Something a little different…

Today, as the title says, I would like to share something a little different. My younger sister, Ciara, has recently revealed that she has a knack for writing (must run in the family) but more specifically she writes fantastic poetry. What I will post below was written by my sister for an assignment in school, however I think it is fantastic and as with any art, must be shared as far as possible. She has posted some of her work on facebook, in a group called NHS 2020 HUMAN CHAIN, which is linked here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/887592825011065/891647074605640/?comment_id=891651101271904&reply_comment_id=891652247938456&notif_id=1585904351762647&notif_t=group_comment_mention

The work I am posting here is about me being in intensive care, during my 8 day medically induced sleep. She wrote this in november, so I was around 4 months into my recovery. I think it is a very raw, real reflection of how she felt, and makes for a very compelling read. That’s enough from me, so here it is!

Powerlessly hopeful. As time stood still, we barged our way through the hustle and bustle; mile-long corridors held open our way to hell. Then it all stopped. The first set of heavy, steel, prison-like doors opened. Wearily, we entered, not knowing how many of us would make it back out. 

Warm like hell, but my blood ran cold. I sank into the itchy chair, waiting powerlessly. Unable to catch my breath, I choked up, so naive, not even remotely ready to see what was lurking on the other side of that cheap, old wall. The room was dingy, musty smelling, caked in fear upon innocent family member’s faces, past and present. History was made that day, and every day before it – a small victory was gladly welcomed by everyone. 

It was light inside, but the light was artificial. I was dark. Hollow in fact. Horror consumed me like a huge storm cloud covering the sun. Deafeningly silent was the only way to describe it, avoiding eye-contact with strangers yet they were the people that understood our pain the most. We were hopeful, yet powerless. Every single moment in there was morose, but what was to come was almost ominous. 

From fighting our way through what felt like a brass chain of people, to being in a prison cell, to what we experienced next – I crumbled. 

Intensive care… it’s not said lightly- a place full of machinery, like a 24/7 operation, working seamlessly under the pressure of life or death. Stimuli filled every corner: lights, sounds, the susurrus of nurses were over-powering. Vaguely, I remember how daunting the stealth of the room was, by the pulsing of my heart, throbbing out of my chest, truly pulling on all its strings. Despite being surrounded by people from all walks of life, I was totally solitary. 

Sarah and I made the glance, apprehensively – in sync with each other almost blending in with the unnatural surroundings. My eyes welled up with streams of tears, like looking through shattered glass, unable to make sense of anything i saw. Beep… beep… beep the ghostly sound that kept his weak body fighting, whilst ours broke into a million pieces. Lifelessly, he laid there, off in his own world, a crazy place of nothing. His eyes were locked shut; we didn’t know when he’d wake up. 

Time was represented by his body, completely still. The only chain visible now, was the one connecting me to my brother. For so long we were unsure about everything, but in that moment, I could see as clear as day that we were all going to make it out. For the very first time, we were all powerfully hopeful.

By Ciara Watson

A Helping Hand

This entire situation is completely unprecedented, and none of us (I think) have quite managed to grasp the magnitude of what is happening. What is important to remember though is that although it isn’t exactly fun being stuck in the house with nothing to do, there are plenty of people in a worse position. I am very lucky in that I don’t live alone, and therefore at least I have company. Some people are not so fortunate, and that is the entire point of this post. Whilst we live in a world that is more and more connected, there are still plenty of people that do not rely on technology for socialising and therefore are completely socially isolated, potentially for 12 weeks or more.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, it is more important than ever that communities come together, families stay in touch, and that we are all considerate in our actions. Whilst I am by no means an angel, I feel as though Sarah and I are at least trying to do our bit. We popped a note through our elderly neighbour’s door to let them know that if they need anything, they can just call round or phone me. Thankfully, they have taken us up on the offer a few times now and therefore have protected themselves from any unnecessary risk. More than that though, it is important that they know they are not alone through this.

