Life Lately

I’ve been struggling lately on what sort of blog posts to do. I started this as a way to raise awareness about my memory loss & blackouts so I try my best to stick to the subject in all posts which can make it difficult to blog if i haven’t blacked out much! So I thought I’d give an update on the past couple of weeks.

So, life recently has been pretty average tbh.

As you’ll know if you read one of my recent posts – ’10 Days Black Out Free’, I was on a roll with not passing out. I went something like 12 days black out free in the end which is easily a record because it was getting to a point where I was blacking out on average at least once a week so the 12 day streak of being black out free came as a surpise! I got so excited but at the same time tried not to get my hopes up too much as I knew that a black out would be just around the corner. And it was! Boo!

I worked my 10 days of early shifts and it actually went better than I thought. I was overly careful and took painkillers when I needed them instead of trying to be big boll*x and soldier on without them. I went to Thorpe Park with a group of friends and it was an amazing day. The sun was shining, I was with my other half and some great friends, we laughed til our tummies hurt and made as much noise as possible on every rollercoaster!

 

After that weekend when my partner and I came home, we were both clearly tired and I just knew that a black out was on it’s way! I passed out on the Sunday and Monday but can’t really remember them ones. And I also passed out the Tuesday. My partner went off to work as usual and because she had the car with her she thought she would come home on her break to surprise me but clearly I had my own surprise for her! She came in and found me passed out on the bed. I had completely forgotten the weekend at Thorpe Park and I was gutted. I felt really low and agitated and I was supposed to go in to work to cover a shift that day but my partner had to call and inform them that I wouldn’t be able to.

I think I’ve pretty much caught up with most of my memory now and I’ve been back to work.

I’ve also finished reading the book that was suggested to me by the last Dr I saw at the JR. It’s called ‘It’s All In Your Head’. I was very dubious about reading this book for obvious reasons. But never the less, I’ve read it. I’m still not sure what I think about it but I have learnt a few things from it. I’m not sure if I will do a review on the book exactly but I may do a blog post on some of the things that I did learn from it.

My partner and I also went to watch ‘Mrs Browns Boys’ live and if you are a fan of the programme then I would definitely suggest going to see it live! We went over to Birmingham early on the train as the sun was out so we visited a few beer gardens and sat catching some rays!

 The show started at 19:30 I spent pretty much the whole 3 hours of it laughing! I love it when they mess lines up or make each other laugh and just play off it and carry on like it was supposed to happen, it’s great, it really adds to the funny side of it. The only thing was that we forgot to check what time the last train back from Birmingham was and it’s safe to say that we were going to miss it if we wanted to stay and watch the whole show! BUT, luckily, my lil sis was also in Birmingham at a gig and my mum had driven her there and was taking her home so, once again, momma bear came to the rescue and we got a lift home!

So, all in all, I’ve had a pretty decent couple of weeks. The weather has been nice to us, I blacked out less than usual, visited friends, went to a theme park, and went to see a live show! And if you read ‘A Bucket List For April’ you will see that this means I completed a fair few things on it already! Hehe.

Thank Your for reading and I hope your last couple of weeks were as good, if not better, than mine ­čÖé

#Forgetfulblogger

10 Days Blackout Free!

Woohoo!

It’s now been 10 days since I’ve blacked out!

Maybe I’m cursing myself by celebrating and writing this but at this moment in time, I really don’t care! Haha.

It wasn’t long ago that my partner and mother worked out that I was passing out on average about once a week. That’s a lot of times to be losing memory! I started to become even more depressed and worried, I was calling in sick at work more, leaving the house less and so confused all the time as to what day it actually was and what I should have been doing. My repeat prescription got longer and I just had no hope in things ever becoming any better. If anything, I thought I’d just spiral further and further down into a black hole!

Last week I realised that I had agreed to work 10 early shifts in a row. That’s 10 days of waking up at 04:30! I didn’t notice until a work colleague pointed it out to me and I regretted it as soon as I saw the roster! When my partner found out, she was instantly worried. When I have less sleep and tire myself out, the chances of me blacking out get a lot higher. She made me promise that I’d try to nap after work and let my manager know if I started to feel too warn down.

