Firstly my name is Mel, i am fom the UK and am 24. I love the outdoors and grew up spending summers in Northumberland countryside and nearly every waking moment with horses. I used to work full time with horses and have my own however, affter a hand injury and a career change I am now studying for my degree in Health and Social Care with Open University and working as a carer (when i’m not off sick). I hope one day to become a social worker dealing with more severe cases and those suffering with mental health issues.
I live with my family including my 5 year old niece who is a huge part of my life. I have 2 dogs – 1 parsons jack russell and a German Shephard x Husky. I also have one cat. I love to get out on long walks with the dogs, driving to nice scenic places and just spending a few hours with them outside.
I enjoy reading, I love the classics as well as the soppy romances and also love reading the autobiographies of those who have been through struggles in life as i find them very inspirational reading how they made it through hard times.
I plan to eventually relocate to France, South of France more specifically. I love the idea of travelling, becoming fluent in french and really experiencing life there.
I have a hand/wrist injury that i sustained a couple years ago now, one of my horses just pulled and it twisted funny. This managed to damage my joint, nerves and ligament as well as my tendons. I have had 2 operations on it, mass amounts of physio, some steroid injections and much has improved in it… Unfortunately, I am now left with a hand that
has little grip and function. I had to swap from being right handed to left handed, and I still use my right hand for some things but mostly I’m left handed now.This has been a huge struggle for me because it’s made me give up a lot of things in my life, made me change how i do a lot of things and restricts me quite drastically.
I have got to the stage now of adjusting my life to my hand, so that I just do things differently and adapt so that i am able to do it still. I’ve accepted my hand for what it is and that yes it has a lot less use in it, however i CAN still use it for quite a lot of tasks. This is better than some people, so for that I feel like I can’t complain and I just don’t think about it much anymore.
I also suffer with mental health issues, I have history of depression and also been diagnosed bipolar in which I chose to go unmedicated and manage the best i can without. I feel like as long as my mental health isn’t severe; which it has been in the past many times… Then I want to try and keep managing it without medication because the medication when finding the right mixture that works has so many side affects and makes me just feel numb to the world. I don’t want to feel numb, I want to experience it even if it means experiencing the bad along with the good. Mental health is and always will be a constant struggle. I’m aware it can get worse at any time, but like my asthma i learnt to self manage and be self aware. Knowing my triggers, understanding what affects me and having good support system. Never underestimate a good support system.
My life has had many ups and downs, I’ve had many years of hard times and struggles and knowing that I have got through each one has got me to the stage i am today. It has made me more self aware, able to look at life and things with a different view, it makes me appreciate the simple things in life more and it’s made me the person I am today. If I hadn’t gone through everything I have been through, I wouldn’t be me. I’m proud of who I am, I still have a long road ahead… but i have the steps to having a happier and healthier life knowing that i can deal with anything thrown at me. I don’t wait to be happy, or wait for things to change. I CHOOSE to be happy and i MAKE it happen.
About my asthma –
I am a diagnosed severe brittle asthmatic. I was diagnosed with asthma when i was 15/16 which for many years my asthma was very mild and controlled. The reason i am now diagnoed as brittle is because of how unstable my asthma can be. I can go from being okay to full on attack and in intensive care very quickly, it can also take me a long time to get over an attack. So it may not be a case of having an inhaler or nebulizer and then feeling okay. I can have a flare up of my asthma and be having an attack for weeks before my breathing starts to improve to a functional level. As my asthma has put me in hospital many times and has also put me in intensive care many times this is what classifies my asthma as severe. 2016 i spent 26 weeks in hospital alone for my asthma, not including recoving at home.
I have a grade 2 allergy to dogs and a grade 3 allergy to dust and pollen (rated out of a 1-5 grade system – 5 being severe reaction) My asthma is afffected by allergies, so for this reason i have to be very aware of allergies, and managing with allergy medication. I also have many triggers such as cold weather, humid weather, colds/coughs/flu’s/chest infections, change in temperature, perfumes and sprays, dust, smoke and haylage (type of hay kept moist and wrapped in plastic bales).
I am on lots of medication for my asthma, many with lots of side affects. All just to manage and control my asthma more. My daily medication is on average about 20 tablets in the morning, inhalers, nebulizers, sprays, eye drops.. all just so i can get through the day and breathe.
Every day can be a struggle for me, for a healthy person walking up the stairs may seem easy. For me my body it’s like walking up mount everest sometimes whilst having a mask preventing you from getting enough air. Sometimes that can be a daily thing, other days i can be like everyone else and you would never know i had severe asthma. Unfortunately, asthma can be a hidden illness and unless i’m having a flare up or a bad day you might never know anything was different about me.
You may notice how different i look in some of the photo’s. This is just to show how asthma has affected me physically. There was a time my breathing and coughing was so bad that i often inhaled food and choked on it or i coughed so much i just went off my food. I ended up having an NG (Nasal Gasgtric) tube so that i could be fed through a tube through my nose and into my stomach without risk of choking because i was that bad. This was before i realised that when my asthma was bad, best just to eat soft foods. Nothing dry, nothing that involved chewing. I also learned to control my breathing better whilst eating so that i wasn’t breathing at the wrong times whilst eating. Unfortunately, i have been on long term steroids meaning i have the typical round face and also i’ve piled on about 5 stone in weight in 12 months. Unfortunately, breathing is more important than my weight so i just have to put up with it. However, there is tips and tricks on managing being on steroids, food ideas and tricks to help avoid ending up like me!