Here’s to Partners (and Weleda!)

In the hospital waiting room there’s a hand on my knee. I’m sweating. I don’t want to be here, the lights are too bright, it’s too hot, there’s a funny too-clean-smell and the seats are sticky. A poster on the wall reminds me how to give first aid when someone has a seizure. An electronic board beeps above us, a name flashes up, but it isn’t mine. My head spins. I grab that hand and hold on tight, it’s warm and dry against my clammy one. Big fingers return my grip and an arm loops over my shoulder. “It’s OK” he says “Remember we’re on our date-night!” I look up and meet my husband’s serious eyes, I snort with laughter “I love our dates” I reply. And suddenly my head stops spinning and the light’s not really too bright, if I take off my jumper I won’t be hot and I can  face this new Doctor we’re waiting to see.

When I first met my husband I was having a particularly challenging time health-wise, it was before the blog and writing and before I understood my chronic pain. I went through a phase of regular Doctor appointments, they were so regular that they interrupted my free time, so my then boyfriend, now husband started coming along too. He called those appointments our ‘date-nights’. An idea which cracked me up and kept me going.

There’s not enough space on the internet I think for the myriad of little things my husband does for me everyday that help me be well. Helps make me the person I am and heal me from all that is past. Hand-holding, song-singing, hair-stroking all bestowed on me constantly, steadfastly, freely and I am amazed by this unfailing support.

Now as I find myself venturing further down my still new (4 month) pregnant adventure I think of all those women who face this path alone. Through choice, through loss, through work forcing their partners away, whatever the reason, I stand in awe of them, of you! I think I have had challenges in my life, however, nothing compares to facing my first pregnancy. Morning Sickness has made me feel more ill than I have ever felt before and I don’t think I’m a hypochondriac! Truly. It is an emotional and physical rollercoaster and without a partner…well I don’t even want to imagine.

The latest support role my husband has taken on is that of ‘Official Masseuse’. Now, some err less wholesome, shall we say, readers might think ‘how great, keeping the romance going! Bit of frisky action….!’ But let me just stop you right there!! A better title for this role would be ‘Official-but-not-sexual-Massesuse to emotionally-unstable-constantly-puking-sweaty-gaseous-whiney-pregnant-lady-with-massive-tits-which-you-cannot-sexually-touch-ever!’ It is, I assure you not a particularly attractive pastime. What it is however, is a display of total and utter love, kindness and selflessness. And it is getting me through the days more than any Doctor or prescription ever could.

The oil which husband-of-the-year is currently using for this purpose is almost as amazing as him and is, so far the only product I have found which is guaranteed to make me feel better! It is Weleda’s Stretch Mark Massage Oil and it is quite simply luscious! In pregnancy my sense of smell has gone crazy and I can’t stand any synthetic fragrances but somehow this oil is not only standable but so soothing. Made from a blend of essential oils Geranium, Lavender, Orange and extract of Arnica which eases inflammation. It is incredibly warming and comforting with a lingering fragrance that somehow takes the edge off my sickness too. I had no idea how rapidly my body would start changing and growing in pregnancy (I’ve gone up 3 bra sizes!) before I found this oil and before I had an ‘Official Masseuse’ my skin was getting dry and itchy but now it’s super soft and supple. It has now become my single ‘must-have’ product for pregnancy. My only complaint is I’d like a bigger bottle! So once again here’s to Weleda, a brand which never seems to fail me and here’s to partners. You both make the world of a pregnant lady a much better place!

Stretch Mark Massage Oil

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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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Triggers

Epilepsy is scary. It’s terrifying. That is a fact. Most people I’ve met seem to comprehend that. It is taken as red. Seizures are scary. Of course. Claro que si. Definitely. Understandable…..

It would be a massive understatement to say that people do not realise how difficult it is for me to talk about epilepsy. How the words seizure, fit, convulsion, screech through my brain with a violence more shocking than anything in X-rated films. How much of an effort no I dont mind talking about it, it’s OK what do you want to know? really is. I always mind. I mind SO much it hurts, but what I would mind even more is seeing pain on a persons face if they ever knew this. So I cope. I force a smile and I answer questions and each time a piece of my heart falls into an abyss and I can’t follow.

epilepsy awareness

I learnt something new recently. That for me and I suspect for others with epilepsy too my epilepsy triggers are just as scary as seizures… Even though I’m on meds which ‘work’ and unlikely to go into a grand-mal I am afraid. Everyone is different. My epilepsy is usually, but not always triggered by; STRESS, particularly lack of sleep and low blood sugar. When I run into a trigger I now see that my initial response is fear, cold dread, rapidly followed by panic and this gets turned into anger and then round I go.

