Monday, 8 May 2017

My Life: The last few months

Guess who's back?

Oh what an awful couple of months I've had, my health took a nosedive and I'm being monitored with borderline diabetes, I've been too tired to do anything so my weight has ballooned to nearly 16 stone! (I feel sick with myself writing that). However on the plus side I had my ESA appeal last month and it was thrown out within 15 minutes, the doctor and judge just couldn't believe that I had been deemed fit for work by Atos and couldn't apologise enough for what I had been through - even though it wasn't the judge or doctor's fault.

I definitely think the last 7 months of stress and worry over the whole benefits process is what caused me to be poorly. Just to recap, I received my form back in April last year and duly filled it in listing all my ailments, aches and pains. I was called for a medical in July and deemed fit for work and forced to sign on in September. Despite my doctor issuing sick notes I was put in the position of having to choose whether or not to submit them, you see you are only allowed one extended period of sickness whilst claiming JSA which is 13 weeks, after that you either sign on and seek work or you don't sign on and try to live off, well, nothing, foodbanks or hand me outs. Child benefits are not enough to live off and they are for Squiggle, not me, so I had to seek "proper" work every week, apply for jobs which I knew full well I wouldn't be able to do and go to work focused interviews which just seemed to make me feel even more useless than I already do. I say proper in quotation marks as I've tried my hand at being self employed in the past but that's even harder when you don't know from one day to the next how you'll feel. I felt guilty taking on jobs and then having to cancel at the last minute as I was too poorly to do them.
I have had enough with the stigma of being labelled lazy, work shy, bone idle, as well as people commenting on how lucky or good it must be for me not to work. Well maybe they are the lucky ones, lucky enough to be able to get up every day without fail, lucky enough to leave the house and go to work without feelings of anxiety and fear of embarrassing themselves in public, lucky enough to earn a wage that will allow them to live a more comfortable life than me, lucky enough to eat without being sick or suffering from exploding diarrhoea, lucky enough to not have to shovel pills down their necks like sweeties. Yes I get to stay at home, but I'm usually bedridden with chronic pain, or spending time hovering over the toilet not knowing which end will evacuate first. I make the most of the days that I do feel well, but then end up regretting it for days after as my body catches up with itself. I worry that I'm a crap friend as I don't make plans to go out or if I do I cancel them at the last minute, I am really grateful that my friends still think to include me in their invites even if I never go. I worry that I'm a crap mum, because I have upset Squiggle sometimes by cancelling planned days out, it breaks my heart when I hear him say "but mum, you promised we would go here" or "mum, you're no fun, you never take me anywhere" and I worry that this will only get worse the older he gets.

But, now that the appeal is over and done with, I guess that I have one less thing to worry about, so now it's time to concentrate on the parts of my health that I can do something about, my weight.

I am going to take the plunge and sign up to Slimming World tomorrow, so be prepared for lots of Instagram pictures of meals, a lot more meal planning and hopefully some positive posts about my weight loss.
 I'm a great believer that a good mind set will make me feel better in myself even if I'm not actually better in myself!

Thanks to all my readers who are still here following me, I know my posts are few and far between but it means a lot to me that you are still interested in what I have to say.

Monday, 13 February 2017

#MealPlanningMonday - 13th February 2017

It doesn't seem like 5 minutes since Squiggle went back to school after the Christmas holidays and already it's half term!
Friday saw the usual end of half term assembly and I have to say I was very proud of Squiggle. Our school has a Golden Book, in which teachers write down the names and actions of all the children who have done something good, from simple things like holding doors open for teachers to welcoming new students and going the extra mile. Squiggle was in the book twice, once for welcoming a new student and becoming their buddy when they joined the school after Christmas, and again for joining in with the class led mass at church last Sunday. I say class led mass but really there were only 8 children involved, so the other 7 children went in the Golden Book as well. He also received a certificate for being very enthusiastic during the morning assembly as he joins in and sings the hymns with great passion. ( I don't know where he gets this from as we are not devoted religious people at all, just attend church now and then for Christmas and things like that )

As it's half term, the menu plans for the week have gone out of the window, depending on whether or not we have any days out.
Last week's cupboard clearout went really well and I only ended spending a few pounds on some chicken as a last minute adjustment to the weekend when we had a Chinese Fakeaway.
We still have lots of tins of spaghetti and beans, and still loads of cake mixes, so hopefully we can do a spot of baking one day this week.

If  we do stay in then we have the choice of

  • beans on toast
  • spicy chicken pizza
  • pasta bake
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • fish fillets
Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, 6 February 2017

#MealPlanningMonday - 6th February 2017

Welcome to this weeks meal planning post.

