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Friday, 28 December 2012

A wee return to childhood...

Hi guys, I've been a little ways down memory lane today!

Do any of you remember these wee characters?

They're the Moomins!
When I was little, I loved them and read them...a lot! lol
Now, just has what prompted this wee return to my childhood?
Well, someone bought me a revised edition for Christmas and it's brought back the same joy for me today as when I was little and...just how cool is that! lol

It seems the books Tove Jansson wrote over 90 years ago about her Moomin family, are still as popular now as ever they were and that's really no surprise! The stories and her wonderful artwork have allowed them to stand the test of time.

I'm a lucky girl and what a thoughtful gift too!
I guess it's nice to return to your childhood every once in a while. I think it's good for the spirit too!

I'm off to read some more!
Maz x

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A look back over 2012...

Hi Guys, new year is almost upon us!
Where has the year went? I think it's time for a wee look back...

I used to get a bit stressed at the thought of a new year coming, worry about the things I said I'd do and just didn't get around to. You know the kind of thing...lose a few pounds in weight, hold onto a few of the other kind of pounds and save for a rainy day...that kinda thing! lol
I still think, the most important thing being a Carer has taught me, is to slow down a bit and just take a breath! The world still turns just the same while you catch your breath a bit. Mainly it's taught me just to count my blessings a little and be thankful for making it through the last year safely in the first place! LOL

I guess, most people take that kind a thing for granted...good health, I mean!
While you are well and busy hustling and bustling about your life at such a great pace, you never need to give a second thought to such things. You can plan well into the future for work, holidays or pretty much anything you fancy and it's only when something happens to you or your loved ones that you really need to stop and think at all!

I think that's probably what I miss most. All the planning and looking forward to things, the certainty and order of it all. It sure was a lot easier when finance was the only issue to getting things done and we could both climb a mountain if we wanted to!
On the other hand, this slower pace of life has it's upside too! We have both learned how to adapt and find a way - there always is one - it's just finding it that's the tricky part! lol

Looking back, we've been on a bit of a journey this last year.
2012 hasn't been a bad year, it's been a good one...really!
We've had some problems with meds and side effects and the seizure level's still really high at around 250 a month but we're managing! There's been lots of stress but other things have buoyed us up too!

** Coo's no worse and not nearly as bad as the dreadful 30 siezures a day all through 2007 - 8 and most of 2009! There are still crisis points and things are not brilliant by any means but they're better than they were and that's a bonus!

** With help, our quality of life has improved!

Over the last year, we've switched to a SDS (Self Directed Support) care package and it's made such a difference! I've blogged about some of the doors this has opened for Coo and I.
Strangely, it's not always the big expensive things that make the difference either, it's having the flexibility to make things work for you that's the key!

I've had some respite, we've managed to have a wee holiday and some time out with some days away too but by far the most fun we've had is with the two cycles we bought!
Who knew we'd enjoy cycling so much! lol
When Coo's well enough (and weather has allowed us!), we've managed to get out for a wee while in the fresh air. Coo's had lots of problems with infection and high/low white cells for the last few months and usually that would mean, avoid crowds and stay home but...not this time,  we managed a wee while out on our bikes in the fresh air and felt the benefit for it too!

I'm still having fun with crafts and in the garden too although my tomato growing was severely hampered this summer as we had very little sunshine! boo! hiss!

**The main three highlights of 2012?
Well, the first has to be the parliament visit!
I really felt so upbeat at the time, that things will change for Carers and in my heart, I still do!
There's a ways to go, that is true but slowly, things are beginning to change and for the better!

**Another highlight is our wee holiday!
After so many years I managed to go with Coo on a proper holiday! What a wonderful experience this was for us both and without the next 2012 highlight (our SDS package), this would have remained an out of reach dream for both of us!

**The other main highlight moving to SDS?
It has to be the change! Well the push even ('cause we were scared to risk the support we had!), to move over to SDS! Gosh that was a good move! why was I worried?
I guess it was fear of the unknown and risking the help we already had - what if they said no also the re-assessments and the stress - it was the devil to set-up but has since proved it's weight in gold! it's almost goodbye 2012! I have to say, I'm feeling more supported and in a happier place than I've been in a long time and I'll remember 2012 as being one of the good years!
That said, I'm happy and optomistic about the new year ahead!

