Thursday, 12 July 2018

Happy Anniversary

This time three years ago my life changed for the better. Some would say it changed for the worse but given where I am in my life now I can only say it's changed for the better. 

After a month of breathing difficulties, repeated visits to the ER, and the Dr's telling my family things were touch and go I received a tracheostomy. In that short space of a month I had given up a new job I was excited to start, my nanny kids were now with someone else, I gave up my home and the only thing I could think was, my life is over. 

I was forced into something I never chose. I didn't want to move out of Auckland and I didn't want to move north to live with my grandparents. I wanted normal. Why couldn't I have normaI? Why did I have to be the girl who had a tube sticking out of her neck? Why did this have to happen to me? 

I definitely had a pity party and for the first 6 months I didn't do anything. I couldn't stand being up north. Loved being with my grandparents but that was it. I didn't love anything else. I think the biggest thing for me was my insecurities. For some reason I cared what people would think. Would they stare? Would they judge? Would they laugh? How will I make friends with a trachy? All I did was hide and hoped my life would go back to "normal". 

Seven or eight months in I found the attitude of "screw this", if someone doesn't like me as trachy Teesh then they don't get to know me without a trachy. I didn't know when that would be BUT I knew when it did I'd only want people in my life who took the time to get to know me with the trachy. Once my outlook on having the trachy changed that was when I really started to feel more confident within myself. I could either choose to live a miserable life or I could make the most of it. Unbeknown to me for the next two and a half years my life would change immensely. 

I spent most of 2016 travelling back and forth to Auckland every 2 weeks for surgery. Trying different techniques in the hopes that we wouldn't have to do any sort of major surgery. I'd had around 10 procedures in the space of 6 months which was rough but I know it needed to be done. In between surgery I was also travelling to Wellington to spend time with a guy I thought would turn into something more. It didn't, but we are still friends and we made the most of our time together by seeing Wellington and even taking the ferry to Picton where we drove to and spent the night in Nelson. 

Sometime in 2017 my surgeon and I decided that we needed to go for the more invasive treatment plan. Things weren't progressing and it had already been a year and a half with no change. I was referred to another surgeon and away we went. We discussed a plan of a attack and then we waited. 

It was October when I finally heard back and a date was set for surgery which was early November. They'd had me down to stay 7-10 days which eventually turned into 20 days. It was a rough 20 days. I couldn't eat. I couldn't talk. I had to write with a whiteboard. I had an NG tube down my nose and I just wanted real food. I was over it. Aside from all of that, the surgery went well, I was discharged and we were hopefully one step closer to getting the trachy removed. 

If you've ever spent time in hospital especially if you're from out of town the patients and your nurse are the ones who become your friends. They are the ones there at 1am if you're awake and can't sleep. In the 20 days I was there I made friends with 6 of the patients. It helped that they were all in my room but honestly, some of the best times for me have been making friends with someone who is in a similar situation as you. 

Christmas and New Years came. J and I went to Australia to see my family both in Perth and Brisbane then I popped over to NSW to see a friend for a few days. Arrived home from Australia early January, started my classes at northtech then a few days into class I was back to Auckland for surgery. They did another quick procedure. Happy with how everything was looking and I was home and discharged 2 days later. 

For the next couple of months I focused on school. Or trying too. I had made new friends and I was feeling like everything was going to work out the way it was meant too. In April I had an in clinic appointment where we discussed capping the trachy. At first they said to just do it at random times. The first week I never did it at all. Again insecurities kicked in but once I got over myself I put that cap on and never took it off, ever. 

I've not told a lot of people this but in the 3 years that I've spent in the hospital I've always had this feeling of wanting to go to school and be a nurse. Even before I got the trachy it was something I had considered but I couldn't afford to be poor student and live in Auckland so I kept working. When I moved to Whangarei I thought, maybe this will work now? 

In May I followed up with my Dr and my case manager to see if I could go private or to find out when I'd be in Auckland next. There was no set date yet, but I was told it wouldn't be before the 6th of June. I was due to fly to Australia on the 29th. I couldn't risk that I'd get a phone call last minute and miss an appointment so I cancelled my Australia trip. I was sad to not go but I knew that my future goals were more important than a 4 week holiday to Brisbane. Plus, I knew I'd go for the December/January holidays. June 6th rolled around and I emailed my case manager again. Still nothing. We were really pushing for time because if I wanted to do nursing I needed to get this sorted. Finally on the 26th as is always the case I received a phone call to say they'd booked me in for decannulation for the 28th. I was nervous, excited and relieved that something was finally happening. 

