As promised a couple of weeks ago, I was going to give you my “2018 – That’s a wrap” post … But then got distracted with more medical appointments, a change in medication, a few unexpected surprises, new information and, of course, Christmas.
So, whilst we’re in that Post Christmas – Pre-New Year lull, I figured now would be the perfect time to write my year in review.
I do one of these, in one form or another almost every year. Sometimes I write blogs like this or if I’ve had one shandy to many, I’ll give a shout out to every single person on social media and become a relentless *Tag Beast* and @ everyone in the known universe till my fingers fall off or I pass out in a drunken stupor.
This year I thought better of that and decided for a more presentable time of *Looks at phone* 2pm in the afternoon. I’ve just had a ham and cheese toasty for lunch and a glass of water.
So, to begin…. No. wait … first … I need to take you back just a little further. Christmas 2017 in fact.
Back then, I was a completely different beast (Beast. HA!) and was not the same person who sits here writing this blog.
I was miserable. I was in constant pain all the time. I was grumpy, cranky and a general shit of person to be around.
My Husband was stressed out. Desperately trying to solve a problem he had no idea how to fix. Here he was, day in – day out helping me with everything from getting dressed in the morning to making sure I got where I needed to be with minimum of fuss, and I hated him for it. Resented him for it in fact. Looking back now, I can see why he was so hurt and angry most of the time … because nothing he done ever felt good enough. From his perspective it was becoming painstakingly obvious that I (His Wife) did not give a shit about anything. My sole purpose was to throw all of his efforts in his face.
Truth was, that wasn’t the case at all. It wasn’t because I was angry at him for his efforts – I was just angry that this was something he now HAD to do. To make matters worse, I wasn’t much of a good communicator then either and found it difficult to express how I felt without sounding like a whiney 5-year-old who just got told they’re not having a lolly. (At time of writing, I’m still not great with communicating – words are still reluctant to be my friends, but I’m getting better) So, we were going nowhere fast. All I knew was I was miserable, sick of being in pain and feeling like a useless cripple
I’ve written a blog about that – if you wish to read, click here: https://ranpotjam.com/2018/11/25/the-difference-b…-according-to-me/
I was in a dark head space and contemplated ending my life by throwing myself under a train on a daily basis.
So, now we’re across the closing days of 2017 … It’s 2018 … Let us begin…
I’m still miserable and barely able to function. I’ve accepted, somewhat begrudgingly, that I have to spend the majority of my life in a wheelchair. I hate it. So, does Hubby. But. We’re in this mutual hatred of this together and somehow, as odd as it sounds, I feel the beginning of the end of the rift between us. One particular day I need to go to OPSM to get my glasses adjusted. We head to our local shopping centre and wander down to the store. I’m in the chair this day as the pain was too great to go about on foot.
Once in the store we wait. There’s no need for an appointment. We’re the only ones there at that point. We wait by the counter. Instead of offering any form of assistance, the two young things behind the counter continue discussing their respective night out from the Saturday just gone and ignore us both.
Able bodied people come in after us and are served almost immediately. This goes on for another 45 minutes till eventually we give up and leave. Naturally, as is my wont, I take to social media and rant for hours about how we were treated while hubby verbally smashed things to pieces until he ran out of swears.
At the end of that day, I make a decision. I decide that by the end of the year I shall be back up on my feet.
I make the decision and join My Peak Challenge. I know, I’ve written about this and sang its praises 10,000 times before today and I probably will 10,000 after today as well. If you’ve never heard of and or do not know what My Peak Challenge is something that was founded by Philanthropist and Outlander Star Sam Heughan. If you wish to know what it’s all about – May I suggest you head to the website here: https://mypeakchallenge.com/
Now, those of you who know me know that, well, I’m pretty much a couch potato and upon joining up I honestly wondered what the heck I’d gotten myself into. Still, my bestie H had joined a few weeks before I did, and it wasn’t like I was going to let her do this alone was I?
March – June.
So, this is the bit between March and June that I can’t quite remember completely but I know a whole lot of stuff happened – kind of all at once. Here it is what I can remember in dot points.
- I started seeing an Osteopath by the name of Sally Tran. Originally, I saw her under a Care Plan arranged for me by my GP. It was for 5 sessions only. At the end of those 5 sessions I could walk. At time of writing I still see her once a fortnight.
- I continued with various medical appointments all of which had varying or little to no degrees of success
- I began the arduous task of dropping my working hours from 4 days a week to 3 days. (Not as easy as it sounds. Several Drs appointments and layer after layer of paperwork to fill in)
- Odd things started appearing in my house like weights and Yoga mats and other exercise equipment
- I donated to charity and bought the tee-shirt #CahoonasScotland
- I started losing weight
- I celebrated my 41st Birthday
- Hubby turned 44
- Hubby and I celebrate 21 years of the weirdness that is us
- All of our Parents have Birthdays
- My MPC member pack had arrived
- It’s the first time Sam Heughan likes a tweet of mine. I’m so shook when I find out I legit burst into tears of happiness.
- I had an infection for most of this time and nobody knew what was causing it
- It also marked two years since I’d either spoken to or had anything to do with certain members of my family.
