Don't tell mum I need help walking!
I need emergency surgery, but since I don't have travel insurance (why would I have travel insurance, when is anything going to happen to me?), I need to fly home to get it (It costs $40,000 to get the surgery here).
My brother is currently funding this misadventure of mine, but he's just had a baby and I don't wanna be the reason he can't pay for his first home, so I need some help from you guys, my friends and well wishers.
Any money donated will go towards paying for the flight home, I need a business class flat bed as I need to stay recumbent for as long as possible. This will cost around $5000.
Next is to pay for costs already incurred in hospital here, roughly $4000.
Any extra would go to helping me eat, the recovery time for a fusion of the bone, the surgery that I need, is between two weeks and three months. So could be a while.
If you feel like helping me out and are able to, I would be forever grateful, or if not, that's cool too, I'll probably forgive you in time, lol. Thanks in advance. Xo
again, I apologise for the lack of updates. After the last update I posted, there were so many of you who took the time to comment or like or to message me, which was incredibly moving and provided me with so much so support, it was all a little bit overwhelming, tbh, I didn’t actually think anyone would read the whole thing. To those of you I haven’t been able to speak to yet, in person or over social media, I give you huge thanks and I hope you know your thoughts mean the world to me.
I have just had another appointment at the prince of wales hospital, and it is fantastic news, my spinal column is stable and I AM GETTING OUT OF MY CAST!!!! It has been 108 and days since I had my accident, and 107 long days inside this tomb of healing, and I am so incredibly excited to finally be well enough to come out of it. Without it, I would surely be paralysed right now, I will be forever thankful for what this piece of plaster/fibreglass that has kept that from happening, but my god am I excited to get the hell out of it! Which will be happening at 130PM!
As for everything else, my anxiousness has decreased in the past month. I worked at the Bastille day festival last week, which was so much fun, and the feeling of being somewhat useful again is absolutely priceless. That said, it was a festival with a huge amount of people attending and I did have moments of feeling claustrophobic, but it was able to handle it, I also had a hiding place behind the coffee machine, so that helped.
Mum is still not well, she has shown improvement in her mental state, but then will backslide and then get better again. It’s a little like being on a see saw. She has been in and out of hospital for the past month or so, she is going back in today. But she will get better.
Sorry I don’t have time to write anymore at the moment, as I have to go back to the hospital to get “Wilson” cut off me!!! Then I will be coming home for a long long shower, it is 24? right now, which is ridiculous, so after my shower I will be going for a swim, and then back in the shower for a bit more.
Again, thank you all so much for your support throughout this, you have all been incredible.
PS, I’m moving back to Sydney with Kelly, so if you wanna be our friend, do that.
My next appointment with the neurologist is in November, which is ages away, speak to you all before then. Much love. Xo
I had my latest appointment at the Prince of Wales hospital this morning where I received some shattering (v. punny) news. Well, it wasn’t actually that bad, the spine is healing basically as it should be, and did you know that with an injury such as mine it is common for the spine to collapse? Well I found out this morning that my T12 vertebrae has collapsed around 16mm, so basically that means I’m almost two centimetres shorter than when this started! That’s kind of cool, and apparently entirely normal!
The bad news of today was that I will be encapsulated in my cast for at least another four weeks. Which was so crushing (PUNS!!!) to hear as I was entirely sure I was going to be released from Wilson’s (I’ve named my cast after Tom Hank’s volleyball friend in castaway) strangle hold today. I was also entirely sure I was going to be let out of it the last time I saw the docs (six weeks ago). It’s just another blow that I really didn’t want.
You see, the last couple of months have been more difficult for myself and my family than you probably know. Mum was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder many many moons ago, mum is generally able to keep herself on the straight and level, but she has a problem with dealing with stress, even many everyday things that most people do stress her out, although generally she is able to deal with these and can cope quite well, it is when something major, such as her son coming extremely close to being permanently disabled, that she is unable to cope.
So mum began showing signs that she was going to have a manic episode when I went into hospital in Sydney. Once I arrived here, the doctors wouldn’t allow me to move at all. On the first afternoon back, a team of nurses were required to lift me from one bed to another, I looked at mothers face and saw a terrified stare coupled with an emptiness in her eyes, this is when I knew that mum wasn’t going to be able to handle this pressure and she was about to crack.