It was a slow and long couple of days at the hospital. My first night the trachy stayed in. They wanted to monitor my CO² levels and saturation but Friday would be D day. Literally. I woke up Friday and away we went. It was a couple hours later that we took the trachy out. The hole was covered with gauze and tape, I was monitored for the next 24 hours and discharged the next day. My talking still is and will always be a breathy but we knew going in that the compromise of being able to breath could possibly change the way I talk. I have been asked a few times if I have a cold which I laugh and say I wish it was a cold but I use to have a trachy lol. I know it's probably a conversation killer but hey, they bring it up not me lol. 

It's been two weeks since they've taken the trachy out and it still feels weird. I can breath, the hole is still there and closing more everyday but it's so different for me to not have the trachy. 

These last 3 years have been some of the best and some of the worst times for me. I've grown so much as a person. I have an amazing relationship with my grandparents that I'd not have had if I didn't get sick. I made new friends. I reconnected with old school friends. I met family I didn't even know I had and I even got to know and become close with a couple of my Aunties as an adult as opposed to being some little kid. 

Slowly but surely, my life is actually coming together. I know it's a weird thing to say but I'm grateful to have had the trachy. I honestly don't think I would be the person I am today had I not got it. 

Never did I imagine I would have had a trachy for 3 years and never would I have imagined that they'd even get it out, but they did. After everything I've gone through the icing on the cake is, I've been accepted into the Bachelor of Nursing which starts in 2 weeks. Who would have thought that this is where I would be?

I'm happy, nervous and excited but most of all I can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter of the findingteesh chronicles. 





















Friday, 30 March 2018

To train or not to train

Today we went on the train from Whangarei to Portland. They're closing it down for 10 years to do some work on it so we went as a family on train.

I'd never been and I actually thought it would be boring but all the kids had fun,
J enjoyed it and Poppa had a nice time reminiscing about "old times".

J and I sat on the wrong side of the train but still managed to get some photos which was good.

It was an awesome day out and even though I have an assignment due and wasn't going to go out I'm glad I went.

The rest of my day was spent resting, studying and I also meal prepped for the week. Kransky, stuffed mushrooms and steamed cabbage. More to come on that and my health over the next few days. 

Since I've deleted fb this maybe a good opportunity to keep up with the blog. I always say that and it never happens, but it's nearly April a new month is about to start things can only look up. Let's go!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Auckland Ventures

This morning I had an appointment at Auckland hospital. It was at 8am so I woke at 440am to leave home around 5am. It was a good drive until I hit Auckland and the hectic traffic. Traffic was backed up all the way from Silverdale to the Harbour Bridge and it reminded me of why I don't miss Auckland or its crazy traffic. Sent a photo to a friend who asked if there was an incident on the road. No, no incident just everyday traffic.

I arrived just before 8am but as I was waiting to catch the lift up my surgeon was waiting to so we were all late haha. My appointment went well. My talking is really good. The flap they did is still a bit bulky so they're going to do more surgery. I'm booked in for 2 weeks time which I need to sort with school as I've enrolled for school which starts the Monday then I have to be in Auckland the Wednesday for surgery Thursday. Crazy times. 

I also managed to take some new fat photos as well. It's been nearly 5 months since I started on my journey of better health. My first lot of photos I'd taken at the hospital so while I was there today I took some more. Loving how I'm feeling and looking. Would like to drop a few more kgs so will work on that a little more now. Loving my life at the moment and the future plans I have. Life can only get better. 




Monday, 5 February 2018

Exercise

Last night I decided that I'd wake up and go for a walk before having my morning phone call with M. It's been nearly 3 weeks since I last went and I knew I needed to get back into it.

Woke up at 730am and got ready to head out. I won't lie, I totally didn't want to go at all. But I got my shoes on. Got my music going and went for a walk.

It wasn't as far or as long as I'd have liked to have gone but as I told M this morning there were four things I learnt on this walk.

One: Don't push myself to feel like I SHOULD do x amount of steps/kms in one walk because this morning I could feel like my heart was working a little harder than normal sooo I did the shorter route rather than the longer one.

Two: I need to go more often because even though my breathing sucks I'm unfit hence my heart working harder.

Three: I'm probably going to walk from 630am rather than 730am but I'll see how I feel. I hate waking up sooo probably won't happen.

And Four: Be motivated by the walk I did do rather than discouraged because it wasn't "long" enough.

I managed 2.6kms this morning and even though I have this mindset of I need to do 10,000 steps in a day anddd at least 6km I know that 2.6kms is still better than nothing.  Back into walking and moving it to 630am will work better for when I'm back at school.

Weigh in day today but our scales are broken sooo I'll weigh in next week. Oh and in clinic appointment Thursday at Auckland hospital. Public holiday tomorrow. Should be a good week.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Yet Another Road Trip

I'd stayed up till 4am playing my silly FB game that I'm totally addicted too and got around 4 hours of sleep when I woke up thinking to myself... okay this event is much needed and I am going to spend all day playing this game.

