RIP Charlie the Blind

Wow so what is life like after being blind and then being full visioned again. Well hopefully I have lost the name “Charlie the blind” not that I mind Iv been called far worse! Good bye Charlie the blind you may not be missed but you’ll always be remembered! Life lessons were definitly learnt during this time.
I often get asked “do I look and see things differently now” well I don’t think I do, I just chose to remember them differently. I see something perfect, my family, and I’ll have a little whiff of what’s around. Then whenever I smell this again I will associate it with that memory, a little creepy but it’s another memory saved. When I had no sight I had a new perfume, this perfume now makes my physically sick, it’s a lovely perfume but the memory is vile, sorry Paco rabanne!! As I have no visual memories from the summer of 2014, except a few photos, I have memories full of smell. Thank heavens I don’t suffer from hayfever!!
So since all those operations I have gained a squint, one eye looks one way and the other is looking the opposite way. This has meant I needed some pricey special lenses in my glasses. My youngest daughter, Elsa (before the film may I add) said “wow mummy just like Ben Haenow!” Well I’ll take that as a compliment seeing as she gets Ben from X factor confused with Taylor swift!! I feel I look more like the grandad from the Disney film “up”. Who cares what I look like. It’s much better seeing you all rather than smelling you all!! Believe me!! image

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Through my eyes

Im a 27 year old mum to two beautiful daughters. Two daughters I want to see grow up. I have been diabetic for 18 years and during my teenage years my control wasn’t the best but also wasn’t the worst. 6 months ago I got referred to the ophthalmology department at my local hospital. Early diabetic changes were detected. Hba1c was sitting pretty at 7% after being on the pump 9 months. Surely my eyes weren’t too bad.
Quick examination showed I needed urgent laser treatment within two weeks. Like a whirl wind I was soon having intensive lasering about 8 sittings on both eyes. Then nothing, no follow up appointment so I carried on my life as normal. One evening after putting my girls to bed I saw my eye bleed. I shouted to my partner “my eye is bleeding” he was reassuring me it wasn’t. I phoned out of hours eye clinic and they said they would see me in the morning but until then I had to watch my bleed. I cried. I couldn’t risk losing my sight. I want to see sports days and graduations and wedding days. The next day I was told intense lasering would be needed under general anesthetic. A vessel has burst and was filling my eye jelly with blood. I had more lasering and could only see out of one eye. My left eye was a pool of blood, a week after the intense lasering my right eye, my good eye too bled. I was blinded by blood. The hospital said they couldn’t see me. I’d have to wait 32 hours to see a doctor. How would I look after my children, how would I cook meals and iron my partners clothes. He was my rock and supported me through it all. The hospital told me they couldn’t do anything except hope the blood would disperse on it’s own. I felt alone. Ignored. I also would have to wait a further two weeks to see my own ophthalmologist. On those two weeks my sight started to come back. The pools of blood clumped together. I had clearings I could see through. My latest hospital appointment suggested i need a vitrectomy, and surgery to cut away any scar tissue I have. It’ll mean I won’t be able to drive again, but I’ll hopefully be able to see my girls grow up. I can’t imagining my mother choosing my wedding dress or my partner dressing out daughters, these are things I want to do and I plan on doing them.

Judge the diabetes. I dare you!

I’m sitting here having a bit of ponder. Maybe I am slightly over thinking or just generally need to get a few things off my chest.

Being diabetic, a sufferer of panic attacks, a young mum (if you call being 26 young) I have had my fair share of judgmental or just “bang out of order” comments.

What does give a person a right to judge or label another person. Is it money? Or a decent job? A rich husband a son and a daughter? An education? Maybe its just having a voice that others feel they can’t stand up to.

Labels iv been referred to recently have been “ya know the young mum”, “the girl who takes insulin” “the one who’s dad died when she was young”. Do these so called facts sum up me as a person? No, they are just mere facts which along with a lot of other factors make me the person I am. They aren’t my name. My name is Charlie. Maybe people think I have no feelings? after 19 years of injecting, finger pricking and cannula changes I’m surprised I feel anything!

