~ A hole in her heart and labelled 'overweight', she had all but given up.
This inspiring woman's story will have your hand over your heart.
joined August 2019.
My story begins in 2014 when I returned to work after having our first (and completely handsome) Son.
It was just a normal day at work. A day that started like any other day. It was late in the afternoon when without prior warning, I experienced half body numbness (down the left side of my body), muddled speech (I couldn’t string a sentence together), and loss of sight in my left eye.
The episode lasted only a short time before everything returned to normal again.
A prompt visit to the doctors, where I was ordered an MRI, checked for Stroke, MS and everything else under the Sun.
Lucky for me, all tests came back clear.
Nothing drastic to worry about, yet I was still experiencing regular bouts of half body numbness, muddled speech and loss of eyesight. Something still wasn’t right.
'by this point, I was having 1 day of being migraine free a week'
I was referred to a Neurologist where I was promptly diagnosed with migraine with aura. I was put on a daily preventative medication and sent on my way.
The medication changed the episodes from twice a week, down to once a week.
It was a small relief, but I still felt that something wasn’t right. I felt frustrated and I didn’t know what else to do. But there was no other reason for what I was experiencing.
In 2016 I fell pregnant with our second child, and the episodes became more frequent, and by 20 weeks I was on bed rest.
The rest of the pregnancy wasn’t much better (so grateful for the support I had from my family and my amazing husband).
At 38 weeks I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl, yet I experienced migraines with aura, worse than before.
After seeing multiple GPs, and given multiple medications to try, I found zero relief.
I was told to exercise, so I joined a gym. I was given a program by a trainer, which I tried to follow for the 4 months while on maternity leave. I couldn’t follow the program properly because most of it was in the free weights section, which I felt intimidated to go into.
Most of the machines were busy, or I didn’t know how to use them. So I didn’t push myself too hard. I returned to work and soon after gave up going to the gym.
I gained weight from lack of exercise and sitting at a desk all day. The migraine episodes weren’t getting any better, and I was becoming increasingly frustrated and mentally exhausted from it all. By this point I was having 1 day of being migraine free a week, while also holding down a full-time job and helping to raise 2 beautiful kids (again - so grateful for my husband and family for the never-ending support and understanding throughout all this)
I eventually saw a new GP in 2018, who looked at my medical history and questioned me about the migraines. We discussed in detail what I experience when I have one, and he promptly sent me for an echocardiogram with bubble contrast, as there was a strong link between having a hole in the heart and migraine with aura.
I was nervous going into the testing but was fairly certain nothing would show.
The test showed a hole and I was referred to a cardiologist.
'From that first meeting, I knew I had found my people.
I could see how genuine Ellen was to help, so I quickly signed up and was excited to begin. Best decision I ever made!'
The months that followed were stressful. I was told that I was at high risk of a stroke (as a blood clot could travel through the hole and straight to the brain) and it was constantly weighing on my mind. I was worried about the surgery as well, and I stopped doing any form of exercise.
A trip to the Gold Coast for surgery 6 months later, and just as I was prepped for surgery, the pin was pulled. The hole wasn’t large enough to close and the risk was too great. I was sent home.
I felt defeated, I was feeling at my lowest. The fix that I thought I had, that would have solved a major part of my life, was suddenly taken away. I was back to square one.
My mind wasn’t in a good space and I stopped eating well. My go-to stress reliever was wine. The 4 months that followed, I had put on another 5kgs and for the first time in my life, my GP told me I was overweight.
As much as I joked about it at the time, it really hit me hard to hear someone say that. Never in my life had I a been labelled that. Something had to give. I had to get out of this low mindset I was in. I just couldn’t get motivated to go back to the gym though.
I stumbled across MBPN and made an appointment with Ellen. From that first meeting, I knew I had found my people. I could see how genuine Ellen was to help, so I quickly signed up and was excited to begin. Best decision I ever made!
I’ve only been with MBPN for 8 weeks, yet it has changed me in such a short space of time. My stress levels have dropped significantly, I sleep better, I’m mentally and physically stronger. I’m an overall happier person.
I wake up in the mornings excited to go - which is something I have NEVER done in a gym environment in my entire life.
Going to MBPN doesn’t feel like a chore to me, because I actually enjoy going.
The weight is coming off (even the mummy tummy which I thought would be there forever!) and it’s the best I’ve felt in YEARS.
The best part is - My migraines with aura that were once weekly - have all but disappeared.
I’m definitely healthier and stronger, and my family has a happy, healthy Wife and Mum, for the first time in years.
Thank you, Ellen and all the amazing supportive ladies at MBP. I can’t wait to see what the next 8 weeks bring.
Watch this space 💪🏻
see more inspiring stories like Mel's!
joined June 2019.
"At my heaviest, I was 179.9kgs.
I remember waking up one night gasping for air because my chest and chins were choking me while I slept, despite already being propped up by 3 pillows. I remember thinking, I need to something or I won't be around much longer to see my son grow up.
That night I jumped on the treadmill to manage only 13 minutes before my back hurt so much I had to stop.
This was a normal occurrence in my life, being out of breath and having to stop regularly because my knees and back were hurting so bad - grocery shopping and simply walking too and from the car.