Going Back To Work

Hello everyone how are you all doing?

So.. I’ve already been back at work after my MS relapse for one week now… how has it gone? Really well, I work with the best team and my manager is so supportive and takes very good care of me…

I’ve been back on phased return hours to get me back into work, I’ve been working 10-4 (I can’t really afford to do less hours) and I have to be honest, it’s been really tough and fatigue has been affecting me on some days. However I am really enjoying being back at work as I love being around people and my lovely customers. I’ve been having regular meetings with my manager and we are going to take things week by week and see how I feel, I’ll increase my hours back slowly and then eventually back to full time 9-5:30.

This is my second week now, it’s Tuesday today… yesterday fatigue was really bad and I found it really difficult getting through those 6 hours but I DID IT! I feel very proud that I did it, I made sure that I took my time and rested where I could, I have a 45 min break so I make sure I rest then as well as eating my lunch lol.. My manager wanted me to have a longer break but I can’t really afford to lose much more money so 45 mins is fine for me.

This experience has been so very different to my previous employment.. that was when I was diagnosed with MS. It was a really difficult and unsure part of my life… I didn’t know much about the illness (luckily I have family members who have MS so they were able to tell me about it) But my previous employer knew nothing about the illness.. I would try and tell them all I could.. I even printed off some information about ‘MS and Work’ and gave it to them… to which they left it on the staff room table for the world to see!!

I went through relapses/mental health issues back then and yes I was off work a few times (I think in the year I was there, it was about 3-4 times I was off all MS/mental health issues related). I came back to ‘oh you don’t look that ill’ things like that, nothing supportive at all.. then I was told that if I had anymore time off that I would have to undergo a formal meeting… Obviously I was very upset and made my point clear that I was going through massive changes in my life and was finding things difficult.. they just told me that it was ‘Company Policy’ oh… and they also said ‘We didn’t do a formal meeting with you when you were admitted to hospital in your probation’ Yeah.. I know what you’re thinking.. very kind of them!!

I knew then I wouldn’t get the support I needed from my PREVIOUS employer, they were not willing to help me, I mean I even asked if I could reduce my hours to help cope with things and to stop me from having time off.. to which they replied ‘no’ because ‘other people left early (manager included) so there wouldn’t be the staff’… that’s when I knew I needed a new job.

A few months later I had an interview for my current work place, I was a little nervous but more excited as my new manager sounded so lovely over the phone. I had asked a lot of people about whether I should tell my new manager about the MS or not.. A lot of people said no as it could affect their decision… in the end I had decided to tell them.. at the end of the day MS is apart of me and if they can’t accept MS… then they don’t deserve the whole of me.

Anyway, I had the interview and it went really well.. we had a great chat and found things in common. I was praying to God that I’d get the job and I told them that I had MS and they were totally fine about it. I was completely honest with them and told them my struggles.

A couple of weeks later… I got the job! The new manager said to me ‘I liked you instantly, you weren’t the most experienced interviewee I had, but you will learn.. I think we can really  help you and I know that we will look after you!’ just hearing those words made me feel so much happier and so much more at ease!

Now here we are… almost 2 years down the line and I still LOVE where I am now, I get on with my manager really well and they are always supportive towards my illness, they listen to me and try to help me in anyway they can… It has been very hard to open up again and trust an employer because of my previous experience.. but since this recent relapse.. the past has disappeared and now I can look forwards.

We both know there may be more relapses in the future but myself and my employer will face and deal with them head on.

Today I’m feeling.. okay… tired but I’m still in bed at the moment lol (need to get ready) I will know how the day is going to plan out when I get going.. I hope you all have a great day and I’ll see you all soon.

Love Hannah xx

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The Perfect Mini Spa Day

Barnsdale Hall Spa Rutland

*The first thing I’d like to mention is that the images produced in this blog post are from Google Images, I was unable to take photos myself, however they are genuine and I tried to look for the most recent photos*

barnsdale-hall-grounds-rutland-water-google-images

Hey everyone,

So last week my mum thought we needed a little relaxation treat, I’ve not long got back to work after having an MS relapse and we both thought that having a little treatment/pamper session might help with things.

I managed to find a great deal on Virgin Experiences website where it was a spa day and afternoon tea for two for just £39.00!! There were other spa facilities available to choose from, however because we live fairly local to Rutland we chose Barnsdale Spa.

We called up the Spa and arranged a treatment for us both to have… mum had the ESPA Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage £26.00 (prices may change) and I had a Floatation Therapy experience £30.00 for 30 minutes (prices may change). We were able to book our treatments to be done at the same time, which was great.

