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30 Apr 2008

Post Number 42: Things I'll miss about Putney

I think it would be a bit uncharitable to say there is nothing I miss about the RHN and it wouldn't be true. So I think I'm going to try and put in some sort of order stuff I do miss. It's obviously far better to be out of hospital and in my own place and I have been pleasantly surprised by how organized Esher social services have been so far. I was particularly nervous about the first morning visit. I woke up at 5AM and was unable to go back to sleep out of fear that they wouldn't show up or get lost. That the entryphone would malfunction and they would get stuck outside. The upshot to my paranoid mind would be that I would be trapped in bed festering in my own filth waiting until someone was able to get in. That is how dependent I now am on others. Luckily that didn't happen and a couple of ladies turned up just before 8AM, successfully got in and were able to help me through my morning ordeal. I hope it gets a lot easier than it was this morning. My first night was OK too. My housemates (the ladies from South Africa are every bit as organised and kind as I'd hoped they'd be and my first evening routine passed off without incident. So far so good. I think the biggest challenge is going to be keeping myself busy until the therapy kicks in. I can't blog all day everyday, it is to exhausting,frustrating and slow – so anyway, here goes about what I miss about the RHN (in order)
1.My visits to Carlie: since meeting her back in March my time at the RHN got easier. Talking to her; gazing at her innocent beauty; wondering at her strength of character; She really was a revelation and an inspiration to me.
2. Beautiful and intelligent Nicole, when Natasha (G not my Natasha) left she instantly became my favorite rehab assistant. Her being there used to cheer me up. Talking to her used to make me feel privileged. She knew my routine and how I liked my food cut up. She was lovely.
3. Pretty, Intelligent and funny Toni. I don't think I'll be able to watch Peter Kay without her in future. Her mimicry of his Bolton accent could only be described as awesome. She made me laugh and a pretty girl who can do that is a rare and wondrous thing
4.Derek the Scottish Nurse: Quite simply one of the nicest,funniest guys I've ever met
Michael Harvey: Ditto what I said about Derek. He was a fellow patient at the TLU. We had such a laugh together. Having someone like that to laugh with really made me feel like 'we were in this together'
5.Lovely Lucy, one of the rehab assistants (who sadly left quite early on) whose gentle demeanor and subtle self-deprecation was so endearing. She was every bit as pretty as Nicole but in a less subtle non- petite blond way if that makes any sense!
6.Hannah, the drop dead gorgeous Swedish rehab assistant, say no more
7. Niall, the comedy Irish rehab assistant (who sadly left to finish his engineering degree and no doubt to top up his knowledge of trivia to previously unheard of levels!
8. Equal are Paul and 'Man of the people' Mike. Two senior rehab assistants who were always good company
9.A plethora of other people including Marv and Leroy (The physio Muscle, Brad (the Hilarious Ghanaian Drapers HCA), Bethel (the Intelligent Ghanaian RA), Megan (the TLU physio who I nicknamed the 'smiling assassin' for her ability to inflict more mental pain and torture on me than any other therapist despite her being fundamentally lovely.
10. Patrick, the clinical psychologist who bafflingly and heroically used to confess to looking forward to our chats about my fatigue and depression
11. Finally, my improving relationship with Sonja, the lead clinical psychologist and TLU boss. When I first got there I had her pegged as an ambitious, megalomaniac Kiwi bitch from Hell. But as I slowly screwed up her Rehab Statistics by staying at the TLU longer and longer I think we finally warmed to each other.. She handled my parting of company with Tash by talking sensitively and diplomatically to both of us which was just what was needed when I was feeling worse than at any time in my life.
This makes rehab sound like an endless succession of pretty girls and downright hilarious people - I can tell you it's not! What this has taught me is that it really is people, not things that are important when the chips are down. I will always think of the TLU as the 'least worst' place I spent some of the darkest and loneliest days of my life.

