Category Archives: Health

Dear Bereaved

Dear Bereaved,

They say bereavement is a journey, one that never really ends but has easier paths and harder paths. I’d say since my dad died I stuck my roller skates on, load my backpack up with more and more stuff to keep me busy and preoccupied from grief and got my head down and tried and skate through it as fast as I can.

Except I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’ve crashed into a wall, and fallen flat on my arse, the contents of my backpack are strewn around me. I’ve realised that although it was the only strategy I felt I could adopt at the time (I had a three week old baby she took priority, then she got easier, so I took more & more on at work to keep me busy and distracted) it was not a sustainable strategy.

So I’m stopping to rest for a while and I’m taking some time to sort through my backpack, getting rid of some of the items causing the most weight and stress, working out what’s most important, before picking myself up to continue with this journey. It’s scary because I am no quitter and some of the things in the back pack being got rid of will cause difficult consequences for other people and I really really hate letting people down.

Actually admitting I’ve crashed into a wall is quite embarrassing for me too, I’m usually the perfect superskater, I don’t ever stumble or fall, I just carry on, but heck on the otherside of the wall is a giant drop. So I’m glad I’m stopping now and sorting it out with a bruised bum and pride rather than carry on hurtling on and ending up with a broken neck/brain.

Think I might stroll the next part of my bereavement journey. Allow myself to cry that I can’t see my dad over Christmas, that he can’t see or celebrate Omble’s first birthday (he never met her) or Oddlers 3rd Birthday which falls exactly a week after the anniversary of his death. I need to get through all these milestones properly, carefully and finally allow myself to grieve. Properly, with the help of my family, friends and a bereavement counsellor, not by ignoring distracting and hurtling on.

So where are you in your bereavement journey and how are you choosing to journey?

Lots of love



Dear Voices

Dear Voices,

Tonight we were sat all together at the dinner table, me, my husband, our two children, my mother and my brother who is schizophrenic and has heard voices in his head for the last ten years.

During the meal Oddler (my 2.8year old) was pretending to chat on the phone (the palm of her hand) and was talking to her car apparently. He was big and plastic and had had a nice day. She made us all smile.

It suddenly struck me- no one thinks twice about the voices in our childrens heads- we celebrate them, we are amused by them, there is nothing in them to fear (even if the child themselves may sometimes be scared by certain voices eg. “The monster threatening to eat them”). We know that these voices are “normal”, and if anything they indicate our child is imaginative, quirky, creative and other positive qualities.

So how does it shift into this perception of fear and stigmatisation of adults having voices? What is normal in children is abnormal in adults. I understand the rationale why but the stigmatisation that is associated because of this can be hard to bear.

I don’t really remember my brothers childhood voices, and he never really speaks about his adult voices so I have no real idea about what his life is like living with these voices day in day out. What I do know is for him this is his reality, his normality, and I have decided I am no longer going to fear these voices or think badly of him for having them.

If I am not fearful of my daughters voices, I owe it to my adult brother to think the same.

My brother hears voices and he is imaginative, quirky, creative, intelligent and kind and many other positive qualities.

So thank you to my own voice in my head for helping me come to this realisation.


Dear PMT

Dear PMT,
Can say as I’ve missed you in the year and a half of being pregnant and breastfeeding and before that you only re-emerged a few times post being pregnant and breastfeeding so I have mostly had over 3years of being PMT free.

I definitely don’t suffer as badly as some women I know, and I know how lucky I am to have had no major issues with PMT or periods or depression in general, but today I am weepy. Weepy for my dad, weepy for death, weepy for my girls being so awesome and growing up so fast, weepy for LordCurd coming to give me a cuddle to cheer me up. I know this will pass in a day or so I will be absolutely fine again, but today I am going to indulge me and my hormones and just weep as I need too.

Pass the tissues.


P.S if you have any tips on how to vanquish you then do pass them my way. Ta.

Dear Angst Bombs

Dear Angst Bombs,

An Angst Bomb dropped last week.

On my head.

