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Christmas.

So I’ve not been a good blogger recently, and have let my blog slide a bit. But I do have a pretty good reason. I think anyway.

It’s been a manic few months. When I last updated in October things were looking pretty good in my life despite a lot of things going on and I was quite optimistic about things. Since then though, there’s been a few setbacks both with my own health, and Cookies. Since then though I’ve been back home twice. Once in November for my Nanny’s 70th birthday and then for Christmas. But along with the trips home came 2 different viruses that caused havoc with my chest, Cookie ending up on the verge of being resectioned and just a lot of things that have taken some getting over.

I went home for Nanny’s 70th birthday in November. She hadn’t a clue I was coming home and we had all been winding her up giving her reasons as to why I wasn’t coming home. We toyed with her a bit by putting up facebook status’s that only she could see saying things like I was unwell, that I was up to my eyes with things and basically trying to put her off my scent. But I’d blocked her from seeing my actual status’s saying I was coming home and was at the airport etc. She had said that the only thing she wanted for her birthday was that we would all be home for it, so we had been mean by making her think it wouldn’t happen! Little did she know! But as part of her Christmas/birthday present we had a photoshoot done with all the grandkids and got it printed for her. There’s 8 of us and it’s the first time we’ve all been together. It was a really symbolic day for me. I’m the eldest in the family, and there’s 5 years between me and Jessica, who is the next eldest. It was brilliant to see all my cousins. I hadn’t met my youngest cousin, Leah, so I really enjoyed meeting her. It was the first time I’d been home since my operation in July, so it was the first time the family had seen me without crutches. It meant I was able to run after the kids and throw them in the air and do airplanes with them. It really is the little things that make you realise just how lucky you are in life. For so long I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be because of the stupid hips, but now I can finally enjoy myself and my cousins.  Unfortunately though, I caught some kind of bug on the way home and ended up dosed to the eyeballs with the cold, which inevitably went straight to my chest and I ended up with pneumonia. That A&E trip was one of the ones that has left an imprint on me, and not for a good reason.

When you have brittle asthma, you tend to get treated a bit differently in A&E when you present with breathing difficulties. You’re generally brought into the resuscitation room (resus) and hooked up to monitors. Within about 10 minutes you’ve got doctors all around you, a neb going and several different people fighting to get some IV access. This time, I had the misfortune of bumping into a nurse in there that really doesn’t like me, and has told me it on several occasions. The best line she has come out with was “75% of R’s (consultant) patients have more psychological problems than physiological ones” or when I asked her if she had a problem with me got told “Our system has a note on it for all the patients who come a lot. We know when you’ve been to lots of different hospitals and when you are considered attention seeking.” Up until recently the problems I had with her though were just the things she said to me, but on this occasion it was a lot more. When I got to A&E, the triage nurse sent me through to resus. Ann (names protected etc) decided that I didn’t need to be in resus because I was hyperventilating and tried to get me moved to minors. Luckily whoever was in minors had sense and told her in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t happening. This was only the start of my problems that night. She put me in the very end bay in resus and ignored me for an hour. I jest you not. I saw no doctor, had no observations done, didn’t get a neb, anything. She would pop her head around the screen occasionally and tell me to slow my breathing down because I was hyperventilating and that I was making myself poorly. When I did finally get a neb written up by a doctor who passed me and saw how unwell I was becoming, she refused to give it to me because she believed all I needed was a paper bag. Shortly after this she moved out of resus and I was treated by a different nurse who immediately rang the chest team and got the A&E consultant to see me and I had gases done. In the hour that I had been waiting, my gases had become appalling. As it is my gases tend to be quite bad when I’m admitted, but when I get there and they start pumping me full of stuff, they start to sort themselves out. But because I’d been left for so long, they were really worried and had ICU come and assess me. It took 3x the normal amount of medications to stabilise me again and I was actually starting to get scared. That doesn’t happen often. Eventually I did start to stabilise enough to be moved to the wards on a monitored bed and saw my consultant that evening. I told him about my problems with this nurse, and from what he said, I’m not the first person to have had problems with her. Apparently the new psychologist on the chest team is going to be working with the A&E staff to improve the attitudes towards asthma. As a result of the way I was treated by that nurse, I decided that I was no longer going to attend that A&E because I couldn’t trust her to not do the same again. I was so much more poorly than I was when I arrived and it scared me. But it’s never good when as a severe asthmatic who does have to go to A&E a lot, that you are actually scared to go to A&E because you believe it will actually make you worse. I saw R in clinic a few weeks later and we decided one of the best ways to deal with the situation in the interim was to make me a care plan so that when I get to A&E, they have to treat me a specific way, and if that plan isn’t followed then he can get involved. When I attended A&E on NYE for an infective exacerbation of my asthma, that piece of paper was my saving grace. Granted that Ann* wasn’t there, but I was still seen and treated extremely well and quickly.

