Things I learned yesterday:
- It’s weird having a lecture in the basement of a hospital you’ve been treated in.
- The medical lecturer who stood in the basement of the hospital lecturing us said that biomedical science was harder than medicine because we had to know the biology behind the medical junk as well.
- We’re going to be assigned tutors from the medical school for the next two years (so the medics that tell us to get off “their” campus can please go away).
- I started thinking about the future. Properly thinking about the future, like even more than I have been. I’m toying with several ideas, ranging from going to university in Australia/ Canada, doing a cardiology/ physiology/ journalism degree (vastly different I know), moving to Plymouth, settling into research and getting my competences in biomedical science, and getting a PhD.
- I’ve been thinking about a tattoo even more seriously and started sketching about some designs. My brain knows this is a very stupid idea. It also doesn’t care.
- Going to the women’s rugby taster session is a very good idea. Women’s Rugby Uni Friend invited me along because she said there would be copious amounts of free food (there was, I sat there while they all played rugby and ate until I was stuffed). Most of the girls were medics, they were all lovely, it reminded me of when I used to play for a football team and made me want to get into sport again more than ever.
- Stepney Green Park exists (until I sat in it with all the rugby girls for hours watching the air ambulance take off and return, I had no idea it was even a place.
I went back to WR Uni Friend’s flat afterwards and discovered that my heart was very annoyed. She said I looked “peaky” but was awesome enough to walk me home, and offer to let me live with her and her flatmates next year. She gave me a pack of bagels that she had, and some of the risotto that she had cooked the night before, and I returned home to my flat with it. By the time I walked into my room I was on the verge of passing out. I had an accidental three hour nap, and woke up in time to actually answer a phonecall from my godfather. I love his phone calls almost as much as I love him. We spoke all about uni and lectures and the layout of the course, and then we got onto the subject of my health, and we started talking about exercise. He was the first person not to try and discourage me. He knew what he was talking about, and he knew that certain symptoms weren’t good, but he also seemed to pick up on how much it meant to me. He didn’t call me reckless and he didn’t tell me it was a bad idea, he tried to help me find the safest way to do it. He steered me away from swimming and said I should ride a static bike, then he decided a rowing machine was less of a height to fall from if I passed out. It was so lovely to end a conversation with: Love you and Love you too.
Walking home from lectures this morning, a really weird thing happened. A week or so ago I was walking back to my room and walked into a wall because there was a complete gap in time. The same sort of thing happened again. I was walking along the pavement one minute, and then it wasn’t like anything went black, or I was outside looking in, it was literally like time jumped, like a few seconds just didn’t exist. Suddenly I zoned back into myself to the sound of car horns and shouting, and I had no idea where I was. And then I got a bit more with it and found that I was in the MIDDLE OF MILE END ROAD. A main road. Just walking slowly and clumsily across it. WR Uni Friend was way more freaked out by this than I was (If there was any hope of this post being chronological, it just died, I’m sorry).
Other things I learned yesterday:
- MY STUDENT LOAN WAS FINALLY PAID
- 10:30pm is a fantastic time to go shopping in a low budget supermarket, especially with HK Uni Friend, who already knew what products were good and what weren’t.
- Carrying 6l of drinks home from the supermarket is too much effort, even if I get the bus half way home – by the time we were almost home I was coughing and coughing, brining up fluid, and wheezing, and it wasn’t fun. I was close to passing out. My abdomen was so swollen it went out past my boobs – I was told it didn’t look that bad, but if it had been observed in its usual state the difference would have seemed as alarming as it actually was.
- I had an appointment in the pacing/ device clinic at the heart hospital the next day at 10am, and would therefore not be getting a lie in.
- Having a lot of food is awesome
- Breaking news for diabetics everywhere: Some system became the first artificial pancreas system to receive FDA approval. This. Is. Huge. There are a lot of mental health issues associated with diabetes. Diabetics are more likely to experience depression or eating disorders, and people often underestimate type 1 diabetes, confusing it with type 2 (even my friends who are studying a degree in biomedical science seem to think that diabetes is a trivial thing. I know two families who have lost children to it. I nearly lost myself to it).
