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.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

Getting over my fear of trains and tubes

Getting over my fear of trains and tubes

This is a bit of a weird one because technically i am not really afraid of trains anymore! But i thought i should write a little something on it just in case it might help someone else.

Any how my fear all started after a member of my family died on a tube. Not in a normal way at all but in the 7/7 terrorist attacks. After then i got really funny about being on public transport especially trains and tubes. I wouldn’t even go on one for years. Eventually id go with my mum to London for day trips but i would feel like crying on them and was scared. I was to young to realise i was having panic attacks.

I think as the years went on the more i went the safer i felt but i would never go alone and relie on whoever was with me at the time to keep me safe and know where we going. It wasn’t until i was about 17 when i got on a train by myself for the first time. This was because the guy i was seeing lived a train journey away so i would have to get used to getting on a train alone sometimes. The first time i had a full on panic attack and cried at the platform. The thought of something happening or getting wrong train or something like that made me sick with worry. Luckily a train conductor calmed me down and walked me to my train. While on the train i was very anxious and unsettled the whole journey, the only thing that made me calm was watching outside the window and seeing the country side. When i got there i was relieved and felt proud. The ride home felt better and after time it felt better. I tried to keep using the train as much as i could to get over my fear and it worked. However trips to London still made me incredibly anxious and using a tube. Now however after using them so often i have started to feel calmer on them. I do feel anxious getting the correct tube and when it’s busy and stops but counting in my head to ten an closing my eyes has helped. I try to go weekdays too so it’s not so busy and avoid rush hour.

So my advice to you is to try and keep trying it as it will get better with time. To try to distract yourself with things like reading or looking our a window. To take someone with out who may be able to help you keep calm. To organise your time and day going, also look into journey, times and where to board.Ask for help if you need it.Practice breathing exercises when feeling stressed. Most of all remember you will be okay and its worth the journey!

Why relaxation is important

Why relaxation is important

It’s hard not to get stuck in the negativity of the world both physically and mentally. We neglect ourselves in the sense that we are tense, over worked and we do not take care of ourselves. Being busy and working it’s hard to enjoy both family time and our own time and take care of ourselves while taking care of others. I’ve recently really been concentrating on trying to give all my love to my family, to relax with them and to relax on my own. To try and have some me time but also make sure most of our we time is as stress free as it can be. With a toddler that is hard but it’s all about trying to do relaxing things and not iver exerting ourselfs. Not being too busy or doing things we don’t want to do. Not glueing ourselves to routines while trying to respect a need for some things like a bedtime.

It’s important to practise self care and relaxing doing it. Be that having a nice bubble bath or shower and using your best moisturiser and products. It’s taking the time to put your phone away and taking a few deep breaths, relaxing your muscles from your head to your toes and letting yourself be. It’s talking to others and seeing others. It’s having me time and accepting that is okay. It’s both the silence and the noise. It’s reading a book or playing a video game to unwind. It’s a coffee or a slice of cake to relax and just take your mind of life for a second and relax into the taste. It’s taking a spa day as a treat if you can and really relaxing into it. It’s taking time to just leave reality and avoid the news, social media and everything and just be you. It may even be blogging but it is so important to relax. Going for a relaxing family walk or to see family and play games. It’s enjoying and being present having a cuddle and relaxing into it instead of being tense and rushed because of stressed feelings. Remember how important you are and how important your mental and physical health is and that you can and should always relax and put yourself first. How can we love others when we cannot love ourselves enough to have five minutes.

Sometimes it’s good to have me time.

Sometimes it’s good to have me time.

Whether your me time includes sitting watching a series in bed or having a bath we all need a bit of me time. Whenever you become someone who’s either a parent or partner to someone you give up the freedom of having your own space all the time. And sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you love spending time with other people you need that me time. It’s very difficult when you live with others to just separate yourself of to have some me time but sometimes it can be really good for all party’s involved.

When I first moved out i had different work patterns from James so we had a lot of me time and enjoyed every minuite together as quite frankly we didn’t see each other enough to want me time. When I changed job I had more normal hours so again there was some me time but not a lot. When Elijah came along me time was out the window for quite a while and going back to work I didn’t have much me time either. But now since becoming a stay at home mum and experiencing the stress of not having the option to be left alone at times I’ve certainly come to love me time.

