Panic Attacks are bull. Why do you exist?


You’ve probably seen on this blog that I like to complain about things, a lot. If not complaining, I’m reviewing something, or talking about something or something something about something. One thing you probably have come across, a few years back, if you have read that far back (I will not judge you if you have not), are my posts about that time I had a really bad chest infection and thanks to my asthma, I ended up in hospital for like a week, over Christmas, whilst I tried to recover on their God awful food, and the weird staff and terribly crap way of showing someone who has asthma to hold on for not 10 minutes but 5 hours. But this post isn’t about that. This post is about the other crap that comes, sometimes with asthma. The one and only anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks.

I actually can remember my first time I had a panic attack and it wasn’t even something remotely cool tbh. Come to think about it, it embarrasses me that I will admit this. I was at a house party, at 16, when I was at college, and only really known as Pink Trouser girl (don’t judge me), dating a total douche bag, who obviously was in a band, who invited me and my fellow nerdy friends to a house party in Heston. I lied to my mum and told her I was staying at a friends’ house. I wanted to be cool, but I really wasn’t. I was just naive and stupid, clearly. Everyone was being cool, hanging out with each other, listening to music, making out, jamming, playing bass, singing, drinking or smoking weed. Coz why the fuck not, we’re 16, there’s no parents, that’s what all teens do, isn’t it? I don’t smoke weed. I can’t. I turn into some barbie nightmare, of giggling fits, paranoia and pass out, all of those either before or after throwing up. That night, I thought it was somewhat a great idea of ‘let’s be cool around the cool people’ and sit in a room of people smoking weed, because again, seriously why the fuck not?! I wasn’t born with asthma, actually that came a year or so after this panic, but it sure did change my whole family’s views on just about anything.

Anyway, back to where I was before. We were all chilling out, giggling away, passing around that joint, it came to me and I pulled on it. I didn’t like it, but because all eyes were on me and I didn’t want to look like an idiot, I puffed a few more times on it. Honestly it was disgusting. Nasty as! We went outside and I swear my chest felt like a child was jumping up and down on my chest, then clutching at my airways in the process, shaking every living and breathing self of mine out of me. It was terrifying. I wanted to call my mum, but knew she would kill me and most definitely did not want to go down that path. Thankfully someone had a blue salbutamol inhaler on them and after a lot of calming down, breathe Dannii, FFS breathe, that was the last I really remember of that night.

After that little episode, I didn’t really get another one for a few months. But seeing as my family have history of chest problems, it was always going to come up with the doctor when I’d go for a check up. See, I was diagnosed with asthma way before I was even given the prognosis that it was a panic attack. I wasn’t even sure that that time was a panic attack. I thought it was me being a dumbass paranoid kid who smoked a bit of pot and I couldn’t tell the difference. See, that was the worst. When I got my pumps when I turned 17, after a lengthy hospital appointment about allergies and all that crap, I was told it was asthma. So I was completely unaware the difference between the two for years. Worse even, if I had both of them today. Panicking because I couldn’t breathe. That was a freakstorm. Something, also, I noticed worried a heck of a lot of people when I started to black out or not be ‘in the room’ anymore.

It’s one of the scariest things to have happen to you. The prospect of it happening in public is a nightmare. I haven’t had one for a while, in public, I mean, but it’s enough to make you never want to leave your house again. I had one a few months back, but thankfully had a friend on the phone who calmed me down.

I can go for weeks, months or even years, without one and not feel like it affects me at all, but one small thing and boom, it’s triggered again. Anything can trigger it. ANYTHING.  I’m not going to go into some spiritualist, I can cure the world bullshit on how to prevent panic attacks, but I will share a few things I’ve picked up along the way that has certainly helped me over the years to decrease the number of panic attacks I have per year. If it helps, great. if not, check out NHS.

What is a panic attack?

Panic attacks often start during times of higher than normal stress in life. It could be a build-up of many things. The high ‘background stress’ can ‘overspill’ into a panic.