I had a little look at some of the reviews online (I always do this) and yes there were some good ones and some not so good.. The only thing that stuck out to me was that they said that Robes & Slippers were not provided — Now we didn’t mine too much about this cause we had flip-flops, but this was specified as a ‘Spa Day’ so I would assume if that is what is being advertised then I think robes & slippers should be provided. The only other thing I noticed was that a couple of people said the towels were great, that they weren’t long enough and were hard.. so I packed our own towels from home as I like to be organised and prepared.

When we arrived we were greeted at reception by a friendly member of staff who gave us our towels (I’m glad I took my own as there were a little hard and not overly long enough) and a couple of tokens to get into the changing rooms. She explained to us that the pool area would be close between 1-2pm for maintenance/cleaning, which was fine with us because we would be having our treatments then. She took us into the little restaurant area and that was nice a spacious where we would be having our afternoon tea, asked if we needed anything or if we had any questions at which point we said no.. and then left us to enjoy our day.

We were quite hungry so decided to have maybe a pastry of some type and a cup of tea before heading into the pool area and just settle for a little.. I noticed that there was only one member of staff serving drinks etc and I felt that there could of been more to help him out.. We had a look at the menu and there was only lunch items available (Sandwiches etc) so I went up to the bar and asked if they did any breakfast type things to which he replied that unfortunately they didn’t and just showed us a few cookies they had on the counter… We reconvened and decided to go for a smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese (I love this anyway!) It came out beautifully presented and had a small salad garnish and a small (bucket/tub) of french fries lightly salted.. it was delicious, extremely filling so we definitely decided not to swim lol and by the time we had finished and relaxed it was 11:45am anyway, so we went to get changed.

The changing rooms were small but nice, luckily when we went they weren’t overly crowded as I can imagine it could get quite busy at certain times, they had 4-5 private changing rooms and then an open changing area with lockers, 2 toilets and showers, everything was clean and tidy.

The Pool Area -Photos taken from Google Images but this is what it was like!

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So, we headed into the pool area and it looked nice, just a standard pool with an additional side pool, a Jacuzzi, steam room and a sauna. I would definitely call this a ‘leisure pool’ I wouldn’t call it a ‘spa’ if you’re look for a proper spa where there’s more rooms more relaxation places etc then I have a great suggestion which I may do another post about. However this was fine for us just for our little day and the price was so good we couldn’t complain.. apart from a couple of things! They only had 6 lounger chairs which were in use so we couldn’t go and sit down to relax.. They had a couple of bench type areas but didn’t really want to relax on those.. but the most important thing that I wasn’t happy about was the Health and Safety of the floor around the pool.. as you can see in the pictures above they have tiled flooring.. no problem? However there was a lot of water around which made surfaces slippery (I know what do you expect from a pool lol) however I think they need to have some sort of safety flooring etc because I have Multiple Sclerosis and I slipped on the floor a couple of times whilst walking around — I’m not walking fast at the moment and have to steady myself a little.. so I definitely feel that this should be addressed. Other than that, the pool area was fine, I loved the jacuzzi because it was nice and big lol.. and really helped my back — soon though it was time for us to get out and head up for our treatments 🙂

The Spa/Beauty Treatment Area – (Image from Google Images – I couldn’t take my own photos today but this is a genuine image)

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When we got upstairs to the beauty room we were greeted by more friendly staff who got us booked in for our treatments and went through health and safety, they also provided us with robes and slippers!! This is why the two areas — leisure pool and the spa treatment area are different.. this is why I wouldn’t class the whole thing as a spa. However the robes were fine and slippers too.. We mentioned that because the pool was out of use from 1-2pm if there was any chance we could have a shape and polish of out nails after our treatments? They were very accommodating and arrange the dairy I believe so that mum and I could have our nails done straight after our treatments.. It was all very nice and relaxing.

My Floatation Therapy Experience

Now I haven’t uploaded a photo of the floatation area because like I keep mentioning I didn’t take any photos of it as I wanted to relax, however there are a couple of images on Google if you type in Barnsdale Spa floatation therapy and click on images, there’s a couple and that’s what it looks like.

