Yearly reflection

Just over a year ago (a year and 2 days to be precise!) I wrote a reflection on the previous year and everything it had brought about. So it seems only fitting now, a year on from that, to reflect once again on the year gone by.

The last month or so has been challenging, having changed to alternative assessments in my degree I was faced with around 11 essays to write in 13days. With a few of those days taken up looking after my children and my nephews birthday, it meant I was working on an essay or more a day, not easy and certainly not relaxing! But as always my body decided to throw an extra spanner in the works with me getting ill days before starting this epic task. JOY!

However it is now all over and with that marks the end of the second year (all being well!) of my degree.

It’s been an interesting year, I learnt to let go a lot. Leaving acting behind to focus on my studies, leaving old toxic friendships behind to focus on me and my family, and leaving behind some responsibilities I no longer needed to carry, so I have time to breath. I am finally starting to get to places I want to be in my life, focusing more on my health and rebuilding that, so I at least stand a decent chance in surviving a career and having more family fun. Building a home for me and my girls.

I have spent a lot of the last year trying to decide on what next. There are a few options, each with their advantages and each with their varying degrees of obstacles. Every single one though revolves around medicine in some way or another. It is my calling and I will find a way to pursue it one way or another! What I really need to do is find that magic money tree somehow :/ But I will face whatever comes, when I get to it!

As I have said many times before, I owe so much to my mum. She is and as always remains my rock, my constant and my best friend. A phone call is all it takes to bring a smile to my face in even the most hardest of times. When things have got rough or hard, she has always been there on my shoulder and my greatest wish is that I can build the same love and friendship with my own daughters.

So now I look forward to the next year, completing my degree, deciding on a future and all the trials that may come with it.

Bring it on.

Hermit in the filing cabinet

It has come to the end of second year and what does that mean? Oh yeah, dreaded exam period, ARGH!

On that note I have received my million essays I have to write in lieu of exams and will now be hermitting myself away for the next two weeks.

Part of my fibro is the incredibly frustrating brain fog.

I like to describe it as like having everything you know in a room full of filing cabinets. Every fact, feeling and even individual words are contained in different files within these cabinets. What fibro likes to do, on random occasions, is come into your little room of knowledge, pick a cabinet at whim and lock it. Just like that, the stuff you know you know is sealed out of sight and you just can’t seem to open it. Then another time it will open that back up again and go find another random cabinet to lock.

It is incredibly frustrating and as such, coupled with possible extreme fatigue or pain flares, I have a tendency to not exam well at the moment. So after a lot of paper work and meetings I was able to sit alternative assessments, of which my first try in January saw an instant improvement in performance.

Don’t get me wrong, these are in no way easier. I currently have around 11-12 essays to crack out in 13 days and the marking criteria is much more full on than in exams and I am expected to fully reference all my work.

So yeah, this is me at the moment, working hard and trying not to loose what little is left of my worn out mind.

Slow and steady wins the race?

It’s certainly been slow in the fundraising department although bits and pieces are coming in here and there. I have also applied for a scholarship placement so wish me luck on that one!

Wanna know what else I’ve done? I’ve given up coffee…..for a whole MONTH!! Me! The girl who has caffeine tattooed on her forearm because she love it so much!

It’s going okay so far, it’s been 2 and a half weeks and yes there have been times I have missed having a cuppa and honestly it’s starting to get to the point where I am looking forward to the end of the month to grab some new flavours im dying to try out, but I am doing it.

SOooooo…. if you would like to sponsor me, even if it’s just a few pennies, I would be so grateful. Every little helps get me just that bit closer to Africa.

My PayPal….. https://www.paypal.me/JemaP

And if you would like to follow any more updates remember my fundraising page on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jemsafrica/

 

xxx

Facebook base for fundraising

I have been a little all over the place with my fundraising efforts I have to admit. It’s new territory and not something I am at all used to, so finding the right or best ways of doing things is certainly trial and error and taking a bit of time.