Being diabetic is part of me. It’s a single piece in the jigsaw, it is not the whole picture. So I talk about it openly and willingly. I cope with it 24 hours a day 7 days a week without holidays from it. But that doesn’t mean it’s who I am? I am person. A mother, A nursery assistant, A car driver, a volunteer, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a lover and a stubborn mule at times. I am Charlie.

Don’t tell me I can’t do anything or I am too ill (I have an illness I am not ill!!) fact people facts!

I sit here in my beautiful little home, in a quiet little village, with my wonderful partner and two amazing daughters. We have enough money to pay the bills and treat the girls. We have our health and my eye sight stays intact. We have cupboards full of food and ironing pile that touches the ceiling (time to crack on and do that). I have an amazing mother and fabulous siblings. I work and I love it. My little rust bucket car is called Talullah. I have ambitions, I have a voice which maybe I “voice” to often with my opinions. But over all I am amazingly happy.

Maybe next time you’ve got a label for me scrap the “diabetic one” and just say the happy one who doesn’t give a damn!!

Sight for sore eyes

A sight for sore eyes

So iv been rather busy lately and it’s been all about my brown eyes. Eyes are so important. They help you see the world and the beauty in someone. They show emotion, you can tell if someone is happy or sad just by their eyes. A bit of eye contact can make you fall in love. Songs are written about eye. One of my favourites and as far as I am concerned totally written about me. Van Morrisons “brown eyes girl”. Eyes are amazing. Fact.

A few months back I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. This is where the tiny blood vessel in the backs of the eyes change and burst. This can ultimately lead to blindness. After being diabetic for nearly 19 years this was inevitable. The course of action was urgent laser eye surgery. When I heard this it turned my brown eyes blue 😦 . Would I witness my beautiful daughters blossom into stunning young ladies. I sat for a while and took everything in. Every line, ever texture, every colour and every lightness. Bollocks was I going to give in to this.

Laser day came. Eye drops administered. I sat in a little darkened room with a doctor who wanted to talk about burgers. I had my chin resting on a metal stand and a bright light shone in eye. A little lens was placed on my eye and stopped me from blinking or moving, then the bright green laser beams were zapping, a little uncomfortable, similarly to getting shampoo in your eyes. After 30 mins I survived my first laser treatment.

I then needs several more sittings in each eye to get the laserings complete. Each time it hurts a little more. This time I took some paracetamol, and this was so much better. But today after laserings number five iv been told I have a cataract in my right eye. Eventually I will need some surgery on this, but fingers crossed not too soon.

All this has been a “really eye opener” how blessed are we to live in such an age where technology is saving eye sight. Everything I see is so precious, each smile, each tear each time I place my make up (god knows what I’d look like if it was left to Jamie to do) everything is important. I am feeling rather blessed.

Lots of love
The brown eyed girl xx

Thank heavens for that!!

Today I am not feeling to good, I am also feeling very great and positive.

My sugar levels are bit “up and down” today. The only way I can describe this to a none-diabetic is it’s like a hangover, mixed with flu and feeling cold, but really thirsty and really full. Like iv been put in a brown bag, shaken up and poured back out again. I feel jiggled up! But after umpteen blood tests, a quick urine test and a full cannula change. I am now sitting relaxed with a cuppa.

After a few hours of worrying about this I have realised I am so lucky to not have to worry about normal problems! After all my health is much more important. Why should I worry about money? I’m alive aren’t i? If I was diabetic 100 years ago I would be dead by now. Why should I worry about what people think? Have they walked in my shoes? Have they worn my insulin pump? Have they slept in my bed? I’m really hoping none of you have answered yes to any of the last two!!

The past week iv heard people moaning about irrelevant nonsense. Stirring the crap in the pot they’ve made. Their Chinese whispers. And all I’m thinking is, how lucky am I? Do I want to worry about who said what? No I do not! I like to worry about the pancreas on my belt keeping me well. I am also lucky because people can’t see this, the door is closed on cannula changes. The pump is hidden on my belt. But the gossip and anxiety just pours out of these “normal peoples” mouths. How lucky am I? I have insulin to keep my worries at bay.

