Friday, 25 September 2015

Living with Prolactinoma

So if you haven’t heard of this (and chances are you probably won’t have unless you have one) it’s basically a benign tumour in your pituitary gland, which messes up your hormones and can also make you produce milk even if you’re not pregnant and you also get excessive hair growth, weight gain, infertility and it can also affect your eyesight as the tumour can push against the nerve endings. Now no one knows exactly how long I've had it or how long it’s been growing for, but potentially it could have been growing since I started my period at age 9.

Now I’d always had crippling periods where I’d be in so much pain I pretty much couldn't function for the 1st few days and my periods were always irregular and could last anything from a few days to a couple months. Sometimes I would have a period then stop for a few days then come back on heavy again, it was such a nightmare. The doctors were no help and would just palm me off with painkillers.
Then as I got older (into my teens) and the pain and periods were getting worse the doctors then tried to imply that I had an STD, but then as I wasn’t even sexually active they would then palm me off with more painkillers again and don’t think they were prescribing me any special super strength pain killers they were telling me to go buy paracetamol from the shops.

Then as I got to around 16/17 and was sexually active then that gave the doctor more reason to convince me I had an STD (again) and sent me to the GUM clinic. Now I remember this visit clearly because although I didn’t have an STD (shock horror..) the doctor did say I had a hormonal imbalance and gave me some tablets for it. Now as they never really explained what the tablets were I was scared to take the tablets because I was young and thought if I took them to replace certain hormones that I might start turning into a man.

So all these false diagnoses continued, I remember at one point being told I was having an ectopic pregnancy when there was absolutely no way I could’ve even been pregnant. I was then told it’s probably an STD (yet again) then after that it was simply bad period pains and I should take more paracetamol.

So this continued way into my uni years when I happened to read an article in a gossip magazine about a celebrity (I’m sure it was one of the Spice girls) saying they had either Polycystic Ovaries or Endometriosis and had a lot of the same symptoms as me. So I went to the doctors, but my normal doctor wasn’t there and it was a female stand in doctor and told her I had Polycystic ovaries and needed to be referred (I didn’t have a clue who I needed to be referred to, but I wanted to be referred somewhere lol) as I was having excessive facial hair growth and the milk was leaking a lot more from my boobs. So coincidently this particular doctor had another doctor friend who might know more about my condition.

So I saw an endocrine doctor who knew exactly what was wrong with me, they sent me for an MRI scan (which is the worst thing ever when you are super claustrophobic) and found I had a Macroprolactinoma that was swollen and bleeding internally. Now Macroprolactinoma is the biggest of the tumours that you can get as most people who get this tend to have the smaller Microprolactinoma so lucky me got stuck with a big tumour that’s kinda near my eyes and brain. Also if it was left untreated any longer it could've led to blindness or even worse case scenario emergency brain surgery.

OK so now I’m rambling, but to cut a long story short I’m now on medication (that I have to take forever) to help shrink the tumour. But annoyingly stress and weight gain (amongst other things) can affect the tumour and because I've piled on so much weight the endocrine doctors are now concerned, so I have to get regular blood tests and MRI scans to check that my weight is not making the tumour grow back to its original size. 

Also I still have problems with the hair growth but have been prescribed a cream and tablets and those coupled with regular Electrolysis, waxing and tea tree oil seem to really be helping, finally. But sadly this is something I’m gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life and it makes me mad the it went undetected for so long this could’ve been sorted years ago because if the doctors would’ve taken me seriously when I started complaining then potentially I might not have a Prolactinoma today.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Another annoying phase.. Fun,Fun,Fun...

So since the kids have started back school RD has turned into a monster, OMG he’s been so naughty and irritating. His new thing is making a nuisance of himself before we have to leave so he can make everyone late. I normally let the kids watch TV after they've gotten ready for school and his job is to switch off the TV before we leave, now before he was fine with it but now me saying switch the TV off makes him go off on one. He starts screaming and shouting that he will watch the TV and there’s nothing I can do about it, when that doesn’t work he’s like ‘Well I’ll pull everything down then’ so then he will tip over all the chairs at the table then he’ll go hide under his bed or the table and refuse to come out and put his shoes and coat on.

Also yesterday on our way home from school (As he acts up on the way to school and on the way home) we were crossing the road and a huge lorry had just turned in and was coming towards us so I’m like quick lets all get out the road and RD decided he didn’t need to move and held out his hand and said that the lorry needed to stop for him. I was like ‘Have you lost your mind, would you like to get lick down by a lorry today?’ so.. yeah.. he doesn’t really silly pointless things like that which is like sooo much fun for me.

