Starting over

I say starting over but I’m not sure if it’s really starting over, we’re still us, doing what we do but we’re doing it somewhere different.

We’ve moved house, yet again but hopefully this will be the last move, possibly ever.

A year ago we made the decision to move to Spain to take care of my elderly parents, we gave ourselves a year to get ready and to be honest the year has flown by, we really needed more time to get everything done – but also absolutely dragged, both my parents were admitted to hospital at the same time at one point.

We’re here now though, we arrived a month ago, and here we have land to do some of the things we’ve always dreamed of. We have 5 hens at the moment – Light Sussex, the plan is to grow, breed and then eat them. Chicken here isn’t expensive but I want to know my dinner had a happy life before becoming my dinner…. next step is clearing some of the land to grow veg and then rabbits. There are future plans but we’ll wait a while for those, mainly because I’ll need The Husband here full time to help with the bigger plans and in the initial stages he will be continuing with his job in the UK.

I think we’re going to be happy here – well, in truth we’re already happy here but our new life needs adjusting to, time is different here but also we’re now living with 2 slightly batty elderly people with needs of their own and routines of their own, we have room so we are not in each others pockets but it is taking some getting used to for all of us (although this evening The Husband and I managed to sneak off at 10.30pm leaving Abuelo (granddad) watching Rio (the animated film) with the girls so we could eat razor clams & king prawns in peace (Boo would’ve scoffed the lot before we’d even opened our napkins if she’d been with us!)). That might be too many brackets for some but I think it works…..

 

 

 

getting somewhere

in the days since I last blogged things have been moving along. I’m feeling a bit better – whether this is finally the effects of the medication change in January or just naturally something that is happening I have no idea, but I welcome it. Unfortunately with feeling better comes the tendency to overdo it. I can walk (albeit a little bit like a staggering drunk at times) so therefore I will walk, which has led to a little bit more sleepiness…. it means I sleep better at night, but it also means I feel the need to nap through the day! (and by feel the need I mean, I nod off from time to time). Whatever, I’m just very glad to be moving about more freely and just generally more. I can’t go far but I can go and that is such a massive relief and improvement.

In terms of foodie stuff, I’ve been trying really hard to eat my daily quota according to Dr Wahls but unfortunately the complete and utter lack of appetite I’ve had for almost a year now is making it so difficult, added to the fact that I can’t really taste much anymore means I really am not eating enough. You’d think someone who was overweight would be happy with this but of course, I realise it’s adding to the tiredness (and Nige would say the grumpiness…). I am trying and there are days when I get my 9 cups of veg/fruit in and there are days when I don’t, I’m not eating as much protein as I’m supposed to be, or as much fat but I am eating as much as I am able to manage. We’ve managed liver & heart, both good for you, I’m adding a tsp of dried seaweed (I can’t remember which one but it’s red) and where I remember also some nutritional yeast flakes. So, I’m trying but I’m not eating clean as I should be.

Yesterday I made yuca root calzones – they were delicious and I suppose technically paleo – no grains, no potatoes, no dairy, no legumes but I think they were very cheaty – I’m not sure blended, boiled yuca root rolled out as a pastry is really clean – although there were no dense nut flours which I guess is good. Even Yogi ate half a calzone, loaded high with delicious home cooked roasted chicken and a tomato,basil & onion sauce that I concocted. It was indeed delicious – and for ‘pudding’ we had the same pastry but with an added bit of coconut sugar and loaded with dark chocolate chips! It felt really decadent – I literally only managed a calzone and a small chocolate pastry (ravioli sized) and felt I had eaten plenty – but there was no heavy bulky bloated feeling that can come (and pretty much always does for me) after eating pastry! Making the pastry was a long and laborious task but I think it’ll become easier with practice and to be honest the joy of watching Yogi (and Ed) eating something so healthy with eagerness made the effort involved completely and utterly worth it. The yuca root proved a tough root to blend in the Optimum 9400 but by doing it in smaller batches it actually became relatively easy, it was the ooey gooey stickiness of it all that was probably the hardest thing! Here’s a quick pic Nige took, right by the pile of washing up that resulted…..

