This is the seventh part of a guest serial, in 637 words.
There was no disputing the fact now; I was disabled. A person with a disability.
How did it all come to this?
I was adamant that this was my fault, but kept questioning myself as to what had I done so wrong to deserve all this?
Moorfields had referred me to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, in London, to undergo a variety of tests to, hopefully, find the cause of all that had happened. Hmm… wishful thinking!
Over the next fortnight, I was constantly sleeping on and off, I received an appointment to have hearing aids fitted – at last, something to hope for!
I really tried to be positive on the day of my appointment, I kept telling myself, “This will work, it has to!”. Doubts started to etch in my mind, whilst we sat in the small waiting room, “What if this doesn’t work? What am I going to do?”
A short man came into the waiting room and called my name, I only knew it was my turn as Mum stood up and had taken the brakes off my wheelchair. The audiologist placed my hearing aids in each ear and started testing different volumes, levels, and frequencies, etc. He explained to Mum that, even with hearing aids, my hearing will never be 100% perfect. To me, this just seemed like he was trying to reassure me, if the hearing aids were not to work. I knew, deep down, that my hearing would never be perfect, but I just yearned to be able to have a conversation without misinterpreting or not being able to understand.
The first time he tested, no change apart from increasing the volume of the background noise. Second time, no change. Third, nothing. After a few more attempts, it was clear that hearing aids would not work for me.
What was I going to do?
I slept for the next few days; the outcome of the appointment had drained me in more ways than one. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
When I was awake, I looked for disability aids online, to try and restore some of my independence. After scrolling through several pages, I almost threw up. It hit me, like a ton of bricks, that this was it. This was going to be how my life would pan out. A miracle would never happen to me.
I remember one afternoon, Mum tried to help me shower but it was upstairs, and I could no longer walk upstairs, so instead, I had to crawl up. I had central chest pains by the time I reached the top of the staircase which terrified me, I wasn’t sure if it was a panic attack or something else. I dragged myself into the bathroom and tried to pull myself up, by using the side of the bath, but with each pull I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I tried three times but by the third time, it felt like something was blocking my airway.
I gave up trying.
After breathing deeply to try and regulate my breathing, I mustered up enough energy to turn myself around with my back against the bath. I cried like I’d never cried before.
I convinced myself that this was going to be my last Christmas. I was weak, all I did was sleep. My eating disorder emerged from the shadows once again. To be honest, I did want my life to end, what was I living for? My health, my relationship, my job, everything was disappearing, fast.
I even started to write down what I wished for, in terms of my funeral.
Of course, I was scared, but I wanted to be free of all the pain and misery. I had no quality of life.
I can’t remember Christmas; I must have just slept the majority of the day.