Sorry it's been a while since my last blog post, I do not know where the time has gone?! I must admit that finding the motivation to write a blog whilst I have been shielding has been rather difficult. There hasn't been much going on and any updates, have been short and sweet via my Facebook page - PHighter Tess - but now I and other clinically extremely vulnerable are now out of shielding and the UK are slowly coming out of lockdown, I will make sure that this blog keeps up to date as well.
So what has happened since my last blog post...
The last few weeks of lockdown has been very up and down, some days I have felt good and others days I have felt so fed up of staying inside and not going out. Terry returned to work for the second lockdown (he had been working from home during the first lockdown) so as I don't like to be on my own doing nothing, I've enjoyed spending a lot of time with my Mum. My Mum lives on her own, but we have loved having so much time together and it's been wonderful that we've been allowed support bubbles. I definitely believe support bubbles have helped people's mental health during this difficult time. I have also played a lot of my piano and thank goodness I have my Izzy for company. Taking her out for walks has kept me busy too.
At the beginning of 2021, I had found that due to lockdown, I had put on a lot of weight - not being able to get out of the house and eating whatever I fancied had taken its toll. I was very unhappy about the way I looked and I knew I needed to do something about it. It wasn't easy to find a way to lose weight, especially having PH and knowing that any slight bit of exertion and my body tends to shut down quickly. I downloaded different exercise apps and tried out the "free trials" but due to the intense exercises they give to those who don't have PH, I didn't last 5 minutes! To be honest, I felt very frustrated that everything I tried wasn't getting me anywhere.
We heard that an exercise bike was very good for weight loss and as seen as I couldn't get out on my electric bike due to it being Winter and cold weather, it sounded like a good plan. Terry and I invested in a Pro-Fitness folding exercise bike and I absolutely love it. I only cycle on my good days and when I have the energy, but 15 mins (if possible) and I take it slow and steady. It has been really good for me both mentally and physically. I cycle with my oxygen on, as my oxygen sats drop quickly when exercising and I put on a TV programme, this makes time go fast and I also enjoy doing the exercising. We have also cut out any rubbish food and been eating healthier dinners, such as stir fry's and salads. I am not a snacker and only eat my main meals, so I guess that's a pro for me.
Anyway, it's been over 4 months since I started this weight loss journey and I have lost over a stone and reached my goal weight! Wahoo! I'm very pleased with myself and as I said it's not been easy. It's been slow and steady, but I'm feeling much better in myself and dresses are back to fitting me, ready for the Weddings we are hopefully attending later this year.
Terry and I were both on the priority list to get the COVID vaccination. I have thankfully had both of the vaccines now and Terry will be having his second sometime in June. I felt fine after my first Pfizer vaccine, but after the second I came up with very swollen glands in my armpit. After regular uses of ice and paracetamol, it finally went after a week. Terry was poorly after his first AZ vaccine for a few days and we're hoping his second won't be as bad!
Working throughout lockdown has been very difficult for many people. Jobs have been furloughed and even worse, some people have lost their jobs. I feel very fortunate that I could continue some of my music teaching online, though my work is only a few hours, I'm glad I can contribute to our income. Terry has also been very fortunate to continue working throughout lockdown and he is pleased that work seems to be getting back to some normality. As many people know, in 2016 I qualified as Music Therapist, I have always wanted to use my passion of music to help others. Music has always been there for me through the up and downs of PH, so I know how much music can help a person. Ever since I qualified, I have followed a highly distinguished music therapy company in Essex with first class Music Therapists and it has been my dream to work for this company. I was super excited to see a vacancy arise last month and I knew there would be a lot of competition, especially during this very difficult time. I was ecstatic to have been offered the position and I began working with them this month. I have really enjoyed teaching and I've met some amazing budding musicians, but because I want to put my energies into Music Therapy, I decided it was best for me to end all teaching. I absolutely love my new job and again, the hours are little, but it suits me perfectly. I am also learning Makaton, a form of sign language, which is great fun!
The clinically extremely vulnerable are now out of shielding and the UK are slowly easing out of lockdown, but I still haven't booked a haircut and haven't gone into town. I'm still being very careful and cautious and I'm waiting for the excitement of going shopping to ease before I head out. I must admit, I am looking forward to going into Primark! Haha! Terry and I are yet to go to the pub for a drink, but once the weather warms up a bit more, we'll definitely go for a cycle to our local.
Over last few weeks I've been feeling very tired and breathless again, so I went for a blood test. The results came back showing my iron levels are low again and I can't wait for my next transfusion next month. Hopefully I won't be waiting too long for my call and I can booked in as soon as possible!
Terry and I have a lot to look forward to as lockdown continues to ease. We are celebrating our 4th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow and we can't wait to meet up with friends in the coming days too. Next month we have our holiday in the Peak District, so it'll be nice to explore a destination that isn't Essex! This holiday was postponed from last year, so we're keeping everything crossed that we can go. Like many, we've had big birthdays celebrated during lockdown, so we can't wait to get together with our friends and have big celebrations again. I really hope lockdown continues to ease by July, so the UK can have a fun Summer without any restrictions! Keep safe and well everyone!