Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) supporters across the UK are celebrating the news that a long awaited and hard campaigned for vaccine against the most feared and deadly disease will be offered to babies for free under the NHS.
Terrified of flying, I was delighted when the plane back from Thailand landed safely at Heathrow. I darted for the exit and began to rummage through my bag in search of a lighter and cigarettes to celebrate survival, but then I remembered that promise to myself, to stay alive longer.
I worry about my health, I know I could die, I know I could lose out on life and opportunities if I am not well enough to grasp them with both hands. It's a spiral and it's all spinning around my head and it's making me dizzy. I'm constantly out of breath. Exhausted. Exhausted by this mental illness.
A multi-disciplinary, serial professional (dentist, lawyer, coroner, judge) Bernard Pearl's life is currently restricted to a hospital bed where he has more than enough time to dwell on the moment. Around him people are whiling away their day staring at screens or into mid air. Not my dad.
I very quickly realised - mere seconds into the first routine - that this is no piece of cake. Dancing without a drink in my gut and another in my hand is not something that comes naturally to my graceless limbs.
When first diagnosed, there is a flurry of shock and interest from those you know, but slowly as they realise this is a long term disease requiring dedication, their sympathy wanes. Friends, and bizarrely, some family too, have mysteriously vanished into thin air.
The health service is under considerable strain. With key targets on A&E and cancer waiting times in breach, the King's Fund recently argued NHS performance is at its lowest since the 1990s. The financial situation is also precarious. The hospital sector is forecast to be £800 million in deficit by the end of 2014-15.
Cervical Cancer is on the rise and is reported to affect older women more so than younger. For this reason our government see fit to empower doctors to refuse girls under the age of 25, in England and Wales, a cervical screening test wether they have symptoms or not.
Periods aren't pornographic and they certainly shouldn't be offensive. They are a regular reality for half of the world's population and, let's be honest, without them humankind wouldn't exist. So the idea that an Instagram user could be offended by a picture of a woman whose period had leaked through her PJs onto her bed sheets is downright ridiculous.
The Equality Act must be implemented and followed, and it's breastfeeders who need to be made comfortable, not stupid people who can't stop staring and then whine about what they've seen.
Children often notice more than adults give them credit for. If a relative is living with dementia, there may be a need to explain to a child about particular symptoms or why that person can no longer do something that they used to do.
When dividing the base and top chocolate layers, make sure you have equal amounts for top and bottom. Use a serrated knife to cut when ready....Keep in the freezer, to prevent you from eating too much, and the chocolate melting!!!
As Nigeria decides who will lead the country for the next five years on Saturday 28th March, it is tempting to get caught up in the acidity of politics. Yet, when Nigerians head to the polls, it is vital that we - both voters and politicians - prioritise the health and wellbeing of our citizens in our decision-making.
You know that feeling you get when someone presents you with an amazing opportunity to present and sell your course, class or program and part of you is like YES! But as you picture the scene in your head the sense of jubilation begins to fade.
Exhaustion, yes. But if only that were all! Oh, the fun and games of being constantly in pain, needing masses of sleep yet still waking up unrefreshed, and forgetting the words for every day objects. We're a bundle of laughs, we are.
When was the last time you heard someone at work complain about period pain? Not in gruesome detail, just "My stomach is hurting. It's period pain. Anyone got some painkillers?". If the answer is never, then it's time to question why not.