What a Difference A Year Makes

The past two years have been hard on the family,  I have had many hurdles to get over and many life changing decisions to make. The Year before was fighting emotional barriers, the past year have been trying to gain weight and muscle back from my nightmare hospital stay.

I lost a lot of weight during my hospital stay after the operations and was discharged on the 28th December 2016, weighing under 5 stone. My weight before I fell ill was always between 7 and a half to 8 stone.

A few days after my first operation
A few days after my first operation

During my time in hospital I had days where I didn’t eat or drink, I was told I was Nil by Mouth by a doctor over the weekend and then my doctor would come back on shift and tell me to eat. Eventually, eating and drinking became a chore and I struggled to even take sips of water. A dietician ordered for me to have a TPN fitted; a Total Parental Nutrition. It was administered into a PICC line, through a main vein, as a way of giving my body the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop
I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop

I suffered quite significant changes to my physical and emotional health. I was inactive for over 2 months, just laying in a hospital bed and I could only manage a few trips around the ward. My strength was weak and I struggled to walk without help. Most of the time I used my drip stand for support, other times I was helped by a member of the family. I needed the nutrition to aid the recovery after surgery but also to gain strength. My muscles became weak and my joints stiff.

Christmas Day in hospital
Christmas Day in hospital

When family or friends visited, I covered myself up in my dressing gown to hide away how I looked.

It was hard to recover from my critical illness and 2 serious operations, the process was difficult and slow. Whilst I was in hospital I must have vomited every day. Family and staff believed I was doing it to myself, but it was hard to explain that my body was rejecting it. I could no longer swallow a glass of water, only managing a few sips every hour or so. Every time I ate; I was sick. I was given nutrition drinks called Fortisip but they were too sweet and they didn’t stay down too long before they was being brought back up. I lost my appetite, although I yearned to eat good food. I could no longer taste food.

My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day
My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day

Nutrition was the key to building back up my body strength and natural defences. I needed to build strength, boost my immune system, gain weight and restore my overall health and well-being. I was losing faith in myself and the doctors didn’t have the answers as to why my body was refusing food/drink. It was down to me. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying, seeing a stranger looking back at me looking frail and withdrawn

My pain was being managed by 1/2 paracetamol four times a day. I wasn’t allowed anything stronger due to me weight.

A few days after Christmas my surgeon asked me if I wanted to go home. Of coarse I said yes. He signed my discharge papers and I was allowed home. He said that I needed to be home to recover.

Once at home my journey began.

I couldn’t walk up the stairs without being carried up. I had to sleep on the sofa downstairs as the bed was too hard for my skin. I slept on two soft filled toppers plus cushions.

With the help of my family being around me all day long, I began to take regular sips of water. Slowly my intake increased.

I had a choice of my own food, when i wanted it.

I ate every so often.

I wanted to gain weight but didn’t want to eat junk food to do it. I ate five/six small meals a day. Drank smoothies and weight gaining shakes. Ate yoghurt and snacked on fruit.

Gradually with the help of my family, I started to gain weight. It was weird as it was New Year and everyone else was dieting and I was trying my hardest to gain weight. My social media time lines were full of dieting and slimming clubs, where i was doing the opposite and eating high calorie foods to put the weight on. I downloaded an app that counted up the intake of my meals, it gave me a daily run down of calorie and protein.

22 days being home
22 days being home

Now my weight was slowly increasing I had to look at my  strength. I began to integrate exercise into my daily routines. My first was A short walk down the road, just a few hundred metres with the help of my son. It wasn’t long and I was taking longer walks. Even though I could walk, I needed help to sit down and stand up. My joints stiffened after a few seconds. I couldn’t bend down without being assisted. I began to see a physiotherapist who helped with building back my muscles. I was given  exercises to do and after 6 weeks was shown how to use gym equipment to help.

A year after the first operation
A year after the first operation

It has taken some time but I now feel like I am getting there. I still have work on the muscles in my legs, specifically around the knees but it’s a gradual process.

I now attend the gym a couple of times a year. Something I have never done before and I enjoy it. I don’t stand on the scales to weigh myself, It’s not needed. I only have to look at myself to know that my weight is fine.

I am happy with where I am today. I am proud of my development. But, I wouldn’t be where I am without the perseverance and help that I received from my family and friends.

Me now
Me now

The past year has been one hell of a journey.

I wonder what this year will bring?

Share

Reasons To Be Cheerful #RTBC

I have been meaning to join the reasons to be cheerful blog hop hosted by mummy from the heart for a while now but life seems to have been flying by too quickly for me lately and my ‘To Do’ list is just getting longer and longer. So this week I have decided to make some time and write up my post of what has made me happy this week

1. Oliver is now growing up to be a handsome little man and is learning new things everyday. He has been saying lots of new words this week like spider, more and all done. I love to hear him talk although Daddy doesn’t think he has been saying these words he says that he is just mumbling away and muttering anything but I know he’s talking and he repeats what he’s says too.

2. Oliver has just started to kiss, he makes the kiss noise aswell which is jut adorable. He also likes to blow kisses and wave goodbye. I caught him last night kissing himself in the mirror, how cute!

3. My mummy came to visit this week as she took Jak in for his last day of filming, I met her and my aunt up London and it was lovely to spend time with them in the area that they grew up in. I really enjoyed listening to them talk about their lifestyles when they were younger. My mum doesn’t live nearby so I don’t often get to spend time with her as when she is visiting she has to get round my brothers and sisters houses too.

4. Jak has really done us proud this week with his singing and acting. At the weekend he was a finalist in the ‘Park Resorts’ Got Talent and he sang his little heart out singing ‘Living on A Prayer’ he had the whole audience clapping, swaying and singing along with him, his performance was electric. Also this week was his last day filming for ‘Call The Midwife’ he has a fabulous two weeks filming for them. He has really enjoyed himself which makes me a very happy mummy.

5. Joseph got his spelling right at home and has really tried hard with them, writing them out and sounding each letter out every day.

6. With the weather getting colder, the OH took me out shopping to buy me some warm boots. He bought me some Bear Paw black sheep wool lined boots, they are really warm so I am really looking forward to wearing them to work, now my tootsies won’t be getting cold when I’m outside in the playground 🙂

7. We have decided to do some decorating on the house this week all we need to do now is agree on what colour the carpet and walls are going to be. I can’t wait to get the boys room all decorated and looking all grown up.

8. Joseph has been concentrating on his reading this week and instead of asking me to read a book to him he picked up the book and read it to himself out loud. This is the first time he has ever done this and I loved watching him read aloud. He was following the words with his fingers and even corrected himself when he said the wrong word.

9. I had a drink on Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed a night out, after a few bottles glasses of wine I can definitely say I was very cheerful 🙂

10. We had some fabulous news about Oliver and his Cow & Gate shoot that he went on a couple of weeks ago, we received a phone call yesterday informing us that he has made it to the final cut on the television commercial. After I got off of the phone I felt like jumping for joy and screaming with delight! He makes us all smile everyday with his little infectious giggle and cute face so we’re really excited that his little cuteness will be on TV.

11. This week we saw Joseph’s Thomas the tank engine’ advert on The TV, you don’t get to see his little face but you go see his hands and body. When we all saw it we was all laughing and Joseph done a celebration dance. He loved seeing himself on the telly and I loved watching his reaction.

12. New words that Oliver has said are spider, shoe, clap and Joseph.

Those are my reasons to be cheerful this week, I’m sure I could go on and on with many more but they are the main ones, If you have some things making you cheery this week that you would like to share, then why not write a post, (like ive done) grab the blog hop code and link up here.

 

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

This is a blog hop

 

Share