How Did I Get Here? – Thoughts on Starting Another Degree

I’m not ok in any sense of the word; physically my heart is struggling, my body has decided to become spectacularly anaemic, and my health continues to hiccup. Mentally, I am in a complete crisis and have been for some time – I don’t know how I’m alive, simply because I’ve no idea how I persuaded myself not to ensure that outcome with my own hands.

But right now I am on a bus. A new version of the old London Routemaster that my granddad used to drive along this route for a living. I am on my way to a new university, to start a masters in cardiovascular science (a very competitive course at a world leading university, that somehow and for some reason picked me). This is a day that for the last three years was something I very hypothetically talked about from time to time. I still can’t believe I survived and acquired my undergraduate degree, let alone that I’m about to start a graduate degree that will hopefully give me the qualifications to make sure that someone else’s future differs from my past and my present.

I’m going to hold my hands up and say it has been a struggle. I denied myself any admission of this reality until I was completely broken. It’s hard. Everything right now is overwhelming and everything is a struggle I no longer have the mental energy to know how to face. But I’m here. I’m somewhere even I never thought I’d be. I’m terrified. I’ve spent days having anxiety (a very unpleasant new addition), nightmares, random crying moments and all sorts about this day, because I didn’t know how to do it. I have been dreading it. Now it’s here and I wonder how on Earth I made it. How am I alive? How did I manage to pass my third year without attending a single lecture, becoming bed-bound, losing most of my friends and replacing their messages with those of paramedics and doctors and other people who understood how it was simply incredible that my body (let alone my brain) could still function. The word inspirational has been thrown at me a lot and I still hate that. I am buckling and crumbling and have no choice but to keep living the life that has caused me to do that. It’s not optional. If it was, I’d be insane not inspirational.

Anyway. I am about to meet a group of new people at a university where nobody has ever seen me unconscious, where nobody has seen me vomit blood, where nobody has seen me in a wheelchair or being stretchered out of university accomodation. I can pass of as an “everybody else” and that’s refreshing. They have no idea how awful I feel both physically and mentally – how much both elements of me are straining to breaking point. They aren’t scared of my body or to be around me. They’ve never seen me in resus, they’ve never had to give me CPR or visit me in an ICU and sit for hours while I lay there totally or if it with no idea anyone is there at all. They’ve not been on the emotional rollercoaster that is my life. They’ve not received messages at 3am when I’m convinced this near death experience is the one where I finally run off with the grim reaper and there’s nobody else there to share the terror. They’ve not seen me have flashbacks in the back of an ambulance, not seen me vomit with fear at the sound of a siren, they’ve not seen me attached to 5 IV pumps whilst riding the drip stand as a scooter. They’ve no idea how much I carry and the effort I go to in order to hide it. They’ve no idea how much my health issues have knocked my confidence, how lonely I feel or how many years I spent in hospital missing all the milestones they hit. They’ve no idea what a miracle it is that I’m still alive, no idea that my former personal tutor gave me a superhero cape after my graduation because he had never believed someone like me could exist let alone get a degree and a decent enough one to get me into a masters programme.

As far as these people are concerned my biggest stress was deciding what to wear, moving into a new flat, the presentation I have to give tomorrow. They have no idea of the wounds haemorrhaging deep inside my soul. They’ve no clue of any scars or how deep they run. I’m just and everybody else today. And that’s why I’m nearly crying on a bus.

Those days you don’t know how to survive? Those days where you can’t go on any more? Today, like most of those before it, is one of those. And I swear to you my former self was very right.

There’s no way but through.

All you need is half a chance. You’re still here. You’ve survived 100% of the days you didn’t know how to, got through 100% of the things you didn’t know how to cope with. If you can do that, given your record, you can do today. You’re doing great and it doesn’t matter if you have no idea how you got where you are right now, what’s damn impressive is that you’re reading this right now. Thank you, I’m grateful but I’m also rooting for you.

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“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

– R. Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

In my mind, this post stopped at the end of that quote. In reality, I also almost stopped recently – wrote a final thank you card pleading for forgiveness, and a list of contacts, stuck both tear stained articles on the wall at the end of my bed, and prepared to curl into the darkness of whatever waited beyond daylight and moonlight. I could not see the wood for the trees. There comes a point when you are so tired – tired of hurting (physically and mentally), of thinking, of sinking, of almost dying, of being, that all you want is a break. And when life won’t give you that break, when it sees your white flag and doesn’t cease its fire… Your mind, the lone and weary soldier, pulls out the revolver that has until that point just been a comforting presence in your metaphorical waistband and decides that it has no option but to pull the trigger whilst the barrel is aimed at its own skull. The unpleasantness cannot take you alive. The pain is not one you can endure.