I’ve napped twice, made sure I’ve prepped as much as possible in the evenings like food and my outfit for the next day, and taken painkillers as soon as I could feel my headache getting worse. I’ve even been out and socialised. I’ve been to my mums for coffee, I went out for a drink with my partner when the sun was out, and I’ve been out for food for my mums birthday. So as much as I was regretting this week, I’ve actually really enjoyed it and things have been as normal as possible – No passing out, in bed at a reasonable time and socialising as much as possible.

It’s now Friday, day 10 of 10 early shifts. I will be finishing work at about 14:00, maybe having a nap once I get home, then shower and pack ready for the weekend as my partner and I are going to our friends tonight and a group of us are going to Thorpe Park tomorrow! I’ve had a fair amount of coffee and an energy drink the past few days but I’m not half as worn down as I thought I’d be at this point!

Now, I’m quite a believer in fate and I have my fingers crossed that by being so chuffed and sharing this that I am not cursing myself ! I’ll update you as to whether I do blackout in the next few days or not but this is definitely a record so far!

#Forgetfulblogger

Mindset- The Book Review

I’ve recently finished reading this extremely interesting book by Dr Carol S. Dweck. Until about a year ago I’d never read a full book in my life. I’m dyslexic and it wasnt picked up on until my college days so I went through primary and secondary school believing that I was thick because I wasnt getting the extra help and support that I needed to succeed through school. So I gave up, ‘what’s the point in trying, im obviously just dumb’. But clearly something has just clicked over the years-  I want to learn. I want to try. I want to have an open mindset and over the past year or so I’ve read about 3 or 4 full books which is a huge personal achievement. I enjoy reading these types of books about mindset, psychology and how the brain works. This book was a gift from my partner and it was a great choice!

This book is all about how we approach tasks in our every day lives. Dr Dweck has scientifically proven that with the right mindset we can achieve anything we put our minds to. It’s all about whether you have a fixed or growth mindset. This particular book focuses on parents, teachers, CEO’s and athletes. How they can succeed and achieve a lot more by adopting a growth mindset and how so many CEO’s and athletes have failed in what they do best simply by having a fixed mindset.

At the end of each chapter there is a small section that is a bit like a conclusion called Grow Your Mindset. This section is basically asking you to attempt to try what has been discussed in the chapter you have just read which I’d highly recommend trying and not just skipping past (I’ve been known to do this in another book before). What i also like about this book is that Dr Dweck gives a lot of real examples as she writes about different situations to help you visualise exactly what was happening during her interviews and experiments.

Even if you’re not usually into reading about psychology I can safely say that you will be interested in this book. It will help you to open your eyes and realise why you do things the way you do. You’ll begin to have an understanding of the impact that growth and fixed mindsets have on your every day life and performance.

This book made me smile as I read it, as I began to understand my mindset a little bit more. We all have a bit of both mindsets (growth and fixed) but we also tend to lean-to one side when we are put under pressure or want to work on our performance whether that be at work, school or on a sports pitch.

Dr Dweck has definitely opened my eyes to my mindset and I would recommend this book not only to teachers, students or people who are interested in psychology but also anyone that feels they may have a fixed mindset that needs to have a little bit of growth!

#Forgetfulblogger 

A Memory I’d Rather Forget

So, as i’ve explained in previous blogs- When I lost 2 years of my memory I couldn’t remember a thing from those previous couple of years until a few months ago. I’d randomly have flashbacks of little things and I wasn’t sure if they were dreams or lost memories that were coming back. I’d have to check with my partner as to whether these things had actually happened or not. For some reason, the few memories that have decided to make a come back have been coming back to me when I’ve been in bed drifting off to sleep. I’m sure im not the only one whos mind runs crazy then there trying to sleep!

