This week – Back to work

This week was back to school, we had a week off for half term. It was quite a challenge being back, but the EY got eggs that hatched into tiny chicks which was very very cute.

Also my Y1 class..I was teaching them about orphans, and decided to ask them what is called when someone doesnt have parents. I got some pretty sweet answers like “poor” and “hopeless”, even got “homeless” but then one girl knew “Orphan”. They’re a cute bunch these lots, I hope I can be a good teacher to them.

Thursday last lesson was a good lesson actually, I got them in groups of 3 and made them prepare a little presentation. I think they enjoyed it.

Wednesday was a pretty much chaos, I need to think of another way to approach that day and organise it, It’s just such a mess… I’ve got to admit, repeating my instructions a thousand times has got to be the thing I hate the most when “live” teaching, (planning and behaviour management often fight for that top spot actually).

Theres this child safety certificate I got the office to print out, not sure if they did, I need to give it to EY head.

Also I might be observed next week… I’ll probably do pretty badly but I should try. I really need to find games/activities for Reception…

Heh, I also applied for an EAL job, I need to get some experience in that area…maybe volunteer or something.

The opposite of Love

If I were to ask you, “what’s the opposite of Love?”, would you reply Hate?

 

I think it’s a common (in my opinion, mistaken) belief that the opposite of love is hate. I’ve talked about love before, a long time ago (I may have to revisit that blog and maybe write an update…) but for now, I want to talk about Hate.

Read more

Suicide, or the lack thereof

Being so ill so quickly (btw, I got the first illness again) can make you feel really crappy; having a body that’s not working the way it used to, changing relationships with friends and more importantly family, having to rely on them more and this feeling of loss of independence can really get to someone. But let’s not get all emotional and psychological, having you hair thin, losing muscle mass (aka not being able to work out the way you used to) and more importantly having your skin fall off, peel off, regrow and be super dry – needing intense moisturisation every few hours and relying on anti-histamines to get you through a few hours where you need to wear suffocating clothes; talking about clothes – not being able to wear the clothes you like because they’ll get ruined because of the greasy moisturiser; all these little things, minor things, they keep tap tap taping at the back of your head and some days they overwhelm you and you think “what’s the point?”

 

The furthest I’ve gone is thinking about my will (So as not to further inconvenience others – I’ve done that enough) but I realised I didn’t have much, that ring can go to my sister, really they can choose what they want to keep, chuck what they want and donate the rest. That’s pretty much it. Then I thought about my family, especially my mum and how much of everything she’s put up with and pulled through and I stop that stupid line of thinking.

 

The other day I had a thought that triggered this blogpost, I have a question, do you think it takes more than 12 or 24 hrs to decide to genuinely commit suicide? I think so. I don’t think it’s something you decide one morning and carry out in the evening. Thing is, I’ve been living on the edge of life and possible death for a while now, 5 years to be precise. I’m on a firm “life” ground, usually its beautiful and has lush green grass and wild flowers and the sun is shining and there’s a gentle breeze; but just on the edge of my theoretical vision there’s the edge, a ragged dark edge that falls into an abyss of end. I have epilepsy, and what we’ve discovered (with me being a rebellious, in denial teenager) is that if I miss my medication twice in a row then I’ll get a grand mal seizure. Grand mal seizure can lead to death, plain and simple. I’ve already had ten (don’t ask, it’s all on that rebellious, in denial teenager) so I’m not going to be asking any doctor about my odds for the next one or anything like that.

 

“Missing my medication twice” what does that mean? I have to take medication every 12 hours, so if I forget and go about 24hrs without that drug I’m basically playing a game with my literal life on the line. That…definitely gets you thinking. Another way to look at this is that every 12 hours, I renew my will to live.

 

So it’s hard to brood suicidal thoughts and then willingly pop a pill that is basically you saying “I don’t want to risk dying” and carry on brooding like nothing happened. Then you don’t want to NOT take the pills because you don’t want to die of an epileptic fit, having bitten your tongue, banged your head on something, lost control of your bladder and other such disagreeable side effects.