This week we shall mainly be eating out of the cupboard and freezer in an attempt to
1) use up previously bought stuff before buying new stuff which leads to
2) save money

I have all sorts of stuff but nothing that quite makes a meal so if I don't plan this right then we could possibly end up eating off a plate that looks quite similar to an all you can eat buffet on holiday, you know what I'm talking about, the plates that are piled high with pizza, spaghetti, mashed potato, sweetcorn and some prawns!

After having a good look in the cupboards, this week should hopefully look something like this.

Cottage pie with vegetables
BBQ chicken pizza
Beans on toast
Hotdogs and spaghetti
Prawn curry

I am ashamed to say that currently I have more dessert items in the house, than I do real food. At least Squiggle will be happy, he loves a pudding after tea, as do I.

So we shall be feasting on Angel Delight, Betty Crocker cake mixes, ice cream, custard and tinned fruit and just for mummy some frozen cocktails that I've found lurking in the bottom of the freezer!

Happy days!

For other ideas and inspiration, why not take a look at what other bloggers are cooking this week.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Hi Honey I'm Homer!

Well after spending New Year in hospital I am pleased to report that I am now out and back home. I've been basically told that there's nothing more they can do in hospital for me this time, as it appears what little pancreas I have is doing fine and dandy and working like it should be. My blood results are fine, so there is no need for me to stay in, in fact they're not sure what's causing the pain - they just think it's the I.B.S playing up.

The doctor has done a full review of my medication and has started me on some new pain killers which need to be reviewed in clinic in 2 weeks time, if I get that far, I've only just started them on the lowest dose and by heck am I spaced out. I took my breakfast dose and then woke up 4 hours later. Not sure how I am meant to function as a parent  whilst I get used to these bad boys, thankfully I have a great family who are running around looking after Squiggle, and he's at his dads this weekend, so I can concentrate on .... well concentrating!

I must say that I am now getting a bit fed up with my body and with everything that goes wrong with it. IBS just seems to be a flippant thing, everyone suffers from it now and then, but not everyone suffers to the same extent. Imagine, every day waking up in pain, attempting to eat breakfast, having feelings of intense bloating, more pain, then the sudden feeling of your guts dropping, attempting to get to the toilet but never making it in time, having to clean yourself up, then having more pain, constantly burping and farting. Then it's dinner time, and it's the same rig-moral and then the same for tea time! I spend more time in the bathroom than any other room in the house I'm seriously thinking of installing a TV in there!
I've tried various diets, high fibre, low fibre, low carbs, low sugar, high protein, non of which have had any impact on my digestive system, I've even been prescribed digestive enzymes (they make them from the pancreas of pigs!), which just make me sick (not because of the pig thing, just because they are nasty to take!). There is no relief. If I need to go somewhere, then I have to try and go without food, which means afternoon appointments cannot come soon enough. I'm usually shaking with hunger by then.
And now I'm fighting a case with the DWP, who after 7 years of being on ESA have decided that I am fully fit and capable of working. Never mind the inoperable hernias I suffer with, the ongoing arthritic pain, chronic abdomen pain, dizzy spells, nausea, constant fatigue (I sound like a right catch don't I?). The job centre told me to get a little job cleaning, ha, are they having a laugh? I don't clean my own home, why would I clean somewhere else? My mum and friend come round to help me out. Plus the doctor says I'm not to do any lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, stretching, so I can't even vacuum, which is my favourite part of cleaning!
Anyway, enough of me moaning, I'm back home, and I'm glad to be home. I hope the tablets settle in my system quickly, so I can at least try to live a pain free life, and let's see what other investigations this year brings at the gastroenterology department!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

365 Day Penny challenge - How to save £667.95 in a year

Happy New Year!

Right who's joining me again this year?

Do you struggle saving money?

Do you want an easy way to save £667.95 this year?

Then why not join me in the 365 Day Penny Challenge.

It's quite simple, starting on day one put 1p in a jar, then day two put 2p in the jar, day three put 3p in the jar and so on until the end of the challenge which would be day 365 and £3.65 would be put in the jar. At the end of a year there would be £667.95 in the jar.

I have given myself a headstart this year, just because I saved last year but then had an emergency in October, my car broke down and cost me what I had saved to fix it, and also because of the one major flaw to the system which is that come Christmastime I will be putting quite a bit in the jar every day, so I am going to do it arse about tit and put whatever I have left in my purse at the end of the day into my jar. I have printed off the chart, and every time I put an amount in the jar it gets ticked off. I think it will make it easier as obviously the days I have more pennies in my purse I can tick off the higher amounts and on the skint days I'll only need to find a few pence.

Fancy joining me?

Then you'll need these 3 simple things

  • A jar or moneybox
  • Money
  • Chart/tracker so you know what amount to put in.


Good luck and may you all have a prosperous new year!