Four Step recovery (with a little help from Weleda)

I thought today I would steer away from writing about How Epilepsy Feels or What To Do when someone has a seizure. Instead I thought I’d share my personal post-seizure-get-better and treat-myself-regime!

After a big seizure I come to feeling utterly shattered and I need to sleep, pretty much immediately for anything from an hour to eight hours. When I finally wake up and have been checked for any extra injuries, I still feel pretty horrendous. Here is a quick run down of my general state post tonic-clonic seizure;

  • Hair: Damp with sweat whilst also stuck together  in clumps of dried spit and/or blood
  • Skin: Scratched and dried. Itchy, particularly on my face, streaked with salty tears
  • Eyes: red and dry
  • Mouth: lips bitten and cracked. Tounge and cheeks maybe cut too.
  • Whole body aching and bruised as though I’ve run a marathon and covered in dry sweat.
credit: Magdalena deviantart

credit: Magdalena deviantart

Oh yes and I am also ravenous. Not just a little hungry, like you are when you have lunch late. No, starving, like-I-will-eat-a-live-bunny-if-it-comes-too-near, so hungry, I will faint if I don’t eat. But as some cruel trick of nature I am also, liable to throw up therefore I cannot eat much for a while. It is safe to say it is one of the most glamorous looks my body can achieve and take it from me, it does NOT feel good. This is what does feel good:

1)      As I swing my legs off the bed, before I even stand up a big glass of Coconut Water and three oatcakes spread with goats butter. (provided by awesome-husband-1# ) Coconut water is the in-thing at the moment and happens to be delicious, rehydrating and bursting with electrolytes and potassium which I need to replenish. Goats butter is easier to digest than cows and helps give me a kick of energy on the oatcakes.

2)      Gently washing my mouth out with Weleda Ratanhia Mouthwash, made of plant extracts of ratanhia and myrrh, as well as essential oils of sage, eucalyptus and peppermint which are known for their toning, astringent and soothing properties it’s just the thing if I can’t use a toothbrush but want to freshen up.

3)      A warm shower. (NB: baths are not advised in the period following a tonic clonic seizure incase of a recurrence) There is little that compares to the joy of warm water on aching muscles. To accompany this wonder I have a special-treat-regime that I save just for this. After a seizure is not the time for run of the mill daily-soap. No, it is a time for wonder-person-treatments! A time to say HEY-I-SURVIVED-THAT, I am a super-being! I deserve the best! For me, so far, the best comes in the form of the multi-award-winning all natural wonder that is Weleda. Weleda products work in harmony with nature and the human being, contain no yucky extra chemicals and are all, simple-feel-good-healthful-products. With that in mind for my wonder-shower I choose:

Weleda Oat replenishing Shampoo and Conditioners – rich in soothing, restorative silicic acid, oat roots also have an extremely high water uptake. The oat extract, made from the fresh green plant, is naturally bursting with nutrients including vitamins, minerals and proteins. This makes oat extract ideal for hair in need of nourishment and extra moisture. To enhance the holistic effectiveness of the oat extract, the shampoo also contains sage leaf, a natural tonic for the scalp. Together these natural plant extracts provide the entire length of hair with restorative, nourishing care.

Weleda Lavender Soap. Made with balancing bio-dynamic iris root extract, viola and precious lavender oil to calm the senses and soothe the mind.

4) Post Shower. My skin is extra dry, raw and aching. To give it a helping hand I drench my body with Weleda’s brand new White Mallow Body Lotion. Combined with extract of wild pansy, coconut oil, sesame and almond oils. The lotion is rich in vitamin E and precious omega 6 and 9 fatty acids and was formulated to treat the itching and irritation of baby ecezema. As such it is incredibly gentle and absorbs effortlessly into my stressed-seizure-skin.

four steps

So there it is in just four simple steps and a little help from Weleda, I have transformed from post-seizure-gremlin to soft-skinned-super-woman ready to once more face the world!

Although I have written this up as a cleansing regime to use after seizures, that is because epilepsy discussion is one of the aims of this blog. However, this regime is a great recovery-plan for any situation where you find yourself at less-than-your-best; jetlag, morning-after-xmas-party, lost-the-dog, fell-in-a-pond, just-need-to-relax, you name it and this little lot will sort you out I guarantee it! This works for me I’d love to know what works for you?

Weleda

Weleda

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Therapy

Today was another BIG DAY. A day I’ve wanted to reach and not imagined getting to. Today was my last scheduled appointment with my therapist.  My last regular-appointment with a health practitioner of any sort. After two years of weekly medical-meetings this is massive this is HUGE. Perhaps I will feel the need to go back one day and that’s OK. But for now, for now, I am free. Here’s a poem to celebrate the end of one chapter and the start of the next.

The reunion of the soul and the body by WilliamBlake

The reunion of the soul and the body by William Blake

I hand over the grateful-flowers, blue buds still sheathed in green,

Smile and widen my eyes, soon those will bloom.

I turn the brass latch and click open the front door

A door of light wood and grey glass. A soft door.

I remember when I first stood on this step.

Then as now, I stood here just the same,

but then, you stood with me too.

Aloof, agonised, twisted and grim

You spoke of the future and of the past,

of logic and rhetoric.

You held my hand as I stepped inside,

curled up on my knee and soothed me with a poisoned hand.

You burrowed into my spine and clouded my brain,

You were there, not here. You were other.

The other one.

