Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The One Where Patience Is A Virt(flu)e (30 months + 16 days)


Before you start this post, I want you to go and make yourself a cup of tea, put your slippers on, get comfy.... because it's going to be a long one guys (depending on how long it gets, I may slip in intermittent tea breaks here and there- you're welcome).

Right, ready? What do you mean the kettle hasn't boiled yet? It's fine, I empathise with you- I too, have a 20p kettle from Argos that takes five years to boil. Ready now? Oh fine, I can hold on for a little bit whilst you rescue your slipper from the cat's latest hiding place. All good? No, that's ok- it's probably best if you move that random bit of chalk that your child lost 6 months ago from under your bum- that can't be comfortable. All sorted?! Cracking, LET'S GO!

"No, I will be the pattern of patience; I will say nothing"
Ok, so I've mentioned at least once that I was a little concerned with Piglet's speech. Whilst she does chatter/babble/poke you in the eye- "EYESSSSS EYESSSSSS EYESSSSSS"- quite a lot, it still doesn't seem to me to be matching other children of her age (or what I perceive that to be... seriously, I could just be expecting far too much of her). I mentioned last time that we were going for a hearing test to check that there weren't any issues there that could be causing a delay in her speech. 

Before we went, I really bigged it up to Piglet- "Piglet, we're going on an ADVENTURE today, we're going to the hospital! YAY! The hospital is REALLY EXCITING! We're going to have so much fun!!!!!" I wanted to make sure that she was comfortable at the hospital, and didn't feel concerned, or stressed out. This is partly- to be honest- because I had absolutely no idea what a hearing test for two year olds consisted of. So, I figured that if she ended up being strapped to a machine with tubes stuck down her ears, it was better for her to think it was all a fun game (they do not do this by the way- this is not hearing test procedure. This is my brain on drugs).

We had a bit of a mix-up with appointments when we got to the hospital (they had cancelled our appointment...) but the receptionist and the doctor were absolutely wonderful and said they could squeeze us in, which I was ever so grateful for. We had a bit of a wait before, so had a cheeky coffee/milkybar from the hospital shop and played with some of the toys in the waiting room before it was our turn to be seen. So, I'd told Piglet that the hospital is an adventure to relax her. To chill her out. However, what I had not anticipated, is that actually, by telling her it was an adventure, she got really, really excited. Like, crazy excited. When they called her name, she literally sprinted off after the nurse and was running after her down the corridor, giggling away- she pretty much just left me behind in the waiting room. 

And she was an absolute star. The doctors did several tests with her (all of which were focused around toys/playing in case anyone was wondering/as ignorant to what goes on as I was) and she was perfect. Literally did everything right. Got everything they asked her to do, responded to all the right prompts. Her comprehension is outstanding. In fact, it's quite scary just how much she understands. The doctor also had a look in her ears, and checked her for glue ear and said that there's no signs of that, her ears look absolutely fine. She's going to review everything again in four months (there's a couple of sounds they can't test for this early on- mainly at the quieter end of the spectrum), but she doesn't think her delay in talking is due to hearing issues, she thinks she just doesn't want to yet. And she will when she is ready.

It was a big relief. It was funny really, because all morning I had been thinking of it as "I'm sure she'll be fine", and then literally about two minutes before we were called in, I had a sudden feeling of dread and realised that it might not be. It was really weird, this overwhelming panic just came over me. And- I don't want this to come across the wrong way at all, and I'm worried that it might- but that was also the moment that I realised that if something was "wrong" with her, I would love her the same. Before that moment the possibility of a child outside the norm was terrifying to me. I thought that if anything were ever abnormal with Piglet that it would affect how I saw motherhood- whether that be, if I felt pity for her; if I felt bitter towards other people who had "normal" children; whether I would be "annoyed" at things potentially being "harder" if she was "different" (so many quotation marks here). And it was only at that moment that I realised that I was so stupid. Because she is such a lovely child. And I am just so blessed to have her in my life.

So, Piglet will speak when she wants to. For now, she is happy to babble away. And she always repeats things you ask her to (or at least tries to- currently "thank you" is "glankoo"). I am remembering to be careful of how many of my secrets I reveal to her. And am happy to be patient for when she can reveal her own to me. 

"Endurance is patience concentrated"
Obviously, I'm sure you're all wanting to hear about how THE GREAT NORTH RUN was! Really good, is the answer to that. They're all good, I really love a race. Especially the "big" races- they're just so much fun. I really think that everyone should do at least one race in their life. The atmosphere is incredible, seriously I don't think there's anything like it. It had been a couple of months since my last race and I'd almost forgotten just how much I love it. 

