Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life can be bloody sometimes . . .

My life, since Steve died, seems to have been jinxed.

His death was bad enough not to mention the burglary a few weeks later. This was followed by my collapse in the garden - being rushed by ambulance to local hospital and Coronary Care.
It wasn't my heart - merely grief, stress and overdoing things.

A lovely mature (35 year old) quince tree was uprooted a few months later in a storm, and a superb old (40 year) Cotoneaster tree died earlier this year - used to call it the Bird Tree 'cos that's where they perched.
The prettiest tree in the garden also died - a mature Pseudo Acacia Frisia - both this and the Cotoneaster apparently affected by the bad winter. Losing three trees within a few months has completely changed the garden and upset me no end.

I was overwhelmed by the tasks facing me but worked non-stop. Have to paddle one's own canoe. Developed severe pain in my back and could only sit for short periods. Saw a nurse practitioner (busy surgery - no doctors available) in April. Nurse diagnosed sciatica and prescribed Codipar etc.,
Assumed it was something I would have to live with - continued to work albeit very slowly and painfully, but my back problem worsened. Had to drag myself about and could not walk properly - only shuffle. As indeed I still do. Having headaches and attacks of vertigo these past 3 weeks.

Saw GP in May who thought I should see a neurologist and have urgent MRI scan. Received an appointment 3 weeks later and to my surprise was seen by a nurse practitioner in pain management department - not a Consultant neurologist as I was led to believe. She did however arrange for an immediate MRI scan which revealed bulging disc problems (spinal stenosis) and after some argy bargy with orthopaedic department at local hospital - have finally been referred to a neurosurgeon - as opposed to an orthopaedic surgeon - now have an appointment on 15th August.

The pain and lack of mobility has depressed me - with increasing feelings of distress and loss - feel I am disintegrating.

I discourage visitors as most leave me feeling worse. Find myself having to sit and listen to their own much worse tales of woe or how their uncle's wife's best friend has lost an arm and a leg, or a third cousin four times removed has died, or some such tragedy. I do my best to be sympathetic but feel lousy, and guilty at mentioning my own problems.

Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where each tries to outdo the other in misery.

Stephen was diagnosed with stomach cancer in summer of 2008 but thought he had years to live. Carried on as normal. Told it had spread to his liver in November 2008 but was operable. Had chemo in January 2009. Had a stroke. Cancer kicked in with a vengeance - discovered primary site of bowel cancer. Inoperable and terminal. I set aside my life and looked after him, as you know.
Although it was hard, at least there was purpose to my life.

Was offered a full-time place at Art College in 2009. It was Stephen's suggestion.
I felt it would give me some purpose and encourage me to get out of bed after his death.
It was deferred until September 2011. I'm praying they will defer it again until 2012, providing I am physically able to cope with the work after my op, otherwise there is little or no purpose to my life.