So I went in, the room smelt very relaxing and calming, they had a candle on and dim lighting there was also a little shower are with shampoo/conditioner and body was provided for after the floatation, which was nice. I then got into the pool and literally I just felt weightless.. it was such a strange yet amazing feeling, I had a little head pillow and the therapist turned the lights right down and closed the door allowing me to float gently into relaxation.. I saw somewhere it mentioned you could gaze up onto a star lit ceiling, however the ceiling was just dark and to be honest I closed my eyes and drifted away!

It was such a lovely experience, the water wasn’t too warm and the room wasn’t too cold.. it was just perfect for me and I felt really helped me, as like I said at the beginning a couple of weeks ago I went through an MS relapse and my family and even doctor thought this would be a nice experience to have once I had recovered.

The Benefits of the Floatation therapy are:

*Relieving Stress

*Easing Arthritis

*Improving the condition of the skin and hair

*Detox the system

*Increasing circulation and energy levels (To be honest I felt more rested the energised)

*Improving concentration

*Regulating sleep patterns (One float stimulates 4 hours of sleep)

*Relief from old injuries and much more

There are Contra-indications on the online brochure so do have a read of those before booking a float, in some cases you may need to consult your GP just to make sure it’s okay for you.

I would definitely recommend this and I will be booked back into having another float in the not so distant future – *Be Warned, the floatation therapy gets booked up very quickly so make sure you book in advance* You can also go in as a couple, however I felt that it would be a lot more of a relaxing experience if you were a lone (That’s just my personal preference)

Mum had an amazing massage and she actually said it was the best massage she’s ever had! She came out feeling stress free and relaxed and she even look so rested also and just happy she will definitely be booking that back in as well. We then had a lovely shape and polish on our nails and they did such an amazing job and we loved the colours so much that we purchased them.. they were called ‘Jessica’.

We were allowed to relax while out nails dried and then we made our way to the front desk.. we were then told that we could keep our robes for rest of the day whilst we had our afternoon tea, which was lovely.

The one other thing that was slightly annoying was that every time we needed to get into the changing rooms we had to go upstairs to reception to get tokens, which I wasn’t overly impressed with because it was just quite tiring going up and down the stairs etc.

Afternoon Tea

After we got changed we went back into the restaurant and were seated in the conservatory room overlook the beautiful Rutland lake, the sun was coming out and it was all very calming.

We had one sandwich each of each selection (ham& mustard, cheese and pickle, smoked salmon& cream cheese and Egg) they were delicious, we only managed a scone between us because we were full and I only had one slice of cake that we had, there was banana loaf, lemon, carrot (I think) and a flapjack I believe.. We waited for a while to see if anyone would come and see if we were okay or needed anything else, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough staff.. I only saw two members of staff and they were serving the bar area and us for our tea.. No-one came to see us and there was no one around to ask if we could take the cakes home as we hadn’t been able to finish the.. In the end we just decided to leave them and went to get our stuff together (Which involved going back upstairs to get another token) and then we made our way home.

Personally I really enjoyed myself, it all went smoothly we were able to relax as much as possible.. I would just like stress highly about the pool flooring and the health and safety, but my mum and I had a lovely time and for the price that we paid, which was fantastic we couldn’t really complain… Would I call it a spa… No.. I would call it a lovely little Beauticians with an added leisure centre, I feel that this needs to be addressed as I feel for some people who aren’t used to spa’s and expect more that what there is, they’ll be more disappointed.

I will definitely be back again for a treatment for sure as that was the most enjoyable and relaxing part of the day.

I’m sorry this blog entry doesn’t have many pictures and that its a little bit long… but this is my honest review, these are all my honest opinions of Barnsdale Spa.

Liebster Award – Sharing the love with all new bloggers!

Liebster meaning – A German word for: Beloved, sweetheart, dearest.

 

liebster-blog-award

The Liebster Award is a blogging award that encourages bloggers to show love and raise awareness for new bloggers. It’s such a lovely surprise to have been nominated and I am so grateful to have been nominated for this award.

As part of the nomination we have to do the following:

  1. Thank the person/blog who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog

  2. Display the award on your blog. The can be done by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a widget (Note: the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog/post)

  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself that your nominating blogger chooses

  4. Nominate blogs that your feel deserve the award. These must be new bloggrs (Less than two years blogging) who have fewer than 1000 followers.

