Tag Archives: Love

❤️ CHD | My Story ❤️

I think I’ve written a similar post like this a couple of years ago, however as it is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness week, I thought I would once again let you into  huge part of my life that has shaped the person I am today.

My parents didn’t know that anything was wrong with me until the day I was born (although my mum’s body had produced a lot more water in her pregnancy in order to protect me whilst I grew. It’s amazing how nature knew there was a problem and yet no one else did). I was soon diagnosed with a condition called Fallot’s Tetralogy. This is where there are four defects found with the heart:

  1. Pulmonary Stenosis (A narrowing of the Pulmonary Valve).
  2. Ventricular Septal Defect (A hole in the heart).
  3. Right Ventricular Hypertrophy (The left side of my heart over compensated and meant the muscle thicker than it should be).
  4. Over-riding Aorta (The Aorta lies over the hole and allows some deoxygenated blood to be taken around the body).

I really don’t want to get too scientific, but if you want to,  you can read up further on the condition here.

12714190_980715735344807_1489817286_n (2)

Although I was born with the condition, I was too small to operate on and so I had one operation around the age of one to put me on until I could have the full open heart surgery at two years old. I am so glad that I was very young when I had the operation as I barely remember any of it. However it pains me to think what my parents were going through, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to see your child hooked up to numerous monitors. They really are the bravest people I know.

Luckily everything went well during my operation. I made a fast recovery in hospital and when it was time to go home, I was watching Teletubbies and didn’t want to leave!

I don’t really have that many memories of being in hospital. I mean I was two years old so it is a very long time ago! Though there are three snapshots that have stuck with me. One was when my Grandad came to visit. I had my operation in December and so there was a Christmas tree on the ward. He got me out of my bed and walked me over to it. I know it doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal, but it is the small moments like this that are the most precious, especially when it was shared with my Grandad. He is such a special person  in my life who I have the utmost respect for, and I know this memory will stick with him too.

Something else I remember is when I went for a bath we found a toy plane on the side. I think it belonged to another child there on the ward, but I remember playing with it.

The last thing I remember is more of a scent than a memory. There was a dad and his daughter on the ward next to me and she had apple scented hairspray. I think he gave my mum a bottle for me or told her where to purchase it from because I am sure that when I left the hospital I still had this hairspray with me. I just know that it smelt amazing.

Having the operation has saved my life. If I hadn’t have had it, I probably wouldn’t have made it past my tenth birthday, and if I had done, I could be in a wheel chair right now – which is so terrifying to think about. It has meant that I can lead a completely normal life. I’ve taken dance classes, achieved my Black-Belt in Taekwondo, been in numerous plays. Even had to do cross country at Highschool… as rubbish as it is running around a field in the freezing cold, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I still have trips to the hospital for check ups and echocardiograms (kind of like an ultrasound on my heart). I’ve even been told that I may have to have another operation in years to come – though my Grandad is adamant that this wont happen. But if it wasn’t for the scars on my body, it would almost be impossible to tell that I have a Congenital Heart Defect.

I am super grateful to all of my doctors and surgeons who have taken care of me throughout the whole of my life and my parents for being the most patient, understanding, loving people on this planet. They have been with me through thick and thin, and if it wasn’t for them I have no idea who I would be right now. I owe them everything.

12665766_980718028677911_164359419_n (2)

If you or your child are going through the motions of having open heart surgery, please know that it can and does get better. I know everyone’s conditions are different and in my case I thank God every night for how lucky I have been. You have to stay strong and positive and realise you are not alone and things will pick up.

I’m no expert on the disease, but I have been through it, so if you want to drop me an email and talk to me about my experiences or what you’re going through then please don’t hesitate. It would be great to hear from you!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Health, Lifestyle, Rants

Blogmas: Day six | Christmas tree reveal

1

I have had such a fun weekend with my family!

It has become tradition that every year me and my family put the Christmas tree up on the first weekend of December. This came about when I was two years old and had just left hospital after having open heart surgery. When I got home all I wanted to do was put the Christmas tree up and so we did. Now whenever it is the first weekend of December I will always try and make it home to help put the tree up – it is a precious time.

The baubles on our tree all have memories attached to them. It is packed full of our family history; with decorations made by me and my sister when we were younger; presents we bought for Santa (but was left behind so he could admire it on our tree every year); and gifts given to us by family.

Here are three baubles that are very special to me.

2

I think this is just super cute. It was bought for me on my first Christmas and has stayed intact and been hung on the tree for nineteen years. What makes it more adorable is that my sister has an identical bauble to this one, just with her name and date of birth on. I think they are extremely special and will hopefully be on the tree for many more years to come!

3This little piggy was one of my Grandpa’s favourite tree decorations. I have no idea why… it isn’t the most glamorous of  tree decorations he could have chosen. However, it was and therefore we have it on our tree every year. My mum doesn’t really like the look of it, so there is an on going joke in our family that he should be what sits on top of the tree instead of the star.

