Life behind the lens 

Life behind the lens 

I’ve had quite a shit time health wise over the past 9 months – seizures, blackouts, hepatitis E, anxiety and panic attacks have all but consumed my life for a large proportion of this time. 
The bloggersphere is full of blogs documenting the best edited versions of themselves and I guess to an extent I’m guilty of doing the same at times. 
I want this blog to be as relatable as possible to the great many and am here today to talk you through some snapshots I’ve shared on here, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and what was really going on during that time. I’ve touched on a couple of things on my YouTube channel and given some life updates, but here’s a further look into life behind the lens;

This snap was taken minutes before I had a seizure. I was strutting around Hitchin town, posing for photos and looking sassy AF. I was pretty on edge that day and having a few wobbly leg moments (more than I would normally) but didn’t think too much of it. I was walking down some steps and my legs started to tremble, my head span as I cried out for help and darkness. The next thing I know I’m waking up on the concrete floor with my friend Kayleigh and some strangers surrounding me. 

I’d spent the days into the run up of this photo at home, holed up and exhausted from my seizure. The doctor had signed me off for the week and I was heading out for the first time since it happened. I was shitting my pants before leaving and felt completely on edge until I got back to the safety of our flat. 

This photo was taken a couple of days after I’d been discharged from hospital with Hepatitis E. I was itching like crazy and my shades are covering the yellow eyes that came with the side effects. I didn’t know at this point that it would get worse before it got better. 

This snap was taken before we went out to meet my family for my uncle’s 50th birthday party. I’d been throwing up pretty much all day but I really wanted to show my face. My entire family could see that I wasn’t well and I’d lost a lot of weight due to not being able to keep anything down. An hour after this was taken I was throwing up in the toilets again and Aaron had to take me back home. The doctor then signed me off again for another 2 weeks after laughing at me when I asked if I could go back to work again. 

You can’t see (because Instagram filters are the greatest at times like this) but I was popping to my auntie’s for a barbecue and was covered in scratches all over my legs. The jaundice was horrendous and itching uncontrollable. I had multiple plasters all over my legs to cover the bleeding wounds and I had to cut our time short so I could go home and nurse my wounds. 

This was from another day, but I posted it on the day that I had my appointment with my neurologist. He confirmed my worst fears that my seizures were due to the return of my epilepsy (from childhood) and I would need to take anti seizure medications to prevent them happening again. I can’t explain how this diagnosis made me feel – most people would think that I’d be relieved to know what it was and to an extent I was. But part of me couldn’t comprehend that it was back – my whole world turned upside down. 
Epilepsy had taken over my world and most importantly to me, my independence. I could no longer drive, leave the flat on my own, go home on my own (we live on the top floor of our block with concrete stairs – I dont want to risk something happening when I’m on my own), my car would sit there unused and I’d still have to carry on paying the finance. 
These might seem like small things, but unless you’ve had a life changing diagnosis like epilepsy – these are the things that come to your head. Aaron has been so amazing throughout and really supportive – I dread to think how I could have coped without him! 

This was me the day I returned to work after being out of the office for 7 weeks. I’d lost a stone in the midst of the hepatitis E due to being unable to eat as much, but truly believe the best thing I could have done was to go back to work. 
Having some normality back in my life has helped me come to terms with my diagnosis, which I’m still not completely over – but it has given me a lot of perspective about my working life. 
I love my job and think I am pretty good at it (if I do say so myself 😉) but have a tendency to get so wrapped up in it that I forget that there’s more to life than a pension (I work in finance lol). If being poorly has taught me anything it’s the following a) there’s more to life than work and b) I’m not made for life on the dole. 

And here is me today. Holed up at home feeling sorry for myself that I can’t jump in the car and go shopping, binging on romcoms on Netflix. My skin in minging, my hair a mess and do you know what? I couldn’t give a shit whether people see this. 
Let’s embrace life behind the lens and remember that although a photo speaks a thousand words – there’s more to someone’s life than what they share online. 
Until next time… 
Gaby xxx

25 Comments

  1. August 5, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Damn you’ve had a rough journey! I wish you all the best for the future 🙂

  2. August 6, 2017 / 4:05 am

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all that! I hope that things get better for you! You’re handling everything so well, you’ve got this!

  3. August 6, 2017 / 5:05 am

    Your realness and genuine personality is refreshing. Keep on pushing!

  4. Carla Kiteos
    August 6, 2017 / 6:43 am

    So open and honest. Hope you’re feeling better xx

  5. August 6, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Wow what a great post Gabby loved how open and honest you are about your feelings. Hope you’re feeling better x

  6. Kayleigh Zara
    August 6, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I’m so sorry to read about this and I completely understand how this has changed your life. My mum was diagnosed with a neurological disorder around three years ago and in that time I’ve seen her fit multiple times, loss her independence completely and it’s changed her life. She’s no longer able to do anything by herself at all. I hope that you’re able to find a medication that can help you control the epilepsy as it’s so horribly lifechaning!
    Always here if you need someone to talk to or just want to rant x
    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    • August 6, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      Thank you so much and wishing your mum all the best for the future – neurological disorders are so difficult to treat and can be extremely difficult to live with xxx

  7. August 6, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    It’s lovely to see the story of the blogger; so real and honest. 🙂

    • August 6, 2017 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you lovely – I’ll get there in the end ❤️

  8. August 20, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Hi hun. I’m so sorry to read about your rough journey but SO PROUD OF YOU FOR SHARING! YOU’RE AWESOME! I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 24. I’d had it since I was 8 and nobody fucking listened, so I went undiagnosed for ages (I won’t bore you with the details here, I moan about it on my blog haha). It does suck, but it reminds you every day of how strong you are, especially in comparison to others ❤️

    • August 20, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Thank you so much!! It’s such a shit thing to try to explain to people so it’s great that having this platform has helped me connect with someone who’s going through the same! I’ll be sure to have a read of your blog (I don’t know about you but I get a little bit obsessed with reading about other people’s epilepsy stories!) ❤️❤️

      • August 22, 2017 / 6:25 pm

        I don’t know why I said I was diagnosed at 24 by the way, I meant 28, SEE! My brain is just a mess lol. I told my partner last night that sometimes I don’t even know where I am and we laughed so hard, but it’s true! I’m obsessed with stories too! I get so isolated sometimes. As great as it is having people in the real world holding my hand, sometimes I need to be able to read other people’s stories to really know that I’m not alone, not making this all up, that I’m part of something. Who knew that the internet could ACTUALLY be helpful haha xoxo

        • August 22, 2017 / 7:17 pm

          Proper loled at this!! And I know what you mean! I know in the grand scheme of things my epilepsy isn’t as debilitating as others (yours sounds a lot more frequent than mine!) but memory loss is a real thing and I totally understand what you mean about not knowing where you are!! Xx

  9. August 22, 2017 / 2:59 am

    Wow, you had a rough time! It’ll get better and I like the outfits 🙂 thanks for being real

  10. August 24, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Gosh you’ve been through so much – you’re such a strong individual and I’m sure others gain comfort from reading of your experiences and attituide towards it all! X

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