January 2013: EPIC weekend away

I can’t give you an amazing run down of my recovery week by week or even month by month, but I’m going to try and give some idea by using holidays. In 2013, I unintentionally ended up spending at least one night away from home, on a sort of ‘holiday’ (some were actually holidays and some were university visits), at least once a month, so I have some idea of my recovery from how I felt while I was away.

I am starting with January 2013. I was fully back to college and pretty much caught up on work. I was lucky that I didn’t have any January exams so I didn’t have that stress and life was going back to normal. On 11th-13th January we had our youth group (EPIC) weekend away. We’d had one a while back and were returning to the same place – a converted church called St Bartz.

This was my first time away from home since the hospital and I wasn’t going to be with my parents. I have talked about anxiety before, and this was no exception. I was looking forward to it but I was REALLY worried. Worried about the car journey, worried about having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the loo, worried about my back (although not that much). I was so worried that I was actually sick just before we left the house.

Nevertheless, we went down to the church and explained the situation (that I had been sick and was anxious and not ill). I had a final toilet stop and then reserved my place in the front seat of a car. I was actually fine on the journey – it was about half an hour, maybe 40 minutes tops. I had to watch the sat nav but that didn’t make me too ill. And then we hit some sort of brick and got a puncture. Someone else had gone too far up the lane leading to St Bartz and got stuck in some mud at a farm. The other car was fine, but they were behind us so basically our convoy had failed. Luckily we were very close to our destination and were able to make it there without any more issues.

Once arrived we sorted out rooms amongst ourselves, which is quite problematic for teenagers who are pretty much all friends and a couple of people are related. Myself and Beth, who also had medical issues, put in our plea for being in the downstairs room and everyone else agreed where to sleep between them, except Elspeth who was late and basically just shunted in the upstairs room because they had engineered it that way, although I’m sure she would have been happy wherever.

We then had dinner, which was probably shepherds’ pie or pasta bake, kindly provided by other church members, followed by ice cream. I had a fair amount, which was a pretty bad move on my part, and led to me spending the next fifteen/twenty minutes lying in bed, although my back hurt as well as my head/stomach from eating so much sugar – my previous posts explain my problems with desserts away from home.

However I recovered without further incident and was able to be there for the bible study/thought that evening. I made great use of my new Kindle, which had a bible on it as well as great books, and for a lot of the time I just read and chatted to people. The rest of the weekend passed without incident. I tried my hand at PES and was rubbish – I scored the only goal of the game, but it was an own goal. We stayed up fairly late chatting, as you do at most sleepovers. We re-enacted the Circle of Life with washing up while the tyre was fixed. We used fruit to try and create photos inspired by the ‘Son of Man’ photo.

I was pretty worried when the weekend was over and it was time to go home. The fear was slightly alleviated by the fact that my mum was there to drive us back but I still had a coughing fit in the car that we though might have led to me being sick (it didn’t). I got home in one piece and was quite annoyed about how worried I got, but this was just what happened to me and I got on with it.

I can’t remember much else happening during January, so I’ll leave it there and continue writing about 2013 next time with February and my trip to Cardiff and the Doctor Who Experience. You’re probably unlikely to relate but if you do, comment/follow/read other posts!

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