On Sunday, as I started unpacking all the medical junk I bought back with me when I moved out of home (aka university halls) the day before, I encountered a familiar problem… I ran out of places to put said medical stuff a few minutes and several items after the following photo was taken:
This picture wasn’t even the start of it. I still had two carrier bags full of tablets (a lot of which were the various different types of antibiotics I have so I can treat the first sign of an infection before it puts me in hospital) and machines to unpack. Not to mention the entire fridge full of medications (and more tablets, because I couldn’t find anywhere else to hide them from view in my uni room) in the garage. The other bedside table was out of question because a pile of books and a load of junk had buried the needles and injections that usually live there. I thought about finding somewhere else in the house to put everything, but then I realised I have two rather tall cupboards full of medical junk in the kitchen, including infusion sets I haven’t had to use for a long time and goodness knows what else.
I never really batted an eyelid at this before, but last Sunday I wanted to hide from it all. My mum had just finished boxing up, binning (and letting my little brother have some of) my sports stuff: all my running gear (of which there was an awful lot), football kits, training clothes, swim training equipment, footballs, (triathlon, running and swimming) magazines… All the things I kept in hope that I would have reason to wear them again. Because of the things that can’t be fixed, she decided it was time to move on and get what was in her eyes now useless clothing etc. out of the way. Memories flooded my mind over and over again – happy times, running through woods full of bluebells, swimming until I couldn’t breathe (not hard to achieve in the end if I’m honest), blood, sweat and smiles. And it was all taken out of the entire wardrobe it took over (along with a bunch of art stuff which was rearranged and returned) and packaged into a single small box of stuff. I wanted to cry then, as a plastic lid was put on a box full of who I was. It made me want to go for a run or dive into a pool. But I won’t be able to do either of those things until who knows when.
After this, I looked at all the medical stuff spread everywhere and didn’t want a pharmacy on my bedside table any more (not that I wanted one in the first place just… you know what I mean); I wanted it to look like the room of a normal 20 year old. I am aware this is pathetic of me. I am aware it was very ungrateful of my mind to start completely freaking out because of the same thoughts I expressed in the post I made the day before. After all, I had the medications I needed to stay alive (well, arguably not, on account of how many times my health has major hiccups, but you get the point) while some people have nothing. But looking at it all there suddenly made me feel like a lesser human. It made me want to crawl out of my own skin, I didn’t want to be that person, I didn’t want to look at that reality all of a sudden (I was, after all, in denial). I could still hear the words “It looks like a f*****g pharmacy!” which were said a few days before in a tone that didn’t sound like the joke I told myself it was at all. Looking at it made me feel ashamed. It made me feel abnormal. I had been trying to take responsibility and suddenly I couldn’t bare to look at it all. I did’t want to unpack the fridge and stack all those things on my desk too (the 10 blood glucose monitors I found eventually took up the entire thing, not the mention the few that were a month or two old and still in their boxes – I have Carlos the continuos glucose monitor, he’s got my back, we don’t need imposters). So I literally boxed it off.
I’d spent the morning sorting my room (mostly to appease my mother, who can’t wait for it to be sorted so she can put twin beds or a double bed in there and use it as a guest room after my 16 year old nephew moves into our guest room, and had been getting a bee in her bonnet about how much of my stuff still remained everywhere). During the sorting, as well as inducing some ankle swelling (after stopping the diuretics just two days before I had gained 6lbs in water weight and once again looked like I was pregnant with twins) and saying goodbye to a bunch of sports stuff, I rescued a nice looking little storage box that my grandma bought me for Christmas, and I managed to fit about 1/3 of all the medical junk spread about my room into this box.
I then realised it was going to be necessary to invest in more boxes if I wanted to hide all of the remaining tablets and injections and stuff (still not considering the fridge! And I will leave the two cupboards in the kitchen because there isn’t enough room). So I went on a spending spree and bought a couple more canvas boxes (one quite a bit bigger, one roughly the same size, both with the same design), and a small wooden box designed to look like a crate from Spitalfields market (which is a few tube stops from my uni, right by the specialist heart hospital where my heart gets poked and scanned and talked about in clinic rooms).
My grandparents picked the storage boxes up for me on Monday, and drove for an hour to come to my parents’ house today to deliver them (and also because they are taking me to my hospital appointment this morning, but still. I’m still on the whole nope, not malfunctioning any more train of thought, so we’ll go with the idea that they are here just to deliver boxes)
I’m scared of this appointment. Scared at how unpleasant it will be. This is one of the new consultants I’m in the process of adding onto my list of people who are meant to help me (shiny new urology consultant I was just referred to but have yet to meet, welcome aboard too! Im not seeing you today but my kidneys and I hope you’re helpful, and not a heartless can’t be bothered robot like 80% of the other doctors who deal with me)
Anyway, hopefully, like all the things I don’t want to deal with, I can just put this appointment and its contents in a box somewhere in my brain. And then I’m going on a small holiday to go and stay with my grandparents, because I just need to get away.