Friday, 19 December 2014

Reality hits home

Went to the specialist for my final update before the New Year today.
As usual, at the end of the appointment, he handed me a piece of paper which confirmed the next appointment. I thought it to be the same piece of paper he always hands me, but this one looked a touch different. I also noticed he hadn't given me the usual blood test form which I mentioned to him and he reminded me that I'll have under gone all the required tests before the appointment during the physical in January. The pre-op physical.
When he informed me of this...that's when it all really hit home.

It's actually happening. Hooollyyy crap.

As we left the hospital, the mental wind shield of information which I've mentioned in previous posts (the screen that comes up and basically blocks my real vision with thoughts, comments, facts and concerns and prevents me from thinking clearly)

This is a rough idea of what it feels like...but less cool (Agent Colson from S.H.I.E.L.D)

was up and running to the point where I felt my eyes lose all focus on reality, I couldn't seem to acknowledge my location and had to have Tom steer me around the car park to the car.
On driving back, Tom popped the radio on to break the silence and see if there was something Christmassy on. He found...the 'Frog Song' by Paul McCartney.

For those of you who don't know this, my dad's company did the animation for the 'Frog Song' so it's a ridiculously personal song to me. That and the fact that one of the clearest lines in it is 'And we all stand together' had me in tears in 2 seconds flat.
I haven't heard that years.
What are the chances it comes on the radio now?

Turns out we were listening to Sarah Millican (one of my favourite comedians) on Desert Island Discs.
The next song she chose was the Superman theme song, which she said helped her focus when she had a particularly difficult or nerve-wracking situation before her. This song gave her strength.
The coincidence of hearing these two songs after the appointment was too much and I continued to break.

I'd like to point out that now, I'm ok. Still a touch frazzled, but ok. Tom and I took a moment in the car to pull it back, reflect, and help me remember my inner strength.

It's just the shock that, after so the new year....everything starts to move. And today was the official stamp on the 'end of era' moment as the doctor handed me a different appointment form to what I've been receiving the last year and a half. Or possibly more. I'm not sure.

How I'm feeling

I'm struggling to do things myself again. I had an interview with an acting agent the other day, which I'm delighted to say, was successful and I now have an agent for the new year (yes, they're aware of my medical circumstances, but this made no difference to them apart from knowing there will be a delay in my being able to work). And I'm not entirely sure how I got through that.

My sense of time is basically in chaos now. One day feels like three because I've the morning, then lunch, then the afternoon, then the evening when Tom's at home. And yet, I can't seem to tell the difference between a day, a week, a month.
I'm basically in Life's waiting room and going through that feeling of having waited for hours when it turns out you've only been there 15 minutes...or you lose focus, forget the time and an hour has passed without your realising it.
My life is the waiting room and the operation theatre my destination.
On top of that, my sense of distraction and lack of focus is worse than it ever has been and my memory is getting ridiculously selective to the point where I now forget every other thing I was going to say in a conversation yet I'll randomly remember something I was told several weeks/months ago.
The best way to describe how my mental state is, without giving away any spoilers, if you've seen the film 'Wreck it Ralph' (a cartoon based on vintage video gaming...absolutely charming), all I'll say is, the relationship between King Candy and the Glitch. That is my brain.

Therefore I'm keeping myself to myself unless I have a chaperone. I know it sounds weird, but my anxiety still peeks through despite the medication. The medication just means they're more physical than in my head and I'm able to control them more now through monitored breathing (in for 4 counts, hold for 7, release for 8). They even occur when I'm with close friends who I care about and trust. My body's automatic reaction to pretty much anything that gives me a slight feeling of excitement or adrenaline is now feeling like I'm on shaky grounds.
So I struggle to be social unless I can 1) escape when I need 2) have Tom to act as a buffer for me.
This isn't going to be a permanent thing. I know it's not. But it's still uncomfortable as sin, and one of the reasons it may seem like I've dropped off the radar again.

Fortunately, however....I'm still laughing and enjoying life despite the addition of crazy.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Look at this through my eyes

On seeing this picture online, I was struck simultaneously by sadness and joy at how beautifully melancholy it is. However, I then realised the angel is smiling and death is sitting on cards which means he's playfully cheating. And now all I can see is the smile in this picture.
I then had another flash image in my head: this picture, but with me....sat up in the bed...grinning from ear to ear, my eyes swivelling across both players. I then found myself laughing and thought 'I'd want to be "awake" for that so I can troll them both with a huge grin on my face'.

When I go, I plan to go grinning and making the afterlife facepalm itself whilst I stand there giggling.
Ladies and gents, this is a morbid subject, but a very real one. When my time comes, I want you to imagine me quiet...reliving the more serious times in my life....then snerking because I can't keep a straight face any more, then cracking up at what I'm attempting to do.

I'm a random and strange person. Celebrate this fact. I try and fill my life with as much colour as possible (in fact my favourite shirt is a multi coloured checkered number). Remember me in colour....not monochrome

I know a lot of people are going to feel a twinge on seeing this, but honestly....all I can see now is the smile.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Forcibly turning a corner

Earlier this evening, I posted up on a social networking site that I'd re-read the leaflet containing all the medical information regarding my impending operation and had become a touch depressed.
So I had a bath. Put my music on. Lay back....and let my thoughts flow.

No....really bad. I found my thoughts draining into a pit I've avoided for a while and my head had started wandering into territories I knew meant my mind was peeking into the box I tend to keep locked and chained and in the darkest recess of my head.

Nope!! As soon as I realised what was happening, I almost heard the brakes on my mental drive screech to a halt and start going in reverse.
I put some dynamic music on and suddenly found myself picturing a battle, almost as though I were actively fighting my inner demons. I then stepped back into 'reality', imagined myself fist bumping my donor with the words 'let's do this' and walked towards the operating theatre with an image of all the people supporting me as shadow figures behind me, telling me they'd see me on the other side.
Curiously, I saw the characters who'd been there when Sadira went through her darker times, the companions who'd metaphorically held her hand, pulling her through.....doing the same for me but Frankie me.

I then went on a nostalgia trip, remembering what I'd done and achieved this year and it has to be said....I've done some pretty god damn awesome things. And when I get my health back....I can do more.

So here's a tip: when you find yourself driving towards the edge of that abyss, forcibly stop and remind yourself of what you've done in the last year. No matter how big or small (from combatting that work challenge to cooking that really lovely meal...or hell, even getting through the day without stabbing someone), it's an achievement and you should be proud.

I'd also like to say, since feeling crap to doing this blog, a massive thanks to those who've sent me messages. It's that which helps me imagine the supportive group behind me and moves me forward with my chin up.
Thank you.