving, scrolling through reams of clothes to not find your size or the idea of waiting for about 10 minutes in a changing room queue puts people off. They’re in and they’re out. Me on the other hand I love shopping.

The idea of buying a new makeup range, a new handbag or a pair of shoes to kick start the summer makes me get all excited. It’s just a shame that my bank balance didn’t love my shopping craze as much as I do otherwise I’d have clothes coming out of my ears. I couldn’t go back into debt for clothes however I will spend what I can on getting my little monthly treats.

Oh what a difference a few days make. Words can’t describe what the past five days have been like. As you are all aware I’ve had the chicken pox and have felt more like a liability than a patient.

I’ve taken everyone’s advice and have rested however have been bored shitless. When I was diagnosed on Thursday I felt like a right burke however have come to terms with the fact that I’m recovering from it. I’m not feeling as rubbish as I was feeling a few days ago and to be honest I’m ready to get back to work.

Out of fear that I’d spread the pox further I’ve stayed away from some of my relatives, work colleagues and tried to refrain making contact with anyone other than my husband and the cat. The furthest I’ve travelled is to the local newsagent round the corner to keep myself updated with the daily news and showbiz gossip.

Apart from that the days have consisted of watching repeats of Maury, Jeremy Kyle, Dickinson’s Real Deal and any other rubbish that miraculously pops onto the TV. I’m quite a fan of Maury however too much has frazzled my brain. I don’t think anyone’s watched more DNA testing on various sky channels than I have lately.

I’m so close to jumping through the screen onto Maury’s stage and saying “It’s me, I’m the father!” even though that’s physically impossible because I’m a woman.

To think whilst I was at school all I ever dreamt about was running home to catch up with daytime TV. Oh how I’m pleased I never bothered because it’s absolute dross.

The symptoms I’ve had over the past few days have been relatively mild compared to stories I’ve read about adult chicken pox and thanks to my antihistamines I think it could have been far worse. The nurse on Thursday was rather concerned that the chicken pox may have an adverse effect on my medication along with advising me that I may be more susceptible to seizures/shaky bouts. Either way I knew that warning was coming from her so braced myself for the worst.

Although the pox hasn’t hit me as bad as I’d anticipated I’ve still had my fair share of symptoms including mild aches, pains, headaches, tiredness and itching however it hasn’t stopped my fingers from typing and sure as hell hasn’t shut my mouth up. I’ve phoned my parents about eight times a day. I think I’ve got to know more about my parents in the past five days than I have in twenty seven years.

The upshot of having chicken pox is that my husband is keeping my mug topped up with hot beverages and putting his hand in his pocket to buy me the occasional magazine. Bless him.

Anyhow things are looking up, I’m scheduled for a quick glance over tomorrow to see if I’m fit for work before the week ends and then my usual routine will continue as normal. I never thought I’d say this but I’ve missed my routine.

Isn’t it strange how you wish the weekend to be here to relax however when a spanners thrown in the works you just want to get back to normal? I’ve got my fingers crossed that come tomorrow my doctor will tell me that I’m getting better, that I can return to work and can get back on the old squat challenge because I’ve missed it. I’ve missed having that banter with my twitter pals about how my thighs are pounding.

To conclude today’s post. What hurts you today makes you stronger tomorrow. Remember you must take time to relax. Your body is telling you that you need to look after yourself as your body is one of your biggest assets. If you aren’t strong then how can you be strong for others? Taking time out for you is crucial therefore slot that time in your diary or as an alarm on your mobile phone.

If you can give yourself that hour for you and do something that provides you with comfort and relaxation then do it because life’s too important to not.

I’ve got to keep smiling.

“Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is”- M Gorky

Happiness is precious. To me it’s like family.

Ask yourself this. Do we take the things we hold so dear for granted because we always expect them to be there? Do we rely on others as a means of support or do we rely on them to do everything for us? What would they do if they weren’t there?

These are the biggest questions that entered my head whilst reading this quote.

Support is something quintessentially that we all need. During each challenge we face a good support network will see you alright. They make us see that there’s more to life than our thoughts and insecurities. They make us see that we cannot take them for granted and that we must at all times appreciate what they do for us.

