Tag Archives: friends

People’s Kindness

This Blog is just to say a massive “THANK YOU” to all my friends and family for their kindness.
For all those people who are sending messages and prayers of get well soon,  and for my close friends and family who are looking after me through this tough time.

I have so many messages and I do read every single one of them even if i dont reply to all.

Here are a few of the things i’ve been sent and messages and thoughts. Every single one of them im thankful for. There are far more than what is in this blog so please dont get offended if yours isnt here. I cant possible put every message or picture up but maybe I will start to do videos when I get better or something, I dont know. I have alot Im planning at the moment so keep you posted.
for now all I can say is thank you to you all.

Picture Taken from when I had sleepover
In the studio. I made this fish to keep
swimming out of a sparkler! 
Thank you to my Bestie Lara for this beautiful card. xxx

       

 

A chant from a special lady I know xxx

Lots of special wishes from special people xxxx

This picture was made for me by Lara. 
So so cleaver.

Balloon and fluffy from my bestie Claire 
these are from my best friend Linda
the necklace is of a hand holding a sparklie ball.
we both have one cos we hold each others hand and both like sparkles.
I also got nail tips, nail decorations, Sellotape pretty bits for scrapbook,
magnet, tinkerbel necklace and some sparklie tights!

More beautiful cards

This is a case I designed and mum got printed for me
XXX

Beautiful bracelet made for me by a lovely lady
It says “jo, Just keep swimming”

A lovely lady I know from a band brought me these bits back from
her holiday on the Disney cruise line. She knows I love disney.
I can not get over how thoughtful the gifts were but also that they
were presented so lovely. Wrapped in purple tissue paper and minnie mouse
paper and then put into a pretty box with sparkles on.
XXX THANK YOU HELEN XXX
Pirate bandana from Helen “oo ah!”

This photo is of a lovely Necklace that arrived, as complete surprise and was from my best friend Lara. 
I know ive said thank you already but thank you again… he is so cute!.

Far away friends

Today was the first day I’ve got up and dressed in the few weeks I’ve been poorly. I know I’ve missed out a few days from my blog and I will catch up on them when I’m feeling up to it but had to blog about this special event (not me getting dressed but what’s to follow!).

11 years ago I met a man and woman Allan and Pat may who are from Australia. I met them at school, Allan was my D&T teacher for a year. We got on really well and vowed to keep in touch, and we did to this day. Via email, letter, phone, and recently Facebook: 
Today we met up again. I was suppose to go down town with them but as I didn’t feel up to it they were happy to come to mine for a cuppa and chat. We chatted for a couple of hours about this and that and what had been going on in our lives and then once again parted and vowed to stay in touch. 
This is another memory made and to cherish. I value my friends dearly. One day I may meet them on their home ground in Australia but until then we have memories and the contact we promise to keep to keep us going. 
Me and Allan 

Me and Pat 

Home at last.

We arrived home. that night pain levels were obviously still high. Higher i think as I’m sure the morphine i had was not as strong as the hospitals however i was home.. i was happier. 
In the end i think its things like comfort, family and friends that help the healing process. My friends are amazing – they come to my hospital bed and they come to my home but when I’m at home its so much nicer and for my friends who are far away I can FaceTime them at home and seeing them makes me happy. basically life was really bad but better at home.



The next morning I woke to severe pain. I had the morphine and we managed to see the GP. It was a real struggle to get up there but we needed to. The GP prescribed something called M.S.T and was told to take one straight away and then use the oramorph when the pain was really bad. 
I continued to do this for the next 24 hours – i began to itch though – it must be a side effect of the medicine. i managed to sleep again but it was restless sleep. 
I dont know if anyone else has felt like this but i was asleep yet i could still feel the pain – i tried to wake up but couldn’t. i call this Kruger sleep cos its a nightmare ! 

The next few days this all continued – with one change of the GP swapping the MST and oramorph for oxycontin and oxynorm. 
This wasn’t a good change though. The new meds made me feel terrible ill and sick and we had to get the GP to come out again –  gave me an injection and we went back to just the oramorph as the other meds were not agreeing with me. Shame as the pain had been less on the oxynorm. 

