Monday, 30 July 2012

Ear Operations (Revisited)

Some of you may remember that back in November I had long term grommets in each ear to try and cure partly my hearing but also constant recurring ear infections. It worked in so much as I haven't had an actual infection since but my hearing hasn't improved and I've had constant ear ache in my left ear for the past 7 months!

Having been backwards and forwards to the Doc, in April I was referred back to my lovely Consultant who suggested that the following were my options:

1) To have my ear drum removed and a hearing aid inserted

2) To have a hole drilled in my head (actually called a Mastoidectomoy) to allow air to circulate through my ENT passages

3) To leave it, do nothing and hope that the pain disappears!!

After an afternoon of having major meltdown and much consultation I decided that number 2 would be my option of choice. I couldn't bear to leave it and do nothing and having my ear drum removed seemed more drastic than having a hole in the head (just!!).

I thought that having made my choice I would be ok with going into hospital but when they sprang the operation on me with just under 2 weeks notice I went into complete panic again! Cue much writing of e-mails to my nearest and dearest who understand my crazy, to tell them exactly what they should do in the event of my demise. I even planned my funeral just in case and then sent it to my BFF......

Once I'd done that I felt even more like a woman on the edge but I managed to keep it together until about 5 minutes before the Op when they left me in a room on my own while they did last minute prep!! I was almost rocking back and forth by the time they came to get me!!

As you've probably guessed by now, I survived!!! Hurrah! Funnily enough the most pain that I suffered when I came round was from my poor back where I'd been laid flat for 2 hours whilst they operated!! I was looking really hot when I first came round:

I wish I could say that hospital was the best place for me but I think that I managed to sleep for about 2 hours in total between people being sick, coughing, talking and being monitored constantly. Thankfully the next day I was allowed to go home....again looking very hot:

God bless the staff of the NHS. They couldn't have been more friendly but there just aren't enough of them to go around. Yes, they provide basic care but the poor old lady opposite me who had been there for weeks only saw any staff at med time or if she was being monitored. I don't know what the answer is to the NHS problems but I'm still grateful to them!

My friends, family and especially 'The Man' have been awesome. Especially during the first week I was very spoiled with chocolates, flowers and magazines. Extra brownie points go to my lovely Mum who came to visit and then ended up washing all the blood out of my tangled and matted hair (yuck!!)

I've been home for about 10 days now and have improved massively. I'm still off work and struggle in busy and/or noisy places as everything in my right ear seems extremely loud and as it's only in one ear, I feel off balance and disoriented quite a lot of the time. I'm not sure what's happening with my left ear as it feels like someone is sticking a hot poker in it tonight. On the plus side the stitches have healed pretty neatly and I have a bit of a funky hair do:

In November when I had my last operation I was bored out of my brain at being stuck at home the whole time. This time I'm like, Olympics - hell yeah!! Goooooo Team GB :-)

Friday, 13 July 2012

I want to.....

A few weeks ago Chick's school had a morning where they invited Parents in to get involved in the class and to complete some work with the kids. We made self portraits and talked about what we felt was important in our lives. We also had to complete an 'I want to.....' list. I hastily scribbled mine and then had to head off to work so left Chick to complete hers alone. 

As today was the last day of term she bought home a whole year of work and on the top of the pile was her 'I want to......' list. I've always said that all I wanted was for Chick to 'want' to do something with her life.......

 Now if I can just keep some of this momentum going for the next 10 years........

Monday, 2 July 2012

How to make sure the whole family get a good night’s sleep

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With all the stresses we face in everyday life, we are constantly being told about the importance of a good night’s sleep. But it is not always as simple as putting your head on the pillow and waking up eight hours later feeling refreshed. With our busy lives, a lot of people are active right up until they go to bed and they expect to be able to get straight to sleep. However our bodies need time to wind down and relax before we can catch some z’s. If you have a young family, that’s not always easy to achieve; we put so much focus on getting the children to bed we often sacrifice our own bedtime routines. But it is essential to get a good night’s sleep, in order to repair our bodies and minds from the stresses of the day. Here are a few tips to help you and the family get to the land of nod...

Your habits

Obviously some children are better at sleeping through the night than others, and it all depends how old they are so there is never a guarantee of unbroken sleep for parents. However if you adopt some better habits before you go to bed, it will improve the quality of your sleep. This is just as important, if not more so, than the quantity of sleep you get. Bed time routines are often thought to be something that your children have to follow, but not something you need for yourself. It really is important to make a routine that works for you and your family. Once the children are in bed, get some quality time to relax and wind down about an hour before you intend to go to sleep. It’s not always feasible, but if you aim for it eventually you will get the right routine that works. Spend that hour either reading, or maybe even take a warm bath as this will de-stress your mind as well as your body. Avoid having caffeinated drinks after 6pm, and if possible try not to eat in the hour before you go to sleep as your body will be working on digesting the food whilst you’re trying to get some shuteye (which isn’t great when you’re trying to sleep). If you make yourself a bedtime and stick to it, you will feel the benefits really quickly.

Your bedroom

It’s important to get your bedroom right if you want to be able to get to sleep easily. Leave distractions such as phones and laptops in another room, or if you do want your phone nearby for emergencies, make sure you finish using it before you go in your bedroom. Many sleep experts recommend not having a television in the bedroom, so you will just associate your room with sleeping rather than anything else. But it is important to find out what works for you, and what helps you unwind. Another thing to think about is your bed. It’s important to have a good quality mattress to ensure you don’t suffer any back problems, and make sure you have a comfortable pillow. The right duvet is also important depending on the time of year, as being too hot or too cold can be really detrimental to your sleeping pattern. In the summer months, the amount of light you get in the bedroom is important to get right; it might be worth investing in a blackout roller blind. This will stop the light from waking you too early in the morning and is also a great solution if you work shifts and need to sleep during the day.

These tips can be applied to all members of the family to ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. It may seem easier said than done, as we all know how unpredictable evenings can be for families. However if you get the right routine that works for you and your family, everyone will feel the benefit of having a great night’s sleep.