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Good news.

So I finally have had some good news. My PIP, which is the benefit I get for my disabilities has been renewed at the higher rates indefinitely. That’s a huge deal for me. It means I get to keep my car and I’m not going to have to reapply every 3 years. I opened the letter this afternoon and burst into tears I was so relieved.

Part of me though is angry and frustrated. The benefits system in the UK has faults. And a lot of those faults lie with the people whose job it is to decide “how” disabled you are. I count myself lucky that I can just about cope on a daily basis. All be it with a lot of help and sometimes more spoons than I have, but I cope. I have a friend up  in Scotland who is unfortunately in a much worse off state than me. She broke her ankle quite badly a few years ago, and as a result of neglect by her hospital, it never got treated right and to this day, M has to crawl around her flat as she’s unable to put any amount of weight through that food. M had a motability car, like me. And she was receiving the higher rates of what PIP used to be, DLA. When it came time to change DLA to PIP, she wasn’t awarded the marks she would need to continue getting her car and she has had to send it back. Now this to me is wrong. On so many levels. M suffers quite badly with her mental health, and her car was the only means of independance she had. She was able to get to wheelchair rugby in her car, was able to see family and get shopping in herself. Without her car she’s pretty much stranded in her flat. And this is why I get annoyed. I’m fortunate that I’m nowhere near that poorly. Thank goodness. But yet I get the marks needed to be allowed to keep my car based on my heart and lung issues? Nope. Not OK. But how on earth do you argue with these people? She appealed it and got nowhere. Went to MP and got nowhere. It’s shocking. I can’t understand how anyone can look at M and not see how much she struggles.

While I’m beyond appreciative of the help I do get, there is that bittersweet feeling that people who are worse off than me don’t get the help. It’s frustrating.

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Realising difficult truths.

It’s been about 6 months since my last blog post, and I can only apologise to the people who read my blog (and thank you for doing so, not sure what about my life is that interesting though!). I could give any number of excuses about bereavements, busy lives, being poorly, but ultimately I just didn’t have the time, motivation or mental energy to collect all my thoughts in one place. And with that opens my blog, that things have been difficult and I don’t like having to think about them.

So far this year I’ve lost 2 very close friends that I knew from hospital, and 2 people I would call good friends. All but one wasn’t expected and was totally unfair and before time. And it’s difficult to think about as Andrea was only 44, younger than my own mum, and Laurel’s death could’ve been prevented if the care she received from an unnamed doctor hadn’t have been negligent. That made the death of Laurel all the more unfair and although she passed in January, I’m still struggling to accept it. I had just started to when we suddenly lost Andrea, and being unable to attend the funeral hasn’t helped. I feel when someone passes that I need to be able to properly say goodbye, and that hasn’t happened with the death of any of my friends, apart from Laurel.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my mental health has been affecting my friends. I feel more than ever like I’m bringing them down along with me. My closest friends are all struggling with their mental health and I’ve been watching them slowly go downhill for months, with the penultimate occurring recently with 3 of them all giving me cause toconsider calling ambulances, and on several occasions having to call ambulances for 2 of those friends. I honestly do believe that part of the reason they have crashed so spectacularly is that they’ve spent so long trying to hold it together for me, that they’ve been ignoring their own head’s getting bad, and as what happened with me, they are crashing and burning. Which has lead me to make the decision to not talk to them about what’s going on anymore. I’m going to avoid trying to come across as cold, but I think it’s going to be a learning curve. I’m going to have to learn to manage things on my own, specially as I got a letter yesterday saying it’s going to be 19months before they can offer me any form of psychology. I’m going to attempt to make use of the uni counselling services in the mean time, but I can’t and won’t bring my friends down anymore so am going to be dealing with this one on my own for a bit and allow my friends to concentrate on themselves. I think also that some of the symptoms I get and at the times I do are making me appear attention seeking. And that’s the last thing I want. I’d be more than happy to just crawl under a blanket and hide from everyone and everything and deal with it on my own, which is what I’m going to be doing. So the realisation that I’ve contributed to my friends breakdowns and that i’m quite possibly making things worse for myself has made me come to the decision that I need to not be as vocal in real life about my mental health. I’ll probably continue to blog about it, as I do find it helps to get my thoughts in one place, plus I like reading back over them, especially as this blog is coming up for 8 years old now.