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So, I guess that’s it for today. So far, I’ve managed to eat nothing so I’m off to make myself a pineapple, orange & spinach smoothie – which is probably my favourite, unfortunately Yogi still refuses to eat anything with green in it so I’ll be keeping this one completely to myself!

getting well mission part2

Well, we took the plunge and bought a blender – not just any blender but a super dooper Optimum 9400. It seems to be doing a fantastic job of smoothing everything – well almost everything, I’ve had a couple of issues but I think it’s just practice that’s required.

Yogi, has taken to having a smoothie a day. So far, nothing green, no green coloured smoothies, she’s absolutely adamant that she won’t be trying anything green…. She is however perfectly amenable to adding a tablespoon of pea protein, and some flax seed too so she’s improved her intake already. I’ve also snuck some spinach in from time to time, it seems to be quite good at hiding in amongst red/purple berries. I haven’t tried making any hidey cakes yet but that’s because I’ve had a tiring week. Tomorrow I have a child-free day (just as long as their first ever sleep over works out!), I will attempt a beetroot cake then.

I’m doing a bit better, although possibly overdoing it, which means that when I’m not actually doing something I feel ready to drop (and have found myself asleep in the middle of the day/park….) I’ve been trying things out by walking without my crutches if I am only going from the car to somewhere close by and I seem to be doing ok. I don’t think I’ll be climbing any mountains anytime soon but I do feel that something is lifting. I’ve been (for years) looking at different ways to eat to help health, I’ve been paleo before and generally do my best to eat as close to as possible but now, following the Wahls Protocol I’m hoping to make some real, life long changes. I’m not swearing I’m ready to be completely healthy eating, and I’m not expecting a miracle cure but if I don’t try everything I can then I can’t really complain that I’m not improving.

and today I leave you with Bob & Millie

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Get well Mission part 1.

Today has been ok, I’m up and about these days – have been for a month or so, but it’s been starting to wane. I think the poor sleep is the issue here. My plan, to help with my healing is to eat better (again). I’ve been researching and researching and reading and rereading and I think I know what I want for all of us. First off is Yogi, she needs healing before she becomes truly ill, for now she is just weak, and not thriving in the way she should.

Yogi has proven to be very intolerant of both wheat and dairy – although when I say dairy we have established it’s the lactose not the milk protein, which is a good thing as she was really really missing cheese and butter. The biggest problem with her is that since being poorly repeatedly she doesn’t really like food anymore – and she never did like it much anyway. She gets hungry, she really wants to eat but there isn’t anything that appeals to her. She won’t eat pretty much any vegetable anymore – which is a shame as we’ve yet to see a vegetable cause a negative dietary reaction. She’s almost reached the point of no veg at all. She agrees to have things on her plate, i.e. she says yes please I’ll have tomatoes/pineapple/carrots but then when it comes to eating them she’s full up and leaves them. I didn’t realise it was happening until very recently when I finally saw it. The only meat she’ll happily eat is sausages and bacon, chicken she is picky about but manages some mouthfuls. She does like the paleo meatloaf I make and I do manage to sneak mushrooms in there. That is pretty much the sum total of the foods she’ll eat (that are ‘healthy’, she’ll eat crisps and gluten free bread, and cake and soya yoghurts), I have convinced her that she needs some vitamins and so she’s taking a multivitamin and I found a childrens cod liver oil capsule. Unfortunately she can’t swallow the cod liver oil capsule so she chews it. How can a child that thinks beetroot is disgusting chew cod liver oil capsules? I tried one to see how bad it was, and it was bad, she does have a small spoonful of honey afterwards but still…. yuck.