I am in a great deal of physical pain after my latest heart surgery, taking morphine and tramadol just to try and sleep through nerve pain caused by scar tissue sitting on top of a nerve. But my mind… nothing could numb that.

My revolver was medication. Medication that sat there, sparing me from further unpleasantness when I took it at the prescribed dose, but that any higher dose was also my revolver – deadly. Quick. Freeing. The knowledge of that was enough of a comfort to keep me going. There was a failsafe. I didn’t have to hurt forever. Just one more day. And then the next day, just one more – and while I couldn’t imagine it, I knew there would be a day where survival wasn’t a task, but something I didn’t have to think about. And then came the day I wrote that card, and made that list, and could not stop the tears.

I have been saved all too often lately by words. Words that came from places I didn’t expect them to, from people who understood me in ways I wished those closest to me could. First, my personal tutor at university (who I also almost died on last week, because my heart is an ARSE) – with one simple sentence about PTSD that took away the stigma my mind sharpened and used against itself, and completely transformed the way I saw myself. I used the support available for me. I asked for help I had been turning down for years. Then, the other night, a dear friend, amazing human, and creative soul behind this blog, who accidentally saved my life with words that found me in a place that nobody else (myself included) could.

And then I remembered the poem that begins this post.

The emptiness of oblivion is comforting, tempting, enchanting, but not a destination I am yet supposed to visit. I owe it to the humans whose kindness and understanding have been transformative forces in recent weeks, to move beyond its temptation, to carry on going wherever I’m going. Those people made me realise that feeling like this is not weak, nothing to be ashamed of, but understandable, excusable, human… and survivable, somehow. I made no promises to them anywhere outside of my mind, but I cannot betray them. I made promises to myself – to get this degree, to do something, to raise money to help fund research so that other people’s bodies might not drive them to the hell I have been to/through. And thanks to people (some of whom I have never met) I see myself as someone worth keeping promises for. I have a long long way to go before I get rest or respite of any sort, physical or mental, and I have to accept that, grit my teeth, turn off, and keep walking – sobbing and screaming and writhing in pain if that’s what it takes (also things that before I took as signs of my own weakness, and now acknowledge as a strong person doing anything and everything they have to but give in). It doesn’t have to be easy, and I know it won’t be. My situation is tough, it’s even recently been described to me as “crap” by somebody I expected to brush it aside. I’m allowed to find it tough. I’m allowed to hurt so much I can’t keep going. It’s ok to cry myself to sleep, to want to never ever wake up again. But these thoughts I keep inside are promises I have to keep. I have an unimaginable amount of miles to go before I am allowed sleep.

The way out of this is not six feet under, or wherever the wind may take my ashes. It’s through.

Agonisingly, impossibly, soul destroyingly (yes I know destroyingly isn’t a word)

There is

No way but through.

I sat myself down and had a thought at myself (if that’s even a thing).

When you can’t run, walk. When you can’t walk, stumble. When you can’t stumble, crawl. When you can’t crawl, drag yourself. When you can’t drag yourself, roll. When you can’t roll, just hold on. When you can’t hold on, reach out. When you can’t reach out, scream. When you can’t scream, talk. When you can’t talk, whisper. When you can’t whisper, blog. If you have to fire your revolver, fire it into the sky. And through it all, play Bastille. It’s colder six feet under. It’s lonelier when your ashes have been dispersed by the wind. There will be far more tears if you let go, the difference is, they won’t be your own. There is no way to live this life, or to be a spectator to it, that does not involve hurting. And no form of pain is a choice or a flaw – it’s a limbic system and nocioceptors (hello inner biomed student) – unconscious, understandable, protective, logical measures. Don’t expect to live and not hurt. Don’t expect to hurt and not still find reasons to smile. Pain may right now be all you feel, but even if it is ever present, it is not all that waits.

Finally, I have been taught that it’s ok not to be ok. That’s the most valuable thing any lecturer has taught me, the most precious gift a friend has ever given me (thank you blogging human, you know who you are). Something I hope not to let go of. Something I will someday pass on.