The next few days I slept on and off – my oxygen levels occasionally dropping and me still having seizures almost every day on top of this. 


Pain.


Well the last few weeks have been a struggle. Ive gone through many emotions a few different drs and hospitals. The news on all fronts have not been great and ive not been feeling great on top of that. Basically life seems a viscious circle in many ways. The seizures cause joint pain, headaches and stress of family, friends and in turn make things difficult. I want to do things but I get limited by people thinking they know what is best for me when in fact they are making life worse… more stressful because I still want to try being “normal” whataever that is. Its not like i want to be like everyone else… thats never been my style However I want to live life, Enjoy what I can. Yes sometimes I push things to the limit but life is for adventure and for living. Not sitting on the sidelines wondering what is out there. Ive also been having worse cluster headaches. I haven’t spoken about cluster headaches much in this blog I know but yes I have cluster headaches too. Diagnosed when i was sitting with my epilepsy consultant one time and my Dr asked me some (what I thought) odd questions on my next appointment after reading my hospital notes. I answered them and bang – another diagnosis, lot of pills and other things to learn/ understand. Well i’ve been reasonably coping until recently. My episodic clusters have turned into chronic meaning they are several times a day. This does not help the seizures either.
We have also found that my seizures occur when i’m in pain and my oxygen levels drop – hence alot of the time im hooked up to oxygen trying to quench a headache and stop seizures. Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t. Either way its another thing in the way of life. Ive not had a seizure free day (grandmal becasue I dont really count the absence ones) in 5 weeks. Before this I maybe got one ever 2 weeks. Im getting tired now, my joints are suffering badly and Ive damaged my neck. Im now at the stage where Ive got some things in order and now its time to fight or run and damn the consequences. Im not going to run im going to fight for as long as I can and for as hard as I can.


Fight for fun
Fight for life
Fight for a seizure free day 
Fight for a pain free Day
Fight for epilepsy awareness.

 Im waiting for an appointment go go back to london for more treatment of some sort – we dont know what yet. I know surgery is not an option unless they find something new as my seizure focus (where the epilepsy is and starts) is no longer in just one side of the brain but both. its not just in the one lobe anymore but in 3. time will tell but for now I dont know what the answer is. 


A poem edited for epilepsy: 

“What Epilepsy Cannot Do”
Epilepsy is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.


Even if just for a moment it does any of the things above… epilepsy and everything else will not win I have epilepsy – it does NOT have me.It is not Who I am – it is only part of me. I am not defined by it – i dont want to be.If I die tomorrow I want to be remembered as the bubbly crazy wacky purple, glittery disney loving girl  who was fighting for epilepsy awareness. Fighting for funding for people to help find the cure we all need. I want to leave my mark on the world. Help and inspire people – that is my wish.

Night night. xxx

Cadbury World

What girl does not want to go to cadbury world, the place where chocolate is made! and in my case dreams !

Ive always wanted to see the world of chocolate, to be in the biggest chocolate shop in the UK and to smell chocolate being made. It was a 2 hour trip to Birmingham – I really didnt realise it was so far. When My bestie said about going I never thought it would be so far. We arrived after the journey and entered Cadbury world. 
there is so so much to say about cadbury world but if i did then it would ruin the surprise for you going yourself.  There are alot of talks, lots of lessons about chocolate and a chocolate bean ride, 
We were bombarded with chocolate bars at the beginning and then little pots of heaven… i mean to say little pots of melted chocolate around the course of the tour. 
Then you get to write your name in chocolate and watch chocolate being made the new way and the old fashioned way. I could never work in a chocolate factory it would be far too tempting. 
There were lots of shapes made from chocolate,… i even found a chocolate clarinet and saxophone ! 
Sadly these were not for sale. 
the day was fab, very tiring and i was struggling that day but totally loved the experience.

Robin Hood Country

I am just going to say that the holiday blogs are going to be just that until the thursday. Yes I had seizures during the week. some big ones, lots of little ones but for once I want a little bit normal stuff on here just a week. 

