Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Tourettes - A Diagnosis

Tourettes - A Diagnosis

We were on our way home from the school run when my phone began to ring. I pulled the car over to find it was an unknown caller ID, I had a feeling it would be about a potential paediatric appointment for Leo. It hadn’t been all that long since we saw the doctor, but I had told her I wanted to be seen as soon as possible.

I missed the call and had no way of calling back, so I could only hope that they would try again. As luck would have it, they did.

I tentatively answered the phone, it was the reception at the clinic. They were advising me that they had a cancellation appointment for the very next day, which of course I snapped up. 

I am very lucky in the sense that work allow me to be flexible, and I knew that school would be more than supportive of us getting back in front of the paediatrician.

I told Leo that we were going back to see the doctor in regards to his tics. Leo and I have talked about his tics in the past, he knows what they are, and we’re very aware that the more anxiety he feels, the more the tics manifest themselves.

Leo was really pleased that we were heading back to the doctor in the wake of the squeal tics that had exploded just before they broke up for the Easter break. Thankfully over the half term they had begun to relinquish their hold, but he was still very twitchy.

When I say twitchy I mean, facial grimaces, blinking, head tilts, lip smacking and even hitting himself. I ignore them all, I want him to let everything out, I want him to feel comfortable and I want him to know that at home with his family is his safe space. When he has attempted to hold them in at school during the day, they fly out like sausages sizzling in a pan. 

I’m certain that’s what happened with the whole squeal tic.

The appointment on this occasion wasn’t at the local hospital, it was the medical centre. As it was a cancellation appointment I didn’t have a letter, just a post code. Luke arrived at work late to pick me up, which meant we to got into town at exactly 10am with no time to spare (yes I was absolutely fuming). The medical centre is in a row of 3 buildings, one being a doctors, one being a pharmacy and the last one being what we needed, if only I had known the exact building...

I wandered into the doctors, lined up for 5 minutes (taking me past our appointment time) only to be told we weren’t in the right place, I was getting so panicked. I had waited years to get in front of this particular paediatrician, and we had MISSED it!

I started plodding back to the car, defeated. When I came across the last building.... and I thought ‘I wonder!’.

Leo and I ran up the stairs to reception, who confirmed that we had found the right place and they would check to see if she would still see us. 

I sat there with everything crossed.

Tourettes - A Diagnosis

Seconds later the paediatrician walked into the reception and beckoned us to follow her back to her office.

We sat down, and she started talking to us, she already had all of Leo’s information on her computer screen. Details of the last appointment with her colleague, the letter from school about the squeal tic and lots of other historical information. We had recently had an updated educational psychologist in school, which I emailed over to her while we were in the appointment so she could get a feel for how things were going on an educational footing.

She asked Leo questions, Leo answered. She said something along the lines of ‘I can see your having issues with your hands’, I cannot remember the exact wording, but Leo was doing his twitchy tics as I described earlier. I was just glad that they could be observed.

I told her my worry was that she was going to discharge us. I told her I thought that was wrong and that we needed to be on her books going forward. Leo needed the support from the professionals now.

Within about 5 minutes, we had a verbal diagnosis.

‘I think it’s fair to say that because the tics have been in play for over 12 months, and there has been a vocal tic combined with motor tics, I am quite happy to diagnose Tourettes’.

I could have thrown myself across the room and hugged this woman. Finally a reason for Leo as to why he can’t help doing these things. Finally a reason for him to tell people who ask why he can’t stop. 

Finally just a reason.

Leo and I had spoken about Tourettes before, he knew it was just a medical term for his tics. But it means that I could go into school and they could explain it to his class mates.

Tourettes - A Diagnosis

We talked about potential medication, and both said simultaneously how we didn’t want to medicate. 

She was happy that I was of the same mindset as her. We discussed a potential CAHMS Route at some point in the future if needed, so we could access CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). At this point though we both agreed that the best way to was to try and manage Leo’s anxiety.

Something we strive to do anyway. The problem is a lot of Leo’s anxiety stems from finding school difficult. Leo goes into year 4 this coming September and I know he finds the expectation very difficult, and I’m sure this is why the squeal tics came to the surface. 