The “1st Blogaversary” Post I Swore I’d Never Write

A year and a day ago, at my wit’s end, isolated and alone and pretty much bed bound, I took a huge and significant step to pulling myself out of the rut I had become stuck in; I started trying to get a life or at least return to something that felt less like just an existence – I took a chance on the Internet and on myself and started a blog. Yesterday, almost 100 followers, and thousands of views later, that blog – this blog – turned 1 year old. Compared to most blogs the figures I mention above are minuscule, but I started this blog as my place to let everything out and I never imagined anybody would care enough about the words I wrote to even hit like, let alone follow.

A year later I find myself stuck in the presence of another rut. Life seems to be a bumpy ride involving lurching from one rut to the other with periods of normality in between. Without this blog, those ruts would become canyons. The comments I receive on these posts sometimes genuinely move me beyond belief. They always drag me out of the isolation and crippling loneliness that boundaries imposed by my physical health create. I would say this blog saved my butt, but in truth it has been the people who read these posts, every single awful one (to clarify, awful posts read by AMAZING people). Your likes and comments make me feel good for something when my health and self hatred rob me of any belief that there is a purpose to my presence on the planet at all. You make me smile when it is the last thing I can imagine doing. I have met some amazing people through this blog, some of whom I still need to email (I haven’t forgotten!).

Thanks to the responses my raw, uncensored (and hence often poorly written) thoughts get in this blog, I feel less isolated by my emotions, less alone in things that most of my friends and family do not understand. I can have the difficult conversations here, I can work everything out and let everything out and for some reason people seem to want to read along. But every like and every comment reassures me, makes me feel less pathetic and encourages me to keep expressing myself through this method as I so clearly need to do. As a result, this blog is the only place I feel I can be my true self (I now add the presence of my fellow third wheel to this list). I don’t have to pretend to be anyone here, I do not have to hide my weakness or my emotion to shelter anyone, there is nobody to protect and rarely anyone to offend. I post irritatingly often I am aware, but I need to. Sometimes I have a lot to get out. Sometimes it is just boredom. All the time, whatever it is, this blog fixes it. It has done wonders for my self confidence at times.

Through a year of writing myself out of ruts and into others, I have found one thing that will always have a positive impact on my life. The people who follow this blog know more than my family even, which makes me feel like a pretty awful human but also helps me avoid conversations I would never know how to start. My family have been hurt enough and what they don’t know will not hurt them yet. I would shred myself to keep them whole. I will hurt and go through things alone to spare them the pain of the worry whose thumb I am often pressed under. Sometimes they are so frustrated at me for being so defective that they want little to do with me. So I blog. Always with the blogging!

And the year that passed has been an interesting one. It started with minor heart surgery, and followed the rollercoaster of my first year of university (I am kidding, it was not a rollercoaster it was an emotional apocalypse with added despair and at times heaven on earth). All I had wanted was to go to university, and that dream came true. This blog followed the near death experiences right from freshers’ week when my body started as it meant to go on and put me in intensive care. I have made friends, lost friends, gained an extra set of parents (uni parents) and pushed them out of my own reach too. I was pushed to leave university for a year over and over, people doubted me, I was unsupported and I was lost and I had nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to. Except this blog. I clawed myself back in the direction I wanted to go. I ended up in a wheelchair at uni in the end but I sat my exams (most of them). I wrote an article for the mighty recently, which isn’t a big deal but was a huge deal to me because I was amazed by the response my writing got and it really encouraged me to believe in myself a little more. 

And the people following my blog… You guys came with me on my first ever holiday with friends, you were there two days later when I was in an intensive care unit and you’ve been on the journey to finding out about a minor brain injury with me… And my sight may never be normal again, I may never see clearly and I may never get rid of the shadow in my left visual field… 

But with the help of all of this, with all of you (and especially with the words of uni dad) I realised that no matter what is thrown at me, there is no way but through.

Thank you. Sincerely and genuinely for reading this blog, for clicking those stars and that plus and for even reading at all. I told myself I’d never make a post like this, but I had no idea how important this blog would be or become to me. So again, if you have ever read this, I apologise for the awful and rambling nature of my writing, but it means more to me than you could ever imagine that you read the things I put.

I owe WordPress an awful, awful lot.

So this post if for all of you for a change. I feel I owe you the post I swore I would never write. Congratulations, I am a stubborn thing that hardly makes exceptions, but the kindness I have encountered here deserves exactly that.