So my newest endeavour is to find ways to disguise the foods that she won’t eat. I only want to disguise them before her first try, with the meatloaf I told her it had mushrooms and onions in it and she hasn’t forgotten but she loves it. Once she has eaten a hidden food a few times I will happily tell her the exact ingredients – when Ed is feeling generous she makes a chocolate mousse using avocados, Yogi knows it’s made with avocado but she eats it because she was convinced of it’s loveliness before she discovered what was in it. One problem I have is that our ancient dying food processor is struggling. It has a tiny motor and just really doesn’t have the ability to do what it needs to do but for now it will have to continue struggling, we do not have the means to replace it yet, unless we replace it with something that isn’t up to what we need it to be up to. I need something that can produce deliciously smooth smoothies that Yogi cannot feel the kale in, smooth chocolate nut butters that have no crunchy bits, perfectly lumpless soup bases full of hidden goodness. Today she ate ‘waffles’, eating the waffles she ate two whole eggs without knowing it. I had to work hard though, first the food processor roughly chopped everything into a weird, lumpy paste then I used the stick blender to do what I could, luckily the only thing I was trying to make smooth was raisins so the ones and bits of ones she found were acceptable, had they been bits of beetroot, or carrot, or pumpkin things would have ended very differently. I think tomorrow I’ll try the same again, if I can face the thought of the mountains of washing up created by using these two separate appliances.

So that is my initial mission, to get something nutritious in to Yogi, something that she enjoys eating. She’s pale, her skin sometimes looks almost transparent, she tires easily, she’s full of mucous, she cries so often, and it’s usually tiredness or hunger that sets her off but convincing her to eat is difficult. I try to imagine a summer of kale filled smoothie ice lollies, carrot cakes, pumpkin waffles and cassava root ravioli – nothing whole and pure but I’ll take whatever I can get with her. (Boo will eat anything except chick peas, kidney beans  and I haven’t convinced her to try liver – but she’ll eat any fish or shellfish you put in front of her, any vegetable, any meat, she’ll try any drink, any food)

Tonight I leave you with Millie

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time to blog again?

I feel it is. I”m not sure what I should blog about at the moment though but I think it would be useful (to me at least). It’s been so hard to blog since I became too unwell to have much going on but maybe now is the time to blog the most – if I am blogging for myself that is. I think I stopped as I couldn’t find anything interesting to say, I have more than enough going on with my illness without blogging about it too. Maybe I should have just carried on though and maybe that would have helped me.

In truth, life is tough. I’ve had a couple of years of finding everything tough, sometimes it’s been too tough to get out of bed, for days. Sometimes getting out of bed has been all I’ve been able to manage. No one saw me then, except my family, and by family I mean those that live with me. I don’t like to share, or to burden, but not sharing probably made me more of a burden on those within my home. Poor Boo, capable before her time, making lunch for her and her sister, just ‘getting on with it’, poor Yogi, coming upstairs to love me, to play games with me, sometimes just to snuggle up. Maybe others would have come in to help but that’s not the experience I have. Where (who) I’m from we don’t do that, we don’t ask for help and if it is offered we make sure the person offering realises that we really don’t need help, even when we do, when we desperately do.

So, what’s wrong with me? Nobody knows, they thought it might be Multiple Sclerosis because that’s what it looked like, but the MRI didn’t support that, they’ve repeatedly tested for Lupus, but the blood results aren’t quite right, I had a sky high Rheumatoid Factor at one point and so they pinned Rheumatoid Disease on me, but now it doesn’t fit, they still toy with Lupus, and with Sjorgrens. Back and forth, back and forth. They’ve settled for ME, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and RD. The drugs I’m on are pretty…. awful. My hair has thinned so much, but I don’t have joint pain anymore, I seem to (finally) be a bit more mobile. I’ve been taking immunosuppressants for over a year now, and I’m not fixed. Sometimes I takes drugs to stop me feeling sick because the other ones are making me sick. I only took them so they’d fix me. I keep taking them as I’m worried that not taking them will send me backwards (and I definitely feel a bit further forward even if it’s only a couple of steps). They jiggled the drugs in August when things hadn’t improved at all, there was definitely improvement there – that’s when I started the Plaquenil (the Lupus meds), and then another minor adjustment in January seems to have helped also. I can look ahead with optimism. The optimism unfortunately keeps waning, it’s ok on nights when I can sleep, on nights when there’s no pain and I’m not too exhausted to sleep, but on nights like I’ve had this week when sleep doesn’t want to come I feel less optimistic, as though, at 40, I’ve had it, my best years are behind me and the future is one of wheelchairs and dwindling health.

