alarm clock on quilt

Hypothyroidism Could Be the Answer!

I haven’t wrote a blog post for over a month now. So, I thought one thing I could talk about is health because there a few things that have been going on recently. I realise now that in the past, I might have brushed a lot of things off, or related a certain feeling to something which wasn’t actually the cause. It wasn’t until this week when I received my latest blood test results that the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together. My recent blood tests have come back and the GP suspects hypothyroidism. I just need one more test and to discuss medication.

Considering the thyroid is only a small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, it can affect more parts of your body over the years than you would think. Anyone who has hypothyroidism will know the symptoms inside out. Here are most of the common signs:

  • Always feeling tired
  • Gaining weight – for me, I put on a significant amount in a short period of time, which so unusual for my body. Nobody notices but it doesn’t help how you feel about yourself.
  • Heavier or irregular periods
  • Dry/scaly skin
  • Tingling sensation
  • Constipation
  • Being sensitive to cold
  • Having sad thoughts (now I get why my emotional side is triggered)
  • Excessive hair growth on your body
  • Brittle hair on your head

Over the years I have experienced all of these symptoms. I have also suffered with migraines and I have high blood pressure but I have never known why. Could this be the root of it all? There are still a few things which need explaining but I do think it could be part of the answer.

2011

It was around half way through my first year of college when I experienced a major health change. I was suffering with headaches, an awful lot of them. I was nauseous and had a pins and needles feeling in my fingers, arms, and legs (I still do). This was occurring pretty much every day along with dizziness and losing balance. So, I spoke to the doctor, made sure I wasn’t dehydrated, created a food diary etc. After a short while, I was prescribed Propranolol beta blockers and was told I was having migraines. The only cause they figured back then was visual disturbances like bright or flashing lights. I was sent for a CT scan on my brain and my medication was upped. This helped to reduce the frequency of the migraines but not so much the severity. A dark room and sleep is what I would recommend to anyone is starting to experience migraines.

2016/2017

It might not be the nicest of things to talk about but if I’m going to share an honest experience, it needs to be included. I have suffered with constipation for around the last 3-4 years. Let me tell you, if you haven’t had constipation, don’t presume it’s just ‘constipation’. It starts off bearable. Then over the years it can cause other complications. I have tried over 6 different laxatives, a tablet from the GP, ate different seeds and foods that help you to go to the toilet, the list goes on.

My body always reverts back to normal and the above have only ever worked as a temporary measure. My stomach swells making it look like I have been carrying a food baby! The flare ups can be triggered by certain foods or emotions like stress. You can feel fed up more often than not and feel very negatively about yourself. Later, I had a colonic transit study at the hospital. I remember seeing the x-ray on screen to be told that almost all of the markers were collected on the left side and didn’t come out. I was diagnosed with slow transit constipation, leaning towards IBS.

2018

The year I was given the news I have high blood pressure. After loads of tests including an ECG, 24-hour monitor machine x2 ocassions, I remember being given the news because the appointment with my GP was on my birthday. Diet and lifestyle changes didn’t make a difference and there any other clear reasons for the cause, other than it possibly being a hereditary condition. Other than the blood pressure readings, other signs were: a difference in the blood vessels in my eyes and my heart was beating faster than usual.

Some would worry at a young age but I felt lucky to know and I was put on Ramipril to keep it controlled. There’s been no long-term damage to my eyes now other than slight reduced vision in my left eye. Also, I have worn glasses with antiglare ever since I was told I was having migraines.

2019/2020

After a long think, I decided to stop taking Propranolol, once I had spoke to the GP of course. This was obviously something I had to wean off. The migraines were not happening as frequently. Were things getting better? Not really…

Things have started to worsen. I feel exhausted. Sometimes, I feel so tired that I can’t be bothered talking or doing life’s day-to-day tasks or tasks at work. I brush my hair to find so much more hair malting than usual. The rash on my chest returns again and again. I am bleeding, which I won’t go into too much detail about but I have been referred to gastro and I’m being sent for a sigmoidoscopy. I also have a consultation with gynaecology coming up due to cervical eclroption (common with women where cells from inside the cervix go onto the outside of the cervix).

I’m lucky if I can go a week without being or feeling sick, and going to the toilet more than once every 2 weeks. In between all of this, I have been prescribed some iron tablets. I am not anaemic but due to the blood loss, my iron count is a little low. This is a win-lose situation because they help the iron count but not the bowel issue so, I have decided to take one every other day.

This brings me to today. Okay, I am finally getting somewhere. This might only answer part of what I have been experiencing over the years but I am relieved to know that I haven’t been going crazy. I feel quite annoyed that it’s took so long for things to happen before I was listened to but I like to see the positives.