The Feeling Is Mutual (My Favourite Nurse EVER)

“Hello young lady, well don’t you look better than you did the other night!”

“I don’t really remember the other night. Was I that unwell?”

“You don’t want to know”

“That bad?”

“Well you were there, you saw her.” (To my fellow third wheel) “You were very very poorly. Very poorly. Honestly you look so, so much better.”

“I’ve spent the last few hours playing cards so…”

“Making up for lost time?”

“I like playing cards I guess”

“Honestly, you look a hundred times better”

And the banter begins… (My bed is right in front of the nurses station and doctors offices). 

To put this conversation into perspective, a couple of hours earlier I was told I am too unwell to move to a ward and too unstable to transfer to London. And this lovely older nurse who apparently was there when I arrived in the ICU unconscious and out of it just sat there in awe at how well I look in comparison to the last time she saw me. That alarmed me rather a lot.

I was seen earlier by the nicest consultant ever, who was on call on the night I came in and actually understood the complexity of my case. She rewrote the protocols for typical treatment in order to prevent me deteriorating as far as I did earlier today and yesterday. She was absolutely amazing. She listened to everything, she understood everything, she’d worked with one of the consultants I had dealt with before… I was going to be moved to a ward which made me so excited, but then I deteriorated and they said I had to stay in the ICU and I freaked out a little (ok I nearly cried but my fellow third wheel was there again). If I’m still here on Monday, which this consultant pretty much thinks I will be, then they are going to try and stabilise me long enough to potentially transfer me to London. I don’t know why, but suddenly I was terrified. The terror kicked in and I felt myself on the edge of a freak out and… The presence of my fellow third wheel completely calmed me. He has been great. 

My fellow third wheel turned up today with multiple changes of clothes in his bag so that if I got worse he could just sleep in the hospital. The lovebirds as always left after about twenty minutes, but I felt bad even for that. My fellow third wheel is so committed to staying with me that he has started referring to us as “we.”

We saw a lovely consultant earlier.”

“If we get moved to London.” He’s staying with me pretty much no matter what. I’ve no idea what I did to deserve such an amazing and loyal friend. We sat for hours playing cards.

Sixth form friend almost lost his job asking his boss to let him miss his shift so he can stay in Norfolk. The lovebirds are only here for half an hour or so a day which is so lovely but I feel so guilty. I even messaged his mum to persuade her to talk him out of it, and she sent me messages that made me feel all the feels.

A couple of hours into the shift, awesome banter nurse took over my care because she’s amazing. And then this happened. She just got it.

“Do you sleep well?”

“Well that depends…”

“On what?”

“On how freaked out I am at being in a hospital…” I pause awkwardly

“Your PTSD. I know, I was in the army for…” And she tells me about the horrific time she had. She completely understands it. I can’t explain it properly, the connection we made. The way we discussed the triggers and how relieved I was to finally speak to someone whose response was,

“I’ve suffered with it myself, I know exactly what you’re going through.” And they actually did.

“People think you just remember but you don’t, you relive it all over again and you react in exactly the same way.” I say.

“Yep, yep…” She nods her head as she hooks up my IV, following emergency protocol yet again because my body is a poop.

“And it’s the tiny things like smells and sounds…”

She asks what can make it better, understands how much her attitude will influence my emotional state.

“How did you sleep last night?”

I admit that in several occasions (once ever hour or so) during the night, I woke up drenched in sweat and shaking. She nods. She gets it. She asks if I want something to help me sleep. I say no thanks and she says I can have something written up in case I need it just to take the edge off. She says if I need her she will be right there. I’m not explaining it right because when I read back through this her awesomeness doesn’t astound me. She’s abrupt and hilarious and you can tell she’s ex-army. I love her. Finally someone understands it.

She comes back a while later to take blood again (as occurs hourly) and we talk about uni and she seems pretty impressed that I’m managing that. And then we talk about my health and she seems to be pretty blown away at how on earth I am still alive.

“You are one very lucky girl”

We talk about previous hospital experiences vaguely 

“You have really been through it haven’t you? And you’ve dealt with it remarkably well”

“No I haven’t, I’m a mess.” It’s left me an emotional wreck with PTSD. 