4

This gorgeous bauble was made for us by my Nana one year. She is so amazing at sewing and creating cute little things like this. There are quite a few baubles on the tree she’s made, and also a little soft angel. But this is one of my favourites… I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to Christmas and I just think this looks so shiny and lovely. My Nana is extremely clever!

So there is my Christmas tree this year, and just a small insight about what is on it and what it means to me. I think it looks pretty damn good and very traditional which is something I love about it. I think having a green tree filled with red and gold baubles makes your home super cosy. Unfortunately I had to venture back to university to finish off this semester, but now that I have seen my home decorated I am literally counting down the days until I can come back home for Christmas. I cannot wait to spend more time with my family. I love them so much!

Comment below with a photo of your Christmas tree! I would love to see it, and let me know what you think of mine x

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenge, Holidays, Lifestyle

Celebrating! – John Robb Style

creepers

You have no idea how long I have wanted some real creepers for. I could have ordered some online a while ago, but I never know what size foot I am – it’s either a 7 or an 8 – but my feet like to be awkward and so getting some online is always a risk that I don’t like to take.

My sister came to visit me in Manchester the other day and I decided to take her around the Northern Quarter and look at all of the cute vintage shops. She bought some gorgeous scarfs and shirts and I found an adorable jumper and also snatched up some posters for my new room.

I’ve recently got my first piece published in the new music magazine Louder Than War, and so we took it upon ourselves to hunt down an issue. We must have gone into every single news agents in the center of Manchester and every single WH Smiths and couldn’t find one anywhere! We had literally given up and had headed back to the Northern Quarter. On the way back there we spotted a convenience store that we hadn’t yet been in and so decided to venture inside – expecting disappointment. However there was four copies staring right at you as soon as you went in! I practically ran over and thumbed my way through the pages to sniff out my article, and there it was!

The excitement was unreal – I wanted to cry, my first piece in an actual music magazine.

I had to celebrate, and what’s a better way than celebrating John Robb style, and purchasing some beautiful, vintage leather creepers?

I found them in Afflecks, size 8 – it was like fate had put them there! They fit perfectly and I must admit are probably one of my comfiest pairs of shoes. The night I bought them I went out dancing in them and then the next day I did a two hour trek to the Salford Lads Club – No blisters. I’m really impressed with how comfy they are, they might just be my new favourite shoes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Clothes, Fashion, Lifestyle, Music, Review

Some things never change | A reminiscence

I’ve been at university for a month now, and I’ve realised that once you get here and you start making friends and settling in, you begin to lose track of time and life and people back at home. You get taken into this whirlwind, a huge journey that will, hopefully, lead you to great places. It’s as though you’ve been thrown into a whole other world and are seated in the fastest rollercoaster you can imagine. You have good days and bad days, ups and downs, do things you never imagined you would.
I never thought I’d make it past the first week, let alone the first month. Finding my feet in a new city, learning how to cook, clean and fend for myself, making friends and starting a new course, the whole prospect of this was daunting to me and still is.
With being an hour away from my family, home sickness is a worry. Thankfully I’ve not suffered from it much, but there have been times where the only thing I’ve wanted is to be in my dad’s arms or sat watching The Walking Dead snuggled up to my mum. It sounds lame but I actually really miss those warm cosy Sunday nights just chilling in front of the TV. I see home sickness as a good thing. Although at the time you feel pretty numb and all you want to do is curl up in your own bed, it gives you a sense of grounding. It makes you understand just how much you appreciated your life before university, your parents and everything they’ve done for you.
In a way it gives you more strength.
I was lucky enough to go home for my mum’s birthday last weekend and see my whole family, and when coming back on the train I had this realisation with myself at how so much has changed over my life and yet equally so much has stayed the same.Here are a few things that will never change…

          I used to dress up in anything I could find as a child, whether that be a devil for halloween, an elf or even a clown! I guess things haven’t changed too much, I mean,  Halloween is on the horizon… who knows? I may embrace the night as a devil again!
          I’ve always been interested in history, when I was younger I’d dress up as a knight… but now I’d prefer to be saved by one!
          I could kick anyone’s ass at Taekwondo and learnt how to defend myself, but now no one messes with me…
          I used to be quite a messy eater when I was little, and I guess I’m quite a messy eater now… (I’m writing this after getting mayonnaise all around my mouth from a McDonnalds, Some things never change).
I wore the most adorable hats when I was little, and I still wear some pretty groovy hats now…
I was always up for new challenges, and I guess I still am up for challenges!!

Moving away from home puts your whole life in perspective, but even though I’m at university, I still feel strongly connected with everyone back at the ranch. We’re a really close knit family, I trust them with my life and know that I can talk to them about anything anytime. This relationship I have with them will always stay the same.

It’s kind of weird how things have changed and yet on the other hand they really haven’t. Maybe it’s situations that change and us as humans adjust to the situations but don’t actually change ourselves. Or maybe with new experiences and new beginnings you have to adapt and change your character in order to live. It’s like I’m a chameleon camouflaging into my surroundings but when you look closely I’m still the exact same person I was when I was 5 years old.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lifestyle