  5. Create a list of questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.

  6. List these rules in your post (feel free to copy and paste)

  7. Inform the blogs that you nominated that they have been awarded the award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

A massive thank you to thexpats.com for my nomination for this amazing blogging award – please head on over to their blog to check it out. They have so much variety on their blog and it’s so interesting to read – my favourite post is definitely ‘The Perfect Regal Afternoon Tea’ because I LOVE afternoon tea hehe.. but such good reading and I’d definitely recommend everyone to check them out 🙂

Nominations

Survivinglifeshurdles – I Absolutely LOVE this blog!! Natalie is such a lovely writer and I love how she just tells it how it is.. She’s really given me motivation to document my journey and to know that its okay to admit that you’re struggling sometimes.. A great blog and I’d highly recommend checking her out 🙂 http://survivinglifeshurdles.com/

BossMummy – Well what can I say about this blog.. I absolutely LOVE it!! I’m not too sure if she qualifies for this aware (I really hope so!!) She’s funny, caring and also tells us the troubles that she’s been through.. I’ve been wrapped up in her bog and I’d highly recommend people to check out her blog too 🙂 http://www.bossmummy.com

MeggieBakes – Well.. I’m not being biased here.. but this is my sister.. she’s started a little blog all about baking.. she loves baking and she sure is good at it!! (yep, I get to sample hehe) She makes her blog funny and interesting to ready and some delicious recipes to follow — I mean who doesn’t love baking right??  http://www.meggiebakes.wordpress.com

Questions

1) What were your worries, if any about blogging your life?

I didn’t really have any worries as such… I feel like my blog is somewhere that I can hopefully help people with my experiences but also let off some steam about how I’m feeling also. 

2) If you could live the life anyone in the world for one, who would it be and why?

Hmm this is a tough one 🙂 Well I LOVE this YouTuber called ‘Zoella’ (I’m a little late on the band wagon with her but I’m loving her videos) I’d quite like to live her life for one day, just to see what’s its like to be a full time YouTuber 🙂 

3) What one thing in the world would you change and why? 

I’m loving these questions! Well I’d love to change world hunger.. I feel that NOBODY should go hungry.. we have so much food and it’s so upsetting to see people that have nothing! I try and help homeless people when I can by buying them food or a warm drink.. But I would change that and make sure there is enough food for everyone and enough water too.. any food that goes to waste or is not needed.. goes to people who have nothing. 

4) What is your best quality?

I would say that my best quality is just maintaining a positive attitude in life and generally being happy — I try and see at least one good thing every day. 

5) What is your favourite International dish to eat? 

OMG.. I LOVE food!! All food.. but my favourite International dish is Mexican.. I love Mexican food. 

6) Is there an embarrassing TV programme you love to watch? 

No, not really.

7) If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be?

Ooh I’d have to say Australia… I have family out there and a very good friend.. I’ve always wanted to go and experience it.. They’ve all said that it’s such a love place to visit/live.. so that’s where I’d live to go. 

8) What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in life? 

LOL!! Well once I got banned from a hotel because myself and a group of friends had a massive party, running up and down the hallway’s with towels around us pretending to be Romans… I also accidentally damaged the statue in the car park.. So yeah.. that’s probably the craziest thing I’ve done lol. 

9) Where is your favourite place to write up a blog?

I’m not too sure I’m answering this correctly but I love writing blog posts in my bedroom.. I’m sat on my bed writing this right now.. comfort is everything! 🙂

10) What is your favourite inspirational quote?

Live every day as if it’s your last! 

 

My questions for my nominated Blogs

  1. Where’s your favourite place in the world?

  2. What’s your favourite song?

  3. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

  4. What’s your best memory?

  5. What’s your favourite food?

  6. Do you have anything you class as ‘lucky’ if so what is it and why?

  7. What’s your favourite animal

  8. If your could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

  9. Would you rather have a few close/special friends? or Lots of friends?

  10. Is there anything you would change about your life?

Thank you so much for http://www.thexpats.com for my nomination I hope you have a great day 🙂

 

Taking things for Granted & Being Grateful

One main thing that I’ve learnt since being diagnosed with MS and going through this particular relapse is that we humans take SO many things for granted… and I mean little things!!

Going through this relapse has literally made me realise that the tinniest things that I take for granted on a daily basis are in fact huge! For example, I haven’t been able to climb the stairs without either needing help from my boyfriend or having to stop for a rest half way up — I only have one set of stairs in my house and there’s about… 10-13 steps, not being able to cook a simple meal without having to rest/sit down whilst doing it.. this was anything from a piece of toast or simple soup! Needing help to go to the toilet because I didn’t have the energy to walk there myself.. Having to chose whether I make my hair more presentable or put a little makeup on as I couldn’t do both!