 For some reason he feels like he doesn't need to listen to anything I say. At first I actually thought he genuinely had a hearing problem and was gonna take him doctors and get his ears checked, then I realized he was just being hardears.

I tried leaving him inside and closing the front door like ‘OK you stay there mummy is gonna leave you’  but he just happily stayed there and played with his toys, so now I have to put him outside the front door with his coat and shoes then he puts them on.

Like certain silly things he does I just allow because he’s a boy and also because sometimes he will do foolishness for attention so i just ignore him, but when he’s really naughty and wants to try raising his hand or shouting at me or pushing me those are the things I don’t allow. But the thing with him is any form of discipline or punishment I use he still happily goes back and does the same thing again to only get told off again and now when I tell him off and he knows he can’t win he will be like ‘Please don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me’ now I remember Cali doing something similar when I took her to Barbados when she was 2, if I told her off for anything she would wait until people were passing then would drop on the floor and cover her head and shout ‘Please don’t beat me mummy’ I was like huh? This child didn't ever used to get licks (a smack) for her to even say that and now RD is trying the same thing. I was thinking if he now goes to school saying that they’re then gonna think I’m abusing him. If licks was my main form of discipline my two would get getting licks all the time, but my logic is if you always lick your kids it’s gonna stop being effective as they will get used to it.

I used to get licks as a child, I mean all of my friends did it was the norm, but licks never stopped me from being naughty like ever, I mostly found it funny that my mum was fuming that hard that she had to get frustrated and lick me (Yes I was a hyper little shit when I was little) I used to get licks with the belt and comb and basically anything that was in my mum’s hand, but I still did what she had just told me not to do because I was used to the licks, but if she was to lick me once in a while it would’ve been more of a shock then probably would’ve made me stop. Also if you start with licks and they still don’t listen where do you go from there? What, hit them harder with something and actually hurt them and break skin?

Also his behaviour feels 10 times more irritating as I’m having a shitty period so kinda have zero patience right now. But I would rather him behave this way now at this age so I can nip it in the bud then let it carry on till he’s like 10/11 because I know this boy is gonna be big like an American football player and it will then be 10 times harder to reign him in when he will probably be stronger than me. I intend to instil discipline and respect into him from now which is why I don’t let him get away with anything. But OMG this child is working my last nerve!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Horse Riding

 So as my mum celebrated the big 60, Oh.. did I say 60?! I meant to say 35, yes my mother just turned 35... hahahaha. OK so I'll start again. As my mum celebrated her 35th birthday my sister and I planned a few big birthday surprises for her. The 1st surprise was taking her to the Canary Wharf Jazz festival and surprising her with a mini bus full of her closest friends and family. Then my sister took her on a mini cruise and the last surprise was horse riding, which was something my mum had always wanted to do. So we went down to Halls Place Equestrian centre in Berkshire where me, my mum and the monsters all went on a horse ride through the woods. The lady leading us was very friendly and chatty and clearly knew her stuff and was very into horses. I’m not really an animal lover but my horse was lovely and seemed to know what it was doing and didn’t really need any direction.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Our Disneyland Adventure - Disney Village

So if Disneyland doesn't rob you enough then Disney Village surely will. It's right next to Disneyland but you don't have to  pay to get in and it's full of expensive toy shops and expensive places to eat.

So be warned if you take the kids here I can pretty much guarantee you will go home with no money left in your wallet. We only went there for lunch and I ended up spending 60Euros, yes 60! Just on lunch for me and the monsters and that was one of the cheaper options (other than McDonalds)

We went to the Rainforest Cafe which was fun as you actually feel like you're in the middle of a rainforest... strangely enough... 
There's lots of animals and jungley things and every so often the animals come alive and start making noises and moving. Obviously Cali with her big mouth who apparently is scared of nothing was petrified everytime this happed and hid under the table. 

Theres also a Mickey Mouse Wild West show in one of the restaurants I think they have 2 showings around 6pm and 9pm which I  would've loved to take the monsters to but I can only imagine how bloody expensive that would be...
There's also all kinda of toy shops including obviously a Disney store where everything is literally 10 times more than you would pay for the same thing at Asda, and a Lego Store where I was shocked to see that Lego could cost that much money! The one good thing about the Lego store though was that they encouraged the kids to play with the Lego as they have to areas where the kids can just sit and build things, so my 2 loved that and luckily they didn't ask for anything from there as I would've told them straight NO!

But I mean if you're quite minted then this is a good place to go with the family and take in the rest of the Disneyland sights, but if you're on a tight budget like me, avoid Disney Village like the plague!

Our Disneyland Adventure - Welcome to the most expensive place on earth!

So I knew Disneyland would be expensive but OMG nothing could prepare me for those ridiculous prices!