There are many people out there with other chronic illnesses but I just wanted to share my story in the hope that it will help someone who is experiencing similar symptoms. Don’t be afraid to speak to your GP, no matter how many times you have repeated yourself. Keep fighting to get answers. And remember, your health always come first.

The NHS and Thyroid UK have some useful links on hypothyroidism:

I am grateful heart on wooden background

There’s Always Something to Be Thankful For

It’s crazy to think that our generation can say they were here when the Coronavirus lockdown was happening. We don’t know exactly how long it’s going to continue for but we do know how to do our part in keeping ourselves and others safe. Feeling positive during the Coronavirus pandemic can be difficult so, I’m sharing some of the things I’m thankful for and you might be too.

More time to spend with your significant other

Not everyone is lucky to live with their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner during the pandemic so I understand how lucky I am. Some might say they’re ‘stuck in the house’ with each other 24/7. But the way I look at it, you’ve got company all day and they are there to put a smile on your face.

Danny still checks in on me when we’re doing our own thing.  When I think about how we spend most of our times at work, we’re lucky to still be working in our house and seeing each other during work time. Our routines haven’t completely gone out of the window; we eat breakfast, lunch and tea together; have our film nights; and be there for one another if either of us are feeling a bit low.

Having health and happiness

As miserable as the COVID-19 climate is, continuing to do the things that makes you happy feels good. Okay, so, I can’t go out shopping in the home section all of the time or go on days out but there are several other positives. A number I’ve mentioned above plus, more time for cleaning and organising; a hug from Danny any time of the day. Don’t feel guilty for having these moments. You’re allowed to smile and do the things that help to maintain a positive mindset.

Although I was unwell for a couple of weeks, it could’ve been much worse. That’s the thing I keep telling myself about all of this. There are people losing their lives all around the world; families facing such heartbreak; and parents who can’t see their children or as much as they would like to. It’s important to keep a healthy mental and physical balance. Can we exclude the amount of Easter eggs I’m going to eat though? I think I’ve earned the chance to indulge after giving chocolate, cake and biscuits up for Lent.

More time to spend in the sun

We might not be allowed to go into the outdoors as far and as much as we would like to but there’s still ways to enjoy the sunshine. If you have a house, choose from your front or back garden; if not, try a walk around your local area. Some people underestimate the power of going outside and getting a breath of fresh air. I think it was taken for granted when we weren’t limited to where we could go before coronavirus hit us.

If you’re lucky to get your hands on some gardening bits, have fun and get things off your to-do list. Danny is planting new flowers in the back garden as I’m making my way through de-weeding the front. I cut my hands the other day (silly of me for wearing no gloves) but it feels good to get involved with the hands-on stuff!

Making the most of technology

If you didn’t hear on my Twitter @tashalifestyle, my mum has come a long way in her world of getting to grips with technology. She can now send photos on WhatsApp and calls a video call ‘Face WhatsApp. Bless her heart.

It’s so nice to keep in touch with friends and family over the phone, messaging, via apps. My mum started to cry at the end of a call last week because she just wanted to give me a hug. I cannot wait to squeeze her, the same goes for my dad and brothers whether they like it or not (mwuahahaha).

It’s also nice to FaceTime with people you don’t usually, like our nephew over the weekend, so cute! Unfortunately, I can’t keep in touch with my niece so she’s another little soul who’s face I can’t wait to see.


So, these are just a few things to think about. As bad as things might seem right now, it will get better. Each day is another day closer to hitting some kind of normality. Take the time to realise what’s important and you’ll see all of the things you’re thankful for. Remember you’re not in ‘prison’, you’re staying safe.

close up of pink petal flowers

Things to Do During the Coronavirus Lockdown

As surreal as the lockdown in the UK might feel right now, there are plenty of things you can do to stay occupied. Unfortunately, for the most social groups of people this is probably quite difficult. Also, it can pose challenges for those who are out of/can’t work. I’m lucky enough to be working from home so I still have some kind of routine. It does feel strange not having to travel to and from the office and I miss seeing my colleagues face-to-face.

For the past 10 days I’ve had Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms so I’ve stayed indoors (self-isolating). The only places I’ve been includes the bins at the front of the house and going into the back garden. Those who are on the COVID-19 high risk list have been urged to stay at home (shielding), whilst others are staying 2 metres apart (social distancing) and under restrictions to only go outside for:

  • Shopping for necessities
  • Exercise
  • Medical reasons
  • Traveling to and from work if ‘absolutely necessary’

Take advantage of the time you have to relax

If you’re anything like me and you struggle to just relax and chill, now is the time to understand why you should do it more often. ‘Me time’ is really important. I’ve talked about ways you can relax before. Pamper yourself or take the time do something you usually put aside because you don’t always have the time e.g. reading a new book, starting a blog etc.