One thing I am thankful for (health wise) is that, despite sometimes feeling a bit down about it all I haven’t become depressed. Sometimes (often) I am angry or saddened by my situation but I don’t feel depressed. I have been in the past, and this is how I know I am not now. I am truly thankful for the fact that my physical health has not managed to destroy my mental health. Yes I could be happier, yes I feel miserable at times but I don’t feel that horrible miserableness, that hopelessness that comes with (my) depression.

I am also thankful for my family, these folks who have been here and helped me, physically, emotionally through the last couple of years, the girls have been amazing, Ed has helped me more than a daughter should help her mother, Nige has been so much more than a husband, the four of them have been my carers. Even tiny Yogi who has just turned 7. Nige is amazing, I’m not sure how I would have coped without him. Without his love and support, without his unending optimism (which I know has taken a battering) I don’t know where I’d be right now, but the chances are it wouldn’t be here, writing this blog post.

I leave you with Bob, upside down.

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a new perspective for me

It’s been a long long summer. We’ve had lots of fun, we’ve had lots of good times. We’ve also had a tough time in so many ways. Overall it has actually been a very positive experience. The girls have had a great time and I seem to have finally emerged from years of depression. So, for all my rants on here about our time in Wild Boar Wood I have gained an enormous amount. Possibly from having had such an awful time at times, it gives a new and improved sense of perspective.

I think I now value my family and my friends so much more, I know what is important in my life and what is not. I also discovered that when I think there is a problem and I hide it and internalise it because I think it is imagined or out of perspective it can turn out that it isn’t always. A whine might turn out to be a completely founded complaint and by sharing it I might discover I’m not being negative and paranoid as I’ve led myself to believe. It’s time to have faith in myself and my intuition. My depression has made me ignore my intuition as I believed it was more than likely the depression talking. Obviously there have been times when that might well be the case, but not always, and likely a lot less now that I can see the light that’s all around rather than being dim and distant at the end of a tunnel.

I’ve discovered people aren’t always just being polite when they talk to me, some of them do actually like me as it turns out I’m not that bad after all. So, a time of nurturing friendships is ahead of me. Look out!

 

Not enough blogging too much tweeting!

Arse! Laptop screen is broken so phone blogging is all I’m going to manage for the foreseeable future. Also spent far more time tweeting & not thinking of blogging – due to laptop & time deficit.

Noise is home, not in an ideal kind of way – no homelife participation happening but at least we know where she is at night, and that (for the most part) she’s sober… She’s now started her new meds which (we hope) will help things along in a positive kind of direction. She’s agreed to be registered as ‘educated otherwise’ which is a big fat smiley, as she’s going to spend a minimum of 12 hours a week at home reading, researching & feedingback. She’s started helping at Yogis nursery one morning a week on a voluntary basis – so all is moving in a forward direction rather than a backward one! Yay for some positivity in our house – is this the affirmations paying off?

Ed’s now home ed, she deregistered from school Friday and so far is having a fantastic time. We’ve bought an AQA GCSE maths book and she’s keen to follow her heart with the rest of her learning! Maths book was her choice & it might well be the one GCSE she does – still haven’t told her dad about the change in arrangements but if he wanted a say in it all he really ought to give a stuff the rest of the time.

Boo’s steaming ahead (steam being my new favourite word thanks to a lovely day out with Earthenwitch & her little lovely) with her reading, her everything! She’s starting to read – with very little input, she’s building, letting everyone we meet know just what it is the Egyptians were up to way back in the days of pyramids & pharaohs, and of course – that key word…. socialising 😉

Yogi’s loving having having Ed home, there shouldn’t be favourites but they are each others and I love it because it means they have their own special person that isn’t me (as well as me if course because I am everybody’s favourite! )

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