Living with fear in your mind. Part 1

I have not written a blog post for a while and over the next few blog posts you will realise why and I will take you on my journey over the past few months as well as a few years back to give you the bigger picture.

So firstly, let’s throwback to 20 years ago. It’s 1999 and I have a daughter of six months old. We are living in a 2 bedroom maisonette, our first home together, that we bought when I was pregnant and moved into in May 1998. Our daughter was born in September. One Saturday, I had a really bad headache, a headache like I’ve never had in my life. I thought if I go to bed early, when I wake up, it will be gone. I woke up on Sunday morning and it had. Great. Thought nothing more of it. Monday afternoon and we are about to take my car to my uncle’s garage to get something on it fixed. I tell my husband, I am just going to have a quick bath before we go.

Our bathroom door never had a lock on it since we moved in and never really felt the need for it. My hubby would often come in for a chat while I took a bath and vice versa. This particular day though, was not like any other. I started to have a seizure in the bath! If he had not been there, I would have drowned and that would have been the end of me…however he held me and let the water go down the plug hole.

I was taken to hospital as he’d called an ambulance. They did a few checks like ‘what day is it?’, ‘who’s the prime minister?’ That kind of thing and said ‘everyone has at least one seizure in their life’ and sent me home.

Sadly, not long after, I had another seizure and one in the actual reception of A&E. They kept me in…I was there having numerous scans and tests, including a lumber puncture. The seizures began to become more frequent. I was moved to the National hospital in London for more tests and more scans. Seizures became 2-3 minutes apart and they wanted to put me into a coma. My hubby said he would think about and discuss it with my mum etc. He didn’t want to let them do it.

That evening they tried a new drug on me, it’s called Phenobarbital and is apparently the cheapest drug available. It completely changed me and began controlling the seizures!! I had a blood clot on the brain which was causing the seizures. My hubby said when the nurse came back to work that morning she said she was scared to look round the corner to my bed as she didn’t think I’d make it through the night!!  My poor family are the ones who suffered the most as I was ‘out of it’ most of time!

I am on medication for life but have been seizure free for 9 years roughly.  Of course I live with it at the back of my mind as you never know when you could have one , but I try and live my life as normal and continue to always do so.  I do not let it rule my life.  I am grateful for each day.

I hope I have not bored you all too much and my next post will be fast forward 20 years to 2019 and what a year I’ve had so far.

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My top 3 travel destinations for New Year’s Eve

Now, I consider myself to be quite well travelled and have been to quite a few places around the world.  Eaten at some spectacular and equally not to spectacular restaurants and seen some amazing sunsets and sunrises (the best ever sunrises over the Masai Mara in Kenya) and amazing sunsets we had from our villa in Crete just this summer.

I would like to share with you as we go into this Christmas season, 3 of my top destinations for New Year’s Eve (not in a particular order, just numbered 1-3).  After all the build up and excitement of the run up to Christmas, after we have opened all our presents and eaten our turkey dinner, all seems to bee a bit of anti climax after, but having booked  a holiday for New Year’s Eve alleviates that feeling as you still have something to look forward to!

  1. New York

I am going to go with New York to start off with as I would actually like to visit it myself in the summer as we went for New Year’s Eve one year.  When you come out of the subway and see Times Square for the first time, it really does take your breath away.  The year we went, the Pound was worth almost $2 so we were extremely lucky from the shopping point of view and especially when Footlocker had a deal on of buy a pair of Timberland’s and get another pair free!!!  Now I love to shop and this was just an amazing time to go shopping in New York.  The shops still had all the Christmas displays in the windows which alone were amazing to look at and watch.  It was quite cold but can say as we did a lot of walking, did not really feel it.  However the day we took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, we picked the worst day as it was foggy!!  So I would love to go back to see New York a bit more comfortably and the Statue of Liberty a bit clearer!  Now for New Year’s Eve, we were in and around Times Square in the daytime and thy had begun to close off all the roads and was quite quiet – however we knew it would be packed later on!  We decided though not to head or Times Square to see the ball drop as Saddam Hussein had just been found and people were saying about security concerns so we avoided it and ended up in Central Park instead where we watched people getting ready for a marathon that was due to start at midnight, dressed in all kinds of fancy dress.  Then some fireworks went off as well, so we got a great New Year’s Eve in New York.  Would highly recommend it at that time of year as it truly is magical,  We went up the Rockefeller Centre  to the top and you can get to see the Empire State building from there so I feel better off going up there rather than the Empire State itself.  The largest Christmas tree and ice skating were obviously still there as well.  For great atmosphere, great breakfasts and more, I would also definitely recommend going to Ellen’s Stardust Diner