Which brings me on to Christmas! I was at home for Christmas this year. I was in Tenerife last year, so it was a bit of a different setting! But it was the first Christmas in five years that my grandparents were home for it. They have an apartment in Tenerife so spend a good part of the winter out there so it was lovely to have them home this year. While I was home I went up to Belfast to see some family and friends. I got to see Kathleen who is like my adopted Grandmother, (My grandma (dads mum) was Kathleen’s Matron of Honour at her wedding, and her husband and my granddad were best friends) Lorraine who I’ve known for as long as I can remember, Aunt Peggy, who was granddads only sister. It was extremely important that I got to see her though because she isn’t well and we don’t think she’s got a lot longer to live. It was an extremely difficult visit, but I made her smile a bit and I feel at peace now with her should the worst happen. I also saw my adopted big brother, Chris. I’ve probably already rambled somewhere else about Chris, so I’m not going to go into details, but he’s my big brother, best friend and awesome aspie! I got thoroughly spoilt this year, but to be honest, It was much more fun watching mum and TJ opening their presents. For the past few years we’ve not really been able to know what the best things to get mum are, but I really put thought into it this year and knew what she wanted. But she also had a stocking this year for the first time. When we were little babies, my aunt in Canada made us all personalised stockings so they’ve always been up at Christmas. But this year even the dog had one and mum didn’t. So we decided it wasn’t very fair that we all had stockings and mum didn’t. So we got one that you put a picture into of the person. I didn’t want to just print out a picture of mum and stick it in, that’s boring! So I got mum to show me how to use her sewing machine, and spent hours and hours learning how to use it. I stitched 4 pieces of fabric together and then used the glue gun to stick a piece of cardboard onto it, and then her picture onto that. That meant more to her than just sticking the picture in anyway, because she knows how long it took me to do it, so that was cool to be able to do. But we put loads of nice stuff into it like ribbons, lush stuff, chocolate and little bits and bobs. Mum got spoilt this year and it was fantastic to be able to do it.  This was a good christmas for me though, because I got to bring Billy home to meet the family. He got the ferry over on the 27th, so I went down to Dublin to pick him up and get him safely back to Monaghan. Unfortunately by this stage though I was loaded with yet another cold and felt like hell, but it was worth it to get to see Billy. He got to meet most of my family and thankfully he got on well with them all. It’s hard not to like him though! Unfortunately while he was over I was completely loaded with the cold and felt like crap for most of it, but I did try and get out of the house with him a bit. But he was really nice about it and didn’t mind just sitting in front of the fire with me. We got the ferry back on NYE because it was going to work out stupidly expensive to fly so we got the ferry to Holyhead, then I got the train back to Manchester via Chester and one of t’other stations in Manch. That was a difficult journey. I was feeling absolutely horrific and knew my chest was going to throw one at any moment. Billy got the train to his parents in Wales to help out at the bar so I was on my own which was not fun. As soon as i got home, I threw my PJ’s, phone charger and tablet into my bag and called an ambulance. Considering it was NYE, the ambulance was out in 10 mins and I was in resus in A&E being sorted within an hour of me calling it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the hospitals are up shit creek at the minute, but I can’t fault the care I received! So I spent yet another NYE in hospital, and spent a few days on IV antibugs and Aminophylline. Still not feeling 100%, but definitely feeling better than I was! On top of that my consultant has finally agreed to give me some decent IV access and I’m having a PICC line put in.

