Last year I wrote a post of the same name about how my personality had drastically changed over the course of 2013. This year has also been stressful, especially the beginning, but it’s shown me how capable I am in life and death situations.
January was hell. Almost two weeks my mother spent in hospital suffering from kidney failure from a severe urinary tract infection which spread to her brain as encephalitis. It was an exhausting time. After observing other patients I decided how I want to age and die. I didn’t really recover until March after many debilitating migraines.
Unfortunately that wasn’t her only hospital visit. In March, after a 7-hour wait she had a day procedure plastic surgery on her face, and later that evening, when we arrived home, she almost accidentally killed herself because she mistook her morphine for something else. Only my fast feet stopped her from ingesting a lethal dose. Close one. The perils of anaesthetic, I guess.
July was the month I found out I was going to be an auntie for the first time! It was also when my mother had her first shoulder replacement. Luckily, only a 24-hour stay. During this time I was forced to develop shibari skills (rope bondage) to put on and take off her sling properly. By the time it came off, after four long weeks, I was ready throttle her because she wouldn’t keep it on despite risking loss of movement in her shoulder. That was when I decided I was going to LonCon3, which I really enjoyed, as you can tell by how many posts I wrote on it.
However, the day before I left for London, I learned my mother’s GP had up and quit – the one person I respected and trusted with my mother’s complex health problems. I was devastated. I mourned his loss. My own GP had quit on me in January and my mother’s psychiatrist had also just left so I was upset that I had to start again from scratch, explaining our circumstances and building new relationships with doctors, though it’s made me wary to the point that I’m now asking what their personal plans are for the future – whether they plan on changing jobs any time soon.
We later bumped into my mother’s ex-GP. He explained he’d quit due to becoming fed up with maddening NHS bureaucracy, which I understood as it’s a common complaint, though I was still selfishly upset that he hadn’t given us any notice.
In August, after a DVT scare, I took the confidence I’d developed in 2013 and did something risky and potentially dangerous. After consulting the British National Formulary – the medication bible which doctors and pharmacists refer to – I upped the dose of a drug my mother was taking for post-traumatic stress disorder. Frustrated by the snail-slow process of doing this through appropriate channels, I decided to gradually increase the dose myself. I ended up tripling it to wondrous effect.
My mother changed from someone living in the past, anxious, pre-occupied and without sufficient concentration to read a newspaper, to someone who could hold a conversation again, was finally taking an interest in the world around her, who could watch TV, and who wasn’t permanently stuck in the grip of her OCD. She still suffers with memory issues from the brain inflammation in January, but otherwise, her quality of life has immensely improved. When her psychiatrist’s eyes bulged and predictably stated the dose she was on was reserved only for those with schizophrenia, I worried he’d decrease the dose. This is why I’d invited her social worker to the appointment so she could back me up as a witness to my mother’s improved mood and wellbeing. Thankfully, no change was made.
November saw this occur:
A couple of days ago…
ME: (checks bank account) “Oooh, we’re not poor. What should we spend it on?”
2 hours later while eating dinner…
MUM: “Hello, tooth.”
ME: “What? (looks down) OMG, it’s on her plate.”
DENTIST: “That’ll be £750, please.”
After that dentist visit, we managed to take public transport for the first time in two years because mum was finally fit enough to do so, though that won’t last as her knees are starting to deteriorate and she’s developed arthritis in her lower spine, causing a slipped disk.
I managed to spend a couple of weekends in London with my pregnant sister who I’ve barely seen over the past two years. And then the other shoulder was replaced. And my mother drove me crazy again, worse than before because it was her right and she’s right-handed.
December saw me pass my driving test, and a mere three days later, I ordered my first car. As it’s built-to-order, I won’t get it until March. Sadface.
“If you’re not medical, you should be.” I’ve heard variations of this from doctors and nurses all year. This line was from the A&E admissions doctor as a comment on how I’d reacted to the emergency in January. I’ve looked into career options. ‘Pharmacist’ is the only one I’m interested in since I seem to have an affinity for guessing correctly what meds need to be prescribed, as well as how and when to use them. I qualify for university entry. Unfortunately it’s an over-saturated industry – too many graduates and not enough jobs. To study for four or five years and not have a job at the end of it is a risk too far for me.
Finding the time to read has been a struggle. Short stories are largely responsible for my meeting my 100-book reading goal. I haven’t managed to write as many reviews as I would’ve liked, but I’ve somehow managed to keep this blog going despite my relative absence over the past few weeks – a much needed break. I celebrated a year of blogging in October and was ecstatic to learn so many had been reading and enjoying my posts, so thank you, all!
2014 has been a rollercoaster of a year. For all of the low points there have been highs. I’m hoping for a less stressful 2015, but most of all, I’m looking forward to becoming an auntie in February.
Happy New Year!
May your 2015 be better than 2014.