Sunday, 18 January 2015

January's update...

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend...

Thought I'd give you an update as there's been quite a lot been going on this past few weeks. Unfortunately, one of my rats Pumpkin had to go today. The local vets were closed so she had to endure a 25 minute drive wrapped in a towel. After speaking to the vet over the phone yesterday, the problem was what he expected. An infection of the uterus. She was losing blood and was incredibly lethargic. I actually wondered if she'd developed M.E. !!! She didn't appear to be in any pain but she was very weak and had lost quite a lot of weight. She was meant to be going in tomorrow but I felt another day was just too much for her.

Here's a picture of her in the car on the way to the vets this morning, I felt she knew what was going to happen and I'm just glad she spent the last 3 months of her life in a loving home rather than in a pet shop. She was prone to stress and developed scabs over her eyes which disappeared after a week of living here. She will be buried in North Wales like the others wrapped in 1 of my hooded tops. It's always a hard time visiting my Grandad physically with the journey but it's for a good cause...

RIP Pumpkin xxx

She could also have had a small tumour which would have been impossible to find without operating which she clearly wasn't ready for. It brings me onto the next subject which is my other rat Daisy, she had a tumour removed from her throat just a couple of weeks before. She and Pumpkin developed a real bond which was nice to see.

You can see her wound above, such a warrior. She acted completely normal when I picked her up from the vets and she was just so glad to see me. Unfortunately, just 2 days after her op she has developed another tumour which isn't as likely to be cancerous. It's unlikely to be connected so it's a case of keeping a close eye and as soon as it grows there's the possibility of removing it, so hopefully Daisy will be with us for a bit longer! They all had a nice treat when Daisy came home...

Moving on...

I've been very up and down physically, mentally I've been fine though it doesn't help seeing the headlines in this weeks papers indicating that M.E. sufferers fear exercise. FEAR?! I've been going to the gym since I was 14 years old and became a fully qualified personal trainer. Why on earth would I be scared of going to the gym? I can't physically handle it anymore and for the past 2 years have been trying to find out ways I can incorporate some exercise without worsening my M.E. symptoms! The sad thing is that people believe what they read in the newspapers... it's an ongoing battle but we won't be defeated! I even bought some kettle bells the other day so I could try something new, I wouldn't have been seen dead with the pink ones a couple of years back but now it would be an achievement to get through a workout with them... However I did have my mum in mind when I bought them, I've started her on a diet and she'll be using these very soon... She's lost 3lbs in her first week so it's working!

 I've started her (and myself) on the juices. Only 1 a day though as I firmly believe you need lots of solid foods in your daily diet... the juice is very tasty though!


Anyway, mornings have been very hard for me recently. I've been waking up in quite a bit of pain that worsens if I get up and do my stuff like making breakfast and having a shower. I like to keep clean but showering is a real chore and I need a fair amount of rest after having 1. It's been recommended that I purchase a shower stool but my bath is too small so it's not possible. The mornings aren't helped by having 5 cats waiting for me as soon as I enter the kitchen...

I am actually thinking of coming off my painkillers altogether because they just don't seem to be working. I've been on them for a while and I'm on a high dose. I'm experiencing side effects too so I don't think they'd be too much of a loss...

I'm also thinking of changing my doctor because as nice as she is, she admits that she doesn't really have a clue about what M.E. is and I've heard a few people recommend a good doctor at another surgery local to me so that's the next step...

There's also a lot going on with the renewal of my ESA benefits which I don't really like to talk about but I do just to show how hard they make it and basically to put to bed any doubts about whether I'm "faking" it or not.

I've seen the Welfare Rights team and I learned a lot. I won't go into it but my "adviser" at WRAG (Work-related assessment group) could be in a bit of trouble as 1) she told me I couldn't have anyone go to the appointments with me and 2) she totally dismissed a factual report from the hospital telling her I couldn't participate in any activities. Just to add salt to the wounds, she's told me that it's mandatory I attend a "psychological motivational course". How insulting is that?! This is where my local MP is getting involved... it's been needless stress but it's getting sorted.

What else? My book! Wow time is flying... I am making progress but because my health has been up and down it's been hard to be consistent with my writing. I've also discovered a new word... "voxpopping". Basically I've been invited to go and ask the public in the city for their thoughts and blessings. I'm not entirely sure myself but it's something I'm interested in as it's helping to raise awareness. It'll be a little nerve wracking because I'm not the most social guy but then why not?!

I'm also going to a social gathering for a friends birthday, there's going to be a lot there so it's a big deal for me. A few months back I would have said no but I'm determined that I push myself that bit further this year to do more... let's see what my body's capable of and if I've made much progress!

There's lots of little things in the pipeline but as my head has gone very foggy I'll leave the post here. There were a few more pics but I'll share them another time.

Barry x

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Life Is Complicated: New Book Announcement!

Hello everyone and a very Happy New Year!

Mine didn't get off to the best start when I woke up just before midday though I must've needed the sleep!

A couple of posts ago I talked about what I wanted to achieve this year so I'm not going to mention my goals in this post.

One thing that is probably a few weeks away from being complete is my new book titled "Life Is Complicated: My journey with Asperger Syndrome". It's been hard writing it but will be very rewarding in the end. I think you'll like it and there's a lot more detail and humour added in. I think too if you're a neutral then you'll most likely prefer reading my 2nd book... that's if you like dry humour!

Here's 10 humorous quotes to keep you amused and these are handpicked from only 3 of the 15 chapters!

"My facial expressions didn't help either. I could have been singing a very up-tempo song but going by my face you'd think I was singing a ballad at a funeral"

"I love numbers but not the number 4"

"Being given ice cream with a spoon already in the bowl was a nightmare"

"Using my fingers as a gun with the thumb acting as a trigger shouting "bang, you're dead" didn't really get my adrenaline going much"

"A little bit of spit flew out of someone's straw when they were messing about and onto Ronald McDonald in the center of my birthday cake"

"It took me a while to grasp but I went the other way and started doing it all the time like a nodding dog. I was lucky I didn't get whiplash"

"If they're wearing a fluffy animal print coat then it might sway me"

"I made a point of shaking hands and then craftily as I saw down I might rub my hand on the chair or my trouser leg"

"People don't know if I'm being serious or not and that's part of the humour. It gives me that get out of jail card if I say something inappropriate"

"At least my forehead won't need ironing out in 20 years time unless I have a major mid-life crisis"

To help get word about about my new book, I'm giving all kindle users a chance to purchase my first book "A New ME" from the 3rd January to the 7th January for FREE. It's available in ALL countries too!

Above is the UK link.

Above is the US link.

Oh, and don't forget to share and leave a review!

Thank you.... 3rd January everyone!

Happy New Year!

Barry x