So It is Sunday and sherwood forest was calling… Well not literally but we were off to sherwood forrest. This is something Ive wanted to do for more years than you can imagine.. It was on my bucket list and something that i read as a child and said then “i want to go there” ive said it with ashdown forrest too (the 100 acre wood for those of you that do not read winnie the pooh novels).

Anyway we were all ready (ralph, Linda, Mum and me. Jade couldnt come which was a shame but we all piled in the car). Ralph I now know is a ex chauffeur which makes total sence now as he took us the long way round to show us the beautiful sights of the area. I was literally stunned when we came across sights such as this:

We arrived at Sherwood forrest… somehow it was not how I imagined. This is not a good or bad way just completely different than my pictures I had in my head. It was also alot bigger. It seemed ages before we got to the car-park and then we had to walk a long long way to the Major oak. The major oak was stunning, though tainted by supports that kept the branches from falling down in storms. It seemed so sad that something so naturally beautiful was now subject to being held up by man made structures. However it was still beauty, Just like everything, beauty lies within.

There were other trees round the forrest that were “quirky” too 
This was my favourite 

on the way home we had a picnic in the grounds of a beautiful abby, It was like a dream, I had just visited the major oak and was now on the grass picnic and blankets and calm, peace, no grr’s nothing. seriously amazing all I can do is thank the people who made it happen because you will never know how much that meant.

Mum, Me & Ralph
Mum and I 

Me and my best friend 

By the time we got home I was exhausted, I ached all over from lots of walking but It was one of the most amazing days ever.

living in a bungalow !

The next day was saturday, this was a chill out day really as we had a important show to go to…. jades! 

We did however open our pressies we’d brought each other and dyed my hair… purple ! yes i know bit crazy? but hey it was something off my bucket list so why not ! 
Anyway we dyed my hair, it went how I wanted it to in the end… it was a bit traumatic really as i had to have it bleached first….. i have a hell of a lot of hair. By the near end my head was pounding and I was getting tired but we finished it and the result? amazing ! 
me and linda, the pink and purple girls!
During and after hair dying we opened our pressies,…. I found out this was not just going to be the only thing i ticked off my bucket list ! 

there was also one more (picture cannot be found yet!) 
anyway all pressies were put to one side as we had a show to prepare for ! 
Jade was red riding hood in the play into the woods in the GAPA variety performance, I’m proud to say she stole the show.
The first half to be honest could have done with more work and it was only jades group dance that saved it. The second half was excellent but then im biased as Jade was in the second half alot. It was great to finally see her perform and do her stuff. One talented lady is going to come out of that girl and even more so now she is starting college. 
We came home (or rather we sat on a street wall for half a hour as James came to rescue us from our flat tyre).
James did rescue us and we went home. I sorted a entire 64gb worth of photos out and then woke up under the table ! Yeah seizure hard concrete floor but lovely people thankfully caught me… or so im told ha ha…. i didn’t have too many bruises anyway! That was the first sudden seizure Linda had seen… It was really horrible waking up on someone else’s floor not knowing what they just saw. Linda is one of my bestest friends in the world but it didn’t make it any easier until I felt that hand. Somehow when someone isn’t afraid to hold your hand you know its going to be ok. 
Yes this seizure may have been caused by tiredness, exhaustion, and lots of music light and a headache but it could have happened anyway. I always think that unless i fall and drop there and then at the point of the lights camera action or whatever… it could be anything. 
After I recovered we went to bed… Stairs after a seizure Very new concept of trying to tell my legs, feet and body to move in a upward direction before I can rest (i live in a bungalow and im so glad!). 

Weekend & Confidence boosting.