Unfortunately for me, Adam decided that he wanted to come home today.  I don't know what happened to coming home tomorrow but he was all dead set coming back today and asked me to come and pick him up.  At the beach.  He can be annoying at times.  I dragged J along again and off we went to Ahipara to get Adam.  Made awesome time and got to Mangamuka in an hour.  We still had probably another 30 minutes to go.  Once we'd got to the beach Adam and his useless directions of come here I'm on the side of the road turned into me getting all annoyed at the fact that he doesn't even know how to give directions, he's a fuck around anddd next time he's take himself north.

It was an awesome day to be driving and it was good to see the beach again.  A lot of people were out at the beach as well.  Snapped a quick photo before telling Adam we were leaving.  I wanted to get home and I was over the drive.  Over 650kms in the last two days I didn't want to do anymore driving.  I also made Adam drive home.  Worst decision because I forgot how gross it is to drive through the gorge as a passenger.  Not good.

We did stop in Ohaeawai though and grab an ice cream. Seriously, one of the best ice cream places out if you're headed north.  Everyone needs to stop there. Won't lie, I'm happy to be home and I'm about to get some sleep.  I'm shattered!!

Friday, 2 February 2018

Driving North

Last night Adam decided that he wanted to head north for the long weekend so he looked into getting a rental and driving north after he'd finished work.  He managed to find a Ute that he was keen on and booked it all online.  This morning he decided not to go to work as he'd injured himself earlier in the week so off we went to pick up the rental.

We'd arranged to pick up the rental at the airport.  Get there for a 10pm pick up only to find that no one is there waiting for us.  We'd been waiting 15 minutes when a mum had come in with her son and her baby.  I thought they were flying out of town or waiting for someone but no her son LOVES planes so instead of going to playcentre she decided to bring him to the airport to look at the planes. Such an awesome thing to do.  Oh and I also watched her baby while she went to change her son as he's toilet training and forget to tell his mum he needed to go until it was too late.

Cousin was getting annoyed waiting for the rental so by the time we'd managed to get in touch with someone they were unsure of when we'd even get the rental.  After waiting 40 minutes we gave up on them, cancelled the booking and decided to keep looking for another one. Almost every rental company was out of cars.  I'm guessing they all decided to do what Adam did and get away for the long weekend.  Either that or bus to Whangarei and get a rental here.

After spending 2 hours trying to pick up a rental and getting home we gave up and went home. It was a fun adventure out even if we didn't get a rental.  Grandparents weren't happy he was getting a rental.  Papa kept telling Adam that it was cheaper for him to just buy a Ute and pay it off rather than rent one.  When we went home empty handed Nan said it was the fate and will of the card God's that he didn't get a rental.

Adam did however decided that he did still want to head north so he paid me $100 to drive him up and then go and pick him up Sunday. Easy but long drive to make $100.  Totally worth it though and I honestly did a drop and go.  I also dragged J along with me as a friend.  Oh and we stopped in at world famous Kawakawa toilets because J needed to go.  Long day filled with adventure so happy to be home.







Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Happy Birthday

Today is Nan and my sisters birthday.  My sister is the BIG 30 and Nan well she's the little 74! Lol. Sister is having a birthday party this weekend and if it wasn't for the fact that I'd just come back from Australia I'd have gone to her birthday. 

Nan didn't want to do anything for her birthday.  We were thinking of heading to lunch but she said no sooo we decided to bring lunch to her.  J and Aunty Arelene picked up some cooked chicken, fresh rolls and some salad.  We also had a really good chocolate cake.  Poppa picked up some sparking champagne for Nan which when we all had cake we enjoyed a small glass.  It was good. Even Papa enjoyed it and he's more of a beer drinker.

I'm glad we decided to have a little lunch for Nan.  Adam wanted to take her to dinner but she's definitely not a going out to dinner kind of person but we enjoyed cake and had a fun birthday lunch with just the 6 of us. 

Happy Birthday to the two Mereana's in my life.  Love you guys!


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Road Trip

Today cousin and I decided to go to Kaitaia. We were going to leave in the morning but Papa needed the car. It was 1230 by the time we left.  We made good time and managed to get to Kaitaia around 2pm. We totally stopped in at McDonald's where I broke my fast with McDonald's.  Soo totally worth it.  

Stopped in to meet and see some of my cousins friends for an hour before we decided last minute that we'd head out to the beach. Hopped into this big old massive van then off to the beach we went.  I have no idea why we went to the beach.   As beautiful as it was, all we did was drive on the beach. People watch for all of 30 minutes before we left to head back to Whangape.

Smashed back fish and chips for dinner before.  Some random Maori's gave us some fish to take home only to find out when we got it that it was a head haha!  That went into the bin because Papa wouldn't want to eat that.  

All in all an awesome day and as much as my cousin is all up in my space it's been nice getting to know him and spending time together.