Saturday, 13 July 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 28

I've decided not to mention on Project 365 when I'm feeling ill as it's quite depressing to realise it's 90% of the time, so from now on, when I'm pain free, I'll let you know.

Please also assume that it is bloody hot here and humid, we're on the coast. It is NOT a dry heat. In the UK winters you have a windchill factor, In Dubai it's called humidex and it adds 10-15c to the actual temperature.

Think opening the door to a fan assisted oven, with the heating on full blast, all the clothing on you own and a hairdryer on the back of your neck and you're somewhere near just how hot it is here.

On Tuesday it turned 28c to 53c, it's just not possible to function in that heat dripping with sweat. I'll let you know when temps drop to 'manageable'

188 Sunday Walked Bob before sunrise, the humidity is unbearable now. I did some batch cooking and cleaned the house top to bottom. Joined Peter for a coffee and did some shopping, then spent the evening watching TV.

Can't wait for this station to open and I get get around Dubai by public transport.

189 Monday Dentists for mouldings to have 3 teeth made, which will be inserted into the dental implant posts next week. Drove onto Deira to wander around the markets, home to collect Peter and drop him at the train for his trip to Saudi and called in for a coffee with a friend in the Marina.

190 Tuesday Dog park day, washed Bob and started on sorting out the office. Had a really funny day, nothing happened, but I left the dog park in tears. I've been mulling over the dog incident on Saturday and been having flashbacks to the night my father died 2 years ago on Thursday. I came to terms with his death, it wasn't a shock that he died, just the manner and sitting with him feeling so helpless, just waiting for the inevitable. Spent the afternoon dismantling the old MFI furniture and organising the study.

191 Wednesday I had a Doctors appointment, identifying I needed some help, a lot of questions were asked and answers given. Grief is one thing, but trauma is another and it was strangely comforting for me to be told I'd experienced a traumatic event. Had coffee at the Souk Madinat, then off to collect a prescription, food shop and home to sort out the black out curtains. pub quiz in the evening.

192 Thursday Peter arrived home in the early hours. Had a sweep through of the house and put the rugs back in place, cooked a roast dinner, mainly in the slow cooker. Went for a swim late afternoon.
Peter came home from work with a coffee for me as he knew I wasn't allowed to drive today, until I knew how the meds would affect me.

193 Friday Brunch with friends, it involved dancing on the tables, the morning and evening were written off.

194 Saturday Decided to spend the day walking around Dubai Mall. It's the World's largest mall. All the malls are built/owned/designed by only a few companies, therefore they all look pretty much the same with the same stores, just a different layout. Finally got round to booking car hire and a hotel in Sydney ready for my trip to visit child 3 in 10 days time.

On the blog this week:

How can I manage my stress levels and not take everything to the nth degree?

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

How can I manage my stress levels.

Before I met my husband I worried about making sure I could pay the mortgage, buy food and clothes for the kids. Holding down several jobs, not worrying about holidays and driving a car that was constantly breaking down. But it was just life, I just got on with it, like all my neighbours, family and friends.

20 years ago life became a little complicated as we started a journey blending two families together, dealing with disability and special needs, ex partners, studying for a degree. Then we upped sticks and moved to South Africa, the kids left home, then we moved to Dubai.

The first 5 years abroad were eventful. They were emotional, time consuming, difficult and isolating. I was depressed, I had to reinvent myself, gain a new identity.

The 2 years ago, I got ill. I still don't know what is wrong with me other than needing regular iron infusions, B12 injections and my chronic neck pain of 24 years flaring up more often. I'm tired, out of breath, suffering with random shooting pains, been under the care of the oncologist, had a bone marrow biopsy and numerous other side effects include a high white blood cell count.

My father died, we moved house, I started dental implant surgery this year.

But I coped with all the above, it was just part of life, I just got on with it all, until recently.

I've already analysed what stresses me out? I've started saying no, removed myself as far as possible from toxic relationships, but it all seems to have turned itself up a notch over the past few weeks.

