I nearly died

No regrets! That I realise is my motto. I didn’t choose it, I didn’t force it on myself,I realised this morning that I have accepted everything that happens not exactly with joy but with acceptance of the reality. With acceptance comes the realisation of no regrets.

I can longer sit at a table, cut up my own food, walk my dog. I have rubber handled spoons and forks depending on what I am eating out of a bowl. Sounds awful but it isn’t that’s just me adapting to reality. The same with my sight loss. My eyes have never been very good but but years of heavy steroid intake have scarred my retinas. Of course nobody knew they would do that. When I first started on them I had to carry a card saying so and had to get adrenalin injections at the end of each course of them as they thought it was necessary. Now they just pump people full of them without a second thought. So much for being in at the beginning of treatment. Medicine wanders around in the dark even today. Just a side note those are disability problems not age related problems.

So a brief history. Back in 1975 my problem bowel starts to bleed. Undiagnosed. 1977 asthma finally diagnosed. 1979 my bowel bleeds again, I come close to death due to a bit of incompetence before I am rushed to hospital. A possible diagnosis of ulcerative colitis but one consultant surgeon disagrees. Who knows what was put down in my notes. A GP three years later is treating it briefly with tranquillisers. No internet of course so no opportunity to do much research. I assume this is a one off illness nobody tells me this is it for life. So that disease continues to rule my every waking moment. A mental map of every toilet becomes a way of life. Accidents become normal. By 1983 I am suffering from extreme tiredness. Diagnosed three years later as result of medication and chronic illness. Wrong. It was diabetes. But it will be 1999 before they work that one out. 1989 my bowel is in meltdown, now diagnosed by an expert with UC and told my bowel is now so badly damaged it will never work properly again. He was a lovely lovely   man and all my doubts fade away from 1979 that I might not have it. So as it continues to dominate my life it flares up several times a year. Sometime in the early 1990s after one of my regular colonoscopies I am so tired I can’t get out of bed. Diagnosis : side effect of the sedative and chronic illness.

From 1996 onwards I begin to lose power in my right hand side. Crippled with tiredness which now affects me so much I can’t move till it passes. Usually a couple of hours. Find myself regularly trapped in my car unable to drive because of tiredness. I begin to see things that aren’t there. Things speed across my vision startling me as I hunt for phantom mice. I can no longer walk properly. Everything is an effort. Of course the Drs care, well most of them, by now I have monthly appointments. I have MRIs, see neurologists, one is horrid. Get the feeling  they think I am making up my symptoms. Every year more flare ups. 

Then comes 1999. The subject of my next post.

Old Photo of the Day Australian National Maritime Museum