A couple of nights ago I was laid in bed and a memory came rushing back to me that I’d rather stayed lost!  I became agitated and wound up all over again, I woke my partner up and started to recite the memory…

It was just under a year ago I think, my partner and I decided to eat out at Nandos. It was a lovely chilled evening, I was wearing sweatpants and no makeup (I rarely leave the house without at least some foundation and mascara on!), we were sat at a table for two and had not long finished our meal. Out the corner of my eye I saw a figure walking towards me. My heart sunk, my blood pressure rose, and my adrenanline started to pump!

It was my father.

We don’t talk.

I’d rather not go right in to reasons why, but he’s never been a father figure to me. He always let me down when he was supposed to come pick me up for the weekend- He would either turn up 3hours late or not at all. Over the years I’ve built my own views on him and let’s just say… It’s not sunshine and happiness.

I hadn’t spoken to him for a couple of years, I’d avoid him if I saw him in public, his youngest son who still lives with him had sent a few hateful messages to me over social media which I can’t be mad at him for… He’s been blinded by what his dad has told him and he only knows one side of the story.

So anyway, back to the memory of when he approached me in Nandos- He walked up to me, he was wearing a dark puffer jacket, dark cap and jeans. I looked up and was greeted with a ‘Ite, ya forgets am ya dad?’. I replied ‘Well, yeah actually!’. His attitude and the way he approached me was not a way any normal human with morals and their priorities in the right place would walk up to their daughter. Luckily, the resteraunt wasn’t too busy but I could feel the eyes of other customers burning as they watched in shock. 

I attempted to let him know how I felt about him not being there for me, letting me down, making me feel like it was my fault, but he answered with ‘You’re not a baby anymore, I don’t have to cradle you’…

SORRY WHAT!? 

1) You never knew me as a baby either, 2) I’m still your daughter so you should still show a tiny bit of care towards me no matter my age 3) You’ve just proved my point of how selfish your really are.

The next thing he said was ‘Your little brother is going to be here in a minute, you going to ignore him aswell?’. Well, for starters I haven’t ignored you (I was too wound up to not answer back to this kind of stupity that was coming from a grown mans mouth).

My legs started to shake, my hands got sweaty and I started to grit my teeth as I held back so much anger, verbally and physically. He walked off as if the stand up was over, I gave my phone to my partner and asked her to call my mum (One of the only people who knows how I really feel about him after how he’s treated me, she was the one whos shoulder I cried on when he didn’t come pick me up after I’d been waiting for hours and I knew she was the only person at the time that would be able to talk and calm me down). As my mum answered the phone he started to walk back. The next part of the conversation is a blur and im not sure whether that’s down to the circumstances and I just saw red and my mind has decided to keep it blanked out or whether the memory is still a bit broken after my memoryloss. But what I do know is my attitude became just as stinky as his and he soon walked off and left me to it. I took the phone from my partner and spoke to my mum. She said to me ‘Just get up and leave, don’t even acknowledge him as you walk out’ my reply was ‘No, why should I, I was sat here first enjoying my evening, why should I have to leave because of him?’ I can be a very stubborn person as it is but when I’m would up, it’s a whole other story!

So I stayed, only for about 10mins but enough to make me feel like I’d made a point! I was not about to back down! In the past I’d stayed quiet when it came to expressing my feelings about him but now I’m a grown woman, I’m not scared of him and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion of him! As i got up and walked out I was still on the phone to my mum, she kept talking in my ear to keep me calm. I left Nandos and explained to mum right from the start what had happened. When my partner and I got back to the car I sat, had a good puff on my ecig, then it ran out! ‘It’s really not my day!’ I said to my partner. As we were driving home she attempted to cheer me up by helping me to see the funny side of it. We laughed about things that I should’ve said to him. Don’t you find that you come up with the best come backs after an argument or debate and then you’re kicking yourself wishing you’d have thought of that before! I still had a lot of adrenaline running through me but I was starting to calm down a hell of a lot.

Obviously im happy that another piece of my lost memory has returned but this is definitely something I’d rather stayed away. I had to re-live that whole experience and it was not fun. Hopefully if any more lost memories return, they will be happier than this one!
Thank you for reading.