The doctor told us that we would review in the next 6 months, but now we were in the system, if there was a sudden flare up we would be able to get an appointment quicker, and we would get seen. 

So that was that, the appointment came to a close, and it was back to work and school. 

Only this time with a diagnosis.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Tic's, Anxiety & back to the Doctor's

Tourettes symptoms and diagnosis

One of the reasons that this blog has been a little (OK neglected) quiet is that with Leo being that much older these days, I’m that more cautious in what I share. I think that is only natural, and as bloggers we have to take a step back and not ‘over share’ in the way we did when they were younger. 

I’ve shared Leo’s struggles with education over the years, and with recent developments I feel that I need to share these posts. 1. To raise awareness and 2. To promote acceptance to diversity.

Some of you may remember me talking about Leo and his tics, when I say tics I mean involuntary movements that he has no control over. 

Some of which are...
Throat clearing, head tilting, lip smacking, squeals, facial grimaces to name a few. 

Stress and anxiety play a pivotal role in being the trigger for the tics to escalate, and a big factor in the nature of Leo's tics.

It all seemed to kick off most profoundly when we were on holiday last year, I noticed that Leo was contorting his face and grimacing on a very regular basis. It become noticeable to my whole family while we were away, and when we got home I mentioned it to Luke.

Luke quickly dismissed it, but then when we went out for dinner one night, he realised for himself. This was July 2018, and I gave it a few months to see what happened with it, but by October it was still a regular occurrence and I decided to book Leo in at the doctors.

We went along and I explained what was going on. I have to be honest and say I was thinking Tourettes, and that is why I was pushing for a referral to finally see a Paediatrician. The Dr at this point didn’t think it was necessary. She said it was more than likely just a phase, one that he would grow out of, Luke was quick to agree with her.

I on the other hand kept on pushing for the referral. 

I left thinking that we weren’t going to get one, but it later transpired that she had indeed referred us. It didn’t come through for months though, and that took us into this year, I want to say March.

It was a cancellation appointment that we eventually received, which I welcomed, but by this point Leo’s tics had really dropped down, and seemed to have gone away for the most part. Still I gladly accepted the appointment, and we went along as a family.

I took the morning off work, school let us pick Leo up and take him (not that they had ever really noticed the tics in school at this point) and off we went.

It was at our local hospital, a nurse called Leo’s name and then they took his height and weight in readiness to work out his BMI, which I knew was ideal.

Then it was time to meet the Paediatrician, he asked us questions, and then asked Leo questions. Some things were just directed at Leo, and others were based just off of his personal observation. 

Leo’s tics were pretty much none existent on this day, not like they were back over the summer and the end of the year. In fact it was almost like the Dr had been right, and it was just a phase.  

It was no surprise to me when we were discharged (all be it with an open invitation to return if needed), which at this point, I didn’t think we would be needing....

April rolled around quickly, just as the months always seem to do these days, it was quickly approaching Easter and the children were all dreaming of the Easter Bunny and chocolate. 

I was on the school run, just like I do everyday, the bell rang and his teacher was spotting parents and matching them up with their children. 

I spied Leo, and out he came. Throwing his bag at me for me to carry so he could run around. I asked him how his day was, he replied but there was something different. There was a squeal. A high pitched squeal. 

A squeal coming from Leo every couple of seconds. We got back to the car, it was still there. 

We drove home. It was still there and boy did it make me jump on a number of occasions.

We got home, he did his reading, he was so twitchy. His faces were back, he was hitting himself. And there was the squeal.

I knew this was a tic, he has had it briefly before but never as aggressively as this. I didn’t mention it to Leo, one way to really knock a child is to tell them to stop doing something that they have no control over. 

I’ve always found the best way to deal with tics is to just ignore them, but when it’s s vocal tic with the nature that this one had, I knew I was going to have to address if first thing in the morning at school. 

Leo did bring this tic up with me though, he told me how he was worried he was going to get into trouble and that he couldn't help it. 

I ran Leo a big bubble bath, I got him into his PJ’s and read him a story.

The squeal continued. 

Once Leo was tucked up in bed, I went downstairs. I sat on the sofa in silence and the squeal continued, it went on until eventually Leo fell asleep.