Am quite optimistic about this year. I’m starting uni in September, I’m mobile and able to do so much more and I’ve got a fantastic boyfriend and best friend. Most people make New Years Resolutions, but I don’t understand why they have to be ones that start only on new year. And it’s not so much a resolution as just common sense for a lot of things. So I have aims that I want to achieve, and it’s not something I have a lot of choice in. It’s things that if I want to get better in myself, I have to do. So this year I want to loose 25kg, start uni, get my elective admissions sorted and get to the gym more.

So dear followers (if anyone actually reads this!), Here’s to 2015!

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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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Project 365 – Week 6

Image (2)Day 39 – 8th Feb – So it’s my 2nd last day in hospital. My hip has been playing havoc so I’ve been having IV paracetamol. I needed to go to the loo while I was having it run, so I had to find somewhere to hang it while I was in the loo so that it didn’t fall, and it kept running. In our respiratory ward there is an oxygen tap in every bathroom. It’s a really good idea because obviously when you’re on a chest ward, a lot of patients are going to be on oxygen, and when you want to use the loo etc a lot of times on other wards you have to find an oxygen cylinder and take that with you, worrying about it running out and having to carry it with you. But I was able to hang my paracetamol off the tap while I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed!

Day 40 – 9th Feb – I’m getting so bored of the hospital menu. I’ve been going to my hospital for over 2 years now, and during that time have not once seen a change in the menu. I can pretty much rhyme off the majority of the days menus. So after a while you start to want your own food when you’re in hospital. I’ve started bringing in these pasta pots. They’re a bit like Pot Noodles but they’re pasta ones. I much prefer the pasta pots to the noodles. But it does bring a bit of variety to the diet of the hospital inpatient!

Day 41 – 10th Feb – Well, I’m still nebbing, but at least now I’m nebbing at home! Anyone who spends quite a lot of time in hospital, or spends regular periods of time away from home will understand how doing tasks at home, that you had been doing away is so much easier and enjoyable. When I’m having to neb in hospital, I’m doing it on their terms. I do it on their neb sets, with their nebs and generally in bed while being watched by about 6 others. When I’m at home, I can do it where I want, on my own neb, when I want and in private. Because I’ve got a compressor nebuliser in the living room, and then my PARI eFlow that runs on batteries that generally lives in my handbag in my bedroom. So I can put my neb in my pocket and the mouthpiece in my gob, and walk about with my neb. I can even go into the toilet if I want! But there really is nothing like getting home to your own flat. I could lie in my room, with my bed and chill out the way I want to.

Day 42 – 11th Feb – As much as my room is an absolute bombsite, and it’s freezing half the time, there really is nothing better than spending a night in your own bed in your own bedroom. Because I’d spent the past week in hospital, in a plasticy bed, with a thin blanket with crap pillows, getting home to my own bed, with my double duvet, 7 pillows and home comforts made my nights sleep so much more comfortable. I can lie in my own bed and watch TV as late as I want, and what I want, without having to pay for the pleasure! There really is no place like home.

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Day 43 – 12th Feb – I’ve had to start tidying my room because I’m getting a new bed in the morning. So I’ve been collecting all the cans that are in my room. Bearing in mind I’d tidied my room just before I went to hospital, the can tower size really is quite special. I spent most of the day just trying to get my room tidied. I hate it when my room’s a mess. It’s hard enough for me to walk and stop myself from falling over without my room having rubbish all over the floor.  So normally my room’s pretty tidy. Although in saying that, I can never find anything I’m looking for! My TV remotes and hairbrushes seem to be the two things that I’m constantly loosing. Cookie keeps telling me that I should stick them to my head.

Day 45 – 13th Feb – My new iPod came today. I ordered one of the new iPod touch RED [PRODUCT] iPods and got it engraved. For as long as I’ve known about iPods, I’ve wanted a red engraved one. So now that I can actually afford one, I decided I was going to get one. It says “It’s one of those days again, when music is your only friend.” Anyone that knows me, will know how much music I listen to and that I’m never far from my headphones and iPod. I got some beats by Dre a few weeks ago, and it’s amazing how much of a difference a good pair of headphones make. I got my first mp3 player when I was about 12, and since then I’ve never been without some form of media player. I gave my first mp3 player to my friend Michelle. 10 years on pretty much and it still works. Contrary to my family’s belief, I do actually take care of my stuff.