I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of support I have been shown since the start of this lockdown. Friends have messaged to check in, family have offered to share supplies, and people have offered (and been taken up on the offer) to go shopping for us, and I think that is a true sign of the world that we live in; it’s not all bad. Whilst I can’t see this ending any time soon, I am not worried as I know I have plenty of willing and able people who are kind enough to offer their help. As I can’t do the things i would like to and help in the way I wish I could, I’d like to at least help by offering some ideas for those of you struggling yourself, or know someone who is.

In situations like this, tech is very much our friend. Apps such as HouseParty, Zoom or even plain old FaceTime are great; where a phone call is lovely, that extra dimension of seeing someone’s face is infinitely better especially when someone is stuck in isolation. If anyone needs help setting anything up, then feel free to get in touch with me! most of these things are free, which is a bonus. The only issue is that they require a smartphone or tablet. Skype does still exist, and is a brilliant platform, however the issue with that at the moment is that due to everyone working from home, office essentials such as webcams are difficult to come by.

Facebook is becoming an extremely useful tool at the moment too. There are many community action groups, all designed to put those with needs in touch with those with means. The way in which these groups seem to mostly work is by people posting what they can do, and then those with needs can get in touch. Another common formula is one central director/s control the team of volunteers, and distribute the work as it comes in. Thankfully I have not needed to access such a group yet, however i am extremely appreciative of them being there, and I am in awe of those giving up their time to help others during this national crisis. If this sounds interesting, please check out https://covidmutualaid.org/ as this resource lists most of the community groups available.

For those less inclined to use technology, nothing is better than a handwritten letter. The World Health Organisation has stated that the risk of infection from things like letters and parcels is minimal, so hand delivering a letter to someone who would otherwise have no interaction is no risk to anyone.

Finally, I would like to say that if anyone needs a chat, my inbox is always open. Mental health is a serious consideration in situations like this, and we must all take steps to ward off cabin fever and loneliness. Hopefully it won’t be much longer and we can all get back to what we love and know, but with much more mindfulness for those of us without anyone to talk to.

It may be an iPad, but I have a feeling it may still need to come with instructions…

Week 2 Beginning

So it seems that I have survived the first week of lockdown! I am in awe of the amount of community spirit that has been shown these last seven days; the way in which people have come together in spite of being forcibly separated. We keep hearing it on the news, that the liberty of free people hasn’t been restricted like this since the second world war. How crazy is that?! The last time we couldn’t do what we want in a way like this was during the blitz. It is incredible to think of, and what’s even more incredible is the fact that people are. for the most part, actively participating in advocating the rules. Yes, it is a very difficult time, and unfortunately we don’t have a timescale for when it will end, but bare in mind that it eventually will. Even already it is becoming natural, and hopefully if we all abide by the rules this will not be anything long term.

Obviously not being allowed out of the house means that Sarah, Amelia and I have not really been up to a great deal. We have had a daily walk around the estate for our legally allowed exercise, and Sarah has kept shopping to a minimum. Aside from that, we have been trying (mostly) to stick to Amelia’s home schooling plan. It’s strange, with her being in nursery I didn’t really expect to have all that much to think about, but it really is quite intense. Between 26 letter and infinite numbers, there is quite a lot to learn! We try and make it as fun as possible, but unfortunately writing kind of has to be on paper, so needs to be sat at a desk. Oh well. We have had scavenger hunts, collecting things like socks and books in the house and leaves and branches when out on our walks. We listen to nursery rhymes, many of which are based on numbers. Hands up who can actually remember the words for them all? I certainly can’t, so thank god for spotify.

So whilst we have managed it pretty well so far, boredom can seriously be an issue. Board games are making a comeback, as well as card games and good old fashioned books. The app ‘HouseParty’ has become a favourite of ours, allowing us to chat to our friends and play games via the internet. What a world we live in, where despite not being allowed closer than 2m to each other we still have the opportunity to chat and have a laugh. We are very lucky indeed.

So, with not much to say at the moment, I think I’ll end it here. With it being all over the news and the first topic of conversation on everyone’s lips (Including mine, for those of you who listened to my first podcast) there is so much more to the world and to life than just Covid-19. Not everything needs to be about how bad it is, I think we all have enough doom and gloom for now. With that said, I just want to say that for those of you with the virus or showing symptoms, you are in my thoughts. The same goes for those of you with unwell family members, especially if you are unable to see them. Take care of each other, obey the rules and together we will get through this.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them - Henri Matisse

Your country needs you!

