Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

When mental health is spoken about sadly I see a lot of women speaking about it more then men. Why? Because sometimes they can be more comfortable talking about it. It doesn’t mean men don’t have mental health issues but they are a victim of sexism in the form of being told to man up. Which is only more damaging to someone already not in the best of places. A woman may get a lot of sexism in the way people can say it’s hormones or women are just sensitive. Yet men are stigmatised thinking their genetic make up means no sadness is allowed to be felt.How often have you watched a film and seen a man cry? I don’t think I ever have. Yet I see so many films and tv series when woman cry all the time.

One person dies of suicide every 40 seconds. Now we know that did you know that more men commit suicide then women?

With media and social pressures to be a manly man there is no real help out there aimed at men sometimes. Counselling is normally advertised as women with girly fonts and colours. If a man was also to say he was going to counselling it would be more judged then a woman saying it. We need to normalise crying, emotions and allow our men and boys to feel as deeply as they can without feeling judged.

With facts like this it’s hard to ignore that men need the care and love women do. Why is it we have so many people that go around spreading love for the women and for women’s mental health but not for men. Men are barely ever spoken about. The issue is simply men have always been seen as in charge. This is a generational thing as long as history goes where men have been seen as the ones who have to have it all together. To support others and to never complain. But we don’t live in the fifties anymore. We live in generations where the burden shouldn’t be on the men as much as if we can learn from everything else that’s gone wrong in the world, we can learn to respect one another’s sex and support them and their emotions as equals.

I always regularly ask my husband if he’s okay or if he’s too stressed. I ask him to be honest with me and when I can see signs he’s stressed I try my best to allow him to talk about it or get rid of those emotions the best he can. Whether it be playing video games all night or perhaps we sit and watch a film together with our phones off. Or we go out for a long walk as a family or he even goes out with his friends for a drink. I try to actively look for signs because I always worry he won’t want to talk to me about it if he did feel low. We all need to look out for our loved ones and notice changes in their behaviours. We should all talk to each and ask how one another is doing.

Knowing I am raising a boy I want to know that he will grow up and talk about his emotions to me. I want him to know his emotions are as valid as anyone else’s and there is no need to ever man up. I want both my son and husband to always know that I am here to talk. I am always here to listen and I will never judge.

If you’re a man reading this and you have felt the stigma to not show your emotions then just know that it is okay. It is okay to cry. It’s okay to admit you may be depressed. It is okay to go the doctors to seek help. It’s okay to have medication. It’s okay to not want to go out with the lads sometimes. It’s okay to struggle and when you struggle you can and should speak about it. You can talk about it and blog just as woman do because I promise you this, you are not alone. Other men are felling the same and are also creating fabulous support groups for other men out there and blogging to show just because their a man doesn’t mean they can’t feel.

I’m hoping one day the stigma fades away as we are the generation of change it is how we raise our children that determines how the world goes on. I’m hoping for a more loving and understanding planet for all where emotions are felt without any stigma and when you can drop your mental health issues into a conversation without worrying what someone else will think I’m hoping for a planet where I see more men crying in films, where men talk as freely as women without stigma.

If you ever need someone to chat to my emails are always open.

If you are ever in crisis and need someone to talk too contact Samaritans here on- 116123 or check their website here- https://www.samaritans.org/

You can also get help and support from looking on the mind website here- https://www.mind.org.uk

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

It’s no secret that after I had Elijah when he was about ten months old I returned to work. I was full of guilt and anxiety and I was riddled with stress from work too. When I stopped working it took away a bit of my identity and slowly I’ve been working to get my identity back. I don’t want to be known as just Elijah’s mum but Charlie too. A year ago I had officially left work and I look back with no regrets. Whilst I miss doing a job that gave me purpose at times I don’t miss the long days and being away from my family.

Now that it’s been a year my thoughts on me working have changed. At the moment as it stands it is financially better for me to not work. We do not take benefits or have any help just to clarify to those who think I just gave up my job and expected the state to pay. My husband funds everything. This was also a decision we spoke about and decided before anything was done.