Day 46 – 14th Feb – Well it’s Valentines Day today, and for the first time in a few years, I’ve actually got a boyfriend to celebrate it with. I knew I was going to be going out, so I spent most of the day in bed resting up in preperation for going out. I wanted to be able to enjoy my evening. I got the bus to The Trafford Center to meet Billy with Cookie. She had to go to M&S to return something and then we had a tootle around a couple of shops, and I went into Currys to get a new bag for my camera. I wanted to get a messenger bag that would carry my camera, lens and a few other bits and I found a pretty decent one that I was chuffed with. Then I tootled off to meet Billy and Cookie headed off to catch her bus home. We were going to see the new Lego Movie. I’m a big lego fan and have oodles of the stuff still to build from my spending spree after my backpay. Billy had paid for the Premier seats in the Odeon. I’ve never paid the extra for them, but they’re not much different to the normal ones in all honesty! The only advantage is their position is slightly better and direct to the screen, but I don’t think it’s anything that I would rant and rave about. After the film we went to the food court and grabbed some food. I didn’t really want to go to a big restaurant and neither did Billy, so we both grabbed a KFC. Very romantic! But it was still a fantastic evening, and it was the first time in ages I’ve been to the cinema, and it was all the better to be doing it with my boyfriend!

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Project 365 Week 5

So with everything that happened in January with James dying, I was very happy to welcome February in! So here’s week 5 of my Project 365.

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Day 32 – 1st February 2014 – Was up at the hospital today and spotted this. Just why?! Apparently it’s to promote recycling inhalers. If it was a giant inhaler that you could put empty ones in, I’d get it. But it’s a 10ft solid inhaler! Does the NHS not have better things to be spending money on? Like Xolair?! Madness.

Day 33 – 2nd Feb – Finally got these two pictures up on my wall. I’ve been in this flat now since August and it’s taken me to now to start getting my room into some kind of livable order! So I’ve started by getting some DVD racks up, my pictures up, and just today, my new double bed put in!

Day 34 – 3rd Feb – Had an absolutely rubbish day. Spent it in bed, nebbing, watching TV. I can’t actually remember a lot of that day, except that it was spent in bed. I can’t even remember getting up to eat. And that’s unheard of. I hate feeling crap, because it means I can’t hang out with Cookie, I can’t hang out with Billy and my day is just blown off.

Day 35 – 4th Feb – I’ve not got a lot to say about today. I spent it in bed like the last one. Cookie brought me a McDonalds home from volunteering, and I’d not had a McDonalds for a while. So here’s my picture of the day!

photo (5)Day 36 – 5th February – Unfortunately the past few days were never going to end well. Today ended in A&E. Billy bless him has never been in A&E with me, and he was so sweet! He even sang me Soft Kitty from Big Bang! Bless him his stammer got really bad when he was there, but he didn’t leave until I got to the ward at 2am! He’s a keeper 😉

Day 37 – 6th Feb – Because the hospital was pretty much full, I ended up on the Acute Medical Ward from A&E. I hate A10. They get over worried about silly things. Anyone who knows nursing by numbers will understand. It’s a nasty invention.  So getting onto my resp ward and being able to properly sleep was legend.

Day 38 – 7th Feb –  Anyone who has had cannulas will probably recognise this image. A cannula that’s fallen out and the aftermath. I did warn them the dressing was shagged, so the fact that they didn’t listen to me isn’t exactly my fault! Luckily I still had another cannula in the other hand so I was able to use that instead of having to indure the wrath of the junior doctors cannulating skills.

Anyway, I will try and update the last week again before I go to Ireland on Sunday. But I’ve still not sorted anything and I’ve no washing done or anything, so I’m not sure I’ll manage. But otherwise, see ya all on the 6th March!