Damn Samuel, back at it again with the coronavirus! (Milennial reference right there.)

This coming week, if we look at comparative data from other countries, is going to be the worst yet for the spread of this horrible disease. That means that more people will be unwell, possibly without knowing as they won’t be showing symptoms. They will go outside, mingle with others and spread it further. This, in a nutshell, is the entire problem that we are facing. Selfish people, those who refuse to adhere to the advice of staying at home and observing social distancing, are going to cause people to become ill, and possibly die.

That is a fact. People will die. These deaths will be the result of selfishness.

Too many people are part of the problem rather than the solution; lives are at stake, and there are far too many people treating this like a holiday. Schools have not closed to allow an extra family trip to the lakes, being off sick is not an excuse to take a trip to the seaside; this is a global pandemic people! We all have a moral duty to do the best we can to just keep away from other people.

As humans, we are naturally sociable animals, and so this is never going to be easy. My heart truly does go out to those people that are being asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks, as that is a bloody long time. Whilst I was in hospital and had C-Diff, I was in isolation for 3 weeks, and that was bad enough. Granted at least self-isolation is in your own home, but that is still a huge ask of people. However, and I don’t say this lightly, I believe it is the right thing to do. Just today, I got a text from one of my friends saying he had been sent home from work with a cough. it may seem trivial, but he has been told that even coughing three times an hour is enough for it to be classed as a symptom, and so I am totally in agreement that he needs to isolate. Thankfully he is a very good guy, and will play by the rules, but far too many others in the same position simply won’t, or even simply don’t.

In the next half hour, PM Boris Johnson is due to make a further announcement, and the rumour mill is rife with the belief that we will be put on a total lockdown. Who knows, maybe that is a good thing? With so many shops taking responsibility and closing or massively scaling back their operations we are already massively confined in our choices, and by taking the incentive away from people to be in public spaces hopefully we will see a fast reduction in the transmission of the virus.

  1. Stay at home
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Only go out when 100% necessary, and even then go alone
  4. When in public, maintain a minimum 2m distance
  5. Think of others when buying; we all need the same things, and there is enough to go around if we all play our part

Those are the main points that we are being told, and yet so many people are failing to do such simple things. Maybe this possible lockdown will be a wake up call, and finally people will take this seriously.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

Stop the world, I want off. So much for going to the Winchester for a nice cold pint and waiting for this all to blow over! All jokes aside, this evening’s developments are huge, and genuinely do mean that our entire way of living will change, both immediately and for the foreseeable. Even when normality resumes, whatever form that may take, the effects of what is occurring right now will be felt for years to come. Between unprecedented aid packages from the government to the degree of cooperation from the general public, this is unlike anything that has ever happened before and it is incredibly unlikely that we will ever see something like this again in our lifetime.

I really don’t have a great deal to say tonight. With all that is going on in the world, it is so hard to keep up with accurate and reliable information, so it would be wrong for me to comment on anything other than things I am up to date on the facts about. What I do know is that there are so many people suffering the effects of this outbreak, and these effects are much further reaching than just physical. From self employed staff losing business and having to worry about if they will stay afloat, small family businesses having to lay off staff to well known restaurants and pubs having to close and not know when they will be allowed to open again, my heart goes out to anyone and everyone affected. And that is before we even get to the uncertainty around those on zero hour contracts who live month to month reliant on the gig economy…

Sarah and I are lucky to find ourselves in the position of being able to look after Amelia at home, and therefore we can effectively self isolate. However, there are so many people who will struggle to do this, from our incredible NHS and healthcare workers to those ‘key’ members of staff such as truck drivers, store cleaners and emergency service workers. One thing that I have found to be incredibly lousy so far is the lack of definition provided by the government; they are leaving vague, unhelpful statements lingering in the air for far too long. Only 48 hours after saying that schools would remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers did they actually define the term, which caused even more anxiety in an already volatile situation. I count myself extremely lucky that I do have some level of certainty through all of this; at least I know I don’t have to worry about childcare.

