Last week it was 7 months since I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After being flown home early from holiday due to being very poorly, Mum took me to the doctors and they sent me home not knowing what was wrong. Rather than going straight home, we called in at Leadenham Teahouse and I had a huge hot chocolate and slice of cake to try and make me feel better. This of course made me feel so much worse (whoops) and when we walked into the house the phone was ringing and it was the doctor asking me to go straight back in as he thought I had Type 1!
It was a massive shock and Mum and I almost laughed it off thinking of course I hadn't. A quick finger prick showed my blood glucose levels were off the scale and that my blood had turned dangerously acidic so I was sent straight to hospital. I did try and argue about going home for a shower first but this wasn't allowed. The next 4 days were a bit of a blur being hooked up to machines, being told about having to inject myself before eating and nearly fainting when trying to leave my bed to go to the loo! With it being my first time in hospital however, I did find it all very interesting and the time passed pretty quickly.
When I was released from hospital it was like my safe little bubble had burst and I was back in the real world but with all these gadgets to help me stay alive. I had a few weeks signed off work but I ended up leaving my job as when I did go back I couldn't cope with trying to get better and working in high pressured situations. This was a hard decision as I really liked all my colleagues but I knew my health had to come first. I am not ashamed to say I started to see a councillor as they really helped me to get my life back on track and become my happy, normal self again.
I can't remember the exact day but suddenly I realised I had no job, no plan, nothing really to do and life was just ticking by. Mum had mentioned the idea of somehow providing my meals I cook on yoga retreats and wellness days on a more regular basis. This is how Holly Nelstrop Catering began.
The first two months of running my business leading up to Christmas were great. A big learning curve but I loved every minute. The number of weekly orders gradually increased and I also had quite a few private events to cater for. After a little break over Christmas, order numbers did drop but I think this is expected in January and so I just focused on different ways of trying to grow the business. One of my lovely friends designed some great promotional flyers for me and the girls at Leadenham Teahouse approached the idea of the Pop-Up. Time flew by and it was soon last Sunday when I started cooking ready for the week at the cafe.
Monday morning we got there early and set up, me trying to get jobs sorted as well as show Mum the ropes. I felt really anxious as you have no idea how many people, if any, are going to come. Sure enough they did. Everyday brought new challenges but also more lovely customers and I couldn't be happier with how the week went. It has 100% made me want to have my own little place sometime in the future. We were shattered by Saturday afternoon when we closed up for the final time but all the hard work was really worth it. I did have several hypos whilst working, where my blood sugars suddenly drop and I start to shake and can't concentrate, but I would whisper to Mum, 'quick, get me an apple juice', and it was soon sorted.
To all the people who came down and supported me, thank you so much, and to the girls at the Teahouse it wouldn't have been possible without you so thank you. Mum and Dad were my rocks through the whole week as well as my Auntie Katie and cousin Sophie who were wonderful waitresses.
So who would have thought it? Me running a Pop Up for a week when 7 months ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 and the thought of leaving my house brought me to tears! I have come so far and I am so grateful to all the people who have supported me and have made my dream of having my own business become a reality. Holly x