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3+ years later…

Wow, I can’t believe the last time I blogged in here was December 2013!

I am going to embarrass myself now, but I get so confused by maths. 2013-2017 is 4 years, but as the last post was as the very end of the year and so almost 2014, then it doesn’t seem like I can really call it 4 years (as to be 4 years I’d have to be writing this in December of this year, not February!). So I’ve just said 3+ years haahaa.

I guess I stopped writing in this blog because I wanted to just “get on with my life” and “forget about POTs”. In a way though, I wish I’d documented the journey I’ve been on. I’ll try and catch up on the past 3 years as succinctly as I can, and from here on to post more often in here.

Since being on ivabradine (which I am still on), my POTs has been mostly stable- I went to full time uni no problem and passed my PGCE (2013), did a few months on supply before landing my first job (Jan 2014) during which I completed two terms of my NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher year- all teachers now have to pass this in addition to their teacher training- you do it on the job and have a mentor who ticks you off against 8 teaching standards. Each standard is broken down into many subcategories though so it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Also, if you fail it, you don’t get another chance to do it and you can no longer teach as a qualified teacher!). I secured a job for the following September (since my first job was a maternity cover) but I didn’t have a happy placement. Basically, all the shit that could hit the fan hit it, all at once.

  1. I had decided to try being free of birth control hormones (which I had been on for years due to incredibly painful periods).
  2. This wasn’t going well- I bled for 40 days straight and became anaemic, weak and exhausted.
  3. I went to the doctors about my erratic cycles and they ran some tests, discovered a hormone imbalance and sent my for scans.
  4. They found I had a fibroid and cysts on my ovaries.
  5. Builders came in to our classroom to fit a new roof, so we had to pack up everything on one side to the other side whilst they did that side, then once they finished one side, pack everything up on the unfinished side and move it across- then once they’d finished both- redistribute it all! Needless to say, it did my POTs no good at all- especially my brain-fog, as everything was in disarray and I couldn’t remember where things had been moved to!
  6. My final lesson observation didn’t go well at all and suddenly I was told I would fail my NQT- one month away from the time I was supposed to be completing it!
  7. This was happening in November- which has always been my worst time of year for fatigue and low mood thanks to S.A.D.
  8. I went through a LOT of stress, working my butt off trying to prove myself, all whilst feeling increasingly unwell. Between the hormones and the stress, my POTs flared up badly. I had to have weekly meetings with my mentor, who motivated through fear and threats and questioning my integrity (asking me if I had planned a lesson the night before when I’d worked on it a whole week and sought advice from my Mum, an ex-teacher of 30+ years experience and highly regarded as “Outstanding” during her career!) which reduced me to an anxious, nervous, full-of-self-doubt WRECK.
  9. I was told on over 4 occasions that she (my mentor) was going to come in and watch me teach, so would work extra hard to be overly prepared (and extremely stressed and anxious given the circumstances), only for her not to come.
  10. I struggled into work with the ACTUAL FLU because it was one of the aforementioned days she was going to come and watch me, and I so wanted to prove I was worthy and could pass. She was not at work.
  11. I got an extension on completing my NQT- meaning I had until Easter to do it- which was the one and only good thing that happened.
  12. It snowed a shitload my second week back after Christmas and my car broke down as I tried to get to work. I didn’t have the energy to walk to the bus-stop carrying my bags as my heart was thudding just walking a few metres in the snow, so I walked home and called in sick.
  13. Once I stopped, I realised how exhausted and poorly the job was making me so I never went back.

I ended up feeling like quitting teaching altogether, but I took 9 months off to recover- during which I took a couple of wonderful holidays: Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands solo, and to Lanzarote with my parents to celebrate my Mum’s 60th, which I enjoyed just as much in a different way. Towards the back end of the job finishing and deciding to never go back,  I also joined a Sangha (meditation community) in Chesterfield with Lee. That really helped me through a lot of the mental and emotional stress I was feeling around that awful time.

