Hi everyone! It’s been a very long time since I have been able to post on here – and oh boy has a lot happened.
You may remember I had an unsuccessful operation on New Years Eve, well – there was yet more to come from that. My operation was to create a puncture in to my bowel in order to insert a feeding tube inside of it. Unfortunately, this didn’t work. Fast forward a month on, and I am being rushed in to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with suspected clots in my lungs (very bad news) – thankfully I didn’t have that…. However, my chest X-ray did pick something untoward up, and so I had to go back to hospital and have a chest, thorax and pelvis CT scan. I’m not a big fan of loads of radiation, (because all I can think of is my ovaries frying) but I knew I had to have this scan. It turns out that I have a perforated bowel (a hole which hasn’t sealed up in the bowel = very bad news). Usually, a perforated bowel comes along with something called peritonitis, which is essentially bowel contents (ew…) floating around and infecting your body, and then blood stream (sepsis) and putting you in a life threatening situation. Prior to my operation, I decided to take precautions against this (LAXATIVES, MANY LAXATIVES). Thank god I did as I didn’t get the infection. I know have a large pocket of air moving freely inside my abdomen… It’s called a pneumoperitoneum (You know you’re too medicalised when you spell THAT right first time) lodged under my right lung. It makes sense why I’ve been so out of breath, I guess! I decided not to tell anyone about this at the time, because basically: I’m okay! I’ve just been resting up, and the air should dissipate naturally some time in the future. It’s a pretty rare phenomenon, and I’m just SO lucky that I didn’t get the infection that could have gone along with it…
You may be aware that I haven’t been online very much, if at all. I have been struggling to keep my brain in check, and the internet doesn’t help much. I’ve been feeling quite depressed, and EVERYTHING has been difficult. Down to the thought of going on YouTube, and the idea that other people are posting and I’m not – which has meant that I have been having small panic attacks. Other than catching up on jobs, and doing things I’m slowly finding enjoyable again, I’ve kept pretty much away. I think it’s important that I finally give myself long enough away to start getting better. You may remember the multiple videos I’ve said “I’m back!” Only to disappear again. If anyone comments on here or on Facebook/ Twitter/ YouTube, I will not be replying, but I do read them all. I’ve also been tinkering with some of my medication as well. I’m on a lot of nerve pain medication and some muscle relaxants due to the realities of my condition. However, these have made me feel rather numb and just ‘flat’ in general. I have reduced these and despite the physical pain coming back with a vengeance, I feel like I’ve got a brain I can write poems with and y’know, just generally function alongside, which is always a plus.
I haven’t been doing a whole lot other than surviving of late. I’ve written some poetry. Watched a lot of Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, and am generally trying my best not to be too hard on myself. It’s been so difficult because I have always been, since a young age, hard on myself. I’ve always had this anxious and self-deprecating ideas about myself, and I’m working on shutting them up! I’m very aware that I have been shutting my friends out – but I really need to get sorted out.
I did, however, go to the Ways with Words festival in Keswick a few weeks ago. It was an incredible thing. Robin Ince, the comedian, has just released a book and it was like he was actually speaking to me through what he was saying on stage. The feeling of burnout. Depression. The difference between public and private life. The session was only an hour but it definitely should have been longer. Then, at the other end of the scale I saw John Simpson, the BBC foreign correspondent, talking about his new fiction book. The book itself sounded intriguing, but along with the background story it will make for very interesting reading. He told the audience that one of his close friends, a journalist in the 90s, was found dead with an injected orange in his mouth, on his kitchen table in an apparent sex game gone wrong. John began speaking with a Russian Journalist, and they said three other journalists covering the Russian Government were found dead in exactly the same way. John said that he isn’t saying that the Russian Government were the cause of his friends’ demise, he simply wants to offer another narrative surrounding his friends death.
If anyone would like to read about the transformative powers of poetry within my life, I have done a guest blog post over on Diary of A Zebra for World Poetry Day, if you fancy a read. https://www.diaryofazebra.com/2019/03/guest-post-by-hannah-for-world-poetry.html
I am also giving a talk at Lancaster (UK) Litfest about how to start a YouTube channel, and how to enjoy the process. I hope some of you can come along, there are tickets still available both online and on the door.