I think this will also help the fact I’ve got my exams coming up. Having my exams will give me something to focus on and work through rubbish head stuff for. I know I’m probably going to end up overworking myself, but I’d rather overwork and pass my exams and deal with the consequences after, than not work enough and flunk them because I’d been too busy having a pity party in my head. I’ve got 2 lab reports I need to write plus a lot of lab work to catch up. I’m in hospital this week having my monthly infusion of Aminophylline for 5 days, then I’m hoping to just throw myself into university again. I can’t fault my university for the support they offer me. They are phenomenal and have not once pushed me to do more than I’m able. My tutor has given me his mobile number and I just have to text him and he will come and help me catch up.with work at the library or lab. I’ve been racking my brains for ways to thank both him, and my lab module leader as they are both unbelievably supportive. I’ve been considering moving out of Manchester, and the only reason I’m not at the moment is purely that I love my university and tutors too much.

My dad’s getting married at the start of April, so I’m quite looking forward to that. I’ve not seen a lot of my family on dad’s side for well over 3 years so I’m definitely looking forward to that. Plus the fact that my dad is getting married is a big deal. His last marriage ended in disaster and she was just a manipulative, horrible person. So the fact dad’s found someone he loves enough to actually marry makes me happier than I can put into words. Both my parents are finally getting back on their feet and that’s fantastic. Mum’s got Gerald and Dad has Irene. Here’s hoping it works out for both of them. I’ve warned both Gerald and Irene that if they hurt my parents, i’ll hurt them in ways they can’t even imagine. Protective daughter and all that….

I’m probably going to try and get home for a few days after my exams finish and after the family go to Spain. My uncle is getting married in Spain in May and although I’m unable to go, I’m going to try and get home to see my family afterwards instead. Sophie wants to come with me so it’ll be good for that. As well as that I want to try and take my friends out to Tenerife for a week during the summer. I need to speak to my grandparents about getting a room in the complex for a week and see how much it’s going to cost, but I definitely need a holiday, and so do my friends. It would be actually amazing to be able to just have a girlie holiday and lie by the pool with kindles and be lazy slobs in the sunshine for a week. Here’s hoping my plans happen!

I promise to try and be a bit better at blogging. Not promising anything, but I can try. Might do some blogs about being a disabled student. Uni have asked me to do a “Day in the Life of a Disabled Student” so once that’s been done I might start doing some regular blogs about the different things that I’ve found useful and how I’ve managed, or not managed so far.

So until next time!

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Rough seas.

I’ve kind of neglected my blog lately. I do think about it quite a lot,  but it’s finding the time, energy and motivation to actually take the time to start writing. Even more so when you have more revision to do than you can shake a stick at.

So. Since the last time I’ve posted….

It feels like a lot has happened, but in reality it hasn’t. We changed my anti-depressant to a completely different one, I’ve had 2 assessments by two different branches of the mental health trust, I’ve had surgery on my shoulder (Oh yea, that kind of counts as a lot…) and then all the general shenanigans that I get up to.

So I reckon I should just start with the first thing and work my way down. We (GP, me and Sophie) decided that it was time to do something about my antidepressant. It’s going to be a hell of a while before I’m seen by psychiatry (more on that later) so he’s decided to change it and see where we go. I have swapped from mirtazipine which I’ve been on now for about 2 years to Venlafaxine, which tends to be used more in severe depression but it is difficult to manage because you can only increase it every 2 weeks and it can mess about with your heart a bit, and because I’ve got a history of SVT, they’re being a bit cautious. He increased it again on Wednesday so we shall see how that goes. I’m starting to get frustrated with the amount of meds I’m having to take, and it’s getting more and more difficult to make myself take them. It’s frustrating me that nobody trusts me with more than a weeks worth of meds. I can understand why it’s happening, and I’ve been the one having to make that decision on behalf of someone, but it still isn’t easy. I’m losing control of something that has such a big impact on my life and I don’t like it.