My biggest problem when faced with an issue is that my brain automatically takes things to the nth degree. On Saturday we took the dog to the vets for his annual injections, he was frightened, he needed muzzling and 4 people to hold him down, he was extremely aggressive, barking, snapping and snarling. I was out of breath, physically shaking and close to tears. I was battered, scratched and bruised and my mind was whirling.
  • What if he bites the vet or me?
  • What happens if this behaviour becomes normal?
  • What happens if I come home one day and he's killed the cat?
  • I'm going to have to have my dog put down.
  • Shall we do it now rather than wait for one of these events to happen?
  • We'll have to have him put down if it gets ill and requires regular vet treatment or he'll bite me and the vet for sure.
Every situation goes like that. It hasn't been helped by seeing an oncologist for 2 years, blood results come back high, my mind races to 'I have cancer, I am going to die' followed by writing a list of all the things I need to do to make sure everyone else's life is made easier should that happen. 

When I'm on my own life is calm, I can do my own thing, take my time, stop what I'm doing if it's complicated and go for a swim or a coffee and when I get tired I can just lie down. 

I told the Doctor this morning I just want to take myself off to a desert island for an unspecified period of time, shut myself off from the outside world and just be alone.

I can't however do that, I'm a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt. So for now I shall carry on talking, writing, asking for timeout, take the days slowly and when a situation arises I feel is going to cause me to think the worst, I'm going to force myself to take a deep breath and think positive thoughts.                                                   

Saturday, 6 July 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 27 Birmingham to Dubai

It's really weird being back in Dubai, it's hot, but not as humid as it can be and I'm just taking things slowly.

It's really strange how easily I adapt between each country. Having spent 3 weeks driving on the left, I just got in the car here and automatically drove on the right, I really don't have to give it a second thought these days, it's just natural to me now.

I actually had an uneventful journey home, no delays, no car hire return hassles and I had 3 seats to myself so was able to stretch out and I slept for 5 hours.

Wow I'm so tired, more blood tests this week and literally falling asleep on my toes when ironing. I just know my iron levels have plummeted again.

Peter was away in Saudi, I'm used to being on my own, but it was strange coming home to an empty house for more than one night.

181 Sunday Flew home after popping in at mums to say goodbye, read my book, slept and enjoyed the food.

182 Monday Woke at 8am feeling shattered, really couldn't get motivated. Collected the cat and dog from boarding at midday and went for a swim late afternoon, unpacked and repacked for my next trip and then fell asleep on the sofa.....grrrrrrrrrr.

183 Tuesday Had 9 hours sleep, woke and set off with Bob to the dog park, getting home at lunch time. Spent the afternoon in bed as my neck was hurting, then had a MD's sugar intake and spent the evening catching up with blog comments, watching TV and bed at 10pm.

184 Wednesday Blood test first thing, then off to the Mall of the Emirates for a coffee, a walk with a friend and a food shop. Peter arrived home late in the evening. My medical aid company wouldn't approve the ferritin tests unless my haemoglobin levels are low, however I've only been anaemic the once and my levels are usually fine, but my iron stores have been low for almost two years, hence why I have iron infusions that medical aid pay, but they won't pay for the tests to check its actually worked.
She just looks at me all day like this, wanting food.

185 Thursday I met a woman at the dog park on Tuesday and we swopped numbers as we live in the same estate so met for coffee in the morning. I picked up some stuff for dinner and did nothing all afternoon until Peter came home.

186 Friday Woke early at 5am and did a spot of gardening and walked Bob. We went out for Breakfast, then onto Dragon Mart, if you get a chance to go you must. You can buy anything and everything there, from a lipstick, through electronics, clothing and furniture to factory equipment. Lazy afternoon and evening.

187 Saturday Bobs annual injections. I am battered, bruised and scratched, my stress levels are though the roof. Off to see Yesterday at the cinema then back to the vets for round 2 (kennel cough) as we've left him there to give him chance to calm down.