Tourettes symptoms and diagnosis

The next morning I took Leo to school. He went in absolutely fine, but inside my own stomach I had that sinking feeling, the feeling that meant I didn’t want to send him in. I just had a foreboding feeling that this was not going into be a good day.

I spoke to his teacher. I played her a recording of the squeal so she could gauge how consistent it had been over that evening. I explained everything I have written here in this blog entry. She had not noticed it the day before, and I couldn’t put a marker on what would have caused it, he had been his usual self that morning previous as I dropped him off.

My biggest concerns were other children being nasty, or Leo getting in to trouble for being disruptive. 

Then I went off to work. By about 1 pm that day I had a call. A call from school. I knew it wasn’t good news. 

It was our SEN teacher advising me that Leo’s squeal tic had been very prominent in class, and it had caused class mates to laugh at him. Some told him to stop, others that he was annoying... it didn’t help his confidence one little bit, and I knew that this would have knocked him for 6.

I was tearing up, the last thing I wanted to do at work, but they fell none the less. 

Leo was upset so they had taken him out of class and created a worry box, they discussed things he was worried about, and while Leo wasn’t in class, they spoke to the children about kindness and how Leo couldn’t help it, and he couldn’t stop it.

It’s a hard thing to explain to a class of 7/8 year old's.

This was 2 days before the school closed for half term, I asked the SEN teacher to put this In writing for me so I could use it as evidence for the doctors appointment I was going to be booking. By the time I collected Leo that afternoon, I had the written evidence in my hand.

Leo was so twitchy. It broke my heart, he looked broken. The squeal was still there, his shoulders twitched and his head was flicking. 

The tics were back worse than ever.

Some of the boys he called friends had fallen out with him. But other boys had taken him under their wing, and for that I will be forever grateful. 

I spoiled him rotten that night. A trip to Tesco’s for a new tin of Pokemon cards, the new boys he was playing with had battles at lunch, and Leo wanted to join in. A tub of lavender Radox, lavender spray for his pillows and a McDonald’s for dinner.

We got home and I knew I had to try and get him as relaxed as I could, and that was the start of our nightly bubble bath I would run for him regardless as to whether or not he needed one.

I called the doctors the following morning and explained I needed an urgent appointment with our doctor as soon as possible. I wanted her to see the tics and how aggressive and frequent they were at this point. 

We got one quickly, the squeal tics were still there when we went, which in a way I was pleased about because it meant she had no choice but to hear it, to witness it as we all had.

As we sat in the waiting area, the tics came fast and thick. I could feel the watchful eyes of other people, other parents judging me. Silently telling me to address the situation with my 'disruptive' child.

I sat there daring anyone to address me. Nobody did.

 Our Doctor called us in. I told her we needed referring again, and she agreed it could be neurological. Which was a step in the right direction, and eliminated the phase idea that was proposed on our last visit. 

Now it was a waiting game again.... but thankfully we were lucky enough to get another cancellation appointment in May.

To be continued...

Sunday, 9 June 2019

A little Bit of News...

Paphos, Cyprus

Well it has been a good old long time since I have dusted off the keyboard and started to write a new post on this here blog.

There are so many reasons why I haven’t, I guess the first and most relevant one is this... Luke and I are in the process of trying to buy a house and sell his flat. We have been in a chain since October 2018, a chain that got within signing reach of exchange... only for Luke’s buyer to pull out just before.

Of course I have my whole house in boxes, the computer is currently on the floor and not really in a place that encourages me to go and type at (hence why I am writing this on my phone #BadBlogger).

Paphos, Cyprus

We did manage to rebuild the chain, but that was short lived and Luke’s buyer was unable to proceed, which meant we lost our dream home once again.

Just this week, we found a new buyer for Luke’s flat. The home we want, our home is still available... so hopefully we will be able to rebuild the chain for a 3rd time.

It is suffice to say that when we do eventually move... I am never moving ever again.

Another big bit of news is, that back in December... Luke finally asked me to be his wife! That is right... we got ENGAGED!

Engagement Idea


I will be writing a more detailed post on this very soon, because it was very romantic and very unexpected, and yes I did cry!

Finally we have had a lot going on with Leo, I won’t go into it all in this post because it’s going to easily be 2 to 3 posts when I get it all down and out of my head. He’s doing brilliantly, but that’s all thanks to the amazing support network he has around him.

