It’s a bit of a strange day today as I was supposed to be attending my graduation and also seeing Hamilton the musical. However as my health is an overbearing dictator I can’t currently travel and so I am missing them both. I was expecting to feel pretty sad and miserable about it but surprisingly I feel ok about it all. It’s very clear there is no way I would have been able to make the journey never mind being able to sit up throughout the events. My university have been really amazing about it too and have said if circumstances change then I can attend another graduation ceremony in the future so I don’t feel I’ve missed out. Instead for now the plan is to celebrate at home with fish and chips and listen to Hamilton instead. Meanwhile I am looking forward to seeing photos of the event. My year studying for my Masters taught me a lot, I met many new interesting people and made friends who I think shall be lifelong as well as the opportunity to explore a new city and have access to so many learning resources. Whether I can attend graduation or not those memories and experiences stay unchanged and that is what at the end of the day really matters.
I’ve had an eventful beginning to 2018, hence my silence again. It turns out when I was in hospital just after Christmas in High Dependency I tested positive for flu (so I get to be part of all those statistics for people admitted to to HDU with flu in the news at the moment). Unfortunately I haven’t recovered very well from it and it seems I have a bit of a battle ahead. Just after the New Year it seemed to be making a return and I ended up with a chest infection. The GP visited me at home and decided I was really unwell again and needed to go back to hospital however wasn’t happy for my Mum to drive me as I was pretty bad so organised an ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived my blood pressure was very low and they were having issues getting readings. I became extremely ill on the journey into hospital and it became very dramatic very quickly. I had to be given oxygen, had a litre of fluid squeezed down my IV line and I was blue lighted in. The paramedic meanwhile couldn’t get any readings except for my heart rate which was the fastest it’s ever been not moving. He was really nice, calm and just told me what would happen and what they would do if I stopped breathing while putting fluid through as fast as he could. My poor Mum who was following the ambulance in the car just saw the blue lights being switched on and the ambulance speed away with no idea what was happening until she arrived at the hospital.
As a result of all of this I’ve really not been too well and it’s led to quite a big deterioration. While I’ve finished my antibiotics and my chest infection has cleared my heart rate and blood pressure issues are worse and I keep getting temperatures which we think is now Autonomic rather than flu related. My physiotherapist was very concerned the last time she came out to visit me and thinks that they’re missing something so I have an appointment with my GP again tomorrow to see what we can do. On an every day level it has meant I am now struggling to sit up for any length of time without feeling lightheaded. I’ve also got very little energy. I’m not managing to make it out and about at all even with Rollo but I have managed to walk to the garden gate twice so far this year and am trying to build up muscle and reverse deconditioning by doing that.
First time outside this year, walking to the garden gate.
While the start to the year has not been good health wise I’ve managed to stay fairly positive. My research job which ends in February has been going well and I’m now formatting what I’ve found into a comprehensive document. I’ve also started a physics course as I always wanted to study physics at school but never did. I am really enjoying it and it’s something completely new to think about. Alongside this I and a few friends are aiming to complete a reading challenge this year where we have to read 50 books, each of which must fit into 50 prompts. These range from a book written by an author who shares your last name, to a book published the year you were born, an allegory to a book you saw somebody else reading in public. I think it should keep me busy and it’s good to have a reading focus!
Reading about Hamilton as an alternative to seeing the musical.
The most exciting news of 2018 though has been finding out that the paper presenting the autism and mental health campaign that I was a co-researcher of last year has been successfully submitted for publication. It was peer reviewed at the end of last year and now it’s just a case of final paperwork and it should be made available in the next few months. This is incredibly exciting and I’m sure none of us in the first meeting we had over a year ago when we choose to focus on mental health as a topic had any idea what sort of journey we were about to go on or how far our research findings would travel. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!
An early report of our findings.