Health & Fitness

Relieving Anxiety – During an MRI Scan

Having just got out of my 3rd MRI scan in 5 Months for 3 different conditions I thought I would write a little post on what I found helped keep me calm during the scans.

MRI.jpg

Before I start I just want to tell you that the first scan was while I was pregnant and was suffering from reflux. Obviously, in an MRI scanner, you are laid flat. Something that I’d not done for months. So I could feel the acid coming up and panicked. I ended up pressing the panic button twice!!

If they take you out of the scanner they have to start again from the beginning so if you can keep calm it is beneficial.

When you are sent for an MRI they will ask you a series of questions keep you safe.

They will include but not limited to:

  • Have you ever had metal in your eye
  • Could you be pregnant
  • Have you had any operations in the past 3 months?
  • Do you have metal pins anywhere in your body?
  • Do you have medicine patches – e.g. stop smoking patch or a pain relief patch.

The scanner works by using magnets which is why there is so much emphasis on the metal in your body.

When you arrive depending on where they need to scan you will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a gown.

download

Normally if you have no metal on your clothes you may be able to leave them on.

Those that wear a bra I would opt to put on one with no fastenings that way you could leave it on.

Remove all jewellery and hair clips.

If you can, keep your socks on it can be chilly in the scan room.

The scanner is noisy but the operators will give you some ear defenders to put on.

Some of the noises and vibrations can range from

  • When you walk past workers, digging the road with a heavy duty road drill
  • A washing machine on the highest spin.
  • A thump like if you were to slide downstairs on your bottom.
  • Buzzing like a smoke alarm but duller

They will give a squeezy button in case you panic or feel you need to get out.

How to keep calm during the scan

  • Firstly ask what’s going to happen and how long the scanning will take.
  • Ask them to talk you through each step. And countdown each scan. The MRI is usually made up of a series of scans each lasting a few mins each. The first one I had they didn’t talk to me at all which made me panic. On the scans since I’ve asked for them to count down and talk me through each scan.
  • Some mindful breathing is a good way to pass the time and stop you getting into a full-blown panic. There are some great apps out there to practice beforehand. Otherwise just breathing in for a count of 5 hold for 2 out for 6. And repeat. Also, concentrate on the breath. Where you breathe in where the breath goes in the body and then where it leaves the body.
  • Mentally plan, this could be what you’re having for dinner, your next holiday, a shopping list. I find this always passes the time for me.

I took to Facebook to ask other bloggers that had been through an MRI what their top tip would is to calm them down during an MRI.

  • I had one last year. I just took deep breaths and kept thinking every time one scan is done I am closer to it finishing. after about 5 minutes though I was fine and actually nearly fell asleep. Jo – The Knight Tribe
  • I had one just this week. I had brain surgery in August so this was to see if they got it all out (the tumour not the brain😂). It was only my 2nd one and I must admit I’m not too bothered about them. But I’m full of a cold and was struggling to stay still so I visualized a luxury beach holiday – I was snorkelling, swimming, eating great food, lying on a giant bed etc. It was quite enjoyable! Told hubby this is the holiday we are having when I get the all clear! Claire – She Eats
  • I’ve had MRI Scans on my Pituitary which was damaged following the birth of my child. Having a MRI can be a little nerve-racking. My advice would be to read up on what to expect. For example, I didn’t know how long my MRI would be or that the machine makes a loud noise and knowing beforehand would have better prepared myself. Angela – The Inspiration Edit 
  • I highly recommend hypnosis. I’ve used it on so many occasions now including scans and it works wonders. There’s some brilliant hypnosis tracks in iTunes you can use to prepare yourself for it. Hollie – Thrifty Mum
  • This sounds weird but I always count the sounds that the MRI makes. Recently I’ve been so relaxed I’ve started to drift off. I have both MRIs where my body is outside and where I’m right in the ‘tunnel’. This has helped both times. Katy – Katy Kicker
  • I’ve had 12 over the last 3 years and spent 1.5 hours in there just last month. I play games while I’m in there, just silly things like I go through the alphabet and think of an animal for each letter, or list as many foods as I can think of starting with the letter S. Anything to focus my mind and pass the time. Laura  – Five Little Doves 
  • When I had mine quite a few years ago now they said I could bring in a CD to listen to… Though they forgot to put the CD on and played Christmas Carols instead, which I hated, but the thought was there! Sophie – Life As Mrs D 
  • I had an MRI this week actually. I closed my eyes, meditated and practised slow breathing during it and found that it kept me very calm and relaxed during the entire thing. Emma – Our Fairytale Adventure

If you suffer from claustrophobia they can give you some sedation to have a scan. Obviously during my first one while pregnant this wouldn’t have been an option, however. This time I was also offered an eye mask to put on. The lady before me said it really helped her. I have always just shut my eyes during it.