So the monsters were OK literally until we went through the gates to get into Disneyland, it's almost like Mickey Mouse has sprinkled some 'Lets act like spoilt brats and annoy the shit out of mummy' dust on them as they go through because they literally turned into real monsters, especially Cali, OMG she was being so rude and mouthy I actually took her on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (because I remember it being dark and a bit eerie) to scare her into shutting up. Yes bad mummy I know, but she was annoying the life out of me and desperate times call for desperate measures. But it worked she was scared shitless and actually calmed down and behaved after as that was my threat for the rest of the day:
'If you carry on being rude mummy will take you back on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!'

I last went to Disneyland maybe when I was around 15 for a school Drama Trip and it's a lot smaller than I remember. All the different sections are quite close to eachother. So we started in Fantasyland (Which has most of the little kids rides) and worked our way round.

We had a map of Disneyland which showed us the best and the cheaper places to eat so we decided to go for ribs at the Lucky Nugget which was like a saloon bar, OMG the ribs tasted sooo good and it wasn't actually as expensive as I was expecting 30Euro for lunch for me and the kids (Although over here I would never spend £30 on lunch for me and the kids)

We also made sure we got back to Main Street in time to get a space to watch the Disney Parade. Now people and thats including children and adults get on a bit stupid and will literally fight you for a front row spot to see the characters come down the road in the parade. Some little girl who looked around 10 who kept standing in front of RD then kept barging past him to go to the other side then would come back again. I was sooo annoyed I was like DO NOT PUSH HIM! But annoyingly she didnt speak English so I just glared at her mum hoping she would get the message that I wasn't amused and then told RD do not let her push you!! So anywayz the parade was fun although they sang the same bloody song over and over and over. After it had finished (It started around 5.30) most people went home so there were no ques for the rides which worked in our favour as we had got there late anywayz.

RD was a bit disappointed that we didnt see any characters walking about as he wanted a hug and a pic but he still enjoyed himself and was up for going on all the rides whereas Cali was scared of everything apart from the flying Dumbo ride.

We ended up leaving around 8pm just before they switched on the lights in the castle as I figured that if we left after it may be a mission to get the shuttle back to the hotel as everyone would be doing the same thing and it would be full, also we wanted to get back to the hotel in time to get dinner (seeing as I'd paid for that privilege) Although the kids were getting on my nerves I'm glad that I took them to Disneyland as it's an experience I know they will never forget.

Travel tips:
1. Try not go go early in the morning wait till the afternoon as you will cut out all the ques as there's less people in the park then. As it seems the majority of the people like to go there early and leave early.
2. Try going during the week then if you pre book you can get a very cheap ticket.

Our Disneyland Adventure - Explorers Hotel

So after doing a load of research I decided Explorers would be a good choice seeing as it was close to Disneyland, had a free shuttle and prided itself on being a hotel for children, full of fun children activities. So I went thinking Yes! The kids will be occupied so this will be fun... yeah... no!

OK so the hotel itself was huge but was also lovely but soon after we arrived I realized a few things:
1.       No Bellboys/Porters – No one helps you to your room like they do at a normal big family orientated hotel, you have to carry your bags there yourself. So if you travelled with a lot of luggage, tough shit basically
2.       If they can charge you for it they will – One good example, they had a bouncy castle outside in the play area (That you would assume you can go on as part of the package deal) that you had to pay 5Euros per child to use. Are you mad?!
3.       Lunch, what lunch? - As we arrived at a random time between lunch and dinner the only real option for lunch was Pizza/Chips or Doughnuts. Zero variety full of shit that would make your kids go completely bonkers and drive you crazy.

OK so after finding out way to the room ourselves (luckily the monsters have a better sense of direction than me) we went inside with our card key to find the room looked exactly as advertised, there was a very solid and comfy bunk bed, a double bed, flat screen tv, compact toilet and separate bathroom but absolutely no fridge, which I found bizarre and although the room was blue and bright orange it was really dark even with the lights on. The window was also stupid and dangerous and you could never leave that open if you have little ones who are at that climbing/escaping age. There's no net or blinds or anything on the window and people regularly walk past, now I only found this out after coming out of the shower naked to see a couple just casually strolling past so they got a good eyeful of my boobs. But the thing is it doesn't look like anywhere you would expect to see people walking, otherwise I would've been more cautious...

