I haven’t written a blog post for such a long time. Life just seems to be so busy, especially during the last year, or I have overdone things and not felt like writing. It has been quite a challenging year with some of the challenges carried forward into this year, however I am determined to not allow this to take over my life. It has not all been doom and gloom, although it has felt it often, several good things have come from 2016 , from life in general and also from the challenges last year.
Firstly our home is watertight in the main house for the first time in years. We finally got a new roof on our house. This was fairly challenging as we needed a specialist roofer with knowledge on how to treat very shallow pitched roofs as ours is only 10 degrees pitch, which is very low and far lower than the standard should be. Between extortionate prices and cowboy builders we finally settled on a mid range price with a roofer that I felt at ease with and knew what he was talking about. Just finding a roofer took from January 2016 until May 2016 and the new roof was finally completed in August 2017. It was a worrying time, wondering what the cost would be, how the team of roofers would be and all the other worries that come with having major building works carried out. I needn’t have worried though the roofers were utterly fantastic, getting the job done in a timely manner to the right standard for a roof of such low pitch especially as I did not want a felt roof. They were also very clean and tidy builders, how they got the whole of my roof into a one tiny skip I will never know, what I do know is that it was well packed. I have never seen builders like it. Every evening we came home to an extremely tidy building site, the placee place was left immaculate. Half way through the roof being completed when the front was done and the back was covered with plastic sheeting we had a storm over the weekend which kept lifting the plastic sheeting so hubby and son had to go up on the roof to secure this. Apart from this the job ran smoothly.
From the leaky roof we gained two rooms that had to be decorated, including putting ceilings back up from where we had to take them down to assess the initial damage. My husband and I always do our own decorating so this was challenging in itself as with CRPS this is extremely difficult. I can only be involved if I have paced myself or if I just go for boom and bust! Unfortunately I had to go for the latter, so I have had some difficult times where i have not left the house and have been up for nothing but sitting on the sofa or going to work. The jobs were done though and they were all done before Christmas which is what I had wanted.
We had great plans for our twentieth anniversary in October, I wanted to go to Maui however the new roof put pay to that idea as our funds were wiped out. We then decided to stay local and take ourselves off for a couple of days to a hotel a couple of hours away from home. This plan also changed as we decided to give up our week away to celebrate our twentieth anniversary in October to decorate the living room which should have been done at the beginning of the year but the roof took priority. We made the decision to go from an open fire to having a wood burning stove fitted. This meant more decorating and I treated myself to some new soft furnishings. The result is that we have gone from a stark, cold looking room to a room which is a beautiful and tranquil place to relax and enjoy great company in front of a warm fire. It was a good wedding anniversary present, I love it. It was hard work and took longer to do than it would have nine years ago but definitely worth it. I was bust for a good couple of weeks after.
2016 has been a year of meeting new friends from across the globe and linking up with friends that I have not seen in a long while. Anyone who knows me personally and well will know that I don’t let people in too easily, I have been like this all my life. Since having CRPS I find it even harder as I have a tendency to block people out and not allow them to become to close. This is because I don’t like people to see me at my weakest, I can only put the “face” on for short periods. The “face “that shows I am strong and able. The “face” that smiles through the never ending excruciating pain. The “face” that people can’t see the inner me through. This face only lasts a short while before I have to collapse into the sanctuary of home and be around people who I will show my weaknesses too. You may read this and think “what on earth! be yourself around everyone”. The thing is I am myself around everyone, the “face” is me how I used to be, I have lost a lot of things through my disability and I am certainly not going to lose the real me behind the pain.
Anyways three new friends immediately captured my heart within days of meeting them, two from Canada and one from Egypt. I am happy that our paths have crossed and grateful for the time that I have been able to have with them. I am hoping to see them again soon to spend more time with these beautiful people.
I have also met a group of lovely ladies who all suffer with CRPS. It’s good having local people to talk to as and find out treatment plans. I have learnt so much from them and decisions have been made about my health going forward.
Then there are the friends that have come back into my life that I had lost contact with through one thing or another and mainly because of my deteriorating health over the last couple of years. I am so happy that these people have come back into my life because I have missed them. I have enjoyed ladies that lunch on Wednesdays and catching up with a sailing friend too.
Our twentieth anniversary this year made 2016 a big year in itself, however the end of the year brought with it a milestone birthday for my hubby. His half a century birthday. I just had to mark this milestone birthday, I didn’t want it to become just another day. Plans were started right back in July for a surprise visit from his family along with a surprise birthday party. How I managed to arrange this and pull it off without hubby knowing I will never know. Into the mix I also handmade his fiftieth birthday present right under his nose! His family came over the day before his birthday and were collected from the airport by a family member here. They all then prepared the birthday party food, and text me to let me know that all the guests had arrived. The ruse to get us to the house where the party was held was that we had to go and collect our son and his lady friend who had conveniently gone for a “walk” earlier on in the day. So we jumped in the car and off we went. Well the shock on hubbies face was a picture I will never forget. He honestly did not know or cotton on that we were all up to something behind his back. It was a wonderful moment and one I will not forget. Considering hubby did not want to celebrate his birthday at all, he celebrated his birthday for three days – we had the party on the Wednesday, we had present opening on his actual birthday on the Thursday and then the whole family went out for a meal on the Friday.
So in a nutshell 2016 was a year of personal challenges, great celebration and of meeting new and old friends alike. I have no clue what 2017 holds for us. So far it has been a better start to the year than last year.