There have been moments in my life where I have blamed others for my actions. Being in denial whilst establishing that I had Epilepsy was probably one of the moments in which that blame was there. It was no joke, my family were hurting at the news that had just been broken and we were all deeply upset. Usually we could all sit down and discuss matters like human beings however there were moments where I’d fly off the handle and blame my parents for smothering me.

In my parents defence I know now that they did this to protect me, not to prove a point. I was their only daughter and like all parents they wanted to ensure my safety was intact along with coming to terms that their daughter was Epileptic. Not only was my life going to change but we all had to adapt.

Looking back I put my anger to sheer frustration nevertheless it shouldn’t have been done.

This next caption sums up my feelings towards my pattern back then and now:

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person back then”- Lewis Carroll.

Lewis Carroll brought us the famous book Alice in Wonderland. Not only was this one of my favourite books as a child it made me look at my Epilepsy clearly. After years of tormenting myself over my condition I decided that change was essential. Alice took that leap, followed the rabbit and knew she was different. In her mind she lived in another land.

I didn’t feel normal, I felt like I was in another place the majority of the time. I was the same, I wasn’t like everyone else therefore why was I running away from my Epilepsy?

Over the years lapses had arisen and I was always in a bid to get my point across, to be heard and to make others see the torment I was going through. Nowadays coping with Epilepsy is just an everyday occurrence. When a letter comes through from your GP you attend, when he/she tells you you must change your medication you (with the occasional trepidation) adhere to their request and when you have a seizure/shaky bout you take it on the chin deal with the side effects and move on.

Although we aren’t necessarily the biggest fans of this routine it is our life. It could be worse therefore we must conform to this routine and attempt to do it with a smile. Smiling in my eyes makes the world go round. That and happiness come hand in hand.

If you feel that there is no way out then I’d recommend this write down your feelings, see what’s making you frustrated and seek advice. What makes you tick? What makes you angry and how can you change this pattern? Acknowledging this pattern may help your recovery. It’s worth a try. That’s what I did and it made me feel so much better. If anything it kicked me out of the rut I was in and the negativity I was putting onto myself. To be continuously upset isn’t healthy. To hide behind a mask doesn’t get you anywhere.

As you are all aware on Thursday I was diagnosed with the chicken pox. People may say that it’s a godsend to rest up, catch up with as much daytime TV as possible and eat what I like. To a degree I’d agree however I’m absolutely shattered. Fortunately my blebs have remained on my back, neck and shoulders and have not spread however they are as itchy as hell. In fact my entire body is itchy. I’ve remained clean and covered my spots in calamine lotion to prevent the itch. My husband however has been a godsend trying his hardest to keep me smiling.

For those who haven’t seen the latest edition to my humour book see the food face on my twitter timeline- I couldn’t help but have a little giggle.

I must say like other aspects of my life I’ve tried to remain positive and smiley throughout. My bedtime routine has gone right out of the window with me waking up regularly through the night however have still managed to get 13 hours sleep per day.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of breaking routine. Throughout the past three days I’m coming to terms with this breakage and laughing at the fact that my husband and I could play dot to dot on by back. I also look like little Miss Whitey with my calamine patches. As mentioned in my previous post I didn’t actually associate chicken pox with adults and cannot stop laughing to myself at the idea that I’m off work with it.

Originally I didn’t deem chicken pox to be that serious in adults however definitely take that back. So far apart from feeling like rubbish, sleeping all the time, dull headaches, itching non stop and having aches and pains I’ve managed to walk away unscathed. I’ve had a pain across my back and are praying to god I don’t get shingles.

The scabs are yet to form so I’m still infected and have kept my distance from everyone apart from my husband who had it when he was 4 years of age. From others I’ve spoken to some are bed ridden, vomiting, sore throats, blotches all over their body and a soaring temperature usually happens. Fingers crossed my symptoms remain as they are and don’t deteriorate.