I hope this helps if you’re off for an MRI. It can be daunting.

Good luck!

 

Nina x

Health & Wellbeing, Meal Plan Monday

Gallstones Diet Plan

If you’ve read this post you will know that I have been told I have gallstones and I am currently awaiting minor surgery to remove my gallbladder.

I’ve said a million times that I need to be healthier let’s face it most of us have.

When I was faced with the worst scare of my life ( My cesarian hysterectomy with an unknown amount of blood loss) I prayed and told whoever was listening that I promised to be a better person, I’d eat better, exercise more and try to just be an all-round better person If they just could let me get through the op!

Now I’ve survived I have not much choice to but fulfil my promise as I have had to revamp my diet due to the gallstones!

I now have to follow a low-fat diet!

It’s one thing to be told low fat but what does that mean?

Well from talking to several people and using the knowledge I have from doing a healthy eating course years ago I have devised some rules for my new healthy eating lifestyle.

  • Low Fat –  Under 10 Grams of fat in any 100g
  • Low saturated fat – Under 5g in any 100g
  • Low Sugar – Under 10g in any 100g
  • Less Processed Foods – Wherever possible Home cooked foods with fresh ingredients
  • Hydrate – Drink 2 litres of water per day
  • Plenty of fruits & Veggies – A least 5 portions
  • Protein – As I’m still rebuilding muscles from my last op protein is important to aid them rebuilding
  • Carbs – Should be whole grain, Like brown, rice, pasta, bread.

So that is my diet plan

I’m going to print it out and stick it to the fridge!

IMG_2012.PNG

Feel free to do the same.

Leave in the comments if you have any tips for gallstone diets?

 

Nina x

 

Pregnancy

The amazing moving placenta & the waiting game

It’s 6am and I’m laid in an unfamiliar hospital bed. You see I went into my local hospital with a sharp lower back pain on and off and a few cramps like period type cramps that Werner really regular.

The pains came on on Wednesday 16th but as they Werner regular and I had an appointment already on the Thursday I just waiting until then. Where they sent me round to the maternity ward to be monitored.

I spoke briefly about about my placenta being low in a previous post. However while I have been monitored and babies have been monitored I have had a few Drs and my consultant unbeknown to me looking at my previous scans and notes.
They decided Friday afternoon that I should have an MRI scan to check the position of the placenta fully. As non of the photos were clear enough.
They are worried Incase it’s attached to organs or my previous section scaring – this could cause major bleeding
So while I had breakfast lunch & dinner at hotel NHS they went off to try and book this.
Unfortunately they came back and being a weekend with several bigger hospitals staff to do the MRI on leave (as I’m not actually in labour or bleeding I’m non emergency) we have to wait until Monday. But because there is a high risk of placenta bleeding if I go into labour I have to stay in.

Well not only stay in but be transferred to a different hospital over an hour from my home & my children where if I do happen to labour or bleed they have more measures in place to cope.
So at 6am I lay here in a bay in a ward by myself. Hubby left at about midnight as he just couldn’t get comfy.

I am laid here on a Saturday morning in the quiet not the normal mummy can I have my I pad. Mummy can I have breakfast at grandmas. Mummy can I watch telly in your bed.
And although family & friends keep saying make the most of it. I can’t help laying here anxious about what’s going to happen Petrified of worst! And laid here missing my big babies and feeling guilty that we chose to have more and now I’m having to be away from them.

Drs will be due after breakfast and I think they are going to tell me that not only do I have to wait for Monday for a scan but when I go for it I will have to got to yet another bigger city hospital for it!

Let’s hope it’s all ok and not attached and I can go home and rest for a week and a bit while I wait for my planned section that I had only just started getting my head around.

Is much rather wake up to these two. Noise or no noise.

Health & Wellbeing, Wellbeing

To the one who thinks I have it together!!

To the one who thinks I have it together.

I feel like a fraud when you tell me who calm I seem. The truth is I’m so far from having it together.

