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Surviving my life hurdles in August 2017 - Surviving Life's Hurdles

Surviving my life hurdles in August 2017

Hello my friendly readers!  I’m doing a little happy dance right now because, as rubbish as I felt last month, this month has been a whole lot better!  My head has been fairly clear of the dreaded brain fog and I have had (a bit) more energy, although my fatigue (especially in the early afternoon) is still impossible to ignore.

august 2017 goals

But you know what, however small the wins, however slight the respite, I will take it.  I appreciate it with every ounce of my being.  What most people would consider a rubbish day for them is the most amazing gift and opportunity to me.  After all, with MS being so up and down I may not be as able to enjoy tomorrow the same.

However, I have everything crossed that my health continues to improve a little over the next month, especially as we have a fast-approaching holiday to look forward to!

Did I achieve my July goals?

Yes, I think I did on the whole, although I could probably have done a bit more holiday planning as it does seem to have crept up on us all of a sudden!

As I’ve been feeling a little better I’ve been able to spend a bit more quality time with my son which I’ve enjoyed immensely, we have been having so much fun and maybe getting up to a little mischief every now and then too!

august 2017 goals

Learning to live a little

I’ve been really and truly appreciating every moment of (slightly) improved health this month.  Just the simple things like being able to drive to my son’s grandparent’s house (which isn’t very far) pick him up and then play with him for a couple of hours, to me, is the best feeling in the world.

Having the energy (although limited) to cook a few healthy meals from scratch feels great.  One night we even had pizza night where my son helped me to make pizza.  Being able to enjoy that together was amazing, oh and the pizza tasted delicious!

 

august 2017 goals
Enjoying being able to drive myself to some beautiful places!

My main achievements

I decided it was time to let it all out and share all my worries, fears and realities of parenting with MS.  I felt so vulnerable admitting to all my insecurities so publicly but I’m so glad I worked up the guts to do this as I’ve had so much positive feedback and support from others trying their best to parent through similar difficulties.

Creating a dialogue and building awareness for the issues that chronically ill parents face is something I’m really passionate about.  We are generally either ignored or misunderstood by society and I will always do my bit to help make other chronically ill parents feel a little less isolated!

Health and wellbeing

I’m so glad I managed to batch cook and freeze some healthy meals ready for when I’m having my bad days.  I’m sure I’ll really appreciate my efforts when I’m stuck in bed with fatigue and barely able to look after myself!  I just wish we had a bit more freezer space so I could be even more prepared.

I also seem to have, somehow, started a few new health routines this month and initiated a few changes to my routine.  Maybe it was how awful I felt last month that made me decide to take action but it has just sort of happened.

Yoga

I have now been regularly performing a few yoga sequences every day for over a month.  In fact, more recently, its been more like twice a day; in the morning and evening.  Even when I haven’t felt so great I’ve managed to slip in a few simple stretches and I’m starting to feel a bit more flexible and slightly stronger.

My son tries to join me in the evening by copying some of the poses (which is just so cute), however, he puts me to shame as he is way more flexible than I am!

I am so grateful to Jen from Tripping Through Treacle for recommending Yoga with Adrienne, I’ve been following her videos on YouTube and they are really fun and motivational.

Diet

I’ve been consciously trying to up my intake of anti-inflammatory foods for a while now but more recently I’ve been massively increasing my efforts.  To make this more effective I also decided I could do more to cut down on the inflammatory foods I eat too and I’ve started to follow the OMS diet to help guide me.  I figured I could at least try it and see how I got on!

Switching to no cheese and eating healthy snacks have been the most difficult things, although when I’m at home I’m managing quite well and it’s forcing me to be creative with my food and try new things.

I did have a major wobble when I went out for a meal with my family though.  I hadn’t anticipated quite how difficult finding almost vegan, healthy food would be on a standard menu.  I hadn’t wanted to make a big fuss about my new diet in front of everyone (maybe because I wasn’t convinced I could make it work!) but ended up having to talk everyone through it and explain my intentions.  This was hard and a bit of pressure when just starting out, although everyone was really supportive.

Creative and fun

My son has started to outgrow some of his toys now so finding some new activities to try with him has been lots of fun and helped to stop him becoming bored quite so easily.

My favourite go-to place to find new ideas and activities, as ever, is Pinterest.  I’ve discovered so many cool and creative suggestions. I’ve also shared loads of them on my Surviving Life’s Hurdles Pinterest account if you’re looking for ideas too! 

august 2017 goals

A couple of my son’s favourites have been this shape sorting activity and this felt pizza busy bag idea.  In fact, the felt pizza inspired me to create my own felt busy bag idea which I’ll share on the blog soon!

I also had plenty of fun designing this wacky and wonderful weaving craft tutorial which I published last week.  My son is a little young for this craft at the moment but we’ll definitely be trying it together sooner or later (probably with lots of colour theory thrown in as once an art teacher, always an art teacher)!

My August goals

Health and wellbeing

  • To continue to implement a range of anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle choices to (hopefully) help to minimise my MS inflammation.

So I’ve made a positive start with diet and exercise but I need to build on my initial success and keep the momentum going (especially on my bad days).  I think trying out new recipes so I don’t get bored will be really important this month, so if anyone has any great ones they would like to recommend I’d be so grateful!

I’m really lucky that our holiday this month is near Brighton so there will be plenty of lovely veggie and vegan cafes/restaurants to choose from when we are out and about at least!

Parenting and family

  • To enjoy our family holiday by making the most of whatever my health (and the weather) throws at us.

