I was pretty excited about my birthday coming up. With the thought of family time, BBQing and just the usual birthday fun. I guess I didn’t really expect the day to be a massive challenge both physically and mentally. But I guess this is expected when there is just no getting away from such debilitating symptoms. This means even special days can quickly turn into a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
Getting downstairs is a challenge in itself for me. Luckily my family have got the hang of making very little noise .. It’s definitely become a ‘Beth ear friendly’ household.
I opened presents and helped make brownies (by this I mean measure out and mix a few things up) .. Cooking is my favourite but this has become almost an impossible task for me. My parents help me in every way they can, at least allowing me to try and have some kind of independence. They are good like that.
Just doing this was far too much for my dizzy head so I was back to bed by midday. I woke up to more beautiful presents and delicious smelling brownies .
However, I was struggling to accept that I was stuck upstairs and I couldn’t help but think about what I could and SHOULD be doing on my 25th birthday. This time last year I was still experiencing symptoms but not as severe as what they are now. I could still go out and socialise and have a good time. In fact I even managed to go out for a lovely meal with this wonderful bunch:
This year, everything has changed. I realise how limited my life has become which is tough to deal with.
But anyway, I put on a brave face and forced myself back downstairs at the end of the day, as I was determined to blow out my candles and make a much needed birthday wish! At the same time Tom and his friend got home from a 26 mile bike ride, part of their training for their big fund raising cycle (how exciting). Awesome boys!
I was also reminded by a best friend of mine to remember to focus on the positives from the day – and not dwell on what I can and can’t do. This is SO important to do when you are in my kind of situation. So what were my positives?
Firstly, it had to be when my family made me believe that they had bought me a real life tortoise for my birthday. Turns out it was just a plastic one put in a shoe box but it will definitely be one of those moments i’ll never forget! Hopefully i’ll get a real one next year.
Yeah, this doesn’t even look real does it..
Secondly, was getting such perfect gifts from my friends and family. I certainly felt the love! I even got gifts from two amazing ladies I’ve met through support groups. One of which lives all the way across the pond and also suffers with SSCD. I could not be without these two special people on this journey and I am forever grateful for having them in my life.
Finally, was ‘making’ and eating brownies. Simple as!
For the recipe click here
So not quite a ‘normal’ birthday for me…no i wasn’t able to go for drinks or food with my friends, or go shopping to treat myself to new things – but I know this is not forever, and for now I have learnt to enjoy and appreciate what I can do, and not focus and what I can’t. I’ll be back to dancing the night away one day..
And there you have it. A birthday full of ups and unexpected downs. With people reminding me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that age 25 will bring me along some luck … (is has too, right?!)