All these little things mount up to big things and whilst I’m getting better now and able to do these things slowly it’s really made me realise how lucky I am and how much I need to be more grateful for the ‘little things’.

This morning was the first morning I woke up and felt… ‘Well. I didn’t feel sick, dizzy, have a headache, fatigued etc… I was able to go downstairs, feed my cat Arthur and get myself some breakfast as well. I was so happy and shared my news on Instagram and then thought about all the people who can’t do anything on a daily basis.. who wake up feeling the same every single day and who don’t have a choice but to fight every day to remain the slightest bit alert!

I’m creating a Bullet Journal — a really good friend of mine told me about this at the beginning of the year and I’ve fallen in love with the idea.. the fact that you can create and organise your own little space in a journal.. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from a blogger/youtuber called Boho Berry and her designs and ideas are amazing… One design in particular that she does is called ‘The Gratitude Log’ a monthly spread where you write down one thing you’re grateful for each day… I LOVE this idea and have been doing it every day because not only does it help me mentally and continue to look at things more positively but also helps me deal with MS and I look back and see the things that I’m actually able to do!

I’m thinking of creating something similar to the ‘Gratitude Log’ but base it around MS and goals that I’m able to achieve.. also to help with my anxiety too.. so that I’ll be able to look back and say to myself.. ‘I did it’ I think it will also help me track my progress on ‘helping myself’ like I’ve mentioned in my last blog post.

So to whoever is reading this post… I think we should all come together.. and be grateful for at least one thing every single day.. even if that’s ‘I got out of bed this morning’ or ‘I managed to do 5 minutes of yoga’ or ‘I’m grateful for being alive’

I’m going to design a little kind of like ‘goal’ chart for everyday to try and help me stick to things that I need to do to keep me well.. I’ll write another little post about that with some pictures this time.. and hopefully to any of you out there who need help managing MS naturally or anything.. hopefully it will help you to cope with things better..

I love helping people and hope this post has brought a little smile to your day today… remember.. You have at least one thing to be grateful for every day.. and don’t take the small things for granted because one day… they might get taken away from you!

Lots of Love

Hannah xx

Being Diagnosed with MS – My Story

December 2014, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was 24 years old and had encountered 6 months of uncertainty/losing my freaking marbles/over-exaggerating about whether I had this illness/disease/disability or not.

It all began early 2014 when I kept getting shooting pains down my spine, tingling and slight numbness in my left thigh

*Just to point out… if anyone reading this i suffering with these symptoms.. please don’t see it as you’ve got MS… Please visit your GP.. I am NOT a medical professional.. this is just my story*

Anyway, I went to the doctors a few times who would tell me that it was just a trapped nerve and give me medication to help it go away.. one Doctor even tried prescribing me drugs for pain that I hadn’t even complained about!! So I just carried on… ignoring whatever this weird sensation was and carrying on with life quite happily.

One morning on my way to work the numbness got worse and started travelling throughout the whole of my left side! I was taken straight to hospital where they were suspecting a mini stroke (MS never came into the equation at this point!) I had to have an MRI — word of advice.. anyone whose claustrophobic.. ask for a blindfold.. it will make the MRI slightly easier! I also had to have a lumbar puncture (A needle that’s inserted into the back to retrieve some of the spinal fluid for tests) and a few days in hospital — No one likes being in hospital.. I particularly wasn’t happy about it and got quite upset.. however they had chocolate cake and custard served most days so that definitely made me feel better!! (I wonder if they knew I was coming and got all of the chocolate cake in ready?!)

The day before my birthday was the day the doctors came to visit my bedside.. they were so lovely and calming and told me that there was some scarring on my brain from the MRI.. now this scarring could of been old from a previous infection (I had glandular fever when I was younger, I think 14) or that it could be Multiple Sclerosis! They told me that I’d be seen by a Neurologist and that they would carry out certain tests to see if I had the disease.

What a great birthday present right?! I had a lovely birthday surrounded by my friends and family and even had a little spa day, which was great!! A couple of weeks after my hospital visit I went and visited a Neurologist who told me that they needed to wait and see if I had anymore ‘different episodes’ – I specify on the word different because they needed to see if I had anything new occur before they could fully diagnose me. They then went onto tell me that I was booked in for another MRI in 6 months time and that this would hopefully be the time they’d be able to tell whether or not I had a life-long condition…

I tried to carry on my life as normally as possible, I knew MS wasn’t the best outcome but there are far worse things to have out there. Most of the time I was fine, I blocked out any negative thoughts and enjoyed living and having fun. It was the times when all of a sudden a massive rush of extreme tiredness (fatigue) and I couldn’t fully explain to anyone how I was really feeling because if I said that I was really tired and couldn’t do certain things.. their response would have been ‘oh, you just need a better nights sleep’, ‘you’ve go a lot on your mind’, ‘oh yeah, I’m knackered today too’ So I just got sucked into that little circle of thinking those comments and just carried on.