18816354_10155221847358828_894186057_n

So even though I may be chilled when I get around the corner to school that’s because I already lost my shit over the breakfast table. The kids wouldn’t eat and as we were up late I was feeling bad that I should have got up earlier. I felt bad that I had to rush them to eat breakfast but not as bad as I would have felt had I took them to school with no food.

I may look like my kids are dressed well but the truth is I forget to wash last night and the last jumper they had was covered in some kind of stain about 20 mins ago but I scrubbed it with the dishcloth and it’s actually still wet in places!

My daughter’s hair is in a French plait this morning, however, that’s because she slept in it last night!

I may look like I am ok with this twin mothering stuff but in actual fact, I’ve spent most of today in tears or shouting because I have so much going on in my life at the moment that I’m not handling anything very well.

After half term I may look like I have it together, however, I will be feeling guilty that I’ve wasted the half term anxious and upset with myself!

I will have plans on being a better mum during the 6 weeks when in reality I will be almost full term in this pregnancy and fighting against fatigue and anxiety again!

I may look like I have my shit together, look calm, but inside my head is swimming and my heart pounding and it’s all I can do some days to get my kids to school on time just so I can have a hot cuppa and not play referee for the day!

Some days I’m that late my kids run in without even saying bye, then I spend half the morning worrying about them. worrying that if something happened to me or them that I never hugged them when they went into school that morning!

So Thank you for saying I seem like the calm mum who has it together but in reality, I’m really fighting the same battle as other mums on the school run!

 

Nina x

Friends, Parenting 101

Lone Parenting – Pros & Cons

So hubby has gone away to work again!

Every time he works away the week or two before his mood dips and my anxiety heightens.

So I’m on my own again! It’s only a week this time and I know there are some out there that are single parents all the time! There are some out there whose hubbys are away 6 month’s at a time!

img_0071

But pros and cons of being a lone parent!

 Pros

  • I can watch tv at all hours of the night! – Sometimes when I can’t sleep I like to listen to a sitcom like Miranda or not going out. but when hubby is fast asleep I don’t like to put tv on!
  • Snuggles in bed with the kids – Okay we have snuggles most nights but when it’s just us I love that they fall asleep snuggled up to me! we chat about our day and plan what we are doing tomorrow!
  • I tend to read more when hubby is away – I can grab a cuppa and a book and sit and read once the kids have gone to sleep.
  • There is more hot water – one less bath means more hot water for me to have a bath!
  • Less washing – Hubby goes though more clothes a week than the kids!

Cons

  • I feel very alone at night – once I’ve locked the door I know the only people I’m going to see is my kids and although I love them lots it’s no substitution for my hubby!
  • I tend to eat rubbish when hubby is away  – It’s no fun cooking meals for people who would rather have a happy meal!
  • Reassuring hugs & kisses – If I have a bad day when hubby is away There is no one to hug away the bad feelings of the day!
  • I don’t really sleep very well when hubby is away – Despite sometimes having sleepless nights anyway, when hubby is away he tends to be in a different time zone and somehow I adopt that time zone too!
  • My anxiety goes through the roof when hubby is way – My brain is on over drive with what ifs.
  • There is no-one else to put the kids in bed – If the kids fall asleep not in bed I have to be the one to carry them to bed!
  • I feel sad that hubby is missing things – The kids do something that makes me proud, or we make a memory together , Hubby is missing them.

I miss him when he is away!

img_0163

I will get through the week, I will miss him then he will be back and I will be moaning about him again within days!

 

img_0216-1

Channel Mum, Friends, Health & Wellbeing, Wellbeing

World Mental Health Day – My Story

Hi All,

Today Is World Mental Health day, Each year The world health organisation recognises World Mental health Day

mental-health

This year the theme is psychological first aid!

You can read more about it over on the mental health foundation website!

To help with Mental health issues we are encouraged to talk more openly about mental health so today around the country hundreds of people will be gathering in a fundraising initiative called Tea & Talk.

So today I am welcoming you for a cuppa with me as I tell you my mental health story!

If you would like to know more about mental health day or Tea & Talk head on over to the mental health foundation website!

If you enjoyed this cuppa & Chat Please make a donation here

And please like comment and subscribe for more videos from me!

img_0216-1

Blogging, Friends

Liebster Award

Last week when I logged into Instagram I found I had been tagged in a post by The Lovely Mum but Still Me 

She had nominated me for The Liebster Award Tag –

liebster1.png

Basically The idea is to promote new Blogs. You answer a series of questions and then set your own and tag up to 11 other new bloggers to do the same.

