Andy's Story

Andy Blagden is a young man, married to Charlotte and has 3 children; Lauren, Katie and Nathan. (The children were 12, 9 & 2.5 years old at the time of diagnosis).
Andy was diagnosed with a tumour in his spinal cord in June 2013. The tumour was at spinal level Cervical 3 going down to Thoracic 2 (C3-T2). This is incredibly high up the neck and the only option was to operate. This in itself was not without risk but after a 15-16 hour operation the tumour had been removed. The outlook was good. Then Andy became ill....
Early September Andy contracted pneumonia and then sepsis, Andy's kidneys then failed and he was put on constant dialysis for a month and required a blood transfusion during this time.
Andy came through all this but he now lives with the consequences; paralysed from the shoulders down and unable to breathe without ventilatory support, this is his ongoing story of rehabilitation with the goal of getting back home to his family and his future.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

It's been a while......... Part 2.

Another reason I haven't been updating on here, or anywhere else, is that I haven't had the emotional and mental strength to do much more than survive.

I think how I'm feeling is the combination of 3 yrs of fighting the system and therefore being in a constant state of survival mode combined with fighting to get the treatment that Andy deserved and should've been given from the beginning, that should've been in place without me having to constantly ask for it. I was talking with a professional the other day about Andy's time in Bristol, that he still can't remember, and as I listed off all the difficulties he had I realised how much trauma we've been through and how much of that I (probably) haven't processed.

Such as; 

Difficulty with waking up from sedation and being put in an induced coma and then woken up again, a couple of times.

Developing pneumonia.

Developing severe sepsis, being told he might not live.

Having a tracheostomy done to support his breathing.

Having a feeding tube fitted as a long term measure to support his hydration and nutrition.

Having his kidneys fail and requiring 24hr dialysis.

Uncertainty about whether his liver was failing and was he going into multi-organ failure.

Having a lumber puncture done.

Being called down to HDU because of a cardiac arrest due to a mucus plug and being told I shouldn't drive myself down if at all possible.

To name but a few.

Andy doesn't remember this but I do. 
Then there was the fight to get a spinal injury bed. 
Then there was his placement at The Dean and the fight there to still get a spinal bed. 
Then he got a bed in London and very nearly lost it due to incompetencies on certain professionals part.
Then the visiting London every weekend with and without children.
Then organising a placement in Gloucester whilst we made an extension.
Then living on a building site. 
Then learning to be a family with a care staff in place.
Then fighting DWP for his disability benefits.

It's actually quite ridiculous when you start reading it in list form.

So I feel like I should be fine and dandy but the reality is I'm not 100% and I'm having good days and bad days. Days where I feel like I can do loads and days where I don't. 

It's been a while...........

It's been a long time since I wrote on here, for several reasons. 

One of those reasons was BIRTHDAYS! 

It's been Lauren's 16th birthday, Katie's 13th birthday, me and my twin sister's 40th birthday along with my Mum, Mother-in-law and Father-in-law all having birthdays in February, March and early April. (And Mother's Day too!)

At the beginning of March, my sister and I went away to North Wales for 5 days rest and peace. I've been in need of a time away for a while to get away from the constant busyness of life with complex disability and 3 kids. It was a good time away, we did what we wanted when we wanted with none of the usual constraints of our respective home lives.

I then had the next two weekends out with different friend groups celebrating my birthday with meals out and watching 'Beauty and the beast' at the cinema too.

The last weekend I spent with my other sister and Katie at her place in the New Forest and doing the 'Go Ape' course which was good fun, despite me realising my upper body strength is not as strong as it was the last time I did this!!