I hope you're feeling happy too and...
'a' the best when it comes - Slainte Mhath!

Maz x

Monday, 24 December 2012

A lovely Christmas Tree...

Hi Guys, it's almost upon us!

I guess it's time for a snowy picture and a great big Christmas tree...

Now, doesn't that look a lovely place for a wee holiday? I guess we can dream!lol

I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow!
Season's greetings and a....Happy Christmas!
Maz x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Respite! A few days away...

Hi guys, we've been away for a few days.

We travelled up to Edinburgh for a wee break, a wee change of scene for Coo and I! It had been touch-and-go all week if we'd make it as Coo's blood results are still erratic but we decided to take a chance and set off anyway and...I'm glad we did!

We have had such fun this trip! We went to the Zoo  and visited with...The Panda's!

A wee word on Edinburgh's lovely Giant Panda's...

On Sunday 4 December 2011 two Giant Pandas on a 10 year loan from China, arrived at Edinburgh Zoo and quickly settled into their new home.

The female, Tian Tian was born on 24 August 2003 and her name translates to 'Sweetie' in Chinese. She has previously given birth to twins however she has not bred with the male panda Yang Guang . She is described as having a mischievous nature and being quite fussy when it comes to bamboo.

The male, Yang Guang was born 10 days earlier on 14 August 2003 and his name means 'sunshine'. He is described as a good-natured gentle giant by his keepers.
It doesn't cost any extra to see the Panda's as  it's included with the normal ticket price but you need to book a panda viewing time as it can get really busy at times!

Edinburgh Zoo really is a great day out and the Panda's...Well, they were just brilliant!

As usual while we're away from home, we stayed over at the Travelodge . At the Central one, Coo feels comfortable here and we like the fact it's a wee turn off the Royal Mile and right in the heart of all the places visitors want to see! We had a comfy, cosy stay and after a full day wandering around the Zoo and a quick bite to eat, we were glad of the cosy room and comfy bed!

We visited the winter festival markets and wandered around the old town too and as we'd booked an exra night we even managed to squeeze in a visit to the Camera Oscura!  - What a great place!

The Camera views are brilliant but there's so much more! From holograms and puzzles to hands on curiosities and fun things to see and do - We loved it! lol

I'm glad our SDS (Self Directed Support care package), allows us to really get some quality time away. It was always so very difficult before. We just couldn't afford the hassles and problems that come with Coo and travelling any distance. He would be sleepy and irritable before the day was through and it became a logistical nightmare and financially unaffordable to take two nights away just so we could visit somewhere for a few hours and then risk seizures on the way home as we just didn't have the finances to stay over. In the end, we just didn't go and looking back, our quality of life really was non-existent.
How things have changed!  - The SDS has made things we dreamed of possible!
We know we're lucky to have such support and are truly greatful for all the positive changes we now have and only hope all Carers soon have the same chances and support in place!

It really was a fun few days away and has given us both a great boost. Coo's been really sleepy since we got back but we both had a whale of a time and it was worth it! lol
We really had fun and I hope you're having some fun where you are too!
Maz x

Friday, 14 December 2012

Carers in Panto-land...

Hi guys, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

My wee Carers group went to the pantomime and it was great - oh yes it was! lol
It's great to spend some time with other Carers and at this time of year, where else to visit but...Pantoland! lol
We travelled up to the  Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock (our nearest theatre), and had a lovely wee couple of hours transported back to our childhood. We sang songs, clapped and cheered and generally just had some fun away from caring!

We topped it off with lunch and a cuppa too and all-in-all it was a smiley, happy, wee time away!

I'm really so greatful for our SDS (Self Directed Support), care package that allows me this much needed respite and time out just for me!

It really was a happy day, I hope you manage a wee happy time out too!
Maz x

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A crafting day..

Hi guys, I've had a wee break today.