Other times I’d feel really emotional for no real reason, I just couldn’t explain it.. like I’d cry for no reason at all (No it wasn’t PMS lol) so I was given anti-depressants to help with that… Well… My GP at the time just handed them out to me without even actually talking to me and trying to help tackle the route of the cause so.. that says a lot!!

Anyway, after those LONG 6 months I had my second MRI and that’s when in December 2014 I got my diagnosis. I know this is going to be really silly but I was kind of pleased in some way… a sort of relief that I wasn’t loosing my marbles or ‘going over the top’ as mums usually say!

I was to be assigned an MS nurse and was told about the different treatment options available and told that I should really take the treatment because it should hopefully reduce the chances of the MS progressing any quicker..

I was started on a drug called Techfidera – a relatively new drug which came in the form of a tablet.. You’d start off taking one dose and then after a certain time period they increased it to the next dose up. To start off with I didn’t have any problems, no side affects or anything! However once I had started the next dose up I started to get horrendous stomach cramps and I mean I’d be up majority of the night with them and sometimes I couldn’t go to work because it was just too much.

After a couple of months of feeling just awful I made the decision to come off the treatment and have a break until I saw my Neurologist again.

I am still living with this illness without treatment and doing ‘okay’.. some days are better than others and sometimes I have relapses. I made the decision for myself to not have treatment. Instead I am trying to learn about this illness, discover my own body and help myself naturally. My Neurologist is happy for me at the moment to continue without treatment — I mean they can’t force me! I also know that some people might think I’m silly/foolish for not taking the chance to potentially prevent the disease from progressing quicker!

But what I ask is, we are all different right? Our bodies all work in different ways and react to things differently. If MS is going to progress quickly then it will do so regardless of how many injections I have or how many pills I take to try and prevent it. I’d rather enjoy my life for now and try the best that I can to make my life easier to deal with and learn ways in which I can not only help myself but also help others manage this illness naturally.

Doctors are amazing and they know so much and save so many lives, but at the end of the day.. this is my journey… my MS… and it is MY decision on which path I am going to take next.

Thank You so much for taking the time to read my MS Diagnosis story, I hope you found it interesting. I’m going to be documenting how I’m doing with regards to managing this illness every so often.. maybe give a monthly update or something and set some goals etc.. by the end of 2017 I want to be able to say that I have been able to help myself have a fantastic year living with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS!

Much Love

Hannah xx

Going through an MS Relapse & Helping Myself

Hello everyone,

So I was going to put up a ‘What I eat in a day’ blog post, however I haven’t really eaten properly/much for the last couple of weeks.

As most/all of you know I have Multiple Sclerosis, I was diagnosed in December 2014 at the ripe age of 24! I’m not here to talk about my MS story today, however if anyone is interested on reading about that (How I got diagnosed, symptoms, how it’s affecting me etc) Then please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to do a blog post on that.

I have had a recent relapse and slowly on the recovery road, it’s been very difficult at times.. but I have been trying to keep myself positive and strong every day and I guess I’d like to tell you…any of you who are struggling or finding things hard, just some of the things that I’m trying to do to keep myself well and get myself better.

I’ve really been focused on feeling like this and wanting to really change how I’m living my life ever since someone I knew sadly left this world fairly suddenly (I’m not going into details because it’s not my place) it really affected me for a while and then it hit me…. Life really is too short!! You have to live.. Keep well.. do things for you and look out for you and your loved ones.. because when it’s your time… there’s no reset button.. no ‘restart’ level lol.. So I’m now going to dedicate on taking the time to really look after myself and enjoy my life… Yes I’m liveing with this disease/disability/invisible illness.. but these are the cards that I have been dealt with and I’m going to try and concentrate on taking better care of myself.

I’m currently not on any medication for my MS, some people may think that’s silly because there’s a lot out there to potentially prolong the illness from getting worse etc.. However, you know your own body and whilst my Neurologist at the moment is happy for me to keep going on without any meds, I am going to focused on helping my situation naturally.. So… Lets dive into it!!

Things I’m Changing to Help Myself

Food!!

