Winter days & Chai lattes

Winter days & Chai lattes

Today’s mood is winter days & chai lattes… it is grey and drizzling with rain here in the U.K. it perfectly represents what recovery can feel like, grey and bleak… if you let it! 

Instead I choose Chai Lattes! When it is cold and grey outside there is something very comforting about being snuggled up inside with a warming chai latte.

Recovery can be a challenging time, you have a lot of time on your hands and you can’t always turn to your ‘go to ways’ of relaxing such as a steamy bath or the gym so you have to find alternative ways to relax and look after yourself, for me this is meditation and chai lattes! 

For me it is essential that during recovery I take time out to look after myself both mentally and physically. When your body is going through something physical taking time out for self love and care can really increase your sense of wellbeing and to me nothing screams out self love and care more than a peaceful morning meditation followed by a warming chai latte…

So when you feel like life is full of long winters days remember that there are always chai lattes 🙂

My go to chai latte recipe is the Chai coconut latte by deliciously Ella :

Serves 2

480ml coconut milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons chai spices

For the chai spices:

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground all spice

Simply heat the milk over a medium heat for 5mins, then mix the spices together and add them to the pan with the maple syrup- serve when warm!

Enjoy,

Z

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Live life in full colour

Live life in full colour

Life should be lived in full colour, not black and white or with filters…

When I was younger I had a very firm vision of how I expected life to be, how I thought it would play out, how life worked. My view was black and white.

I would study, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids. Done, that’s how it worked right? The hardest thing I thought I’d have to come to terms with is that it perhaps wasn’t going to be as exciting as the movies… and even that was hard when I was younger- I thought it would all be fun and games.

I should of known life doesn’t follow a script when I dropped out of university in year one after landing my dream course and the best university it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t what I thought or what I wanted, so I left. That decision served me well as I got a job that provided me with study support and an income. It wasn’t the carefully planned path I had set out on but it worked out…

This was my first experience of life having unpredictable twists and turns. I didn’t realise how winding the road of life would be.

I am naturally ambitious and a goal setter but one of the things that has helped me most over the last year and more recently is to remove expectations (well unnecessary ones) from my life. I no longer get angry or put pressure on myself if I feel my life isn’t going to plan. If I did I would spend my days miserable because one thing is for sure when you are managing health problems things don’t always go to plan, things flare up, surgery is needed and life has to be adapted.

Changing my mindset and thinking this way is allowing me to live my life in full high definition, full colour and 3D… life with out filters…

I am living each day, my way, unscripted x

Tubes, Shunts and Grafts

Tubes, Shunts and Grafts

My latest eye surgery sounds more like a shopping list for a DIY store- tubes, shunts and Grafts and to be honest probably isn’t far from the truth…

I have just had my most invasive eye surgery to date a baerveldt tube shunt which can be likened to re plumping my eye. 

I have secondary glaucoma which means my eye cannot drain fluid in the same way a ‘normal’ eye can and as such I have just had a tube shunt procedure, this is the equivalent of inserting a drainage tube into my eye to drain the fluid and lower my eye pressure.

I had the surgery on Tuesday and it is now Friday, my eye is sore but not unbearably so, the discomfort is easily controlled with paracetamol. My vision is blurry and I feel dizzy and disorientated but overall it really isn’t that bad!

I have a lot of stitches in my eye and I imagine my eye is a bit like a patch work quilt at the moment, stitches holding in place the donor graft which protects the tube and stitches sealing the incision. Some of these stitches will dissolve as I recover, others will be removed in clinic once it is safe to do so. 

A tube shunt is a staged procedure and the tube isn’t fully functioning on day one, I have a stitch around the tube which reduces the diameter of the tube restricting the flow of fluid and also a large stitch in the middle of the tube also restricting the flow. Around 5/6 weeks post surgery I am likely to have laser surgery to remove the stitch tied around the tube which should increase the flow and reduce my eye pressure then at around 3months if the pressure is still high I will undergo another procedure to remove the large stitch in the middle of the tube, again increasing the flow.

So as you can guess this isn’t a quick fix but a journey, my journey. 

Spending my days taking eye drops, resting and looking after myself ! X

An eye operations for all season

An eye operations for all season

Over the last few years it seems as though I have had eye operations or procedures as frequently as the seasons change.

As we approach winter I am preparing myself for my next surgery, a tube shunt, which I will have in just over a week.

This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me, the surgery I am having on 14November is a procedure I was originally signed up to have earlier on in the year, on 8 March.

Earlier on in the year I didn’t feel ready to have this surgery, it is a bigger procedure than the operations I have had before and really the last option, mentally and emotionally I wasn’t ready for this.Instead I opted to have iStents which ultimately didn’t work and I got a subsequent infection (you can read about this in previous blogs). I have analysed this choice a number of times, was I right to put myself through an additional operation?should I of just had the surgery back in March? 