As with any post around this, let’s say situation, I’ll always try to be balanced. I dont want bags of negativity in my life, so where there is bad there must also be good. For one, I get so much more time with Amelia. HAving spent the last half of last year in hospital I didn’t get as much time with her as I would have liked, so here is a great opportunity. Plus, we get the absolute privilege of helping her to learn at such a young age. Obviously we will have help from the school in the form of pre-set activities and ideas, but what a thing to be able to say to her in the future, that during the great plague of 2020 we taught you to read! Another good point is that in modern life, family time often comes at a premium. Hopefully some of those now required to work from home will benefit in that respect!

The biggest positive of all however has to be the sense of community spirit that is constantly being developed and demonstrated. I see community groups on facebook offering everything from people adding extra shopping so as to donate to food banks to people offering to grab essentials for isolated individuals. People are sharing their expertise; as students head home, many of my teacher friends have taken to facebook to offer help and advice wherever possible. Even things like brightening up people’s day by posting a nice picture have a profound effect; this really is bringing out all aspects of humanity. Hopefully we will learn many lessons from this, and not just about disease preparedness. We can all be kind, we can all work together, and we can all do our bit to make the world a better place.

Dropping the C-Bomb

By no means am I an expert, or do I claim to be in a position to offer advice or information, so please do not take anything I say as gospel. There is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering going on, so this is my disclaimer; follow government and other official advice. This post is a personal view, and I am in no position of authority. My views are my own.

I have to say, when I planned on leaving hospital and my discharge drew near, I tried my best to run through many scenarios and plan for as many eventualities as possible. I thought about having to go into a care home, having to use swimming pools for showers, how i would get out and about without Sarah… One thing that I can categorically say did not cross my mind is a worldwide pandemic.

Covid-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, cov-19, Wuhan flu, China flu or any number of other names is all that’s in the news at the moment. It’s more than a pandemic, it’s absolute pandemonium. There are bare shelves in shops, hour-long waits to simply get into supermarkets, and the one thing that is far too common at the moment is a sense of self preservation at the expense of all others. And if I’m honest, that scares me a hell of a lot more than the actual virus ever could.

At the time of writing, the official advice given states that if you are advised to get and offered a flu jab every year, you fall into the category of ‘at risk’ when it comes to this new virus. That means I fall into the ‘at risk’ category, and when you couple that with my reduced lung function, my reduced ability to effectively cough and my weakened immune system following months in hospital and recent infections, I think it is fair to say I am trying my best to take this situation seriously with a clear and level head. I do not buy into the panic, the scaremongering or the conspiracies, however I try to see the facts and I see this getting way worse before it gets any better. My reasoning for that is that we can look at how other countries who are ahead of us in their reaction to the virus, and they are all in a much worse place than we are currently. So, what exactly are the facts I hear nobody say because they are thrown at us in a way that makes us think we all understand but don’t? Well, this is how I see it.

There is a virus going around, which is much like seasonal flu or an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, however there is no vaccination against it and currently no known cure for it. It also appears to be much more infectious than seasonal influenza. We as a country must therefore work together in order to protect the most vulnerable, such as those with preexisting respiratory conditions or cancer, and the way in which we can work together is by ‘social distancing’, or avoiding being together as much as is possible. The current evidence suggests that the virus is spread when people with the virus cough or sneeze, and the droplets from that cough or sneeze find their way into another person’s body, through mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and eyes. Therefore, by avoiding others wherever possible (social distancing) we can reduce the spread of the virus. The problem there is that it is not physically possible for everyone to isolate themselves from everyone else. We need to shop, we need to take care of others, the list goes on in ways that we cannot avoid being in close proximity to others. What is the point in this then? well, that is the ‘delay’ aspect of the government’s plan. by slowing the spread of the virus, it gives the health service chance to deal with all of the cases that need hospitalisation. Of all cases, approximately 5% are critical and therefore require hospitalisation. So, with the UK population being around 66 million, that means  3300000 people are going to require hospitalisation if everyone in the UK catches it. Now that is clearly a very dramatic number, but to keep it as simple as possible in my head that is how I see it. That number, 3.3 million, is simply far too much for our amazing NHS to deal with at once. So, by socially distancing and slowing the spread, we have a steady stream of people becoming unwell rather than everyone at once. This also means that those in hospital already have a chance to improve and be discharged, thus freeing up beds.

