Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. I have to to say we had such a relaxing and chilled out time that I didn't want it to end, but it has of course and here we are staring straight down the barrel of a whole new year. I have so many hopes and dreams for this year, building this blog, cooking more, working out how to do that whole work life balance thing (!), becoming more patient and creative with my children ...
But my one biggest hope is summed up by the word I've chosen to focus on this year and that is energy. None of the things I've listed above will be possible without more energy. And lately it's been in pretty short supply.
The past 18 months have been a bit of a struggle for me. I've had a lot of problems with my health, I stumped the doctors, had all sorts of tests, was given drugs for stomach ulcers, was told I had coeliac disease, had to convince everyone involved that I wasn't starving myself, saw consultants, fiddled with my hormones, and ended up spending a whole lot of time lying down with pounding headaches or throwing up. I lost two stones in weight totally unintentionally (which let me tell you is not something that happens to this formerly chunky girl who used to look at a slice of cake and get fat). At times I was terrified I was dying, that I have some incurable cancer that no one was picking up. (I admit to hyperchrondriac tendancies, but I have to honestly say I was truly scared.)
I try to joke about this now, but the lowest point came when I was leaning over the kitchen sink to be ill once again and my two year old little boy stood beside me, rubbing my leg and saying "It's ok mummy, you'll be ok soon." It broke my heart, I was supposed to be soothing and calming him, not the other way around.
Eventually we worked out it was migraines, triggering nausea that was in some way influenced by my hormones - so every two weeks I'd spend a week throwing up everything I ate, wiped of energy, living off water and ibuprofen and struggling through the day. I know this may all seem unbelievable given that I managed to keep up this blog, but I just couldn't let it go. I knew I wanted to do this, so on the good days I planned and photographed posts so they could go up even when I was ill. It would take me a week to recover from each bout of illness, before it hit me again.
Tim had to take all the slack when it came to childcare and house stuff and I know that was incredibly hard for him. I knew I had to do something. I decided that maybe a probiotic would help strengthen my tummy and my immunity so I started to take them everyday. Within two weeks I noticed a difference, I had a bit more energy. I braced myself for my next round of migraine and sickness, but it didn't come. A month went by and then two and then three. I found some research about some migraines being caused by a certain type of bad gut bacteria. It made sense because my migraines had started after a run of stomach bugs. I couldn't believe, that after everything I'd been through that the solution was so simple.
I'm so happy to have dealt with my migraines and to have stopped the sickness, but it has left me feeling a bit wiped out. After 18 months of sickness I think my body is a bit malnourished, I'm still worried about eating certain foods in case they make me ill, and my fitness and energy levels are boarding on pathetic. So this year is going to be all about energy. I'm going to start exercising again, slowly and gently at first and I'm going to try and improve my diet and get stronger. I know this is going to be hard to fit in around everything else, but I'm really going to try.
There's one other word that I'm trying to keep in my mind this year and it's breathe. When I find myself getting stressed trying to get everyone sorted for the school run, or when everyone is rambling at me at once, or walking at a snails pace when we need to be somewhere five minutes ago, I'm going to try and remember to breathe, stay calm and relax and not shout. I think possibly this may be harder than trying to exercise - but we'll see. Wish me luck.
What are you focusing on this year? Oh and if you have migraines, try probiotics, you never know they might work for you too.
Thanks for reading x
PS sorry for rambling.