Whether it’s having a bath when Elijahs gone to bed with some relaxing music and candles. To watching a tv series when he naps I sometimes need that time to unwind and not think about what I need to do and entertain others. I try to get James to have me time too, sometimes I’ll say you play a game and I’ll have a bath and when I’m done you can have a bath and I’ll read a book. Sometimes we enjoy me time together in The same room doing our own little thing but just in the same room. For example I’ll read a book while James plays on his xbox or he’ll edit photos while I’ll watch tv.

Sometimes we need a break like when Elijah goes to his nans sometimes. I used to feel guilty when Elijah went to his nans like I’m supposed to spend every minuite of his life with him. But he loves his nans house and she loves him coming over. He asks to see his grandparents daily and always comes back pooped from all the fun. Not to mention when he comes back he misses me and gives me the biggest cuddle which melts me. We also need the break from each other sometimes because when he’s been tantruming all week and I’ve been getting irritated sometimes it’s good just to take a breather and destress. So that we can sometimes just but that reset button with a positive mindset.

Sometimes it also helps to leave the house. Sometimes you want to be your own person and go out and destress with none of the baggage of another person where if you want to do something you can without the stress. Sometimes it’s good to let your hair down even for a few hours. A trip to the hair dressers or to see friends can feel amazing.

On Wensday night I went to bingo and it felt really good. Don’t worry I’m not a gambling addict because I haven’t been to bingo since Elijah has been born I know right shock horror I haven’t been to bingo in two years. I had a discount code so we had dinner and a game of bingo it was quite a laugh and it was nice to be distracted by something else. Sometimes it’s nice to identify as Charlie again not mummy or wife. We also won double our money back again so every cloud I gusss! We both try to go out every few weeks in the evening so we have that me time. We normally always go at 7 when Elijah is in bed so he doesn’t miss one of us when we leave.

Although I adore being a mum and wife I will always need me time. Because sometimes you need to handle your feelings and destress. If you’re constantly wanted and talking you can feel a lot of pressure and struggle so sometimes you need to sit in a bath or watch a show in peace and that is okay. If you’re feeling particularly down be selfish and relax because sometimes that is what you need to be at you best.

The loneliness of becoming a stay at home mum.

The loneliness of becoming a stay at home mum.

One thing that is a bit of a taboo subject is talking honestly about being a stay at home mum. Everyone expects a positive reply when they ask how a stay at home mum is doing. They expect us to say we love life when truly we do but sometimes its not all sunshine and rainbows.

When the husband goes of to work in the morning it can be a lonely world. Yes you are never alone but in reality you cant hold a conversation with a two year old. When a baby is first born everyone wants to visit you then slowly but surely you end up alone just the two of you. When your friends are busy or cancel last minute you can fall into a bit of a pit. When your stuck at home for days on end you miss talking to other people. When the highlight of your day sometimes is just when your other half comes home so you can talk too somebody. Sometimes you feel a bit desensitised to the world and you don’t feel you can contribute to conversations as much anymore as your thought of as someone who just sits at home living the life of luxury. Which is not true. Spending every waking moment teaching a child everything you know is exhausting. Sometimes you dont have the energy for adult conversations or to engage in anything going on around you. Watching childrens tv all day makes your brain turn off and watching normal adult TV used to help me feel more in touch with the world around me and ive lost the ability to have control over that now.

Its true you’re never really alone and can always talk to your toddler but sometimes they want to be there own person. Sometimes they want to play and enjoy their own company and then your left there waiting until they want your attention again. Or if they’re overly clingy it can also cause you to feel drained emotionally and feel lonely in your emotions.When they are being naughty or upset or ill it can cause you to become tired or irritated. When you feel irritated its hard to not let your emotions get the best of you and that can make you feel alone. Its hard to talk about how you’re feeling without a element of judgement and resentment from others. I feel alot of mothers who work or have had to work feel jealous that others get to stay at home and that angers them and causes a sense of strong resentment. You’re expected to be happy all the time and not entitled to feel any other emotion. People think that you’ll enjoy the same thing everyday and not grow tired or stressed. Having worked previously while being a mother i struggled to accept the mum guilt and my mental health. But i do miss the adult conversation. Talking to people and enjoying being at home that little bit more. I miss the break sometimes and it felt like sometimes work was more of a social occasion.