29 Apr 2008

My Last Post in Putney

At last! Today is my last full day in ‘kin hospital! I will probably post this from my computer at home out of fear of last minute retribution from some of the staff here. Being clear, I don’t think any of the staff would try anything physical because I don’t plan to be that offensive and no-one would (surely) care that much about my opinion but I think I could do with clear air for the rest of the (short) time I’m in this hellhole. For the most part the staff have been great. It can’t be easy dealing with people who feel their lives have been completely destroyed. They don’t tend to be the worlds happiest people. I stick my hand up and confess to being guilty of this myself, you can probably tell! I think I’ve been guilty all along of underachieving my aspirations and not understanding how long brains take to repair and how little medical science can do to help. I think one of the first things they need to explain to you in neuro-rehab is that the chances of retaining your previous life is zero. When I first started rehab I naively assumed that by the time I left rehab that I’d be able to do all the things I used to be able to do: walk; use both hands; feel my left hand and foot; not eat like a 2 year old; read and write; keep both eyes open; stay alert; talk normally; look normal. I can’t really do any of these more than two years and thousands of taxpayers pounds down the line. It’s small wonder that I feel like a waste of space. I feel that the only positive thing that this has shown about me as a person is that I have never once contemplated suicide for two reasons 1. It wouldn’t be fair on all the people who have invested so much of their precious time (be they friends,family or healthcare workers) trying to make my rehab journey that bit less painful and 2. Straight up I just haven’t got the guts. No matter how much emotional pain my fear of the unkown would always stop me pulling the metaphorical trigger.I often ask myself why I have fallen so far short of achieving all of my goals. Like anything I have tried to apportion blame. A lot of it rests with me but some is down to the people I have worked with. To this day I still and will always maintain that to achieve anything in therapy, you have to get on with your therapists. Nowhere was this been more true than in speech therapy, I may have been lucky to have been able to learn how to talk again quickly (7 agonising weeks) but no amount of therapy has made my voice sound normal or take less effort to actually get the words out. When I was at the Frank Cooksey, I always used to love my sessions with Annabel because she and I were always laughing about something or other. Contrast this with my time at the TLU where I feel my speech has hardly changed, I reckon it’s because I can’t stand the speech therapist, Emma, at best she behaves and has the demeanor of a bossy schoolteacher , at worst that of a witch missing her hat and broomstick. It seems to my simple mind that to be a good therapist, you need to have one of three things to get results 1. A sense of humour 2. Sound like you know what you’re talking about and come to sessions prepared 3. Be good looking. Unfortunately, most of my therapists at the RHN adhered to none of these or I was unlucky and I missed out . I feel particularly short changed in speech therapy because a lot of the RHN speech therapists were gorgeous. Like I said earlier in my blog Pretty girls are a magic ingredient that make everything so much better (particularly for a man with a broken heart).

Anyway, I had hoped to have left hospital a much happier and more independent person than I am. The TLU and the RHN have done a lot to try and make me embrace the best aspects of life with serious disability as opposed to no life at all. That the most important thing in life is love, friends and friendship and that the only approach to this is to be able to laugh (especially at yourself). There is no way I could have got through the last 27 odd months without adhering too or developing these beliefs. I think the thing I miss the most is companionship (on my terms), people that I could relate too, and (very occasional) extravagance. The lack of companionship on my terms which is why I was so distraught over Tash because her visits were regular and I felt she was the only person who understood me and that I could really talk too because she had been by my bedside when I was first in intensive care. Losing her was like losing the only cheerleader that I was willing to believe about my progress. I thought my progress was pathetic, she would be impressed. I have been extremely fortunate to have this steady stream of visitors that have gone a long way to keeping my spirits up. I often don’t know what I’ve done to deserve them. Without each and every one of you I have no idea how I’d cope. There have been few people who I’ve met since my stroke who I would consider to be the type of people I’d want to spend time with. Of the Myriad other sufferers I have met, I’d only consider four people, people it has been really pleasant to spend time with and this isn’t a hell of a lot in two years which explains why I have felt so alone and isolated ( the two instigators of depression). These people are Zo, Mike and of course Carlie. I am still furious that it took the best part of two years to meet Carlie, something that I will always blame Lorna for ( Remember my horrendous and hideous OT on Drapers described elsewhere in this blog as harshly as I could imagine). When I was bemoaning the fact I had no-one to talk to because no-one in Drapers could speak her best suggestion was a middle aged Multiple Sclerosis sufferer called Diedre. Now Diedre is a lovely lady and she can certainly talk (I believe she has been at the RHN for over 20 years and has raised countless thousand pounds for the hospital by sitting in her wheelchair near reception and hassling anyone and everyone for money). She is an amazing and very nice lady but you can see why I don’t believe I have loads in common with her. Anyway, I don’t want my animosity towards Lorna to reverberate throughout this post I’m just glad that I got to finally meet Carlie, she is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met, and although I have no idea what her prognosis can be I’m sure she will be at the forefront of some experimental new treatment which will help her use her body again.. I refuse to believe that if we can put a man on the moon we can’t at some stage master repairing the human body from utterly unfair injuries like hers.
So, a new chapter in my life is beginning and I would be lieing if I Said I wasn’t a little apprehensive. Well, I have survived this far, and I would attribute the last couple of years to the help I have had from friends and family and support workers I have got on with. The last two years have been the hardest of my life and I couldn’t have done it alone. This story is far from over.