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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

A day out with a disabled adult child

We're fortunate as parents that our eldest child, child 1 lives in an excellent home with wonderful staff and management. Yes, we've had some issues along the way especially with me only being seen as her 'step mum' quite often, despite being her 'mum' now for 20 years and most of the time having more contact with her than the rest of the family, including my husband, due to the distance we live from her.

A while ago I found myself unable to take her out on my own, usually because I hire a small car which normally only has 2 doors and she's a bit of an escape artist when it comes to getting out of her seat belt. I'm also getting older and she's getting stronger.

Normally child 2 and 2a come with me when I visit, to open doors, help guide her with steps, carry her changing bag and assist with getting her in and out the car in narrow parking spaces. But 2 and 2a are having a baby later this year and child 1 is what we call 'a bit grabby' she also lashes out, no malicious intentions, but she can pack a punch.

Usually these days I just take her for a walk around her neighbourhood or turn up with cakes and drinks to enjoy with her in her own home. Sometimes it's tricky visiting her with certain members of staff on duty, but it's a lot less painful than taking her out on my own.

This is me and child 1 when we go out. Just like Andy and Lou in Little Britain, I have this image in my mind as I'm explaining what help I need. Click on the link below.

A trip out with child 1. BBC Little Britain with Matt Lucas and David Walliams. But unlike Andy, child 1 doesn't make my life difficult intentionally.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 26 Belfast to Birmingham. A fire and Piers Morgan.

I seriously wonder how these things happen to me. There was a fire at Birmingham Airport on Sunday and the terminal was evacuated which meant we sat on the plane on the tarmac for almost an hour, the steps then were broken and it took 6 ground crew, the pilot and cabin crew, with a lot of tutting and looking at mobile phones, to sort out, then no buses were available and finally no one was authorised to open a door we were less than 5 meters from to get off the bus. I reached the flat after a cock up with the car hire, 8 hours after I'd set off in the morning for a 25 minute flight.

I also had a bit of a rant in the week and told Piers Morgan he was irritating and to shut up over on twitter. He replied to me live from Good Morning Britain, there's a link here, if you fancy a laugh.

Not well again, sorry, nothing new. The fatigue, headaches and bone pains kicked in again after all the driving the last few weeks, although it looks like I've had a busy week, the people I call in to see are actually either on route from one another or live nearby. I had to cancel a visit to my MIL in Bristol as I can't drive without back and leg pain for more than 30 miles without taking a long break to rest. Hence why I call in at other people on longer journeys.

174 Sunday A long day, said goodbye to child 4's fiancé and family and travelled to the flat in South Wales where I'm staying for the week.

175 Monday Mum and I went to visit child 1 in Gloucester and did some shopping. In the evening my nephew came down to help me assemble a wardrobe.

176 Tuesday Off to Malvern to deal with a couple of issues with the tenants and called in to see a friend, who I first met in the playground in 2002. On the way home visited child 4 and 4a then a very quick visit to my Uni friend I met 20 years ago to see her new home.

177 Wednesday Happy Birthday to me. Saw mum and nephew in the morning then off to child 1 for cake and onto see child 5 for dinner in Cirencester, calling in briefly to visit friends of Peter and I, who we both knew independently of one another before we actually met, 20 years ago.

178 Thursday Coffee with mum in town then off to our old house to visit old neighbours from 1994. Our kids all grew up together and although they're not in touch anymore, us adults are and we're all grandparents now (well I will be in September)

179 Friday Coffee in town and did some blogging, went to visit my nephew and partner to see their baby, who was born earlier this month, my DIL joined us. It was an emotional visit, very happy to meet the new baby but acutely aware his Granny, my SIL was no longer with us.

180 Saturday Took Mum to Newport and met twitter friends Simon and Rosie whom Peter and I have been real life friends with for 10 years now. Had a birthday tea with my niece, the things, nephew and mum and a quick visit to my mum's old neighbours and their twins who supported me and child 5 the night my father died in 2017.

On the blog this week:
The Museum of the Future, Dubai.
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