Wednesday, 15 February 2012

And So Back to School! March 2011

When I came out of hospital, the school's celebration was only two weeks or so away, it was an ambitious idea that I would be well enough by then, but I focused on this as a milestone to get myself better or at least to a state were I might be fit to to attend for some of it. The thought of seeing the children spurred me on. One slow step, after one slow step at a time, I started to manage eating and drinking again, albeit a bit spontaneous and erratic what I fancied at times! It was a bit like being pregnant with morning sickness and upset hormones, especially with the bump of the Hickman Line and pump under my clothes!

When the day came, I was still unwell really, but had got better than what I had been, I decided to skip my diuretics that morning and take them later, so I could get there on time by mid morning and skip the 'weeing for England' session. It was lovely to see the school again, visit the classrooms, some that used to be mine and especially to see the children. The children from my old class appeared as delighted as me to see me, as I was them, which was very uplifting for me. I bumped into many old colleagues and parents too. There were some sticky moments where I was asked how my new job and my new school was going, but I just said I'd only done it for a term and now I'm a lady of leisure. Not quite the truth, but not a lie either, nothing was going to spoil today for me and they would find out another time perhaps. Fortunately, with a bit of help from the old makeup bag, I managed to look well and also disguise my pump, I was becoming very adept at covering up what I really felt like, and I do wonder if I should have a new career in acting if I ever get better!

I did quite well as the children don't often miss a trick, but none seemed to spot Mr Hickman's bump! Rob had accompanied me so that he could help me if If felt wobbly or bring me home if I felt I couldn't manage. A couple of lovely friends took over his caring role very discreetly, so that he could leave and I can't thank them enough for being so understanding and empathetic with my needs.

The open morning finished with a lovely assembly, undertaken by our old Head Teacher and for a short time the lovely old times we had enjoyed together drifted back, again a real tonic. A group of us who do not work any more went for lunch and I even managed this. It was then bed for me when I got home for at least the next three hours!

All in all this day out was my first milestone and gave me a real lift, it also somehow managed to help me put closure on the whole emotional business of leaving the school and accepting that I am unable to teach ever again. This was another milestone for me and I have hardly looked back since that day to mourn what I couldn't have any more, the future is what I need to focus on now and getting even better, staying well and keeping alive. And that has become my mantra. My next milestones were to enjoy Sarah's birthday coming up in March and aim to be even better by the time it got to my fiftieth birthday in April.

For my fiftieth birthday, Rob had planned a surprise for me by booking a celebration at one of my favourite hotels in the Lake District. We had doubts whether it would be sensible to go ahead as I wasn't sure I would be well enough and we had had to cancel so many nice things already because of my illness. We had cancelled a treat on the Orient Express and a holiday to Spain and it seemed like it was asking for trouble to carry on with Rob's lovely plan for me. We took the decision to cancel it, but the hotel were really kind and instead of bringing friends and family from all over the country, we booked to stay there for just us two instead. We were also planning a visit to Morocco, but luckily we hadn't got as far as booking that yet, not for me now, I had been advised it would be very dangerous for me to fly with the high pressures in my chest and I really wasn't well enough to go anyway.

Hipping Hall
I have to say I wasn't too disappointed with all of this, I just accepted it because I was just so pleased that I was still alive and with Rob and the girls and the bottom line is, that is all that matters. Anyway, I had begun my recovery and life was turning for the better. The weather was still good and we were in for one of the most beautiful spring times weather wise.  We celebrated Sarah's birthday quietly and the summerhouse went up in early April. We managed another visit to the Lakes just before Easter and stayed at Hipping Hall, the treat we had planned. Staying here was another milestone for me and I did manage the breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed evening dinner. I had to go very easy if we went out and about though and on one of the days I needed to go back to our cottage and go to bed in quiet for some of the day. Still I had managed to stay somewhere other than home.

My fiftieth birthday was approaching soon.  

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