The banter resumes. There is even banter about how messed up I am, except she protests about my use of the word defective and tells me I am blameless. She gets visibly annoyed at the words and experiences that have made me believe otherwise. She tells me I am very lucky to be alive. I can talk to her about everything and anything. She is beyond the level of uni dad. She’s amazing. My favourite nurse ever. She genuinely is just… Her existence is the best medicine I have ever encountered. 

My fellow third wheel and I hug the air every time she leaves the cubicle. Even he has made several comments of “You are going to have the best time.” I’ve asked my fellow third wheel to buy me a thank you card to give to her (and another general for everyone else here). She’s. Seriously… 

I mean honestly, you can’t possibly understand how amazing this nurse is. Medical staff terrify me and I cannot even explain how… Momentous this is.

In the middle of this amazing mess I also felt bad that everyone got in a flap because one of my IVs just ran out and they couldn’t find any more of it on the entire ICU (yes, my body has been this greedy). Eventually awesome nurse returned with enough to fuel an army (or, as she pointed out, me for one night).

As she took blood again she shook her head and said “You are just brill.” In a tone of sort of disbelief. The feeling is mutual.

Anyway, they are letting my fellow third wheel stay here as long as he likes, and we feel like playing cards, so bye!

  

Enough

The consultant in charge of the ward walks in to see me with one of his henchmen (another doctor). He says the ward sister will be joining us and pulls the curtain as if this will stop the noise. Dread fills me from my toes (I was so tempted to write distal phalanges but… Oh wait I just have) to my cranium. I brace myself for the impact of miscalculated words as he says my specialist nurse has raised concerns about my emotional wellbeing. I try
and fail to explain myself. I tell him about the repeated cycle and that people keep saying it is going to kill me and that in this moment I can’t stand the thought of going through it again, which is stupid and horrendously ungrateful, but a thing I don’t seem to be able to control. I tell him that the team here told me it was negative to think of a recurrence of this situation as an inevitability, that it is realistic. He understands that. He says this is an unusual circumstance that they probably don’t know how to tackle, and that isn’t my fault, even though I feel like it is, like I am doing something wrong. 

“There is nothing I can do to fix this, but please, if there is anything at all we can do for you please tell me. If you need any help just ask. I’ll do anything I can.” I am immediately caught off guard, disarmed, relieved… All in one moment. 

We start to talk, slowly, about how often I am in hospital. He totally understands why. Understands the inevitability. I very briefly mention the PTSD. I say again that doctors don’t understand and try to save my butt using conventional treatment methods that mean I just keep bouncing back into hospital.

“I… We understand. Obviously I cannot say we understand fully, I’ve only met you on this admission and this is not an ordinary situation, but we understand that this doesn’t happen because you let it happen, it happens because nobody can stop it. You’ve been through and awful lot. If we can make this easier for you in any way please just tell us how.” WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE? I sit in a stunned silence. We talk about my reluctance to get help, my shame, but mostly the reactions of A&E staff and paramedics, who occasionally think I’m unconscious because I’ve taken drugs, or seem to think I had some control about how unwell I got and just don’t care about looking after myself.

“You’re right there is a stereotype around young people and unfortunately you’re still young enough to be caught up in it.” The sister says. The doctor sighs,

“Unfortunately there are usual circumstances which doctors become very used to seeing. They will initially jump to conclusions. This is very complex and rare. They do not understand this situation like we do.” We talk about getting my consultant to make a plan (which was ignored when he tried this before) and write a letter to explain the complexities of the issue which I can carry with me,

“Yes, that will be good, and then she may have the confidence to go to hospital sooner if she can just hand them a letter so they too understand what they are dealing with. Any doctor will know what is going on from what they see before them, they need to know why. They need to know how not to try and deal with it.” He talks about me in third person, thinking out loud. His henchman surprises me by speaking up in support of the idea. They agree it was a good one of me to suggest.

We talk everything through calmly, I am too defeated to freak out. I feel nothing. I am hollow. I am incapable of any emotion and yet I feel the tears brewing again. He leads the conversation, bringing up different areas which may be problematic and things he thinks need to happen. I quietly, robotically, monotonously respond. He calmly, gently, compassionately continues to talk after each pause. He doesn’t think I am stupid or pathetic, in fact they all seem to think my shameful defeated state is justified. They seem to think I’ve been through a lot of difficult stuff.

He asks me if I am happy with the care this hospital and these doctors are giving me, and how he can improve it, acknowledging the fact that he won’t take it personally and that there are shortfallings sometimes. He also asks where my main care for this health hiccup is based. I tell him London.

