Resilience Goes To Liverpool

It’s been a week of ups and downs

Nic, Pippa and I spoke at the Chief Nursing Officers Summit at the ACC in Liverpool, we visited our daughter Grace at Manchester University, I had a trip to the GP surgery to get tested for diabetes. I worked at my writing job for three full days, outside the wind blew cold, the snow fell.

I had to be interviewed at home by someone from a private company called Capita to see if I will still qualify for Personal Independence Payment once they phase out Disability Living Allowance. In advance I had to fill out a long form describing how I am disabled and what impact that has on my daily life. I found it a distressing process, having this stranger come into my home, and having to talk about how I’m washed, fed and looked after. I told the truth but it was humiliating and the lady asking the questions did not seem to care. The questions lasted for two hours. I have been trying not to think too hard about what it means, but I am scared they might take away my Motability car.

It’s always fascinating when we speak at events

Nic and I drove to Liverpool and we stayed at the Jurys Inn hotel, we had trouble parking but the room was nice. I quite enjoy being in hotels but it’s sometimes hard to get to sleep and I hurt the stumps of my legs staggering round Albert Dock trying to see the sights. They have a millennium wheel type thing right outside, you can sit in the bar and watch it turn round. Being in new places is exciting but there’s always the danger I’ll injure myself walking too far. Oh well.

Our speech about Resilience went really well – even though we had to follow Jeremy Hunt MP, UK Secretary of State for health. I don’t agree with Jeremy’s politics but we’ve met him a few times now and he is always very friendly. Pippa talked about the background to Sepsis and the campaign to spread awareness, Nic and I talked about our first hand experience and the impact it had on us as individuals and as a family. I absolutely love being in front of an audience and our material feels very strong. We got a standing ovation. When that happens I always think this is for Nic and inside I am saying to her thank you for saving my life. It helps that we have the Starfish film trailer to open with, and I like to broaden out the content about Resilience to include the audience – because I know everyone has their troubles, it’s not just me.

Back to life

Later, we saw our daughter Grace. She is in the 2nd year of her Physics degree at Manchester University, so we don’t spend as much time as we’d like to with her. She is such a beautiful person and I’m so incredibly proud of what she has already achieved. Of course we worry all the time about her now she’s left home, but she has lots of common sense and she knows we’ll always be there to help if she needs us.

It was overwhelming meeting all the different nurses this week. One was the Chief Nurse for Peterborough where my Sepsis went undiagnosed for 10 hours and I came so close to dying.

No bad feelings

So many good things still happen in my life every day, even though sometimes it is hard for me. I just want sepsis to stop happening to other people, especially the children, which is why we speak in public.

But it was very emotional for me this time round. Sadness accumulates. Sometimes it’s not enough just to toughen up inside and I feel like I’d like to hide away. I have ways to protect myself, but it’s not easy. Am I allowed to tell you that?

How we can protect ourselves from the past:  

  • Remember the funny things
  • Focus on the positives
  • Use what you learned
  • Plan for the future
  • What’s gone is gone: value what remains