This morning I left home at 9 and stood around on a slowly filling platform on the London underground as District Line trains rolled in and out. I knew it was going to be an awful journey when I looked up at the board, and instead of saying time until arrival, it just said HELD next to each train. There were major delays on multiple lines including the District Line, which meant the Hammersmith and City line was also significantly delayed. I wormed my way onto a packed train when it finally arrived, and stood there unsure whether I was going to fall asleep or pass out. People shoved and pushed and tutted and sighed and were altogether grumpy and impatient as London commuters usually are. The train sat in tunnels for minutes as the trains ahead of us sat at platforms, delayed. When we reached stations we sat with the doors open for five minutes, allowing an extraordinary number of people to force their way onto the train before it pulled away again.
I went to the clinic, sat around waiting, they did whatever had to be done with Reginald (the little device that lives in my chest), told me to go back in three months time, and i wandered out into the rain. Finally, some rain! It was refreshing and the air smelled amazing.
I got back, ate food, made lecture notes, learned that today is apparently national heart day or something, and then fell asleep until 2pm. It took me a full hour to wake up.
WR Uni Friend told me about her family, and it inspired me to FaceTime my little brother. We spoke for well over an hour. He talked to me about school (he NEVER talks about school to ANYONE). He told me what he’s been learning and what subjects he likes and started showing me his exercise books (you’ve no idea what a big deal this is, my brother is 14, hates school, and thinks it is a waste of time). He told me he’d been sneakily doing the homework that he forgot in the bathroom late at night so that he could hand it in for the next morning, and then he started talking about films and general life. He is still not enjoying life with narcissist nephew, who thought he was a big man making gestures about me behind the phone while I spoke to my brother (who got very defensive and made me feel ALL THE FEELS). He called me back and we spoke for longer, ignoring my parents insistence that he did his homework. When I asked him how stress dad was being lately, he just made a deadened groaning sound and said he’d say no more. I asked my mum if she wanted to meet up with me today a few days ago, and she said no because Thursday (today) is her only day off. But my little brother and her are now coming to meet me on Saturday, and my brother and I are really looking forward to seeing each other. He was disappointed when he had to get off of the phone and go for dinner. I felt like I’d finally reclaimed him from his games console and it was so nice!
With my newfound funds I bought some textbooks and applied for a new students’ union card, and I’m currently trying to ignore the nausea, distorted vision, headache, and taste of acidosis that is slowly overwhelming my senses. In a few hours, I’m going to have a problem. Right now, I intend to have a life (HK Uni Friend is on her way back to our accommodation and we’re going for a night time stroll… At 9:30pm… In Mile End – which, for those of you who don’t know, is not a particularly nice place, especially for young women… There’s a lot of crime, especially muggings and sexual assault, and especially among our university student colleagues… But hey. We want to walk).
Everyone around me is moaning so much about having a cold or a paper cut or a sore throat or whatever, and in a way I kind of feel like a badass enduring this and want to see it through until it doesn’t hurt any more. I feel like I’m kind of pathetic bowing down to the pain of this, and I also don’t want to appear weak in front of anyone. My friend is a doctor. He looked at it… Swore. Told me it was quite clearly broken, that I was THE definition of a tough cookie and must have a ridiculous pain threshold, and that professional footballers rolled around on the floor with injuries like this. I do have a rather irritating limp, and I have tried to put it back into place multiple times (as soon as I stand on it, it looks like this again). It’s a minor, minor injury and compared to everything my body has been through in the last few months alone it is barely a scratch in comparison, and in my mind therefore nothing to worry about (especially as I’m currently significantly unwell and that is demanding all of my attention instead).
My health is creeping up on me. My heart is getting grumpier as the days go on and as I sit here I can feel acidosis brewing again. I should go to a hospital. Really I should, for so many reasons… But my friend is back and she wants us to go for that walk, and I want more than anything to wander with her. So it’s stupid, but I don’t want to be like one of those people who resigns to bed with the lightest sniffle and acts like they are dying. I want to bury my health, stop letting it hold me back, ignore the pain that I rightly deserve (and in fact let it remind me that I am still alive), and go out there into the night, into the city I love… And live.
I stop when I can’t carry on… And I’m not at that stage yet.
Sorry about this post. I’ve no idea what it is, but hey.
No way but through.
I’m just trying to get a life (as the title of this blog suggests) I’m lost, but even my godfather noted that I’m in such better spirits than when I met him on Southbank a few weeks ago…
I just need to live a little. Just a little, before the next time I almost die (who am I kidding, the next time is already here, my body is killing itself and I can’t hold this of for much longer).
No way but through.