First of all, I am pleased to announce that I have been named as one of the top asthma blogs of 2018. Its been 5 years that this honour has been given to me. It really is an honour as well because when I started my blog it was mainly to help me deal with things and I found it was a catharsis. I really was in a terrible place and was emotionally and physically at the end of my tether. I remember it was towards the end of the hell that was Redditch YMCA (never ever again) and I think that without my blog is it possible that I could have just given up. And at that point, I probably wanted to. So I wanted to thank everyone who has come on the journey with me and to everyone who supports me, loves me and still likes to be a part of this thing. It means a lot.
I was often told that people wouldn't want to read my blog, that things were only going to get tougher and that I wouldn't be able to do this. Yet here we are 8 years later and I am now in a better and happier home, one where I can live with Jace and the guinea pigs and feel hope for the future. A future that at more than one stage I was told I wouldn't have ever known. If I had stayed in the situations I was in, I could well and truly believe that. OK so I have moved twice (first from the YMCA to my old Abbeydale place then 5 years later I moved to the bungalow) but those moves were important for my mental health and my physical health. The moves were both tough, the move from Abbeydale to here was probably the hardest as by that time I was in a precarious health state and I was worn down from things that were going on there, things that I don't feel like I should really elaborate on. Its not that I don't want to think about them, I'm just moving on with my life.
Moving to the bungalow has been so much of a turning point though. Its in a quiet corner in a quiet area. We have no trouble here, no drunks or drug addicts. The best thing is not having anyone upstairs to keep me awake all day and night. I can honestly say that I am not suited to living in a flat! Some people just can't hack it. I am one of them it seems. I don't mind this though as I feel as though I landed on my feet here and I think even (the last pet from Stanley Close) Yugi seems much happier, even if he doesn't like clean outs as it involves Jace wearing marigold gloves and he chats his teeth at the gloves. He's a funny pig really. He's been getting more and more social and has even brought Tristan out of his shell a bit so that's a step forward, he even took a dandilion leaf out of my hand the other day.
I think that one of the things that comes to mind though about living in a bungalow, especially now the weather is warmer, is that impact that people's lives when you have a nightmare neighbour. I'm not going to say that I'm perfect by any means and sometimes my garden looks a bit overgrown but I do try and keep noise down especially. I've lived with people making a racket all hours of the day and night and know how miserable that can make a person. When you're putting up with that day in and day out, you stop being able to sleep which makes it hard to function and actually has a massive impact on your immune system. People who are stressed out are more likely to suffer from illnesses. My own immune system is a bit rubbish due to prednisolone and my lungs are particularly weak as the years of stress and generally being unwell have caught up to me. I'm not as young as I was and don't always bounce back.
It's funny to think that 8 years ago was when I finally empowered myself to change things for the better. I'm going to be honest though, I'm glad I've been making changes to how I was back then. Its proof that you can make positive changes in life, even if it doesn't always feel like it. I'm not saying that it has always been easy but it has been worth it. I'm still a work in progress but I can actually believe that I have a future now (even if some doctors are skeptical about just how long or what kind of future it'll be, others seem more optimistic, I'm more inclined to be positive) and I'll still be moving forward and making each step of the journey count.
Last week, we went to town for the first time in a while. It was great to get out and do things, even if it was exhausting. We went to the cinema, had lunch at Subway (yum!) and had a wander around town and a look through the shops. It's been a while since I've been able to get out and have a good time, probably because of the infections and asthma being a pain. I'll be honest, things are more exhausting these days. I find simple things like taking a shower or microwaving and eating a meal can be tiring, but with only 30% lung function (at best) it's not surprising that I'm working 3 times harder than most other people.
Its a harsh reality.
But it's my reality.
So let's see what the next year has for us!