 

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Project 365 – Week 3

Week three of project 365 was a bit muddled for me, as you’ll see from my pictures for this week!

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Day 15 – 15th Jan – Had Billy over tonight, so we lay and watched Up! and had something to eat, then he went home. It’s sad that we can’t see more of each other, but it makes seeing each other even more special. I do really like him, and this relationship just feels much more right than any other. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something there. He’s such a sweet guy and I do love him.

Day 16th – 16th Jan – I got this awesome coloring book off amazon. It’s called Kaleidascopia and it’s fantastic! At the minute I’m really trying to keep my head busy and keep myself occupied and it really is helping. Some of the designs in it are just fantastic and they really do keep me busy for ages. I’ve done a few now in different mediums. Cookie thinks the one I did in crayon is the best, but I don’t agree haha.

Day 17 – 17th Jan – Bought this new blanket today to go on my bed. My bedroom is colder than the rest of the flat for some reason, so I like to have another blanket  on my bed. This one is really warm and fleecy so it’s good at keeping me warm, and I can wrap myself up in it and just hibernate, I love it! It goes under my duvet so it’s what I get to snuggle up to when Billy’s not here. Heat!

Day 18 – 18th Jan – This was the can tower that came out of my room. This was what Billy and I had managed to drink in a day. I think we have issues with fizzy drink addiction. I don’t think though Alcoholics Anonymous would appreciate me walking in and saying “My name’s Vicky and I’m addicted to fizzy drinks.” Bit of a contradiction being there really…

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Day 19 – 19th Jan – Started tidying my room today. Got quite a bit done. I really need to start making more of an effort to get my room into some kind of order. I’ve been in this flat since July now, and my room still has packed boxes in it. For goodness sake I’ve boxes that belong in the kitchen in here. So I really need to get my act together.

Day 20 – 20th Jan – Was doing the dishes tonight, and put this glass into the sink in one piece, and took it out like this! I was a bit pissed because it wasn’t cracked or anything, and I’m not that violent when I’m doing chores! I put it in to soak, took it out, scrubbed it, put it back in to rinse the suds and took it out in pieces! I’m v lucky I didn’t end up slicing my finger on it! Considering how accident prone and unlucky I am, I’d say that was fairly good going.

Day 21 – 21st Jan – To be honest, I didn’t do a lot today. I wasn’t feeling too hot and spent most of the day in bed, so I snapped this picture of my lego man sharpner head wearing an innocent hat. We have these hats lying about everywhere from the past few innocent smoothie hat appeals so trying to find places to put them can be fun! We come up with some very creative ones though. Cookie has one of the hats on her Aleksandr meerkat toys which amuses me. But I’m easily amused.

So that’s my week 3 from Project 365, I’m glad I’m actually remembering to do it! It’s not like me to remember these things!

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New Years.

New years for me was not what you would call upbeat. On the 27th of December, I flew back from Tenerife. When I touched back on the tarmac in Manchester, I got a phonecall pretty much immediately from my mum. It was not the sort of phonecall people look forward to. “I’ve got a bit of bad news” is never a good way to start a conversation and the first thing I thought was that my dog had died.  “James is in the Marie Curie center in Belfast.”

What was I meant to say to that? I was still on the plane so I had to hold it together. I held it together waiting on the taxi, going home and just about held it together getting in. Cookie answered the door and was on the phone to Kira at the time. I came in, fired my suitcase and rucksack into the corner and sat down on my bed. I don’t know how or why I didn’t cry, but I don’t think it had properly sunk in. I told Cookie I needed to go out so we went shopping at ASDA. We needed to go food shopping anyway, but I had a few gift vouchers to spend and needed to feel better. So got home, had dinner and went to bed. Was lying watching TV and I don’t know what happened. I just broke down. At 2am of all times. I rang my mum in pieces. Bless her, I wouldn’t have been too happy to get a phonecall at that hour, but she talked to me for 45 mins while I sobbed my eyes out, asked questions and generally lost it. I couldn’t stop myself from crying when I got off the phone, and went into cookie. Now I’ve lived with Cookie for 2 years, and despite having severe asthma attacks in the night, pain hitting stupid levels and sharing a room with her for over a year, I’ve never woke her up in the middle of the night. So it shows you just how upset and distraught I was that I went into her. I got into bed beside her and just had cuddles from my best friend. She’s amazing. I wish she knew just how awesome she is.

