A bit of an overly honest update for you this time.

Sorry.

Alongside the following, there have been many blessings in my ministry which if you follow me on social media you will have seen. I will share a few more at a later date. The encouragement I get in ministry is wonderful.

It’s hard to be honest sometimes though, because so many other people are struggling. Other people have it worse than me – a lot worse, so what reason do I have to complain? Therefore I rarely say anything.

I’ve been shielding, but in the last couple of months I had agreed to do two ‘in person’ things. These were events where good safeguards were in place and there were no children (I’ve been advised to avoid children!)

It’s scary though when some people won’t wear masks – especially when you know how much more disabled you could become as a result of getting the virus….but I’ve found many people away from my own church generally don’t consider that an issue.

The second was ok, but a little too squished for my comfort! (They did have windows and doors open though)

The new variant has now made me think more carefully – especially when you see advice from the World Health Organisation. It may not be an issue at all, but I’m glad I’ll have booster halfway through December.

But….

I have found through this last year that many people consider their right not to wear a piece of cloth on their face is more important than the continued ‘health’ of disabled/vulnerable people, therefore banishing us back into a personal lockdown.

I have complained very little about this within my own faith communities and chosen to be gracious to those who desperately need the freedom. But in doing so I have sacrificed my own needs – to my detriment.

Alongside ‘freedom day’ in the summer I could see my own health deteriorating. The state of the NHS made it impossible to do anything about it at that point.

Three weeks ago I finally got an appointment with a GP who was great. This was eventually followed by an emergency referral to the hospital and has been followed by the promise of a raft of tests, an MRI and another specialist appointment. They may take many months to come through.

I have two conditions that react badly to any infection, but I’ve never had a problem with vaccines in the past.

The consultant I saw last week felt the issue was my current conditions having what is often known as a ‘flare storm’ that has affected almost every part of my body. But they want to rule out any other causes – hence the battery of tests and a further appointment.

There is always a reason for these major flares.
When I’ve had them before it has been caused by an infection. But some others with the same conditions as me are reporting similar reactions to the vaccines. Not all, but some.

So, if this is a flare storm, have I had the virus and not realised it? (I regularly get flu like symptoms and random temperature spikes when pain levels are high, so this is not an unreasonable thought), or is it a reaction to the vaccines?

We will probably never know.

Work carries on as normal. It’s a beacon of hope in my life at the moment, along with the people I work with (The Additional Needs Alliance core team have been a life saver).

Both Steve and myself miss people. Normal face to face conversations that are not about work. We miss church and the people we would normally connect with.

One frustration I have is not being able to exercise. Because I have chronic illnesses I am not entitled to regular physio, so pre-pandemic I would go to the ‘disabled swim sessions’ at our local leisure centre. This meant I could safely do exercises in the water. I’ve been without these since March 2020, and the local leisure centres are refusing to bring them back.

Could you pray they change their mind? (UPDATE: They didn’t, I’ve ended up spending out on a private club – but it’s far more accessible, MUCH cleaner, the staff treat me like a human, and there’s plenty of space in the pool…..and they provide the towels too 😆)

Pray also for my eyesight – the double vision, blurring and nystagmus are much worse. I have all the right gadgets to keep going (And still knitting/crocheting – you just go for the higher of the two stitches 😆), but it’s really annoying!

I’m aware of how full of the negatives this is, but as people who pray for us – you need to know.
Thank you for your prayers!

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