Thank you mum for having to play the roles of both my mother and father a lot of the time as I was growing up and being my shoulder to cry on when I felt worthless and let down in those situations when all I wanted to know was why.

And thank you to my grandad for being the male figure in my life.

#forgetfulblogger 

Into The Deep – #ForgetfulBlogger┬á

Ok, so I was overwhelmed with the support I received after posting my first ever blog and got so excited about my next entry – But I had no idea where to take it from there! I turned to friends and family and asked- What is it you would like to know about my experiences with blackouts and memory loss, so that I could go into a little more depth with it all. So here goes…

#ForgetfulBlogger

-Do you ever remember things that you have forgotten and are there ways you can get any of those memories back or do they come back randomly?

During the “big blackout” that I had where I’ve lost 2 years of my memory I have remembered a few random things. Usually something jogs my memory like in 2015 our bungalow got flooded from a burst pipe, we had to live in rented accommodation while our house got sorted. I had forgotten all of this but I used to go past the house that we temporarily rented almost every day and one day something just jogged my memory! I remembered that we had lived there for 2 months! Sometimes I could just be laid in bed thinking and I have to ask ‘was that a dream or is it a lost memory from the past 2 years?’ lol. If you can imagine waking up from a deep dream but when you try to explain it to someone it all seems quite blurry- THAT is how bits of my memory come back. When I have these smaller episodes of blacking out – I tend to loose the last 2 or 3 days and most of that slowly comes back over about a week.

-Do the Drs know if its heredity and has anything like this ever happened to any other family members?

No, they cant see any signs to say that its heredity and nothing like this has happened to any family members, that I’m aware of.

-Do you know you’re about to pass out or is it sudden?

I can never remember what or how i feel seconds before i black out, but during the lead up to me passing out- I will get a severe headache, a lot worse than it usually is. This usually gives me and others around me an indication as to what’s about to happen. Ive been told that I also become very quiet and quite withdrawn from whatever is going on and round me. My partner has told me that my veins In my hands stand out and become raised which I am assuming is to do with my blood pressure rising from whatever is happening inside my body at the time.

-Can you remember your initial thoughts when you first come round after passing out? What goes through your mind when it happens now?

When all of this started it was very confusing and quite scary when I first came around. Id usually be surrounded by my mother and partner and sometimes an ambulance crew. I remember the first couple of times thinking ‘I wonder if I’ve lost another 2 years or if my memory has all come back’, neither of which was right. I used to worry and get a little scared, I didn’t know  what was going on and how I ended up on the floor. Now it seems to be a regular occurrence – I wake up knowing what’s likely to have just happened and just think ‘Oh not again’, my partner asks how my head is, whether I’m in pain and what day I think it is. I still have some slight confusion when I come around and I feel quite vulnerable at first but I recover a lot quicker now.

– What was it like when you first blacked out and came around feeling like you’d travelled to the future, how was it adjusting to every day things?

Well I thought it was all a huge joke that everyone was in on! I was determined that it was still 2014, I’d get upset and angry because I thought that everyone else was wrong! The Dr’s were constantly asking questions to find out how much of my memory had gone and I’d get would up and annoyed with them. I did get a little bit cheeky – Id memorise signs around me so that when the Dr’s or my family would ask ‘Do you know where you are now Daniella?’ I’d remember all the signs id seen. They caught me out most of the time though! When I was allowed to leave hospital and I walked into my house a lot had changed in the past 2 years. I became quite upset and agitated with all of the changes I could see around me. I had to ask where so many things were including my own belongings in my own home. But, on the plus side – I had a whole new wardrobe, a lot more money, and a much better partner!

-What sort of tests have you had done so far?

