4pm, Monday 29th October
My world today is very different to when I first started writing these blogs. Today I am able to get up in the morning, shower, and climb down the stairs by myself. I can be left home alone without the fear of needing the loo or simply being unable to move across to the next room. I am able to pet my dogs and walk them round the garden. I can talk whilst standing, if the conversation is boring, I can walk away. I no longer have to give precise instructions on how I want things done. I have control, I have my life back, I can have a life. No longer am I pinned down by a medical condition, I am free. Free to earn a living. Free to live independently. Free to pursue my life’s ambitions.
I am not fully better by any means, but my recovery is substantial. Substantial enough not to rely 24/7 on friends, family and the state. I have full respect for anyone who battles through life in a chair. It is hard. Really hard. To go out, planning must be done long in advance. Is there a step? Can I fit through the doorway? Lifts? Will it be so cold that I need to insulate my feet in a plastic bag? How will I get there? Will I be able to rest? How will I go to the loo? There are so many hurdles that in most cases, going out just isn’t worth the risk.
A lot is being invested into making the urban environment more accessible, and it works. It works to make going out possible. It is hard to imagine the difficulties faced by those with disabilities 50-years ago, or even in some developing countries today.
So as my recovery dawdles on, I hope that I’ll be left complete. But if not, I shan’t be grieving. Today I’m at a point where each improvement is a luxury, no longer a necessity.
Tuesday 30th October 2018
A year has passed since I experienced the first onset of symptoms. Back then I had no concept of the seriousness of the situation, narrowly escaping with my life. In hindsight, I wish I’d been more proactive in the early days. That way I would likely have recovered fully by now. But when you think of yourself as invincible, as is natural for a 21-year-old male, and the doctors are telling you that you will be fixed in the morning, it is hard to see how things could have panned out differently.
A year on and I am still working on my recovery. The events that started on the 30th October 2017 have been life changing beyond anything I could have imagined 365 days ago. Thankfully, it hasn’t been life ending.