Due to staffing issues I ended up having to work the day before (because I hate myself, I volunteered, why am I a team player, why do I do this to myself) but only until 3pm, so I was able to get a semi-decent rest before the day. I actually had a panic about a week before the race that I'd got a stress fracture in my shin because it was in constant agony but apparently ignoring it made go away (clearly Insanity had done something to it- bloody Insanity). Oh, the reason I was mentioning I had to work is BECAUSE the day before the Great North Run is the Mini Great North Run where all the babies (not babies- 3-8 year olds) do a race and they had race numbers and medals and oh my God THEY WERE ALL SO CUTE!!!!!! I'm already planning on signing Piglet up for next September (although I can already see now that I'll probably end up carrying her BUT I DON'T CARE SHE WILL HAVE A NUMBER IT WILL BE SO CUTE!!!!!!!).

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked by cuteness, I was absolutely buzzing on the morning. I'd got such a love buzz going on, it was lovely lovely lovely. I completed in 2:03, so I'm still just outside the two hour half-marathon time I'm dreaming of, but it was incredibly hot. I was melting. Also, I did stop for a wee. So I could pretend that it took four minutes to have a wee, if I really wanted to. But I would be lying to myself. The last couple of miles, the only thing that was keeping me going was the thought of seeing Piglet at the finish line. NNB was supposed to be bringing her up, and they were going to meet me at the end....

They weren't at the finish line. I was gutted. NNB said he couldn't get there because of the road closures. There may be some truth in this, but...I knew he hadn't wanted to come. It put a little bit of a dampener on the day for me. Piglet obviously wasn't able to be at the finish at London, and since GNR is so close to home, it would have just been nice for her to have been there. She loves race days. BUT I'LL GET OVER IT. There's still chance to sponsor me, if you haven't already. CLICK HERE ON THE BIG SHINY LINK THANK YOU, YOU'RE ALL AMAZING XXXXXX

Mrs Wiggle also had her own fundraising run with nursery. She did very well- apparently dashed off before they'd even said go (although she did refuse to walk to the park where they were having the race. Clearly saving her energy- I have taught her well). All good training for next year!

No idea, when my/our next race is going to be. Need to find some money first (you get to read AAAAAALLLLLL about this later on). Hoping it won't be too long though- I'm itching to get going again already!

Sidenote: I don't think I ever told you about the camel at London did I? A camel- well, two people dressed as a camel- overtook me when I hit my wall. A camel beat me in the London marathon. There was a guy dressed as Pikachu who overtook me during the GNR. Not for long though- the memory of the camel gave me enough energy to regain my lead on him. A bloody camel. HONESTLY. 

"Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you are waiting"
Well, since I've just mentioned about money.... Ahhh, money. I remember money. Money was nice. I don't have money any more. Tax credits are still not paying me. Do you know I actually can't even speak to them at the moment? I get to talk to the robot lady instead. And the robot lady tells me that I can speak to an actual human person about my claim after October 6th, and then puts the phone down on me. Robots put the phone down on me. This is life right now.

It was pay day on Friday. All- and I mean all- of my wages went out to pay for the first installment of uni and the remaining half of my rent (I had told landlady about the tax credit fiasco at the start of the month and she said it was fine for me to pay half rent on the due date and then the remaining half on payday. Landlady is very nice. I have a very very very lovely landlady. Ignore any and all of my horrible mushroom related cynicism).. I currently have £21.13 in my account. And nursery fees are due on the 1st October...

I'm getting a tax rebate though, which is nice and hopefully coming through this week. And then I think I'm going to have to beg NNB to lend me the rest of the money for nursery with the promise that I can pay it back as soon as tax credits come through (I am sure NNB is getting v. sick of this tax credits shite. I am getting v. sick of this tax credits shite and I have not had to lend somebody £1000). 

In the meantime, I have been practicing poverty. Luckily, Piglet gets fed well at nursery and NNB's so is fine with the perpetual eggs/value fish fingers/toast lifestyle that we are currently leading. I'm expecting my phone to be cut off at the end of this month as I think I'm going to have to cancel the direct debit for this month but that's fine. I can live without a mobile for a week or so. I have a house phone. It is fine. I just have to be patient. 

I have to keep reminding myself that I did choose this. I could have been an escort if I wanted (I absolutely could not have been an escort- see later for more reasons why I am losing all faith in men forever and ever and ever). It's a good job I like eggs. 