23 Apr 2008

Post Number 40: More cooking by Tanya

Well, Tanya delivered again! Very glad I saved that lobster from Saturday as it always makes sense (therefore something I don't always do!) to spread treats in hospital over a few days rather than consume it all at once. Niall (one of the since sadly moved on rehab assistants who I used to get on famously with) used to often take the piss out of me at mealtimes when putting on my napkins by saying 'will sir be having the Lobster Thermidor'? He certainly will be surprised to hear that I've genuinely had lobster at the TLU! He won't be at all surprised to hear it went nowhere near the hospital kitchen! I miss Niall but I don't miss his lectures on how spreading my toast and making me a cup of tea was below him. Now this illustrates a point about the new way I have to live. Yes, I can do my own toast and tea but I find that doing it myself is exhausting both physically and mentally. In the mornings I feel utterly destroyed. So much so that even speech is difficult. Transferring out of bed, showering and then eating breakfast completely takes it out of me, if I had to spread my toast one handed and make a cuppa from my chair I could rename my 'morning routine' one more time. Currently it stands at 'morning ordeal' but that would fast become 'morning torture'. To be crystal clear, I hate not being able to do such menial tasks, I'm 31 FFS and asking people for help is not in my nature, largely because people are not mind-readers and don't know (and shouldn't be expected to know) automatically how I want stuff done and this is why I owe so many people so much. Importantly, they have thought first and then; They have tried.

20 Apr 2008

Posr Number 39: FOOD

It’s another weekend and unfortunately I’m still at the TLU! So much for me not bothering to write another blog post till I’m ensconced in Oxshott! Sod that when I’ve got something to write about. Those who know me well know I’m a man of action and I’m far too impatient (impertinent?) to store up ideas for a few weeks and then try and reel them off. I much prefer to seize the moment. Saving up ideas not only risks forgetting them but may risk the slow creep of the ‘can’t be arsed’ gene which has been known to overtake me once or twice. I suppose I better get on with it before I forget what I was going to write or I have an ‘apathy attack™’ AKA an attack of the’can’t be arseds’. This weekend has largely been about food. Firstly, my friends Vicky and Peter sprung a surprise visit on me yesterday. It was probably in the diary, I just utterly failed to register it! Not the first time something blindingly obvious has passed me by! Anyway they had come (avec ambulance) to take me out to lunch somewhere in Battersea. Now food has been practically one of the only things I have been able to derive any pleasure from in the last two odd years!No sex, no regular trips too bars/pubs, no reading of newspapers in comfy chairs on Sundays,no long lie-ins, no all-night benders you get the picture and by the way you won’t be surprised to hear that hospital food is terrible! So, pretty much the only thing that has brought me pleasure is the food that has either been brought in by kind friends and family or courtesy of those who have taken me out. I just need everyone to know how important this has been to me. This change of emphasis has not been without its consequences. Sadly, I have had to worry about my weight for the first time in my life. At last count I think I need to lose 8kg to get down to a target weight of 90kg. This figure was set by the cute dietician on Drapers ward. Her looks were not enough to prevent our regular meetings being pitched battles with neither side willing to budge. The way I saw it she was trying to curtail what little enjoyment remained in my life and she, quite rightly was trying to stop me becoming a fat bastard. Even though my target weight looks like a distant pipedream, in a funny kind of way I think she has succeeded because now at least I think twice about eating whatever takes my fancy. Anyway, I appear to have digressed (again), the real reason I was inspired to write this post was because of an amazing meal that was cooked for me by a long prodigal friend of mine last night. The friend in question is a slightly mad saffa girl named Tanya. I would go as far as to say she’s the best cook I know, now that is a high accolade because that includes my mum! Last night Tanya rustled me up a four (yes four!) course meal (all cooked from scratch of course but in some cases prepared earlier, a wise precaution because the TLU kitchen cannot be said to be equipped for advanced chefs), To start with, an absolutely delicious thai style prawn soup, The type of soup I reckon you’d be hard pushed to find in all but the best restaurants, you know with allsorts of subtle flavours and delicious whole prawns in the bottom, for 2nd course mango and crispy duck salad which was pretty damn nice (if a bit challenging for me to eat one handed), for main course (and I could scarcely believe this) Lobster (Which we have duly saved for a return visit on Monday and seeing as it transpires she lives just down the road it’s dead easy), just as well I had saved some space by not eating main course for the piece de la resistance was for pudding: Cherry crumble with homemade white chocolate ice cream! A feast fit for a king and rather too good for me I think. Thank you Tanya for the thought, effort, expense and time – its gestures like this that stop me hitting rock-bottom, even though I enjoy Simon W’s pizza making afternoons (and eating, obviously I do believe that they may have been relegated to 2nd place. Tanya’s more sophisticated culinary delights are bar the pudding probably better for my waistline!
and deservedly instantly grab the top spot. Before anyone can say, ‘hang on this isn’t a competition’, I would counter by saying ‘I make the rules’.