Saying this I felt normal the other day, a “normal” person said something out of line, it caused me to have a panic attack. Then whoops my sugar levels dropped and then my diabetes took over again! My anxiety was back on track.

How would I feel if when I sat down to eat, I didn’t have to test my blood, count the carbs and work out how much insulin is needed. I might actually start worrying that my socks don’t match!

No, I actually don’t think I want to be normal. I’m quite happy being thankful that some guy recreated insulin to keep me alive.

The dementors kiss

A dementors kiss

Today I had a hospital appointment. Like most diabetics we tend to have these every few months. Yet I still hate going there. This place is my haunted house.

Today I had a dietician appointment with a new guy. I was expecting the same old fibre. 5 fruit and Veg a day, plenty of water and less of the cake. I love cake, cake Tuesdays are a day full of cake. Cake is my “thing”. Charlie loves cake! Pumpernickel bread. What the hell is pumpernickel bread? Iv heard this word too many times before. Yet I daren’t google it for i dread to think its as ugly as it sounds.

Anyway this new guy, didnt question my diet he just reassured me of my carb counting skills. Carb counting is essential if your diabetic.
I also got to see a diabetic nurse today so a very triumphant day.

Until…
I stepped outside the hospital doors. A dark cloud hung over the building, yes I’m talking about those blinking clouds again. And there it had me! Dementors everywhere, ready to suck my soul bare. I’m tired. I have no energy, my soul has gone. I get to my car no energy what so ever. Whilst this dementor is on his mission. To those who don’t know what a dementor is, it’s a foul creature that just sucks every inch of happiness out of your soul. It drains you. Similarly to hospital appointments. I get to my car and I get home and he’s won, I am well and truly drained. My patronas charm is more like a a nice hot bath, a cuppa and a slice of cake, rather than a glowing stag.

This may seem very over dramatic, but there is nothing more draining than a hospital appointment (except actually coming face to face with a dementor). But I have now relaxed and my soul is back. My mood has lifted and my wand is safely under my pillar, til next appointment. Next month. Ttfn!

A pump view

Pumping!!

 
Firstly, I hate the word pumping! When I was 17 there was this very welsh lad I went out with. His vocab was all lush, hellish and boy boy. And he called “doing it” pumping! This has totally put me off the word pumping. So my pump is called “denzel” and doing it is definitely not called “pumping”!!! 
 
The big issue I had with “pumping” no not “doing it” I mean having an insulin pump, was the look of it. When i was in my late teens, clubbing with my friends in the shortest of hot pants and the tightest of tops did I really want a pump to be visible? Did I heck! My untanned skin was enough of a worry to hide never mind a pump! Yes, I know a pump would improve my life but when your 18, life is about having fun.
 
Recently searching the Internet for pumps I noticed lots of flabby tums with their pumps on show. The only hot piece of beef cake I have seen with a pump has been Nick jonas from the Jonas brothers. Where are all the hot models sporting their pumps?!? Oh wait who would want this “equipment” to spoil their figure.
 
I am now 26, and have two beautiful daughters and a very supportive partner Jamie. He’s seen me well, fake tanned, sick, fat, thin, pregnant and giving birth, so the look of the pump was never an issue for him. He’d much rather me healthy and attached to a triple A battery than ill. So with his support I got my pump! Woohoo! Yet i still have issues with how it looks. I wear it with pride because I know if I didn’t I’d be self conscious of it. When people say “oh I can see denzel” or “your tubings poking out” I quickly put it away. Really I should scream “why should I?” I really believe more younger people would consider a pump if it was worn with pride. If It became an accessory as well as an essential. Where are all the glamorous photos of people wearing pumps? Girls in their party dresses wearing their pumps, hot men in their swim shorts sporting their pumps. All we get in leaflets is a middle aged man (Sorry if this is you grumps!) with a hairy belly button showing off his bump, I mean pump. Think it’s time the diabetic charities glamourised the little machine keeping us alive!