Through me stopping work he has been able to earn way more than we earned collectively before I had Elijah and he is only getting more successful because I am at home. With me at home this means James doesn’t have to do the school/nursery runs and loose out on hours of work everyday. This means he’s able to work as early or as late as he wishes and we don’t need to worry about Elijah. Whilst Elijah will be starting nursery in January I will not be returning to work for now. Because nobody else can drop him off and pick him up and childcare is a big issue for us. Also if I went back to work it just wouldn’t really be logical aswell because with my career path I’d only want to work in healthcare again and the hours are nowhere near flexible which I learned before I left work. The issue would still remain most healthcare jobs need you to work 8-8 and that would mean again James doing the childcare run and I’d be on a crappy wage and we’d be worse of.

My view on stay at home mums has changed too. I invisioned it to be easy and happy. That I’d be doing all these fancy crafts everyday and baking everyday. But that was not the case. It was in fact draining mentally and physically. When you don’t have plans often you sort of fade into the darkness’s where everything’s a repeat and you feel like you’re on auto drive. I expected to have this perfectly clean house all the time but then reality hit. Sure my house was clean when I worked because I was never in it! Days off normally spent going out as a family or seeing friends so when I tidied up it was a quick and easy job. Now the house often looks like a bomb has hit it when I spend my day trying to survive and entertain a toddler who loves to make mess wherever he goes.

I underestimated what stay at home mums do too. Planning days out all the time trying to find new things to do so it’s not repeated is exhausting. There is only so much you can go for coffee before being bored of the activity. Not just entertaining your child out and about but also in the house is so hard. I’ll set up a activity I’ve spent ages thinking of and Elijah picks it up puts it down and walks of demanding something else.

There’s also a limit to how much I can teach Elijah before it becomes a chore. I try to spend a lot of the day teaching Elijah so we do learning games and play but sometimes I get so sick of repeating myself I want to rip my hair out. Like this is everyday. How many times can I repeat the same sentance before I turn insane.

There’s also the no escape from your child. One thing that lockdown has done is open peoples eyes to what stay at home parents really do. People really got sick of their kids crap and it showed. People understood what it was like to have no me time and children wanting their attention 24/7. They understood that silence was a thing of the past and you never get a moment to yourself even when they’re asleep you still tidy their crap up. There’s no escape and nowhere to send them if you need a time out so you just keep going hoping your head doesn’t explode with the stress at times.

However I try not to moan about my child too much there are elements I love. I love that I get this time with him and that I don’t have to share his milestones with others. I love watching him learn and knowing that I’ve taught him that. I love playing with him and making up games.

I love seeing him grow and watching how his mind works and grows with him. I love days where we have good days and we sit and play games nicely or cuddle on the sofa. I love that I am always there to wake him up and cuddle him before bed every night. I love that I’m always there to hear his stories and when he’s seen family for the day I get to be the one he tells me all about his time.

I like being able to be at home too and when I do housework around the house I enjoy it a bit more it’s not just a quick scrub ready to return to work where I’m cleaning the house at 10pm after being out 12 hours working and knowing I have the same the next day.

I’ve noticed a change in James too. He is more happy and likes not having to drop Elijah and pick Elijah up working silly hours and working twice as hard to get work done. He no longer has to come home and cook every single night and clean up all the time. I do not cook every night or clean everyday as we both understand that it’s our house and nobody’s responsibility to do everything.

I love that I’m able to see friends more and make more time for my hobbies. I. E this blog post I write now. I also love that I don’t have to miss out on a lot of things I used to aswell.

I also love the positive effect it’s had on my anxiety. I’m not full of stress and busy working all day making myself ill. I am able to concentrate on myself more and take more time for me and my self care. I take more care in my appearance and also in the relationships I have. I don’t hold on to toxic people anymore because I now am able to see my worth.

Although life can be hard and stressful as a stay at home mum I will always be thankfull to my husband for the opportunity. I know that when I’m older and look back on these hard times with fond memories of how perfect life really was.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Having a covid-19 test.

Having a covid-19 test.

Hi all it’s me again. I’m currently laying in bed in heaps of pain after being discharged from hospital yesterday with a endometriosis flare and a unknown infection. I was in for three days so yay! I’ll do a blog post on that soon for full details but for now I wanted to do a quick post on the Covid -19 test as there’s a lot of stigma out there on how horrid it is. To clarify I do not have Covid but you are tested when admitted to a ward as to keep others safe.

So the coronavirus is pretty much still taking over our daily lives and consuming the world wherever it touches. However it is pretty simple advice now. If you show symptoms isolate and get a test. Which isn’t too complex. Although I have seen many people online scared to get a test but it is so important to get a test so we can track raises in infection rates.