17 Apr 2008

Posr Number 38: The ridiculous inefficiency of the NHS

I was desperate to make this a happier post but the sum total of happy events that are happy and worth writing about are unsurprisingly, zero. So today’s tale of woe; rant; whatever you want to call it: The ridiculous inefficiency of the NHS and the failings of medical science. Now please understand me, I, and many others owe the NHS and medical science our lives but today, or so I thought, was the day I was going to get this long awaited growth hormone imjection that may go some way to alleviating my most debilitating disability, my chronic fatigue – you know the one that keeps me from ever not feeling dreadful or embracing my therapy sessions, in short the disability that interferes with everything and the thing I hate the most about this condition. So I had fairly high hopes for this appointment. I have learnt though with this condition to always keep your hopes down and to always expect disappointment, the British way! This morning was no exception. I was first told about this treatment in November, it is now April and in the last few months I have done enough blood tests to put a pin-cushion to shame! So that the specialists who this has been referred on to (or hospital passed as I call it) should know everything about me and whether the treatment is appropriate for me. Rubbish, I rolled through the door of surrey hospital in Guilford this morning for the appointment I’d waited the best part of six months for and although they had the details of the appointment (with a different Doctor to the one I’d been referred to originally) I might have been a complete stranger! They even had to telephone the TLU to find out which blood tests had been done and to get the TLU to fax them through the results. Having looked at the fax cursorarily the’specialist’ told me two things, I needed more blood tests and no matter what those showed that it was unlikely it’d ever be worthwhile giving me the treatment because ‘it may not work’ or ’there could be side effects’. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to wish that they’d never mentioned this in the first place! Hands up anyone who wants to be me, don’t all reply at once!

11 Apr 2008

Post number 37: My first night in Oxshott

I feel rather torn today, because I spent my first night in my ‘new’ house. I want to sound enthusiastic and shout positive things but I sadly can’t wholeheartedly do that. I think that my brother has done a miraculous job (time being rather tight) but he has almost single-handedly put in a kitchen and a wetroom,my friends at the trust have sorted me out a great TV and computer, both of which have big enough screens to help me actually see what is going on, My mother has been able to recycle some curtains from somewhere and my friends (Simon and Jackie from John Lewis and Tim and Alex) have magically rustled up some bits of random (rather good actually!) furniture – In short the house should be ideal. Last night my mum and dad acted as carers, so why don’t I feel tippidy top? Simple, because I was terrified. Terrified of what? Terrified of my total reliance on everyone (my dad in particular). For the last 2 years I have slowly been clawing back tiny bits of independence, getting to and from bed myself, transferring to the loo on my own, using the bathroom independently, dressing on the bed independently, setting myself up to use the PC , All this had now gone and I was totally dependent on my dad for EVERYTHING. This was frankly a horrible shock and is a classic example of what can happen if you set your expectations too high. You get punched in the knackers and end up feeling winded. So if anything good came of last night I’m hoping that I made the right choice selecting flatmates. It was such a hard choice to make! Two local lads vs two middle-aged saffa ladies. The ladies arrived at 7 and instantly showed that they would be ideal by showing themselves to be calm, compassionate and caring, they would have made ideal flatmates, the lads arrived a little later and instantly made me laugh, I’m a sucker for a sense of humour, I would go as far as to say, it is laughter that has got me through the last two years so on that basis I went with the lads but I was gutted to let the ladies down. I hope things improve and I look forward to entertaining all comers in Oxshott in future – with any luck this is the start of a positive new chapter in my life.

