I had this amazing trip booked, all paid for in full, and extra trips within this sorted and paid for... but then every holiday-makers worst nightmare happened. I had to cancel it. Cue heartbreak, tears, and tantrums. I cried and cried as much as my eyes could, but I had no choice. The holiday was off. *sad face*
Think Southern Italy, Capri, Rome, and Pompeii. The excitement level? Unreal. I had it all pictured in my head - all of the outfits, the food and drink, the Instagram pictures... So as you can imagine, when I found out I could no longer go, I was utterly depressed. But, looking back, I now realise I had a decent enough reason to cancel last minute. Welcome to the story of how I nearly died.
Yes, those are three words I never thought I would say. I have got through eighteen years of life without anything more dramatic than a plaster on my knee - and to be honest, I was too scared about peeling them off after a bath so I rarely had one. So when I get told my lung has been completely flat for about a month and I needed to stay overnight in hospital to have it inflated again via a tube inserted into my side - yes I cried and panicked a lot. Think Kim Kardashian loosing her earring in the ocean style panic. That was me. But hey, it was only an overnight stay and I would be fine to go home the next day right - so in true woman style, I sucked it up, and just did it (that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to cry my way through though). By midnight, I'm lying in my hospital bed, with a small tube coming out of my side allowing me to blow bubbles into a tank. The next morning should be an x-ray to see that my lung is back to normal, tube out, go home. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
my series of meltdowns
Imagine someone who hates needles... like REALLY hates needles. Yeah, I'm on that list. Anything stabby - can't handle it. I was told the following day that my lung had not inflated overnight, therefore I needed to remain in hospital until it did so. Also meaning that this tube had to stay in, and suction needed to be added to help my body out a bit. Long story short : one overnight stay, turned into nine days and emergency surgery. I'll spare the gruesome details of my alternate Italy trip, but lets just say I have never experienced pain like it (even older women on the ward said they would prefer childbirth). Because of this, I had to have blood tests every day, an IV in my hand that constantly fell out, and two huge drains coming out of me after an operation. Yes, it got to a point where I was so fed up and uncomfortable that I cried and cried - mostly to the AMAZING nurses, all night long. I thought I was never going to re-inflate.
The light at the end of the tunnel (kinda)
Thankfully, the operation was a success, and even though I had to loose a bit of my lung in the process - I was able to go home and recover with the help of family and friends. Italy did have to be postponed, but it just means I'll be able to extend my trip (yay!)
For now, I am walking further and further each day. Yeah, I had to basically learn how to walk all over again, and being a gym-freak, surfer, and hiker, this also caused a few tantrums. Part of me is super excited because I now realise I was hiking, surfing, and driving miles off one lung, which means my body is healthy, but part of me will always be conscious of looking after myself from now on.
"Italy isn't going anywhere" - the wise words of my mum
everything happens for a reason
And I strongly believe that. Lots of people probably don't, and that's fine. But if I got on that plane and started my journey to Italy, it's likely I wouldn't have made it there - let alone made it back home. Emotional sentence aside, I have learnt that it is so important to listen to your body and to take the right action when you get signalled. It also made me realise how many amazing people I have in my life. I was heartbroken that my Italy trip was put on hold - but as my mum kept reminding me, "Italy isn't going anywhere".