TEA BREAK (might want to make a pot)

"Good things come to those who wait"
I'm going to flip back to Piglet for a little bit now, and how she's doing at nursery. She's been such a good egg about it all. She's settled in really, really well. She was a bit unsure for the first couple of days, and got quite upset when I was leaving her. They assured me that she was absolutely fine within five minutes of me leaving, but I was still getting concerned that she wasn't going to settle at all. Not anymore though. We've actually gotten into quite a nice little routine (although I'm sure Piglet would disagree about the early starts- nursery starts at 7:30 so Piglet is generally woken up at 6:45. Sometimes she's compliant; others...not so much).

We have our morning walks to nursery. Well, I have a morning walk to nursery. Piglet has a morning carry to nursery (NNB has the pushchair at his right now and keeps "forgetting" to bring it back). 20 minutes of carrying a toddler- serious upper body workout right there. We play I spy. We spy a lot of cats. And a lot of cars. And birds. We're currently learning to differentiate between windows and doors (Piglet thinks that both windows and doors are called doors). There's several routes we can take but in the mornings I like to go via a road called Bright Street because I am a loser and I tell Piglet this means we're going to have a bright and shiny day (it's the Prozac, ok? I am sane). She helps me to hang her coat and her bag up when we get there and then she gives me a kiss and says bye and off she goes. It's really lovely. 

Another lovely thing about nursery is sleep. We've had a lot of issues with sleep. I mentioned that I had the nursery nurse coming to visit me and discuss establishing a routine that would help, and he's been round several times over the past couple of weeks and has definitely helped. We now have a set bedtime routine and I don't just spring bedtime on her, I'll pre-warn her of it happening, and she know that her bed is her bed and bedtime is bedtime. I think that a lot of the reason her sleep has improved though is because of nursery. She is cream-crackered when she gets home from nursery. Ten and a half hours of playing- hard work, man. So, that has been a very, very lovely side-effect of nursery.

Of course, there are also some unpleasant consequences of starting at a new nursery. The main one being this:

"Patience is a cure for everything"
FLU. I HAVE HAD FLU. I'm assuming Piglet also had flu, but she bounced back far faster than me (maybe the secret to a decent immune system is copious amounts of milkybars? Remind me to try this). She was a poorly bunny though. I actually ended up calling 111 because I couldn't get an appointment at the doctors for her, and she had a temperature that wasn't going down with calpol (which meant that she couldn't go into nursery). She was eventually prescribed some ibuprofen which worked with almost immediate effect. The doctor told me that apparently the only reason people tend to give their children calpol is because it's more heavily advertised; ibuprofen is actually more effective at lowering fevers. Medical secret right there guys- ibuprofen over paracetamol. You are welcome.

I am almost back to normal. Still have demon gunky eyes of death in the morning though (did I mention that my flu has come with a side of conjunctivitis? It really is LOVELY). I have been rough rough rough. Really bad. I don't think I've ever had flu before. Not like proper flu. I've had bad colds, but they definitely weren't flu. This was flu. My entire body ached. SO MUCH ACHE. And I was exhausted. And I was hot and cold and freezing and boiling and PLEASE BODY, JUST PICK A TEMPERATURE ALREADY!!!!! I forced myself to go into work because I am a moron and I really shouldn't have. When I got there, the manager was like, "Did you not think of calling and seeing if you could switch shifts?", and I was like, "Honestly? I've never had a job where that has even been a possibility before". So apparently, there are many perks of new job, including the ability to not have to work when you are dying. He didn't send me home though...so I just had to die quietly with a smile on my face. 

I've survived though. Piglet's left over ibuprofen has got me through (not supposed to take NSAIDs when on Prozac but cannot afford medicine due to limited budget so do not have time to think about drug interactions and increased potential for bleeding right now). Hoping that is our last dose of illnesses for a while. Of course, I know better than that- I'm sure I can look forward to our bodies being host to a plethora of nursery bacteria and viruses over the next few weeks. OH WHAT FUN!

"I'll weight"
Of course, illnesses have their benefits (or what I perceive to be benefits in my warped brain) and the flu has added to my weight loss. I don't think I droned on about it here too much, but last year over Christmas I put on 10lbs. TEN POUNDS. YES. Now, I know what caused my weight gain. Too much pizza. Too much alcohol. Bad Christmas. However, I was also unable to lose that weight, no matter what I did for almost eight months. I could lose a couple of pounds (from salmonellosis, for example) but I would gain it back the next week. And then lose it the week after. And then gain it again. I was oscillating around that +10lb mark that I hated SO MUCH.

Why could I not lose the weight? I have my suspicions. I don't believe it was a simple issue in creating a caloric deficit- because trust me, I had that. For a number of reasons, I think I had a massive hormonal imbalance, and I think I know why I did (but can't talk about it, not talking about it, will talk one day promise when my soul is free and clean again and I am sure that karma has finished hating on me xxxxx). 