It has taken me a long time to work out what I gained by delaying my tube surgery but I have finally concluded on what it was-acceptance.

I am a firm believer that the connection between the mind and body is extremely important and mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand. I wasn’t prepared to go through something physical like an operation if my mind wasn’t in the right place.

Throughout my professional career I have always tried to set myself up to succeed so why wouldn’t I do this in my personal life and with my health?

The last couple of months in particular have been hard, my medication makes me feel ill and I haven’t had much energy for anything but there are some noteable positive changes throughout the year.

I have stopped drinking, this is something I have been trying to do for a long time, mainly because of the impact it has on my health and also to allow me to have mental clarity and work through my emotions relating to my health. This has really helped me accept that this is my journey and I need to embrace it.

I have also focused more on yoga,meditation and my diet, taking more of a holistic approach to my life and for the first time I feel properly equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

I have been guilty in the past of rushing my recoveries, eager to get back to work, back to the gym and back to ‘normal’ (whatever that may be) but this time is different. I know the recovery will be longer but I go into this chapter of my life more patient. The job,the gym it will all still be there but right now this is my journey,my focus and my life.

Z x

I can’t walk in your shoes and you can’t walk in mine

I can’t walk in your shoes and you can’t walk in mine

Angry is the only word I can think to describe how I have been feeling lately. Angry at myself, angry at the world, just angry.

It feels like it has been a really long year with my health problems, operations, infections and medications. 

I am at the stage where I have been on my medications, namely diamox for so long now, pretty much 10months without a break and I am exhausted,drained, constantly dehydrated, and now grouchy… everything is an effort.

I sleep but never feel rested, I drink but never feel hydrated l, it is relentless.

I don’t expect the people in my life to walk in my shoes, they can’t and I don’t blame them for that but sometimes I’m impatient and grouchy and I don’t mean to be but feeling shit every day is hard. 

The strongest people you know are facing challenges that you don’t

Are men like high heels

Are men like high heels

I’m 28 now and I have come to the conclusion men are just like high heels…

They grab your eye as you walk by, you just have to stop and have a look, yes you know they are just like that last pair you got, the pair that you tried on, they made you feel amazing, you felt like a better version of yourself just having them on! 

You tell yourself it will be different this time, this pair is absolutely 100% different, you know so because you have done a couple of laps of the shop floor and they don’t hurt, this time you and the heels are going to work out. Everything is going to be just fine!

You part with your hard earned cash (or emotions in the case of men) and take them home with a smile on your face!

You can’t wait for the first outting, you put them on a strut off, feeling on top of the world! You don’t venture far on the first outing, normally just a local and you drive there so when you finish the night and the shoes still don’t hurt you are on a high! You were right, these ones are different.

That’s when the problems start… you have been lured into a false sense of security, you start taking the heels out for longer evenings, the tell tale signs are there, a slight blister, a slight ache, but you ignore it, surely not! It’s in your mind, you are over thinking it, it’s a one off, a blip, a hiccup nothing to be concerned about…

You continue to wear your heels, you are invested, you are a fighter you won’t kick them the the curb that easy, it’s just a rough patch.

Then things start to get serious, the real test, you take them to standing event (insert any big commitment / disappointment with a man here) and that’s when you realise, the same situation just different heels. These ones are no more comfortable than the last pair, granted they fooled you for slightly longer this time and you got a good few wears out of them, but inevitably the outcome was the same….

The worst thing is you can’t blame the shoes because it is you who keeps on picking them!

Note to self…. always practice caution when buying your high heels….

Love the life you have

Love the life you have

We don’t get to choose the life we have, we’ll not entirely anyway.

Of course something’s are within our control, part of our life is determined by the choices we make and the paths we choose. But other parts are out of our control.

I have spent years being upset about my health problems, and to an extent I am still am and it is something I’m still working through but it’s largely out of my control, I can help the situation by being healthy and trying to limit my stress levels but it is never going to be fully in my control so I need to accept that and love the life I have.

Over the recent months I think I have forgotten that, I have had the eye operation and then the infection and I have let things get to me. I haven’t taken care of myself physically or emotionally like I should of done. I have let things that are in control cause me stress and this has been detrimental to my mindset and I feel like I am paying the price now.

I have heard a lot of positive feedback on gratitude diaries and I am going to start one, I have a lot of things to be grateful for and I should start reminding myself of these each day.

My eye infection is clearing up, and I feel very lucky to have had such a positive outcome from the experience. Pressure in my eye is creeping back up but that was always going to be the case….

Our experiences shape us into the people we become…

Make good choices, love the life you have!

Z