Whilst staying at home I have eaten relatively well and tried not to snack. If someone brings a sweet or savoury dish they’ve made into work I’m usually the first one to jump up for a slice. At present I’ve probably had two Jacobs club’s (orange ones of course), a bag of chips and a McFlurry in three days so not too bad.

Today I was debating about having a bowl of ice-cream as my throat was quite hot therefore my husband ran along to Maccy D’s to grab himself a meal and me a McFlurry. I opted for my quick and east beef noodles and have stuck with eating fruit and vegetables whilst resting. The thought of having an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough sounded tempting however I was determined that my squat challenge would not go to waste over a £3 tub of doughy loveliness.

The squat challenge is on the back burner for the time being however when I’m feeling well enough I’ll be back to my normal self shaping that rear like we all know how. The term Keep Calm and squat on will be reintroduced into my exercise pattern and hopefully my lower body will be feeling the burn yet again. I will be back with my squat challenge family to share the love and squat away!

To conclude today’s post. We all have to keep smiling. The weekend is here therefore (as I say every weekend) we must make the most of it. Never underestimate your own ability to succeed. Never underestimate yourself for anyone. Believe in you. Look at yourself like a blank canvas and see what picture you can create. Will it be a dark and dreary one or will it be one full of life. You decide.

Forget the shakes.. Guess what I’ve got?

The question is in the title of this evening’s post and there can only be one answer. Chicken pox.

You all thought I was going to say the trots right? Wrong. It’s chicken pox all the way. Unfortunately my gut instinct was right and I was informed today by medical staff that I have this itchy nastiness that is making me want to scratch like Baloo from the Jungle Book.

Before going into the whole Pox story let’s rattle off a quote of the day:

“Patience will achieve more than force”- Edmund Burke

And I needed some of that today. For years I was a worrier. A worrier in remission let’s say. A person who’s coming to terms with the fact that her seizures are stable however her shakes are making more of an appearance. Let’s just say I’m an individual who’s finding her feet. No one’s perfect. What upsets one person doesn’t with another.

When I was younger I looked at life in an entirely different way. I looked at having a big house with children, flash cars, fabulous wardrobe, living a comfortable lifestyle and being a lady to come and go was the in thing. Looking back would I want the same things that I did back then? Probably not because you never know what’s round the corner. For me my parents instilled a work ethic into me and whatever circumstance should arise that working will provide you with the pennies you need to get by, personality demonstrates your inner self and humour makes the world go round.

In my eyes being someone with a condition makes me want to progress. Patience is a virtue.

I have accepted that there’s limitations to what I can do however as long as I achieve what I can, can provide for my family without relying on others and do it with a smile on my face then I will know I’m walking in the right direction. I have never been one to rely solely on others. Times are hard and I try my utmost to not let my condition stop me from sticking to those choices. I accept people’s advice however draw my own conclusion. Acknowledging that I was Epileptic took many years to accept, the remainder wasn’t as bad.

When life throws you a challenge what must we do? Run or stand up to it? You can’t do everything at once however the more you believe in yourself the better you’ll be in the long run.

Yesterday evening whilst changing from my work into my laze about clothes my husband noticed spots on my back. Initially I thought I may have been bitten however there must have been a swarm of creepy crawlies because my back and neck were bit. Fortunately my back isn’t covered however I knew immediately that there was something wrong. The emergency case of cream came out to prevent any further scratching and that was me done for the night. I slept like a baby and was ready for work.

To my surprise more had appeared and the blebs were getting sore.

I was a tad concerned therefore took a picture of my spots and forwarded it to my mother for advice. In my eyes family are best, they seem to know everything. It’s highly likely that my parents are bluffing, if they are they are pretty good bluffers and have convinced me. Mind you anything convinces me.

My mother made it her priority to embarrass me further by showing her entire office my spotty areas before saying

“Oh dear”

This wasn’t a good sign.

“Darling I think you have chicken pox. The girls seem to think it is and I can’t recall you ever having it when you were younger. You had measles but not chicken pox”

Great. That’s all I needed. The shakes are something I can contend with and cope relatively well with however chicken pox are you kidding me? I associate chicken pox with children not with a 27 year old. This wasn’t great. After careful deliberation and numerous picture taking we all drew the same conclusion. It could be chicken pox.

