Another one down

I think I’m starting to set some kind of record; how many discharge dates can one person have yet still be in hospital? For me, today once again was supposed to be D-day, or release day, or whatever. Clearly I wasn’t marked down as good behaviour as I’m still here. I won’t get into why as that’s a bit personal for even me to be raving about on the internet, but let it be known that as soon as this final issue is sorted, I’m running for that door! Figuratively of course.

Party planning is in full swing, which is helping to take my mind off the lack of going home. Having never really planned a party, it’s proving quite the challenge. Luckily we have good family and friends around us so it’s not too stressful. Nothing over the top, just a nice celebration with our nearest and dearest. My contribution so far has been to lick some envelopes for invitations, check the room is booked, and ask my sister to sort a DJ. I think I’m doing good.

The wheelchair front is progressing well; this month I’ll hopefully meet with a few reps from companies and start to decide what suits me best, and get it ordered. The lead time for this type of kit is usually a few weeks I’m told, so I’m stuck with my tank for a little while longer.

The other night a few of my closest friends popped in to see me. I had a lovely evening; despite being in hospital, and being sober, and Sarah not being with us, it felt like old times. One of the guys I’m on about bought me a t-shirt, and quite frankly I love it. Sarah was less impressed when I wore it out shopping the next day, but what’s life without a bit of fun!

As I wait to be set free, I realise my attitude towards this entire thing seems to be changing for the better. Having those nights at home has really helped, and I feel as though I’ve had enough of a break from hospital to make it to the end. The light at the end of the tunnel is right there, I just have one last push to go. Helping me in the uphill struggle is a fantastic group of people I’ve met in the unit. Patients new and old are in a lovely group chat where we can whinge, moan, celebrate, query and chat. It really helps on the down days to know you’re not alone. Many people I thought of as friends have disappeared since the initial shock of my accident, and I’m grateful that there are so many others willing to support me as I go. I try my best to return the favour, but I’m not so sure how good I am!

On my shopping trip the other day I bought myself a new camera. Hopefully I’ll start learning how to vlog in the next few weeks, or at least take some snaps to demonstrate what life is like on wheels. I hope this will add something new to my blog; I want to share as much as I can of this new journey with those interested.

Smile! At least now I can park closer to McDonald’s! Cheers mate!

Home stretch

As we coast into the new year, I finally feel as though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The plan is that with good fortune and fair winds, these next 2 weeks (roughly) should be my last in this place.

To say I’m excited to go home is an understatement. Having spent 2 nights at christmas, then 2 nights at new year in my own bed, I’m desperate to be free. Although it will be a huge adjustment and difficult for both me and Sarah, I’m ready for it. I hope she is, as I rely on her so much. That isn’t really an issue though; she’s never let me down yet, and I know she won’t now. How lucky am I?!

I’m not sure what my plans for the immediate future are. We have an engagement party to plan, and I have a driving assessment coming up, but that’s all I have on my calendar at the moment. I’m saving up for a few bits and pieces to keep me entertained, but on the whole I’m just going to take it easy. It will be nice to just chill out at home; have my friends round for a drink, watch a film with Sarah and Amelia… Who knows what I’ll manage to do, but I’m definitely not going to let this injury define me.

I’m hoping to get a new wheelchair soon. Who knew there were so many types and variations out there?! I certainly didn’t have a clue. Now, I cant wait to try out everything the market has on offer. There are a few brilliant looking accessories I would like to try, things like a powered wheel that essentially turns your chair into a trike, or a clip on front wheel that allows better movement offroad.

This year is going to be good, I have decided. The last one was up and down for sure, but not necessarily bad. I survived, and for that I’m eternally grateful. Now, I just need to make the most of it.

Standard practice.

Any avid reader of my blog should hopefully have noticed a few things by now. I’m terrible at consistency, I worry about my skin, and I take going up and down seriously. Well, this update follows the policy of bad with the good, though this time the good far outweighs the bad.

I guess I should start with the biggest thing.

I asked Sarah to marry me and she said Yes!