 How to deal with a panic attack

  • Annoying as it may sound, panic attacks are all in the the mind. A panic attack can be frightening, a really uncomfortable experience, but it is absolutely 1000% not dangerous. It’s a state of mind, not an illness.
  • You’re not alone. It may feel like it, well, it does, plenty of times, but you’re not alone. So many people, have panic or anxiety attacks. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It’s a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations.

#Fact

At least one in 10 people experience occasional panic attacks, which are usually triggered by a stressful event. Panic disorder is where a person has recurring and regular panic attacks. In the UK, it affects about two in 100 people, and it’s about twice as common in women as it is in men.

  • Panic is just excess adrenaline that runs through you body when it’s confronted with a possible life-threatening situation that can also be caused by something that’s triggered in an event from your past that placed you in a threatening situation. It’s all physiological. Annoyingly. It can be scary, but the feels you have, is just your body telling you to stand up and fight or run away from potential danger. Calming yourself down and allowing yourself to breathe, helps your body to protect your mind.
  • If you’re unsure about whether or not if you have anxiety or panic attacks, go see a doctor. It doesn’t hurt to ask. They can advise your next steps.
  • Speak to people. It may seem daft to you, but speaking to people, friends or family, or people down the pub, gets it off your chest and you’ll be surprised how understanding and supportive people will be. It’s so common these days that a friend of a friend or a relative of a friend or whichever has had some form of anxiety at some point in their lives. Don’t be afraid. It’s normal!

Just remember, Professor Paul Salkovskis, a psychologist at King’s College London, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you. .

Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “It’s important not to restrict your movements and daily activities.

If I’ve missed anything out, or you would like to add to it, please comment below.

Thanks xoxo

4 days of little/no voice, this is the quietest I have been, like EVER


Most of you who know me, know that I can ramble for Britain. Sober, hyper, calm, dizzy, ditzy, tipsy, drunk, mad or whichever, I can talk. Most of the time it either makes perfect sense or no sense at all. But this is shocking to most of my friends, that I haven’t even been out since last Friday, I haven’t smoked, I haven’t drunk anything apart from squash, not even tea (dear God there is something definitely wrong here), I detest the smell of wine too (WTF IS GOING ON?!) and haven’t left my house since Sunday, to sneak to the shop, to get pasta, that I ended up throwing out anyway, but that technically doesn’t count being 2 minutes from my house, oh whatever.

Since a bad migraine on Saturday, a rather off feeling on Sunday and now no voice, swollen glands, a puffy face and no energy to move, I can’t talk, I have literally been the quietest I HAVE BEEN, LIKE EVER. My mum, for starters, is astounded. She’s the type of person who hears me talking on the phone, puts it to one side, whilst I chit chat away and she gets on with her life, then when she’s had enough, doesn’t even bother to say goodbye, then hangs up. A trait, I’ve noticed with all my family members. Maybe it’s because of me, or maybe they’re all just too busy in their lives to hear what’s going on.

Anyway, what’s the magic cure to get my voice back? I would like to get it back to a sound that is normal, my normal sounding voice, not like that bloke from that God-awful movie John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson was in, Rat Race, or whatever. You know the bloke, Vince Vieluf‘s character who has the very unpleasant infection to go with the tongue piercing he gets…

The piercing bit on his tongue, not the other piercings they all have.

Anyway, my face shape has changed, gone is the normal, I look half decent, now I just look puffy. Like bloated puffy. It’s not even a nice look. My housemates tell me, I look fine, I don’t feel fine. I feel horrible. I feel sore, painful, achy, puffy, swollen and just nasty. If I could sound a little more awesome than this, that would be great.

My bedroom is now my haven of all things ill-related. The curtains are drawn, I don’t even want to embrace the beauty that is the sun, because I can’t enjoy it, so why be part of it? That’s my dumb philosophy anyway.

So, here’s hoping before the bank holiday weekend comes, before my friend Rho has her baby and before the end of the week (come on – only a day to go), I get some part of my voice part, I turn back to normal and this, whatever this is, can fuck off forever and ever and ever and ever and EVER.

The end.