 

A darkened cloud

Today’s dark cloud

Today there is a dark cloud Over my head. Actually it’s a cloud pissing with rain, with an added bit of thunder and lightening just for fun!! Where’s my silver lining?!?

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t get angry very often. I’m more of a cheery or grumpy kinda person. But today, everyone who’s anybody has had the privilege of hearing how angry I am! Well behind one cloud it’s just another cloud.

It’s kind of been that day where iv woken up angry and gradually got worse. Not even standing on the hills of Wales screaming will get rid of this! Iv thought about a sound proof room? With a nice relaxing bath, and a southern comfort! That might help lift this cloud.

Today, along with rude, nosey and people lacking morals, my health has proper peeved me. Going on the insulin pump had improved my diabetic control amazingly, but with this sudden control there has come a lot of sudden diabetic complications as well. These complications are proper annoying me today. Words like neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney damage and blindness have all been a bit to common recently. There will always be a turbulence in the clouds

Also it popped on my Facebook news feed “diabetic life expectancy shortened by 25years” so does anyone know when I am going today so I can take 25 years off?? So when god decides our time is up some diabetic god type thing says “yes god your saying 76 ill make it 51”
How angry does this make me feel? It makes me mad, slightly crazy! Slightly worried!! Maybe I can save some pennies by not needing a pension? Every cloud has a silver lining.

Even though I’m red with anger, I am taking everything in, my two beautiful girls playing and squabbling. Something I never want to miss out, never want to not see. It’s like I don’t want to blink so I won’t miss anything. My eyes are being mended by an amazing team and my local hospital. But still I will never ever take for granted what I see. When I close my eyes I cannot begin to imagine what my daughters will look like, it’s something I want to see with my own eyes not my imagination. Jamie (my partner) I might decide I want to remember him young, not bald and wrinkly! Clouds come into my life and not add gloom they add colour to my sunset

I am not angry at my diabetes, it’s been with me over 18 years, it’s got it’s grip on all of me. It’s my way of life. And I am fine with that. Behind the cloud there’s a sunshine

People on the other hand. They get me mega riled up. Comments and patronising and pure nosiness. I always learn the hard way with people, I trust too easily and bend of back wards for people who frankly don’t give a damn. These people are in clouds that need popping!

On a lighter note I’ve got my anger out. It’s only blog entry three. You guys are going to think I’m totally and utterly insane!!

I want to see the clouds pour with rain and see that silver lining

A lot of everything …

Welcome to my Blog!! Thought i would give this a whizz for my own sanity! I am thinking many of my twitter followers and facebook friends are getting bored of my day-to-day life so giving blogging a quick whirl.

firstly, forgive my spelling mistakes and poor grammar. GCSE B grade for English and english literature was some how nothing but a fluke. I remember my textiles teacher telling me my writing was full of too much colloquialism and did “I think I was writing for ‘Cosmo’ or an Alevel?”

Secondly, I have looked at many ‘sites’ telling me what makes a good Blog. Rule one stick to one topic! Okay, which topic??

My joys of being a mum and the funny things my children say and do. The “advice” parents give at the playground and their “my child is 4 years old and has mastered all the algebra in the world, whilst he learnt all the sonnets by Shakespeare”

or maybe My teenaged years? coping with diabetes, dealing with my dads battle against cancer, panic attacks, A levels, and keeping all this to myself, had I dared mentioned it, my “friends” would brand me a “bullshitter” or “attention seeker”

Or maybe my diabetes? 18 years on, now on insulin pump therapy, kidney damage has set in, and possibility of serious issues with my eye sight.

So blog advice is i should stick to one of these? Sorry but all these are part of me and youll get a bit of everything.

 

Here are my rules

1. Dont judge me, these are just my feelings.

2. Dont feel sorry for me, i am not feeling sorry so please dont you be.

3. Dont correct my crappy grammar, or my spelling that your “six year old could do better”

 

Enjoy ….