Life Unexpected Blog

We have just got back from a holiday to Cyprus, and I foresee a busy year ahead of us. So I thought it was time to dust off the blog and get back to what I love.

Sometimes you just need a long old break to reignite the love you have for something, and I look forward to catching up with everyone.

I have already started drafting up some of our latest adventures, I know that posts have been offline and the tumble weeds have been rife... I will do better and can see 2019 being a great year!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Wedding Vs. Engagement Ring – What’s The Difference?

Wedding Vs. Engagement Ring

Image by Gena M via Flickr

An engagement ring is an important part of the marriage proposal. Usually, it is a beautiful gemstone that’s set on a band. Sometimes, the engagement ring is referred to as the wedding ring, but this is incorrect. So, let’s look at the differences between the two.

The Wedding RingWedding Vs. Engagement Ring

Image by  diamondcentre via Flickr

Wedding rings are the rings that partners exchange during their wedding ceremony. Usually, these are simpler bands compared to engagement rings and don’t have a prominent gemstone or centre diamond. During the ceremony, both partners normally receive a wedding band and they place them on their third fingers on the left hand. Since the wedding band is put on the same finger as the engagement ring, brides often choose to move their engagement ring over to the right hand just for the ceremony. View the Diamonds for Less custom wedding bands in Toronto to choose the perfect ring for your partner.

Men tend to receive their wedding bands on their wedding day, at the ceremony. The men’s varieties are usually thicker in width and made of one type of metal, such as platinum, gold, or titanium. Some men’s band contain small jewels or diamonds.

The Engagement RingWedding Vs. Engagement Ring

Image by Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr

An engagement ring is presented at the time of the proposal. As tradition, women receive the ring and wear it right from the time of the proposal to indicate she is spoken for. Engagement rings vary greatly in style and price, but diamonds tend to be the most common choice.

What Do the Rings Mean?

The tradition of an engagement ring dates back a number of centuries, when a man would ask his beloved’s hand in marriage by presenting her with a valuable ring in exchange for the approval of her father.

Over time, engagement rings have become more extravagant as they grew to represent a man’s wealth. While this may be a dated notion, the tradition of offering an engagement ring has continued.

Should You Wear Both an Engagement Ring and a Wedding


Since the engagement ring is often the flashier ring of the two, many women choose to wear the engagement ring on their left hand or they stack their wedding bands beneath the engagement ring. Some women prefer just to wear a wedding band. It’s really down to personal choice.

Often, men prefer to buy an engagement and wedding ring set to ensure the rings match in style and can be comfortably worn together. But, this is not a set rule, and you can buy the rings separately or even have them custom made.

What About the Cost?

Both engagement rings and wedding bands vary in price depending on the metals used, the size, and the diamonds or gemstones. Generally, engagement rings will include at least one diamond whereas most wedding bands don’t have gemstones, which means that engagement rings are usually more expensive than wedding bands. How much you choose to spend on the rings is a personal choice that comes down to budget and preference.

Both rings represent the bond you and your partner have committed to each other. Whether you choose something elegant and understated or flashy and big, it is a piece of jewellery that will show off your commitment to one another.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Uggs - Boots that last


Years ago my other half treated me to a pair of Uggs, I think this was partly because he was fed up of seeing the worn out soles on my unofficial Ugg boots, and I have to admit that all these years later they are still serving me well. The soles are still in fantastic condition and they are looking over all super.

This one pair of Uggs has ultimately converted me, because as with anything else in life you really do get what you pay for. I have a feeling that my Uggs were a Christmas present dating back from before Leo was born, which makes them over 6 years old. 

How amazing is that?

I used to think that the initial cost was quite pricey but when broken down over a 6 year time frame it really isn't much at all. It is for that very reason that I have been considering a new Uggs purchase now that it is officially winter boots season. 


As I have a perfectly good pair of what I refer to as traditional Uggs (black knit ankle length), I have been considering something a little different. There is a fantastic Ugg Sale on and they currently have these gorgeous Ellecia Wedged Boots in Chestnut, they are very similar to a pair of boots I already own, but they don't get worn very often as they are so uncomfortable (which again reiterates that you get what you pay for!), and if a new pair of Uggs lasted as long as the pair that I already have, it can only be a win.