Oh, and I also had the fibroid investigated- initially they thought they might be able to remove it under local anaesthetic but whilst I was having the procedure they saw it had too much blood supply and was bigger than suspected, so they just put a coil back in to help with my pain and crazy bleeding cycles- and I have been much better since.

Once September rolled round again, I went on supply- for something to do to earn money whilst I figured out what else I might do. This ended up being really enjoyable and brought me my confidence as a teacher back. I would have continued with it if only I could- but the cruel thing is, you only have 5 years from qualifying during which you can do supply without being put through your NQT again. If you don’t get a position to be put through your NQT, you can’t supply anymore. 

So, that brings us up to now- I have got a position at a great nursery and am working part-time towards my NQT, so it should finally be done by the Summer! POTs has been much better since I had the coil in again and since I started taking B12, which seems to give me more strength and stamina. I do however now have a new health issue, chronic migraines. I haven’t found anything that helps with that yet and am loathe to try anything new whilst I’m doing my NQT, so I’m just muddling through them as best I can.

 

 

 

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Me dancing in a bar in Amsterdam with no one else on the dance-floor! I honestly did feel a little bit self conscious at first but I didn’t want to let that stop me- that song came on and I love it and wanted to dance! My initial reaction was ‘no I can’t coz no one else is’ but then I thought- no! I WANT to dance, why be embarrassed and let an empty dance floor stop me? I’m in Amsterdam, I’ve come here to have fun, I am GOING to dance and enjoy it and that’s that! I can’t believe a table of girls clapped me when the song finished! That made my night lol 🙂

http://s795.photobucket.com/user/katiecatwoman/media/Amsterdamgooddancinglol.mp4.html

Just a couple of weeks ago I was feeling really quite concerned about how drained and tired the virus I had was making me feel- it felt like a chronic fatigue syndrome type relapse and I was extra worried because of all the social events I had coming up and also the starting of the full time job in January. 

However, just in time for the first social events (a friend’s 30th and a masquerade ball last weekend), I felt my energy starting to return. I was still apprehensive about going out twice in a row when I was only just starting to get better but I did it and I had a fabulous time. I even managed to dance a lot at the ball without too much in the way of repercussions. The following week I just took it easy (aside from a visit into school) so by this weekend I was once again ‘ready and raring’ to go. This time it was a night with the girls Friday night (which thankfully involved staying in at our friend’s house, playing games and eating lots of food), then a carol concert and a pub crawl Saturday night- the latter of which was really good fun. Then last night I went out for about an hour to my Great Auntie’s as she was having a get together at her house in celebration of her golden wedding anniversary. 

And today- I feel almost normal- I had a reasonable lay in til 9am (but wasn’t asleep, I’d been awake since 5) and I don’t feel overly tired OR potsy. I am doing better than ever, it seems like each year since 2009 when I finally got diagnosed and on treatment, I have improved a little bit more and a little bit more. This year it’s thanks to the dietary changes I have made, cutting out sugar (except for special occasions) and going almost completely veggie, plus avoiding dairy almost completely too. 

These social events and all this busyness has given me a real confidence boost as if I can do all that at a time just after when I wasn’t feeling very good, it shows that I can recover from viruses now just as well (or maybe even better, who knows?) as a ‘normal’ person does. Since it was a virus that gave me Pots in the first place, it is really nice to not have so much of that fear of a virus causing a relapse or worsening of symptoms. These recent events have shown me that I can have a virus and bounce back to normal without any lasting worsening of symptoms, which is a huge relief given that I am going into full time work in a profession renowned for its germs! (Being around small children = endless potential to catch anything and everything going round!) 