Clean up and tidy up

I always find something to rearrange whether it’s clothes in the wardrobe, the cupboard under the sink, the medicine cabinet, you name it, there’s always something. Why did I have 6 boxes of plasters in the medicine cabinet, who knows? I love to organise and keep the house clean and tidy so this an everyday hobby for me.

Binge watch TV series or films

Okay, I’ll admit, I do this anyway. But there’s no harm is watching more right? Make the most of those Netflix subscriptions. I’m making the most of some girly series at the moment, including a bundle of Gilmore Girls episodes (my 3rd time watching the whole series from start to finish). And as Disney+ is out in the UK, you might as well sign up and be ready for all of your Disney favourites. I’m so looking forward to reliving my childhood!

Do some gardening

If you have the tools available, why not take the opportunity to venture into garden. It’s never really been on my to-do list before. However, since we moved into the new house last year, the back garden has been an area I like to spend my time in, when the weather is nice enough. I’ve had fun tidying the garden, cleaning the patio, and painting the fence.

Keep in touch with family and friends

The most important one on the list. Check in on your family and friends. And don’t forget about your neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable. There are many options such as: a call, text, social media, instant messaging like WhatsApp, video calls e.g. FaceTime etc. Some groups of people are also using quiz/gaming apps to keep them in high spirits.

As miserable as everything seems at the moment, do something that you can look back on and know it was time well spent. Think about the positives and have a forward-thinking perspective to keep you motivated.

pathway made from decking with hearts at the side

Don’t Let Anything Stop You From Dreaming

With everything that’s going on at the moment, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what happens next. It’s so easy to feel unmotivated or doubt many things right now. But it’s down to you and the perspective you have that makes a difference. There were so many things I was looking forward to in 2020, it was going to be the year.

  • June 2020 – New York
  • July 2020 – finally going to see Alicia Keys
  • Somewhere after that – buy a puppy (I’m a changed woman)

Never stop dreaming

You can wonder, it’s only natural to think things like… “I wish… We could’ve..” blah blah. But for me, the thing that matters the most is the health and happiness of those around me. Yes, I’m gutted that we might not get to experience the trip of our dreams to the one place I’ve always wanted to return to. But it doesn’t mean that we have to stop dreaming. There are countless of things to be thankful for and many things we’re blessed to have, putting each other at the top of that list.

I also think that as much as you to try plan things, life happens. It always will. If the current situation around the world doesn’t teach you the importance of not taking the small things for granted, I don’t know what will. Time is more precious than some people realise.

Putting all of this into perspective I know that good things can still happen. No matter how long it takes, I’ll keep dreaming until it’s real. And that’s why I’m not afraid to share it. I don’t talk about every single detail of my life with others everyday. But sometimes as long as you know what you want and you’re not afraid to go for it, you can do anything. When it comes down to it, there are much bigger and special things to look forward to than trips, no matter how exciting there are/were going to be.

Anything can be in store for the future

There’s so much the future can hold – good and bad. But I think even during the hardest of times, if you have each other, you have everything. That’s something I’ll never take for granted. And as most of you will have read before on my blog, I’m a big believer in doing things in your own time. Life isn’t a race.

It’s like when I tell people about how I’ve longed for a family of our own for quite some time. They seemed shocked. Perhaps it’s because I don’t put it out there. I’m already afraid that it might not happen because of complications mum has had in the past and wonder if I’ll experience it too. Kinda stupid I know because we all have our bodies but it’s true. And she does have 3 children who adore the bones of her. Some might wonder, why haven’t you got there then? It’s not about ‘getting there’. Me and Danny talk about these things and have known from the get-go what we want. I can only imagine how heartwarming it would be. Until then I might just have to bombard you all with some puppy love when that happens! Can you guess what Disney character’s name we’ve picked?

There’s always something to be thankful for

When you think about these things, it shows you what matters in your life. As much as I’d like to venture outside more often and continue my usual routine, it’s not much of a sacrifice when I still have the luxury of working from home, Danny’s company 24/7 (yes I genuinely love it) and my health and happiness.

Think about all of the reasons to be happy If you’re missing someone right now, FaceTime them, message them, call them.

close up of 3 dumbbells

Living in the World of Fitness and Exercise

The other day I was running on the treadmill and an idea came to mind for a new topic on the blog, that being, the world of fitness and exercise. There are many reasons why exercise is good for you including a boost in feel-good moods and making you stronger. I don’t mean that it’ll turn you into Mr Muscle man, I mean it could do if that’s what you’re going for… but it helps to keep the strength up in different parts of your body.

Loving your own body is hard, isn’t it?