 

Being ill sucks


I hate being sick. I have been roughly ill 6 times this year and it seems that I’m not the only one that has been contracting just about anything that has shown its face and made us ill. I am currently wrapped up, like a fig roll, in PJ’s, covered by a cardigan, wrapped in a fleece and doused in a duvet, in my bedroom, with my teddy nearby, copious amounts of glasses of squash by bed, floor swamped with ibuprofen and paracetamol, with my laptop perched on my lap for good measure, whilst trying to see the screen – I know it’s a glasses wearing moment, but my face feels puffy and wearing them makes me feel like Domo, except less cute and dog like.

IMG_2315

Excuse the image of my rather unfortunate sad looking face, but trying to manage a smile, when I feel like dog shit, is a really hard thing to do. I don’t care, also for not wearing make up, so piss off you haters.

So, after calling my doctor and not being able to move, from this delightful spot in my bed, the best recommendation, is taking drugs, plenty of liquids and rest and trying not to stress. Great. I work in recruitment, how can not talking to people and not being able to talk, make me not stress. Anyone who knows me, will know this is physically impossible in some way or another.

Swollen lymph glands are usually a sign of infection and tend to go down when you recover. It feels like my throat is the size of a giant tree branch and my face is puffy. Super puffy. The need to eat and/or drink anything is off putting even though I made a super an awesome lasagna on Sunday and I can’t eat it. Damn you sickness.

So if any of you are trying to get in touch with me, and I haven’t been responding as quickly as you may have liked, it’s because of this. I will try to get onto all emails and everything as soon as possible.

If someone could just come over and bring more drugs, baby food, a mushed up banana with melted chocolate, some warm tea, a cold press, a fluffy pillow, a hot water bottle, a little kitten, bundles of tissues, a magic wand, Chris Pine and a cure, that would mean a lot to me.

xoxo

My Top Only Fools and Horses Moments


My God, I love a good episode of classic TV and us Brits have delighted TV screens with brilliant comedy for decades now, with most people admitting, no one can do good comedy gold like the British. John Sullivan, the genius creator of the hit family show produced a lovable family that the country and world adored.  Mixing laughter, drama, family life, tears and compassion about an every-day family living in Peckham, Saff Landan struggling to make ends meet, facing the toughest of challenges on a daily/weekly/yearly basis, was a winner with all. Without a doubt, one of, if not, my favourite British comedies of all time, even with the funniest and most lovable characters around.

Here’s my top Only Fools and Horses moments since the beginning, not in any particular order, as they were all so brilliant.

Trigger’s Broom from ‘Heroes and Villains’ (1996)

Everyones gotta love Trigger. In all honestly you’d never think there would be someone out there who could be like that but I have met some equally as stupid as Roger Lloyd’s character.

In one of the funniest and sweetest of classic scenes, Trigger claims that he’s had his road sweeper’s broom for 20 years. But then adds that the broom has had 17 new heads and 14 hands.

“How can it be the same bloody broom then?” asks Sid the café owner. Trigger produces a picture of him and his broom and asks: “what more proof do you need?”

Cwying from ‘Stage Fright’ (1991)

A hilarious cameo from Philip Pope saw this episode feature Tony Angelino, a rubbish singer with a speech impediment sing cabaret for local villian Eugene Macarthy. It’s hard not to laugh at the ‘cwying’ performance loved by most.

The Blow Up Dolls from ‘Danger UXD’ (1989)

Following up from previous disastrous consignments, you’d think Del would have learnt his lesson by now, but clearly not. After receiving a consignment of dolls, these aren’t quite what he was expecting. Instead of the dolls favoured and loved by children, the dolls are of a larger size, more of the naughty adult type. The self-inflating plastic doll seems to be more of a life-threatening hazard than originally thought, with much laughter and explosive giggles to follow.

Batman & Robin from ‘Heroes and Villians’ (1996)

Who can forget the 1996 Christmas special that saw Del and  Rodney dress up as Batman & Robin, running through the streets of Peckham, even preventing a mugging, dressed as the lovable action heroes.

