All about me and Toria’s Trinkets
Many people in this world write blogs and I’m sure many of you are thinking ‘oh no! Not another blog.’ Hey you might be right, but then you also might be wrong.
I shall start off by telling you who I am and then you can choose whether you want to start following my blog posts or not. The choice is yours as they say.
As you may have guessed my name is Toria or Victoria if you want to be more formal about it. I was born in Guildford in the U.K. nearly 40 years ago. I lived in America for about 7 years whilst in my early formative years but the majority of my life has been in the U.K. one of the most beautiful places on earth, in my humble opinion.
When I was about 12 I started to get pains in my shoulders and my mum took me to the doctors, as every mum would do, only to be told by good old Dr Stokes that it was growing pains and I would get over it. Well luckily I have a mum who doesn’t take no for an answer and she wouldn’t give up as she knew there was something wrong with my shoulders and we finally got referred to an orthaepaedic shoulder specialist Mr Cox who after several appointments and tests diagnosed me with Marfans syndrome. I also got the exciting (well at 13 you think it’s exciting) chance to be a medical model and demonstrate my shoulders dislocating in front of a group of medical professionals.
Since that time the pain has spread throughout my body and we have learnt that it is not just my shoulders that are ‘somewhat floppy’ but my hips and back are also affected, along with my ankles and wrists and some other bits and bobs. I have always managed to cope with my pain through yoga, exercise, meditation and bloody mindedness. Don’t get me wrong I have always had good and bad days but I have always survived through it all. If I was told I couldn’t do something, like decide to trek in the Himalayas, then I would say why not, do an assessment of whether it was a good or bad idea and then go and do it anyway.
I have also had the joys of having had a glandular fever type illness through my GCSEs, having had to have my tonsils removed during my A-levels and ayear of my BSc annulled because I got a mega kidney infection.
You could say I haven’t always been the healthiest person around and it didn’t get any better when on 14th July 2014 I contracted Meningitis. I thought I was getting a really bad migraine when I went to sign the paperwork for my brand new car on the Friday night, 12th July. By the Saturday morning I thought my head was going to explode but I was still convinced it was a migraine and so just stayed in bed. Things only got progressively worse and by Saturday night I was becoming more and more ill and I couldn’t keep anything down. Graham called 111 in the early hours of Sunday morning and they initially thought it was gastric bug but said to us that if I got to the point where I couldn’t put my chin to my chest to call them back….. 30 minutes later when I’m screaming and unable to put chin to chest Graham calls them back and an ambulance arrives to take me to A&E. Well the rest they say is history!
I am no longer the same woman I was but I am still here. I have been left with a number of little ‘gifts’ shall we say from the meningitis. I can’t say I recommend it but I am a survivor and I will fight for everything that I am.
Some of the gifts I was left with are: minor brain damage; dodgy right leg; chronic migraines; NEAD; right sided weakness; memory problems; unable to drive; can’t get up a staircase; have to use a wheelchair to get out and about; anxiety; depression; panic attacks; chronic pain; painsomnia……….. I could go on!
Now some would say why go on? Well, why not? I have had so much to cope with over the years that I will not quit. I’m too stubborn. Don’t get me wrong I have good and bad days but I am too stubborn to give up and lets face it life is for living and having fun.
So what has happened since July 2014? Well it is fair to say had I not been ill and become unable to work I would never have started jewellery making. Believe it or not having meningitis has been my salvation and been the making of a new life for Toria. I am happier than I have ever been. I use meditation and mindfulness every day and I have met some of the most amazing people. I have even got married.
Toria’s Trinkets Cheering Squad
I am really lucky to have a great support network behind me, two of which are my partner Graham and my little dog Tink.
Has a PhD in Design Engineering and Analytical Chemistry and loves licorice all sorts.
Partner and wonderful person
Loves real ale and fillet steak.
Is half Shih Tzu and half Poodle and loves to give kisses and cuddles.