I've been looking back over my New Years posts on Facebook and the common theme is "It's been a year of ups and downs" and "Challenging". Well I can truly confirm that this year has by far outclassed those!!!
It all started so well with me starting Lemtrada in March. I knew this would be a harder fight. And it did not let me down. 1 week in hospital with NO BACON (yes thought I'd bring it up again!) and then it took a whole 2 months before I felt strong enough to go back to work and deal with all the stresses.
Well I am now nealy 10 months post and i FEEL AMAZING!!! It took a while but things have been slowly and steadily improving. I am much less fatigued in fact I don't feel like I have to lie down every afternoon any more! My pains are much improved too. I still get the spasms hit now and again and the cold weather hurts like hell but in all much beter than it was.
And I cannot express how grateful I am for that as had I not had Lemtrada at the beginning of the year I honestly do not know where I would be now after what I've been thrown.
My job moved this year and it was far too far away to travel to. I would have been travelling 1.5hrs either way on top of a 12 hour shift which was just not practical at all. So I had a long drawn out fight to try and secure Redundancy. Which after over a year I finally heard I had got. But as is ususal there were confusions with dates, payments, Annual Leave etc so was hardly a smooth journey from then either. But I finally got a Leaving date to work towards.
There were many more "discussions" about payments and why I did actually need some money in August to pay by bills and mortgage etc. Eventually it all got sorted and I was exhausted from all the fighting.
So on 4th September I was finally made Redundant and had to look for another job. Even though I knew and wanted the Redundancy it still came quite hard and being at home full time trying to look and find jobs and work out logistics was hard.
August started out fab with a short but enjoyable family holiday which we all needed. School holidays were in full swing and day out adventures were had.
Then a massive shock that Daryl was suddenly leaving me! I knew things had been tough this year and stress always has its part to play but now things were sorted I was going to put a real effort into getting the US back again. But he had other plans. I was BROKEN. I didnt know what I was going to do. I was alone with 2 kids, no job, MS and fast reaching 40! How on earth was i going to cope?
I'll be honest I didn't! I hit rock bottom and still felt like I was falling. In my job as a Paramedic I could never understand why people wanted to harm themselves or attempt suicide when they had kids to look after. Well I can say with brutal honesty I now know. There were several times I was holding knives and I thought about hurting myself just to make some of the pain go away. The only thing that did stop me was thinking about my kids. But it came very close a few times. So I went to the GP and got some help.
So began my biggest challenge so far to look after me and the kids and dogs alone. What a shock to the system it's been. I have no idea how all the other mums have done it and I take my hat off to them especially fitting in work too!
I was now trying to find a job that would allow me to look after the kids and be able to support them. I applied for and had interviews for jobs but when I discussed it with the kids they were not happy having to go to breakfast club and after school club. Not only that but deep down it wasn't a job I wanted.
Step in my amazing family. They knew I wanted to go back out on the road as a Paramedic again as I missed it so much. They have given me the help and support to allow me to apply to go back on the road again.
I went for interviews and assessments and secured a job back with the local Ambulance Service. But then they wouldn't accommodate my request for part time hours. After many discussions I had to accept an offer of a Bank position. Whilst not ideal on many fronts it fits best for me at this point in life that I find myself.
So I was due to start on 4th December and everything was in place. Then as I couldn't fit in my final pre-employment check I got put back to 8th January. Whilst a blow it did mean that I could concentrate on giving the kids the best Christmas I could and get things ready. To be honest starting a new job in the new year just felt better.
Christmas was great fun. Yes I had a few tears at quiet moments but all in all I think I am getting stronger. So now I am ready to wish 2017 a great big GOOD RIDDANCE and bring on 2018. A year I am concentrating on having fun and looking after the kids and doing things for ME!
Happy New Year.
Niki, Callum and Chloe