7 Apr 2008

Post number 36: still sadly in Putney

Oh dear, it’s Monday again and I appear to be blogging. That’s because I’ve had a rather mixed weekend and I’m so tired that I feel sorry for anyone unlucky enough to have to deal with me. Things are about to get much worse because I’ve got ‘walking practice’ or’pathetic staggering’ in a minute which will undoubtedly wipe me out for the rest of the day!

Saturday was lovely and Sunday was incredibly dull and the most exciting thing I can think of to try and stave off the tedium and isolation of yesterday is this! How s**t is my life?!
What worries me is that it will be like this forever no matter where I am until I have enough energy to find something meaningful to do with the rest of my life!
For the time being writing this blog (frustrating, slow and exhausting as it is) is literally the most exciting thing I can think of. Christ, an entire day of b*ll*ckings at the hands of my former colleagues would be more exciting if not exactly preferable but at least it could happen. The reason yesterday was so dull was because precisely no-one visited and there seemed to be sweet FA on the box. The reason (I think and hope) no-one visited is because it snowed yesterday. Britain is gloriously unprepared for snow it seems and Chaos reigned. Even my seemingly unstoppable parents were halted by the snow (and I’m glad they were because the less risks they take the better!).Although my mum reported to me that the car in front of her on the motorway on her way to some (apparently cancelled) golf day had done a 360, so much for them not taking risks.
Auyway, Saturday was a much better day simply because Tash came to visit with her lovely friend Ceri. It’s days like those that in this situation make life worth living. Tash had (as always) brought me some delicious food and made me feel special all day. She’s so good at that, for example we decided to drop in on one of the other residents, Chris (the intelligent guy whose whole life seems to be geared toward fanatical devotion to Chelsea football club (such a waste on such a pointless, dull and morally bankrupt sport)). I don’t know how she does it but his day was instantly lifted by her presence, all talk of Chelsea was instantly shelved! I then took Tash and Ceri to meet Carlie and both of them were visibly moved by how well Carlie is dealing with this, Tash is a formidable ally and by the end of the encounter Tash had agreed to help advocate to get Carlie some more therapy if at all possible. Tash really is amazing and so wants to help people so much, she doesn’t seem to be happy unless she is making a difference. She’s such a great person to have on your side… her new bloke better appreciate all this otherwise I’ll hunt him down and run his toes over. I missed her the nanosecond she walked out the door. My life is made so much worse by her being with someone else and the pain is so tangible. Ok, it’s time to call a halt to these online histrionics. This isn’t me at all.

3 Apr 2008

Post number 35: still sadly in Putney

It’s a bit disappointing to still be at Putney and be writing this but I can assure you there’s a good reason, unfortunately it’s a bit of a sad one. You know how the physiotherapists comment had rather devastated me well yesterday the physio and Sonja formally took me to one side and told me that I was unlikely to ever walk normally again, even walking short distances independently with a stick was unlikely, to add insult to injury the doctor also told me that the reason I’ve lost a small circle of hair near my right temple is Alopechia (stress related hair loss and the thing that made Gail Porter go bald) and to cap it all off, my reflexologist told me that my feet smelt (for the first time since she’s been treating me). So to sum up, yesterday was about as bad as it gets. I didn’t sleep at all well last night, so I am a broken man today, not exactly sure how life could get much worse. My first instinct is to stick two fingers up at them because medical science knows as much about neurology as I do, I don’t care how much brain damage the physio tells me I have, and how hard walking will be without certain areas of the brain to automatically control the muscles that help me to balance, it’s all mumbo-jumbo to me, what worries me is that the staff here will always hand over to any future physio that deals with me not to bother with walking because it’s a ‘lost cause’. I just feel like an utter failure today. To make matters worse the situation with my house is looking much worse. Nothing seems to be ready, flatmates haven’t been finalised yet, there haven’t been any carers organised yet because there was a misunderstanding by the social services, what do I have to do for something to go my way?!