Well last week I was on the verge of breaking down, this week I hope things are on the up. My weekend started Friday when I had an appointment with my Dr about my ECG and the probability of me going on the new pills… Well Due to the ECG and the “unlicensed” meds The answer was a No – However he will prescribe them if my London consultant says yes. I have an appointment with him on  22nd. Fingers crossed once again. 
For now Im stuck with the situation im in. Medication making me tired and sleepy if I take it – having seizures and being in pain if I dont. Its a conflicting situation. I have no choice with the seizure meds but I try and hold off on the pain killers as long as I can. The likes of Codeine, ibuprofen, Diclofenac and some other injection that I cant spell and morphine are not nice meds to take.

After the recent events Ive been really like a recluse an not wanted to go out much for fear of seizures as they have been quite bad… except the drs of course. 


However This weekend My weekend started friday. 

1) My Grandad is out of hospital. Its a long story but he went in for a knee replacement last year which went teribly wrong. His leg had to be straightened, a year later and the work they had done had broken and crumbled and so he needed another op to repair his crumbling bone. He is now out of hospital with a straightened leg and two rods and bolts through it and in plaster however it is fab to have him out as he normally ends up really poorly in hospital with infection…this time, so far so good all is ok. This also means mum and i do not have to live up there to be with nan. Not that I mind but it is one less hassle of taking all the necessary things up there. And they are both happier now they are back together. 

2) My Camera arrived. Ive been asked to do alot of blogs and vlogs recently and my video camera I previously had (the Flip HD) was not up to the job, plus its hard to video yourself when you cant see what your video’ing. Now I hate videoing myself, moving picture is fine but if I have to talk im not so happy however I do it for Epilepsy awareness so Im trying to get over my fear and improve my self confidence by doing this. Also I need it for the next piece of good news. 

3) Friday I got the news that I am reviewing things for this new company IWBYE which stands for “I will beat you epilepsy”. I am honoured in being the first person ever to receive one of their tshirts designed by them and I will be doing reviews of their products via this blog and my youtube channel (tiggerifficjem) please go take a look at my channel and subscribe. It is totally free to do so and you will get a email when I upload a new video. Also the more subscriptions I receive the more knowledge gets out there and the more I will be doing. 


You can visit them at this address

Click here for IWBYE

4) This weekend was Sci-Fi weekend. Saturday Lara came over and we chilled out, she visited me at studio Tigz  (my little craft and relaxation room) and we had a good time. I re sealed her dreadlocks and we done nail art In preparation of sci fi day. I may look into making some dreadlocks as apparently Lara thinks I would be able to do it and there are few people to get them from. So I will be looking into that when I get back off holidays. Ive got too much to do until I get back.

5) SCI-FI DAY: Yes today Is sunday. I am sitting on the sofa, in my pj’s totally exhausted. I have been here since 2 o’clock this afternoon! Today was the first time I’d been out properly since being poorly again. I wasn’t feeling my best when we left but I took meds and felt I could do it. With Lara by my side I always feel happier. She is one of my true best friends who Ive known for many years and It doesn’t matter where in the world/country we are we will always make time for each other  Anyway so Im exhausted but it was all worth it. Lara came over early and we got ready, Hair and last touches of make up – not that mine was anything spectacular but we both felt better – I wore the Superman (girl) tshirt that lara had brought me and we were off. We arrived at 11am and had a look round, From the outset we could see many characters and costumes and stalls and music and people – there were hundreds of people ! We handed over our tickets in exchange for a hand stamp

The Giant Ghost buster marsh mellow was hard to miss, There were lots of lovely people there including those that helped organise and set this extravaganza of sci- fi up. We walked around the first few stalls and then came to the Activity box stall. It was really good to see Abi and Barbs as I’d not seen them for so long. Lots of hugs all round and I felt happy to be out. My confidence was growing. I left my oxygen behind the stall as It is really heavy. We looked round a few more stalls until my legs couldnt carry me anymore so we went back to the activity box tent for a reset and chat. It was great to introduce lara to other people in my life. I like it when everyone knows everyone – I guess thats the country person (as my grandad would say) coming out in me. I went to another stall on the next look round that done face painting/temorary tattoos’ I chose a nemo design an had it on my cheek. I love the Finding Nemo film – especially the quote “just keep swimming” i really believe that if i just keep swimming in life I will get through this. 
 The day went on and we took lots of photos and video (i tried to do a scilent VLOG for my first one to get my confidence up so I will be sorting and editing that in the next few days and it  will be up on you tube. 
My head started to get worse and at 1:15 I called mum to come and get lara and I . Lara had to go home to Essex too so she had a long trip ahead. I came home and apart from editing a little video and photos I have been resting. I face timed with my other bestie Linda which was fun… I love facetime. We are both getting really excited now about me going up to visit soon. I cant wait. Lots ot do and fun to be had… Of course I will be bloggin! 
Nite Nite for now and Thank you to all those people who made today possible and to those who made me feel more “normal” 
XXX