Why of all day’s did I have to catch chicken pox? I had work to do, people to see and exercise to complete. As I was unable to go into work out of fearing I would contaminate the office I decided it was best to go to my local walk in centre for a check up. I would require a diagnosis not only for my own peace of mind but to inform work of.

Funnily enough ever since I started working at 17 I have never had a sick note. I have never been absent from work for more than 48 hours. Unless I’m either debilitated or not fit for purpose then I don’t believe going on the sick is an incentive for taking time off. You’re paid to work.

To me being off on the sick unnecessarily makes a mockery of the people who are genuinely unwell and feeling low. I never know when the next episode is coming therefore I try to remain fit and healthy and try to plod on the best I can.

So off I went grabbing a taxi to the walk in centre to be checked over by a nurse. After giving my details I sat down and waited and waited and waited some more. What made it worse was that there was a vending machine full of goodies beside me. Two hours, two disgusting machine coffees, a packet of snack a jacks and a alpen bar later I went into the surgery room to be told what my mother was quick to laugh at earlier on. I’m supposed to be cured not spend £2 on treats!

I have chicken pox and have an incubation period of at least 5 days. As I’ve never been infected by the virus before I have to stay indoors, take ibuprofen, rest up and try and remain calm until the blebs scab. I’ve been told that in adults the virus is worse and can change on a daily basis. The nurse gave me a pamphlet about chicken pox and shingles as I complained about a pain around my chest earlier last night. Damn it. I’m feeling ok and I have chicken pox! Never mind.

I returned home magazine and sandwich in hand before lying down for a snooze. After a ninety minute cat nap I woke to scratchy sores and a headache. The fever is yet to kick in therefore I listened to the nurses orders and took some ibuprofen to cure the headache before slapping some camoline lotion on my back and tuning in to the afternoon repeat of Jezza Kyle.

What on earth am I going to do for five days? How much daytime TV can I watch? What’s made it worse is that my dad and I’s Saturday ritual is knocked on the head as Dad hasn’t had the pox before.

One word to sum up my day. Miffed. To warn you in advance depending upon how I feel will determine when I write my blog so please bare with me. The plus side is that we can all laugh about it for the time being.

The squat challenge has been knocked well and truly on the head until the virus has cleared. There’s the possibility that I could have a spotty arse to match my spotty neck. One thing’s for certain at least I’ll have spots on a toned ass!

To conclude today’s post. Patience is a blessing. I know at times it’s extremely hard to keep your cool however we must persevere. There’s a saying given by Alexander Woollcott that is:

“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day”

The way life goes changes day by day. We have days that are good, bad and indifferent. Whatever comes your way look at it, summarise it and move on. We cannot keep on living our lives in the past so we might as well live in the present and be patient in the process.

Back to normal. Well for the time being anyway.

Wey hey! As you can tell I’m feeling a lot happier than I was on Monday. I’m getting there and I’m getting back to normal.

The smiles are officially out for all to see and I’m feeling good. I had a rather eventful day cracking on with my work before coming home to my husband’s delightful dish of chicken with vegetables. Overall it’s going rather well.

To start off the day a motivational quote is needed:

“They always say time changes things; but you have to actually change from yourself”- Andy Warhol

I idolised Andy Warhol’s paintings as a child. When I was younger I remember standing in the corner of Waterstones at the art category. There I stood looking at a book about his paintings and thinking to myself that one day I would have one of those in my bedroom. The first image that comes into my mind and has to be the most popular of all are the colourful images of Marilyn Monroe.

I adored Warhol’s work and thought it was magnificent how someone could create a work of art such as that piece. I was never one who was artistic however loved retro and vintage trends. For crying our loud my condition brought more problems than enough with me painting outside the lines instead of in them. I was like Wobbling Minnie wobbling all over the place. There was no artistic flare there. I was a girl who preferred writing stories not drawing the pictures.

This is how much the flare wasn’t there..

Let’s rewind about 18 years.