So over the next few days we saw her decline into a full blown manic episode. I was released from hospital a week or so later and mum was deeply manic. She was worse than many of the times she had been unwell in the past. She would only sleep for a couple of non-consecutive hours each day/night. She became erratic and incredibly abusive towards myself and my brother. Her persona changed from a sweet and gentle lady to a woman possessed. It’s kind of hard to explain unless you’ve been through it. Even the tone of her voice changed dramatically.
Matthew and I stayed with mum for a few weeks more, trying to liaise with the mental health acute care team to get mum the help she needed. The thing is, that because mental health is so severely underfunded, and the staff know how awful and damaging the inpatient facilities are, that they will endeavour to try and keep a person out of hospital for as long as they possibly can, unfortunately, this means that peoples health will deteriorate further and further until there is no choice but to hospitalise them for an extended period of time (mum usually averages a three month stay) as they have become violent and a danger to themselves, or others.
During this period, I was noticing that I was having some issues. I felt unconfident around people. I would be nervous going to the café I used to work in, or to my local bar for a drink. At the time I believed it was because of my back, I put it down to being worried about being knocked over by someone and doing some serious damage. But even as time went on, these feelings didn’t go away. They intensified.
I went back to Melbourne after I decided I couldn’t handle being around mum anymore. I went back to my old house where I should have felt safe, but I didn’t really, I still felt anxious about being around my closest friends. I could barely hold a conversation, unless I had a few too many drinks under my belt. I went to see some friends at an old workplace of mine, after I left I broke down on the tram home, I couldn’t breathe, I was sweating, I was crying, I had no idea what in the actual fuck was happening. It was terrifying.
I got home and sat on the couch and cried until I fell asleep. It was fucked.
From this point on I knew there was something very wrong and it kept happening. On public transport I would feel claustrophobic and paranoid. All I could do is look out the window, take deep breaths and pretend like I was the only one there.
I would avoid going places where there would be a lot of people, or places where I knew I would have to talk to people, which is not something that I would usually do. If I did go somewhere, I would make sure that I was as drunk as I could possibly be, as to not be so afraid.
The worst thing was, I couldn’t tell anyone about what was going on, I’m not really the type of person who talks openly about my feelings, which definitely made everything worse. I was having so much trouble controlling what I was feeling that I would lash out at the closest person to me, and of course she didn’t know the extent of what had been happening so it all came somewhat as a huge surprise.
That’s kind of the reason I’m writing this today. I don’t want to, and I don’t think I should have to keep this secret. I still haven’t told many people this, but that’s the way we all seem to talk about mental health, we don’t. Apparently many people have panic attacks, I didn’t fucking know that. I do know that many people have bipolar and schizophrenia and a myriad of other mood affecting and life altering diseases, but people would prefer not to discuss that crazy person they saw down the shop picking up pieces of rubbish, or even better, have a snicker at the nutter and then move on. Well that’s someone’s fucking family and you shouldn’t do that.
I dunno, maybe I just want to have a conversation about all this shit. But maybe I don’t, maybe I want other people to have a conversation about it. Maybe I just want other people to know that it’s okay to have feelings of anxiousness and helplessness and that you don’t have to do that on your own. Maybe I just wish my mum was normal.
I went to a doctor that was recommended to me to talk about these issues, which kind of helped, sort of. I was petrified to even dial the number and call to make an appointment, but after a couple of days of looking at the number on my screen, I called them and I didn’t hang up when it started ringing. A few days later I went to my appointment and was given a mental health plan. I was meant to start therapy with a counsellor but then I had to come back to Sydney because mum had been hospitalised. But I plan to have some therapy sessions when I go back, which just sound fucking delightful! (Sarcasm). But I hope they help.
So mum has been in hospital for a couple of weeks now, and she is getting much better very quickly. I suppose after all this, I’m not doing too badly, at least I can still walk, and I’ll get through this, with the help of my friends my GF and my brother and sister and cute AF baby niece, seriously, she’s the best!
So, I suppose I’ll let you know what’s happening the next time I go to the doctors, in four more showerless weeks.
The latest x ray has shown that my bones are healing properly and I should be discharged from hospital by Friday!
Everything is coming up Milhouse.