So, although I feel like I am getting over that virus, I seem to have picked up yet more germs. (As an aside, coz talking about germs reminded me, I also ate 3 biscuits at my Grandma’s yesterday. She’d bought me them not realising I wanna be off sugar. (I have cut down immensely but still indulge occasionally when I visit my Mum and that is what I want to stop!) And because I REALLY wanna be off sugar next year, I want to try and finish them before December 31st, so I thought sod this and ate 3). After the busy weekend, I started with a really sore throat Sunday night. Monday it was very bad, Tuesday seemed to have eased but by yesterday it had gone lower down and was turning into a tickle. Last night it was getting pretty aggravating and my sinuses felt like they were going to start and stream with a cold. I looked up ‘natural cough remedies’ online and found a few pearls of wisdom, one of which I tried since I had all the ingredients. I thought it would be disgusting but I actually love it!

It’s honey, a slice of lemon, pieces of real ginger (lucky to have got that, my Dad who loves cooking and uses it in his dishes as a spice, gave it to me before they went on holiday as they were clearing out the fridge) and… wait for it… the bit I thought would make it disgusting but actually, along with the ginger, spices it up really nicely and makes it oddly soothing and very lovely and warming… black pepper!

I drank one last night and also had grapes with honey on for supper (grapes and honey were mentioned to also be soothing for irritated respiratory tract) and this morning my symptoms have improved quite a lot! I’m hoping another day of resting, relaxing, drinking this tea, going to bed early and getting up late will do me good and get me through the busy, socialising weekend and then for rest of time up until Amsterdam, I can relax and recuperate.

I’m back again :-)

I’m hopeless at keeping my blogs updated- life as a trainee teacher was so busy. I’m going to keep up this blog even if my postings are terribly sporadic!

At the moment I’m snuggled up on the sofa relaxing and trying to recuperate from some horrid virus. What’s very weird is that since logging in to this blog to update- I noticed a past post titled ‘fatigue/virussy relapse’ so naturally I clicked on it to read and exactly 2 years ago I was experiencing a virus that made me relapse into chronic fatigue/M.E type symptoms! It’s given me a little hope actually because I was getting so worried to be feeling so weak and exhausted again. I can be doing without it as I start my new teaching career in January- I have my own lovely class of 3 and 4 year olds!

I’ve been lucky enough to already meet them- I got called in to teach supply after I got the job and have taught 7 days in my new class, so I know all the children’s names and am beginning to know some of the parents too.

I’m really nervous and excited about starting- excited because I think early years education is where I really want to be and I’ll have a great opportunity to learn on the job at this school- nervous because I’ve never worked full time before so I don’t know how I’m going to manage that with my POTs.

I hope to use this blog to keep you updated on how I’m doing and to also make it less about POTs and more about the funny, cute, wonderful moments I experience as I’m surrounded each day with young children learning through play. 🙂

Not the best time to be making it, as I have done a lot of walking today, in the heat, plus also drank a chamomile tea about an hour ago so I am really sleeeeeepyyyyy, but I really wanted to update!

I was prompted to think of this blog when leaving comments on another friend’s blog. I realised it had been quite a while since I’d posted an update so, here it comes!

This Summer has gone so quickly it’s unbelievable! A lot of it passed in a blur of rain and gloom, but finally the past few weeks we’ve had the sun peering out and shining down, which generally makes me feel in a cheery mood. I’m a sunshiney person, I also feel like I get most of my energy from the sun, like a lizard or something, so when it’s not around, I’m all sluggish and slow.

When it first finally put its hat on and came out to play (more like hallelujah than hip hip hip hooray!), I took the opportunity (and increase in energy) to do lots of gardening. The garden at the bungalow had gotten into a real mess. It has potential, I just hadn’t been keeping on top of things, due to the rain and lack of energy when it wasn’t raining. Thanks to all the rain it had gotten terribly overgrown, so there was lots to do!

I tell you what though those 4 days were the happiest I’ve had in ages. I’m not saying I’m a miserable bugger or anything but spending time in the garden, planting new plants and designing/planning new features made me feel so contented. It lifted my mood and made me feel happier in general about everything. I also got real, deep satisfaction from choosing and placing and planting the new beauties I picked out at the garden centre sale. After all the hard physical work digging and weeding (lots of grass had to be removed before I could even begin planting) it was so satisfying to see the garden looking all lovely.