Normally I let the worries of the world wash over me, having a relentlessly cheerful “Twill all be fine” attitude.  Remaining upbeat and positive even when things are pretty shitty is actually something I pride myself on and has got me through some pretty tough times. Maybe before I just selectively ignored what was going on?

Last week I found myself utterly overwhelmed by the world.  I was filled with helpless rage and relentless worry, so much so I had to take a break from my twitter timeline (although admittedly I still tweeted and replied to @mentions) and all other forms of news as I just could not take any more.

Some of the things that worried me (and are still worrying me) about the world are-

  • Abortion rights in a world where some men claim your body can stop you from getting pregnant if its a “legitimate rape”.
  • The complete lack of understanding that a terrifying amount of people have about what consent actually is and rape or sexual assault are.
  • The debt, the cuts, unemployment, the rich getting richer the poor getting poorer. The prospect of Europe going bust.
  • The increasing inequalities in this country faced by women, children and young people, anyone non white, anyone non heterosexual for the benefit of the white heterosexual rich man.
  • The dismantling of our NHS
  • The powers that be shitting all over education and our young people.
  • Climate Change and food shortages.
  • War, famine, disease, greed, evil etc.
  • The ever increasing cost of living
  • The arseholes running our country- wiping themselves all over us and then flushing us down the pan.
  • All this that my daughters have to look forward to and grow up in. I don’t want this world for them. I want a better one.

It all came to a head when I found myself shrieking to LordCurd “and the potatoes- the poor potatoes!”, as my angst levels reached a new height when reading about how the potato blight had affected the farmers supplying our veg box due to this terrible summer.   He has been taking the piss ever since, and I realised I needed to take a break from the world (including my veg box leaflet) and not get all consumed by my rage and my panic at what is going on in the world as otherwise I will be rendered utterly incapable of doing anything about it.

I want positive change, I want things to stop feeling so futile, I want to stop feeling so angry but I also feel incredibly helpless about how to achieve any of that and worry about burn out if I don’t learn how to defuse these angst bombs so I can keep on raging and not end up with angst fatigue which renders me incapable anyway.

So if you could send the de-fusion blueprint to assist with this current situation that would be marvellous. Alternatively if we could harness the energy of my angst bombs to make green energy for all, and the resultant Nobel prize I would obviously get awarded would assist in me easily being elected to president of the world, whereupon I would immediately sort all the shit out and make it a better place for all. That would be lovely.



P.S I realise my list makes me sound a bit of a twat- I probably should have included did also worry about what I was cooking for tea, why Oddler keeps biting me, how much Peppa Pig is too much Peppa Pig, whether we have nits again, whether Omble had a form of epilepsy as she seems vacant sometimes and has virtually no fontanelle and a funny shaped skull!? Whether my tooth was going to fall out due to gum issue caused by tongue piercing, and so on and so on and many other day to day worries that comes with living a life….

Dear Noreen the Nit

Dear Noreen The Nit,

Or Pediculus Humanus Capitis to give you your rightful name (but I prefer Noreen), you are currently infesting my hair, I don’t blame you, my hair is lovely and so is my toddlers. I know how you love children’s hair especially, and with her being at nursery we are obviously your perfect hostesses. I had been pondering if you had taken up residence for a few days and bought a nit comb and treatment yesterday but combing my hair and Oddler’s yesterday yielded nothing.

You are clever squatters, good at hiding but causing itchy harm and whilst idly combing my hair, waiting for the kettle to boil, I struck lucky.

20120712-143856.jpg This is my nit. Noreen the Nit.