 

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is why (amongst other reasons) I probably will never commit suicide, aside from the selfishness of the act and as someone I’ve heard describe it, suicide is “not ending the pain but passing it on” I personally think it’s useless. It’s quitting the game because it got a bit hard. Who does that?

 

Through all the struggles, I’m learning new things, I hope my patience has gotten much better and my empathy has grown to immense proportions. All that tap tap tapping, I hope it’s shaping me into something great, if I let all that great experience opportunity go, what kind of human would I be?

The shiniest stars have the darkest shadows

shiny

This might be bleak and depressing but the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (and even rainbows require rain but I’m getting sidetracked here).

I’ve come to believe that all those great people who are most liked, who are admired, who are looked up to; who stand out from the rest, touch hearts and make break-throughs had something in common, (I’m sure there’s more than just one thing, but I want to talk about one and that is:) they had dark times and the darker those times were, the greater they’ve come out the other side. Read more

Zonisamide

Zonisamide

Today was Eid, my friend came over and we had some fun browsing youtube then went out for a walk, had some bubbletea and did some shopping, on my way home around 9pm my phone vibrated, reminding me that it was time for me to take my medication – Keppra. I was just about to enter the corner shop to buy some milk then it hit me like an 18-wheeler, I hadn’t taken my morning dose. *mind rewind* We had left the house to go to Eid prayer just before 7, I had forgotten to take my tablet with me, we had gotten home and I had been exhausted, I’m pretty sure I hadn’t taken the morning dose. I checked my phone app, the little square next to the medicine name was red – surely that meant I was overdue. I was over 24hrs of no keppra, the last time I did that I had a seizure, I raced from the corner store to my house, up the stairs and to the kitchen table, grabbed my medicine bag and started getting my medication, telling my family I hadn’t taken my morning dose, after a slight panic they told me “yes you did! You woke up, came down, took your med and complained about how you could have taken it upstairs, hovered the living room and then went back to bed!” My heart was still racing, I just quickly swallowed my pills, ticked my phone app while my mum droned on about how I should always take my medicine in front of someone and settled down.

Then I remembered, I told myself I wanted to start the new medication after Ramadan was over, the change would take a long while and I didn’t want to go through another winter having not done anything about my life situation, I didn’t want my life to turn to turmoil again, I managed to land a job I really liked and I was happy, I want this to go on.

My parents had told me to hold back on the new medication, they weren’t keen on it, understandably as the last time I tried changing medication I nearly died (Steven Johnson Syndrome) and dropped out of uni and was basically offline for a good few months. Still I had slowly but surely tried to convince them to let me, the neurologist had given the green light but when I held the new medicines in my hands I got slightly scared, and my mum really wasn’t keen. She had looked after me through the illness and I couldn’t do this to her. So we made a deal, I would gain some weight, and become more responsible, and then we’ll try it. Today was a good day, I haven’t reached the target weight (months later) but I’m going to get there, just got to believe it right? So I was due to start this new medication in February or so, it’s now July and today I took my first dose.

The dose is very tiny, 25mg, and I’m still on my keppra full dose, nothing should go wrong, I just have to keep an eye out (or in) on my body’s reaction and see if its happy or not with the new med, if its not happy, then we’ve got to stop, hopefully before we go into a full body shut down and liver failure.

As I sat there, reading the list of side effects, the list of “contact your doctor immediately if”’s, I feel scared, I know I have to take it a day at a time, but the way the last med change went… My life could go up in smoke. I don’t want it to. So why am I taking the medication you wonder? Because im currently living a “meh-good” life. Keppra controls my seizures but gives me memory loss problems (maybe Zonisamide wont have that affect on me?), I have to take it twice (Z only in the evening), gets me really low in the winter (hopefully that’ll go too). It’s understandable to get low in the winter, I was prone to it even before I started keppra, but it was manageable, I could function, but two winters ago I couldn’t, I dipped and instead of pulling up at the turn of the new year, I crashed into the terrain, a smoky, fiery lifeplane crash, university work was a struggle and then I got SJS and had to drop out.

