We are not commencing home schooling. The schools have advised they hope to be up and running online learning next week. We will wait for their guidance and expertise – I will not place undue stress or pressure on them or myself this week.
My kids will enjoy the time catching up on some reading, music, working out, golf simulator and playing F1 and FIFA on the xbox, FaceTiming their friends and doing revision as they normally would during school and the long summer vacation here.
They will learn more patience and form stronger bonds with each other.
They will learn new skills in the kitchen.
They will learn and understand all the craziness that the world is facing.
They will form their own educated thoughts on how we and the world will continue to be affected and how we may move forward.
They will grow in their own compassion and understanding for people and their own situations. They have seen the empty grocery stores, the elderly and vulnerable not being able to buy items due to the selfish nature we have become.
This week saw me reach a milestone in my journey – 10 months post SCAD and Heart Attack…….
The 10 month mark finds me with more energy, a clearer mind (thanks to the sun coming out) and plans for the rest of the year being made.
I am able to comfortably walk for 45-60 minutes and have enjoyed being able to walk for longer periods of time. Today I ran into one of my cross-fit buddies and the angst of not being able to rejoin is tough. My cardiologist cleared me for a return to cross-fit a little while back at a reduced tempo and with modified sessions – unfortunately, the truth is I can’t be trusted! I know that I would quickly get swept up in the joy and pain of the box and would be trying to once again lift heavy and work harder than the day before. My family have also said ‘no way’ and I cannot argue with that.
Another first has been having my husband away for three nights this past weekend. It seems strange coming from an army wife, but three nights was bloody tough. I have never been able to sleep well when he has been away but due to being healthy and working I was always able to manage. These three nights were really hard. The lack of sleep left me absolutely shattered and antsy by the time he returned. The girls were fantastic (little man was away golfing with dad), and were great at ‘mumma sitting’. Upon the boys arrival home, I was in bed at 1930 and slept for nearly 12 hours straight – it was amazing.
I am more aware of my body and what it is trying to tell me. I feel every twinge and to be honest, sometimes I over think every little heart flutter and I will be working on getting in control of some of the anxiety that sometimes creeps in. Thankfully, it is not an everyday occurance.
A recent check up with the GP for bloods was met with great results. The concoction of medication I am on has thankfully not affected my kidney or liver function. Platelet count is fantastic (always a good sign when you have previously had really low platelet count and no spleen), cholesterol is great (never been an issue) and all other counts look great. I struggle to take head ache medicine so being on this amount of meds everyday I still find difficult but am fully aware that the benefits currently outway not taking them.
March is coming quickly and we look forward to spending spring break by the ocean and seeing some amazing friends. March will also see my Cardiologist follow up appointment. It will be just shy of 12 months and I look forward to chatting with him about the future and new research that has come about.
This week is SCAD Awareness week and I encourage you to talk to your friends and family, point them in the direction of the SCAD Research Australia website https://scadresearch.com.au, read the stories of survivors and to follow the most update research/ findings available, ways to become involved, donate, volunteer.
This week I admit has been a little tough mentally! The weather is grey and so is my mind. I’m not sad or concerned, I’m just caught in a funk due to the weather.
Yes, I am a warm weather, sun loving girl! The snow is beautiful when it’s falling and and I am sure if we were on a specific snow holiday it would be amazing. Living in it is completely different, the melting snow, the slush is not so beautiful.
My whole family has cabin fever, cabin fever for the golf course, the sun, the vitamin D and for being outdoors – yes there is plenty that we could still do outside but we are warm blooded soles.
The weather affects me mentally, it makes my mind feel as clouded as the sky and only the sun shining warmly will fix it. Whilst I am in this funk, I have however managed to keep my body active thanks to the treadmill and spin bike. I have been sticking to my goals made earlier in the year and have been enjoying (up until this week) walking outside most days with some great ladies.
To help with this fog, I have ejoyed some reading on SCAD in the news, looked at holiday plans and binged watched some tv…….how do you clear your mind fog?
As we welcome a New Year we often set ourselves resolutions that we rarely stick to for more than a few weeks or months. I too have been guilty of setting myself unrealistic or unattainable resolutions.
This year I have set GOALS and not RESOLUTIONS and to understand why we first need to look at the definition of both and from there we will understand why this is the perfect way to ring in the new year.
Cambridge defines a resolution as apromise to yourself to do something: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/resolution.