I had an assessment with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), who are tasked with looking after people with severe mental health problems in the community. , which took 4 appointments. It doesn’t normally take as long, but apparently I’m “complex”. Not going to deny that! But the woman doing it was a total tosspot. She was so rude it was unbelievable. I took both Cookie and Sophie along to different appointments to make sure it wasn’t just me taking things the wrong way, but they both said she was totally out of order. She didn’t quite understand that there’s things I struggle to talk about, and that I may not necessarily be able to very easily. Making me feel bad by telling me I don’t want to get better and that they’re never going to be able to help me isn’t helpful. It was an assessment and she really did push me too much in them without giving me any coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions that she brought back to the surface. I had only just got to the point with my PTSD that I could walk past resus in A&E without having a panic attack and she decided that she wanted me to tell her exactly what happened that night. Despite me explaining I really didn’t want to talk about it for self preservation reasons, and I’d appreciate it if she would let Cookie explain it, she wasn’t having any of it, despite me bursting into tears. My psychologist and GP where absolutely furious with her for doing it. My psychologist told me she didn’t actually need to know the specifics for the purpose of that assessment. As well as that, there’s a rule in Manchester that if you miss two appointments with the mental health trust, even if you have a valid reason (eg being in hospital) they’ll discharge you. Not even 2 consecutive appointments, but 2 appointments at all. She wasn’t willing to discuss it with her manager because apparently too many people were taking the biscuit with it. I can understand that there was people taking the piss, I really do. But when I have a discharge letter from the hospital saying I was an inpatient, surely that counts as a valid reason?! In the end she decided to refer me to the Early Intervention Team (EIT) who are there to help treat the early stages of psychosis. So I had to have an assessment at home with them. That was only the one appointment thankfully, but they decided that my psychosis isn’t actually psychosis but is anxiety and PTSD related. Not sure I agree, but that was their call.  So they referred me back to the CMHT and I had to see the tosspot again yesterday. She’s decided she wants to see me for 6 appointments.  I’m not happy about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the help. I understand that there are people who don’t get any help. But she makes things a hell of a lot worse, and I don’t think I have much room to get worse at the minute. But we’ll see.  I just want to be able to get on with my life the way it was before January. It’s one of those vicious circles that once you’re in, it’s damned near impossible to get out of that I want to get back to uni, but going scares me into having a panic attack, but getting back is going to help my head.

So I had the surgery on my shoulder that I’d been waiting on since last year in April. Feck me that was tough. I was in hospital for Cookie’s birthday again though which sucked. But I did my best and made sure she had some presents to open and she brought them and some cake up on her birthday. I was in for a few days beforehand for IV’s to get my chest right because I had to have a general anesthetic, which in people with naughty lungs is a scary concept. The anesthetist I had seen for my assessment a few months prior had been absolutely lovely. He had said I could have someone in the anesthetic room, a PCA post op and would be allowed someone in the recovery room with me. The anesthetist who actually did my operation wasn’t having any of it and I had to pretty much argue the toss to allow Sophie into recovery. He got the huff when I put my iPod in when I was in the anesthetic room because I was starting to totally panic and was just a general arse. He told me he wasn’t having any of it the night before, so needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night. My chest kicked off a smidge when I was in recovery and I had to have some magnesium and hydrocortisone, but apart from that it was all good. I think I was in for about 2 weeks in total, but my shoulder is a hell of a lot better now. I spent 4 weeks in sling instead of 3 because I managed to (being me) fall on my sore shoulder about a week post op. I will say though that I’m terrible at doing my physio. I’ve been trying to do it a bit more in the past few weeks, but I am absolutely terrible at remembering. But even despite that, it’s doing well. I’ve a good bit of movement back in it, and I’m slowly building up the strength in it. I’m still not fully trusting of it, but it was the same after my hip replacements. It took me months to trust my leg to take my weight fully when I was going up and down stairs. It’s only been recently that I’ve trusted them enough to go down stairs without holding onto the banister! But I’ll get there, I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back to the gym. I’m not allowed just yet, but I think once I hit 3 months post op in July they’ll let me.