Well it sure is for me and there’s no doubt that you haven’t found at least one flaw with your body. On the fitness side of things is where it can get dangerous. You can damage your mind comparing your weight, capabilities and energy to others. The truth is, some people can run faster than others; swim lengths quicker than others, lift heavier weights than others etc.

Now I’m no fitness guru but I do know that it should be enjoyable. Once you see things from that perspective, it really does help. You live in your body every single day of your life, you shouldn’t be so harsh on something that helps you to develop and grow, mentally and physically.

My fear of going back to the gym since my teenage years was known very well by Danny. I would constantly say, “but they’ve got toned stomachs, they can go into the gym but no fear about who they see and what they can do in front of anyone…” I used to be with weighing myself every week. If I didn’t have a £1 coin on me, I’d ask Danny and he would say no straight away because I seen what I doing to myself.

I’m not overweight (and wasn’t then) nor am I underweight.

I’m actually in the ‘ideal’ weight category. But I mean, shouldn’t ideal be what we’re comfortable with? Of course, if exercise and diet tips have been advised on a health level by your GP, nurse etc. then that’s different but I’m talking about loving your body for what it is including those flaws you see, no matter how they may or may not appear to others.

I can’t emphasise enough how your body is YOURS. There’s so much influence online, some good, some bad. You don’t have to be like anyone but you. I slack with the gym from time-to-time; eat those snacks that aren’t ‘good for you’ sometimes. But guess what? Both of those things are good for me. Sometimes it’s nice to take a step away and be in little piggy mode as I like to call it.

It’s amazing when you do the simplest thing and that’s doing what makes you happy. Sometimes it’s nice to push limits like training for a run if that’s your thing. It could be anything such as lowering the weight of an applicator but increasing the number of sets.

In school, I enjoyed running, but it wasn’t my favourite thing.

I was more of a rounders, circuit, a bundle of activities kinda girl. I was chosen for the relay in high school on sports day and I used to love it. Cross country was a thing that everyone used to hate (usually a punishment if someone complained about a sport or forgot their kit) but again I didn’t mind it.

Back in 2017 I completed my first 10k run with Danny. It wasn’t about being the fastest, it was about finishing the run for our grandparents and the charities we had chosen in memory of them. It did take a lot of training. We surprised ourselves yet again at Race for Life where we beat our goal by 5 minutes. A little encouragement from each other was all we needed.

Fitness and exercise really can be fun

The main point I’m trying to get across is start doing what you’re comfortable with. One day you might want to try something new and push yourself further but it’s okay if not. Keeping fit and exercising should and can be enjoyable.

I hope you’re going to come away from reading this post and look at your body in a more positive way.

box of tissues on table

What to Expect When Having Septoplasty Surgery

Danny has had problems with his nose for years now – breathing, sneezing, and… snoring! His GP never really seen it as a concern. Then, after pushing for a second opinion he attended his appointment at Oaklands Hospital in Salford (as an NHS patient, not private).

His original date for the procedure was postponed until more recently, which I was quite happy about for the most part because it meant he could take part in Race for Life with me.

Having the septoplasty procedure

The procedure itself takes approximately 30-40 minutes.

What do they do?

Dependent on what’s required they do different things. With Danny, they shaved away some of the cartilage and stitched it back together. They also cauterised at the top.

How long until you can go home?

In most cases you can go home two hours after surgery (which was the case for Danny), but sometimes they will keep you in for longer if your nose doesn’t stop bleeding or if there’s a complication.

Recovering from septoplasty

The majority of people recover from septoplasty in 1-2 weeks before they can go back to school or work. The actual benefits aren’t usually fully felt for a good few months though.

Luckily, Danny had no bruising. However, bruising is something that can occur with others around the eyes and nose. Danny did suffer with quite a bit of bleeding from his nose and pain in his upper lip. He was advised to not sneeze or blow his nose for at least a week. It’s really important to remember to breathe from your mouth on a daily basis.

Being at home

Going home to your own comforts is good but there are things to remember. It’s important and worthwhile to lie on your back, keeping your head elevated with 2-3 pillows. There isn’t much that Danny has had to change around the house e.g. I can still spray Febreeze, however in moderation and not when he’s in the room.

As advised by the hospital, Danny stayed indoors which was terrible when we had the strong heatwave that hit the UK. After one week he did step outside to the shop to grab some dinner as he worked from home in his second week after surgery. He wasn’t allowed in an office as there are groups of people and air con where germs can spread very easily.

One thing Danny says I’ve got a terrible habit with is kicking in my sleep which usually involves me spreading my arms and legs out. So I kinda need to be careful to make sure I don’t hit his nose. I feel awful when I have brushed past it accidentally.

Have you ever had septoplasty surgery? What were the long-term benefits for you?