So this is how it went down.

The test it’s self is done by a nurse in full Ppe. A visor, mask and apron and gloves. You’re instructed to take of your mask.

The swab is done with something that looks like a really long cotton bud. Nothing daunting. No needles, no tissue collecting just a simple swab.

First they do your mouth and ask you to open your mouth and stick out your toungue and say ahh. They then rub against the back of your throat. If you’ve ever had a swab for strep throat it is exactly like this. It will make you want to cough or gag but it’s not that bad it takes like five seconds.

After that is the slightly disgusting part. They then insert the cotton bud that was used in your throat and use again pushing to top of the nostrils. It’s not overly comfortable but it doesn’t hurt. They insert into both nostrils and it takes a few seconds again. Then it’s all done.

The good thing is atleast they don’t do the nostrils then the throat as that would be seriously rank!

No weird feelings after either! They simply just put it in a bag. You put your mask back on and that’s that.

The results are normally back by the next day.

Any other questions just ask! Thanks Charlie’s

It’s okay to feel fine one day then bad the next.

It’s okay to feel fine one day then bad the next.

One thing I’ve noticed about talking about depression is the stigma that if your depressed that means you have to be depressed 24/7. You can’t have days where you smile because clearly that would mean your faking your depression and that you’re clearly an attention seeker. This is not true.

Yes many people are in a constant loop of depression where there is no escape but some of us have days we feel okay and then crash down to the pits of depression a hour later. We can be fine all day. We can be smiling, laughing, making jokes and seem really confident. A few hours later something clicks and we can’t even move our muscles to form a smile because that’s too difficult.

We are human. Those without depression experience more than one emotion. They experience happiness, brief sadness and anxiety then they go back to happiness. So why is the stigma still there someone with depression cannot have a good day. When you put that stigma on someone it makes them think they have to fake being happy 24/7 or the opposite. The opposite is feel like they aren’t allowed to be happy. I’ve experienced this. I’ve had people make comments when I’ve had days I feel a bit better and have somewhat been told my depressions gone then! no. If my depression was gone believe me I’d be shouting from the roof tops about it.

This also works for if you have time of work with depression. A few years ago I took a few weeks of work when I worked in care because I was depressed and being bullied. When I came back to work I was treated as if I’d faked my depression as I’d came back and was even accused of not being depressed anymore because I had to pretend to be happy around my clients who picked up on negative emotions. I felt like I wasn’t entitled to smile. I wasn’t entitled to be anything other then a sad emotional mess.

People seem to get annoyed whatever you do with regards to depression. People moan when your depressed, they moan your boring or anti social, or an attention seeker. They moan if your happy. There will never be a pleasing everyone.

But know this. If you suffer depression. It is not what defines you. If you have a few days in bed down in the dumps that is okay. It is also okay to smile again. It’s okay to be happy too. You’re not an attention seeker because your chemicals in your brain have allowed you to feel positive today. You should not worry about others opinions. Why? because the only persons who’s opinions matter is your own. Because other people are not educated enough. Because until someone experiences a patch of depression themselves they will never understand what it is like to be judged for every emotion they feel!

If your reading this as someone who doesn’t have depression. Remember that they are suffering even behind the smiles. Always try to bring them up not down. Be the hand to hold, the phone all at the end of a bad day. Be a friend. Remember storms always have bright periods before the darkness creeps back for another storm.

Always here in my emails and dms, Charlie x

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

This is something I have been struggling to come to terms with and with my health anxiety at a high I tried as hard as I could not to research my disorder but I decided it was in my best interest to know what I’m battling. So basically, a few months ago I found out I have functional neurological disorder. It’s been quite upsetting to accept but I guess it’s a part of me now and something I just have to take in whether I want to or not.

