With another year nearly over what will be the highs and lows that you will reflect on as we move steadily towards New Years Eve and the beginning of 2015.
I have been reflecting on my year and what 2014 has meant for me. My low points have been:
- I still suffer chronic pain which has become more widespread this year effecting not just my left foot and lower leg with CRPS but also my left shoulder and arm – some of which is down to a shoulder injury caused by using crutches for the last 6 years, and some of it is down to possibly CRPS spread (still being investigated if ever I get the appointment through to see the orthopedic surgeon for my shoulder!)
- Suffering with my stomach and the nerves within not allowing the digestion of certain carbohydrates
- Having about 8 weeks of infection after infection which has left me very exhausted
My high points (in no particular order as they have just flown out my head as I have written) have been:
- Spending time with my husband and my son – two of the most important people in my life – and every moment I spend with them is a high point
- I have lost nearly a stone in weight – due to the change in diet to keep my stomach issue in check
- Due to my new diet I have noticed a change in my pain levels, I know now that when I eat certain foods my pain goes off the scale. Those ‘certain’ foods are usually the same ones that upset my stomach
- Getting my first wheelchair measured to fit me and my needs – feeling confident in using the wheelchair (a tool in my pain management toolbox!). I know this one may seem weird saying that using a wheelchair is a high point, really what I am trying to say is that I have accepted that using the wheelchair can give me so much more freedom without the anguish and pain that usually follows trying to get about on my crutches. So yes, my wheelchair has been a positive high
- Whoa a real biggy this one – especially as the lady in question has not performed concerts live since 1979 – getting through to the ticket line and managing to get tickets for the accessible area for the Before the Dawn concert by Kate Bush at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Tickets sold out in 15 minutes – I was one lucky girl!
- Taking my mum on holiday to Cornwall to see her two sisters
- Giving my mum two big surprises when we were in Cornwall by visiting the Eden Project and the Minack Theatre – seeing her face light up and the big smiles – they were priceless – I love my mum to the other side of the universe and back.
- Staying in the most perfect little bed and breakfast in The Lizard called Chapel House – one I very much intend to go back to – keep up the fantastic work Katie and Mark your bed and breakfast is adorable and is a true credit to you both who are perfect hosts
- Successfully travelling to and from London, including using the Underground with my wheelchair
- Seeing Kate Bush live in concert and being blown away by the whole experience. I was scared I might hate her after the concert – how wrong was I! I absolutely adore her more – a most utterly fantastic and talented lady who has influenced the type of music I like since I was about 6 years of age. I find her story telling in her music and songs fantastic, and I just love her quirkiness. She is just brilliant! In fact there are no words really to describe the experience – I wish I could relive that night again
- Booking next years holiday – crewing Lord Nelson in the Tall Ships Races 2015
- My sons 21st birthday – if you have little ones let not a moment go by without enjoying them because before you know it they are 6ft tall and an adult – I don’t know where 21 years has gone, however I am very proud of my young man
- Our anniversary and the romantic meal we had at home – the look on my husband’s face when he came home from work and found a three course meal made – I could not have done it without my son – and it was totally worth the effort to give my husband a big surprise
- Still being able to work despite the pain – I do love my job, it really gives me focus to get up in the morning, plus it is a tool in my pain management toolbox – it is great for distracting my thoughts away from the pain
- Getting all four Christmas trees up in the house
- Cuddles from my Pup – a very loyal and loving little dog – lifts me up when I am feeling down and really knows when I am in pain – shepherding me and watching over me
There are probably more highs than what I have put here, however I would say these are the main ones. What is interesting to see is that, although it may seem otherwise at the time, there are more highs than lows. Even though the main low – that of CRPS and chronic pain – takes up much of my life and is with me each, and every, day, I am so glad that I am having lots of highs to try and counterbalance the effect of that one particular low. It is really a fine line between balancing them both and I think that writing the highs and lows down like this, and by really reflecting on the year just past, helps to put life into perspective and see that there is still a lot to live for, there are still fun times to be had, there are still people out there that love and adore you, and who you love and adore back – all of this and much more despite the chronic pain. Being in constant chronic pain is not fun, in fact it’s downright annoying that everything you do takes an effect on the pain and exhaustion that you feel, however the biggest thing I find, which keeps me going, is to focus on the highs and the positives in life, and distract myself as much as possible from focusing on the pain and what I cannot do.
I feel I am a very lucky person – I may not have everything, I may be in constant pain, however at least I am alive, I have all that I need – a roof over my head and food on the table – and most of all I have a fantastic family. To me family is everything.
What will you reflect on as the year 2014 comes to an end – will it be the positives/highs in life or will it be the negatives/lows in life?
Which focus will you take with you into 2015 – the positive way of looking at things or the negative?
I know which answer it will be to both those questions for me – and that is most definitely the positive. I started last year with a photo a day (for 100 days) that makes you happy or feel positive – I think I may do something similar again this year – it helps to get through the cold, dull winter months when everything can feel so negative, the exercise certainly makes you look for the positives even on the most dreariest of days.
Wishing you a very happy new year and all the very best for 2015.