I thought but I don’t know that many New blogs! – So i took to Facebook to find some others that would like to be nominated!

Do you know I’m glad I did I’ve now connected with some other bloggers that I probably would have not connected with otherwise.

You see the thing about blogging is the community feel of it – Especially around the parenting blogs – They are like having an extended circle of friends. Others that are going through or have gone through the same things.

Rules

  1. Write a blog post about your nomination, displaying an image of the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you asked you in his/her blog post.
  4. Nominate 5-11 other starting bloggers who you think deserve this award, and come up with 11 questions of your own for them to answer. I’ve actually got 13 
  5. List these rules in your blog post.

SO first to answer The questions I was sent:

  1. What is the biggest lesson that motherhood taught you so far?  That no matter how prepared you think you are things can and probably will turn out different to what you expected. 
  2. What’s your guilty pleasure? Clean with me video’s on YouTube – I often watch them instead of actually cleaning 😉
  3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I always wanted to be a graphic designer but then in my final year my mum was ill and It was as if my brain suddenly forgot how to draw.
  4. What makes a great party for you? I love to host so I like to know everyone is having a good time. but ultimately a great group of friends and good food make a good party. 
  5. How do you deal with your fears? I have anxiety so there are many things I fear but my “normal” fear is spiders this is generally dealt with by running away or shouting the hubby.
  6. What does blogging mean to you? I started blogging when I struggled with conceiving and suffered with insomnia It was a bit of an outlet for my emotions and thoughts. A kind of therapy. Now its much more than that Its a community that I love meeting up with other bloggers and connecting on social media.
  7. How would you describe your style? Eclectic – I don’t really have a particular style – Id like to think I’m a little but boho but I also love my jeans & jumpers really anything I feel comfy in!
  8. What can’t you live without? My Iphone – Oh and my husband and kids 
  9. What is your most treasured possession? Did I just mention my Iphone 😉
  10. What do you love the most about yourself? My determination! 
  11. How do you want to grow old? My husband and I often say we want to be that carefree couple walking hand in hand on the beach. To be Honest since losing a few close friends and family all around 90 years young  I keep saying If I get to 90 and are as fit and happy as they were then I’d take that! 

 

It’s now time for me to nominate New blogs from around the interweb!

I thought it was going to be hard finding new bloggers out there but after turning to Facebook here I am with not just 5 or 6 but 13 new bloggers all eagerly  awaiting my questions 🙂

New Blogs for you to check out!

  1. Life Through Rosie’s Len
  2. Flump has two Mummies 
  3. Life Of An Auntie 
  4. Counting to Ten 
  5. Hooked
  6. The Unsung Mum 
  7. Someones mum 
  8. And then she said
  9. You, Me and the 6 C’s
  10. The Mediocre Mum
  11. Living with Jude
  12. Bell and Bear 
  13. Organised Jo 

 

My questions to the above bloggers

  1. What or who inspired you to blog?
  2. Who would you invite to a dinner party?
  3. If you had to give up one what would it be out of Tea, Coffee, Alcohol?
  4. Whats your favorite view?
  5. Who is your inspiration in life?
  6. Whats the best piece of advise you’ve been given?
  7. What is at the top of your bucket list?
  8. Is there anything you would do differently if you could?
  9. Whats the one place you would love to see if money were no object?
  10. What would you do with a lottery win?
  11. How do you relax?

So now its over to you!

Don’t forget to check out the blogs above and leave a comment or two

img_0216-1

 

 

Christmas, Friends, Hygge, Wellbeing

Autumn is Coming – Finding Hygge

Hi All,

Thursday is the first day of autumn and for once I am ready for it.

20160919_135305_LLS-2.jpg

I am ready for the jumpers and boots and scarves. I’m ready  to take the kids jumping in puddles. I’m ready for long Sunday walks in the woods to collect pine cones for crafting.

In previous years I have suffered more with my mental health in the cooler less sunny months. I’m not sure It’s as bad as seasonal effective disorder but I do feel more anxiety.

So this year I am preparing for the duller days in advance. So far I have bought a new bulb for my lumie light so that I can wake to a sunshine simulation even when the mornings are dark.

I am filling my cupboards with vitamins and I am going to make an effort to get outside even in the rain!