I genuinely have never felt so many emotions so quickly in my life! I was terrified, nervous, hopeful, scared, happy, ecstatic and a bunch of others all within seconds of each other! I won’t go into detail here as it’s not the place, but it was cosy, romantic and I still can’t believe I’m going to marry the love of my life, the most incredible woman I’ve ever met, my best friend, My Sarah Jane.

I managed a few nights at home; christmas eve was a fantastic night with music, carols, reindeer dust and my favourite poem. Christmas morning was much of the same, with proper family time being my main focus. I recieved some lovely gifts; a bottle of scotch, socks, and a coat I’ve wanted for a very long time. More importantly, Father Christmas visited Amelia, and she seemed to have a whale of a time. The order of service next took us to my mum’s house for an absolute beast of a feast, which was brilliant. Cheers Mam! Following that, we swapped gifts with the family there, which I always love. By the time we had dessert I could barely moved, thank god I was already on wheels.

Back at home, Sarah’s brother and his wife arrived, and we had a great time seeing them and celebrating our new engagement. We finished off with Sarah’s cousin joining us; a lovely close to a great day.

Unfortunately, the next day was not quite so good. I headed back into hospital for what I thought would be a quick shower and check over, and ended up me staying in. I spiked a temperature, had a bad chest, and just became rather unwell, although I felt fine. Never mind, plenty of time of celebrations later.

A few days later, on Saturday, I had a fight on my hands; the hospital would prefer I stay in hospital, but I want to head out to 2nd christmas with my dad’s family. Luckily, a very understanding ward sister and a bit of a faff later I found myself in the pub with my family. It was a great few hours filled with laughter, love, more gifts, more food, and happy memories.

Overall Christmas was a huge success, and I can’t wait for the next one to fully enjoy it all at home!

Happy New Year All!

Christmas eve!

I cant begin to explain how fast Christmas has come around for me. One minute I’m waking up from a coma, then I’m sat in a pub on black Friday having some food with my family. Wow!

I must apologise for the lack of posts; I’ve been rather tired recently, so combining that with lots of therapy as well as starting to live a life of my own has meant I’m shattered.

I’ve had a busy time recently if I’m honest. I’ve cracked car transfers, meaning I can finally get into my own car (albeit as a passenger) and have managed to get out and about. From picking up my daughter on her last day of school to heading to the pub, managing to get back in a car is another step (ignore the pun) towards freedom.

I’m thankfully going to be home for a few nights over the festive period. Christmas eve is always a highlight of my year; I love reading ‘t’was the night before Christmas’ to Amelia, settling in and sorting out presents etc… the stress of it all is worth it on christmas morning, although this year the stress has all fallen on Sarah. She has been incredible, and I can’t wait to be home to look after her for a while.

So here we are, Christmas eve, what a magical time. Tonight I’ll play guitar in church as usual, head home for a chocolate, then sleep in my own bed for the first time in almost five months. I can’t wait, but at the same time I’m rather nervous. Let’s see how it goes.

On a final note, I want to wish each and every person who has supported me along this journey so far, a very merry christmas and all the best for the new year. There are exciting times ahead, and I can’t wait to see where we go!

Christmas is coming

Well here we are, the Christmas period. For me, it all notmally begins with putting the tree up, decorating the house, getting calendars, and of course shopping. This year is a little different, in that I’ve done none of those things. It would be fair to say I’m not feeling particularly christmassy at the moment, but I’m getting more into the spirit. Sarah has been working tirelessly (along with some help) to move us into our new bungalow, and hopefully I’ll be able to spend all of the christmas period at my new home.

Having a young daughter makes missing out on christmas very hard indeed. I look forward to it all year; seeing her take in the lights on the tree, be excited to see what’s wrapped up, pinching chocolate. But none of that for me this year; she’s still loving it by all accounts, I’m just not able to watch at the moment. But this isn’t a sob story, it’s just making me more determined to get home as soon as I can. Whether I’m home just for the day, on home leave or completely discharged, I plan on fully enjoying christmas with my fantastic little family.