I’m going to be sitting all my exams at the end of August/beginning of September with all the resits. I’m not actually sitting any of them as resits, but because I missed 2 in January because I was in hospital, and with having surgery and my mental health being so rubbish, my GP, me and uni all decided that deferring my exams to then would be better for me. It put less pressure on me because there was no way in hell I was going to be ready by May to sit the exams. Bearing in mind in two of my 4 modules I have to do 2 semesters worth of revision. So I have a kind of revision plan at the minute and I’m really trying to stick to it. Hopefully I will and it will all pay off. As it stands I’m on the fence about repeating first year so we will see how things go when I sit my exams. Not going to lie, I’m nervous as feck, but uni have been fantastic. Because I missed the majority of my labs, I wouldn’t be able to move onto 2nd year because of that. But my module co-ordinator is going to work with me during July and August to catch up and get me to the level for the must pass exam. So here’s hoping!

Trying to think whether anything else big has happened. I went to Edinburgh to see Dad on Father’s Day. He hadn’t a clue I was coming, and seeing his face when he saw me coming up the stairs has to be in my top 15 moments ever. It was good to see him. I’ve not seen Irene or Sean since November, and although I’ve seen dad since, it was only briefly because he came down for the day.  So it was good to spend some proper time with them all. Sean’s voice has broke and he’s getting so grown up. He’s just a little bit older than TJ, but he’s so much more mature. With TJ’s learning difficulties he’s very naive and innocent and can’t really look after himself to any degree. Whereas Sean is a lot more independant. Hopefully though we will get TJ to that level and he’ll be able to be to live independantly. While I was in Edinburgh, I had a massive haircut. I’m still undecided as to whether I like it. I think it’s too short and I look like an oompa loompa, but everyone else says it’s lovely. I think it’s nicer when I can get it tussled and not like a bob. It actually means I have to use products on my hair for the first time in my life. It’s mad. Although the advantage of having it dried in an hour and it taking about a quarter of the time to shower is a massive one. It’s whether or not I can keep it this short or not! I think I might let it grow a bit, and keep it just above shoulder level. But time will tell.

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Unfortunately a few months ago we lost Dolly. Dolly was my Jack Russell Terrier back in Monaghan. She was a total legend. She got me through the worst of stuff with James and was absolutely epic at making me laugh. She had a heart attack when mum went to pick her up from Nanny’s. I was, and still am totally devastated. I can’t imagine going home now and Dolly not being there. It’s going to take some doing. Miss my puppy 😦

 

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If you’ve managed to get to this point and not fall asleep, I congratulate you. I promise to try to be a bit better at blogging. Hopefully once my head starts to wise up, things will get a bit easier and I will have a bit more motivation to do it. Watch this space.

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How things are.

So I’ve not really done a general post since I started my P365, and I thought it was about time I did a general update for everyone!

Overall I’m not doing too bad! I was in Ireland for a few weeks in Feb/March which was fantastic. I’ve not been able to spend any proper time with them all in months and missed them to bits. I’ve started to get my room sorted in terms of pictures on walls and storage. I’ve still got a bit to do, and I’m not sure what way I’m going to do the rest. I need to get a chest of drawers in my room but at the moment I just don’t have the room for it. I really need to get it tidied up within the next few days and then I should be able to concentrate on getting it all finished. I’m looking forward to it, because this will be the first time I’ll have my room done the way I want it, and done by me in my first flat. Another reason for wanting to get it finished is that we’re going to start fostering dogs! We are going to be fostering a dog called Lizzie from Weds. She was rescued from Bulgaria where she was found severely malnourished and tied up, about to be poisoned. Luckily she was rescued and flown over here and has now put some weight on. She still has abandonment issues and is very whiny, and she’s not used to walking on a lead, so she’s going to need quite a lot of hard work, but we’re both looking forward to the challenge!

