Living with Functional Neurological Disorder.


December 2015

2015 in review

I have wanted to start a blog for many years as I have always had an interest in writing. This year, I finally got it started and it has been great fun. If I could help just one person gain an understanding of Functional Neurological Disorder I would have been happy. However, thanks to I have spread awareness to many. I look forward to continuing in the new year.

Happy New Year everyone! xxx

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 990 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


A time for reflection.


As the year comes to an end, it is always a good time to look back and learn from the choices you have made. This year, has been one of ‘ups and downs’.

I was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder in 2013. When I was diagnosed the neurologists assured me that one day I will get better. Everyday I wake up and hope to feel ‘normal’ again. I pray that I will be able to live like every other ‘normal’ 33 year old woman. I know that one day this will come!

Looking back to January of this year, my health was quite good. I was managing my seizures well and was working only mornings teaching small groups as a Teaching Assistant. All was well, the boys were happy and we were living.

In June, I fell ill again. I was admitted into hospital as my seizures had gotten out of control. It turned out that my medication was no longer having the right effect. My migraines became unbearable! Once I got my medication sorted things settled down again.

I have a tendency to ‘over do it’. When the new school year began (September) I threw myself into work full throttle. I had increased my hours to teach whole class one day a week. I felt that it was a good way to gently break myself back into normal working hours. I truly believe that this was a sensible move and if I had paced myself better, this would have been no problem. However, being me I clearly couldn’t pace myself! I tried to take on too much all at once and began to gradually deteriorate.

In November, I ended up being hospitalised again. I had begun to having fainting episodes and numbness on top of my usual symptoms. I straight away assumed that these were another nasty symptom of FND. It turns out that they were a result of an underlying issue with my heart.

In hindsight, I think that whether I had over done it or not, this heart issue would have arisen anyway. We all have our built in ways, many of my friends and family are just like me. We like to do things properly. Why do a job half heartedly? As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, acceptance plays a big part in my illness. Accepting that I can’t do everything that I want to.

I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked to this year. I do believe that many of us haven’t. When a new year starts, we always have great expectations and aspirations of what we want to achieve. In reality, life gets in the way!

My advice is to stop and look around you. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a few good friends who care for you? Do you have a family that love you? If you do, then you are richer than you think!

Life would be boring if we didn’t have challenges to face. It’s how we choose to deal with these challenges that will have the biggest impact on the year ahead. I say ‘BRING IT ON!!!’. I know with my family and friends around me, I will get through all of this!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken time to read my blog this year. It has been very therapeutic to share my story and raise awareness. The amazing words of encouragement from everyone has really meant the world to me.

I truly hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2016. All the best.

Charlotte x x x

The pressures on teenage boys.

I thought I would share something different today 🙂 something that I have been experiencing over the last few months.

When I was growing up, I spent most of my time with my brother and my male cousins. I was most definitely a ‘Tom Boy’.
Growing up in the 1980s, neither my brother or my cousins ever seemed to be too fussed about their appearance.

In 2015, times have most definitely changed! As a mother of a teenage boy, I am truly shocked by how much pressure boys today have to look good. Each morning, my son chooses to get up extra early to allow himself time to ‘do his hair’ and to continually check himself in the mirror.

All of this is like a parallel universe. When I was growing up my brother would never even brush his hair (let alone style it!). It is sad that boys can no longer just be boys. They have just as much, if not more, pressure to ‘look good’ as girls.

This makes me wonder, why? Why must boys or girls look so perfect even at the age of 13? Who is to blame? Celebrities? Magazines? The internet? Or is it that there isn’t just one place to blame? Maybe it’s just a sign of changing times, as men and women become more equal the pressure to be ‘perfect’ is equal also.

What do you think? Has anyone else noticed this with their own children?

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings.

Charlotte x x x

Accepting your illness.

Source: Accepting your illness.

Accepting your illness.


I have recently turned 33, I don’t consider this to be old yet I am feeling about 83!

I should be in my prime at this age. I long for the day that I can carry out a full days work without suffering! If I teach for a whole day my body punishes me. I suffer with burning pins and needles all over my body and violent seizures. This angers and frustrates me!

At my age, I SHOULD be able to work all day and look after my family in the evening. I SHOULD be able to socialise with my friends without suffering as a result. I SHOULD be able to live a normal and healthy life…

But, the truth is, I CAN’T!

I have to accept my illness, I have to listen to my body when the signs begin to show that I am doing too much. So I ask myself, “How do you change the habits of a lifetime?”.

It is in my nature to work too hard and to push myself. I want to be the best ‘me’ that I can be. If I’m honest, this has been the most challenging part of having FND, accepting that I can’t be my best at the moment. Even typing this is sadly quite painful (pathetic, I know).

All my big goals and aspirations have had to be sent to the back burner. They have been replaced with simple, small daily goals. Such as, managing to work a whole day and not having a seizure or getting through a whole week without any bad turns. Unfortunately, this is now my reality. I have to accept it and carry on.

I aim to always stay positive and focus on the good things in life, which I do 95% of the time. Then I remember that I am only human and sometimes it’s okay to feel a bit down. Feeling this way doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate all the great things I have. It allows me to reflect on what is going on and to have a little self pity. It’s important to not get overwhelmed by it and to just process what is happening.

I am going to begin another course of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) in the next few weeks. This therapy focuses on ways to adapt your behaviour. My course will, again, focus on accepting my illness and changing some of the ways that I approach every day life to help prevent running myself into the ground.

As I mentioned earlier, you can’t just change the habits of a lifetime but you can adapt the way you approach things gradually.

I have also recently been to see the Cardiologist at my local hospital. They have found that I have an irratic heartbeat that is causing my fainting episodes. They have put me on a new medication on top of my others (yes, I do rattle when I walk lol). This is to thin my blood and then in about two months, I am going to have a procedure called Electrical Cardioversion. This involves shocking my heart to restart it and hopefully getting the rhythm back to normal (fingers crossed!). There is about a 90% success rate so let’s hope I’m in that percent!

I hope that you haven’t found this blog too negative. I always aim to keep it real and honest.

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte x x x

Please note that the picture is not mine and that I have borrowed it from another site,

Is escapism the key to surviving?

I have been very busy over the past week. Christmas time in schools can be a crazy time of year!

I am currently the choir teacher at my school and we have been extremely busy. This is great as I love to see the children achieve and perform but it has started to put a strain on my health again. Those of you that are kind enough to keep up to date with my blog will know that I have recently developed a further issue with my heart.

Today, I had to miss a performance as I was quite simply exhausted. I cried which I hate but it’s not because I feel sorry for myself. The reason I cried was out of pure frustration. There is so much that I need to do and I try my best to do it but I feel like my body and my brain let me down. I am lucky that I work with such kind and caring people. All of which were more than happy to help me when they could see that I was suffering.

I am finding that I can escape this frustration and disappointment. I find that writing my blog and sharing my struggles and raising awareness is very therapeutic. The comments and suggestions I receive as a result of my writing help to motivate me to keep going. Writing my blog helps me to escape feelings of stress and anxiety and refocuses me.

As you grow up you start to realise that life is not always easy. We all face challenges big and small. I believe that everyone needs a place to escape to. Whether that be reading a book or having a manicure, everyone needs to get away from every day stresses and just be.

I love reading but I’m struggling to concentrate at the moment because of symptoms of FND and my heart issue. So I choose to write, vent and share with anyone that wishes to read about my life with FND.

What’s your escapism? How do you take yourself away from it all?

I look forward to reading any of your thoughts.

Thank you for reading

Charlotte x x x

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