Balls to You PND by Amy Radmall

Hi, I’m Amy Radmall. I’m 32, I’m married & I have a 2 year old, Charlie, and I am a post natal depression survivor.
I first got involved with the PANDAS foundation when I was on the tail end of my PND journey. Whilst on maternity leave, Jeremy Kyle was a staple part of my day followed by This Morning.
One day they were talking about pre and post natal illnesses, depression, psychosis, and talking about the PANDAS foundation, and what people could do to help. Recognising a lot of my symptoms in the TV interview, I had an overwhelming urge to help others going through this experience.
But lets go back to the start….
I had an amazing pregnancy, no sickness, no illness, couldn’t have gone better. So I planned the ‘perfect birth’, waterbirth, nice music, relaxing lights… so you can imagine my horror when, at 38 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with severe pre eclampsia. My blood pressure the night I was admitted to hospital was 220/190. If it hadn’t been picked up when it was, there could have been severe consequences for myself, and my baby.
Long story short, I was rushed in for an emergency C Section, not the relaxing birth I had hoped for. Pumped full of drugs, my only memory of the experience is feeling incredibly itchy as the spinal wore off.
Following a number of other issues post birth, my mood went further & further downwards, prompting emergency calls to the health visitor, doctor & family. I couldn’t trust myself around Charlie & didn’t feel any bond with the child that had grown inside me.
Going onto medication was to be my saviour. Still medicated now, same doseage, almost 2 years on. Still have down days, but not as regularly. The bond I now have with Charlie is great, he lights up my life (even when he is naughty…) and it’s a pleasure being with him.
The tagline for PANDAS is ‘its ok not to be ok’. It was when I started to research the charity that I started to talk about it. I hold awareness days on my facebook page, I’m now an ambassador co-ordinator for PANDAS, I interview the men & women that support us, the helpline volunteers and I’m also a speaker myself. Not a week goes by when I don’t get an email, text, or facebook message off someone who wants to talk, or who didn’t realise they were poorly.
I want to help raise awareness. One in four women are sufferers. The same for men. One in four. That’s how common it is. I want to make depression in any form as normal as fish & chips, as normal as a free bar at the conference, and as normal as eating chocolate at Easter. Its ok to have depression. Its ok not to be ok
www.pandasfoundation.org.uk
With support groups on facebook, helplines, local support & local speakers. Get involved! Could you help 1 in 4?
PS as a footnote, I’m now expecting my second child on Christmas Day. Presents don’t get any better than that !

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