Monday, 1 October 2012

I 'Heart' my Guide Dog!

Some time ago I wrote a letter to my Guide Dog Samson. He changed and continues to change my life in a way I didn't believe possible. He has made me 'me' again, something I didn't think I'd ever be again. Below is what I wrote, it is just as valid and true as it was back then...

Dear Samson,

I know that you're never going to understand this, and that you'd far more appreciate a dentistix, a tummy tickle or a run in the park. You'll get all that anyway, but I NEED to write this.

Before you, my life was getting darker and darker, and my world was getting smaller and smaller. It took me a long time to accept the condition I have and to realise that I needed something to make life easier and safer.

Before you, I would rarely go out, I'd go to work and come home and turn down 99% of invites because it was more stressful and sometimes more dangerous than staying in.

Before you, I was sinking into a dark depression, where I could not see it ever getting better.

Before you, I'd fall over, walk into Walls, bump into people and constantly ne covered in bruises, grazes and bumps.

Before you, my confidence, self belief and happiness were at rock bottom.

Before you, despite having loving friends and family I felt desperately lonely and scared. No one can prepare you for the terrifying knowledge that one day you might be completely blind and deaf.

Before you, I could see no meaningful future.

Then you came crashing and bouncing through my front door and life... I remember the moment when I first realised I could trust you, that you'd got my back and that your sole aim in life was to ensure I was safe. That was the beginning of the light coming back into my life, and the world throwing itself wide open again. The relief and emotions that came with that hit me like a ton of bricks, and instantly after, I felt freer than I had in years.

You have given me back my confidence, my self belief, my happiness and my independence.

You have lifted me out of a bottomless pit of despair.

Since you've been with me I've only had one fall when out, but that was on a steep hill covered with ice, so can't really blame you for that!! ;)

You have guided me out of harms way, and you have guided me back into life.

I love how you cheer me up when I'm feeling a bit down. I love how I can trust you and that you trust me. I love the obvious joy you have when we go for a free run. I love the fact that you are an absolute tart for a tummy tickle. I love your very naughty streak when you decide you want to be naughty. I love the way you're thrilled to me when I come down in the morning, your whole body wags, nor just your tail!!

I love that you have given me back my life, my pride and dignity.

You are my gentle brute, my daft brush and sensitive soul.

You are more than 'just' my guide dog. You are my mate, my saviour and dare I say it... My hero.

Thank you Samson!

Friday, 14 September 2012


2012 has been one hell of a challenge so far, more so than any other year!    

Without a doubt the biggest was my diagnosis of Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) at the beginning of this year. In a nut shell my thyroid has been working overtime and then decided to attack the white blood cells behind my eyes... In turn making one of my eyes 'pop' out. It's uncomfortable, it aches, it's tiring, it's stressful and really really unattractive. Right now (and for the most part of this year) I have been rocking a very uncanny Popeye impression! When I was first diagnosed I was put on a course of medication, 30 odd pills a day, gradually going down to none... Which made no difference whatsoever. The first few times taking them I threw them straight back up, not nice at all! It felt like I was going to hospital every other day to have the (very nice it has to said) Nurses doing colour tests, Doctors putting drops in my eyes and then shining bright lights in them, and then measuring the amount the eye was popped out by, then to be told by my Consultant that everything was the same. So now, I've got a date for an operation to 'pop the eye back where it should be'. I'm both pleased and nervous... It will hopefully make everything alright again, but then again, it's an operation on the eye... That's a bit.... EEEEEK!!! 

Then Samson, My beautiful, daft, lovely boy was taken into Guide Dog hospital to sort out an ear infection that just wasn't going away! 21 days later I got my boy back. 21 days of missing him. 21 days of realising just how much I have come to rely on him. 21 days of feeling a bit lost. 21 days of having no soft velety ears to fondle. 21 days of not going at the speed I am now used to going at. 21 days of people asking when I was going to get Samson back.

Then, TWO root canal treatments!! I don't think I need to say any more on that matter!

Then the challenge of working in London during the Olympic Games.... At an Olympic Games venue. Each day the way into work was changed, the security checked got more strict each day and each day trying to concentrate and not get distracted by the bellowing cheers and whatnot.

There's been more, but these are the main ones that I think I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'm actually quite proud of how I've dealt with it all. A couple of years back I would have sunk into a pit of depression and not known how to claw my way out again. But this year, I wobbled right on the edge of the pit and then pulled myself away from it. 

Why? How?  I have learnt to be more honest, with myself and with others. I have realised that saying to people 'you know what, I can't do that because my eyes hurt, but if you'd like to do this instead that would be great and be easier for me to deal with' doesn't make people think I'm being selfish, and that actually they'd rather hear that and help me.

I've learnt to relax.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

It's been a while...

A very long while in fact, but here I am again!

I have excuses as to why I've not been doing this blog for so long. But main and most valid one is that I've felt the most happiest and content and 'yay, life is actually quite good!' than I have in a long long long long time. I used the blog as a way of trying to sort my head out, as a way to try and make sense of what I have, as a way to talk about it without using my mouth and without crying.

Because that how it worked. I'd talk about it and I'd feel like crying, or I would cry or I'd very quickly change the subject.

From the very first post I felt like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders. That I am able to articulate and tell people how I felt and feel.

Don't get me wrong, I still have the times where I feel sorry for myself, where I just want to curl up in bed and never leave it and times when I still feel totally and utterly stunned. But I don't feel like that everyday... Now I go days, weeks and months and months feeling good.

And that's probably the main reason I haven't been doing this blog, I haven't felt like there's been anything horrible, horrific or hollow to write about. So I got out of the habit of writing.

Well, I'm back now (not that anything terrible is happening!) with a sidekick! I feel like I want to carry on recording what life is, the good, the bad and the ugly!

This isn't really a proper post, it's more of a reintroduction! See y'all soon!