I made an appointment at the end of July to see a physiotherapist who specialised in people who suffer from Chronic Pain. The day I turned up for my 1st appointment -It turned out I wasn’t supposed to be there, and my session was a week later – so that was a bust… But still, I got to meet Steph … who was going to be the one doing my sessions with me.
July was also the month that I saw my cousin B for the first time in over 30 years. It was only for a very short time – but it was wonderful and so much laughs and tears. I plan to go to WA next year to see her.
I start my first session with Steph and by the end of it I am dead. So dead in fact that I agree to come back the following week and do it again. It’s at this point, I’d like to point out – I’m on crutches almost 24/7. I can’t get about unaided- but still, thanks to Sally, I’m getting about a lot better than I was. What I didn’t know at the time was just how much Sally and Steph were going to change my life.
In other news at this point the infection that began somewhere between March and June had now spread to the right-hand side of my face causing it to swell and the skin become dry and flaky. Originally, it was thought to be Rosacea and I was given some topical cream to treat it. It seemed to do the trick for a bit but soon the infection came back with a vengeance and decided to stay.
September – November
Again, this is a few months with a lot of stuff happening which kind of blurs together. And so dear reader, I present to you, for the second time, the humble dot point.
- Hubby and I celebrate our 12-year Wedding Anniversary
- I go for a work place OH&S assessment for work and discover he’s a hack
- Speaking of which, dropping down to 3 days a week was approved and continues to this day however it caused a massive glitch in the payment system caused an over payment of over $4K that I was told I had no choice but to pay back but then it was discovered that my work place was under paying me and that I was owed $1200 in back pay.
- As a result of the dot point above – Hubby and I struggle to make ends meet – which sucks major balls
- I again donate to charity – only this time I buy two copies of the Magazine #TheRedBulletin
- My Bestie comes down from Brisbane and we party like no-one’s business! It’s the best weekend either of us have in a long time. Hubby, H and I laugh non-stop and spend the weekend either drunk, hungover or dealing with belligerent food groups! #InJokesForTheWin!
- The infection comes and goes and my life as a science experiment continues. It’s discovered I don’t have TMJ and now it’s a possibility of cluster headaches and nerve pain.
- The only success on the medical front are Sally and Steph. It’s thanks to these two wonderful humans I am getting stronger and are able to get about easier
- I continue to lose weight and get fitter. I’ve dropped from a size 22 to 16.
- I have definition in my legs and arms and people are starting to notice
- I’ve modified every MPC workout pretty much invented a workout routine of my own called “CJ’s Patented Chair to Floor “workout. I use it at home due to living in a small space and not having much room.
- My mental health has improved since the beginning of the year and I am starting to notice the change myself
- My Dental Surgeon refers me to a Neurologist to check for Cluster headaches and nerve pain. He schedules me for an MRI of the head and neck (Which I’m yet to have)
- Sam Heughan personally replies to a tweet of mine and I am over the moon! From there he goes on to like another two tweets and a comment I made on his fan FB page (Which was then deleted after 43 minutes – PR team to the rescue! LOL!)
- My Bestie H and I enter an Omaze Comp to win a trip to Scotland next May to attend the MPC 2019 Gala and be Sam’s *Dates* for the evening. This also includes donation to charity.
- By this point Hubby not only has me a weight set but a fit ball as well and is wanting to join me on the fitness train.
- The friendships I have made in MPC have now crossed over into my actual life. I swear to you I have never been happier to be part of something so wonderful.
And finally, December.
Do you remember what I said at the beginning? That I was going to get back up on my feet? Well, guess what…
I DID IT!! As of today, the 29th December 2018- I am walking without crutches and only use a walking cane when necessary. I’ve been without the crutches for 3 weeks. I’ve been put on a nerve blocker drug called Lyrica. I take 75mg tablet twice a day and it has done wonders.
Add to that I thanks to Steph I can now lift 20kgs, I am learning Boxing (I have a pair of gloves- they’re bright pink) I can hold a plank for 30 seconds and just last week I was given my very own 6kgs kettle bell as a Christmas gift. Now, you add to that what I’m doing at home via MPC and I have never felt fitter or stronger in my life! #Winning
Did I Re-peak for 2019?? You betcha sweet bippy I did!
As for the infection- it finally went away after it spread all down my neck and into my shoulder and after a visit to my GP – it was discovered that my lymph nodes were inflamed and severely infected. I was given a course of 500mg antibiotics to take 3 times a day till finished. I was given a referral for an Ultrasound -which I am going for on Jan 4th.
Since then though, I’ve had no more redness, puffiness and swelling.
That said though, after a session with my Osteopath on Thursday, she now believes that what I’m experiencing is severe muscle spasm down my right-hand side – which in turn is causing pain and discomfort everywhere else.
So, we’ll see.
Things with Hubby and I have gotten 100% better as well and I’m so happy
2018 ends in a few days’ time. 2019 is just around the corner.
I plan to smash it next year and kick some major goals and I hope you do too!
In the meantime, I need to get moving as I’ve got to meet my Dad for dinner at 6pm
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year
PS: Dot Points are not in chronological order
PSS If I’ve forgotten anyone or anything – I’m sorry. Please don’t take it personal. This thing is already 6 pages long and I’ve got to stop at some point!