Growing Pains

“One way or return?”

Only then did the tears begin to fall, in front of the bewildered gentleman at the sky bus kiosk.

“One way” I finally managed to say.

It wasn’t saying my goodbyes to people that started the tears, extremely hard as that had been, it was realising that I was getting a one way ticket to the airport, that I wasn’t coming back to Australia for a while, and that I was being torn apart from the life that I had carved out for myself.

Of course I could visit, that’s always an option but it’s not the same as living there.

I had found some incredible and inspiring people on my journey. I found this insane love for food, coffee and wine that I never really explored because I was so sick all the time. I found that I really enjoyed riding a bike, no matter how bad I was at it, but most importantly I found my health and I found me.

I’ve always been me, obviously, but through illness and operations I had lost a lot of myself. In Australia I got back to myself and then some; I had never felt more me than when I did in Melbourne. I wish I could explain to you what it was exactly, it could have been  because I was allowed the freedom to just be, with no back story or preconceived notions of my character. No one really knew me. Or it could have been that I felt I belonged there.

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Graffiti in Brunswick

photo 2

Rooftop view of Melbourne

Whatever it was, all I know is that I had never felt more comfortable and able to express myself.

It’s hard to give that up when you’re not ready to. It felt as though the Australian immigration was ripping a piece of my heart out, setting fire to it and stamping on it.

Totally dramatic, I am aware.

I know that I have made some life long friends and that those connections won’t disappear but its sad to know that I won’t be sitting at my kitchen table talking complete shit with my housemates. That I won’t be inviting people round for a cuppa and an in depth chat about life, or finding new places to have amazing breakfasts and an awesome cup of coffee.

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Grain salad at Touchwood where I used to work

Side note, Melbourne has taken breakfast to a while new level, I have never experienced anything like it – which is why my Instagram has been predominantly food based- Melbourne, you’ve set the bar which is simultaneously amazing and soul destroying.

So in September I left Melbourne to start a new adventure in Auckland. I was hopeful that it was the right thing to do. New Zealand after all is a beautiful country and I thought what I needed after Australia was a little bit of down time. Time to reconnect and get used to my “new” me.

A huge lesson was learnt in this, you can think and expect all you want, but you won’t know until you are there.

There where signs, when I spoke about Auckland to people I would say “If I don’t like it, I can always go home” “I’ll give it through the summer” “I have to give it a chance”

My heart was already telling me that it was going to be a struggle. I didn’t tell people “I’m really excited to go to Auckland and see what its like” “Maybe if Auckland doesn’t do it for me, I’ll go somewhere else in New Zealand”

I was already focusing on the negatives, which is most probably why, after 6 weeks in Auckland I felt the most insane relief when I booked my tickets home to London.

As beautiful as Auckland is, something just wasn’t sitting right. People gave me a weird look when I said that I was moving back so soon. Their replies of “But you never even gave it a chance” stung slightly because I know that I could certainly have given it longer.

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Auckland city

 

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Whites Beach, next to Piha

But when you know, you just know.

I felt at home in Melbourne within the first 2 weeks of being there. I didn’t have many friends, I didn’t have a stable place to live, but I just knew that I was meant to be there.

I don’t have even a hint of that in Auckland.

The next chapter of my life is insanely terrifying but extremely exciting. I have no idea what my next steps are. Sure I have a few avenues to explore, but it means that I get to have the time to figure out what it is that I want on a professional and personal level. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and most importantly spending some quality time with my family.

I have really missed writing, and though I won’t go into the ins and outs of why I stopped or decided to continue again, I’m excited to be using the space once more.

 

 

Freaky Friday

Stumbling to the bathroom I am aware of how large my stomach feels despite the fact I have not eaten yet.
Mouth is dry, head feels like cotton wool. Its like a hangover but without the booze or the fun of the previous evening.
I sit on the toilet trying to wake up, realising that I’ve only clocked about 4 hours sleep I yawn sleepily and am disturbed to feel a sharp pain shoot up my left side.
Feeling suddenly awake, I feel a deep spasm and a wave of nausea hit me. Grabbing the side of the radiator, I gingerly stand and breathe deeply until the spasm passes.

