Thursday, 19 October 2017

In my little bubble

Me fascinated with bubbles at the age of 18 months old.

Dear world,

How are we nearly at the end of 2017? They do say once you reach 30 life just flashes past you, and this year is no exception. I’ve done a lot so far in 2017, probably one of my most productive in recent years. I’ve moved countries, where I am now settled in a friendly coastal town. Started a new job, working for the local hospital, different to my old career but I am certainly being challenged in different ways and learning new skills which is all a bonus, Plus it’s really nice to have 9-5pm hours, and actually be able to switch off from work in the evenings, with no work phone making me contactable 24/7. It’s even nice arriving into hospital and knowing it’s not for another scan, catherisation or consultation!

Juzzy and I have settled into our new party pad, so anyone who fancies a trip down under you are very welcome to have the west wing! I have also really shifted up a gear with my fitness. Back in the UK I had a PT which was great and really motivated to get me working out, but since being here in Oz I have wanted to get out more, although when the 40 degree days arrive in the next few months, (which I’ve been told will definitely happen this summer unlike last year) I’m sure I’ll be wishing I was inside in a lovely air conditioned gym!

I’ve really taken to running, something I never thought I would hear myself ever say. I remember the one time whilst I was at uni I went to the gym with two of my guy friends. Trying to show off as I occasionally do, I started to run on the treadmill, and I’d say about 30 seconds in I genuinely thought I was going to have a heart attack and pass out. My friend Dan still reminds me of the episode to this day with great amusement on his part. Needless to say I didn’t venture to the gym or treadmill again whilst at uni. So this new Gemma is quite a turn up for the books. Granted I’m not going to smash any world records, (well maybe for being the slowest), but instead of trying to be the hare, I’ve decided being the tortoise is just right for me. Although I’m sure my disgruntled niece Marissa will disagree who shouted “go faster Auntie Gem, you’re too slow” when I was out for a morning jog around London back in the summer! I’m currently stagnating at week 7 of 9 of the Couch to 5k podcast. The podcast has challenged me at lots of different points, the toughest being to run for 25 minutes straight with no breaks but being extremely determined I managed it! Currently my PB distance stands at 4.2km. So hopefully with a few more consistent runs I can get to the elusive 5k target! So watch out for me at the next Olympics!

I started my new drug trial back in May. I was extremely anxious about the whole thing as 3 years ago Royal Hallamshire Hospital tried a similar thing but it didn’t work. My anxiety levels have somewhat eased though and I’m pleased to report I haven’t suffered with any new symptoms that I know of and my health seems just as good as before. TOUCH WOOD. I head to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne over the next few weeks for various tests. The first one is tomorrow for the right heart catherisation, this will be my 5th time on the operating table so at least I know what to expect, although I still find it all very surreal being able to see the wire going into my heart on the x-ray. Fingers crossed the results show I am stable and that my arterial pressures haven’t increased. If all is stable then we can move onto phase 2 of the trial which is to reduce the dosage of one of my drugs.

Coming up to nearly 4 years ago since this new chapter of my life started, this year has been the 1st year I have on a regular basis forgotten that I have PH. Before, PH ruled my life, whereas now I rule my life. It’s such a liberating feeling. I finally feel like I can do anything. I’m no longer in my eyes the girl with PH, I’m just Gemma. Before I was scared to look into the future as I was convinced I wouldn’t be there. Now I just focus on the mentality that I will fight until I can no longer fight and if that is in 5 years or 50 then so be it. 

I have a very happy life, living in my little bubble by the ocean. I miss all my friends and my family especially my sister, niece and nephew but being here in Australia just feels like where I am meant to be. Thank god for FaceTime! I have lots to look forward to over the next 6 months. My mum and dad are coming over for 2 months at Christmas where we will be joined by the whole of Juzzy’s family. Then I have one of my friends coming over early next year so it will be good to show her the sights before Leah, Alex and the children come over at Easter.     

With my family. 
Will keep you posted on my test results over the next few weeks. Hopefully it all continues to be positive.

Lots of love,