If any of you haven’t had the chance to head on over to my Instagram Page (I believe its linked in the home page of my blog, however my name is simply — hannaheliza_1990) feel free to have a little look… my account is set to private but if it interests you then I’ll be more than happy to accept you as a follower and be Insta-friends… This is where I post majority of my food pics!!

However, since before I had this relapse I was so dedicated to cooking meals and making nice lunches etc that I just was just ‘burning out’, every night when I got home from work (about 6:30pm) I would be straight in the kitchen cooking dinner, preparing lunches and breakfast for the following day and sometimes I wouldn’t sit down and rest until around 9pm!! So starting the day at 7am and then charging right through until 9pm I’ve only recently come to realise that I need to just plan things a little better and relax more!! ( It’s been very hard for me to just ‘chill’ and to let things go.. but I’m trying slowly to get there)

Cooking delicious food is a passion of mine and I love creating different recipes, however what I’m now going to change is that during the working week prepare simple, easy, healthy lunches – batch cook quinoa, pasta and rice for the week to save time and instead of cooking a massive full on meal when I get home from work, have something easy… for example I LOVE the Slimming World ready meals — Picture inserted from Google Images

slimming-world-ready-meals

They have such a wide range of meals, soups, sauces and other things to make life just a little easier for you and to eat healthily! I used to follow the Slimming World plan, however unfortunately I had to stop because I could only get to the late sessions after work and they just went on too late for me.. But I still buy these delicious meals from Iceland Supermarket – They also deliver in some places too.. and honestly they are so easy and delicious! I’m also going to do things like Jacket potatoes or soup as well.. especially in our slow cooker we got for Christmas!!

Also Breakfast… Again another thing I’ve recently noticed that I ‘faffed’ over.. I LOVE porridge and making it taste really nice, but again… I’d spend a good 15 minutes a night getting all that prepared etc and then actually cooking it at work!!.. for me I can’t function without a good hearty breakfast in the mornings and I always eat them at work because I can’t eat early in the mornings..so I have to take them with me. I was finding that A) I was spending too much time preparing the porridge for the following day.. and B).. taking WAY too many containers to work as well!! So here’s another thing I’m changing… Laying my ingredients out in the evening before bed… putting my oats ready in a little pan for the morning.. and making my porridge at home in the morning before I go to work — this will be a trial and error thing to see how it goes but hopefully it will make things easier and I won’t have to cook breakfast at work!

Also I LOVE Niomi Smart’s Eat Smart Cook Book. It’s a Plant Based cookery book and has some really delicious recipes inside and a whole section on breakfast!! Recently I’ve been making her chocolate and coconut granola and storing it in an air-tight mason jar to prolong it.. so I’m going to start taking that for breakfast’s with some Almond Milk instead.. and some fruit.. to save all this ‘faffing’!! Because at the end of the day.. I need to break my time down in the evenings and make sure I’m resting more when I get home from work instead of pushing myself to the max!!

niomi-smart-cook-book

And finally on the subject of ‘Food’ I LOVE lunch boxes (Anyone else the same out there?) I have a whole cupboard filled with different containers/lunch boxes… However.. For when I go back to work after this relapse.. I wanted to STOP taking so many containers… there’s that word again… ‘Faffing!!’ So I found this great ‘Bento Box’ type lunch box on Amazon and purchased that! It’s an ‘All In One’ and even comes with a gel freezer pack to keep everything super fresh.. I love the fact that there are so many individual parts so that I can add my whole lunch and snacks into the same container for work!! I can’t wait to start using it!

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Amazon link to this lunch box is:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017WX70NC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Taking more time to RELAX when I get home

So, like I’ve spoken about a minute ago.. I’ve been finding myself most nights coming straight in from work and just cooking straight away.. not sitting down with a cup of tea like a normal person.. but just ploughing on through — this all because with my illness my main symptom is ‘FATIGUE’ that horrid word that most people just put down to ‘A bit tired’ or ‘You just need a good nights sleep’.. Again I’m not going to go into Fatigue today.. But in recent times I’ve been so focused to getting all this food prepped and sort by a certain time of night that instead of helping myself, I’ve just been churning myself further into the ground… This is where that has to stop people.. So here is a list of things that I’m going to do to help RELAX for a little when I get home from work..