Opening my eyes everything’s a tad hazy, and I realise I’m on my back staring at the ceiling. Fab. I’ve passed out.
Slowly getting up I go downstairs and wake up the boy

“Baby, I’m going to the hospital”,

Considering he’s been trying to get me to hospital a good few days before this, I would have thought he would have been a bit more enthusiastic. Instead I am met with a grumble of it being early and that we should go later.

Sighing, I call a taxi and inform work that I will not be making an appearance today.
Waking the boy again, he is disgruntled but happy that I am finally making my way to the hospital.

After the initial wait in a&e, which for once doesn’t take that long, I am asked to put a gown on and pee into a pot.

My pee is decidedly shy when asked to make an appearance and I spend at least 15 minutes trying to coax it out and inevitably pee on my hand. The moment I have excruciatingly filled the pot, I pee like a normal person instead of a dribble, my bladder laughing at me.

I conclude that all my organs hate me.

Abdominal xray and a chat with a doctor who clearly hasn’t a clue what an internal J Pouch is. Once again I feel like I should carry a diagram of what my operation entails and what my insides look like.
More waiting, some sleeping, 2 nurses try to take blood but its not happening, I’m pricked with needles four times and my blood just isn’t playing nice.
Fifth times a charm apparently, but even then they have to wiggle the needle to get the tubes filled.

I get told I’m going to a ward and I start to get upset. I hate staying in hospitals and every time they put me on a ward I end up staying for a prolonged period of time.
“We’re taking you up to page ward”
And I burst into tears.
Weirdly this time last year I was in hospital for a flare of UC and I ended up having an emergency operation.
What ward was I on? Page.
Tears are streaming now and I’m panicking, No ones told me what’s wrong with my pouch and I’m so scared.
The boy manages to calm me down and the nurses are lovely.
Fluids are hooked up and a chest xray is booked.

A surgical doctor sees me, I’m grateful for the understanding.
After examining me the doctor books an ultrasound stating that it might not be the pouch that is causing the initial problem.

After hours of waiting and several scans later I am told the reason for my pain is, the dreaded cyst.
The little sod has grown and brought some friends. I now have a 10mm cyst on my right ovary and 2 4mm cysts on both ovaries.

I am thankfully sent home with some amazing pain killers. These bad boys have me so drugged I’m just smiling at the world and dreaming of bunnies and unicorns.

So. I will now have a load of appointments to a) determine the outcome of the cysts b) sort out my antibiotics for my pouch c) maybe see my old gastro doctor for some help to live without the antibiotics.

Works going to love me, but as my mum and the boy said, my health comes first at the end of the day. I’ve always been really nervous about what work will say as I don’t want to cause a fuss. But hey, its not like I inflicted this upon myself so I’m afraid I’m just going to have to suck it up and get on with it.

I’ve been having days where I am super pissed off at life. I’m barely surviving let alone living, and I’m deeply annoyed at how I just can’t seem to catch a break.

4 months. I have 4 months to put up with it all and then I’m off to Australia. I just really hope my body settles down before then, my insurance is already sky high, the last thing I need is to get to Australia and be sick there too!

Keep your fingers crossed for me guys. I so desperately want to get better!

Itchy Feet

I was listening to this as I was typing this post, check it out 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpQPSoB8kSY&feature=relmfu

There is a very high chance that this post will not make sense; an even higher chance that the grammar and flow will be even more off key.

Ladies and Gents, I have completely fallen off the band wagon and am walking down the road like Ron Burgendy shouting “MILK WAS A BAD CHOICE”

Running has come to a standstill. I have no idea what is wrong with me I just can’t seem to lace up those trainers and get out there.

I do not have a reason. I’ve just stopped. Its weird. At this present moment I just don’t seem to care. About anything. I’m plodding along with life and I can’t help but hear this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something’s not quite right. I have no motivation for anything.