Hospital again and drug trial

Well things didn’t get better after the last blog. I ended up in the large hospital about half an hour away, my head pounding and the seizures not stopping. I’m limited into what can happen how as most the drs don’t want to take me to theatre to administer the drugs I could do with fast. So I end up with lots of muscular injections, oxygen and oral meds. I thought this had worked and we managed to get home Monday morning. Unfortunately this wasn’t the end.
 I ended up with one of my own dr’s coming out a few hours later as the hospital drugs wore off and I ended up in the worst pain known (cluster headache has really set in). Having epilepsy is one thing but add that to this disease called cluster headaches which is defined in medicine as “the most painful condition known to man” and life is somewhat harder. So here I was more injections and drugs. My neck was really giving me alot of pain too as Id hurt it in a previous seizure a few years ago and it is a recurrent thing which normally gets better after a few days…. this time it hadnt. It just added to the pain :-(. 

For the next 24 hours I lay in bed sleeping, waking intermittently and more sleeping. I was trying to keep awake but it wasn’t happening my body once again taking over.  

I did eventually manage to wake up and be more alert but the drugs were making me sleepy. I had to get an appointment for the dr that week so 3 days later (when I felt strong enough to get to the surgery I tried to get an appointment. Well like most Dr’s surgeries in the UK despite being told by the dr to make this appointment the guard dogs (AKA – drs receptionists) wont let you book an appointment unless you are dying which at this point I thought I was with my neck. 
The next day I tried again…. I managed to get an appointment with a dr I’d never heard of. 
This is normally a waste of time for me as not many Dr’s are willing to change any medication or do anything without my epilepsy and cluster consultant’s and London consultant being notified first. This Dr however was different. He was lovely. He even had a skill very far and few between Dr’s ……. he listened. 

After a chat and examination it looks like ive damaged my neck as Ive had years of seizures.The epilepsy medication damages the bones, nails, teeth and all things like that so with the combination of medication since i was 4 years old and the recurrent seizures slinging my neck in awkward positions it is not surprising. I received some pills for my neck and then he asked me many questions.. We now have some different injections for home as well and medication to help the seizures when Im going through a bad spell. I already had some but these ones are apparently stronger and the ones I normally have whist in hospital so should mean another step away from hospital. Great!. 

About a year ago now I was told that there was a new drug to help the pain I get from my head and seizures and cluster headache however it was strong and acts upon the heart. I was told to get a ECG heart trace which I did. This was given to my consultant and I was then told I couldn’t go on the new drug. I was not given much of an explanation to my satisfaction apart from it was not right. Therefore I asked this new GP what was wrong with my ECG. Apparently he couldn’t even find it so I am due for another trace on Tuesday. Fingers crossed I will get a better reading and be able to trial this drug and maybe get relief. 

In the mean time I am also staying at my nans during the day at weekends with my mum as my grandad went into have his leg straightened again on Monday. The week has been hard but Ive managed one hospital visit and im at nans as I type. I am so sleepy on the new drugs and feel like im under water. Everything I do is an effort but I am forcing myself to get back to normal. 

Yesterday (Saturday) I installed Laras Dreadlocks ! I had never installed dreadlocks in my life before but with the help of youtube (god I love youtube) I managed it… 
Im really pleased with the result and I think Tink is too.