Billy and myself have put our relationship on hold for a bit. He’s really struggling with his mental health at the minute, and he didn’t quite expect it to get to the severity that it is. Being in a relationship with me is hard work at the best of times, but doing it with a pretty severe mental health illness aswell is going to be hard. Right now he needs to concentrate on sorting his head out, and getting better in his way, and having a girlfriend who needs a lot of support and can be a major cause of regular stress is going to make things worse. So while he concentrates on getting his mental health a bit more stable, we’re taking a break. We’re still really good friends and he’s coming round tomorrow, but I’m a bit wary. The last time a relationship ended like this for me, it was quite messy. I was cheated on and hurt in a way that I still haven’t quite got my head round. But I think that this time it will be different, Billy’s a completely different guy and I do still trust him. With Chris it just didn’t fit and he wasn’t the nicest of people, so I was kind of happy when he ended it and I’m pretty gutted about this. But if it means he can get his head into a better place, then I’ll wait.

As you’ve gathered from P365, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in hospital. This for me isn’t anything new, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Luckily I’ve not had an attack requiring ICU in quite a while, and I really do hope to keep it that way. My chest does seem to be better between attacks though, and I find that makes it easier to enjoy other activities. My consultant is fantastic, and although he winds me up something shocking on a regular basis by refusing to change anything to help me stay out of hospital, he has managed to help me reduce the severity of my attacks. Although I still need a lot of IV medications and admissions, I have had worse and consider myself lucky.  My hip is still causing a large amount of problems, and since my latest admission, I have lost a large amount of my mobility and can no longer do a lot of things that healthy people take for granted. I now have to get help putting my socks and shoes on, can’t get in and out of the bath, and in our flat that means the shower aswell, and I now struggle to find comfort in any position apart from lying in bed. It’s as if my joint falls out of place and pops when I’m sitting upright on a chair. It’s a good thing I got a double bed lately, because it makes it a lot easier to have to spend the day lying down when I can have Cookie sitting beside me watching telly and can stretch out properly. I’m seeing my consultant on the 1st April, and I’m going to try and get it across to him that I want my hip sorting sooner rather than later now. I’m getting very bored of being held back from doing things because of my hip and just want to be able to get on with my life. He can’t use the excuse that it’s my chest either because my chest consultant wrote to him and told him that he wasn’t to use my chest as an excuse for delaying the operation to replace it. Hopefully he will do it soon.

We’re off to Grantham on Friday to see Kira. Kira finally had her hip replaced a few week ago, and I’ve wanted to spend some time at hers for quite a while. So we’re going to stay from Fri – Sunday all being well!

Here’s to next time folks, and thanks for reading!

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A hero in all of us.

I was reading a blog post tonight, by an “ER” doctor in America. It was about someone who worked in their hospital who he considered a hero. It’s amazing how many people find their own hero in hospitals. I can’t say I have one specific hero. Because that would be a lie, I have several. But two people in specific stay in my head.  And they worked/work on my respiratory ward.