How I found out I have functional neurological disorder:

To cut a long story short, I had INTENSE shoulder pain radiating from my arm to my chest. I put of going to the doctors due to trying to over come my health anxiety and i was sent to the doctors by counsellor who could see i was getting breathless from the pain. When i got there my arm had started to become numb and i thought it was just a seriously intense pulled muscle. They where worried and sent me immediately to the hospital. When i arrived i had numerous neurological work ups, bloods and x-rays and a ct scan. They believed i had a stroke but after the ct scan couldn’t pick up anything i was sent home with very strong painkillers and told to come back if it got no better. A few days later i lost function completely in the arm. I ignored it but then i got so much pain in my chest i had a asthma attack from struggling to breath. I called 111 where they where going to send a ambulance out again worrying i’d had a stroke. Instead we drove to a and e after waiting and cancelled the ambulance. After being in a and e again they did more extensive checks this time and after being poked and prodded by around 8 different people we came to a conclusion i needed more tests. The stroke team came down this time and could see i had lost function and worked out my reflexes are less down one side of body and on that side i couldn’t feel as much and was a lot weaker than my other side. I was sent for a MRI scan and sent to the stroke ward. They discovered after more testing that i have functional neurological disorder. I was discharged with not much information other then a website and a letter confirming to my doctor i have functional neurological disorder.

What is functional neurological disorder?

Basically suffers with functional neurological disorder have problems with their nervous systems functioning. It effects the signals by brain wants to send to my body parts. The body wants to communicate something and cannot. The messages get confused and this causes the body to be confused. The pain is real. The symptoms are real. The symptoms are very similar to those who are experiencing/have experienced a stroke and very similar to those suffering other neurological problems such as MS.

The symptoms of functional neurological disorder:

  • Non epileptic seizures.
  • numbness.
  • Inability to use a part of the body.
  • Conversion disorder.
  • Weak limbs.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Paralysis.
  • Speech issues.
  • Numbness/ tingling feelings.
  • Pain.
  • Vision disturbance.
  • Tremors.
  • Spasms.
  • Irritable bowel and increased urination.

Causes of functional neurological disorder:

  • Childhood trauma.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Chronic pain (yay endometriosis).
  • Stress

Is there a cure?

In short no. Study’s have shown that Physiotherapy and counselling can help individuals but it is not completely effective. Pain relief can help but again does not cure and you could become addicted from taking pain killers to frequently.

Will I get worse?

At the moment I have no idea what will happen. Some days are better then others with the pain. I’m normally okay and then after some sort of stress or over working myself I’m in pain again. For now I try not to think of the future and think of today. I’m grateful for my family and friends and my health I have today. I won’t worry about the future until I’m firmly in it.

As always thanks for reading love Charlie x

Health anxiety in a pandemic

Health anxiety in a pandemic

It never goes away health anxiety. You have a few good days then wham you’re back. Back in the loop of questioning every bodily function which can be completely normal but to you it’s like your body’s going to explode. Health anxiety as I’ve already touched on before in previous blog posts is basically thinking worse case scenario of every illness and feeling your body goes through. In a age of google we seem to think it’s our best friend when in fact it can be a dark, dark place. It’s simple google my symptoms and I’ll be assured? But what about when I google a headache and think I have a tumour or if I have a weird mole that it’s then cancer? How I’d explain health anxiety is being a catastrophic thinker on overdrive.

Over the last few months covid has been doing it’s rounds in the press and media and there is literally nothing you can do to not hear something about it. Unless your armish of course. With a complex list of symptoms completely similar to the common cold and hay fever it’s hard to not think a sniffle is the virus. With talks of death being amongst the most talked about thing in the virus I’ve come to accept that this is a deadly virus and it scares me to think about it.

A few months ago I had a numb arm and chest pain just as the corona virus had sort of had one or two cases in other countries to wuhan. I tried to not let my health anxiety get the best of me and go to a doctors appointment as for some reason I thought I’d be sent to hospital and I was worried about infection there. I took more painkillers and went to my counselling session and became really in pain so much so she cancelled the appointment and told me to go to the doctors. The doctors where very worried and sent me to hospital. While they’re I spent the whole time panicked I’d get corona virus and panicking. I santize to my hands where red raw. It was there I found out I have fnd which caused the symptoms and will return again and again. Coming out of hospital I felt so worried I’d get the virus again and was super scared to be around crowds exetera. I obviously didn’t have it but every time I felt warm or coughed that was it I had it.

After being in lockdown my health anxiety is still pretty high. I hate going out. If someone gets near me on a walk or something I want to rip my skin off and smack them with it and retreat home fast. Even though James and I have had no social contact in months I worry I’ve got it sporadically. Everytime I feel warm. Everytime my asthma is triggered by hay fever that’s it I’m dying.

