Part 16 – Time for reflection

Missing my love

I had now started to make some real progress in my recovery and that made me start to think about life so much more. It’s near impossible to go through a near-death experience and not look back on your life; the ups, the downs, what you wish you had done, hadn’t done etc…

And the main person on my mind was my partner, I was missing him so much! Only God knows how much I wished for him to just walk through the door, sit with me, hold me and tell me that everything was going to be alright. These feelings became more apparent when I would see the other women in the hospital ward having their husband’s and families coming to visit them. This made me really sad and was the beginning of the heartache I as about to endure.

We discussed our wedding date when I was in hospital and decided we wanted to get married as soon as I was well enough.  When something like this happens it highlights that life is so short and that we don’t have time to waste – you have to do what makes you happy.

“Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us, it’s merely a wish!” 

Question time, how old are you?

After a few days of being in the neurological ward, the questioning increased and continued as new patients were admitted to the ward. The first question was…how old are you?

I noticed how they were looking for the obvious cues to get an indication of my age and when they didn’t see a husband or any children coming to visit me…I could tell it left them a little unsure…

I was waiting for the inevitable…then the question was finally asked. “So how old are you Danielle?”

Hallelujah they finally asked….Lol

I paused and it was a genuine pause as I genuinely have to try and remember my age, I stopped counting somewhere around the age of 32…I finally remembered and replied saying I’m 36.

They looked at me in shock and replied…

”No way!! You can’t be…we thought you were about 20!!! We said we need to look after you because you are so young and will be so scared…”

I laughed and replied saying I’m 20 plus 16 and yes I am scared! Lol

One of the other patients then went onto say it’s true what they say isn’t it…I replied whats true?! She responded with “That black don’t crack.”

I laughed, I laughed I laughed until I couldn’t laugh anymore!

Then her family came to see her and she would randomly say to them at the top of her voice…how old do you think Danielle is?! They would all stare at me and say 18,20,22. She would say 36. They would all stare and say no!!! Lol

After all the constant talk about my age and how young I looked, I started to get tired of it. Yes I know I look younger than my age as well as having a young and positive outlook on life which I feel makes me appear younger than my age. Plus I had lost even more weight in hospital and was wearing oversized pyjamas, had my hair plaited back and so on…so yes I did look young but I think they were going a bit far now!

As they were so fascinated with my age I reciprocated the question and asked how old this particular patient was…she told me she was 39, turning 40 next week…I thought no wonder she’s amazed by my age because she looked a lot older…lol

The question I’m so tired of…so do you have kids?

No, I don’t have kids…and is it any of your business? Do I even know you, oh?! Well that’s what I wanted to say but the polite side of me replied no I don’t, that was it no explanation needed.

When I replied with no I don’t have children the room filled with an uncomfortable silence. I didn’t know if they suddenly felt that they couldn’t relate to me, if they felt sorry for me, felt pity for me, were judging me, felt I was less of women because I haven’t procreated and brought life into the world. Probably all of the above!! Lol, My womanhood and purpose in life was most definitely being questioned…

I was in hospital and feeling as though I was being judged or made to feel that I had failed at life in some way…that’s all I needed after what I had been through!

Then one of the nurses started going on about it…she then thought about what she said and was like oh well you need to focus on getting better first…no shit, Sherlock I nearly died!

Questioning myself….

If I would have died that night, would I have been happy with how I lived my life? There are obviously some things that I would have done differently. But I was happy with the most part, which I am so grateful for!

I was made redundant from an organisation that I had worked at for the past 12 years and I am so glad that I listened to my inner voice and seized the opportunity to travel independently to South America. This was an amazing experience for me and I met some wonderful people on this journey including my partner. I also tried different jobs in different sectors, working in a different city as well as working on some creative freelance projects which I loved!

The past 2 years had been the best two years of my life in such a long time where I had so many new and exciting experiences and made some new friends along the way. I learned so much about myself over these past two years, it had been an incredible journey! And I was so happy to have felt true love again.

So yes there were more things that I would like to have achieved…thankfully I have been given a second chance at life and I still have the time to achieve them. In the main, I would say over the past 6 years I have lived a life that is moving closer to my idea of a truly authentic life for me and that is in line with my values.

One of the main things I have realised is that life is way too short, to not be happy and from this day onwards my focus is to live my authentic life, no one else’s. My near death experience and enlightenment has made it so much easier for me to say NO to anything that doesn’t nourish my soul and make me happy.

Life is so short…so do what makes YOU happy!

My legacy

I was so worried about not leaving a legacy behind – but when I thought about it I do have a legacy, the things that I have and will go onto achieve in my life, the mark and the difference that I have made to the lives of people close to me, especially my eldest niece.

Plus I’m hoping that this blog will be my legacy; having a positive impact on the life of others, raising awareness of brain aneurysms, spreading my positive energy and zest for life as well as supporting people who have gone through a similar situation to me.

Another coping strategy…spa time

When in the hospital I received so many pampering gift sets, face masks, bubble baths, body butters etc. So I decided I was going to create my own spa in hospital…lol. The nurse told me that they had a whirlpool bath, as soon as she mentioned that I was on it!!!

So I had the nurse clean and prep the bath for me, I then added my bubble bath. Locked the door and had a wonderful relaxing massaging bath. I did a face mask, exfoliated, shaved my legs..the whole pamper session. I can’t tell you how amazing it felt!!! I felt on top of the world, a sense of normality!! It was just sublime and helped me to feel so much better!

Best neurology ward in the country!

When I was in the hospital I learned that the Royal Hallamshire hospital has one of the best neurological wards in the UK. I met so many people who had travelled far and wide across the UK for their treatment. People that aneurysms had ruptured so you can only imagine how frightening that must have been as timing is crucial to your survival after an aneurysm ruptures.

There were also people who travelled to have their aneurysm coiled to prevent it from rupturing. From the research I have done so far on aneurysms, the majority are found when they rupture and the aneurysms detected prior to rupturing are in the minority. Here in the UK, we are some way behind the US in terms of detecting aneurysms early and work clearly needs to be done to improve this.

I met people from Bristol, London where their families had to stay in hotels while they were in hospital so that they could be close to them.

May 2, 2018 7:30 pm

Part 15 – New environment equals new challenges…

April 25, 2018

Part 17 – Freedom..time to go home!

May 9, 2018

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