Tag Archives: sick leave

Reasons To Be Cheerful

gooddayMy last few blog posts have been somewhat dark.

I’m not quite sure why but it probably has a lot to do with being on sick leave after the Campath treatment and spending far too much time at home on my own.

It’s definitely got nothing to do with the fact that I will be turning *40* on Tuesday (gulp). Not at all. Not even a teensy bit, although I am being rather melodramatic about it – ‘that was my last ever Thursday as a 30-something’ or’ that’s the last full moon I’ll ever see in my thirties’, before reaching for another chocolate chip cookie to console myself.

So in an attempt to cheer myself up, I am compiling a little list of things that have made me smile over the last few weeks (in no particular order):

  • I’ve almost finished my last ever essay for my university course. Six long years. Nearly pulled out two years ago when my brain decided to stop working, but got there in the end. 
  • An old friend I haven’t seen for years and years got back in touch.
  • Re-discovering the joy of toast.
  • I’ve been shortlisted for the MS Society Digital Media of the Year award – chuffed beyond belief, and The Teenager is coming with me to the awards ceremony in London (if he tidies his room and promises to behave).
  • I put a whole load of grated carrot in The Teenager’s bolognese and he didn’t notice.
  • A friend in America sent me over a package filled with fabulous presents.
  • Wandering round Ikea and managing not to buy any candles for the first time ever.
  • Cutting my own fringe with dodgy MS hands. So bad, it’s good.

I was talking to someone the other day, who asked me if there were any unexpected good things about MS. Without hesitation, I found two. First, the support from other people with MS. Who knows where I would have been without it. Second, the fact that something like MS makes you scale life right down to what’s important. I appreciate everything now, however insignificant.

Life is looking up. I will soon be ready to re-launch myself into society again and I can’t wait.

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Single Parent, Multiple Sclerosis

Our little family has adjusted fairly well to life with multiple sclerosis, but now and again it throws up some major hurdles.

Even though my ex-husband and I are happily divorced and are bringing up The Teenager as well as we can despite the 140 mile distance between us, there are definitely times when it would be handy to have a partner around, or at least in the same city.

I’m booked in to hospital for my second round of Alemtuzumab treatment during the summer school holidays and it’s coming round far too quickly. The Teenager will be at his dad’s for a week as usual and with the way the dates have worked out this year, I will have just one full day to recover at home after three days in hospital before The Teenager is home again. I am panicking. Slightly.

Last year, the Alemtuzumab left me exhausted, weak and under the weather and I had several weeks sick leave from work but I also had three clear days on my own at home to start to recover.

I’m not so much worried about me, but about how The Teenager will feel seeing me lying on the sofa even more than usual. Is there anything more depressing than an ill parent? I tried to have a chat with him about it the other day and he’s promised me that if I buy him enough pizza, he’ll be fine, so here’s my plan to get through the first week or so:

  • Pizza
  • Accept all offers of help
  • When he’s out with friends, have a sleep, so I’m fully(ish) awake when he’s back
  • Encourage/bribe The Teenager to have friends for sleepovers
  • Stock the fridge with lots of good-quality ready-meals
  • Ignore the dust
  • Keep explaining that the treatment will ultimately make me much better in the long-term
  • Pizza

My friend’s daughter has offered to cat-and-house-sit again, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I’ll also organise a huge grocery delivery just before I go to hospital. I know what to expect this time round, so hopefully I’ll be better prepared than last year.

I was feeling very chuffed with my list and plans, then I checked my diary again. Yup, I’ll be turning 40 less than three weeks after the treatment. Now I really am panicking…

(no small violins were harmed during writing this blog post)

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