Meet Tommy!

For a long time I have been wanting a cat and on Friday I finally got my wish. Everybody meet Tommy! Tommy is a rescue cat that we got from our local cat and dogs home. He is a year old and, as you can tell, is super cute.

The thing is, I am actually allergic to cats. I am perfectly willing to take antihistamines to help any reactions. That being said, my allergies have actually been ok with Tommy and Tommy is like a wee shadow with me at the moment and is coming to lie on top of me and next to me for lots of snuggles. In any case, having a pet has a lot of benefits.

  • Company
  • Routine
  • Distraction
  • Boost mood
  • Help relieve stress
  • Can boost self esteem
  • A sense of purpose
  • A conversation starter

Having a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, can be socially isolating so having a pet provides companionship. Not only that, but a pet has unconditional love for it’s owner. You can’t get dressed? A pet is not going to judge that. You are really tired? A pet is not going to judge that. In fact a pet, especially a cat or dog is likely to curl up next to you. Tommy has already been a great comfort for me in curling up next to me when I feel rubbish and feel like I cannot move.

Having a pet means having responsibilities. This weekend I have felt like I could not move and get out my bed. I have had to move to feed Tommy and to look after him. It might not be much but taking care of him is like taking care of myself. I gave Tommy food, so I had something to eat myself. It has made me feel like I have a purpose and I am not completely useless.

All weekend I have been texting my friends about Tommy and all the funny things he has done. He’s been a good distraction from my pain. I think he knows I am in pain. He keeps coming over to me and lying next to me. It’s been a sore weekend, but I have been the happiest I have been in a while and it’s due to having Tommy around.

Remember to be nice to people, you don’t know the struggles they may be having. They are just feeling their way through life, the same as you are.

If you are able to give an animal a forever home, I fully recommend it. I feel it has a lot of positives, for myself and for Tommy.

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Petals of Remembrance

 

Today I attended a beautiful remembrance service arranged by Accord Hospice. Accord Hospice is a hospice in my home town, Paisley. Accord’s purpose is to provide compassionate, palliative and end of life care to people. They strive to then continue to comfort loved ones through the bereavement process and remembrance. They “…seek to optimise all that brings meaning, comfort and hope, ensuring that we value and celebrate life in all its diversity” (part of the Accord mission).

Every year the hospice puts on a service of remembering in honour of the people who have passed away and their families. Each year is a different theme. Today the theme was petals. The hospice had sent a petal shape out to my papa and the idea was to write the name or a memory or a message of remembrance for the loved one you have lost. Petals were provided at the back of the hall for anybody who wanted to write their own message. If you look at the picture below, all the different colours on the stage are all the ‘petals’ with all the messages of remembrance. It felt like such an intimate moment when people went to lay their petal.The service was a chance for people to come together to remember loved ones through song, music, poems, prayers, memories and love.

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At one point of the service petals fell over us all. Realistically, this was people up the stairs, walking along throwing petals over everybody but it was a beautiful moment. It was like receiving your own message, or sign, from your loved one.

The theme of nature is particularly important to me. There is a tree near the family plot in the cemetery. It is a beautiful tree, full of blossoms.On the day that we buried my nana’s ashes, as my papa and my uncle lowered the casket, I got tapped on the head by a branch from the tree and petals fell off. I took this to be a comforting pat on the head off my nana. Another important part of the service was when “On Eagles Wings” was sung. This was a hymn that we picked for my nana’s funeral.

On the 20th of May my papa, my aunt and uncle, my sister and I stayed overnight at the hospice to be with my nana. The staff at the hospice were fantastic! Not only did the provide the best care to my nana but they also looked after all of us. At 7am of the 21st (of May) we were altogether with my nana as she passed away. This service was very important. It was a chance for me to think about my nana, to think about time spent together, to think about her. Around 5am on the morning my nana passed away I was in the room with her, holding her hand and “Con te partiro” came on. At the time, I was so emotional that I started to cry even heavier. I was so annoyed by it. Calming music was being played to try and block out the sound of the nebuliser, and to help keep the atmosphere calm to help us and my nana. “Con te partiro” is translated to “Time to say Goodbye.” Now, in hindsight, I think it was an important time to have. Many different pieces of music was played that night and I cannot remember any of them other than ‘Time to say Goodbye.’ This is such a poignant memory for me, and it is one that is going to stay with me for life. I thought about how cheeky my nana was. She was so funny, and the faces she pulled. I thought about all the outings we had, the arguments we had, the cries we had, the laughs we had.My nana passing away was one of the most difficult time of my life and having a time and space to reflect upon everything, i feel, has been beneficial for me.

I have written about my nana before. She was such an inspiration. She made such an impact on people when meeting her. Everybody comments on the loss that they feel without her here. She was loving, strong, determined, loyal, stubborn and she fought a brave battle. If I can become half as charismatic, present and loving person as my nana was, I will have succeeded in life.

Check out more about Accord Hospice here: http://www.accordhospice.org.uk/

 

On a completely different note, today marks the start of Fibromyalgia Awareness week. Later on during the week I think I may add another blog, about fibromyalgia. If anybody has any questions about life with fibromyalgia, please feel free to ask. I may not have all the answers but I am happy to speak about my own experiences.

For more information check out http://www.fmauk.org/