Tuesday, October 03, 2006

People have asked me before if I have any kind of belief, or faith that keeps me going. I would say that I do, but it is not of the religious variety – I have a faith in myself (oh dear this is already sounding completely over egotistical) and in people.

I sometimes feel quite removed when looking back at what my body seems to overcome, replaying it in my head and watching with the quiet awe of a detached spectator. And whilst ok it is not the most well behaved of bodies, and is slightly melodramatic in temperament, when the cards are down it really does manage to battle through some pretty undefeatable scenarios.

I have faith in people because time and time again if I am feeling down, or struggling or waning in energy and enthusiasm, people carry me through. Most commonly (and obviously) it is my family, who seem to know innately whether I require an abundance of foot rubs and hand holding, or whether actually what I need is turfing out of bed and wheeling down the road, regardless of the look of complete pouty rage I am then sporting as actually what I fancied doing was hiding under the covers and scowling at anyone in sight.

And then of course, there is my extended support network, which begins with friends who time and time again put up with emails, phone conversations and visits which seem to revolve around me and my lungs. This support network however stretches out to all sorts of amazing areas, to people I don’t even know. I have received so many lovely messages, emails, cards (there are well over 100 in my room now) and letters, not to mention presents from all of the above. I am thoroughly spoilt, and I know it, and I love it, and I am thankful for it. But because I hardly ever get round to saying so individually (I would blame this entirely on poor health but those who know me well know even if I was well there would be little chance of me getting my act together enough to write thank you cards or anything) I wanted to just vocalize how much of a difference this does make. You never know exactly how much even just the words “thinking of you” can mean to someone. Classic example – literally minutes before my pleuradhesis last week, the post arrived, with several lovely presents and two cards, which distracted my attention significantly (a bit like how you wave something colourful and shiny at a baby before giving it a flu jab).

This post has been in the pipeline a while, but was prompted by the arrival of today’s large brown formal looking package. Imagine my surprise (and delight) to have it cut open for me (automatic job now done by nurses following a small incident involving scissors, a plastered finger and pouty face a few weeks ago) and to find many many tubs of sweetiebobbles with the only explanation being a small note from the company, Supercook, urging me to enjoy my favourite indulgence! Incidentally large pink über-cuddly dog (who is called Noodle) pictured staring in awe at said sweetiebobble collection was sent to me by another company called rockedout.com, who discovered that I rather like all things pink and fluffy and sent Noodle to me to keep me smiling. As I may have already pointed out in this post, I am clearly very spoilt, and now proud owner of quite possibly the largest and most extensive collection of sweetiebobbles in the entire world.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Anyway the point of this is to say that everyone’s support really does make a difference, and has done all the way through. When I was in intensive care and HDU my parents and sisters were reading out messages to me from here, from forums and from emails, and are pretty convinced that it helped significantly. People support me and help me through.

I get strength from people because they are what I love about life. You can make a difference to someone without even meaning to which can make a mark on their life forever. I am not saying it is all good because I am not that stupid or naïve (even though this post is sounding vaguely hippy) but I genuinely have multiple examples and reasons to demonstrate what a positive impact small actions can have. A nurse was talking to me just last night about a patient she nursed once right at the beginning of her career. This patient was quite unwell and the nurse came away feeling deflated and that she hadn’t done enough and clearly nursing was not the right job for her. The patient however left her a note, thanking her for all she had done and highlighting the ways in which she had made a difference. That note, whilst scribbled in passing by one patient on one admission is the reason she is still nursing today.

It isn’t just actions directly related to me which I utilize and take strength from - it is also important to look to other people and stay in touch with their lives to ensure that you remember that everyone has their own problems, worries and issues, which is incredibly healthy as it keeps mine in perspective. The world does not stop turning just because my lung has decided to sit down on strike, plus seeing how someone else deals with their own problems can help me tackle mine. I also need to have faith in people of course because ultimately it is going to be a person who makes the decision to sign the organ donor register - combined with a family who makes the decision to ensure those wishes are carried out, perhaps in spite of their own grief - which will hopefully save my life. It all comes back to the idea of choice again (check the name of my blog for clarification of my views on that) – it’s not that people always do good things, it is that I am inspired by the many examples of when they choose to do so.

This is why I believe in people.

Good grief I waffle far too much and still have more to say but think I should stop there. Quick summary health wise then for anyone who is still awake; we are definitely still headed in the right direction and drawing ever nearer to “extended leave” (and by that I am talking in code and mean extended for a very long time but just don’t want my lungs to get wind of it just yet). I have decided it is high time I was going home now, hopefully release is now in the pipeline somewhere. Not so much because this is week 11 (77 days tomorrow since my lung first collapsed) but more because A has started including items such as lilt and bounty bars in his 5 a day - a clear sign I have been gone too long…

20 comments:

swissfriend said...

Hi, tiny pink poppet,

what a lovely note - it is so true, there's strength in numbers and combined good wishes do make a difference in a person's health. Also, any doctor will tell you that those who recover from illness are those who actively decide to recover as opposed to those who accept with passivity what they consider must be their fate. I am a strong believer in our ability to mould our fate. so that's the spirit Emily, you just keep on planning your future and refusing to be ill.
Have a great evening,
Janet

Kat said...