We were so fortunate for our holiday last year as my health and the weather behaved themselves really well.  I hope we get the same this year but if not we will have to think creatively and work around both the best we can.  Wish us luck!

Creative and fun

  • To have fun decorating my home and enjoy being creative with the environment around me.

When we moved into our home over 2 years ago I had so many plans for how I would decorate it.  We managed to make a good start, even with a 4 month old and trying to do-up a rental property too!  However, a few months later I had a BIG relapse and nothing has been the same since.  With my reduced energy, brain fog and fatigue means decorating has been pushed to the bottom of my to-do list as I’ve just been focusing on managing day-to-day.

I really think it would help to improve my wellbeing to re-focus on this area of my life though.  I love having fun and being creative and it would be great to have a home that fully reflects that (but using as little energy decorating as possible)!

Blogging

  • To make a start on creating a really helpful collection of resources for people with MS.

So this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while but never actually made a start on!  I think it would be so useful to others to have a page on my blog to share all the useful MS resources I’ve found (or even contributed to) since receiving my MS diagnosis nearly 2 years ago.  It would be a place to collect together all the amazing MS bloggers, support groups, charities, helpful exercises etc I’ve found and I could easily add to it as I found more over time.

That said, if you can think of some really inspirational MS bloggers or other really useful resources that it would be great to see me include then please feel free to share your recommendations.  It could be anything MS specific or even non-MS specific but still really helpful to anyone living with MS.

So, as ever, lots of goals with, hopefully, a sprinkle of positivity!  How have you been getting on with your own goals recently?  I’d love to know so we can help to support each other!

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10 thoughts on “Surviving my life hurdles in August 2017”

  • You are doing brilliantly! I think just taking a little bit of time out to say to yourself doing a little bit of yoga will continue to help immensely. Finding vegan food while eating out is a nightmare 🙁 I tend to gravitate towards pasta with a tomato based sauce or a pizza and asked them to leave off the cheese. Something that restaurants definitely need to looking to though! Xx

    • Thank you Jenny! I’m really enjoying yoga, I even took my yoga mat on holiday with me and kept up with it while I was away! Trying to eat out during our holiday was hard, although there were loads more places that were vegan-friendly in Sussex than there are local to me in the Midlands. We ate out at Zizzi one evening and the vegan food I tried there was amazing, they had a whole separate vegan menu I could choose from too! I’m not sure how I’m going to manage when we go to France next year though… xx

  • Just thought I’d mention that we use the Violife (vegan) cheese as a substitute! My son has cows milk allergy so we’ve got quite good at cutting out dairy! I’ve eliminated dairy about 90% from my diet too (as well as gluten) and it has helped my symptoms a lot. Anyway one of the things I missed the most was cheese but I’ve kind of got used to it now! My son loves the Violife cheese (me not quite as much!) so may be worth a try! It doesn’t melt well though so best to add it to pizza at the end!!

    • Thanks Emma for helping me with my diet! I checked out the cheese you suggested while I was on holiday and unfortunately it’s a bit of a no-go for me as it contains coconut oil (which is one of the fats I’m trying to avoid). I’m really glad the changes to your diet are helping your symptoms, in what way are they helping (if you don’t mind me asking)? You’re definitely right about getting used to the changes as I’m already starting to notice that my tastes have altered and food I never would have considered trying in the past actually tastes really good! xx

  • Hello lovely… As always a fantastic piece! I’ve been trying some sit down yoga until I get the feeling back in my left side and it’s been really nice! I’m also learning how to do reflexology on myself at night to help me sleep.. proving very well
    I had a look at the OMS diet.. it is pretty hard right? I’m afraid I might struggle.. so instead of being so strict I’m trying to introduce small changes gradually you’re doing so very well and I would love to read about the meals you’ve made as that sounds so interesting
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Big hugs xxx

    • Thanks Hannah, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying yoga. Reflexology is something I’ve never tried so I think I need to give it a go! Yeah, the diet is hard but not as hard as I thought it would be now I’ve started. I was already a vegetarian so I suppose that helped a bit and I also introduced a few changes gradually before I fully committed to the diet. I will have to share some of my meals in a future post, although I’m definitely still learning right now! Wishing you the best xx

  • You are doing a brilliant job at opening dialogue and offering support and encouragement, so you should be really proud. I’m sorry I don’t have any recipes to share, considering what I danger zone I am in the kitchen! I might have to Google anti-inflammatory foods myself as that’s not something I’m too well versed in. All the very best for August, you rock Nat! xx

    • Thank you Caz! I’ve never considered myself great in the kitchen either, not having much energy doesn’t really lend itself to cooking! My MS inflammation is so bad I thought giving anti-inflammatory foods a go was worth a shot, it’s still early days yet but I’m managing ok so far. All the best for August for you too! xx

  • Great post as always 🙂 Sounds like you’re doing amazingly well with your new eating plan and the yoga. It’s great when you feel you can do something positive to help your health. It all helps doesn’t it! Loving the sound of the pizza busy bag! Will have to check out some of your ideas on Pinterest 🙂 I recently logged back into my account after not using it for ages! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and you feel as well as possible for it.

    • Thanks Emma, like you say it all helps and all I can do is try! My son loved the pizza busy bag idea and I think it really helped him understand what was going on when we made an actual pizza together (although my half didn’t have any cheese on due to my new diet which seemed wrong but actually tasted great)! Honestly I couldn’t recommend Pinterest enough I get loads of ides from there. I can’t wait for my holiday, I’m resting up as much as I can now in preparation! Take care xx

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