I could take precautions to deal with the winter months better, that’s what I kinda tried to do last winter, but still, it was…hardly passable, I hadn’t taken off yet so there wasn’t an amazing crash but I didn’t soar either. Now I am “soaring” and I don’t want to sit back and wait for the crash. Help yourself and God will help you right? (That might be a French saying that I’ve roughly translated to English..but I’m sure you can understand the overall meaning yes? And yes, I’m a theist) I’m not supposed to not do anything and “have faith” things will go differently. That’ll be kinda stupid. Another (Arabic this time) saying is “tie your camel and put your trust in God” aka, don’t leave your camel untied and trust that it’ll still be there when you come back, don’t be an idiot.

So what’s my point again…

Why we want to stop keppra:

  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Twice a day
  • Other urgh side effects

Why we don’t want to change:

  • Change is scary
  • Things could go as bad as the last time we tried changing
  • (Undesirable side effects might remain/might be cause by brain damage and not the medicine at all)

Why we should change:

  • Theres’s more than 20 medicines for epilepsy, why should I limit myself to “passable” and live a limited life?
  • Am I coward? no I am not.
  • Why not?

Let me tell you something, As I read the list of side effects of this new medication, I feel terrified and throw the list aside, that list is nonsensical, one side effect is “seizures” THE MEDICINE IS SUPPOSED TO STOP SEIZURES! Another is increased heartbeat… my heart is beating fast! But that’s not a side effect, that’s a mix of fear and apprehension (the above should give you an idea of why), the next few weeks are going to be like this, picking apart what is just me and what could be my body telling it doesn’t like this new drug…

Applesauce

In a couple of months it’ll be the anniversary of my arrival into England. 10 years of living in the beautiful city of London and being exposed to the international language that is English. I came to England with very little English, a few words here and there and a few sentences from language lessons at public school, I was thrown at the deep end, starting regular school a couple of months after my arrival. I felt pretty lost, but I threw myself into books and read and read and read some more.

Now in France, there is this delicious mashed apples thing that we eat often, babies eat it in tiny little pots, and adults are very quick with finishing those pots. Aside from the baby food you can actually buy this compote and we mix it with plain yogurt to make a light but delicious dessert.

I haven’t had compote in a very very very long time, and somehow I could not find it on the British shelves, it seems it wasn’t something Brits ate…and I could never describe it to English speaking people because “mashed apples” didn’t sound appetizing at all.

This delicious compote is often used as a food when one has an upset stomach, it helps pulls the bowels back together… and my brother seems to have a bad case of lose bowels, so I decided to google some foods he could eat, I know we should eat bland but I just wanted confirmation as it’s not for me.

I came across the BRAT diet – Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. I know what 3/4 of those things are, so I quickly google image “Applesauce” Lo and Behold! It’s compote!!!! imagine my surprise!! Ten years on and I’m learning a basic word like “applesauce” Isn’t this just amazing?

I’d watched a show where they had mentioned applesauce, but to be honest with you all, I imagined it as something kinda syrupy, maybe a toffee like apple flavoured maply syrup sort of thing, never would I have thought applecause was compote.

I look forward to asking the rest of my family is they know what Applesauce is. I cant wait to see their faces when I tell them!

Third Culture Kid

I don’t really like labels, I don’t fit any of them and they are quite restrictive by nature. Still they help shape us and define our identity. Fitting under no label makes one feel lost and confused, one label that I not only like but which also helped me make some sense of myself (as I previously thought I was a complete and utter weirdo/crazy) is the term TCK – Third Culture Kid. It means someone who has a culture different to their parents, it’s usually from living in different places, thus assimilating the cultures from those places as well as the original parental culture and creating a “Third” culture.