Last April, I was in hospital with an asthma attack brought on by a hefty chest infection.  At this time a friend of mine was quite unwell mentally. She had cut herself quite badly on her arms, and had needed steri-strip closure in A&E. Normally I’m able to do this at home to save her the torment of A&E and all the stigma attached to her problem that comes with visits for such things. But being in hospital I wasn’t able to do it, and due to her autism, she has serious issues with other people doing it because they don’t do it right, the way she wants it. At this time, she was on crutches due to joint problems, and when the nurses in A&E had put her back together, it wasn’t done in a way that she was able to use her crutches right. Unfortunately at the time her head wasn’t in a very good place, and before coming to see me on the ward had taken all the steristrips off her several, deep cuts and put a blue paper towel or two over the cuts. She came to visit me on the ward, and when she took her coat off, I could see the blood on her jumper. My mind automatically went into overdrive. “What do I do? How do I fix this? Who can take her somewhere else?” I called the ward sister over, and explained what had happened. I’ve never seen anyone not be taken aback like she did. She just said “Well, we need to sort this really then don’t we?” and went off to find a dressings kit and a trolley. While she was doing this, another member of staff on the ward came over and noticed what had happened. And just as G* (ward sister) pulled up with a dressings trolley, R* (nurse) came over with another one. Carefully, and gently they put T* back together. Now because of T’s need for things to be straight, she wasn’t happy with the way it had been done, and because I’d done it so many times before, she wanted me to do it. At the time I had an IV in both hands and was on oxygen, so you can imagine I was in a bit of a tangle. I was also shaking like a heroin addict going through withdrawals. But G and R sat with me and helped me do it. They stayed 45mins after their shift ended to help me sort it. They didn’t bat an eyelid, or make any stupid comments. They changed the dressings for her for a few days after and kept an eye on the site.  They went above and beyond their job. T wasn’t their responsibility. They could’ve just shipped her off to A&E, or even worse had pysch come up. But they didn’t. It takes someone special to do something like that. I know nurses go into the job because they’re caring, but there’s caring, and then there’s going that extra mile.

Unfortunately G has now left and R  has been on sick leave for quite a while. But these two people will always, in my eyes, be heroes in their own right.

*Names changed to protect identity.

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Letter to dad.

I wrote this the other day and sent it to dad. I think it sums up why I love him so much and why we get on so well.

This was meant to be a list of films/telly stuff I wanted to download, but I decided to turn it into something else, mainly cause it’s just been one of those days that I’ve been thinking about anything and everything.

