The year isn't going quite as expected. And that's an understatement.
First up - major health scare starting on 18th Feb, and ending on 3rd June.
Very long and convoluted story short:
I had a weird hot flushing reaction to something eaten - the second episode involved not being able to breath properly. Yep, really really scary.
Diagnosed with anaphylaxis with an unknown trigger - epipens prescribed.
Had to show George how to administer the epipens.
He became worried and quite stressed about leaving me alone during the day.
The episodes became more frequent with no real correlation, culminating in 3 within 25 hours, and the last two within an hour - epipen used, and then taken to A&E due to administering adrenalin.
Kept in overnight, loads of tests done, anaphylaxis ruled out, epipens taken away,
no explanation given for the numerous symptoms, and specfically (and importantly) for the downright terrifying breathless episodes.
Advised not to drive alone to work - a 70 mile round trip, with most of it through open countryside.
Given a 24 hour urine test to do, to check for a very rare form of cancer.
A kind of agoraphobia set in, as basically I was scared witless of being at the wheel of the car, with George as a passenger, and me not being able to breath.
retreated into myself
no desire to see anyone as they'd see I wasn't myself, and I really didn't want to discuss things with anyone
became quite down
filled with dread at having this cancer, and having to leave George without his mum, and Paul without his love
Also went down the haematology route, checking for various viruses, and having a CT scan to check that there were no hidden nasties inside my body.
The urine text results took five weeks to come back. Five weeks is a long time to hold your metaphoric breath. And "don't worry".
By then I had fully researched the cancer, and was sure I didn't have it.
Knowing something in your gut, and seeing it on paper, are two very different things.
I then researched my symptoms, and struck gold when I happened upon a site about anxiety attacks. Bingo!
I visited the doctor for help - basically to get out of the house - explained about the (what I thought were) panic attacks, and thankfully he agreed and prescribed beta blockers.
Immediate relief from the debilitating anxiety I'd been feeling. I can not tell you the difference this made.
Thanks to the tablets, I got on the plane for our holiday in Greece. Without them, there would have been no chance of me even getting in the car to go.
Had a wonderful week, forgetting everything at home, until the last day or so.
In the week we got back, over two consecutive days:
I had a bone scan to check for osteoporosis due to having coeliac disease - all fine
I got my CT scan results - no nasties hiding in me
I got my urine test results - no cancer
heck of a week
Thanks to a new ("thank duck for that!") view on life, and the epic pills, I refound my love for Ditsy Bird Designs, and set about showing it that love.
Second up - just two days after I blogged about my new branding, I got a 9:15am phone call from my boss, telling me I'm going to be made redundant. After 18 years.
Today...I'm trying really very hard to see this as a positive, and if I take away the mortifying fear of having to go to an interview after EIGHTEEN years, I genuinely believe it is.
I wasn't particularly happy in my job
I gleaned no real satisfaction from it
there was no challenge in it
it was dull, uninteresting and uninspiring
[but it was safe
it was flexible
it fit in perfectly with basically being a single mum Mon to Fri
I worked autonomously
I'd developed 18 years of trust from my managers]
This morning I read this post, and found it incredibly useful - but that last line, now then...that climbed out of the screen and poked me in the chest, it gave me a cheeky wink, a knowing smile, and went back to it's place.
"Your time is now. So introduce your art to the world." Melody Nieves
I will be working very hard on doing just that.