7-Day Meh-cation

Hospital talk part 2:

Last summer, I wrote an entry titled ECGs EEGs and Heart Monitor Implantation however I feel like I published it prematurely.

Lately, some of our friends and loyal customers have noticed periods or gaps in our social media posting and my inconsistent personal appearances, often quizzing me as to why I’ve been MIA and so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to lay it out here for anyone wondering to see.

Last September, I went to a routine follow-up appointment with my consultant at the neurology department. To cut a long story short, I was seen by a new consultant who had replaced my previous one and had expressed that she was unhappy with the diagnosis that I was given previously of a sleep condition (Non-REM sleep parasomnia).

Her reasoning for this was simple - she wasn’t convinced that it was a sleep condition as it wouldn’t explain the syncopal episodes (day time black-outs) that I was experiencing in the first couple of years of having this condition. (Note: I’m also being seen by the cardiology department who are monitoring my ‘reveal device’ which was implanted to track any irregular heart activity).

Of course, I was totally disappointed and taken back by her comments. To be honest, after 3 plus years of seeking answers, undergoing different examinations and attending countless hospital appointments when she asked me why I had accepted that diagnosis and if I had any concerns, I had to admit to her that "I think I was clutching at straws and desperate to accept any answer they had going for me at the time because I was so fed up".

Fast forward a couple months and I have been booked for a 7-night stay to undergo another Video-EEG Telemetry. I have never stayed this long in previous tests because Benjamin was too young at the time but now that the kids are older and more aware of my condition, we’ve decided as a family that now is the best time to do it.

Photo taken on the first day of a 2-night stay for Video-EEG Telemetry (2016) - Benji was super clingy and loved his cuddles (still does).

SO, next month I’ll be packing my bags and having a mini-break. Although I was super anxious initially, I’m starting to look at this as a positive step. I hate hospitals (who loves them though?) and I dislike being away from my family, especially my kids but I’m trying to see this as a mini-holiday or time to catch up on “me time”.

View from my ward and room (2016) - Not bad! (hope I get this view again #ThinkPositive)

Last November and December were a struggle for me with a couple of major episodes which led me back to A&E and a couple of visits from the paramedics. I hit an all-time low in terms of mood and physicality that I felt like my body and brain were shutting down.

I’ve since been put on meds to help with my frequent headaches and migraines which touch wood have been helping a little bit so far.

I’ve been seeing my therapist at regular intervals to help keep me on track in terms of mental well-being because let’s face it, even though I’d love to be her, I’m really not superwoman and I can’t always have my stuff together.

My siblings have been my saving grace and the rest of my family too. I know I’m lucky but of course being me in this situation, it’s hard to not feel like a burden sometimes. I guess anyone with some sort of health ailment may be able to relate? (please feel free to send me a message if you’d like to chat).

And with regards to Three Little Pandas, this is where I think I have to be truthful as I feel like I’m at a "temporary stumbling block"...

Any independent business owner will tell you how demanding running your own business can be. They will also tell you how rewarding it is!

I can’t remember if I expressed this in any of our blogs or social media posts but in actual fact, part of the reason for me starting Three Little Pandas was not only because I wanted to and that it was a dream of mine to own my own business but that all the doctors and consultants I had seen had advised me either not to work due to the frequency of these episodes or go back to work but tell my employer the situation and that I was waiting for diagnosis (for health and safety reasons). – my employment situation previously was that I was working for my daughter’s pre-school at the time and was made redundant whilst pregnant with Benji as they were taken over by a bigger company. In other words, I had no job to go back to and the only choice I had was to seek a new job OR create my own business…

So you see, this is why Three Little Pandas means so much to me.

Ok, I didn’t disclose this when I first set up this business and you won't see any of this information on our "About Page" but that was because I was too afraid of what people would think of me. I didn’t want people to feel pity – not that speaking about this now is for that reason either! But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the almost 3 years of running this business, there are A LOT of people you meet a long the way that truly care about the people behind the brand. And that sometimes honesty is the best policy.

I’ve had questions like when are you going to restock certain items? or When will you be bringing out your new line? And the answers I’ve been giving are honest – we won’t be restocking previous garments any time soon and the new line WILL be coming this year but there is an uncertainty of when because I feel that I personally can’t do everything alone anymore.

I’ve done it for this many years but health is more important and so that’s why I announced last year that we were proud to be focusing more on our blog and the community aspect of the business as these are the things that instantly make me happy and things I feel I can realistically commit to.

I hope this entry doesn’t present itself as a downer to you because that’s the last thing I want! But like I said, I have to be honest with the current situation so if you ever wonder “hey, where’s Mama P at?” you’ll have a better idea.

In the meantime our enamel pin badges are still available – (hahaha, unashamed plug) but hope you will now understand after reading this entry why our #LittlePanda message “carry a smile with you everywhere” means the world to me and why I feel nothing but pride and happy-feels whenever we receive an order and people tag us in their photos! So please continue to purchase and tag us #ThreeLittlePandas in your photos.

It's unrealistic of me to say "you should carry a smile with you everywhere" because I often don't feel like smiling and it puts a lot of pressure on ones self to be happy all the time. But I hope when you wear this pin, whether you're happy or not, you feel a sense of comfort that a "Little Panda" is and that you remember this thing called life can be a laugh and cry at times and actually, it's ok to just go with it.

Wow well, that's "Mama Panda's final thoughts of the day" - HA!

Next entry will probably be Papa (might even be by one of our new Guest Writers!)

But until my next time

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