This is what I am, a TCK. My parents are from Mauritius, I grew up in France and now live in the UK. Read more

Short holiday in France

I was extremely apprehensive to go on this trip to France. France is where I spent my childhood from 1 to 12. I went to nursery, primary and secondary school there. I lived in many places and we have many many family friends dotted around Paris. For some reason I did not want to go France. I dreaded the whole trip and many aspects of it. There was no logical or rational reason and with the idea of “I might regret not going” put in my head as well as the fact that I did not want to be someone who did not go somewhere because they were scared, I went. I was irrationally upset on the car ride there. When I got over this upset there was a little side voice telling me I wasn’t allowed to have fun because I so vehemently didn’t want to go on this trip.

We got to where we were staying early Monday morning. Still jittery and disorientated from being up and about all night I was awake, having something to eat and talking until 10am, I then rested and slept till 2pm.  This Monday was Easter Monday so most things were closed but we went to a couple of shops and did some looking around. It was alright. There was this 1000 piece puzzle I really liked but because the price had been taken off it was no longer on sale.

Tuesday we went to visit many people. It was really nice seeing people I have not seen for more than 5 years. We’ve all grown up and are trying our best to get on with life and the little kids have changed so much. I was glad to see that my French was still passable though I still struggle to get it to come out. We went home after midnight having visited many people and been to many places all over the area around Paris.

Wednesday was a bit more relaxed. There were a few people we needed to see then we went to eat out and headed home where we saw my older cousin. He’s a joker. The evening was pretty relaxed and everyone did what they wanted.

Thursday morning we were suppose to go to the market but it was raining so much that the plan was changed and they instead went to a shopping centre. The early afternoon was spent having lunch and packing. The car would be completely full as my aunt was coming along. We left at 4.15pm giving us ample time to make it to Calais by 9ish. We arrived very early and boarded a ferry at 8.30ish. Its now 9.15 and the boat has just started moving.

***

I write this from home, it’s Friday afternoon, the boat ride was fine and the final car ride was fine too. While driving to Calais port we saw an adult male, a younger male and a little girl walking by the side of the motorway, then a bit further a police man standing there, looking like he was waiting, then further down we saw “The Jungle”, It didn’t register in our mind, we were driving by the refugee camp… it looks just like the pictures you see on brochures for charities, tents stuck together etc… I didn’t see anyone there, they are not very close to the motorway, I think the camps were moved because the earth all around looks freshly turned. Also there’s a barrier all around, with two layers of barbed wires. I’m just describing it as it is. It makes you feel so helpless.

Overall the trip was good, it was a nice break, just relaxing and holiday-ing, no responsibilities, no deadlines or anything like that. It was a nice break.

 

Emotional Energy

I’ve recently supported a friend through some tough time and it drained my energy. I see my emotional energy like one of those energy bars in games. The only way I feel that I get it back to full is by sleeping. If I don’t sleep I can function, but not properly, I go about my day in this daze or fog or I go into this hyperdrive move until I’m able to get in some sleep, have you ever seen a toddler or little kid very hyper active when they’re exhausted? They’ll giggle and mess about for no reason and then BAM pass out? That’s how I feel. Read more

Amnesia, forgetting things

I’ve been thinking about forgetting things, I’m on a medication that makes me forget what my toothbrush is, if I’ve flushed the toilet, what I came to do downstairs, I want to call out to one of my friend but I’ll run through many names before getting to hers. It’s funny on good days, less so on long days. It’s not everyday and it’s not SO bad, but it’s there. I don’t know if it’s the medication’s effect or the seizures’ effect (is it forever then?) but I have some memories I really wish I could access but can’t. How I met my current best friends, what was my relationship with this girl in school before we became actual buddies, how come school let me do 2 subjects at 17 (instead of 3) – how did I ask for it, how did they reply? Read more