  1. When I get home I’m going to take the time to make a cup of tea – I don’t usually do this but this is step one!

  2. Secondly, instead of standing in my work uniform cooking dinner.. I’m going to take my cup of tea upstairs and get changed into something comfortable – Pyjama’s is always a winner and do my skin care routine whilst watching a YouTube Video

  3. Thirdly, Once I’m all clean and ready to relax I shall then come downstairs and sort dinner out (I’m going to try going the Slimming World meals – in the over.. done!)

  4. Fourthly, whilst dinner is cooking I want to try and just sit… Yep.. sit on the sofa with one of my favourite magazines and just relax a little and regain some energymagazines

  5. And after giving myself a little time to relax.. that is when either I or my lovely partner will help and prepare lunches that I am aiming to plan and prepare majority of it anyway. I like to start settling down to sleep at around 10pm.

Getting more organised and PLANNING

Okay, so for me the only way I can relax my mind is if everything is organised and I have a little plan… Now once again I have become very rigid in this plan and I need to start ‘chilling’ out and just not worrying too much — Yes I am a worrier!!

Food wise I’ve been loving this lady I’ve recently subscribed to on YouTube her link is

 https://www.youtube.com/user/JessicaBeautician

Now she is vegan/plant based and even though I’m not currently — still not 100% certain on the whole veganism thing yet.. but I’m very willing to have a little experiment.. I have found her recipe videos delicious and easy!! She has done a couple of videos about easy lunch ideas for school/work and honestly she’s made them look so easy and actually shown me to prepare things like quinoa, rice and pasta in bulk so that its spread out throughout the whole week – why didn’t I think of this before!! So anyway with her help I’m already trying to prepare and plan my meals better.

I also LOVE writing and planning in my Bullet Journal and have started to plan meals, and also weekly logs like a time table so I can look and see when I need to get things done etc… Again this is a trial and error and we shall see if anything needs to be improved.. to be honest I think I will change things up slightly.. but at least this is a start and it will help me focus and keep on a less rigid plan and hopefully allow me to relax more.

bulet-journal-weekly-log

Winding down in the evenings!!

LOl again… surprise, surprise.. another thing I’m struggling with… ‘winding down’ and shutting my brain off at night.. So below I have come up with another little plan to help me to just shut down and hopefully enable me to get a good restful nights sleep.

  1. Having a little pamper session or doing something that I enjoy i.e Bullet Journal, watching YouTube or painting my nails something relaxing to help me chill out

  2. Turning off Social Media at 9pm and putting phone on charge at the other side of the room!! Now this is  big one, which I have been practising recently and have come to find that it’s really been helping me to sleep better when my phone hasn’t been on charge on my bedside table.. It just means that after 9pm once my phone is on charge, I would have to physically get out of my nice cosy bed just to look at it!

  3. Doing 15 minutes of colouring in my Adult Relaxing colouring book – depending on how tired I am I would like to try and do this and turn off anything that I’m watching so that I can focus my mind onto other things

  4. Playing a short meditation video on YouTube and Spraying my pillow with my Relaxing Mist Spray — Again I have spoken about this before — I got my Lavender relaxing mist spray from Holland and Barrett, you can get so many, however I love this one because its natural and its just the one that I prefer

  5. Having a relaxing night time tea before bed with some of my rescue remedy relaxing drops – So I always try and have a nice soothing drink before bed.. mainly either chamomile, soothing ginger or peppermint tea.. and with this I have some BACH’s rescue remedy drops to help with anxiety that I put into my tea, which I’ve found is great at relaxing me.

  6. And finally.. I can’t just turn the lights off and go to sleep in silence.. my mind just wanders and then I start thinking and then.. I’m awake!! So what I like to do is to put a nice film on in the background on my Ipad – I turn the brightness right down and the volume on low.. not a hectic film either lol.. I mainly put on a Disney film lol.. but they always seem to help me drift off to sleep — I sued to try audio books… but for me i need a visual.. I need to have something physically on in the background to help me relax properly.

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     Right so these are some of the things that I would like to try and do every night to just help me to relax and not run myself over into the ground.. I know this might seem a lot for some people but I hope some of these things have helped in some way 🙂

I may do another blog post or YouTube video in a month to let you all know how I’m getting on etc and if I’m managing to stick to this new little regime!! I’m going to try really try with this so that I can start to ENJOY my life again properly!

Sorry it’s been a long blog post, I’d really appreciate any comments, thoughts etc and thank you so much for taking the time to read all my ‘waffle’ lol.. I’m actually going to cook a Slimming World Meal for dinner tonight (it’s Saturday night) and Let’s see what I have – remember to head on over to my Instagram Page.

Much Love

Hannah Eliza XX