Now I paid for half board and was under the impression that as the hotel already gives you a free continental breakfast as standard that I was actually paying for  a hot breakfast, Nope! I had apparently paid all that extra money literally just for the privilege of getting dinner. I hated the breakfast, I despise continental breakfasts in general and this was full of white bread, when I don’t normally eat white bread as it gives me stomach aches but as there was nothing else really I had to eat it and deal with a stomach ache or crazy bloating later. Also breakfast time was like a cattle market ful of slow people crowding one thing. Actually can you believe they actually wanted me to pay an extra 4 Euros (each) to get a hot breakfast, HELL NO!
Now the dinner was the total opposite to Breakfast, it was soo yummy. It was buffet style and everything tasted sooo good and there was a great variety of hot food and meats. But dinner didn't even include a glass of wine which i was slightly disappointed about so I had to make do with the soft drinks.

Kids Activities
Now they had advertised a kids gym (which my 2 were really looking forward to using) but none of the staff culd seem to tell me where it was, eventually we found it and its not a gym at all it’s a small area by the lifts full of mostly broken equipment with no instructions on how to use any. But the indoor play park/ball pit and the indoor Aqua park were a hit with the monsters. I got to relieve a bit of my childhood flying down the waterslides. I did think it was weird that guest had to pay 2 Euros for towels though and even more weird that you are expected to keep that one towl for your whole stay.

So basically the hotel was  bit of a let down, everything was expensive and I had to give a 50 euro deposit just to borrow a bloody Iron/Ironing board. I honestly think I’d be better off going to some al inclusive hotel in the Caribbean. I will never do a budget holiday with the kids again, it works out more than a luxury holiday in the long run anyway. Safe to safe I have no future plans on taking the kids back there.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Nottinghill Carnival 2015

Carnival Sunday

So as per usual me and my gorgeous bestie jumped with Chocolate Nation for carnival Sunday (30th Aug) where we got covered in chocolate and coloured powder and danced through the streets of Nottinghill to the sounds of sweet Soca music. Every year the band seems to get bigger, there was soooo much people jumping. Also a tip for jumping with Chocolate Mas, if like me you cant be dealing with washing chocolate out of your hair when you get home then wear a cute wig, I did that this year, it just means at the end of the day you can take it off and you hair is perfect for the next day.

Carnival Monday

So Monday is the busier day when you see a lot more bands and amazing costumes. Now normally I do Fun Mas, which is normally a cheaper T-Shirt section but this year I actually wore a costume. I decided to go with Smokey Joe Road Show who were on the road with Eclipse. Now I chose this section partly because the costumes were pretty, bright and colourful but mostly because the costume matched my hair J Onike, the lady behind it was such a warm, friendly, bubbly person and did a great job. The costume package also included free food, which was yummy and free drinks and although it rained on and off we still had a wicked time.

Now the countdown begins for Nottinghill Carnival 2016!

1st time flying with easyJet...

 So as me the monsters are used to flying longhaul with Virgin the thought of flying with easyJet scared me a bit, not because I thought it was unsafe or anything but more because I know how small their planes are and as you know I have a fear of small planes. We flew from Gatwicks North Terminal which I hate, as for some reason airlines there seem to lump all their passengers in one gigantic que instead of separate ques for different destinations/flight times. I downloaded the easyJet app and did a mobile check in which made life so much easier as I didn’t have to faff about with lots of extra paper, I simply had to show the boarding pass on my phone to so that it could be scanned. (A word of advice though, be sure to take a screen shot of your boarding pass so it can be viewed offline just in case your internet starts playing up and you cant access them via the app) So as I’d pre booked my suitcase (Which works out a lot cheaper then paying to take your suitcase on the day) we did a bag drop and went straight though to Duty Free for breakfast at Garfunkels.

So the wonderful thing about the easyJet app is that it sends you notifications anytime there's been the slightest change to your flight, so I knew the plane would be at least 20 minutes late so me and the monsters took our time and strolled casually to the gate that strangely was full of people queing for a plane... that wasn’t even there... Clearly none of them had bothered to download the app.
So anyway, once the plane arrived I experience the quickest turnaround on earth. EasyJet is literally like a bus, passengers exit quickly as soon as the doors open, you enter and as soon as you’re sat down the planes off! I felt like a bit of a snob on the plane as I literally compared everything to Virgin and obviously easyJey isn’t Virgin nor is it trying to be, its simply a modest plane that gets you safely from A to B. The seats were a bit shabby, the trays kept coming unclipped and falling into our laps, the toilets.... well the toilet was what you expect a toilet on a bus to look like... There wasn’t really much interaction with the cabin crew and passengers as they kinda just stayed at the front of the plane. But it was bearable for a short 40 minute flight.

OMG I forgot the noise that the plane was making, it sounded like a flying truck and the noise pretty much didn’t stop for the whole flight. Also on the way back I looked down and saw the carpet was taped with gaffer tape which had me like Wow! Please let me get home safe.
But saying all that it wasn’t a bad experience and after years of watching re-runs of their TV show ‘Airline’ I’m glad that me and my monsters got to experience flying with them.