When it comes to wedge boots they are my absolute favourite, but unless I can combine the comfort with the look, then I can't help but put them to the back of my closet. I don't mind paying more for something if I know it will get used, they will be comfortable and they look good (even 6+ years later!).

Every girl needs a pair of brown ankle boots, and I think that I may just have to pick a pair up from LovetheSales!

After all £138.00 over 6 years works out as a complete and utter bargain!

Saturday, 23 February 2019

A Top Tip for Freeing Up Space in your Home

Freeing Up Space in your Home
If your home is cramped and there is little room to move around, it can be incredibly frustrating and stressful. This can make it difficult to relax and also challenging when you have people over. When you have a family, any spare space seems to immediately get taken up by clutter and this only contributes to your stress. This is why it is important to look for ways to maximise your space and create a cleaner and tidier looking home.

A Smart Switch
One top tip is to replace your traditional doors with sliding doors. These doors slide in on themselves instead of outwards, consequently freeing up a huge amount of space. The doors are an often overlooked part of a room, but their arc takes up a large area when opening/shutting and this contributes to the cramped feeling.

The Benefits
When you have sliding doors throughout the home, it can look fantastic and create an open plan and minimalistic feeling. Not just this, but this also allows for easy access as they can be gently pushed open. Using them to access the garden can bring the outdoors in and create a flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. If you use glass sliding doors, this will also allow plenty of natural light to cascade through.

In addition this, these doors can also be efficient insulators when fitted with composite gaskets. When they also have aluminium seals and fixed leaves, they can also offer great security when used as a door between your garden and home.

Primarily, it is the space saving that makes these doors worthwhile and particularly if you have limited space or a large family. You could use the extra space for storage or for a piece of furniture, but it is also worthwhile leaving it empty as this will really have a positive impact on how the room and entire home looks and feels.

Elsewhere in the Home
In addition to internal sliding doors and glass sliding doors to your garden, you could also consider sliding cupboards and wardrobes; these are a great way to free up space in the bedroom. To find the widest range of sliding doors, as well as all the accessories and hardware you need, you will need to visit hardware stores like Barrier Components.

If you have limited space in the home and find that it makes it difficult to relax, switching to sliding doors could have an enormous impact on both your mood and property.

Friday, 1 February 2019


Work Space

Working from home was a dream come true for me at one point in time, it was something that I had wished I was in a position to do for a long time, and as amazing as it was, it turns out working from home can sometimes be harder than you may think.

Much harder.

First of all your hobby becomes your full time job.

It's something that you go from doing in your spare time, to actively full on working on, setting goals and really developing a brand. Everything has to be consistent, and you have to make sure that your brand is exactly how you want to be perceived.

I made the decision years ago to have my entire brand over hauled, it gave it a fresh new look and was something that made me really happy, the only thing it was really missing was a few mascot costumes! I guess you could say that Lux filled that role.

When you're working from home people don't really seem to consider it as working, because you are not going out to work in the conventional way (and let's face it blogging and freelance writing is a new age sort of job, especially when you are your own boss!). 

People call upon you for a favour that hinders your bottomless to do list, the dog decides he needs a 2 hour walk because he quite simply won't settle when he knows you're in the house, or you have to go and pick your poorly child up from school.

So yes, on a good day working from home is a dream come true, but there are so many things that can and do go wrong. This chain of thought got me thinking about my ideal work space, and I have to admit that I do have a pretty good setup (now that I have managed to invest in a desk chair!), and not to mention that I can work in my dressing gown and slippers if I so desire (and do when the weather gets colder!). 

There is no fighting over the office temperature, no freezing under the air conditioner, and I can quite simply revel in the cosy warmth that I covet. As I type this I am wearing the thickest fluffiest cardigan that I own, and I have matched that with a rather nice pair of slipper socks. At least this way when the doorbell sounds and I am face to face with yet another delivery driver, I won't have to look quite so embarrassed. 

At home office

So what would my #WorkSpaceWonder be?