I don’t know what I feel, or felt. For so long I wished him dead, severe pain and God knows what else. But now he’s got cancer, and about 3 months max to live. Lung, Liver and possibly pancreatic cancer. My little brother is going to loose his dad. My mum’s going to loose her husband, all be they seperated. I’m angry, upset, worried, scared and a million and one other emotions at once. Nobody deserves cancer. Not even the person that caused me so much pain and upset. I said to mum that I didn’t want him to go to his deathbed thinking I hate him. Because I don’t. I hate the person he became and was because of the drink. But before he started drinking he was a different person, and was easy to be around. But drink changed him. And not in a good way. I don’t want him to be in pain, or for him to suffer. But I don’t think he will be. They’ll have him that dosed up with pain meds he won’t know where he is for the last few days.

It’s TJ and mum that I’m hurting for the most though. TJ never got to properly know his dad, and anytimes he did, James was not the dad he should’ve been. It was always an experience tainted by drink. They went to James’s sisters one day, and mum left them in the living room, so they could have some time on their own. TJ walked out after 5 minutes because he didn’t have anything to say to his dad. He’s never had a relationship with his dad. And I don’t like that. No matter how things were, I always had my dad. It was mum I struggled with, but now things are a lot better and I’m proud of that. But dad was always there for me, and I told him everything that happened when I lived at home. I had that experience of going travelling with dad, and all the happy memories involved in that. But TJ won’t have that. And he’s 12. I was his age when James started drinking, and I struggled with it for over 5 years. But TJ experienced it from such a small age that as he grew up it was what he believed to be normal and that’s no way for a child to be. But I’ve said that I would go home and be there for him when things got bad. She doesn’t quite understand that TJ might need me. But as I said to her, she doesn’t have a good relationship with her siblings, whereas TJ and I always got on so well and he does come to me when he’s struggling. And I don’t want him to look back at this period and say “Well where was Vicky when I needed her?” He’s my little brother, and is the most special person in this world to me.

So James has 3 months. Some might call it the end of an era. But I don’t. I call it the beginning of a new one. It’s never going to be the end, because there’s always going to be the difficulties associated with what’s happened, such as my PTSD. But I’ve started to address those. James being alive or dead isn’t going to change that. It’s the beginning of another story. One without him, but with dealing with everything that has been left. Such as my little brother and mum. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for James. Be it a good or bad way, I am a different person for having experienced everything I have. I’m going to make sure that I do everything I can for my family. I love my family more than anything, and my little brother needs me. And as much as she might not admit it, mum does too.

2014 is going to be tough, but I can get through it. With my friends, family, and my new boyfriend (YES! Shock horror!) I have the people I need around me to get me there.

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Home and hounded

Well, I got home again on Tuesday, which made me very happy. I didn’t have a blood clot in the end which was good, because a blood clot would have meant stabbing myself everyday for 6 months and I couldn’t be doing with that. But I’m feeling a lot better now, and am going out on duty with the Red Cross tomorrow and Monday at the Motocross.

With regards to Red Cross, I’ve decided I’m going to give it a break for a bit on the duties front. I went downhill quite quick this time and it scared me. If I had an attack like that on duty then I would take the resources of the red cross away from the duty that we are being paid for in order to deal with me, which isn’t fair on anyone involved, so I’ve decided until I am slightly more stable then I’m not going to put my friends and colleagues in that position. So I’m going to take a more
admin role and hopefully work towards getting more skills and becoming a trainer.

I applied this week to do a BTEC in Creative Media at Leicester College. It means that I’m doing something while I’m sorting my lungs out and furthering my education at the same time. It’s things like photography and journalism etc which is a lot of what I want to do at university. Because IRS a BTEC, it’s coursework based and doesn’t have any set exams which is good if I end up captured. I could work from hospital or home and things like that and it’s not the end of the world if I miss an exam.

So I’m doing better again, and hopefully it will stay like that!