This is the exact reason we all need to work together. These are unprecedented times that we live in, and we are making history as we speak. We are all socially responsible to play our part, and I for one really do believe that we can do it. Obviously I’m not thrilled about it, but that doesn’t really matter. Personally I am avoiding large crowds wherever possible, making sure I and everyone who enters my home has good hand hygiene, and trying to remain as calm as possible. Sarah and I have not been ‘panic buying’, but we are being sensible in what we buy. There is no point filling up cupboards with food that goes off quickly, but at the same time we don’t need 20 KG of dried pasta sat there. I see this as being a delicate balancing act, matching purchases with what we actually need and not going overboard. At the same time, the media-induced mass hysteria makes that near impossible, as the few people buying up trolley loads of toilet roll leave nothing for the rest of us. If everyone simply bought what they needed and maybe a few extras, we could all slowly build up enough to last should shortages come to pass. I do believe that there may be supply problems; if truck drivers, warehouse workers, shop workers etc become unwell, then there could well be shortages. Having said that, it simply is something we will have to deal with. Look at generations before us; during wars, when there was nobody to do those jobs, everyone somehow managed, and we will manage this. It is is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence hopefully, and when it passes I want to be able to look back and say we did well.

The latest announcement from the Prime Minister is that all schools are to close from friday, except for those children whose parents are critical to the efforts and work in the NHS, emergency services etc. This is going to change things a great deal, however the basics will stay the same. As we go into this time, I’ll try and update everyone with activities and things we do with Amelia that fall into the ‘safe’ category. Obviously normal school holiday time activities are out as most are social, but we look forward to having so much time with her!

Overall, there are a few basic points to remember.

  • Good hand hygiene is essential, so wash hands regularly with water and soap for at least 20 seconds with use of hand gel between washes
  • Coughs and sneezes spread diseases has never been more accurate, so use a tissue wherever possible or cough into your elbow
  • Avoid large crowds such as sporting events, arenas, busy shops etc
  • Try to stay calm, even though it’s a scary time we are all in this together
  • Try to remember those around that may suffer more; keep in touch with elderly neighbours and relatives, especially if they can use technology such as facetime, Skype etc.

Mental health is going to be a huge thing to try and manage throughout this whole experience. With being in such close proximity to others we live with for an extended time, tensions can run high. There is no shame in finding things difficult, so remember to talk!

Another thing to remember is all the things that can still be done. Board games with the family, gardening, going for a walk, finishing those odd jobs around the house… there are so many things we can all do, and make the most of this time. There are community groups popping up all over facebook offering ideas and assistance where possible, and I would love it if anyone who read this could benefit (or help) in any way. Community spirit has been seen all over the world recently, most notably the singing from balconies in Italy. Let’s all make the most of this, and show that no matter what we value each other.

On a final note, this blog is very personal; it may be on the internet and an open read, but it’s like my personal diary. I write what I think and press post. I don’t mean to come across as telling anyone what to do, so please don’t think I am. Being in a chair means that I can’t be as helpful to my community as I would like to be, so this is my way of doing my bit and spreading the message. If I can help anyone in any way, please get in touch. I’m always up for a chat, I have found some brilliant resources for young children, and I am in touch with many people in the local community (Teesside) that I can put you in touch with as needed.

Thank you to everyone who reads and supports me; it honestly means the world. This is hard, and will only get harder, but we will thrive again. Peace and love to all.

Sad but true

Well, my ankle appears to be healing nicely, or at least the bruising is. Trying to remember to not just throw my legs about like normal is proving to be a lot harder than anticipated; it’s crazy how easy it is to forget you have an injury when you can’t feel it! I’ve tried my best to elevate and keep it safe, but despite being sat down all day it’s easier said than done!

Last night, our friends Aaron, Lucie, Jack and Abi came round for drinks and a takeaway. It’s crazy how the simplest things in life, like drinks with mates, make the biggest impact on your mood. The last few days I’ve been a bit up and down, but it was exactly what I needed to remind me why I need to push through the bad times and focus on the good.

