Routines & Migraines*

Over the last few days I have been very busy, not with my job, and although it does keep me busy, I get two days off back to back during the week.  While I thought it would mess with my routine, it’s not been that bad, and I have been able to use my free time constructively, writing.

The only problem is that I’ve had a headache for the last three days, culminating in the last day almost becoming a full-on migraine. I’m not sure what caused it; could it have been my writing – as it’s very personal and emotional. Or was it the fact that I have a stressful few days and a massive change to my routine at the end of this week including a day off work, lots of driving, and an unfamiliar bed? This got me thinking about whether there is a link between stress levels and my constant headaches.

I am aware that autism is a neurological condition that can cause the brain and nervous system to become hyper-sensitive to almost everything. Doctors seem to think that the filter that exists in a neurotypical brain is either missing or not functioning correctly in someone with an autism spectrum disorder, so literally everything gets through.  Hence, we can become very easily overwhelmed by what others would see as day-to-day normal stuff.

Now, a migraine is a neurological issue that doctors think might result from an over-active and/or sensitive central nervous system.  As someone on the autism spectrum, I would agree. I have dug a little further, and it turns out that there could be a very strong link between the two.

Please find attached the link below from Dr Marcus,

Dr Marcus Migraine Link

Stay Tuned

While I’m hoping you all enjoy reading my ramblings as much as I love to write  them, I have recently been getting very snowed under with running this and another website and all the associated social media pages. On top of this, I am also writing the occasional article for a magazine to help raise some awareness of Autism within The wider community.

“Alongside this, I have undertaken to write a second book, although this one is not poetry”..

This is to say that I haven’t gone anywhere, and I’m hoping you’ll stick around although my blogging will be a bit less in the next few weeks.  Please be patient, stay tuned and above all, stay safe x

Step (up to the plate) Fathers Day

Father’s Day is that one day of the the year where we get a card and some socks, smellies or a beer for our dear old dads and maybe pop round and let them know we’re thinking about them. For those of you who don’t know me, and some of those who do, I wanted to share a little story with you.  So, go to the toilet, grab a coffee and get comfy.  Ready? Then let’s begin.

This story goes back to when I was a young boy – about 9 – trying to come to terms with the fact that my birth father (from now on referred to as ‘Sperm Donor’ – the less said about him, the better) had walked out on my mother, choosing the night before Mother’s Day to go. My mother was trying her hardest to keep things going (and doing a bloody good job), and me?  Well, I was was just about to start the scariest time of any kid’s life: moving to grammar school. After a while, as well as working three jobs, my mother had started to attend a couple of social groups so that she could get out of both the house and work zones, and try to make some new friends. I remember being dragged along to a lot of these events: walks, meals at other people’s houses, etc, and if I’m honest it wasn’t my thing, but if mother was happy, that’s what mattered. What I do recall, though, is one of the guys there who was into running, long walks, music, etc, and who had a couple of kids who were about my age. This guy would end up being around quite a lot over the coming months and, if I’m honest, it was nice to have a father figure around, as Sperm Donor had vanished off the face of the earth.

This man ended up marrying my mother when I was in my early teens.  This was no easy feat for him, as I was not your usual, happy, friendly teenager at all. Over the years we butted heads repeatedly, but even after all that, he has supported me through difficult times, been there for me when no one else was, and stood by me no matter what.  This has extended to my children as well – they know him as ‘Grandad’ and didn’t realise he wasn’t a blood relative until their mid teens. They both had the  opportunity to meet Sperm Donor at a family funeral, but decided that, having watched his behaviour that day, they didn’t want to meet him as he’s not their real grandad.  He made no effort to speak to them.

This spoke volumes to me about the character of this man who had stepped up, taken me on, treated me as his own son and tried to help me, even when I thought i knew best. As a middle-aged man, I now understand how hard this must have been for him.  Then, last year, I had a phone call from my mother to say my dad (I hate the ‘step’ bit – he’s my dad in every way that matters)  had collapsed while playing walking football.  They had had to restart his heart a number of times, and he had been airlifted to hospital. He was in a bad way and needed major heart surgery once he was stronger.  Being a 4 hour drive away from where we live, I  began to realise exactly how I felt about this legendary man.  Yes, of course, like us all, he has his flaws.  None of us is perfect, but I began to think about what my family would be like without him. Fortunately, I haven’t had to find out as the operation was a success and he is back to his old self, for which I count myself lucky every day. I also realised that people like my dad are one in a million really.  He didn’t have to take me on and be a father figure when he married my mother, but he saw a kid with no male role model and stepped up to the plate like a real man.

So spare a thought this Father’s Day for the men who take up the mantle of being dad to someone else’s kids when the biological parent has abandoned them.  They often work – nay, battle – twice as hard to help mould the next generation of mothers and fathers.

To my dad – thank you for everything and I love you loads.

Stay Safe X

Natural Beauty

Two days off work and was really not sure what to do with myself during this time, so after some thought Mrs Bob and I decided as it was such a nice day that we would take a trip out to one of our favourite beauty spots. While we were there, we decided to get some pictures and share them with you here. Hopefully you will see why the south of Devon is such a popular tourist hot spot, and why I decided to settle down in this part of the world,  Enjoy.



Country Life

As week two draws to a close and I begin week three at my new job, I thought I would take the time to sit down and share with you how things have gone so far. I now have two consecutive days off a week, which is kinda weird and has thrown my routine out, but I’ll get used to that I’m sure.  It may not seem like a big deal to the average person, but to an aspie, routine is a very key part of life.  Fortunately, it’s not affected me that much and it means wecan plan to go away for a night if we want to.  Every cloud has a silver lining, etc.

The place itself is a very cosy little affair complete with not one, but two real fires, which, even in the balmy English summertime, are occasionally lit.  There is something wonderfully primitive about the crackle, pop and smell of burning logs; watching the flames flickering, while outside the raindrops dance down the window panes.  This, combined with stimulating conversation on a number of subjects – and no, football is not one of them thank goodness, as I have no interest in the sport whatsoever. I’m talking current affairs, history, literature, etc, and then once a week we have some great live music from some very talented bands and singers.  Last week’s was right up my street, with covers of Greenday, U2, Blink 182, etc, and traditional hand-made, wood-fired pizzas, so you can guarantee the place is packed to the rafters and jumping, which is somewhat surprising, as we are tucked away off the beaten track.

All in all, I think that this is the way forward for me.  Even after just a couple of weeks I’m already starting to feel very settled and really comfortable.  I love it!

Stay Safe X