I know I haven’t written in a few months.. again! But it’s been a pretty rough ride recently.
The end of August I suffered a near fatal adrenal crisis, the worst one I have ever experienced to date. One thing I’m going to make an effort to do once everything is settled, is to campaign to change the protocol of Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Most other services around the UK carry hydrocortisone on board and know the procedure when a patient is in crisis or in danger of going into one. YAS can’t inject a patient and as great as the NHS is, the A&E staff don’t know what to do, despite presenting them with documents stating to immediately inject and then carry out baseline testing. There isn’t any protocol in place to red light adrenal insufficient patients and that needs to change.
So, onto the reason why I’m taking a break. I was meant to have stomach surgery on October 12th but that was put on hold as we unfortunately lost my Grandad and the surgeon was worried that my body couldn’t physically handle major open surgery.
On September 6th, I lost the person that has always been a constant in my life. My mentor, my best friend, my inspiration. I have never experienced loss before and it’s hit me harder than I ever expected. Right now, I can’t put into words my grief, so I’ve copied part of the eulogy that I wrote as i would like to share this with my readers…
Mick Townsend lived a remarkable life, one that has inspired us greatly. His range of interests, his selfless attitude and his constantly happy demeanour made him a wonderful person to know. His approach to life is one that we should all take note of, he always rose to meet a challenge and met every obstacle he faced with dignity, strength and patience. He spent his entire life teaching and giving, always putting others first. It is a true testament to his character, a war veteran and family man that his values are displayed throughout all his family.
Our Grandad was our everything, our hero, our mentor, our inspiration, our role model and most importantly, a best friend. Some of our most cherished memories are of spending time with our Grandad throughout our lives, from wheeling Sam up and down the garden in his wheelbarrow. Sam, Grandads little shadow (not so little anymore!) as he was growing up, watching and learning as they worked in the garden. Through these lessons, Sam has been carved into the man he is today. A practical, strong, independent man, a man that Grandad was very proud of. To Amy, keen to follow in her Grandad’s footsteps, Amy chose to go to the same university, York St John, why? Because there was an unbreakable bond between granddaughter and grandfather. The teacher and the student. Amy and Mick went to the open days together and the very lecture hall she studied was formerly Mick’s bedroom. Mick pointed out to Amy where his bed was located, and Amy made sure to sit at the desk in that spot.
In Sam’s words, if he could be half the person that Grandad was, take half of his characteristics, take half of his morals, take half of his devotion to his family, he would grow up to be a great man. That again, is a projection of what a truly inspirational man that Mick Townsend was.
He was someone we could confide in and he would always return with the best advice, one of the most important pieces of advice he gave us was, to always talk, never worry and be patient. We will miss the stories of his many holidays, fighting in Korea, the tales of his three children, his four grandchildren, his old friends and his fondness and ever-growing love for our amazing Grandma Shirley. Stories he told over and over again from when we were sitting on his knee as children up until we were adults, we still listened with the same enthusiasm as he replayed his precious memories with the same exacting detail. We will miss his optimistic perspective and his gentle humour, the glint in his eye and his mischievous wink when Grandma was telling him off for coming into the living room caked in mud from tending his beautiful garden. We will miss the depth and scope of his knowledge and we will miss the warmth that he extended to everyone that he met.
I miss him more than I could ever explain but I will treasure his memory forever 💕
Onto some other bad news, another reason I’m taking a break. Since my crisis in August, I’d been feeling really strange, my head was all over the place, I was feeling weak, tired and not myself. Since August, I’ve gained 12kg. I haven’t changed my diet. I haven’t changed a thing. A few weeks ago, I knew what I had to do. I emailed my endocrinologist and I had some tests done last week. Immediately, the results showed my cortisol levels in the 900s, higher than they were before my op last year.
So yes, my Cushing’s is back. It’s taken me two days to write this tiny blog post so I know it’s time to take a break. I’ll also be taking a break from my email account too as I need to focus on my health. I have an appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow so I’ll know the plan then. I’ll be back once I’m back in remission and I can focus on writing again.
Thank you for reading.