The thing is with health anxiety is it doesn’t go away. When self isolating it still doesn’t make me stop worrying. Finding a new lump or mole means I have melanoma or lymphoma. Having a blurry eye day makes me think I’m going blind. Stomach pains or reflux from Ibs makes me think back to my endoscopy days and think right there’s defiantly cancer or Crohn’s disease forming in there. Now that I know I have fnd I still think am I having a heart attack or have I had a stroke even though I know it’s from this disease. Things don’t blur into the background but us anxiety suffers are trying to suppress our emotions, our need for reassurance from others because we worry about the pandemic and that we might be annoying someone. If we where to get seriously I’ll aswell would we want to go to hospital due to being deathly afraid of all the confirmed cases at them?

So if you like me suffer with health anxiety and struggle to think clearly during the pandemic know that you’re not alone. You’re okay. Your doing incredible to be stuck inside overthinking everything that’s going on with you and your body and the world. It’s okay to be scared to be around others and it’s okay to want personals space. Look after your physical and mental health.

As always my dms are always open!

Being afraid of the unknown

Being afraid of the unknown

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve had a peaceful weekend and had lots of fun. I thought i would write this blog post because i’m feeling quite anxious at the moment and many others are too. I’m talking about the unknown which is the corona virus or covid-19 for short. As each day passes more and more scary articles and posts are being put up and the world is going mad i am afraid of the unknown.

I am not scared about getting the virus as i have been with other illnesses. Previously when around many illnesses as a healthcare worker i had all sorts of fluids all over me and never caught anything bad such as hiv, mrsa, hepatitis or any other nasty illnesses. This is because i have always practised good hand hygiene and followed policies which have been put in line for a reason. If i was to catch covid-19 i will hope for the best and practise self isolating and look after myself to the maximum i can still following exceptional personal hygiene standards. However i am afraid of my family and friends catching it and that scares me. The thought about someone around me catching it makes me very anxious indeed.

I am becoming increasingly more anxious about other humans and their behaviour. I have witnessed and experienced fear when shopping where we can’t find the basics we need in shops. Toilet roll, pasta, tins, meat, milk, nappies, wipes, children’s snacks, formula, bread, rice, cleaning products and soap nowhere to be found in many places. Others are panic buying and developing a me before you attitude which is so toxic. I’m now worrying every time i buy something if i am being judged or now if i have brought enough i am genuinely scared that one day we will go hungry. The weird thing is why are people stock piling at the moment there is no need so i am completely confused. I also don’t understand why people are taking away toilet paper and soap from shops because surely other people need to be able to exercise good personal hygiene to avoid the spreading instead of being unable to wash their hands or wipe their bottom while people have cupboards full of soap. Let’s remember to leave some things for those at risk and only buy what we need and maybe one extra not trolley loads. Also remember that not only the elderly are at risk and that there are many young, pregnant or immunocompromised people who rely on cleaning products to be able to keep well and healthy from all germs not just covid-19.

I am afraid of the unknown on what is happening. I live in the uk and our pm has basically just said some people will die and good luck essentially. I feel like we are in the hunger games at times like this. We have been told that schools will close and then they will not. Some events are being closed without notice. There is no communication to the people. There is limited information and people want and need information in order to process things calmly and rationally. I also feel the appropriate steps are not being taken. I personally do not agree with schools shutting unless everywhere is put on quarantine and bills freezed till everything is back to normal so that no income is lost. My reason behind this thought process is that children have TERRIBLE hygiene standards and i know full well parents will be going out with their children and not staying inside which means more people around and more risk of infection. Where as if they stayed at school they would be more contained to one place and somewhat safer. If only schools closed many parents would loose their jobs or incomeand not be able to recover from the time taken off too look after their children. This would be because there would not be a nationwide quarantine with bills frozen. If everything was quarantined and all bills stopped at once the world could continue as normal but there is no plan and they’ll wait till it’s too bad. I also feel for people who would still need to work such as the whole of the health and social care section. How would they be quarantined however with them going into work and then coming home after work? Would they count this as reduced quarantine. However if bills are frozen there should be good incentives for those staff to be going in full stop.

There is too much negativity in the press and social media and all it is doing is scare mongering. All that is being spoken about everywhere is the virus and i myself can’t help it now too. I tried my hardest to avoid it, to be calm about it but now it seems to of become so much worse.This is why i am writing this blog post now Every time i listen to the radio or pick up my phone it’s death toll this, quarantine that and everything is being reported like it is the end of the world and i am worried. I am starting to worry we wont be able to pay our bills and/or food will run out and things will go terribly wrong. All people can talk about is corona virus and it gets pretty heated at times out there. People shouting at one another. Negative storys constantly and none of the good about recovering people is reported on. Everyone is thriving on fear and it’s causing everyone to be in a state of panic and concern.