One day at Primary school I tried to create a Viking boat, oars and all. I cannot quite recall what the boat was made out of however the oars were lollypop sticks halved and pointed. The oars were supposed to all be facing the same way. Unfortunately this didn’t happen in my case with my oars all pointing in the opposite direction. Some of the “lollypop oars” were actually facing one another. The boat was supposed to be placed in a sink and float. Unfortunately it went like the titanic nose first. It was shit.

I was extremely proud of myself for “giving it a go” however my reaction from my parents were one of laughter, cuddles and “there’s always next times”. Aw bless them. I tried my best at the time.

Looking back at my childhood years was a bag of mixed emotions. I felt like I was running full speed ahead growing up and facing new challenges. The main challenge however was the feeling of being normal. Epilepsy to me when growing up was like a thorn in my side with no recollection as to how it got there in the first place.

There’s always been this part of me that’s never felt normal, there’s always this part of me that feels different and wants more. When I say more I mean knowing that my day has been fulfilled and that any day has not been wasted. Maybe that’s the reasoning behind me disliking my condition for as long as I did. The worry of being restrained over something you cannot control is not only frustrating but upsetting also.

Today I was given a massive compliment that being that irrespective of me having these shaky bouts I still manage to remain positive. It was so refreshing to see that the message I try to adhere to is being noticed. Personally speaking you have to have that frame of mind and you must in any circumstance try your best to keep calm and carry on because you never know what’s round the corner. If on Monday I chose to break down repeatedly until it was over then I wouldn’t have got through it the way I did.

When I was younger I was completely oblivious as to what the shakes were. They were alien to me, all I knew were headaches, anxiety and seizures. This was a brand new ball game that I was in the centre of.

Words can’t describe the first shake. I felt helpless and turned into a shadow of myself. The larger shakes were so bad that I thought something was taking over my body. I couldn’t stop it; it was just there.

At one stage I thought I was actually having a seizure awake. As time’s continued it’s got easier. The shake still gets to you however you know that they will go in due course. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to say to you all one day that I’ve grown out of them. In the meantime however my shakes are here to stay therefore we must try our utmost to get on.

There was something I read this evening while my other half was making dinner. That was:

“When you have cancer people embrace you, when you have Epilepsy people run away from you”

What does that say about some people? Cancer is the most horrific disease known to man in my eyes. Some cancers are curable others aren’t. Like Epilepsy it’s a condition I hold close to my heart. Everyone in their lifetime (myself included) knows of someone or is close to someone who has either died of cancer, is battling cancer or is in remission. Just under a quarter of my family have battled the disease.

Unfortunately my granddad was the one to suffer first to which I mourned his death for a very long time. To this day he is my rock and I was his. He made me see that being sensible isn’t a bad thing and that personality can shine through. My granddad taught me self defence when I was bullied at school and taught me morals. His passing upset me immensely however made me see that if he could battle cancer then I could battle through my Epilepsy. Him and I needed to show them that we weren’t going to be defeated. All the battling in the world couldn’t help my granddad however I was so proud of him for doing what he could to help himself. If anything it spurred me on.

Although many we know have had this horrific disease we must understand that people also live with Epilepsy every day. There are a significant amount of people who manage to soldier on, make medication taking a routine and need that support to get through the day.

Epilepsy is something none of us asked for however we get on with it as do the loved ones who have to watch it happening. The idea of someone running away from someone with my condition repulses me and makes me think that Epilepsy awareness is so important in today’s society. Turning a blind eye shouldn’t be an option. Teaching someone the recovery position and basic first aid can actually save someone’s life.

Just listening and supporting someone with Epilepsy means more than money being thrown at us. It’s about using common sense and realising that we all have to come together to show people that we although we have our episodes we want the same as everyone else. Like everyone else all we want is to be happy therefore the word must be spread. You should never suffer in silence.

On the subject of today’s events I have completed the squat challenge of 110 squats. I have eaten two digestive biscuits and have eaten healthy for the remainder of the day. The food shopping is ordered online and I’ve accomplished what I need to for the day. So overall Wednesday has been a fulfilling one at that.

