365 Days

The sun is shining, and summer is here… for a while!! Summer generally comes and goes in Ireland, but we’ll take what we can get and go out and get unnecessarily sunburned and eat our weight in ice-cream anyway. I know I have been off air for a while but, well, life gets in the way, and generally I didn’t want to bore you guys with writing nothing. But with good reason I’m back, this week marks my one-year anniversary, on the 23rd of May and what a year its been.

For the last year things have been so different than I could have ever imagine but would I change it, no, if I had to do it again would I? yes, but would I do things differently? Yes to a few things and no to others. I only thought about all of this recently when I was watching a documentary on BBC last week. I have watched a few heart operations on YouTube, just out of curiosity but this documentary was one of the most fascinating pieces of television I have watched in a long time. It got right to the heart of what happens in surgery, don’t pardon the pun it was intentional!!!! Opposed to what we see on shows created about hospitals where the patient magically wakes up after surgery without chest drains, a ventilator, tubes and wires in ICU this was real life and gave people who might not understand what happens a real eye-opening experience of life during and after heart surgery. The consultants shown during the documentary are beyond heroic. If you haven’t seen it please try to watch it……although if you are pre-op maybe wait until after, unless you’re like me and watched surgeries before your own! I watched it with Martin, mam and dad and our reactions could not have been more opposite. I was fascinated sitting on the edge of my seat during it, I think dad may have wanted to be sick when they took out the small saw they use to open the chest, Martin just kept saying ‘Jesus how did you go through that’ (my response, ‘sure I was asleep I knew nothing about it!!’) and mam, well, mam fell asleep!!!!

As for the things I would have done differently, there aren’t many but as I have said many times before I should have slowed down. I would have listened to my body and not done so much too soon. I was thankful I could, and I do think my fitness before the operation helped me to do this, but I put my body through unnecessary pain. After all I put it through I could have given myself more of a break and going back to work too soon was another mistake. But luckily, I work with the best people in the world so going back to work was good for me. For many people their one-year anniversary is a big time for celebrating and happiness about their recovery, but I haven’t felt this. Since Monday I have been very emotional about the whole thing, kind of like it just happening all over again. Things I forgot are coming back to me, even down to what I packed in my hospital bag, to the feeling of the pacing wires in my heart post op. The chest drains I could never forget but I did forget the feeling of breathlessness for three days with having them in, I know I said if I had to do it again I would but for the love of god if I could do it without those drains I definitely would!!!

Anyway, in the last few months things have been busy. I entered the Meath Rose. This was something I had always, always wanted to do and after this year I decided to go for it. It was all I hoped it would be, and more. The girls I met along the way were the most genuine lovely people I could have ever met and we all got on so so well. Putting a group of 16 women together and having no bitchiness rarely happens, but it did then. I hadn’t told any of the girls about my surgery, not out of wanting to hide it but the conversation never came up. That was until it was mentioned during my on-stage interview. The host asked me about it and when I started to talk about it I could hear people almost gasp. I think this reaction is funny at this stage because I know what comes next…. ‘but you’re so young!’ yep, I am but there’s babies who have to go through this so really, I’m not the youngest. When the Rose results were called and Saoirse won I could not have been happier for someone, she is an amazing person and is going to do Meath, and everyone who knows her so proud, the judges were definitely wide awake making their decision that day.

I wanted to write this post and let people know that yes, I felt ok during and after my surgery, but sometimes these things take time to get over, and what I’m learning is that now its hard and now is probably what I should have felt last year, but who’s to say this doesn’t happen to everyone. I finished college on Wednesday and honestly, I was watching the clock from the time I went into college. Knowing that day last year I was being put to sleep, by the time the day was over I was just waking up in ICU. While I was having dinner with my friends I was thinking, this day last year I was on a ventilator, I felt sort of consumed by it all. I know I should have been happy to still be there, and I was but I couldn’t help my brain from running. What I really want to know is has this happened to anyone else?? I’ve given some of my advice on this but now I’d like yours. I had to renew my subscription for my blog during the week and honestly, I didn’t know if I should. But here I am, they got my money so ill stick around for another year anyway!!!

Like I said, drop me a line if any of this resonates with you, really, I’d love to know. I better go enjoy this sunshine, it will probably rain in an hour!!!

As always, keep on keeping on

Talk soon


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