I am scared to be in public now because of my health anxiety and if someone sneezes near me i worry oh god am i going to get it or my son and then everyone here? People are being very angry and panicky in public and busy places are now empty. I am getting anxious about peoples behaviour to others and keep hearing about fights breaking out in the news. I’m scared someone might hurt me if i grab the last of something or someone will bite my head of if i suddenly cough due to my asthma. I am also growing increasingly worried about people who might struggle or go hungry. I want to donate to food banks as i usually would in cases of these terrible times but i now think what if i need that pasta at some point and i am giving to others and then we go hungry ourselves. We do however still and will continue to donate cash to homeless shelters and chairtys monthly through direct debit or donations when we can. I want to help everyone i can at times like these but i am now asking myself can i really help anyone with such uncertainty at the moment. If i place food in the food bank will it be stolen as so many are stealing things now? I am unsure about a lot of things and i think a lot of others are unsure too. Over the weekend while away (in the uk close to home just in case) i was scared to spend money and at times be out around others. I worried things where too much expense in case we couldn’t afford our bills at some point due to people loosing money and not needing my husbands custom or being in quarantine due to him being self employed. We actually cut our holiday short kind of because of this too because their was so many people at times in places we couldn’t keep much space at then end!

I am hoping a vaccine can be made or a cure found sometime soon and the infection spread rates drop and we can go back to normal. But at the moment i am scared. I am sorry if this has scared anyone else but i feel it is therapeutic to talk these things through instead of bottling up. My blog is my safe space. My e-journal if you will and it’s how i process my emotions now without annoying others as it doesn’t have to be read. I am trying to not scare monger and only using facts i know to be true when i speak about the virus but it’s all rather scary isn’t it. I am trying to stay in as much as i feel i can and trying to avoid soft play and teaching my child hand hygiene as much as we can. Not that i wasn’t already but i feel we need to do it more now with how quick this is spreading.

How are you dealing with the virus hysteria? Have you been effected by the news and everyone else reaction to what is happening? Are things running out near to you and are you able to buy a full weekly shop with your basics?

Well i i hope you are keeping as safe as can be and keep calm in times of uncertainty! Remember to be kind and safe at all times and check on others if you can but do not put yourself at risk before tacking care of yourself. Stay safe!

Managing my health anxiety

Managing my health anxiety

Since having my son i have really been triggered by health anxiety. Before having him i didn’t have any health anxiety at all. Until i had a traumatic birth i didn’t have any concerns over my health or anyone around me really. They say traumatic events can cause certain fears and it certainly has caused this.

What is health anxiety? Basically its a catastrophic thinking but relating to health. It’s like if you have a temperature you worry your gonna get sepsis and then you’re going to die. When quite frankly you just have a temperature from the cold you’re suffering or something like that. You really worry and get anxious whenever your ill and think of all the possibilities that can happen. Google becomes your best friend and you think the worst out of every situation

When my son was born and he was ill it caused me to be petrified whenever he was ill. I worried every time he got a cold, a rash, threw up or even had a funny bowel movement. As he got older and got ill more i would panic and think the worst. I knew i was being anxious and desperately wanted to not worry so much but i couldn’t stop it. On the odd occasion that Elijah was seriously ill which resulted in admissions to hospital would always get panicky thinking the absolute worse and wrap him in cotton wool for days after. It would cause my ocd to be excessive i’d constantly be anxious and on edge and terribly sensitive to anything and everyone.

Since starting my counselling i have been able to learn a lot about myself and that the traumatic birth caused this. When i was having my c-section i was terrified i was going to die. Since i came round i have been a little petrified i will die. This has caused me to be anxious over and over when ill and it doesn’t help having a chronic illness. Also because Elijah was so ill when born and they have never found a real reason why he was ill it really caused me to be anxious about his health because i was so worried he would die or end up in hospital again. Over time i have been able to rationalise in my head when illnesses aren’t significant and just minor. Talking about why i have felt so anxious about my health has caused a lot of unresolved feelings to come out and for me to be about to explore why i have felt the way i have. I still worry when Elijah hurts himself or is quite unwell but i don’t worry as much anymore. I have been able to rationalise and think things through clearer as well as my anxiety has come down a bit with the help of counselling. I’ve been practising mindfulness and avoiding negative things in my life and that has been able to help me keep a clear and level head.