So, when I started getting these horrendous headaches I went to the opticians to see if it had anything to do with my eyesight as I do wear glasses. They noticed that my peripheral vision in my left eye was absent. I had numerous field tests at the opticians and it was handed over to my local eye hospital but apart from slightly bad vision in my left eye, there was nothing serious to be seen and nothing to link it to my headaches. Things with my head kept getting worse, I tried almost every painkiller that could be bought over the counter and they just weren’t touching the pain. I ended up going to my Dr Who organised tests for sinusitis and when that showed nothing and they referred me to a neurologist. Through them I have had a lot of MRI scans, neuoropthalmology tests, an EGG test where they wired up my head and checked for any abnormal activity, and when I was in hospital I had a lumbar puncture done to check for any infections. None of which explain whatever condition it is that I have.

– Do you ever talk to your friends and family about the effects this has on them, it must cause a tremendous strain on your personal relationships?

I don’t think I’ve asked them outright as I believe I know how it must effect them. Obviously my mum, sister and partner are extremely  supportive and I understand the strain it must have and still puts on them. Luckily I knew them all before 2014 lol. My close friends are also very supportive and patient and have a slight understanding of what goes on and maybe after reading my blog, you too will have an insight as to what goes on. My work colleagues I think it was most strange for. They had a rough idea as to what had happened but I don’t think it really hit them until I first walked back into the office again. They obviously remembered me but had to treat me like a stranger in a way. They have also been very supportive and helped me while I re-trained for my job again which I’m extremely thankful for.

 -Does it effect your everyday life like going out?

It doesn’t stop me from going out altogether, no. I don’t worry too much about passing out while I’m out in public and that hasn’t happened yet. But if I’ve already passed out I tend to be a bit vulnerable for a day as im still getting used to the fact that my memory has gone back a day or two. I tend not to go out by myself very often anyway so I’ve always got my partner, mother or a close friend with me for reassurance. When I first lost my memory I did worry that I’d see someone that I’d  met between 2014 and 2015 that I couldn’t remember. Or, I’d worry that I might attempt to speak to someone that I’d stopped speaking to between 2014 and 2015 for whatever reason but I think I’ve caught up with everyone now!

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in helping me to write my second blog – Into The Deep.

 

 

First blog – The Forgetful Intro┬á

My name is Daniella. I am 25 years of age (apparently lol).

I suffer with what some may call “blackouts”. It starts off with a headache that becomes severely unbearable and I lose consciousness. When I come back round I tend to lose memory of the past 2 days or so. Dr’s and specialists have no idea what this is or what the reason for it may be.

This all started last year when I was at work one evening with an awful headache. I took myself out of the office, sat in the kitchen and took some painkillers. I then collapsed and was found by my colleagues who then called for an ambulance. I wasn’t taken to hospital and the medics put it down to a migraine. 

A few days after this random episode I went out for a meal with family and when I got home I passed out again. Only this time, when I came around, I had lost the past 2 years of my memory, I thought it was 2014 and was understandably very confused. I was in and out of the Dr’s and hospital for some time and ended up being kept in on a ward for a couple of nights. 

I thought it was one huge joke or TV show and everyone was in on it just messing around. I kept waiting to see a camera pop round the corner. I was convinced it was still 2014. I’d forgotten all about my new job, I forgot passwords for my online banking and social media, I had a new partner (luckily I knew her from years ago and she wasn’t a complete stranger!). I was, in a way, quite fortunate that apart from my new job there were no huge changes in my life from 2014-2016.

Numerous tests were done, hundreds of questions were asked but no answers were given and I was discharged. My notes are still getting passed from Dr to Dr. I’m still being poked and prodded by specialists. And I still have no answers. 

I have been retrained at my job thanks to the company and my employees for being so supportive. I have got used to a whole new wardrobe and style. I’ve slowly rebuilt relationships with people I had met during 2014 and 2016. And I’ve just simply adapted to “a new life”.

With my blogs I hope to help people in similar situations. Learn and share coping mechanisms. And maybe start some sort of awareness. Because although I have so many supportive people around me, I feel so lonely due to  the fact that no one can see it from my point of view. 

So please bare with me as I’ve never done a blog before but I hope you enjoy reading my journey ­čÖé 

Click to follow on Twitter 🐦