1 Apr 2008

Post number 34: My last post at Putney probably(hopefully)

This is probably going to make pretty grim reading but I’m feeling particularly grim today so my apologies in advance. This is probably (hopefully) my last week in hospital after two and a bit years so I should be full of hope for the future. I’m not though, I’m scared. With a few days left to go I feel woefully under prepared for life again. At least if you finish other types of rehab, I’m talking Amy Winehouse style rehab I’ll bet you feel great. I used to give up booze in January and although it was hard during it and certain of my friends would get annoyed by how it used to consume me, I would always have the last laugh and feel fantastic by the end. Trouble is in two odd years of stroke rehab I have never once felt good. I feel that this has had a terrible effect on me. I now have lower self-confidence and self-esteem than at any time in my life. Before this, those that know me well would say I never used to have too much trouble with this. I hope it was never mistaken for arrogance. To be clear, I can’t stand arrogant people and have always tried hard to stamp it out of my character, a reaction to being such an arrogant little bastard at school and quite rightly being given a hard time for it. That is probably why I have been so good at self-loathing and introspection in the last few years. I know this has done me no favours in the last two years.

What set me off on this train of thought was this feeling of utter incapability I had this morning. Basically, all it was, was that my wheelchair was two yards from my bed. It might as well have been two miles because there was simply no safe way of getting into it without calling a member of staff to move it into a more appropriate place so I could transfer into it. Sadly it can’t always stay in one place because that would get in the way of transferring back into bed. This got me thinking. When I first started rehab (some two odd years ago my main goal was to be able to walk short distances independently (with a stick if necessary) so I could overcome situations just like this. In this I have utterly failed and worse still I now believe that the TLU have given up on me ever achieving this after my physio (who has always been so positive and encouraging) said to me after I requested that I’d like to try walking with a stick that ‘if, after two and a half years I’d got to the stage I had got (ie walking with the assistance of one with a frame very slowly and exhaustingly) then walking independently with a stick was unlikely ever to happen. I had often thought this but to hear it from her was devastating and was like a bullet through the heart. OK, so I’m meant to be leaving next week so I’d expect their interest in me to wind down. One of my big criticisms of stroke rehab (particularly true at the TLU) is that everyone is interested in your case when you first arrive (because you’re fresh meat for the grinder and that is obviously when there’s most visible change) so everyone wants a piece of you and you find your timetable full of therapy sessions. So about three weeks after I arrived at the TLU I crashed, exhausted and I have consistently maintained this level of exhaustion for the last 11 months. But what has really narked me is that most of the interest from therapists has all but dried up because progress has basically plateau’d or if my opinion counts for anything reversed. Why do you think I have the time to write this blog? Simply because, I now seem to be expected to fill my own day which is bloody difficult to do when your mobility is so poor and restricted. Being allowed to go outside and visit the main hospital unescorted has increased the size of my world but even that is restricted by inclement weather and the fact that driving my wheelchair outside becomes lethally dangerous when I’m really tired which is most of the time and I’ll bet that despite having less and less therapy the TLU still charges the healthcare trust funders the same. This to my mind is outrageous. Maybe it’s a combination of the TLU losing interest in me combined with my slightly negative attitude to therapy. My mother is always telling me off for not being thrilled every time I have any sort of therapy. I’ll tell you why I don’t act thrilled and I’ve probably said this a million times before, it’s because no matter what the therapy,it’s exhausting and depressing, not an electric combination. The worst of these is always walking, just because I feel so bad at it and because after any physio session the rest of the day becomes that much harder.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the TLU has helped me but not all that much.Yes, it may have helped me be more independent, but it has also destroyed a lot of my self confidence in my ability to function independently as a human. It has made me realise how reliant I will need to be on others to do menial tasks that I should be able to do at my age. Anyway, from sometime next week, I should be in Oxshott. I wish I could say there was some point in the last two years when I’ve been genuinely happy. There have been occasional rays of sunshine but two years without genuine happiness is a long time and from where I’m sitting I don’t feel a whole lot more confident about the future.I will be sad to leave behind most of the Rehab assistants(particularly Felicity, Toni and Nicole because they have been so lovely, heartbroken to leave lovely Carlie, who has been such an inspiration to me. When I get my van she is the first person I will visit. I am still very hung up on Natasha and suspect I always will be. Apologies to her if she’s reading this, I wish this was easier.

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