Coo felt good day today so our son and son-in-law, decide to take him golfing. Just what he needed fresh air and a couple of laughs out with the boys!

So...while they were away...
Hi diddle-de-dee a crafting day for me! lol

I decided to get crafting and make a start on baby Jessica's first Christmas stocking!

In a few hours we went...
From this...

To this...
I hope she likes it!
I'm sure Looby will like, that in the middle, I've placed the wee Jessica Bunny patch from her first wee baby clothes!
It was a good day! I did have fun quilting and best of all, the rain stayed away and Coo and the boys had a good day out in the winter sunshine!
Job's a good 'un!
Maz x

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Shopping...

Hi guys, it's that time of year...again!

When the advent calendar gets all filled with sweeties and popped on the wall, I can deny it no's Christmas shopping time! lol

I kinda like the hustle and bustle of department store shopping! All the Christmas twinkle and sparkle too but...I don't like the queue's that usually go along with the annual Christmas shopping spree!
I usually try to get things done and dusted by now but with Coo's low white cell saga and our having to avoid crowded places this last month, I'm now running behind with things a little...

Enter Mum!
She loves to shop and knows where all the cool bargains are too! lol
It's decided, Coo's out ( he say's that's a result - for him!) - it's just too crowded and risky - the last thing we want right now is another infection so Looby will P.A. and come keep him company and Mum and I will hit the shops!
Wish us luck guys!
If it's a good day, we could get it all sorted and be sat in a lovely tea-shop eating cake by three! lol

I hope you're doing ok and getting things all sorted too!
Maz x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Another Neuro visit...

Hi guys, we've been at the hospital again...

A visit to Coo's Neurologist was on the cards this week.
He's a nice guy and tries to keep an eye on things with Coo and I and we're both glad to have him!
Although there's not much left for now to help with Coo's seizure activity, it's good to keep in touch with a specialist every so often and we learned this the hard way!  
Coo had major problems a few years ago and it took forever, (well it felt like forever!), around six months actually, to find a neuro to try and help... it was a very scary time for us both!

Anyways, there's nothing new to try drug-wise for Coo but non-the-less, it was a good visit.
Coo's neuro. listens and that's important! It's soul destroying to have a feeling of everything being so out of your control and at times, that's how it is for Coo. It's good he has someone who doesn't push too hard and is willing to progress things at Coo's pace, when he feels ready.

This time we've decided to wait until the spring, when there's less chance of colds and infections and then try to increase one of the AED's (anti-epilepsy drugs). It may help a little but as it's really cold here and already the time of year where Coo struggles most with increased seizure activity and infections, he wants to wait until spring and give things a better chance!
Even a little improvement would be great!

We're doing ok, the bloods came back and yet again the white cells are low so we're avoiding busy, public places and those dreaded coughs and sneezes!
I hope we get a dry day and can maybe get out on our bikes again - that would be nice!

I hope you're doing ok where you are too!
Maz x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Let's go on a bike ride...

Hi guys, we went cycling! woo hoo!

It was the first time either of us had been on a bike in years....and it was fun! lol

Mindful, Coo still has some infection kicking around his system and low white cells mean he needs to be careful around crowds, we were going a bit stir crazy this week stuck at home and needed to get out!

Well, as it turns out this week, the winter sun made a rare appearance here so... we decided to get out for a wee ride on our new bikes! Don't worry ours are way more modern than these! lol

We'd been hoping for a wee break in the weather to let us get out there and just have a go!
We wrapped up really warmly...the works - hats, scarves, gloves, two layers, ski jackets too and away we went! We weren't out for long, maybe around an hour and we took things really slowly too and it was great! We both enjoyed ourselves and came back with a real zest for life - I think it's the most alive I've felt in a long time!
We are really so greatful for the SDS (Self Directed Support), funding that allowed us to purchase our bikes in the first place! I hope we get some dry days soon and can have another wee trip out again! It sure has done us both the world of good!

If you have an old bike hiding somewhere in the shed, it might be fun to dust it off and have another wee shot - we really did have fun!
Happy days!