Here I am goofing around with the huge pile of grass I dug out! 😀

Other than finally sorting out the garden, my life has been taken over by studying my least favourite subject of all time… maths. Oh, it is such a brainache lately is making me feel very frustrated and grumpy, because despite studying and taking practice tests since April, I’m still only just passing and sometimes even still failing. 😦 Apart from one day when I got 93%! But I think that might be because the tests are becoming familiar now, as there’s only 4 practice tests online, I bought some books, a CD ROM and downloaded some practice tests too so I’ve tried others but the online ones are to the exact standard of the real test, some of the one’s I’ve had in the book have seemed easier and one particular book I’ve defaced because it made me so mad as it was so much harder. I put something like ‘whoever thought it was a good idea to write a book that just gives you the answers with no explanations as to how you get that answer deserves to be pelted in pig shit and not allowed to wash for 2 weeks!’

I’m melodramatic like that. 😉

Being busy with maths studying, I haven’t been socialising or partying much this Summer but in all honestly I haven’t missed it! I went to a great party in May for my friend’s 30th, I’ve had the odd night out with friends, the walking group summer ball is next week and my aforementioned friend is going to that, too (she is my ‘partying soulmate’ because we both love to dance like no-one is watching and I love how neither of us cares what anyone else thinks, we just have a flippin great time!) and I’m looking forwards to my own big 30th bash in September. Other than that, I’ve been content to stay in. Have been on some nice evening walks with my bf and we went out for a meal together with the walking group last week, which was nice- we don’t get chance to socialise together often with the walking group because he suffers tinnitus and often the group meets in bars that my bf just can’t go in because they are too loud for him with the music they play. It’s almost a shame I am going to be too busy soon to do much, if any, socialising, as that was really nice and something they seem to be doing more of lately.

Before I go, I just want to mention how today was a really nice day- I took the day off maths because I’ve been feeling badly the past few days with an unrelenting headache that kind of varies in intensity but never completely goes- and at times has turned into migraine, with the whole aura and loss of vision thing. I was feeling pretty low last night because it also really drained my energy and I was feeling very weak and was getting tired of feeling so drained, dizzy and in pain. However, this morning I finally woke up headache free to a beautiful sunny day, I had my favourite reflexology client to see in the morning, then was meeting my friend and her little boy this afternoon. I walked quite far with her and it felt good to get some exercise, trouble with all my maths studying is I get so hell bent on it that every spare moment of time I have between clients I spend on maths, so I haven’t been getting any exercise in the week. Getting out today made me think maybe it would be a good idea to make sure I get a little walk in every day. I think I’ve been studying TOO hard and that might have added to the problems with feeling headachy and drained.

I also had tea at my Grandma’s and walking home, as I got to the churchyard the sun was still really bright, but getting low in the sky- and the evening had that peaceful, cooling, soothing quality about it which gave me the feeling that I didn’t want to get home quite yet… so I found a nice spot on the grass and meditated for a while. I was so sleepy I actually almost nodded off a number of times, until I felt myself ‘sway’ lol. It was a really lovely end to the day though, and I’m now hoping for a relaxing weekend of getting out and about in nature with my bf.

Before I go, here’s a picture of the rockery I made with stones I uncovered when weeding out a big bushy ground climbing plant that had gone out of control:

And a couple of the little friend I made, a lovely little robin who follows me around and is ever so tame, for a wild bird!

Quick update

Having a very busy summer preparing for uni! I have a pre-course day next week and I start around 10th September! At the moment I’m studying maths because there’s a test we have to take and we only get 3 attempts; maths is really NOT my forte so this worries me… I also have a booklet to work through of tasks, and I’m ordering/shopping for core text books.

So, I expect this blog will be mostly quiet for a while but I WILL be back! 🙂