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It's a year ago this week...

... since I came home from Papworth Hospital carrying a device in a navy blue case that would change my life - although not quite in the way I'd anticipated it would.

My CPAP was supposed to sort out my chronic exhaustion, to deal with the sleep apnea and let me get a good night's sleep. But a year, on I am still overwhelmingly exhausted...

... but this time for all the right reasons.

At the time, I think I posted on Facebook something along the lines of 'Dear World, they fixed me. I am not responsible for the consequences.'  A bit silly perhaps, given the very minor thing that being issued with a CPAP was.  But now, a whole year later, I'm starting to get a inkling of what those consequences might be.

Life has changed out of all recognition.  There are days when I look in the mirror and can't work out who is looking back at me.  Rachel Lewis or some strange unknown creature who possesses a degree of confidence where none previously existed.  A woman who has ambitions, has dreams and isn't so much fearful of failure, but is struggling slightly with a new and unfamiliar thing...


...and a significantly smaller arse.

'I couldn't possibly' and 'I can't' has been replaced with 'what if  I could' and 'I might be good at something.' What if I follow these ambitions one step at a time and see how many doors I can push open, can I deal with it if I succeed to some degree?

Life is exciting and life is chaotic and exhausting, because I'm making up for twenty years lost time.  My days are long, I pack loads of stuff in, but it's all a little random still - it need a bit of focus and direction put on it.  I need some plans, I need some goals to work to and I need to make some time to make those plans.  They won't be that daunting, just a rough direction and one or two goals to keep me pressing on and stop me retreating back to who I was.

Can I go back to that person or have I irrevocably changed?  I suspect I have.  A dose of success is a very heady thing for someone who has never experienced it before and it feels quite an addictive commodity.  Please sir, I want some more!

So thank you Papworth, you did fix me.  You gave me a little grey box that unwittingly unlocked more than a good night's sleep.  It's unlocked me.  The REAL me.  The me that was there all along, squashed down under so much physical and emotional baggage.

So perhaps I could say thank you by not squandering any opportunity that comes my way and not being afraid of where being fixed takes me.

And also urge everyone else.  If you're having trouble sleeping for heaven's sake go to your Doctor.

...it can change your life.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
So wonderful to read this!

My CPAP changed my life, too.
Jul. 16th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
That is brilliant. I'd quite forgotten what an ordeal you'd been having last year, because as you say, your life (and yourself, too!) have changed beyond all recognition. I know how bad it feels to be a couple of hours down on sleep for a couple of nights at a time, with the occasional bad night with almost no sleep, but to be having endless sleepless nights must be utterly soul-destroying. The hospital did a grand job!

Jul. 16th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
Quite inspiring! Love it!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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