The past few years have been a bit shit for both of us. I don’t think I need to list the amount of rubbish we’ve both gone through, and in some ways are continuing to go through. When I was at one of my lowest points, when things were really starting to go downhill with James, you were the one that was always there for me. I knew that I had you coming to get me on Friday evenings and that I could spend a weekend away from it all and that you’d provide a listening ear for when I needed to let loose. For 3 years, probably more, you listened to me moan, cry and groan about the asshole that I was living with, and although you wanted to do something about it, you didn’t because I had said no. I can’t begin to imagine how hard that was for you knowing that I was getting so hurt by what was going on and not being able to do anything about it, but you kept your word that you wouldn’t say anything to him, or get involved. And I really appreciate it. Looking back I think it probably would’ve made things worse with me and mum, and at the time we were barely speaking, so I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if it had of gotten any worse.  But you went against your better judgment because I had asked you to.
When you flew me out to New Zealand, and we spent those few months travelling together, it really was some of the best times of my life. It was something that I can say I enjoyed about my teenage years. And I still look at the pictures and think how lucky I was to be able to do that kind of thing, none the less with my dad. I got to spend proper time with you, we talked a lot about what was going on at home, and you gave me the courage and the knowledge to get through the next few years. I look back on those months and smile, and remember that no matter how shit things get, I’ve always got someone that can make me smile. I don’t think you realise just how much I appreciate what you did for me that summer. I gained a lot of insight into the world and learnt not to take so much for granted, specially after spending time in Cambodia. Now I consider myself incredibly lucky that I’ve seen other parts of the world and how, even when things seem at their worst, there’s always somebody worse off. I try not to take things for granted so much anymore. Then coming home for my birthday, and sitting at a table with Pappy, who lets face it, isn’t the easiest of people to get on with, meant a lot to me. For the first time in about 10 years, I had my family in one place, being civil with each other and it was a good night. I still look at the picture of us all together and smile.
I don’t think anyone is as happy for you than I am. You’ve finally found someone you’re truly happy with, and have a job that you’re enjoying and that’s secure. You’ve not exactly had the best of luck in the past with relationships and jobs, but to see you happy now, is something that really makes me happy. Irene is someone that, in my opinion, is perfect for you. She really is a special person and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like her. She really is a caring person and the fact that you love her and trust her, is amazing. I love you to pieces, and the fact that you’ve found someone who loves you as much as you love her, is something you’ve needed for a long time. I honestly think that Irene is the person that you should spend the rest of your life with. And I couldn’t be happier. I really like her and consider her as much a part of the family as I do mum and you.
The op I’m having in a few weeks time, is to be quite honest, scaring the crap out of me. But the one thing that’s stopping me from freaking completely is that you’re going to be there with me. I know at 21, and after all the other crap I’ve been through with my health, that I should have a bit more courage, but sometimes we all just want our dad. It means a lot that you’re coming home for it, because I know how much pressure you’re under with work at the minute. When you showed up on that Saturday when you were home for the funeral, you’ve no idea how much it helped me. Sometimes when you really feel crap, there’s only one thing that would cheer you up. I’d resigned myself to the thought that it wasn’t going to happen, because it was just not possible. But then you showed up and it really gave me the morale boost I needed. I came out of that admission feeling better than any other time and I’ve got my all time best lung function at the minute. I’ve got you to thank for that. Sometimes you have to be mentally well, to be physically well, and you got me out of a hole I was in.
I know sometimes I’m a complete pain in the arse, and wind you up something shocking, but I do love you to pieces. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today if it wasn’t for you, and how you’ve been a constant support to me throughout the past 10 odd years or so. I like to think that I’m a stronger, caring person and in some ways, a bit more mature than most 21 year olds. And I have you to thank for that. For making me see the bigger picture and not just focus on myself all the time.
I love you more than I can put into words, but I hope this shows you a bit of that. I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks, and even though it’s not going to be under the best of circumstances, I’m just going to be happy to see you.
Love you so much
Vicky xxxxx
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Freaking out.

So two weeks from today, I’m being admitted to hospital to start IV’s in preparation for my operation on the 5th.  I’m going in for IV Aminophylline. A medication I usually take orally, but when taken IV, it can be a lot more effective for a lot of people. Some people don’t find it helpful, but I do, and it’s saved my skin more times than I care to count. I’m hoping that by going in a bit early for IV’s, it will stop my chest from becoming an issue during my operation, and in the post-operative period.

Since I found out on Wednesday about my op, I’ve been getting more and more anxious. It got to the stage that I had a panic attack on Friday in the hospital. I was up with Cookie because she was having some injections and had to hang around for a few hours after to make sure that she didn’t react. When we were sitting in the waiting area, I started completely freaking out. I was very lucky I managed to get myself out of it, but it was scary and I really don’t want it to happen again. I’m having nightmares about it and all sorts. I know the things I’m scared of are silly things, but in my head they’re real. I think the biggest one is the block being ineffective and half way through the op me being able to feel absolutely everything that’s going on. Either that or it not working at all. As well as that I don’t want them to under-sedate me because they’re worried about my chest. I really don’t want to be aware of what’s going on. I’m going to make sure I have my iPod on me and that it’s on a playlist of songs that I like.  I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve had sedation and they’ve said they don’t remember a thing about it. And my chest consultant told me that when he went for a three hour procedure, he had it done under a spinal block with sedation and that it only felt like 10mins to him. But dad’s going to be here for it, and he’s said he would go into the anesthetic room with me while they’re sedating me and stuff, so I won’t be on my own when it’s all starting. And I don’t want to leave the room until I’m asleep/dopey enough not to care. But I’m really glad dad’s going to be here, cause I think it’s what’s stopping me from completely loosing it and freaking out. I’m going to have him there to hold my hand.

Hopefully I can manage to hold it together until then, but I’m going to go and see my GP this week and see if she suggests anything.  14 days to go.