A couple of weeks ago I bought a book all about Hygge  (pronounced Hue-Gah)- The Danish are the happiest nation apparently yet they have the longest winter days. however they embrace the dark and fill it with hygge.

I have set my self the intention to live a hygge Autumn/ Winter – Embracing the darkness filling it with cosy things!

SAMSUNG CSC

I have set up a Pinterest board to help me find inspiration and I have already reorganised my living room to a more cosy layout.

So what is Hygge?

Well there is no direct translation Hygge Is a noun, its thought to mean a warm and fuzzy feeling, cosyness and general feeling of inside warmth.

What are the main points to consider when trying to embrace Hygge?

Lighting – Low level warm lighting. Think fairy lights, toned down lamps, and more often candles.

Blankets – Warm comfy blankets, throws, something you can throw over you when it is a little chilly outside.

Activities – Non screen activities like needle craft, board games, telling stories, singing. to name a few.

Singing – This is thought to be an important part of Hygge. Singing releases endorphin’s making you feel good. as well as a whole host of other benefits.

Friends / Family – Although hygge can be embraced on your own why not grab a group of friends and or family and embrace together.

Food – Autumnal style food is considered hyggelig think soups, stews, crumbles, hot chocolate, mulled wine or cider.

So now I have armed myself with the principles of Hygge I will be trying my best to make these colder months feel more Hygge.

SAMSUNG CSC

 
I am not an expert this is just my opnions on hygge.

 

Precious Moments, Wellbeing

Anxiety, major events, avoiding the news! 

There are some days that you just remember like yesterday.

One is the morning that news broke of Diana’s death – my firmed and I had been out the night before and stayed at another friends house overnight. We woke to the news. “Diana Princess of Wales has been killed in a horrific car accident.”

We were a little in shock were we still drunk. – no. Unfortunately, the news was true. Those boys left without a mother. They were only young. Just a little younger than myself.

The other is when the planes hit the twin towers of New York. – The trade centre towers. As usual, my mum and I had been arguing, I’m not sure what this was about but I ended up leaving in a bad mood and went to my aunts. When we arrived my uncle had the tv on with the news that shook the world. A plane has struck one of the towers. And right there in front of our eyes as the report broke another plane struck the other tower!

News like this unfortunately nowadays makes me fall into anxiety and I end up worrying for days.

My husband travels the world with his work and when he’s not travelling he’s in London. We now have two children together and I worry about the fragility of life. More than I should.

It’s hard being a part-time lone parent.  It’s hard being a wife to someone who travels so much for work in a world where because of social media, and the hype around terrorism the world is just a bit scarier now I’m a grown up!

Do you remember where you were on the days that major events around the globe happened?

It’s odd how our brains can remember the feels, sights & sounds of days like this but sometimes I struggle to remember what I went upstairs for!

So what do we do now?

We take time to remember those affected by such tragic days we remember on anniversaries but we live the rest of the time. We can’t live in fear. We strive to be strong for those left behind. We help each other make a better world.

To those gone. Thankyou for the memories.

To those grieving. Tomorrow is a new day and you will get stronger.


To the rest of us. Smile, help, love, & be grateful.
Thanks for reading

Nina.

X

Fitness Friday, Health & Wellbeing, Wellbeing

Fitness Friday.Walking, Stress & ECG

Good morning, Its time for fitness Friday again.

I missed last week due to lone parenting and school holidays – But fear not I am back this week and I now have a plan for scheduling. ( That will be another blog post)

So where am I at?

  • Well the past 2 week I’m still only averaging around 5000 steps
  • I Have been swimming twice a week.
  • I have managed more outdoor time!

Today I have the heart monitor I mentioned in the last Fitness Friday post

IMG_0316[1]

Funnily enough the flutters have actually calmed down a lot now – So i think it was probably the anxiety!

I am trying to make changes to my day to cut down the stress I feel and generally make me healthier.

Goals for the future! 

  • Still trying for the 10,000 steps
  • Drink more water
  • Take vitamins each day
  • Swim three times a week
  • Yoga at least 4 times a week
  • Night time meditation instead of TV

When I get back the results from this ECG (monitor) I will be creating a better plan for my physical fitness – I may try and get back into the couch to 5k. Running is so good for the feel good chemical – Dopamine and Serotonin.

Anyway that’s the update I have for you this week.img_78691.jpg

See you next week when I have my results back.

img_0216