People invite you out less because they just presume you cannot find childcare. So you get left out. Childcare is a big issue too because you cannot always find childcare and also going out in evenings is not always when some people always want to go out. You also find that leaving work people don’t bother to speak to you as much if not atall. You’ve left so who cares if you exist in the real world outside of work right?

Overall i am so greatful that i do not have to work anymore and that my husband can provide a life for us where we never go without and still have luxuries because of this. I am extraordinarily lucky to be able to stay at home and enjoy watching my little boy grow up but sometimes i feel alone and that is okay. And if you are feeling like me too then know that your not alone and there are plenty of other mums who feel the same. Even the mums who go out everyday to avoid that feeling are feeling it too. Don’t believe everything you see online because not all stay at home mums are all sunshine and rainbows all the time. You can feel alone but know that you’re not alone.

Being organised at Christmas

Being organised at Christmas

Now that Halloween is over and done with we will be packing away the decor and getting ready for Christmas. There’s nothing better than lighting your first Christmas Yankee candle if the season which I’ve already got chosen! But one thing we always do around the Christmas time is stress. We stress over who we’ll see and when, if we are hosting or being the guests. Many people don’t enjoy Christmas as they have to yoyo around to so many family members houses they cannot enjoy the day.

This year I’m staying put. We decided it’s not worth the stress we will stay in and have Christmas dinner at home. We always go to family’s and end up at 3/4 different houses a day and not only is it exhausting and tiring it’s also a bit rude it’s like thanks for the presents now I look like it’s all I came for as I’m on to the next time slot! When you have a kid it’s even harder of course they love the attention but they get very tired and angry as they don’t want to stop playing and miss anything.

Organising at Christmas for me is looking after myself and not getting all stressed and uptight. Who knows I might really enjoy Christmas this year if I just try to relax. Here are some organising tips I’m going to live by.

Don’t stress Christmas presents, buy what you like for people and if you think someone will like it then that’s all that matters. Don’t bankrupt yourself and don’t worry if something’s on the cheeper side it’s all about giving and spreading joy not the cost. Also slowly buy things before Christmas to one save a big cost at once and also so you are organised and know you have everything in time.

Make plans in advance even if it annoys family talking about it. You need to make plans in advance if you have a lot of people to see.

Try not to over book yourself. If you do that you’ll end up stressed. I will do the Christmas present drop offs on Xmas eve for those I don’t see on Christmas Day or day after Christmas as I always have done. I feel like Santa and it’s something I enjoy but this year I won’t be doing as many stops.

Great lists on what you need to buy, gift ideas and food shops. Being able tick of what you’ve brought is such a great feeling. I love my Christmas planner I’ve had for four years and this year I’ll need a new one, it is so helpful for not only knowing what I’ve brought but also what I’ve spent and wrapped so I can budget.

Wrap and label presents as you buy them. Saves the stress of wrapping everything quickly and also if you want to give people their gifts early you can just put them in a bag and if you go.

Any time sensitive presents need to be sorted well in advance. I’m making a little photo book for my grandma and nan so I need to get the family together before hand to take photos. We’re doing this ourself as we have good cameras and a tripod so would prefer to take ourselves at the park. Obviously we have to arrange a day all my family can come and then have to send to be put into a book or on a canvas So we’d need extra time. If your planning anything hand made and not shop brought you could be waiting a while at Christmas so it’s best to buy well in advance.

If you’re dieting try not to be too strict. But also don’t go to mad. Buy a few Christmas snacks and don’t restrict your Christmas dinner but don’t pig out for days. Your essentially going to get snacks for Christmas it’s inevitable so this year don’t eat as you get them stretch them out over the next few weeks/months. The foods not going to do a runner. You may think this isn’t organising but sometimes you need to organise what you buy so you don’t go crazy!

Buy yourself a gift. When your buying other people gifts you forget about yourself. See a nice bath set or cosy pjs you’d quite like buy them. Sometimes we need to treat ourselves and a bit of retail therapy is just the way. After all that shopping you deserve it.

Overall just enjoy Christmas and the season try not to worry about pleasing everyone and just relax because it’s all about the memories and nothing else.