“I’d like to start the bidding at £150,000” from ‘Time on our hands’ (1996)

After what seems like eternity, 16 years later of hard luck, poverty, upset, crying and laughter, the Trotters discover an antique watch in their garage worth millions, changing their luck for all.

“My name is Rodney” from ‘Homesick’ (1983)

Rodney finally asks the question we’ve all been thinking of, why on earth does Trigger call him ‘Dave’. Seems it’s not as simple as we had thought.

Rodney: “Trig, why do you call me Dave? My name’s Rodney.”

Trigger: Are you sure?

Rodney: I’ve looked it up on my passport and birth certificate and everything. It’s definitely Rodney.

Trigger: So what’s Dave? A nickname, like?

It takes some convincing but Trigger concedes that he’s going to have to get used to calling Rodney, ‘Rodney’ from now on. Before promptly calling him Dave again.

The Chandelier from ‘A Touch of Glass’ (1982)

Always one to make sure he can hit things far beyond his actual skillset, this delightful episode sees Delboy royally fucking just about everything up, taking up chandelier cleaning as his forte on his long-list of professional services. On a chance encounter with Lady Ridgemere, Del offers up his services as a chandelier cleaner. I sure don’t need to explain what happens next, only masterminds can predict the hilarious outcome that is to come.

Del falls through the bar from ‘Yuppie Love’ (1989)

Without a doubt, one of the funniest scenes from OFAH. Del’s new yuppy sense of style makes him think he is on par with the rich and posh, when this cracker of a scene seems this happen. If you haven’t seen it, watch it now.

These are my favourite episodes, have I missed any out? If so, comment below.

Late night rant: This weather


So, I haven’t ranted in a while, I apologise, I’ve been busy, trying to scale mountains and shit (not literally) but in a professional sense of the term, yeah, kinda. So I haven’t really had the time to sit here and puke up the words to rant on here, for a while, something I’m sure most of you are surely grateful for. But, after spending most of today working my ass off, I sat down, had some dinner and thought, I haven’t blogged for a while, let’s write up some stuff and see what comes out. Earlier was a happier post, a much needed joy-fest of writing about my love for my iPhone and I do love you my iPhone, mwah mwah mwah. I won’t be ranting about you my little silver bundle of joy.

What I will be ranting about is the weather. All Londoners, actually Britons will know the frustration that is this fucking weather. Is this fun to Mother Nature to piss (literally) on our parade when we’re really getting into the sunshine spirit?

For 3 days this week the weather was actually kinda awesome, with yesterday being fucking cool, not cool as in ice cool but fucking awesome cool. Hot, delicious glorious weather, sunning me whilst I sat outside in the garden, doing emails, for work, with a cold iced soda, lapping up the sun to try and give me that most desperately needed sun kissed glow just about everyone else in the world is loving, yet we’re being deprived of.

Then today happened. I mean, what was it? Look you can have fun, but we’re actually gonna take it away with you because you Britons deserve crap for moaning about the weather, so that sun was a bit of a tease and now here’s some rain. Fuck you. Total bullshit.

Why? What have we done to actually gain more rain and depression and puddles and shit? What? Can we not just have our summer now please? BBQ’s, picnics, shorts, tops, sunglasses, anything that is far more fun than this cold depression in MAY, MAY.

Google and my iPhone says it’s going to be sunny tomorrow, you better be. I don’t need to spend another day in twenty jumpers, a hat, thick socks and a dressing gown to prove a point to my housemates we don’t need the heating on this month.

 

My phone is like a limb, it’s part of who I am.