So in an effort to try and bring it all together I have created a Facebook page in order to try and concentrate things into one place so people can see what’s going on, follow my progress and (hopefully) donate or support me!!

This is the page: Jem’s Fundraising Adventure and I really hope you will come over and give me a like!

I will leave that there for today as my hands are flaring and will post a better update soon xxx

Can you help me to help?

I have an amazing opportunity. Two weeks helping in hospitals in Africa!

The opportunity to shadow doctors, see how life works in developing countries and help out in the community. It’s an opportunity that could be life changing and not only gain me so much medical experience but also life experiences I will treasure forever.

I have a lot against me. My conditions, my circumstances but also the fact that I need to fund raise around £3000 to be able to go on this adventure.

I want to show the world just how much a single mum with chronic conditions can achieve when she puts her mind to it, that despite the obstacles anything is possible.

Can you help me? Whether it’s 50p or a share of my gofundme page, any tiny bit of help will be so appreciated. Also any ideas on what else I can try to fund raise would also be amazing.

You can find my page at  Jems volunteering in Africa

I will post updates as I go both here and on the gofundme site for all those who want to follow my progress. Wish me luck and thank you! xxx

 

And they stayed down

It’s been a tough couple of months.

When I wrote my last post I was feeling low and the fibro was flaring up. What I didn’t know though was that I was just at the start of a massive nose dive in both my mental and physical health.

I hit a wall and decided to take some time out from Uni (attendance but still working from home) so I could recoup and hopefully return with a new spark, ready to fight another day. That didn’t happen though.

I got sick, a fluey cold bug that’s still doing the rounds now, this knocked me down further and as anyone with Fibro knows, everything hits us so much harder. A simple cold hits us like a bus. Then the snow came at the same time and instead of getting the much needed rest I required, I was walking 6km in the snow to collect my children from school and getting them home safely.

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Collecting them in the snow was tough, but at least the smiles on their faces pulled me through

 

I hate that I wasn’t able to fully enjoy those snow days with them. It’s not something we get here and it could have been so much fun. I dragged myself up and got us outside for a small amount of snow monster building and snow angel carving, memories that will hopefully stay with them, not the tired sick mom instead.

Then the car broke. It’s been two and a half weeks now that the garage have been working on her and finding parts (problem with old cars) and it’s killing me. The school runs are pretty much all I do and crashing out in between. I feel useless, I feel tired and the pain is excruciating. I never realised just how much my car meant to me, until I had to live without it, how much it actually does help me in my life. I felt like a bit of a fraud sometimes with my blue badge, that a 30 something mum of two with an illness you can’t even see, didn’t really deserve it. But actually I rely on it far more than I ever knew.

 

Admitting that to myself is hard, that I am ill and this is my life, possibly forever.

 

 

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What I live for ❤

When the spoons are down

It takes a lot out of me, does life. Just going through the daily motions can be exhausting. It’s not something I try to show generally. A lot of the time I put on a smile, a mask and hide away the true extent of the pain and crippling fatigue.

Something that I am trying to change little by little. Starting to open up about the true daily struggles of living with invisible illnesses, sometimes in life, but mostly here, in this little blog of mine. Trying to find the words that can convey just how it feels to live every day.

But I can’t find the words. Sure I can write about the surface, with tales of eloquently put together analogies. I can describe in relatable terms how it feels perhaps, or try to convey the struggles with examples of spoons and finite resources.

However, it just doesn’t ever feel, when I read these posts back, that I ever truly manage to describe what it’s like to live this way. I guess this goes for many things in life, that experience is something that can never truly be replaced by another medium.

You may think then why bother?

I guess it’s because I have to at least try. So that somewhere out there is something for people to see and read and at least try a little bit to understand what it is like for people like myself. That each and every day is a struggle, that just living life full of pain and chronic exhaustion, is a constant uphill battle. That the small things like just being out for the day, attending lectures, walking around, are huge monumental tasks that require perseverance and often sheer determination not to let these awful diseases win. That I want a better life and for now I am willing to fight for it.

But I am tired. I am in pain. More than you could ever know.