The mirror held not just me, but you too.

Over eight months, twenty weeks, as many hours and a billion words later

There is only one face that now looks back.

It’s yours and mine. Mine and yours.

I’ve made space for you. So you no longer have to fight.

You’ve come back to me and I to you.

We are one.

So now, in this moment, I know,

I am all that I can be and that is sublime.

Credit: marvelouskiddo.blogspot.com

Credit: marvelouskiddo.blogspot.com

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Zumbaing into recovery

This morning I started the day in the most wonderful way…so wonderful it’s even made me rhyme! As the next step on my recovery-journey I attended a full on aerobic excersise class, with other people, WITHOUT trawling through my illness and without any ‘special-preparations’. I just went! To hell with TMS, Pain, epilepsy, fear and their buddies, I went because I wanted to go and it was SPECTACULAR!!

zumbaSo what was this SPECTACULAR class, I hear you ask. It was…. ZUMBA. Yes indeedy and what actually IS Zumba??? Well basically it is shaking your ass to deafening Latino-styled-cheesy-music untill you’re dripping in sweat.  Launching in 2001, the Zumba brand has now become something of a phenomina with apparently 14,000,000 people in 185 countries now bumping and grinding their way to health. I am certain in Brazil, South & Central America, even in Spain and Italy the classes are amazing to watch with people perfectly in tune with each other, moving with perfect choreography, looking HOT and SEXY………..in the UK not so much…. However, as my Latino husband says I can’t help being English and I make up for it with enthusiasm!

yes

So why would someone with such discerning musical habits as myself choose to do this? Why would a self-confessed non-dancer go to what is effectively a dance class? Simply because I CAN and that, after months not walking is PURE JOY in itself! Gyms in my experience are sometimes the most depressing places, grey and mirrored and sweaty. Everyone looks like they’ve been flogged and dragged there unwillingly. No one make eye contact. Cheesy music whines in the background. People run but go nowhere. A Zumba class is the opposite full of colour and laughter. It is such a riddiculous activity that you cannot help but smile. People in Zumba classes are constantly grinning. My cheeks actually ache from smiling. Zumba reminds us to stop being so bloody serious. Our bodies are FUN, having FUN is healthy, we do not need to force ourselves onto treadmills to be healthy, instead we can simply  jump about to music like we’re five years old again. You don’t see five year olds on a treadmill do you? So why us ‘adults’?

pinsI feel so lucky that I am well enough to go to this again. The class I went to was brilliant, run by Amanda, who seemed to have as much fun as her pupils. The atmosphere was un-competitive, joyful, silly and playful. An hour of laughter and healthy bottom wiggling for only five squid! If you’re about in Brighton and would like to try it out with me this Friday. It’s guarnteed to make you smile!

Calm

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Reflections on Recovery

I can’t believe that winter is on its way and Christmas plans are already being discussed. It is with some mixed emotions that I realise that is has been nine months since I first started this blog. Nine months?! That’s the equivalent of growing a baby!!! Therefore I thought it would be apt to refelect on this year and share what baby-wisdoms I’ve grown!

wise

These are the facts of this year. For the first four months I was bed-bound. I could barely walk around the house, I had to rest after having a shower. I couldn’t dress, I couldn’t sit. The pain was constant. I saw five different Doctors, neurosurgeons, osteosuregons, pain consultants, anethetists. I saw osteopaths and chiropractors I was having daily physiotherapy. I had just lost one job due to epilepsy discrimination and now I had to resign from another. I went on to benefits. On the 19th May 2013 for the first time I wrote about discovering The Mind Body Connection and TMS . It is from that point onwards that I believe my ‘recovery’ truly began. Till then I was floundering in a sea of unformation.

healthy-lower-spine-x-ray-spl-and-photo-researchers

Slowly but surely I began to heal. The path has not been straight, not always been clear. Definitely there has been pain and fear but the truth is that I am now more healed than I thought possible, than Doctors told me was possible, than I could imagine. I still have some pain, but it is less, I still have anxiety, but it is less.  I have learnt that ‘FINE’ does not exist, being ‘fine’ is a remarkably useless statement. FINE is a linear concept and we are all somewhere along that line. What matters is how we deal with our position on that line.

I have learnt that health and wellbeing is not a destination, it is a journey one which is life-long and never-ending. Recognising that, has been a true awakening for me. TMS has opened me up to the concept of what health really means. Health is not achieved by popping a few pills to deal with symptoms. Well, not for me, no. True health involves looking at every aspect of our lives. Being present and taking action. Confidently, holistically and with determination.

7 million

Today I woke up pain-free(!!) However, shortly after getting out of bed my shoulder and neck started hurting, humming, acheing constant, nagging pain spreading to my fingers and up into my skull…I am learning to be unafraid of this pain. I journaled, I meditated and I did some yoga. The pain lessened. I hugged myself, I spoke kindly to myself and like the crazzzee-lady I am I congratulated myself outloud! I felt happier. Some pain remained. I used some heat on it. That’s OK I thought, look how much I’ve done without any other physical intervention. I have learnt to not only pay attention to the area of pain but to my whole being too.

sowing

In many ways this has been the best nine months of my life. I have learnt so much, done so much and explored much more than I thought possible. That is a wonderful thought when on paper, as a list of facts it looks very bleak. The saying is true. Clouds really do have silver linings. I hope everyone can see theirs.

Breaking free

Breaking free

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