I’m sorry I have just forcibly evicted you from my head and shortly I will be carrying out chemical warfare against your race to destroy your civilisation in my families hair. I’m kind of sorry I have to do this (apart from the fact you are itchy and annoying parasites), you see I studied you in great detail at university and I think you are awesome creatures, evolving so your claw and opposable “thumb” are the exact diameter of a human hair (and likewise your close relatives Pediculus Humanus Humanus (Body Louse), and very distantly related Pthithuris Pubis (Pubic Louse) have their pincing structures to be specific to their hair type. (although pubic lice can also live in eyelashes apparently but obviously I have no idea how they get there as they can’t jump. 😉 )

Anyhow I am not embarrassed in the slightest to have you. It doesn’t make me a dirty unclean person, I’m just a human in contact with kids. Soon you will be gone and stop feasting on my scalp and all will be fine. Last time I had you I had you for three months before finding you. This was pre kids doing an incredibly stressful university course, the doctor was first saying it was eczema, then dandruff, then stress itch, until finally when I had rashy bites going all down my neck in my long hair we discovered the nits! I had got them from spending a week with some primary kids, but hadn’t thought about the kid contact so we just assumed it wouldn’t be nits and couldn’t ever find any evidence of them, until the an eagle eyed locum doctor found them on my third visit because the scalp itch was driving me mad and the shampoos and creams I had been prescribed were not working- funny that with them not being nit lotion and all.

So yeah I am rather flattered you love my hair so much and are so incredibly good at hiding in it. I know you prefer clean hair to dirty as its easier to move about in, but soon you and your family must die. Currently you are still pootling about on the envelope I took the picture of you on and I am kind of loathe to properly squish you, I know you will die soon enough anyway without a human host, so maybe you, but only you, will get saved from the nit napalm. You get this reprieve as I suppose you sort of did me a favour by being the only nit I have ever known to be feckless enough to be found and thus alerting me to you families invasion of my families hair.

So thank you. I owe you one, in fact I’m almost tempted to pop you in the envelope and sneak you onto the head of someone I can’t stand so you can carry on surviving as you have done for millions of years.



P.S if anyone gets itchy reading this, look behind you to check for me with my envelope

Dear Oddler re. Asthma

Dear Oddler,

When I was about 4 years old we stayed in a friends house on holiday. They had a cat. The cat slept on my chest for a few nights and one morning I woke up unable to breathe properly. I tried to call my mum and dad, but they just snarled at me “it’s 5am go back to sleep”, I kept trying but they kept shouting at me to shut up, and because I couldn’t really breathe, I couldn’t really shout, so I was just making lots of wails and grunts. Eventually I knew I had to go and get them because I was really struggling. I don’t know how long I was calling them but to four year old me it felt like an eternity. The room they were sleeping in was up a steep flight of stairs, I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up and thinking I would never make it to the top, but I knew I had to. I had to get my mum and dad to understand I couldn’t breathe, they were the only people who could help me. When I finally reached the top my dad took one look at me and they whisked me to A&E where I was nebulised. It was my first asthma attack and I was on ventolin as needed from then on. A few more hospitalisations due to asthma occured after then. I know how much guilt my parents felt from that episode and I vividly remember how utterly terrified I was that my mum and dad weren’t coming to make things better and I couldn’t breathe.

When you were 10months you had got croup and I went back to the doctors four times until they decided to admit you. I knew you weren’t right and it was serious. I remembered how I felt the morning of my first asthma attack, I vowed I would never put you in the same situation and that I would always check on you if you called me (Admittedly I haven’t always stuck to it as sometimes you are playing up at bedtime and so you get ignored a bit if you are clearly playing up but but I do check on you once asleep and not if ill.). Last night you were not sleeping well and wailing lots, as was your sister who had a milder cough. I was on my knees with tiredness as you kept waking each other up but I kept going in to check on you and at 3am I decided you breathing was sufficiently serious to warrant medical attention. LordCurd slightly disagreed so we tried sitting with you for ten minutes in the bathroom with a shower going to see if the steam helped first (you weren’t going blue but you were fighting to breathe). As there was no improvement I insisted on taking you to A&E (your dad never had childhood asthma so doesn’t know what it is like, but I was vividly remembering 4year old me and how scary it was, I didn’t want you to ever feel like I felt, that your parents weren’t taking your breathing difficulties seriously).

