Soo.. in my last post I said I would be regularly blogging and updating you all well I actually decided to take a year off and try to focus on my health. so I thought I’d give you an update of 2016 and actually try to blog more often and update my blog a bit.
So for last years ‘WORLD ENCEPHALITIS DAY’ they held a competition which I did a little blog about.. Martin entered the #ShowYouKnow competition. His piece of art came 3rd in the photography competition (unfortunately they only did prizes for 1st and 2nd in the categories) we are all so proud of Martin and want to say a ‘late’ thank you to everyone who voted for him.. This is the photo he entered.
During the beginning of the year, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for The Community Brain Injury Service (CBIS). My first task was to help design a Fatigue Management course for The Recovery Education Centre (The REC). Along with other volunteers who are survivors of a brain injury, we created a course with an action plan, we included steps to help people suffering with fatigue. we also included The Spoon Theory to help how the student attending the course could explain fatigue to friends and family. Its important for me to raise awareness about Encephalitis and invisible illnesses so I had a mini part where I explained what happened to me and how fatigue affects me. I am a peer trainer and I have a clinical trainer who works along side me, so we could give the students the lived experience side of fatigue and the professional side of fatigue. I have now taught this course once in November and will be teaching it again at the end of January 2017.
I became an auntie again on Monday 6th June 2016 to a beautiful baby girl – my first niece! Amelia-Rae Kate Grieve was born at 3.33am weighing 8’5.
Of course she would give Auntie Jen her first smile at 2 days old 🙂 she is the best thing to have ever happened to me, I could go on for days about her, she’s so perfect. She has really helped my recovery and shown me another side to the world, we have an incredibly close bond as Auntie and Niece. She is my Rae of sunshine! fast forward to 6 months old and she’s a beautiful, cheeky monkey! last pic (on this post) I promise 😉
August was a pretty hard month for me, my grandad passed away on Monday 15th August 2017. Unfortunately he was very poorly and passed away in his sleep from Pneumonia. he was an amazing man and it broke my heart to find out he was gone. he was only 73. I had only seen him 2 weeks previous at my older brothers 30th birthday party. It still doesn’t feel real and I don’t think it will for a long time. Even more bad news, unfortunately Suki our family cat of 14 years passed away a couple of days after my grandad, she also died in her sleep.
Something quite important I want to talk about here is that I made the decision to give her one last stroke before my dad took her to the vets. it was lovely and she looked very peaceful. i was asked if I wanted to see my grandad in the chapel of rest the day before the funeral, I decided I would as I had seen Suki and it wasn’t that bad, boy was I wrong?! I am 23 years old, I am an adult so I can do this right? My 13 year old cousin, my 18 year old cousin and my 21 year old brother had all seen him and said he looked peaceful so it was fine right? no.. this is a big mistake that I made and I wish I had never walked through those doors, it smelt like death – that is something I’ve never understood when someone says that but I couldn’t describe the smell any other way. It was an air freshener but it made me gag. It was like something out of a horror film, he was just led in the coffin, he looked like a vampire, I didn’t recognise him (we later realised it was because he didn’t have his glasses on) I had a panic attack which was made worse by me feeling guilty for not being strong enough. I really wish I hadn’t visited him as that last image of him haunts me sometimes, I had nightmares for a few weeks about it. With a brain injury, your brain tends not to work how you want it to, so when all I wanted to do was block that memory out, it was all I could see and scarily I temporally lost all of my memories with him – I think that was shock as they have now returned. One piece of advice from me is remember the good times and all the good memories because you really don’t know how long someone has left and don’t feel like you have to the strong one or the brave one all the time – its okay not to be okay!
RIP to my Grandad and our Suki
Okay nothing more negative to bring up, sorry for the depressing bit but its a part of my life and needed to be said.
September, we went on holiday to Gran Canaria, my first holiday since my diagnosis, I was so scared. I was convinced I was going to fall ill again.. and I did! I was really poorly the first week of the holiday with a chest and ear infection. i was panicking that it was starting up again but I got through it and the second week of the holiday was amazing. we explored the island a bit, went in a submarine, made friends with the local stray cats and snorkelled with thousands of fish in the sea outside out hotel. Snorkelling was an amazing thing to do and I can’t wait to do it again, I felt so free and open to this new world of unknown. when you looked down into the water, you couldn’t see any fish even though it was clear. when you went under the water you saw everything! The hotel was beautiful and we enjoyed ourselves so much! The view from our hotel room on the first day.
A selfie on the yellow submarine where we saw so many fish and ship wrecks. The submarine had hit the floor just before this photo – hence the face.
Some fishes swimming by..
My Mum completed her first half marathon – the Bournemouth half marathon and she has been accepted for the London Marathon in April 2017 – how exciting!! Mum with her granddaughter Amelia-Rae
Mum with her running buddies
Martin and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary in December.. I won’t gush about all the lovely dove stuff so you can have a photo of us instead..
We had a lovely Christmas although I was poorly YET AGAIN!!!!! don’t think I’ve ever spent a Christmas being well! We actually went out for New Years Eve, something we haven’t done since we first got together.. We had a table booked and sipped cocktails and prosecco until the clock hit midnight! I had the most amazing cocktail full of sweets! Poor Martin got stuck with 3 girls but I think he secretly liked it, he got very drunk haha!
I really recommend Revolution bars for a night out – any occasion!
So thats my 2016 rounded up! I hope you all had a lovely and healthy year! I will update with a new blog soon!
Oops sorry, just one more xxx