Fit for '14

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

In my quest for a healthy and happy 2014, the time has come to embark on a full cleanse of my body and mind.

"Treat your mind with the same respect you treat your body. Consider unhealthy thoughts the same way you do unhealthy food. Set limits and focus on what will nourish you."

With the above quote in mind (taken from Katie Pipers book 'Start your day with Katie' - 365 affirmations for a year of positive thinking), out with unhealthy thoughts and unhealthy food, and in with positivity, happiness, and a good old New Years health kick.

Today has consisted largely of healthy eating, a hefty dose of vitamin D in the form of an afternoon in the sun with friends, followed by a healthy dinner at a lovely Armenian restaurant in Katara - homous, olives, chicken kebab and roasted vegetables, washed down with a pot of fresh mint infused hot water. So good!

The evening was rounded off with a very short and easy going mini workout in the gym (watching Ali, Jason and Jemma working out felt like a workout in itself!) followed by a jacuzzi and sauna session with Sara.

The only challenge on my quest for my health and fitness quest will be resisting my love of naughty but nice food, not helped one bit by the fact I have the worlds largest box of chocolates to be working my way through...may need a little help with this one.

Any takers?!!




Wednesday, 15 January 2014

'You have an inner strength that might surprise you; once you've discovered it you will always know that you can turn it to achieve anything.'

I'd been very ill following a routine non invasive surgical procedure on my kidney last week. At the time I'd experienced more pain than was normal, and once home I was weak, dizzy, nauseous and my temperature was all over the place. I'd had fever before (the last time I blogged about being in hospital) after my body had a bad reaction to a stent that was fitted in my kidney. It turns out, the problems this caused were longer lasting than the doctors had anticipated.

I took myself off to A&E in a cab at about 6am the morning of the 10th. They told me I had a severe infection and that I needed to be monitored to avoid septisemia. I was admitted, dosed up on pain relief and the antibiotics started. Mossy came to visit me in the morning, and again in the afternoon with Jemma, and he said he could see an improvement from how I'd looked earlier. I felt much better in myself, was sitting up, chatting, all fine for the rest of the day.

I woke up at about 4am the following morning, absolutely boiling hot. I went to the toilet, and could feel myself going dizzy. I collapsed on the floor of the bathroom, and once I was able to pull the emergency chord for help the nurses came running and the worst morning of my life began.

For starters I couldn't see, my vision was so blurred and distorted and my eyes kept closing. I was still boiling hot, but shaking violently. I couldn't breathe properly, I couldn't move. Worst of all was the pain, agonising pain across my abdomen, in my lower back, up the right hand side of my body and up into my neck. I had six nurses and 3 doctors with me in my room at this point, needles going in everywhere to set up new cannulas in my hands for drips, injections for pain relief going into my thighs, an oxygen mask on my face. Nothing was easing the pain. The nurses kept telling me I was freezing but I was burning hot.

The next thing, I was being rushed to intensive care. I looked up at my doctor on the way and asked if I would be ok and he said 'inshallah' (if it is Gods will) with a look on his face that suggested he had no idea which way this was going to go. At this point I felt like I was close to dying, and it's the most surreal feeling. I remembering whispering please don't let me die, and all I could think about was wanting to be with my family.

Once I was in ICU I was attached to the monitoring machines, and the nurses and doctors continued to work on stabilising me. My doctor asked me who he should call, and I told him my mum. So she got the call at 4:00 UK time that I'd been moved to intensive care - can't even imagine how scary that must have been for her. She called Mossy, who came straight over when he could. By the time he arrived I was stable, and the worst was over. I had septisemia, but I also had pneumonia, so the combination had sent my body into melt down.

Slow progress day by day followed. My parents landed in Doha on Sunday night (they were coming anyway on holiday but thank god they came when they did). My mum arrived first while my dad paid the driver, and seeing her was probably the most emotional moment of my life. It was just such a relief to suddenly be able to hug my mum after everything that had just happened. I saw her and I just cried, happy tears. For the rest of my time in hospital, even knowing her and my dad were in the country when they weren't with me in the ward was the biggest reassurance.

I spent 4 days in ICU, and was transferred back to my normal ward on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning I was given the all clear to go home, with a hefty dose of antibiotics. My parents picked me up with a wheelchair - at first I was thinking I can walk, I feel like a fraud using this! But I'm a lot weaker than I thought I'd be, so with this we can still enjoy our holiday together and go to the places we we planned to without me not being able to go very far. I still get tired easily and my breathing isn't 100%. Everyone smokes too which makes it hard to be around people because it sets my chest off.

Everything that happened still feels like a bit of a dream, can't quite believe it all happened. It's given me a hefty dose of perspective and an even stronger desire to carry on 2014 with as much positivity and enjoyment as possible. Life is fragile and unpredictable and is to be made the most of.

Some pics of the week - machines, flowers, war wounds, and pure bliss!

The best bit about getting out of hospital? A long, deep, hot bath at my parents hotel room in the luxurious St Regis. With my channel on the television of course!


Doha diaries - my week in pictures #1

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

My company rebranded on 1st January, from Al Jazeera Sports to BeIN Sports

We covered the PSG v Real Madrid game live from the Khalifa Stadium, Doha, so I went along to watch the game

As a thank you for coordinating the travel for a tennis guest on the Arabic sports channel for their Exxon Mobil Open coverage, my contact kindly gave me a VIP ticket to the tennis. I watched Nedal v Kamke, and my newfound love for tennis was born! Il definitely be going to Wimbledon when I move back to the UK
Took a break from sporting events to relax on the beach

My friend Matt bought me a waffle maker for Christmas, so my neighbour Danny came round for breakfast, and gave me a demonstration on correct flour sifting technique!

These amazing Christmas gifts came in the post for me from my brother and my sister in law. My wonderful family and my baby cat. Miss home so much!

My friend Ali celebrated his birthday in the desert, so him, Danny, Jason and I went to Hakkasan (my favourite restaurant, ever!)
Cocktails, followed by fried Hakka Dimsum platter, duck salad, chilli prawns, duck rolls, Chilean honey glazed sea bass, black pepper king crab and steak in pepper corn sauce. Amazing meal!

With the Internet finally installed in our apartment after two months of waiting, I've finally been able to put my feet up and catch up on my favourite UK TV shows ... 'No lighty!'


Monday, 6 January 2014


I've vowed that 2014 will be the year of inner happiness. Of family, good friends, good health and good times.

But it doesn't stop me wanting a love that completely takes me by surprise, knocks me off my feet and takes my breath away. I'm a hopeless romantic, always have been. After my last significant breakup I closed the door on the idea of falling in love. I dabbled in dating but by this point my walls were built up far too high, and I wasn't letting anybody in.

Then in 2013 the walls came down, I met a game changer, and I got hurt.

He wasn't ready, and really I wasn't ready either. If I'd have been fully content and 100 % happy in myself, I would have been able to deal with the situation a lot better. Pick myself up, dust myself off, and accept that this is fates way of leaving me free to meet the person I'm meant to be with.

Instead, iv entered 2014 with a fragile heart, but along with it a burning desire to focus on achieving that inner happiness. Once I have that, the rest will fall in to place. I'll be happy in myself, and ultimately happy with another person. One day, when the time is right.