Hippy 6th Birthday

It was 6 years ago today that my right hip was replaced because of a pathological fracture caused by a large metastatic tumour which was about to cause my hip to collapse. If it had collapsed it would have been much more difficult to mend it and get me back on my feet. Somehow I seem to have leapt from a second anniversary pretty quickly to it being 6 years. At the time I was told that I had 6 months, possibly a year to live.

Where do the years go in your life in general. I remember asking my mother when she was about 60, how old she felt and she said about 18. I thought it couldn’t really be true, but in many ways we spend so long looking forward to being an adult, and getting out of our teens that the next few years just seem to go by without notice. What happened to my 30’s for instance? Next month I will be 54 – well and truly middle aged, and I am starting to move along the ago groups that appear in some questionnaires. How old do I feel … stuck somewhere between 18 and 92, depending on the day!

At the moment I feel a bit as though I am in a whirlwind of making alterations to my life. I am trying to de-clutter the house, adapt the bathroom to a shower room and maybe add facilities to the down stairs so I can move down there eventually and have everything on one level. Maybe I should have bought a bungalow, but the problem with them in this area is that they all have large gardens, and I struggled with what I have at the moment until I found a chap who could do it for me. It sounds so posh having a gardener. But my house does give the option that if I do move downstairs there is almost a self contained flat upstairs for someone else to use.

Possibly the biggest change is the possibility of being retired from my work on the grounds of ill-health. Work has become a bigger and bigger negative for me since I had to have a change of job role about 18 months ago. Since October I have been unable to go to work because they wanted to move me from the office I was in, into a larger office in the main student services area with the only alternative being what used to be a store cupboard – no natural light, no windows, no air -yuk. It may sound petty, but I had been hanging on by the fingernails trying to do my work and that of a colleague who had already gone off sick, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t want to be seen when I am struggling to stay awake, when I am in pain to the point where I have to take more pain killers. The chair that has already been fitted to me has been changed and moved so much it no longer provides support because whoever else sits in it changes it. How long do I have left … months, years? Do I want to live giving 90% of my energy to a job that couldn’t give a damn that I exist? Until the most recent unfit to work form signed me off indefinitely they hadn’t taken much notice, suddenly it is full steam ahead with getting medical reports and it all feels as though they are pushing me out. There again, in some ways I am willing to be pushed. Existing to go to a horrible job and being too tired to do very much is not much of a life.

I have been getting in touch with my more creative side and de-cluttering at the same time by making cards and using up some of my stash. Now what to do with them all. After two weeks in the local hospice with depression just before Christmas I now attend their Day Hospice once a week and we do a craft in the afternoon. I am trying to start journaling and doing other things that can be creative and rewarding, whilst giving me a way to express myself and feel as though I still have something to offer.

The question is then, what do I do with my life? How long do I have … oh sod it, I just want to get on with what is left of my life and see where it takes me. Cancer has already taken enough so get behind me Satan!

Hippy birthday …

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