By setting ourselves goals and not resolutions we are giving ourselves something to work towards, an attainable achievement. A goal can be achieved by working towards smaller goals, smaller achievements along the way – a place were small progress is made and seen. Once we start setting ourselves resolutions, we are promising ourselves to do something, this in itself is often unattainable as we set ourselves one major promise without being able to celebrate each and every small step along the way.
Resolutions around the world are predominantly centred around weight loss, fitness, healthy eating and saving money – all with one set number or achievement in mind. Whether you are wanting to loose 5kg or 50kg, save $1000 or $40000, run 1km or 42km setting smaller goals will help make this achievable and you will be able to celebrate the smaller victories along the way – helping to keep you focused and on the way to complete your journey.
Now to me, no resolutions only goals. The goals I have set this year are also along the same line – fitness, weight loss, healthy eating and saving money. These goals are not extreme, I am not looking at running a marathon, loosing 50kg or saving vast amounts of money. What I have set are the following and the reason for these is also set out.
1. Walk Outside – this might sound crazy but since my SCAD & heart attack in April I have not been for a walk outside by myself other than to do the groceries. I have been walking on the treadmill in our basement. I want to get back to being comfortable to walk a few km outside in the fresh air. (quick update – my mum had been visiting during Christmas from Australia and we were also dog sitting – we walked everyday and I am excited to share that on the 1st of January I went for my first 2km walk with just myself, the dog and fresh air. It was amazing and has meant I accomplised for first goal of 2020, I have also been everyday since).
2. Swim – as my SCAD and heart attack symptoms began in the swimming pool after I had been swimming medley every four minutes with a minute rest in between I have been frightened to return to the pool. My goal this year is to jump back in (new swimmers purchased as the ones I was wearing were cut from me during the emergency). Swimming will again be different than before – no butterfly and not backstroke, simple freestyle and breaststroke.
3. Fitness – continue rebuilding following my SCAD & Heart Attack in April. Cross fit will never again be apart of my plan but walking, swimming, biking and golf are all attainable. With my golf, I aim to being more consistant and to get a handicap.
4. Weight – my heart medication has played a big part in my weight gain after initially loosing 10kg from the heart attack and recovery. Whilst I am still on the medication (8 tablets a day) I hope that will more regularly moving I can shift a little weight. Small increments but my heart health is the most important.
5. Medication – I see my Cardiologist in March and hope that some of my medication can be futher reduced. He is my person and I trust his medical advice.
5. Money – Team Mulligan have some big plans for when we return to Australia this year. We have set ourselves several money goals this year and if we stick to our budget, all with be attainable and we will be travelling in comfort next year.
I look forward to reaching my little goals along the way, celebrating the best of me and enjoying the challenges that the journey presents along the way.
I wish you the very best for your goal setting in 2020. Go ahead, be brave, be consistant and follow the journey.
Life after physical trauma can leave us with many negative thoughts and reactions – how we emotionally conquer these is half the battle!
After trauma, life changes and it generally changes for a lifetime. We have to reevaluate our day to day journey and the one we often took for granted – we have to learn how our new journey will take place.
Life for me prior to my SCAD / Heart Attack was busy, active and one that was simple. Prior to our posting to the US, I worked full-time in a primary school that I absolutely loved, was busy chasing the kids from activity to activity, had a husband in command, social activities were a plenty, two dogs that needed to be walked everyday, a spin bike that needed riding, I enjoyed the occasional drink(s).
We had never contemplated me becoming so close to not being here.
Life now, 8 months post SCAD / Heart Attack is still busy chasing the kids, still active but not quiet as simple as it onces was. I am currently not working due to being in the US and to be honest, I couldn’t work full time at the moment – the tiredness would see me napping under a desk.
Two of the biggest hurdles have been finding a new pace to keep active, keeping my mental health in check and embracing this new way of life.
I’ve discussed before my love for lifting weights and hammering it out in the gym, these days the activities I do are walking, indoor cycling (no hills) and playing golf. The pace is totally different and one that I am coming to terms with. The irony of my SCAD & Heart Attack is that I was doing everything in my power to keep my heart and body healthy – cardio, strength training, good diet and plenty of sleep and it seems that my love for hammering it out in the gym literally tore my artery….crazy!
The biggest mental battle I have is the medication – I am terrible at taking medication. I don’t like taking paracetomol for a headache so taking 8 tablets a day is just something I have to do but not something I will get used to – I do know it’s not forever and appreciate the benefits of why I’m taking it.
I have aways been fairly body conscious and stuggle most days with the way my body looks and the way it’s feeling at the moment. I try to focus on the the healthy points – my heart is strong, my artery has healed and I am alive. My husband is amazing and always tells me that he would rather have me a little rounded than not here…love the man for loving me the way I am.
