Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

24th Dec 2010

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
2010 has been an eventful year to say the least and I won’t be sorry to see the back of it and welcome 2011. However, that said if I hadn’t been through what I have been through then I would have missed many good things that have come out of a bad situation.
I have been lucky enough to meet so many wonderful people along the journey both face to face but also via the web. People who are battling various forms of Cancer and who are so brave and inspiring offering support to all those around them in the same predicament. And people caring for loved ones who are ill and day after day look after them with so much care and love and often under immense pressure and with less recognition than they deserve.
I remember clearly this time last year being full of so much doubt as to what the future might hold, so much uncertainty as to what life would be like post MOAS. Yet here I am a year down the line having recovered so well and having achieved so much. Back to living a normal lifestyle, running, climbing and caving again.
My journey has really shown me the importance of making the most of the time you have with family and friends and savouring them. Stop and recognise those magic moments for what they are. I recently did this when out enjoying the snow with Tracey and the children. We had found a good hill not too far from the house and were having race’s on our sledges in the snow. Tracey sat on the back with me and the girls sharing the other sledge. The air full of screams and laughter as we hurtled down the hill together. We all collapsed in a heap at the bottom, the thrill of the ride was fantastic. And we shared those moments together. Priceless.
So to all of you who might be reading this full of dread as to what’s around the corner and what the future might hold. Be encouraged by what I have achieved, hopefully you will too. We are so in debt to the experts at the hospitals all around the world who mend us when we are broken and do such a great job. I can’t thank the team at Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital enough for all that they have done for me.
Last night I was given the best Christmas present. I was handed a cheque for another £500 made out to the hospital as a donation to our Snowdon walk we did back in August. This now takes the total raised to £5262 and means we have smashed the £5k target we set ourselves. Fantastic news!
So to you all, Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy 2011!


Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Ten Month Anniversary of the MOAS

The 2nd December was my ten month anniversary. Ten whole months have passed since the MOAS already....where did that time go?
To think that in that short space of time I have also been lucky enough to walk the Snowdon Horseshoe, start caving again and return to running. I have been lucky.
Regarding my on-going recovery physically I’m doing really well. My weight is holding steady and I’m eating pretty much what I want. I still can’t eat big volumes and have accepted that is the way things will be from now on. If we go out for a meal then I can’t manage a starter or dessert and have to make do with just a main course so I make sure I have something really good to make up for it!
The scars are healing well and I have no pain or discomfort at all even when exercising and this was encouraging when I did my first caving trip a few weeks ago. I also plucked up the courage this week to get my scars out in public for the first time and go for a swim at the local pool. It was all fine; I don’t even think anyone noticed! Life really is returning to normal again.
I do still suffer with the mental scars though. You bury them for a while and don’t think about things for a while and then something triggers in your mind and the images all come flooding back. A week or two ago I found myself led in bed unable to sleep and running through my earliest recollections after the op and wondering if it was real or just another hallucination? I remember either Mr Cecil or Mr Moran stood at my bedside to my left. To my right a nurse busied themselves, I was aware of their presence but couldn’t tell you who it was or what they were doing. I could barely focus and only recognised the consultant by their voice as I couldn’t see properly. I remember them saying “David.....the operation went well and you are in ICU. I’m off to talk to your family now.....” I couldn’t respond as I was intubated (on a ventilator) and to be honest was completely out of it. I remember looking at the ceiling tiles in the room and they seem to come in and out of focus and swirl around. I tried to stay awake so I could see Tracey and Mum but don’t remember much after that.
I was completely out of it but remember the images as clearly in my mind today as if they only happened yesterday....I don’t think they will ever go away.
Then this week, after not thinking about things for a while it came flooding back with a vengeance. It sounds daft but there was a soap opera on the TV that showed a guy in ICU who died. The machine alarms were sounding and images of my worst hallucination came flooding back to me. It really shook me up and I don’t mind admitting it brought a few tears. It unsettled me for a while after. I still really struggle with this particular hallucination......I know that its exactly what it was but at the time it was so real that part of me still questions whether it really did happen or not? I guess it’s all part of my mind trying to process things.
Christmas is coming and we are busying ourselves with preparations for the festive season. New Years will be strange as last year with the MOAS looming it was all a bit flat to say the least. This year my first annual CT scan will be looming and I guess it’ll be at the back of all our minds. What will 2011 bring?
It’s no use worrying about it though. It’s a waste of time and energy. What will be, will be and I have to give thanks that right now at this moment in time I fell fit and well. Today I have enjoyed a great day with my girls and with a bit of luck there will be many, many more......