After writing my blog last week I headed to Millie’s school to watch her performance of the New Zealand Hakka dance, which her class have been studying as their topic from around the world. I walk the children to and from school everyday to ensure that they get exercise and fresh air, as well as an appetite for a nice hearty dinner once we’re home. Before leaving for school my skin felt tender and I couldn’t stop shivering despite it being gorgeously hot outside whilst I was bundled up in a jumper. After reaching the school from the half an hours walk down, I managed to watch Millie’s class performance before taking a funny turn, I could see clouds forming across my eyes, my hearing totally went and I felt myself swaying to stand before ending up on the floor with my head between my legs. The teachers kindly fetched me a glass of water and took me into the office to sit and rest. And suddenly I felt incredibly hot, when I tried to walk my legs felt like jelly and my heels were like concrete sinking into the floor. I sat perched on a chair with a fan on me for several minutes trying my hardest to stay upright before preparing to walk the children home which was all uphill. Eventually I tried to stand and take Gabriele’s hand to lead him to his pushchair to leave, but it was like dragging a knife through soft butter, I just couldn’t grip him. I have no idea what came over me, but thankfully one of the teachers drove us home and made sure that we got back safe. The joys of being a single parent when you’re unwell!
I literally collapsed on the sofa as soon as we got home and my wonderful little Millie fetched me a blanket and a glass of water as well as her favourite teddy. It felt like my bones were sinking into the ground and my head and eyes burnt and danced like I was on a fair ground ride. I managed to take little steps to the kitchen and gradually cook dinner with a lot of heavy breathing and sitting down inbetween, before getting the children to bed and doing the night feeds with Gabriele. I don’t know what I’d have done without my little helper Millie, and at the ripe old age of six she is a little Florence Nightingale, so caring and considerate and I’m blessed to have her as daughter.
On Saturday I had a photoshoot in London and when I staggered into the bathroom this morning my throat was raw, looking in the mirror I could see white scale all over the back of my mouth which if I’m not mistaken is tonsillitis. I am rubbish with going to the doctor, if the children are sick I don’t hesitate to take them, but when it comes to me I prefer not to take medicine or pain killers and fight off illness of my own accord without making a fuss. If you go to the doctors and get told to rest up I’d imagine 98% of parents would laugh at the impossible luxury, and I certainly have too much that has to get done with nobody to do it for me. My main concern right now is making sure the children are ok, and then doing the 15mile charity bike ride tomorrow. I really don’t have time to be ill right now. Gahh. By Sunday morning I’d been up all night, my skin boiling hot but my insides freezing cold. My nose was totally blocked, my head pounding, my throat filled with razor blades and my limbs as soft as jelly. I had been building up to the charity cycle to raise funds for disabled adults and children for WheelPower for weeks, and now the morning of the race I could hardly lift my head from the pillow. To make matters worse, my training partner, little Gabriele was also ill and wouldn’t be able to take part, so I was the last man standing, or rather woman laying in bed, at 5am feeling as though I’d been hit by a bus. I don’t know what made me think that it would be a good idea to prove myself wrong and go ahead with the 15mile bike ride, but I summoned every last ounce of energy within me, took some painkillers and headed for the start line. I pushed myself harder than ever before, and completed the charity ride in under two hours, raising an incredible £93.75 through sponsorship.
After the race I rapidly got worse and was taken to hospital with sickness and stomach pains where I was medicated with severe tonsillitis. I was advised that the medication would make me feel even worse to begin with, naturally nothing I do is ever simple, and that I should expect to constantly need the toilet, which was no joke! After returning home I began my medication and to my horror discovered that it also prevented me from sleeping. I went three days without sleeping at all, and I could literally feel my eyes squeezing, shrinking and relaxing as I looked around, stone-faced, trying to focus and staring through things and people talking to me. My throat was so sore I couldn’t speak at all, taking 16 pills a day as well as anaesthetic spray. As I could hardly swallow, I could hardly eat, and the fact that I ran to the toilet 24/7 meant that very little food went in or out at all, just gallons of water when the pills took away the pain enough for me to swallow. By the third day of not sleeping I began to hallucinate, and sunlight left my head spinning and my body shaking with sweat. I felt as though I were constantly about to vomit, and I couldn’t bare to touch the skin across my arms, chest or stomach for how tender it felt.
