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Cookie.

So I’ve mentioned Cookie a lot on this blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually explained who she is. Cookie is Vicky, my flatmate. But with both of us being Vicky, it got a bit weird. We became friends about 8 years ago on the Kick Asthma message boards, which was the kids version of the AUK boards. We chatted for years online but nothing ever came of it until I moved to England in 2009. The first time we met, I came up to Manchester to go to a dentist appointment with her. At the time she was terrified of the dentist and had a root canal due. We were sat talking about it at 11pm the night before, and I decided that night that I’d get on a train the next day and come to the dentist with her.

The second time we met, was when I was flying home from Belfast after a close friends funeral. Cookie had been really struggling with her mental health and not much was being done about it. I told her to book a doctors appointment and I would fly back into Manchester and go to the doctors with her about her depression. That was the first time she had confronted it and actually gone to get help about it. Scary to think that’s over 5 years ago. It was Friday 6th March 2009 that I finally realised how bad things were, and to see how far things have come since then is a massive eye opener. I often wonder what would’ve happened if I didn’t come up that day. This is one of those times where I believe in fate.

Anyway, when I moved back to England after my exams and had split up with Chris, we got talking a lot again. She was having a really rough time with her mental health, and a lot of the medication she was taking for different problems were interacting and causing her to get really sick and she wasn’t keeping food down. Her GP knew they needed to stop all her meds and restart them one by one to find out which one it was that was causing all the problems. But with her MH being the way it was, it wasn’t the safest of options to have her alone during this period. Her GP wanted her admitted to the psych ward, but if you’re physically ill, which she was with the vomiting, then the psych ward won’t take her. But the medical wards considered it psych’s problems. At the time I was sleeping on my friend’s floor in Loughborough, and was stuck in a bit of a hole. It was rubbish and my head wasn’t in the best place. I said that as there wasn’t any use me sitting looking at the same four walls in Bobby’s flat, that I may as well come up and stay with Cookie while she was going through all that. I was meant to stay for a week, and I never really left.

The thing is, a lot of people have said that I made the wrong decision in coming up to stay. And this is something I’ve thought about a lot since I made that decision in Oct 2011. I have a best friend called Vicky. My best friend was in trouble, and I was in a position to help. I’ve been the person who has needed someone to be there and there’s been nobody, and I know how alone I felt at that time. I’ve lost count of the nights that we’ve sat up playing card games because she’s struggling to sleep and her head’s misbehaving, or the times I’ve put her back together because of Self Harm accidents. I’ve spent many a night with her in A&E after an overdose and a lot of other nights sitting worrying about her because she’s my best friend and we worry about best friends. In 5 years, I’ve sat with my best friend as the doctors told me she’d been deprived of oxygen and may not wake up, I’ve held her hand as she’s sat rocking back and forwards because the voices in her head were shouting things I can’t even comprehend coming out of anyone’s mouth. I’ve had to restrain her as she’s tried to escape from a ward when she’s been under a psych hold, and been the one to get the blame when she legged it off the ward regardless. But at the same time, I’ve been the one who has ended up having an asthma attack because I’ve laughed so much at something random we’ve been talking about, the one who has learned patience, empathy and a hell of a lot of compassion. I make it sound like it’s been horrific. And yea, at times it was. But when she was sectioned in 2012-2013, I had to make a decision. Would I abandon my friend in the biggest hour of need? Or would I stick around, make sure she got better and that she had a home to come back to when she got out? Needless to say that I chose option 2. Since she was discharged on the 9th April last year, the difference I see in her is unreal. She has become so much better at dealing with her symptoms, and recognising when there’s problems. She is a much better friend to me and most people have seen a complete change in her attitude to life.

From reading this blog, you all know a fair bit about me. About my health, mental stuff and problems with my stepdad. Cookie was there for me throughout it all. She sat up all night with me when James was drunk and yelling through a locked door at me, trying to kick it down to get in. Back in the days of MSN she would keep me talking all night about absolutely everything and anything to try and keep my mind off what was going on, despite the fact that we would both have school the next day at 9am. Since I moved in with her, she has become my carer, cook, sister and best friend I could ask for. I’ve been bed bound for pretty much the past 18months because of my hip. During that time she’s cooked for me, taken care of the bills and things arising with the flat, helped me with the showers, gone shopping with me and generally been at my beckoning call, and not once did she complain. She makes me laugh on my shittest days, and knows exactly when to give me a hug. She motivates me in the gym and makes sure I take care of myself and eat right. She says that she’s done nothing special, but so many people would’ve run a mile when they first met someone like me. But we look out for each other. If you ever find this and read it Cookie, then please remember that you’re special. You’re my best friend and have stood by me throughout absolutely everything that’s happened. I know you say that I’ve done the same, but you had a lot more going on in your life than I did in mine. And it was a lot more to take on when I moved in looking after me. You’re awesome, and I love you to bits.