I took you up there, you were lethargic and grumpy, you were very weak and exhausted (it was 3am and you hadn’t really slept), you were initially very reluctant to try the salbutamol in a spacer but within 3puffs your chest eased and by the 10th puff you had already started to cheer up. It was literally a miracle transformation. You then started demanding I read you stories and you wanted your shoes and a drink. They gave you some steroids in a syringe and cup which one doctor was betting we would never get down you as it was vile and bitter, but you gulped it down happily without even needing something to take the taste away, the doctor was very surprised, and I was very proud. You got a blue helium balloon and a sticker for being a brave girl. You were very excited by both (you call the balloon a blue moon, and its currently tied to your bed) We took you home and went back to bed and you slept in until 10.15am and fee much better now.

Your diagnosis is either viral induced wheeze or asthma (but they tend not to formally diagnose until 4) so we have salbutamol and steroids for the next few days to keep you breathing well. I suspect you will ultimately turn out to have asthma like I did but that’s okay, the treatment is incredibly swift and effective and I promise I won’t ever leave you feeling terrified and unable to breathe with your parents ignoring you like I was. I will always whisk you to hospital if I think you need it- thankfully we live within a 5mins drive of A&E.

I hope you never develop a serious case of asthma, mine was never too bad and I grew out of it by 11ish, with the occasional mild wheeze due to allergies (am allergic to your grandparents’ house- your grandma, my mum, doesn’t like hoovering, ever!)

Anyhow I love you and I am so glad I took you last night and you are feeling so much better.
Phew. Thanks to nursery for their vigilance in knowing you were out of sorts and letting me know so I collected you early yesterday and thanks to the likely staff at A&E who treated you so promptly and effectively. You are a very lucky girl to be so well cared for.

Love MummyCurd

P.S you just woke up and teddy had to have the medicine first and then teddy had to do your medicine as she is a Doctor Teddy 🙂




Dear Femfresh

Dear Femfresh,

Have to say initially I laughed out loud reading this response to the facebook backlash to your product via @crazycolours. It took me an embarrasingly long time to realise this was a spoof response penned by the incredibly talented @Hollybrocks. Interesting to note that your Facebook page is currently AWOL.

So yeah even though this poetic response is not real I felt like responding as if it is because it’s either that or work on my job applications, so I am going to pretend to be “Offended of Roman Spa Town” and respond as a disgruntled feminist parent (however in my usual double standard way I am not going to berate for the use of the more offensive terms for the female genitals as I have come to the conclusion I have no problem with slang for body parts, I have a problem when that slang is used to describe things other than female genitals, which in this case it wasn’t.)

Being a “Wannabe Humourless Feminist” (Glosswitch beat me to it), I have decided to take issue with the response as it completely neglects to  address the fact that the product is actually irrelevant and unnecessary for vaginal health as I outlined here yesterday.  But I suppose that would be an even worse marketing campaign than Woo Hoo for your Frou Frou,  to point out that the product is utterly pointless and actually does more harm than good, so I expect that is why the spoofer (@HollyBrocks– brilliant superb amazing job) also omitted that crucial part to the response. (I wonder how Femfresh will actually ultimately respond- so far they have now responded by taking down the Facebook page!)

Being a wannabe humourless feminist mother, I did decide to take exception to part of the rhyme though. “Fuck mums and dads“- as I am a mum and I have written extensively about naming of genitals (here, here, here).  As a mum I have absolutely no problem with the correct scientific terms being used for the female reproductive organs for me and for my daughters. I refuse to euphemise them (although Oddler has euphemised “vulva” into “buddha“, but that’s okay she is only two!).  I think you may find many parents feel like me- a vagina, a vulva, a clitoris, the labia- parts of the body- nothing to be ashamed about and  we probably don’t appreciate being sworn at as part of a collective idea that all mums and dads are uncomfortable with the correct names of the genitals.  Many of us are quite comfortable with these terms, although I appreciate some are not but to be quite honest those parents need to get over themselves. IT IS A VAGINA- 51% of the worlds population has one. But that’s just something I felt the need to point out, as it made me cross, now I have to get my humourless feminist badge right? Please?

I can’t be the only mum in the world calling a vulva a vulva, a vagina a vagina, and a Spade, a diggywoowoo can I?

Yours Sincerely