If only Lilt and Bounty bars did count...
That was a lovely entry to read, Em :) I'm glad you're feeling ok - hopefully that "extended leave" isn't too far away now! You have an amazing strength and positivity about you, even when things are not going as well as they could be, and you inspire a lot of people. Your faith in people is very touching, and I'm so glad you have such a fantastic family, as well as all the others who care about you. Look after yourself and keep smiling, and enjoy that amazing selection of sweetiebobbles!!
Loads of love, Kat xxx

Sian said...

I'm sure that the hundreds of people that care about you and love u are glad to be able to help Em and they are doing it because they want to! I agree with u- it would be impossible to carry on without family and friends and even the shortest txt, phone call or email can certainly make my day as I'm sure it does yours. I know I haven't met or even talked to you on the phone but you're certainly one of my best friends and I thank you so much for being there for me even when things are hard for u too! Sit back and enjoy getting spoilt- you deserve it! Hugs xxxx

klics04 said...

Emily its lovely that things are sticking up for you. If you ever want a holiday Cyprus will be open to you and we would love to pamper you and whoever you decide to bring. Inga will give you our address and its meant with all our heart. Sending you yellow sunshine and loads of pink hugs. kevnles Cyprusxxxxxxxx

Bev said...

Did you tell A about Emma's idea of what to include in his 5 a day??!!

Lovely post as always. Was telling Steve all about your sweetie bobbles today lol!

Take care sweetie. Lucy won't be to see you I'm afraid, she has the remnants of a cold. Steve has still got to take her into GOSH and it will be then down to the anaesthetist whether or not she has her biopsy this week.

Hope that the H word is mentioned soon.

Lots of love

Bev xx

misdee said...

what a lot of sweetiebobbles! yum yum.

loving the fluffy dog too.

Hope things progress well for you, and you can go home again soon.

Sarah + Peter

DJ said...

Hi Em,
Great blog today - you have just the right kind of faith in my book. I'm so glad that you're feeling so much (whisper it) stronger and hope that extended leave is just around the corner. 76 days is enough for anyone!

Take care, and don't eat all the sweetiebobbles at once,

DJ.x

(P.S. Would you believe it? Google spellchecker doesn't recognise 'sweetiebobbles'...)

Anonymous said...

Emily you have amazing strenght of character, may your transplant be just around that corner. Take care

Jayne said...

For goodness sake, 'A' can't include just lilt and bounty bars in his 5 a day... he should at least be having Terry's Chocolate Orange as well. Men!!

Pip said...

so glad you had a lovely weekend... don't know about Bounty bars, but I always swear by the number of grapes in a bottle of red wine! so good for me!!

fingers etc crossed for the poss of extended leave...

much love, Pip X

Jacqui said...

Great post, hippy chick. Enjoy the sweetiebobbles. xx

Jac said...

Lovely post - both thoughtful and thought provoking.

I must admit though, most of these thoughts were centred around the sweetiebobble collection, which looks amazing. Did Supercook just send pink and colourful bobbles? Only, they do the most amazing dark chocolate belgian vermicelli. If you are ever making chocolate truffles its a must have ;)

Keep believing Em, and great things will happen :)

Love and higs
Jac xx

Simba said...

Wow! Rock on Super Cook people. :) :) Mind you, I bet you've increased their sales with all your advertising. ;)

And a pink and fluffy Noodle too? He (or maybe it's a girl) can be friends with my Noodle.

Yay for positive thinking and yay for feeling better! xxx YAY!

Emma Russell said...

Pretty sure this post was a cunning ploy to brag about your sweets and to fish for more compliements and presents!!

However, it made me smile and I thought it was fab.

Well done little lady on remaining fabby and sticky.

Em. x

ClareT said...

Hi Em

Jessica has a pink fluffy dog like yours.. is it a PJ case? Jess like all things pink and PURPLE and fluffy.. a slight variation on your theme.. and not always as easy to accomodate.

I think your 'faith in life/love/people' is fantastic and a more sensible and all-encompassing faith than an actual religious one any day (so speaks she who goes to church most weeks but who almost got thrown off an Alpha course for having "too many questions", lol... :))

Sending you love, strength and pink fluffiness

Clare, Mark, Jordan, Jessica and Alex xxxxx

Michele said...

Hi Emily,
what a lovely surpise having all those sweetiebobbles and the pink fluffy dong sent to you. And having loved ones and friends spoiling you that is the medicine anyone can have for a speedy recovery. Hope you get that extended leave real soon.

Take care
Best wishes
Michele.

annemac101 said...

Emily! you make me laugh and make me cry at the same time .I'm still sending the angels to you every night .Keep well and get home to A and sort his diet out ..much love ..Anne

Charlotte said...

There's not a single person that meets you that can't help but be inspired by you Em. Your gorgeous energy and warmth rubs off a little on everyone methinks, and has helped me so so much in accepting life and even better, still enjoying and finding hope in it when things have gotten really tough. You bring out the best in people darling! Its a very unique quality. Thankyou for your lovely post, its warmed me yet again on this grim day claiming to be in Autumn...I have my suspicions that we have skipped conker season and headed straight to Winter but this is fine by me as it means I get another chance to wear my beloved coat that I invested in last year! (note the use of invested as opposed to spent-far-too-much money-on-and-can't-really-justify!) all my love to you brave hearted poppet of the first degree xxxx

Maria said...

I'm a bit shocked why waste 1 of your 5 on lilt, when you could just have another bounty. Come on A get a grip!!!!

swissfriend said...

Hi Emily,
just a quick word to wish you a lovely weekend which hopefully you will be spending in your comfy little home. Out of touch does not mean out of mind - I will send you positive pink sticky thoughts all weekend. All love,
J.