Cookie is more than a friend to me. She’s my big sister, my confidante, my non-lesbian lover and all round good egg and I couldn’t ask for a better friend. Everyone has friends, but best friends like this are few and far between, and you should make the most of them and treasure them.

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Manic few months

Well, since my last blog post, I’ve been in hospital (surprise surprise), been back to see my family in Ireland and managed to see dad and Irene!

The hospital admission wasn’t surprising. I had a chest infection and I knew it was coming. It was a bad one for me, and scared me quite a bit. Especially because it took the ambo over an hour to get here after the FRV had arrived. I could see he was getting quite worried and I wasn’t feeling overly hot. But I’ve bounced back as usual, and as I type this, have just sat down after getting back from Ireland!

I’d gone over on the 24th Aug and was staying till today. The Saturday I’d arrived I knew that dad was going to a wedding in Belfast with Irene, and I wanted to get to see him and I knew that if I didn’t go to Belfast, I wouldn’t get to see him.  So despite having being up since 5.30am, I flew to Dublin, got the bus to Monaghan, got showered, changed and some food and then tried to find somewhere to kip in Belfast. Then got the bus to Belfast and a taxi to the hotel. So was on the go all day and didn’t get to bed until about 1.30am or so.  It was good seeing dad though and I enjoyed the wedding reception.  

The next day I got to go and have some lunch with Chris and Jen in the bus depot, then had a cup of coffee with dad and Irene before they headed for the airport. So once I’d seen them off I headed to catch the bus back to Monaghan. I was absolutely shattered. I’d been on the go for 20hours the previous day, and then got about 5 hours sleep on the Sat night. I managed to get some sleep on the bus then got home and tootered to bed for a doze. 

To be honest, the rest of my trip was pretty uneventful. I got to see my best friend Michelle a fair bit while I was home, which was absolutely amazing. I’ve not got to spend any proper time with her in a very long time because I spend so much time over here and when I am home, she tends to be working or in college. But I managed to catch her before she went back to college and we went to the cinema to see “The World’s End.” It wasn’t as good as I expected from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but it still had some laughs and I enjoyed it 🙂 Then we went for some tea and soft drinks and put the world to rights for a bit. We went home and sorted her some flights to come and see me at new years which I’m REALLY looking forward to. I’m going to be over here for new years and it’s my first new year in my new flat with Cookie, so to be able to spend it with two of my best friends is fantastic. Then yesterday we went for sunday dinner and discovered the giant Alice in Wonderland chair outside the hotel which just amused us no end! And then we went for a bit of a drive and she dropped me off at my nanny’s and had a ramble and a cup of tea at nanny’s. It was just fantastic being able to spend some time with her.

 

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But today has been manic. I stayed at nanny’s last night because it was going to be the only time I could. I checked my bank balance after midnight and nearly had a heart attack. 3 had taken my bill out twice.  Bearing in mind I’d paid it earlier in the week, I knew it shouldn’t need paid again. But they took the direct debit out and I didn’t know that was going to happen if I paid the bill early. So it left me with £5 in my bank account. Unfortunately I couldn’t speak to 3 until 8am to sort it out, so didn’t sleep great last night. But I woke up shortly after 8 and rang everyone I could to sort it out and ended up on hold to the bank for 20mins. But it was sorted out pretty quick thank feck and they put the 2nd payment back into my account immediately.

But I was able to play a little bit of football and swingball with TJ while I was home and drew some pictures with him. It was brilliant to just be able to do some normal stuff with him. I know it was sore for me and hurts now, but to be honest I don’t care. It was just good to be able to do things that he enjoys and he knows it was special because I’m not able to do it very often, and haven’t done anything like that with him in a very long time. It felt good. 

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So now I’m home, and am absolutely knackered. But I’ve got a few days before Cookie comes home and then it’s back to my loony lifestyle!