Via EpilepsyFoundationFL

Via EpilepsyFoundationFL

In the very early hours of this morning I hit a trigger. I was woken by music suddenly blasting through the flat. My head spun. Sleep, sleep, sleep. I need to sleep, I must sleep, or else….or else… I thought it was a car. I rolled over trying to ignore it, it continued. The base rattled the window glass and vibrated the bed. By now I was wide awake and furious, it was 3am…..prime seizure-alert-time, prime-panic-time… I got out of bed and realised it was our neighbour. Rubbing sleep away, barefoot, heart pounding in my ears I crossed the garden to his front-door. It was so loud the door was rattling. I knocked on the door. After what seemed an eternity, he opened it apologised and turned it down. I felt sick and cold. Holding back the tears I stumbled back to bed, muddy feet on the  clean sheets. Sleep found me at last.

epi

I woke up in the dawn light. Something was wrong. I hurt. In a new way, what now TMS I thought? I looked at my hand. It is swollen and bruised across the knuckles and along the palm….I had knocked on the neighbours door so hard in the night that I have hurt myself, at the time I felt nothing, but now………I am shocked and appalled. Terrified that I did this to myself, took it out on his door, because he woke me up?! WTF WTF WTF

fear

If there is a rabbit hole and Alice is in it then I have surely joined her and have totally lost my mind…… I can’t cry I am numbed by this. A trigger. Just a trigger not even a seizure has injured me…………….WTF?

The wine in the fridge is calling to me. A duvet and darkness are what I want. Instead I choose these:

choose

I choose a zumba class and a hot shower. I choose to know that I am not alone. That others know how this feels. I know you are there and that helps. I choose to know I AM FINE and OK. I am loved and I DO LOVE. I am not bad.

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Revamp Roses!

I had my first consultation with new and improved Chronic Pain Specialist today and it ROCKED MY SOCKs. In a few hours I learnt so much and feel empowered, enlightened and positive about the future. However it was also incredibly exhausting, emotionally and physically draining. My whole body is aching as though I’ve run a marathon…(not that I’ve ever done such a thing!), my legs are heavy and my eyes are barely staying open, despite the fact it is barely mid-morning. I nearly fell asleep during my yoga practice which was carried out at a far more sedate pace than usual!

changess

I have learnt recently that there are moments when I need to STOP. LISTEN and ACCEPT what this earthy, fleshy, body I am currently using is telling me. I think we could all do with this a little more. Right now mine is telling me HAVE A SHOWER, you probably smell, water will soothe your limbs and your mind and after the shower you get to treat yourself to a WELEDA-MOMENT.

I have been developing alot of Weleda-brand-love recently. It is unusual for me to get so into something. But Weleda is just so full of feel-good-goodness it’s hard not to! I find their story fascinating and was amazed to learn recently that Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose work in education I have read and admired, the chemist Oskar Schmiedel (1887-1959), along with Dr. Wegman, developed the first pharmaceutical products whose concept has formed the basis for Weleda’s product philosophy to this day: the medicine should provide crucial stimuli for the body’s own healing powers. This idea pre-empted what complementary medicine and its research know today: healing is brought about by holistically formulated pharmaceutical products that stimulate the body to heal itself. I want to learn all about it as well as use all their yum yummie products.

Weleda Rose Day Cream

Today my post-shower Weleda-Moment, consits of Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream. I have always been very cautious of scented creams as I have super-sensitive-pictures-of-the-sun-burn-me skin, but with Weleda products I have no need to worry.  It is an incredibly uplifting moisturiser that leaves me smelling so rosy I can ditch any extra perfume needs.

Sourced sustainably and using fair trade policies, Weleda sources the Wild Rose species of Rosa moschata, Rosa rubiginosa and Rosa damascene. The tiny seeds from these roses contain extremely precious oil – 80-90% unsaturated fatty acids that have remarkable healing ability and can help keep skin blemish free. Recent trials have demonstrated the ability of Rosa moschata oil to heal post-operative scars. As a good source of retinol, rose also has the ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while its unsaturated fatty acids nourish dry skin. In Summary, this creamy-ancient-love-symbol-potion is the best way I have yet found to show my body some love after an exhausting start to the day and just to make it EVEN better there is also Wild Rose Smoothing NIGHT Cream to explore too!  One Love Weleda!

 

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