Overall i am so proud of how far i have come and if you’re feeling the same level of anxiety as i was please speak to someone it can be just the push you need to feel a bit more normal again.

Quick emergency tips to help you in a emergency.

Quick emergency tips to help you in a emergency.

We never want to imagine something happening to us or our future but sadly it can happen at any point. Having having healthcare training I’ve helped show others how to do things like emergency first aid and CPR. I’ve also used it many times in both my jobs and in public, I’ve been able to provide first aid to people in emergency’s roadside till ambulances can arrive and take control so here’s some quick advice and obviously do your own research too. I am not trained to be giving out advice but if it can help then it’s worth the quick briefing to others.

First of all I’m going to start with staying calm in a emergency. You need to calm yourself and forget who the person is to you or what state they are. You need to take a few deep breaths and centre yourself then take control. Set jobs for other people if available and take charge or follow instructions if someone is already on scene and more confident with the situation. Shout for help as soon as you have confirmed a situation is underway.

CPR. (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This is the action of giving emergency breaths and compressions to create a blood flow for someone in cardiac arrest. The action is to give oxygen to the body and keep blood flowing around the body to stop the body (brain) being starved of oxygen and to get the heart strong enough to continue to pump again. If someone is in cardiac arrest you act straight away you go not hesitate.

First check the area is safe. Inflict pain by pressing into their collar bone hard and speak to them. Say “hello, hello are you okay?” Loudly. If there is no response to pain or words they are most probably in cardiac arrest. You can also check for a pulse or feel a persons breath on your cheek. If you suspect the patient has been electrocuted contact 999 first and ask for instructions as cpr is a risk to you. If they are in a situation that could cause harm to you do not attempt first aid either. Once you’ve obtained they are suffering cardiac arrest try to get them to the floor, carefully they will be flat and floppy, if on a bed do not move them position yourself for access to them if safe to do so. When flat gently tilt their head back so that you can get a clear airway and do that their tongue can’t block their airway as easily. For a baby start with five rescue breaths covering their nose and mouth. The younger the child it’s more likely to be a respiratory problem so under 5s need to be started with five rescue breaths. For older adults begin compressions you want to do 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths you breath into their mouth hard twice and resume compressions. Intertwine your hands with palms down and apply pressure downwards. You need to be beeping or standing bedside.You want to push hard so you can get about 5 cm in to their breastbone. You can find where to start compressions by searching for the centre of their chest normally just above the diaphragm or where the rib cage ends near to nipples and on the sternum. If doing cpr to a baby you want to find a point between their two nipples and use two fingers applying no more than four cm pressure and gently. For a child you would use one hand till they are more adult sized alike the adults cpr. The number is same for compressions no matter the age. You will need to this at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute so quick and it’s easy to remember a rhythm if thinking of a song like staying alive. While doing thins about or call for help till a ambulance arrives. Send someone for a AED devise most shops and streets have these. If you call 999 they will tell you where the nearest one is and code to get it. If you are alone you may need to run for it after trying cpr if a 999 responder tells you too. The paddles are attached to the skin and the box will tell you how and what to do. Continue cpr till person comes round or help comes!

Chocking. Something so easy can happen to anyone. With a baby you want to do five hard back blows pushing downwards on a baby’s back. You want to put the baby on your lap facing a diagnal downwards position. If this doesn’t work turn baby over and begin to do chest thrusts place two fingers in middle of chest and gently compress five times. With a child lean them forward and give five hard back blows upwards again. If this doesn’t work then give five abdominal thrusts by turning them round and putting hands just above belly button and pulling in sharp five times. For a adult you do the same but harder. If this doesn’t work turn repeat over again and start the back blows again. Call 999 and shout for help once you’ve tried once and continue till blockage is clear. If not clear and person stops breathing then begin cpr.

Burns and scalds. First remove the source of burn/ scald and get to safety. Cool the burn with cool water for twenty minutes. Remove anything touching burnt area like clothes. Wrap the burn in clingfilm. Do not apply creams or touch the area. Use paracetamol and or ibuprofen for pain and depending on severity seek medical attention. Chemical burns always need attention. If this is from a fire get checked as your airways will need checking too.