I’ve had quite a few reasons to smile recently, not least of all being home for over a month now! I’ve had a job interview, been conditionally offered the job, I’m getting closer to a car… there are so many positive things going on in my life, that when something negative comes along it really stands out. For example, Sarah recently had to delete some troll comments on my Facebook page. They were just pictures, and although some could have found them offensive I just thought to myself ‘why would you bother taking the time?’ To me, it seems as though there must be something more productive to do with your time than to sit and post spam on a blog ran by a person you clearly don’t know!

Another example is how other people try to drag others down, through what can only be imagined to be either ignorance or jealousy. So, yesterday, someone I have met through my injury took the time to sit and write multiple Facebook posts about me, without tagging me, messaging me or even attempting to get in touch with me. Although I wasn’t named, it was pretty obvious what it was about. I had left a group chat that wasn’t helping me keep in a positive mind frame, and then suddenly these status’ appeared… you do the maths. So, wanting to give this person the opportunity to air their issues with me, I messaged them this morning. What resulted was a poor attempt at causing aggravation and upset, and me asking questions without receiving answers. It even got to the point of name calling and being somewhat abusive, which was thoroughly unnecessary. I’m a big believer in live and let live, and when it comes to having an opinion we can all have our own. However, clearly certain people are not of the same school of thought. I’ll not name names, as I don’t believe that to be a good idea or conducive to what I’m trying to achieve here, but in this person’s eyes I was something akin to the devil for ‘turning against the group’… give me a break. All throughout this, let’s call it a conversation, points were raised which I either adequately countered, asked for more clarification on, or agreed with. None of the questions I asked were addressed, and when I raised a point negating the allegations – and I use that word loosely – against me, I got nothing in reply. The best was still yet to come though. The final message I received from this person is shown in the screenshot below.

I generally find that this community of people, both with and without the same condition as me, is generally fully supportive and understands the importance of mental health. On this occasion though, I have seen the opposite. If I was a different person, and I wasn’t as comfortable with myself as I am, the comments made could do some serious damage. I raise this point as the person involved is twice my age, and really should know better considering the support I have seen them need. Men under the age of 35 are the most at-risk group for suicide, and it’s things like this that can easily lead there. Luckily I am not intimidated, upset, or even remotely interested. I post this to raise awareness of the fact that despite thinking you know someone, they may not always have your best interests at heart. This was a low blow by anyone’s standards, and more importantly it’s just plain nasty. There was nothing to be gained by saying this, and yet here we are.

So, the moral of this story, is that you are well within your rights to disagree with someone. You can do what you want, both on and off the internet, and most likely there will be no consequence to your actions. But as a whole, we all need to try and consider what we say to others. We don’t know what they have been or are currently going through, and we don’t know what effect our words could have.

Clearly shown below I did reply once again to this individual, but they have ignored me since then, so I would just like to make one thing abundantly clear; I do not have an issue with anyone. Not this individual, not anyone they are referring to, nobody. I enjoy meeting and speaking with others in similar situations, and I met a lot of good people in hospital. I guess there has to be one bad apple in every barrel.

In hospital, everyone is vulnerable at some point. At the point at which I met this person, I was not. I’m not sure who is spoken for by the use of ‘we’, but if that was the only reason this person spoke to me then maybe they need some help. And, if I was only liked for my vulnerability and the chance to exploit it, I’m sorry to disappoint!

Back to the beginning!

I’ll be back! That’s what I thought the last time I left James Cook hospital following my overnight stay. What I didn’t realise at the time was quite how soon that would be. Yesterday morning I woke up and started the day as normal. When Sarah was checking my skin, she noticed my ankle was swollen and not a particularly good colour. Oh. Bright yellow with a tinge of green, even I thought it was a funny colour. So after a long morning of trying to avoid it, between the district nurses and Sarah I was convinced to get it checked. Oh well! What better than an afternoon chilling there, with a packed room of people all waiting to be seen before me. Thankfully there wasn’t a single scaremongering moron wearing a useless surgical mask anywhere in sight.