ANYWAY in the past eight weeks I am now up to a 16lb weight loss, and counting. Apparently my metabolism has suddenly remembered how to work. This is very good- it means I can fit in my old jeans again, so I am a happy, happy bunny (although am aware not to take it too far- like I already said, I am still sane at the present moment in time).. 

Why have I been able to lose the weight? I'm assuming the Prozac has something to do with it. I know it kills your appetite so weight loss is a common side effect (along with the hair loss, insomnia, grinding teeth in your sleep and libido of a Giant Panda that I am also experiencing) but I've never heard of 16lbs before, Insanity has also helped (don't do Insanity. Don't do it. You hate it, but you love it, even though you hate it, it consumes your life, it hurts you so much, it's so good, DON'T DO IT). I'm assuming it's a combination of the two. Either way- I'm not complaining 

"There is no such thing as failure, just waiting for success"
More big, big, big news (and one of the main reasons why September is both the most exciting month and the poorest month of the year) I am all registered for Newcastle!!!!! Paid the first installment for my course on Friday and collected my id card after work yesterday (seriously- Friday was the fastest wage spent in my life ever). I had to sprint across Newcastle to get my id and managed to trip up the steps on the way into the building (This is what you get for wearing £2 Primani shoes for work. Too many people saw me do this, far far far too many people. What is my life?), and my id photo is officially the most hideous ever known to mankind. No second shots, no- is that ok for you? Just printed onto the card and sent out the door before I witnessed the horror of my appearance (in case you want me to set the scene: shiny forehead, flu demon eyes, cheekbones, blonde straw mop- that is my id picture. Bloody awful). So I'm very excited about that (the starting at Newcastle- not the horrendous id photo). First official day is on Wednesday. I've got uni followed by work. Insomnia is definitely going to be my friend from now on!

"A gentleman is simply a patient wolf"
Whilst I'm on the topic of work (you're reaching the end now, I swear, promise, HOLD ON GUYS, YOU CAN DO IT, I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!)- bit of an update. Work is fine. It's easy. Initially I was concerned that this meant it was going to be boring...until I realised that is exactly what I wanted to go alongside uni, and half the reason I left old job. There's also a Team Leader vacancy that has come up which I think they were trying to work out if I would be interested in, which I was for...two seconds. Before remembering- YOU WANT EASY BONES, THE POINT IS NOT TO OVERLOAD YOURSELF AND HAVE BALANCE. So, it's a no from me- I just want to be boring bar staff. Learn from previous mistakes.

In other news, apparently, I am attractive in Newcastle. Or at least, I am attractive to all men who are the worst examples of their gender. I've had so many phone numbers given to me over the past month, I'm thinking of turning them into a novel. Would you like to hear about some of the fantastic catches that I've been presented with? Ok, so potential life partner number one is the guy who started talking to me about his girlfriend and son, before telling me that they're only together for the baby and giving me his number on a beer mat? No? Doesn't sound like a catch? Really? Oh, alright then. Well how about the one who lost his girlfriend on a night out, and the next morning came in- "this is what you get for being a multi-millionaire who goes out with women twenty years younger than you"- and gave me his number on a receipt- "take a chance- you won't regret it". Hmm... You sure? I thought he sounded pretty decent.... 

You get my drift. I really wish I was a lesbian.

"Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet"
Ok, so in short: everything is kind of starting to sort itself out (apart from money and men, but the former is hopefully on it's way and the latter we do not need). I'm in a really good place right now, and I think Piglet is aswell (Adelaide-the cat- is also in a very good place. I've never spoilt a cat so much in my life, I don't know what is wrong with me- I literally treat her like a child, I think it's because she's a girl. I'm actually sexist towards cats. What even is this?). I'm really hoping this gets to continue, and I think it will, as long as I remember my limits. And continue taking my Prozac (go and get the Prozac guys... it's really good). 

"Stay patient and trust your journey"
FINALLY, in case you've missed it- our book is out. For those of you who haven't had enough of my mad ramblings (although I'm pretty sure you will have after this 750000 word dissertation) why not go check it out? It's HERE. HERE. PRESS HERE PEOPLE. (Shameless self promotion).

See? Now wasn't that worth the wait? Big love to everyone. Speak soon xxxxxx

p.s. This blog has taken me so long to write, that in the time from start to finish, I have actually had 64264262 coffee breaks, been to work and back, slept, AND been saved from financial ruin by a pair of very very kind people who I am very grateful to have in my life. So, please- feel free to take as many tea breaks as you want.

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