My smartphone could be passed off as my other half, if you want, or like  a limb. I’m addicted to his presence and without him, I’m sodding useless. He’s the first thing I turn to in the morning to check the time or turn off my alarm and the last thing to see at night.  That’s pretty sad isn’t it? But, in this day and age, it seems like I’m not alone. Unless you count half my family, my younger sister, one or two cousins and a few of my friends, who I’m pretty sure they think their mobile devices are just some decorative piece of art, flung to the side in all it’s glory, of glass, weird things called apps and noise.
I don’t have a boyfriend, so it’s safe to say, this is really my one true hubba hubba, all time love right here. I love my laptop, I love my office, I love my business, obviously I love my family and friends, but without my communication device that is my phone, I would be hard to reach.
When did my love affair with the magical phone begin?
I’m  not really sure when our true love first started. My first ever mobile phone was a brick. My uncle took me to the Phones4U store in Hounslow with my very much saved up £180 to buy a Philips Orange Savvy, a blue brick that looked more like a house phone than something you would actually be seen dead with in public. It didn’t really do much, I mean, look at the picture below, it hardly jumps out to you, as fuck yeah, I would totally use this in a public place, but I thought I was so cool, I mean that was 14 years ago, so do excuse me for my stupidness.
It was announced to the world by Philips in 1999. It had Monophonic ringtones, weighed 135 g, the battery lasted a blooming lifetime (in comparison to my stupid iPhone – damn you Apple), you could call 8 different numbers by clicking one button, sending a picture message was almost guaranteed to eat up all your PAYG credit and fellow savvy users could be in on the coolness that was the picture icons – you snoozed and lost if you didn’t have access to this bad boy. This phone really was invincible. I thought I was some sort of cool kid with this phone popping out of my pocket (it was a little on the large side to stay hidden) and to this day, it still sits in a box at home, with part of me hoping that an antiques phone dealer will see it and turn me into a multi-millionaire. What? It happened to Del and Rodney.
Throughout the years, I’ve had dozens of different phones, whether on PAYG or contract. Some I have loved, others, I have wanted to murder, with a pure hatred for their very existence. Phones from the very beginning of when LG thought it was a great idea to create a phone that had the same battery strength to one of their fridge freezers, or a Motorola Razr, because it had that flippy screen thing (think I have that somewhere too aswell – God I’m gonna be rich!), before moving onto the Blackberry. Ah, the Blackberry. A good curvalicious lover of mine. A whole shimmy sahroo of pretty business stuff, that just rocked the email world. God how I missed you, till it all went pear-shaped.
Roll on a good 4 years later and I’m here with my lover. My sweet lovely jubbly iPhone. After a terrible relationship with my ex- iPhone 4s, my iPhone 5s, is like a hunk. All touch sensitive and ready to rumble across colour, screen, camera, social, everything, even with the little emoticons. He lasts longer, which is brilliant, in comparison to the ex-phone. Even with all my social channels, apps and that, this iPhone is a winner.
So yes, I have a great relationship with my phone. He’s pretty awesome and super fab. I think I’ve charged him once today and he’s just so damn cool with chilling out and doing what he’s supposed to be doing. Calling, texting, playing music, being active in social, notifying me when he should and just being fucking great.
So when people say, why do I spend my time looking longingly at my phone, here are my top reasons for loving my iPhone:
  1. If, like me, popping in your password when someone is standing at all close to you, gives you the shivers (they are looking for a reason – I know which ones of my mates know my password – not pointing fingers, you know who you are), I hate putting in passwords on majority of things, so a 4 numbered pin to add to the billions of numbers and passwords stored in my brain, the enterprise friendly-fingerprint sensor is AMAZING! Without my fingerprint, no one can get into my phone.
  2. Lights, camera, action – those who know me and my penchant for selfie pout time, will know I love to take a picture and either share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or just take a million of them, because why the fuck not, the new-improved lighting feature is great for indoor and outdoor lighting and really highlights all of my face when capturing the much needed selfie, for everyone or no one to see.
  3. It’s lighter – sometimes it’s so light, I forget it’s in my pocket. Which can be disaster zone, when I get home and take my jeans off and fling them across the room, narrowing missing the laundry basket and it smacking off the TV, but thankfully it’s little teal case protects it’s body from such disasters.
  4. It’s great for social and email integration – it actually allows me to have this super non-complicated love affair with my social channels and it just works, I don’t know how it does it, but it does.
  5. I can’t live without it – in this day and age, it seems everyone has some form of technology stuck to their hip and in my case, it’s my phone.

I’ve only had the iPhone 5s, for 4 months and love it. Will have to see where this love affair will end up next.

I salute you awesome phone.

x