We talk about how this hospital and London don’t talk so both tell me different things and these guys seem annoyed if I do what the other says. He says that needs to stop, and he will get the two teams to talk to each other and start communicating, even though the consultant I saw this morning knows my London consultant and expects to bump into him at a conference tomorrow where he will discuss my case (if not, he will call him on Monday. Monday. Is so. Far. Away).

He says while I am in Kent I can’t just be let out of the hospital and left for London to deal with – he wants a district nurse from this health trust to see me once a week (usually associated with elderly patients he admits, but he feels it may be necessary); he says I need better community care from this hospital, more support. He says a district nurse will notice signs of deterioration when I might not, and I may be able to seek help quicker and it may give me more of a chance at evading the grim reaper. He says I need more regular appointments here while I’m not in London – weekly or two weekly. He says I should have a lot of support in managing this health hiccup, especially as it is so complex and deteriorates so rapidly and uncontrollably, taking other health hiccups on the downward spiral it plunges me into. He says he wants to try and reduce my number of hospital admissions.

He totally gets the PTSD. They all do. They are kind about it. They are sympathetic in a non-patronising way. There is a sadness in the eyes I look at, the same helplessness that lies within my own. He says while I am here (as in, an inpatient) I need help to deal with the consequences of that (PTSD).

I apologise again for being so pathetic. They all seem outraged at the idea that I feel that way. The consultant guy protests, the henchman shakes his head furiously, the ward sister says,

“This isn’t pathetic at all, you’ve been through so much.”

“You’re going through so much more than most would cope with.” Another voice says. At some point somebody says,

“You’ve been through enough.” That last word. Enough. I like that word choice. It means finality. It means it is time for it all to stop. It means someone else wants to put an end to this. It means change. Enough.

And then the sister mentions the IV access issue. The line issue. I tell them I don’t want to argue or fight for one, that I give up. The main doctor guy says he can’t do anything about it, but that he thinks I should discuss it all with my consultant here who can act upon it. I tell him I sort of did, although I’m confused as to who my consultant is. We talk through my access issues. The central lines they abandon putting in and try to put in another side or another area, the hours of stabbing while the drugs they need to infuse sit beside me mocking us all. He says he can see why somebody might not want to put a line in me, but that the positives and the negatives have to be assessed and discussed thoroughly. I say I didn’t feel that was possible, and that I now see no point, because I don’t. He says access is a huge issue. 

I don’t want needles drilled into my bone. I tell him what the other consultant specialising in this health hiccup told me this morning, and that it isn’t as simple as he made out. I say I feel like nobody listens. They all understand. He says it must be incredibly frustrating. I say they won’t get many more lines into my femoral vein and definitely not my neck (they now always fail), he nods. I say I’m scared about what happens then, that I don’t want to die while looking at the medication that could save my life if they could get it into my vein. A fresh wave of hopelessness washes over me. My voice returns to a quiet monotone.

He is patient. He is kind. He kneels on the floor the whole time he is talking and I see him shift his weight and wince with the discomfort. He isn’t patronising or condescending. He doesn’t care because he’s paid to care, he cares because the situation I am in bothers him and he wants to fix it because he has managed to retain his humanity. Over and over again he tells me not to apologise. He understands. He actually understands how traumatic it is for me to be here and that when I leave and the flashbacks reduce in frequency, the freak out will stop and I will think more clearly. 

He is calm. He gently asks questions about issues he thinks need to be addressed (but can personally do nothing about other than to give his colleagues a shove towards resolving them) and he listens to the answers. And then I am fighting back tears of gratitude. It is the most helpful conversation I’ve had since my old consultant for this particular health hiccup at another London hospital. I feel listened to. They care. They don’t make me feel stupid and they are deeply sorry that I’ve been made to feel so, and that I feel like I am a nuisance. I waited so long for this. He listened. They listened. 

But it is too little too late.

I am gone. There is, at that moment, nothing left of me to save (and I hate myself for being so pathetic).

“Oh my dance is getting slower now,

Cause my years they’re getting older now,

And my eyes, they won’t cry.

My tears have all run dry…


Will you please believe

I’m not the person you see,

I left that body long ago.

I left it way back there.

Will you please believe,

Given all that you see,

I left that body long ago

But somehow nobody knows.” – Amy McDonald, Left That Body Long Ago