Ideally I would like a dedicated office space, right now I have my desk setup in the front room, but ideally to have my very own office with a door I can shut on the world would make life so much easier. Right now that is not an option, but this means that my two other family members are forever placing paperwork, toys and everything else onto my desk. It's not ideal, it can be rather annoying... And I have to clean my work space off most mornings before I can even sit down at it. It feels like I am forever having to sort through paperwork that isn't mine, I try and leave only my to do list and essential work load on the desktop, but they of course have other ideas...

I had a pretty good setup all in all, it's a constructive place to work and above all else I can be flexible, flexible for friends, for family, for the pup. Working here, working from home allowed me to go and visit my Granddad in the care home on a weekly basis, it meant that I got some special extra time with him, it might not always be an ideal circumstance working from home, but how lucky am I to have been able to take that time out of my working day to spend with my Granddad.

I am now back in an employed position, and I have to say that I love being back in an office environment, but it is nice to know that my home set up is still here whenever I want to dust my self employed hat off.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

An Expecting Bride To Be? Here’s How To Throw Her a Hen Party

Life is really unexpected and it’s possible that you’re the maid of honour of a bride-to-be who’s expecting a little life soon. While it’s a beautiful experience to be pregnant, it can be a real challenge for you to throw a pregnant bride-to-be a spectacular hen night. Though the alcohol, the dancing and the drinking games are not an option for the pregnant bride-to-be, that doesn’t mean you can’t throw her an amazing hen do. 
Bump or no bump, a bride-to-be deserves to celebrate her last night of freedom with her girls and here’s how you can throw her and her bump a memorable hen do. 
1. Movie and Sleepover Night
You can plan a hen night right at home instead of going out. Get some favourite films of the bride-to-be, set up a projector screen, get some popcorns, non-alcoholic drinks, set up a candy bar and couch up to watch movies all night. You can also play some non-drinking games with the bride-to-be like truth or dare, have a photoshoot and then end the night with a sleepover in pink pyjamas and gossips. 
This would be a completely safe, comfortable and fun hen night for a pregnant bride-to-be. 
2. Combining the Baby Shower and a Hen Night
If the bride is in her third trimester or if her baby shower is due very soon, then you can also combine her baby shower and hen night. The first part of the event can be a baby shower where all friends and family members of the expecting mother shower her with gifts for her baby and the second part could be exclusive for the bride-to-be and her friends. Here, the hen gang can shower her with gifts that she can use after she gives birth to her baby and you can also play games or have a cupcake or fragrance making class. You can plan activities for the hen night which the pregnant bride-to-be can participate in. 
3. Salon and Spa Day
What’s perfect for a tired, uncomfortable and stressed out pregnant bride-to-be than a day at the salon and spa? Getting her hair done, having a little mani-pedi party, getting a massage with her best friends, it’s the recipe for the perfect, relaxing hen night. 
You might have to check with the spa whether they are equipped to serve a pregnant lady or not. There are many spas that are not suitable for a pregnant women, so you might have to do a bit of homework to see which one is best suited for your bump-y bride-to-be. 
4. Afternoon Tea, Shopping and Dinner
If you can’t do a hen do in London, bring London to the bride and surprise her with a fancy afternoon tea complete with cupcakes, biscotti and lots of fruits for the little one she’s carrying. Take the afternoon forward with a shopping spree where each of her friends can swipe their credit cards for whatever the bride-to-be demands. End the night with a dinner at her favourite restaurant and you have yourselves the perfect package for a hen night for an expecting mother and a bride-to-be. It’s comfortable, fun and memorable. 
5. Karaoke Night
If the hen likes to sing, then go out for a night of karaoke and have fun. However, if too much noise and crowd is not what the pregnant bride would like, then host your own karaoke at home and sing at the top of your lungs. You can complete this with delicious food to go with the party, some pink and cute decorations to give it the perfect and complete look of a hen night. 
A bump on the belly shouldn’t stop you from organising a cute, memorable and fun hen do for the bride-to-be. Afterall, it’s her last night as a Ms. before she becomes a Mrs. So just subtract the perspiring dancing, alcohol and the noise from the recipe of a hen do and you can still make it fun, jolly and unforgettable. The key ingredients of a hen do are friends, fun and food. So if you’ve got the three Fs sorted, then you are not far behind from hosting the most beautiful hen do ever!