For me, in a way, I’m getting the best presents of all. I’m coming back to my family, getting a new home, and potentially getting out of hospital. Winning!

That being said, at the moment my mood is most definitely low. I can’t explain it really, I guess I’m just fed up of this entire thing. People controlling my life, not knowing the next step, people guessing at what should happen with my care… oh well. Not long left I hope. Today there is another reason for me to be sad. I’m losing one of my long time inmate friends, Steve. He’s helped me stay positive and face the challenges we have in common with true grit, and I’ll really miss having him here. Sharing this journey with others, although horrible, is very comforting. Good luck to you my mate. You’re a true gent.

At least today I am up in my chair for a few hours. I ache like hell, which I would guess is down to being in bed for days, but at least I’m up. Laying on your side and eating is impossible really, so it’s great to be upright. I’m not sure what my plans for the day are, but I should probably start christmas shopping.

Up and down

This week started off really well. Tuesday saw my goal planning meeting go brilliantly, it was the first time I left feeling really positive. We discussed even potentially moving my discharge date forward! Everyone agreed I was doing well, and there were just a few more issues to iron out until I can go home. Following that, my coastguard team were in the area so I popped out to see them. That was really lovely, I miss being out on jobs with them so was great to catch up for a minute.

Since then, I’ve sort of been sliding downhill. Obviously after such a high on tuesday, I had to start coming back down to earth. Wednesday wasn’t exactly a bad day, it just certainly wasn’t as good as it could have been. I’ve said it before; these things are to be expected, but that doesn’t make the day go any faster.

Thursday was a bad day. Overnight, somehow pressure was on me in the wrong kind of way, leaving a bright red mark on my skin. After being checked by my consultant, it was decided to be on bed rest until Monday. Because of the placement of the mark (yes on my arse again for those of you wondering) I have to be completely on a side again, practically at 90 degrees. I can do 4 hours on my left, but only 2 on my right. This also doesn’t help my bad right shoulder, that aches after two minutes. I managed to get some ibuprofen gel prescribed with the help of a fantastic healthcare assistant we shall call KJ, which really helps. Cheers for that!

I really hate bed rest. It’s boring, a waste of time and most importantly it takes away my independence and freedom. I know it’s for the best, but that really doesn’t make it easier to deal with. I sound like a broken record, don’t I? I think it’s fair enough. I was meant to be starting car transfers, meaning I could get out and about much easier; but it wasn’t meant to be. Now that I’m not so acutely unwell, all of these setbacks are extremely frustrating.

I heard a quote once, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you deal with it. I’m still learning to make that 90 percent positive.

London bridge will not fall down

Firstly, I know this post has nothing to do with the aims of this blog, but occasionally things need to be said and, as my outlet, this is where I will post.

The London bridge attack saw multiple people injured, two people murdered, and the attacker shot dead. I’m not claiming to know everything on this subject, but I’ve followed as it became news and I have deep regret that once again, one evil person has managed to make such a mark on the lives of others.

It truly is times like these that as citizens of a nation, as neighbours, and as friends we must pull together.

The police officers involved, both armed and unarmed, are heroes in my eyes. It is believed that one man involved in initially subduing the attacker and taking the knife from him was in fact an off duty officer; I respect you sir. From the video footage, it appears that 3 armed officers jumped into the struggle, removed all civilians from the danger zone, and confronted this person. At that point, one officer was forced to make a decision; risk letting this man live whilst faced with a suicide vest meaning risking his own life, his colleagues, and the public, or use his weapon. I can’t begin to imagine what this officer had running through his head, but I am glad he was there, and so well trained. This man did his job perfectly. I’m not getting into the politics and ethics of it all, but hats off to that officer.

I will not name the attacker and give him what he wanted. I will think of the families of those affected, and I will think of the bravery of everyone, both police and civilian, involved in ending this person’s attack.

RIP Jack Merritt. You did not deserve to die. I am thinking of you, and your family.

RIP to the lady murdered in this senseless attack. I do not know your name, but I am thinking of you all the same.

Thank you to all involved. You are the definition of ‘hero’. I am sorry you were forced to become that.