Big wounds or cuts. I’m not taking a papercut in talking a deep cut, That won’t stop bleeding first apply pressure to wound with gauze or clean clothing. If a leg or arm raise the limb if you can to stop blood rushing out. If it soaks through apply more layers do not remove layer. If the bleeding is severe apply a tourniquet. Call for help if severe and 999. Get checked as you may need more care such as stitches. Keep the person warm.

Shock. If a person is in shock from a accident or something else it can cause the body to shut down. If you suspect someone is in shock lay them down and get help. Try not to scare them more. Elevate their feet if you can if suspected injury below hips. Keep warm and comfortable. Do not give food or drink. Loosen clothing and keep calm.

Recovery position if a person is breathing but unconscious and no visible serious injury to limbs put in recovery position if you suspect spinal injury do not attempt. This is to stop a person from vomiting and swallowing while unconscious so very important to do.You can see how to do this and images on how to put someone in this position.

I hope this has somewhat helps and you can find more information online here are some useful videos to help. Hopefully you never have to use this knowledge.

Cpr on baby: https://youtu.be/avYRvVHAvfM

Cpr on child: https://youtu.be/0aV9NS0ogiM

Cpr on adult: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/unresponsive-casualty/how-to-do-cpr-on-an-adult/

Chocking baby: https://youtu.be/oswDpwzbAV8

Chocking child or adult: https://www.redcross.org.uk/first-aid/learn-first-aid-for-babies-and-children/choking-child

How to put someone in recovery position: https://www.nhs.uk/video/pages/recovery-position.aspx

Don’t fear the smear.

Don’t fear the smear.

Today I went for my first smear test and it went swimmingly. I was in the room five minuites and carried on with my day. Here’s some reasons why you shouldn’t fear the smear.

First of all it takes seconds. Literal seconds the woman was in and out within one minute maybe even less. It doesn’t hurt, it feels odd but it doesn’t hurt. It’s not awkward, the doctors /nurses do not give a thought to whether you’ve shaved your legs or trimmed your lady garden because trust me they’ve seen worse and will see worse. You are given privacy to get undressed and dressed and something to place over your body. You are entitled to a chaperone if you’d prefer (this normally is not friends or family but another nurse). You get checked to see if you could have a type of virus that causes cancer. You could save your life going. It’s free in the uk and many other country’s have to pay.

What happens at the smear you may ask? Well it’s starts of by signing in at reception. You sit and wait to be called. Don’t worry nobody knows or cares why you’re there. The nurse or doctor will call you through. You will talk general chit chat and they will take your name, date of birth and address for the sample/results. They will explain the procedure if you would like them too. They will pull a curtain around the bed and allow you to get undressed bellow your waist and put these on the chair next to you. You will have a sheet layer out to cover your lap as you lay down. You call the nurse/doctor when your ready. They will instruct you how to position yourself and don’t be afraid to chat during. They’ll insert the speculum which can feel weird. They’ll use a long brush like a long cotton bud to scrape your cervix. Then they will take it out and put in pot and remove speculum. They leave you to get dressed and when your ready come out. And that’s it done.

My top tips for having a smear test.

  • Don’t be afraid.
  • Wear a dress or skirt so you can keep your dignity if you like me don’t want to show everything. In autumn/winter wear tights. You can obviously wear what you want but if you want it over and done with quickly and have a little bit of added dignity for yourself this is what i recommend.
  • Get childcare if you can. It’s easier for everyone if you can relax and the professional can concentrate.
  • You can choose whether you have a man or woman if you like. Only if it is asked for in advance.
  • Wear a sanitary towel. Some woman bleed after. Not because they’re injured it’s just because they do sometimes, better to be safe than sorry.
  • Do not have sex 24 hours before the test.
  • If you are on contraceptives or have had anything done or looking in your vagina tell the doctors first to see if suitable to have test. My first test was cancelled as I had to have my coil removed two weeks before my smear.
  • Nobody cares if you’ve shaved or not but if your worried about it just do it.
  • Research first if your worried about what will happen.
  • Ask questions.

My results will take 2-3 weeks and I’ll receive them in the post. Till then I remain optimistic and whatever will be will be. So don’t fear the smear I know it’s easier said than done but if 60 seconds of laying still could save your life then do at least try.