I got the same feeling when it was super close to my surgery. I want Australia and I want it now. Its so close I can taste it, to smell the salty air, to feel the sun gently warming my skin.
The monotony of my life at the moment is killing me, I need to do this to get to where I want to go but I hate the fact that I don’t wake up in the morning and I’m like WHOOOO work! I can’t wait to get my teeth into something that I love. It’ll happen, but as my priority is Australia I just need up put up and shut up.

I’m sure that all the anxiety I am feeling is because I haven’t been running. I hate what I’m about to admit but running gives me clarity and focus. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other for a small amount of time allows my brain to just be.

I’m a stickler for over thinking. I will take a thought and bludgeon that thought until the little letters are splattered across a wall, a’s and t’s sliding down into a pool of “What am I doing?” and I’m sitting in the corner crying because I feel like my life is spiralling out of control.

I feel like I’m out of control most days. I don’t know what I want to achieve any more, I don’t have any creative outlets and I feel lost.

However, I’m sure that’s how a lot of us 23year olds feel. No purpose, no direction.
I have an amazing amount of things to be thankful for.
For one, the amount of beautiful friends I have in my life. They say that you can count on one hand the people you can truly rely on. Pfft not me, give me another hand, or even my foot and let me count my toes. I have so many people that if my boat was sinking and I was about to drown, they’d swim by on a speed boat, pick me up and hand me a beer as we cruise into the sunset.
My Boy. My beautiful boy who means the world to me.
My family. I am truly blessed with an amazing dysfunctional family. We are messed up but I could find no greater pleasure than sitting with these crazy mofo’s, cup of tea in hand, cracking joke about the most random of things.

Someone said to me once that they couldn’t believe for someone who has had such bad luck, they couldn’t believe how positive I was.

Its experience. I’ve had some pretty horrific things happen but when that ugly beast called life stares at me, growls, tells me that its going to eat me whole I stand up and stare it straight in the eye and say
“You can try, but you’ll have to catch me first”

 

There is light at the end of this gloomy tunnel

“You can sound the alarm, you can call out your guards
you can fence in your yard, you can pull all the cards
but I won’t back down, oh no I wont back down
” Eminem, Won’t Back Down

What a week. 
I have been tested in unimaginable ways. To be told that I don’t have cancer or have to have surgery, to be then told I have chronic pouchitis. That I will be on long term antibiotics, and that my pouch will always give me problems.
All in a few days. 


My surgeon was not best pleased. “Why does it always happen to the loveliest of people” with those words I broke into tears in total agreement, why? Why does it have to happen to me? Why do I get all this bad luck my way? Tears streaming down my face and so many questions in my eyes.
He must get it a lot for he took it all in his stride telling me that life wasn’t far but we’re just going to have to get on through it. 

This week has told me that it’s okay to have a break down. I am after all, human. I can’t be strong all the time, and with everything that I am facing, its completely normal to gorge on chocolate, having it smeared over my face, mingled with the tears as I sobbed “Why me?” 
Obviously that wasn’t what really happened, I just watched TV and, respectably, ate some chocolate.
As The Boy pointed out, most people would have quit a long time ago, so its completely fine to take the odd timeout. 

The Boy has been amazing as always. Piecing together my broken spirit with his calm soothing words. His support is unwavering, which means the absolute world to me. 
He may not be the most vocal of fellows, or the most opinionated but he is always there, his presence always felt. 

Taking a day to allow myself to feel completely broken has allowed me to feel stronger about everything. It pushed me to apply for my Australian Visa. 
Sure I may go through more than my fair share of bad luck but its what I make of it. I can sit and wonder why or I can live my life. I can be sad and miserable about it or I can continue being happy with all the amazing things that I do have in my life. 

This is just another hurdle in the road I am following. I will overcome this, there’s the fodmap diet that I am going to try and no doubt document my journey. 
And if my visa gets approved then I will finally be on my way to Australia. 
Things are on the look up, I just need to trust it and believe in myself. I can overcome anything if I try hard enough. I’ve never given up before, I sure won’t stop now.