Whilst doing my squats I’ve noticed about 8 spots on my back. I have a tendency at times to think the worst and I’m praying to god it isn’t chicken pox or shingles because I’m having the odd scratch. I’m thinking it could be an outbreak of cat allergy syndrome however I’m hoping it isn’t that either. The spots are being monitored however that will not defer me from Squatting like a mad woman.

To conclude today’s post. Normality what is that exactly? Everyone’s lives are different and our bodies work in mysterious ways. Remaining strong is something we all should do however it’s inevitable that there are going to be moments where we will break down. That’s what makes us human. We can’t do everything all of the time.

Do the best with what you have, remain strong and ensure that you are fit and well. My gran taught me something when I was younger. Try to be a leader and not a follower. When I say that I mean be a leader in your own mind, take charge of what you hold dear and always remember to keep your sanity by making time for yourself. On the basis you do this then hopefully the rest should follow.

Shake setback.

Good evening everyone. Hope you’re all well. The weekend gone was a rather busy yet amusing one however I didn’t realise how amusing until yesterday morning.

The quote below sums up the past 24 hours. You’ll get where the quotes going as the post continues.

“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer”- Douglas Adams.

And I literally don’t know the answer.

Yesterday I intended on going to work, coming home, visiting the in laws for our Monday night feast and relaxing in front of the fire whilst reading my kindle and catching up with you all. Unfortunately my day didn’t go according to plan.

One thing about Epilepsy that truly amazes me is the fact that it never fails to catch you off guard. It shows it’s face when you least expect it and makes it’s feelings known. What I have grown to understand is that when you have a condition such as Epilepsy you’re mind is always somewhere else. You try your utmost to focus however your concentration is shot to shit and you’re wondering what’s gonna happen next.

When you have a condition you have to remain positive because without optimism in your life then you wouldn’t carry on the way you do.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why I chose to raise Epilepsy awareness because a vast amount of people visualise Epilepsy as just seizures, tiredness, strobe lights and hospital appointments. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

When you have a condition such as mine you feel like there’s an ongoing battle with yourself, usually it doesn’t effect you because deep down you know your medication is going to an extent provide you with that stability. Unfortunately however there are moments in which your body loses control as does your mind and before you know it you’re sitting there a blubbering wreck wondering what’s happening to you and how you actually got there.

In my case no warning signs are given there’s just you, your condition and your thoughts. What troubles me is that although I’m accepting my condition at times of trouble it doesn’t matter how many people are around you you still have that element of loneliness because people don’t understand the way you feel. All you want it to do is just stop. Mainly that’s because it’s you and your condition together one on one.

For those who have read my blog in it’s entirety will know that I’ve had these shaking episodes for just over eight years. They are epilepsy related, they have similarities to a seizure however aren’t. They are maybe a separate form of seizure however I am awake and have a rough idea as to what’s happening. You get no warning. At present I’m averaging four a week, the majority are very subtle however all it takes is one to throw you. The stronger ones are getting more frequent however I’m trying my best to persevere.

Yesterday was a day where I decided that this was a new week, that I had a brilliant weekend and that this week was going to be exactly the same.

The headaches started first thing yesterday morning however I convinced myself that after a couple of paracetemol, a glass of orange juice, a shower and a little bit of makeup that I would be raring to go and that the headache would subside. Fortunately the headache did and I was wearing a butterfly top that I’ve waited two months to pull out of my wardrobe. Bonus.

My sugar levels were low therefore I reached for a galaxy ripple (naughty I know) to get my blood sugar levels up. The chocolate went down a treat along with my cup of coffee. The day was getting off to a flying start.

Shortly after I had a meeting with my colleagues I came over all hot and bothered, my legs were heavy and the headache was back. When I’m at work I don’t want people to worry. Funnily enough I think more about making them uncomfortable than I do myself therefore I notified my colleagues that I was going to get some air outside. I don’t like the idea that people worry about me. My colleagues are extremely supportive and know what’s best to keep me calm.

