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.
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!
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!
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.
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’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!
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)!
- 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!