For SCAD, the chance of reoccurence is about 30% and this sometimes plays on my mind – the what if’s. I don’t dwell on this number and I am certainly not living my life consumed by the number, nor do I think about it daily. I am aware, listen to my body and would rather live my life taking the advice and medical knowledge we currently know to ensure my heart stays strong but without putting undue pressure on it (no crossfit).
My family has also been impacted by the changes and the way we communicate on a daily basis has especially changed. I ensure that if I miss a phone call or receive a text from either my husband or kids, I reply asap. A wait in reply doesn’t necessarly send them into panic mode, but it does make them a little anxious. If I am going for a walk, shower or a nap, I send a quick text to let them know and one after when I am finished – I am certain this will tapper off but not just yet. It gives them a little piece of mind.
We all go through changes whether from a physical trauma, loss, move, change in circumstances, how we move forward is part of the challenge. My journey is still going forward:)
As a Aussie family in the US we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey and pumpkin pie for dessert (we will go without candied yams (sweet potato and marshmellos).
As I sit and ponder the process for the day, what time to put the turkey in and how many people will be filling our house – we like to open our home to those that are not travelling to family or those that are not having family visit – another part of Military Life, I cannot stop thinking about all that I am Thankful for.
I am thankful to be here to celebrate with my family and to welcome new friends and old into our home.
I am thankful for my husband who I have always loved and admired and for the man he is today. It’s been a journey for us and has certainly made our marriage even stronger.
I am thankful for our children who keep me busy, who understand when I need a nap and who keep me laughing and smothered in love, even if they are laughing at my grey hair. It’s the hugs and the ‘love you mumma’ that I am thankful for the most.
I am thankful for the love and support that we have received this year from those we love and for those who we had only just met.
I am thankful for the generosity of those we live near.
I am thankful for the phone calls, text messages, facebook messages I have and still am recieving from people checking in to see how my beating heart is. I understand how busy everybody is but am truly thankful that these are ongoing – our lives are filled with amazing people.
I am thankful for those that have offered their prayers for our family and for those that paused to think about us.
I am thankful that I have found the joys and frustration that is the game of golf to keep my mind focused, body moving and some amazing ladies to laugh with.
I am thankful for those that have joined me on my blogging journey and for taking the time to read, share and follow.
No matter where we are, we do not need a Thanksgiving holiday to be thankful. Be kind, give somebody a helping hand, make that phone call, tell somebody you love them, give that hug, cook that meal for somebody, write that note and be the best version of you!
“Don’t take anyone for granted, be thankful for the people in your life, show them love, show them kindess“
Each year we read and learn more about not only the impacts of grief but the way we deal with and support others going through grief.
Grief impacts our lives in ways that we ourselves don’t understand and grief can come from many different areas in our lives, the death of a family member, a traumatic personal experience, illness of a loved one, personal injury and sickness which has lead to a change in ones current life, loss of property or the family pet.
For me, I am a sensitive person, my emotions readily show whether it’s written on my face, my open tears falling and I am that person who will cry with happy and sad occasions. For many, the inability to express emotion whether openly or personally can often be seen as cold or in a sense a product of upbringing or employment. I am a strong believer that grief is a personal experience and the way that a person expresses their own grief is a journey for that person only.
My children for instance are very different people, they show their emotions at very different times and in different ways. I have two that are very emotionally strong but are sensitive over things they are passionate about, they are caring and show great empathy to every person they come across, however, they are both not big criers, even in difficult or sad times. They are able to regulate their emotions to the situation and look at things very rationally. One, is very sensitive and can be quick to show emotion – whether its frustration, disappointment or genuine sadness, little eyes will well very quickly. All three of my children have certain triggers when all eyes will well – The Last Post will send all of them in to flooding silent tears.
A person needs to be able to grieve in their own personal way and without judgement! Whether you are a person who openly cries, a person who can regulate emotions during difficult times, a person who cries in the shower, a person who looks down during services taking it all in – your grieving process is yours.
The greatest gift you can give somebody who is grieving is unconditional support, speak of the reason for their grief, if somebody has passed – speak their names and if needed, just sit! For the person going through grief – this is your journey and there is no right or wrong way.
We are all told, “live your life to the fullest”; I am here to do just that. Life With The Webbers lets you in on all the struggles and joys of life being a Defence Family, the ups and downs of being a Spouse to a Soldier and the joys and hardships of being a Mother that often has to do everything while Dad is away working. So, sit back, relax, and read on.