Surprisingly quickly my name was called and I was taken through to see a doctor, who had one quick look at my ankle. After a twist and shake, we were sent off to X-ray for foot and ankle pictures. Unfortunately they were not the type some people like to buy on the internet. We were seen almost immediately, where the lovely radiographer helped to position my leg, and as soon as it began our photoshoot was over. I headed back to A&E, then once again back to the waiting room. After no more than 10 minutes my name was called again, and I was taken back to the doctor who initially saw me. He showed me the X-Rays, and explained everything he was looking for and could see. I’ve seen a fair few before, nowhere near enough to be considered able to read them, but even i could see that my bone density had dramatically decreased. We saw what looked like a break in one of the bones in my ankle, but as i had no pain and don’t weightbear anyway i was sent home with the advice to elevate it and come back if there are any other problems!

Overall it was a fairly pleasant experience, nothing like the horror stories you usually hear of queues out the door and hours upon hours of waiting. The only thing i could possibly improve was the disabled toilet, as it was a nightmare trying to shut the door. Not bad going, all things considered.

In other news I have finally started putting together a podcast, which I am pretty confident in not doing so well but it’s fun for me, so who cares! If you do enjoy listening to ramblings and stories of hospital, please consider giving it a listen when i finally put it out there. Also, if you have anything you would like me to talk about or even would like to join me, please get in touch!

On one final thought for the day, we all need to remember that life is too short to be selfish and unkind to others. the state of the country at the moment, with all hell breaking loose over a virus, is absolutely ludicrous. If one or two people buy all the hand soap available in shops, then how can the rest of us wash our hands and thus protect the wider community?! It is times like these that we all need to pull together as a team, and make sure that we get through this with as little hurt for people losing family members as possible. We survived SARS, Swine flu, Mad Cow disease, Ebola, the mayan calendar running out, Y2K… We will survive this. Just wash your bloody hands!

Pretty colours!

All hands on deck

Well, it finally happened. Today was the day I went skydiving! Okay, not quite, I just experienced an unexpected rush of gravity. In plain terms, I fell flat on my arse, very literally. Whilst I was transferring into my wheelchair, I somehow slipped and found myself rapidly approaching the floor. Thankfully, I did some form of spin and landed facing the way I’d come from, rather than face planting or hitting into my nightstand. That didn’t make it any more fun however, and I quickly shouted Sarah to come and help me!

After a refresher on how to recover courtesy of YouTube, and a slight rearranging of the house to give me a better surface to work on than just plain laminate flooring, Sarah and I managed to somehow get me up on my knees from where I could claw my way back up onto the bed. In all honesty, it was very very hard. That’s probably partly to do with us having a soft bed, and me being rather weak still (I’m working on it) and, of course, I could always do with losing a few pounds (not even pretending that I’m working on that). Thankfully investigations found that I’d sustained no injuries other than a bit of a bruised ego and slightly knocked confidence. These things are bound to happen, but that doesn’t make them any more pleasant when they do. I had practiced this a few times in physio, and I’m definitely glad for that.

Whilst obviously an unpleasant experience, I have to say I’m glad it’s happened. I was going to end up falling at some point, but at least Sarah was here and we managed between us to stay calm, formulate a plan and sort me out. It really was one of those “Oh S**T” moments, as the reality of gravity being an enemy really hit home. Living with any condition that results in falls is not pleasant at all, but until now I honestly didn’t realise how vulnerable I could feel. There was so much more to think about than just getting back up; have I hurt myself? Have I done some serious damage? What about pressure relief to avoid skin break down, do I need to get on my cushion? What about if I’m actually stuck? Although this is my reality, in all honesty it wasn’t all that bad. I won’t be all that upset if it doesn’t happen again for a while.

In other news, now that the appropriate paperwork has arrived, i can finally start to look at ordering a car! I am unbelievably excited for the independence it will afford me. From going to the shops, driving on family days out, or simply taking myself off for a cheeky maccies, I never realised how much i would miss driving if i ever couldn’t. And I would like to address a point a few people have made, in regards to me not being a good driver. I am a very good driver, at least in my own opinion. Not once have I crashed a car! Motorcycles on the other hand, not my forte…