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2. Dubai

Now have been to Dubai many times and 3 times for New Year’s Eve now.  Last year we went down to Jumeirah Beach to watch the fireworks at midnight from there.  For starters, it is free to do so – Dubai Christmas and New Year’s Eve packages can be quite expensive, we did do Planet Hollywood one year and a hotel near Jumeirah for Christmas Day one year as well.  The atmosphere on the beach was amazing!! You had people from all over the world, just happy and dancing away and then waiting for the Countdown to midnight and then you can see the fireworks from the Burj Al Arab, the Atlantis and many more coming off the Palm!! The weather is just perfect. Still in the 20s in the evenings as well at that time of year.  Would warn you off going in the summer months though – it is EXTREMELY hot!!  Then you cannot even sit outside to eat even in the evenings.  Our favourite spot to sit outside in the evenings and enjoy the ambience and great food as well as FANTASTIC views over the Marina and more is Shades at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina

3.  Disneyland Paris

I am quite a big Disney fan and just find the whole thing when you enter any of the parks just truly magical and think if you have children, there is no better way to celebrate
New Year’s Eve than watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle at midnight!  It gives you a warm and tingly feeling as you hug your family tightly and wish for all the best for the upcoming year.  Yes, it can be a long day, so would recommend not starting out too early that day or make sure your ticket allows for re entry to the park again should you decide to leave ad come back for the fireworks only.  At this time of year, it can also be quite cold in Paris so wrap up warm.  One of the years we went, it was very cold and when we entered the park one day, it started snowing but that just made it feel even more special and makes you really appreciate the Disney hot chocolate!!

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The C word is over!! A bit of Paris beforehand though!

So all that waiting and anticipation we have for months and the dreaded ‘C’ word (Christmas!) is all over!!

All the tension before hand of getting the right present, making sure there is enough food for everyone (always end up having too much!) and then on the day the tension of making it all with not enough room in the oven for everything so timing is EVERYTHING!!

Well all done and dusted and time to relax! I do love this time of year though. It’s magical and this time last week I was in Paris and it was beautiful.
Did a lot of walking as you normally do on city breaks and took the big bus tour of the city. It was beautiful to see especially at night when all the Christmas lights were on.
The Christmas market down the Champs Élysées was wonderful to see. Everywhere so busy and the spirit of Christmas in all the shops.

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And of course, the shopping!

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Seven Years seizure free

Hi

I have not written a blog for a while but thought today was most necessary to write down how I am feeling and my thoughts for today.

It has been 7 years without me having a seizure today and it was whilst watching ‘Im a celebrity, get me out of here’, the night Cerys Matthews was evicted I think!!

I am not an epileptic – however, its a long story and to cut a long story short, I had a blood clot in the brain which led to lots of different things, mainly being seizures, some every 2-3 minutes at the time and I very nearly was put into an induced coma and nearly died.

So here as I write this today, I am humble in my thoughts and soooooooo grateful for everything around me, my wonderful family, a roof over my head and food on the table to enjoy while still being alive.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for EVERYTHING I have.

Dubai 2014

So as was half term last week and to continue the birthday celebrations we went to Dubai!!!

This was our fourth visit there and we went for 4 days, 5 nights…

We have done most of the ‘touristy’ things before, like the desert safari twice and once even did the helicopter ride over Dubai which I think was the most awesome.
This time we went up the Burj Khalifa. Last time we went, we left the day before it opened!!

Amazing views from up there…I read that the best time to up is an hour before sunset, which we did.
Also booked tickets online a month before the day we went up. It’s cheaper that way rather than paying on the day and at least you will be guaranteed tickets for the time you want. That time gets very busy and are normally sold out as most people want to go up at that time.

We stayed up there for about an hour and a half and then saw the sunset and watch it get darker and the street lights eye come on…

We had a fantastic time for all 4 days we were there and my daughter has lived it there since she was 5 years old!!

We didn’t want to leave. The weather was still hot and dry. Around 35 degrees Celsius daily. Still in the 30s in the evenings but didn’t find this too uncomfortable.
Infact I love going out when it’s still warm in the evening. Nothing better!!

Oh well, back to reality now!! Sadly !

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The BIG 40!!!

So yesterday I turned the BIG 40!!
People asking how I feel…

I feel no different to the day before! As we don’t with all birthdays. When we turned 11 after 10, still felt the same…I certainly don’t feel 10 however!

I feel very content and happy with my life though and am happy to be 40 and to be alive and be with my family.
Will have celebrations all weekend long and this is what life is all about.

Met up for coffee with a long lost friend today. Haven’t seen eachother for years and now our daughters are at the same school!! Great catching up for a good chat.

So now looking forward to my Michael Kors bag which is on its way and our holiday at the end of the month!!

Life is great at 40!!