Considering I was signed off work for two weeks, and was essentially bed/sofa bound during that time, August has been a pretty busy month.
It started with a friend visiting from Paris, and we spent our Saturday in central London with him. Some of the things we did included lunch in Chinatown, pottering around Covent Garden where we saw an amazing opera singer, and the Tate Modern. From there, we headed over to Gordon’s wine and cheese bar – one of my favourite places in London, and where better to bring a visiting Parisian who loves cheese and wine?!
Gordon’s wine bar
Gordon’s wine bar
Gordon’s wine bar
View from Blackfriars Bridge
Sunday was spent in a picturesque Surrey village visiting my Great Uncle. We had a lovely pub lunch, and it was so nice to be out of London and in the countryside.
Tuesday was my operation day, and I’ve written in a lot more detail about it here. To summarise, it was a long and emotional day where I finally got an answer to a question I’d been asking for seven years.
The next two weeks consisted of lots of films, TV shows and books during my recovery. By the first weekend, I had cabin fever from being cooped up inside the flat, so we headed out to Kew Gardens to see my partners family for the day. It was really nice to be out of the flat and surrounded by so much greenery, but I was very aware of how tired my body was. I couldn’t walk as fast as usual and I had to sit down and rest a lot after doing very little. I found this to be very frustrating, but it was better than being in the flat.
Once back home, we went to visit our friends who’d just got new kittens, they were so adorable and tiny and were little balls of excitement running around the place.
When travelling I used my “please offer me a seat” badge for the first time – I definitely didn’t have the ability to stand for the journey. For anyone not from London – this is a new scheme brought in by Transport for London to make it easier for people with invisible illnesses to get a seat when they need it, without having to explain themselves. I did feel really uncomfortable using it because I don’t look like I need it, but eventually I got used to it. If you would like a badge you can apply for one here.
The next week I felt a lot more functional and mobile, and finally had the energy to do some baking – one of my favourite things! I made Sicilian lemon and Gin & Tonic (alcohol free) cupcakes.
Monday 13th brought a midnight visit to A&E, because the standard post-op bleeding I’d been experiencing had turned into incredibly heavy bleeding and I was getting very lightheaded and weak. Ultimately everything was fine, and the bleeding settled down the next day, but the amount of blood I lost in a very short space of time was nothing short of terrifying. Thankfully the NHS were absolutely fantastic, and even though it was midnight when I called 111 for advice, I had a doctor calling me back within 20 minutes and I was seen almost immediately once I arrived in A&E.
I felt up to visitors this week as well, which was really nice. On Thursday a friend visited and we watched films, ate treats and gossiped. She came back the next evening with her boyfriend for a takeaway, some drinks (Shloer for me..) and a catch up. We hadn’t seen them since April, even though they don’t live that far from us, so it was really nice to finally arrange something.
Monday 20th saw me return to work (finally!) but I was a lot less excited to be back once I saw the state of my inbox. I took it easy, and made sure to leave early so I didn’t over do it and push myself too hard at first.
After two days in the office, it was time for some more time off. We headed up north for the wedding of my school friends on Wednesday and came home Thursday. It was really nice to be home (even if it was just for 17 hours), and to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in years. The wedding was just beautiful as well (and it gave me a great excuse to go home and see my dog!).
Our bank holiday weekend was fairly quiet. My partner played rugby on the Saturday and managed to tear a tendon in his bicep. So now it’s my job to look after him, especially after he did such a good job after my op.
Sunday evening we went to the pub for some food with friends and did a pub quiz. I’d forgotten how much fun they were (and how competitive I get when doing them!). We came 14th out of 24, which wasn’t bad but there’s definitely room for improvement!
Monday was spent at the Hampton Court Palace food festival with friends. Its such a beautiful place and the food/drinks were amazing. We also got to wander around inside the palace and the private gardens.
Back to work on Tuesday for a four day week, but it was made a lot more bearable because were kitten sitting for the beautiful Sapphire this week. She’s just so gorgeous and friendly, I really want to keep her!
I’ve definitely struggled a lot with my mental health this month, and I’ve managed to hit some serious lows and had more panic attacks than I care to remind myself of. But I’m hoping that our city break in September provides some much needed recuperation and me time, and helps me to feel more like myself again.