Today Ive rested and Im on the strong meds again as my neck is pretty painful. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do or what position I am in it makes no difference so its just medication and grin and bare it. The seizures are still unpredictable as usual and I need to get my confidence back fast. 
A spell like this always makes me think about doing anything or going anywhere cos what if I had a seizure…. but if you live life like that you may as well not live at all. Grab the bull with both horns and have faith no fear. 


Tomorrow is monday and I so want to go to band practice. I am going to see how I go and maybe even if I sit out for a bit I will at least get to play something. 
I love my music and could really do with chilling out at band and not thinking about much while I play. I miss everybody too. Strange really as you rarely get to talk to many people while there but Its nice to be with people who I do class as really good friends. 


Kent Coastal Concert Band is an amazing band.


Abseil Day

Abseil day was a amazing experience. I woke up really tired, the weather was wet and cold :-( oh no I thought typical !

We got ready, I donned my epilepsy awareness Tshirt and purple ribbon makeup and grabbed all the cameras… We were off. Kara was due to be going with my friend who is also a photographer and was coming to take professional pics. My other friend tink was going with daryl (a friend from dads work). I couldn’t get it round my head that all these people were coming to support me. I was so shocked of how many people wanted to support me (or maybe they just wanted to see me 200fr up dangling on the end of a fishing line!?) 

Ok it was more than a fishing line but that’s how it felt that high up! 
We all arrived.kara had made everyone team Jo badges to wear! I was amazed! 
They were fab. 


 I went to register and I got my sticker which I put on my shirt. This told everyone i was a participant.


Next we were taken round into a car park, I separated from my friends and was hooked up to a harness. The gloves I were given were far too big and each participant had two pairs to wear each! 



 We were then taken up in the elevator 15 floors. Then two flights of stairs and another half dozen steps onto the roof. This part was enclosed a little. We had a photo taken. 
Then we had to climb two ladders walk across a partition and up another ladder. We were then ready to abseil. 
I chose to be feathered to the rather hunky looking ex sas soldier! Wonder why! Ha ha 
Everybody had told me the worst part would be going over the top so I was really nervous. I did exactly what the sas soldier told me to do though and it was fun. The view was amazing and I couldn’t help but look down. My feeling was : if I’m going to get the most from this experience I want to see the view! 
Once over the edge the hard work started. We went down in twos but the lady who I went down with Sandra had done these challenges before… She was also a bit heavier than me so the rope lowered her down… It wasn’t till the sas man told me I would have to lift the rope up because I was very light that I done that and started to move! 
I continued on my way down, soaking up the scenery but getting extremely cold . I am not the type of person that does well in cold. I was shivering and my hands were numb… I was really starting to wonder if my hands would hold me because they were so cold. I continued on my way down… Sandra was gone. Either I was slow or she was really fast! I stopped for a minute I looked down thinking I was nearly at the bottom… Wow big shock…. I was only 1/4 of the way down. I had way over half way to go! 
I was slightly worried but knew I was in safe hands I slowly and steadily continued on my way. There was a little squee when the wind we me off the wall and I scrambled my feet back onto the vertical surface again but apart from that he decent went well. 




Eventually I did reach the bottom, a big cheer from all my friends, I then disappears behind this wall where mum as was waiting. I started to feel dizzy as my feet reached the ground.. My only working eye went blurry too, I was so so cold I couldn’t stop shaking. I was pushed against the wall to keep me steady while the guys untied me from my harness. Another guy wrapped me in his coat and gave me a drink. I sat on the steel staircase and warmed up.


Once warm (less cold) mum and I went to meet everyone… I had to go back to the desk and collect my certificate. Upon doing so Claire presented me with a rosette and tiara! It was amazing. I cried, all emotions running through me. 

We all piled in cars and went back to mine where there was hot coffee, tea and nibbles. It was lovely to have all those people close to me on one room. I felt honoured and privilaged to have so many good friends who supported me and continue to support me. 



That day will never be forgotten. It is one of the best times of my life. 

After the abseil I had two newspaper mentions and was on the local billboard I was also on line and I had overwhelming response to my video which I will post on the next blog my total fundraising was £720 !