It was incredible to see how just a few days before I had used the power of my mind to overcome my weakness and complete a 15mile cycle, yet now the medication to make me better was preventing my mind and body from processing, reacting or shutting off to sleep. I finally managed to sleep on the fourth day, and as I lay on the bed with my eyes closed willing myself to sleep, my arms and legs jolted uncontrollably as if I were falling off of a building, my heart raced, my shoulders folded in together and gave me the worst neck ache, and my mouth and tongue completely dried up from my mouth falling open. I managed to sleep for almost an hour before I woke up with my body shaking when I felt as though I was falling once more. But that one hour of sleep did so much to correct my mind and balance my body. I felt as though I’d slept for a million years, and gradually bit by bit my body returned to normal. I had another half an hour nap later that day, followed by an almost normal nights sleep, and now one week on from when my illness began I am improving daily and almost back to full health. My medication will run for another week, and by then I pray I will never have to go through such an horrendous ordeal as this ever again. I am back to walking the children to school and I’m safe to drive again now, although I prefer to walk where possible.
Gabriele is also perking up from his snotty nose, although now he has a somewhat chesty cough, but it doesn’t seem to bother him too much thankfully. And from one sickness to another, this week has also shown me that there are some very sick and spineless people in this world. In a time of connectivity, technology, equal rights, laws and guidelines, everybody has the ability to be heard and the right to an opinion, and so they should. Some people chose to be transparent about their views, take my blog here for example, I write from my heart and experiences, and I’m not afraid to put my name to every word that I say; guests on chat shows share their troubles with the nation, on radio station call-in’s people receive health and relationship advice on air, or something as simple as speaking to another person face to face about what you believe in shows that you are your own person. Whilst others prefer to remain anonymous, to contribute to a message board with a pretend name, leaving feedback in a survey box without an identity, voting in a poll without wanting to be contacted, or being just a voice at the end of a phone. We have the choice to lead life as ourselves where people can either take you as you are, or you can be somebody completely invisible, only speaking your mind from behind the safety of a keyboard, curtain or anonymous comment. It’s our own prerogative which route we choose to contribute our views to the world, and naturally not everybody will agree. Myself, I believe in communication, discussion, understanding, education and support; in sharing your thoughts, and breaking down social stereotypes. We can remove embarrassment, fear, hostility and ignorance from any situation simply by talking a matter through.
It is when anonymity is used for the wrong reasons that I do not agree with it. When such cruel and twisted people use false names, fake profiles and withheld numbers with the intention of deliberately hurting and upsetting others. To put somebody down, bully or harass them takes a very special kind of person in my books. I believe it makes you a very sad, lonely and desperate person to devote so much time and attention purely on causing others misery. And I also see it as cowardice, spitefulness and jealousy. The biggest lesson that I have learnt in life about people is their ability to show their true colours, and in some it happens faster than others, but no matter what it always happens. You cannot live a lie forever, you can only bite your tongue for so long, the fake smile will eventually fall and one day people will see you exactly for who and what you really are. And this is why I believe in Karma, because for every action there is a reaction. I choose to lead my life by example. No matter what, and over all else, my children always come first and will do for as long as I’m alive because that’s what it is to be a mother, unconditional love. I treat everybody that I meet with respect, patience and humanity. And I give my time to support, encourage and benefit others, raising money for charities and using my abilities and skills to make a difference, because I don’t give to receive, I give simply because I can. Sadly I can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly make all of the vile and unkind people in this world turn good, but I can make a difference by living my life through love and kindness. So that is exactly what I shall do.
There are people around me who I know will never like me, whether they have the ability to ever say it to my face or not, yet at the same time there are many many more who tell me they love me, spring marriage proposals, shower me with compliments and ask me out to dinner. It is all from people I know, who know of me or even who I have never met. I’m not saying this to boast or stroke my own ego here, I’m saying it to make a point. I am me, myself and I. I am the exact same person that everybody has an opinion of, yet everybody sees me in a completely different way. Have you ever heard the sayings one mans trash is another mans treasure, or a rose amongst the thorns? To some I am completely misunderstood and poorly judged, and to others I am perhaps overly admired and appreciated for who I am. But to everybody I am exactly myself and always will be. I will never change myself as a person to fit in with somebody else’s ideal, I cannot change how I feel in my heart, I cannot ignore the way I believe life should be led, nor turn a blind eye to the differences that I see between right and wrong. I was very fortunate to have been raised with such love and understanding and I too am very proud of my little family, my trio of Kisses, Millisent, Gabriele and I. Therefore I am happy in life because I can unashamedly be myself, I can go about my day with a positive attitude and a genuine smile, because my children keep my heart warm and the conviction of my well intended actions means that I can hold my head high. The ability to just be myself is such a freedom that I have never felt in life until now. And I can highly recommend it to you all, so communicate with others, face up to your emotions and be responsible for your own actions.