Falling off a Cliff

The past two and a half weeks have been a whirlwind.

It seemed that for a long time my body was struggling on with all of the various ailments I was suffering which I put down to age and aching muscles and I carried on virtually unaffected until I broke my fibula. Even the shoulder pain was an inconvenience rather than a problem.

I worked a normal schedule and enjoyed the good work life balance we had in Mwanza. We travelled locally at the weekends and further afield in the breaks. Life was fairly normal and we liked it that way.

The tell tale signs as related elsewhere, were a greater number of tummy bugs, a greater tiredness and the leg break which was unexpected and a mini-shock.

A Facebook friend Andrew ( a doctor)  commented on the Bone Cyst which was confirmed by a visiting  Indian orthopaedic surgeon. I panicked a bit but research put my mind to rest – the cyst was not a malignancy. He suggested an MRI scan but the availability and expense in Mwanza prohibited this.

The shoulder got more painful in the three weeks on crutches – but this I assumed was due to the way I needed to walk to get about. It did not improve when I went off the crutches. My leg however seemed completely healed and we went to Kenya hopeful of finally getting an answer to the shoulder.

Ill for much of the time in Nairobi and Mombasa I returned with trepidation to Nairobi and in many ways I was not surprised by the seriousness of the situation when it came – I may have read something earlier in the time period- but somehow it was not the surprise it was for others.

The speed of things since has surprised me – as has the rapid deterioration in my health. The kidney function, the blood clot, the bone lesions have all been overwhelming and as I lay in bed the other day on an ECG and with tubes coming out of my arm – being pumped with Heparin and Glucose then Saline. Feeling really rough – it honestly felt like I had fallen down a great ravine or cliff – something I did once (but that is a different story!)

How can my health have deteriorated so quickly? Suddenly facing a completely different future – once where I may not be able to work full-time and certainly not in a school, certainly not far overseas – if at all. The norms have gone and I am going to need to find new norms as are my family. As a Christian I am faithful to God having a plan for my life so I need to be attentive to it, but it has all been a bit drastic.

As my health improves again I remain in Haematology awaiting the kidney function to be permanently stable and the myeloma to die off.  There’s a vomiting bug going round – I’ve had it too – so the ward is closed to new patients at the moment – meaning I won’t be leaving in the near future either – time for contemplation and blogging here at the Waddington Unit.

The chemotherapy will have side-effects and my health will deteriorate in some aspects before it gets better – though hair loss is unlikely – I’ll leave talking about side-effects until I start to get them or else don’t – here’s hoping!

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