As I said previously, there is a sense of urgency and one feels obliged to reassess ones life to decide the best way forward. One may not have much time to take certain decisions and get ones life in order. Well, that’s what it felt like for me.
I must say at Panorama they have wonderful, caring, social workers who do the rounds with the doctors. I know each person is different but with us there were no “snot en trane” and that we just got on with it without looking back or asking “what if”. That was the doctor’s advice. Don’t dwell on the past, just move forward. Take stock and plan your future.
But it does become overwhelming at times especially when one feels helplessly ill in hospital or at home, when you’re still so dependent on others. It used to drive me crazy. My environment changed so quickly, with me selling off all my possessions I felt like the carpet was ripped from under me. I missed the farm workers terribly. I was so overrun when I received their cards and messages in hospital!
One heartening outcome was spending so much more quality time with family and friends and people I haven’t seen in years! I always saw my sisters at my mum’s birthday in June and at Christmas, but now we were in touch daily, after I had set up a WhatsApp contact group.
Bianca immediately gave me a notebook with instructions that I start recording all my thoughts and write down my life story. That kept me busy many nights when I could not sleep because of cortisone. It forced me to review all my life actions, good or bad.
She asked if I could start knitting, “please mum, for when I have children one day!” At least make something for your potential grandchildren. So we selected unisex patterns and thread. I made one jersey before I got sucked back into work. I could not face having nothing to look forward to but knitting each day!
Even today, 7 months on, it’s still an adjustment, just to redefine my place in society and figure out where I fit in and what my future plans should be. Should I make plans? What sort of plans can I allow myself? One minute one feels well enough (back to normal) to resume a normal life and resume a normal work day, but along comes a day like today where I’ve had 3 hours’ sleep night before last and 1 hour max last night (again because of cortisone) and then the wheels come off in the day and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to hold down a normal day job because of this illness being so up and down?