2017, a review

So I know everyone does these…  Instagram is full of people’s top 9 photos and twitter has tweet after tweet of top three accomplishments and I’m sure facebook has it’s own version as well.  But I decided it was really important to look back on the year, this year more so than other years.  Because it has been one hell of a year.

This post is far more for me than anything else but sharing it and having it somewhere I remember about it will be good for me.

We began the year with a very, very cold trip to Scarborough in early January.  I started meeting up with a friend regularly for art and coffee, having met her in October 2016.  She’s become a really good friend and is very supportive and thoughtful and all the things you’d want in a friend.  January also saw the start of my Animal Spirit Card series which seems to have been very popular.  But more importantly I really enjoyed reading, researching and writing about the different animals and bored everyone I know with my collection of random facts!  I also did some plant and animal related art work this year.  I’m particularly proud of my puffin and hedgehog, hence their inclusion above!

February was the month I turned 30, saw some friends for coffee, caught up with people I don’t see much of and got suddenly discharged from mental health services.  I also started my one new thing a day project which lasted during lent and I kept track of in a notebook.  This saw me dip my toes into the world of dyeing using plants; a hobby I enjoyed thoroughly until brain fog nearly resulted in a fire…

March came along and things started to turn bad.  I got vertigo for a couple of weeks and was unable to do anything.  Reading, watching tv, moving were all out of the question.  Eventually the vertigo passed and left behind what I suspect is post-viral POTS although it’s not been investigated.  I was out of action for all of March and I think I also missed a lot of April and was on reduced action for months following.

I did manage a bit of art and a trip to the Deep before the summer holidays started.  And at the end of July I got my bear tattoo!  Then August was dedicated to stained glass.  The class was two two hour sessions a week and I knew it was going to wipe me out, which it did.  But I really enjoyed it and am really proud of how much I did for myself and the finished result.

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September saw the start of my nature and writing project which I was, and still am, really excited about.  There was a related trip to Tropical World and to the coast (October).

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At the end of September I made it to the EDS Conference which was really good but even better was seeing my amazing friend who I don’t get to see anywhere near enough as she lives at the other end of the country.  I did mean to do a blog post about the conference but I was so tired and September also saw the rapid decline of my swallow

October and November involved a lot of nature and writing stuff as well as rest as the amount I could eat kept falling.  November also saw me being hospitalised.  I was released part way through December but am still unable to swallow very much so tiredness persists along with the other stuff that comes with not eating.  It was a horrible experience and not one I’d chose to go through, especially given the lack of resolution so far.

There were some truly awful moments, some low times but there were also some amazing friends who made the entire thing a lot more bearable.  Old friends came and visited, lent me wifi, sent me wifi, gave me pjs and came as often as they could.

New friends talked to me and chatted and helped me pass the time.  One of the patients on the ward was amazing.  She knew about eds and I’d told her what had happened with my swallow and she understood better than the nurses and doctors to be honest and when the drs/nurses said stupid things, she sympathised and got annoyed for me.  And because she was right there and heard everything through the curtains, I didn’t have to retell her what had happened.  And that helped too.

I know other stuff happened too, there were coffees with friends, courses and small trips as well as bad days and hard times.  But I wanted a place to remind myself that whilst it has been a tough year, it hasn’t just been a tough year, there has been good things in amongst the bad.

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