Before long I couldn’t feel the left hand side of my face, my left arm was numb, I felt sick, I was blowing hot and cold and I couldn’t sit still. I was lying on a blanket knowing that my body was weak. Initially I thought it would just pass however it didn’t. My eyes were heavy, the shakes were now into my hands, my arms were sore and all I wanted to do was sleep. When you shake it’s more like a jerking movement. You’re shaking and it changes depending upon what mood it’s in.

I could see double vision and everything was blurred. I tried my best to focus however could see four sockets and found that to be remotely odd. You know you’re definitely not feeling right when you think of how many hoovers could fit into the sockets. Why I was thinking about cleaning when I was shaking god only knows, maybe it’s the domestic goddess coming out of me… Yeah right.

Yesterday one of the definitive moments was when I was sitting in the hallway shaking. My husband came to see me and acknowledged that I would be ok. Whilst being held in his arms I said to him.

“I’m not scared, just disappointed, I just want them to go away so I can carry on with my day”

I just wanted to be strong and to use the memorable quotes that I’ve learnt over the years to get me though this lapse. My eyes were sore and we had a little moment where I shed a few tears. It wasn’t my mind making me cry. The shakes had took over and made me extremely emotional.

Whilst shaking I looked at him again and told him that if this was the only thing that was wrong with my life then I had a lot to be thankful for. My husband held my hands to ease the shaking and said that in times of need I was still trying to brave a smile.

After half an hour I decided it was only right to go home. I felt terrible. All I wanted to do was start my week the way my weekend had ended. My healthy eating had gone well and truly out of the window however there was no time to think about that it was all about bedtime for me. And so I did just that. The shaking continued for a further hour before I went to sleep.

After the shaking I slept for just over four hours. The night was a complete wash out however I did take full advantage of my husband when he returned from work. I asked my other half to cook dinner, bring cups of tea into bed and on the sofa whilst I watched the twilight films. Late afternoon I started to resume back to normal. I was tired but knew for the time being it was over. Thank god for that.

Whilst resting I turned over the TV to see such devastation on the evening news. The entire world were watching two explosions happen before their eyes as many ran the Boston Marathon. I couldn’t believe it. The carnage, the upset and the cry’s for help were bellowing on the TV. It literally took my breath away and made me wonder what the world was coming to. Here there was a country trying their best to celebrate then all of a sudden their world was turned upside down in a matter of minutes. Then it dawned on me, the very words I’ve said in the past. There’s always someone worse off than you. No one deserved that.

Here I was sitting there after a shaking episode whilst others across the pond were trying to find their loved ones in the rubble. It make me appreciate that today’s events were nothing compared to what I’d just witnessed.

I can’t shy away from the fact that what I’d been through was awful for me however to see such upset on the TV made me want to continue as normal because life is for living. You have to take the rough with the smooth. The shakes are my rough and the remainder of my life is relatively smooth. I’m proud to say I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Yesterday was a right off food wise. My husband was cooking so dare I say anymore. He tried his best therefore my meal consisted of pasta and a yoghurt (not both together ha). I managed to get my fruit intake in however the early morning chocolate fix did let me down. The squat challenge was knocked on the head for obvious reasons and has resumed again this evening.

Come on! 105 squats, the burn is well and truly felt. To top it all off I squatted down only to rip the seam of my pants. I’m putting it down to not having a big tush but the fact that my arse is getting so shapely that it doesn’t want to wear these cheap pants anymore. It’s craving new ones with Saz’s ass on the back.

Another small bar of chocolate was consumed today however the eating has gone well. Cereal, fruit, tuna pasta and salmon with veg. The exercise is done and I’m feeling so much happier. What I would ask is this. Can anyone give me any recommendations to get me off this fecking chocolate? Unfortunately two squares don’t satisfy a chocolate monster. What would you suggest?

To conclude today’s post. Never give in. If you’re not feeling well then your body’s telling you something. Don’t give in to your goals however just accept that there are going to be moments where you’re body is low therefore you must listen to it and rest. In the words of Albert Einstein:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”

Keep moving but be sensible. Usually I fall off however I try to get back on it at all times. I recommend you do the same.

Thank you for all your well wishes and constant words of encouragement. Your words mean the world to me so thank you. Lotsa love xx