On the cusp of my forties, I was just beginning what would be a decade long battle with ulcerative colitis. I was fatigued, losing blood and scared as hell of what the future held for me. I was struggling to work and do much more than just survive. I ended up taking 6 months off of work (thankfully I could get a 6-month leave when I worked for the government) hoping that would restore some health. It didn’t.
Ulcerative colitis continued to be front and centre. I was hospitalized twice in an 18-month period once because the disease was trying to kill me and the second time because the cure was worse than the disease. Add in 5 years of being bullied at work and I was a mess. I was on anti-depressants for the first time in my life. As well as a major dose of another anxiety drug. I needed to sleep a minimum of 12 hours a night and if I didn’t get it, I had a hard time functioning. Finally in August of 2013 I was off work and not sure I would ever get back.
Fast forward 16 months (not much tell about my time off work because I barely left the house) and I realized that my dream of working for myself was never going to happen. I lack the motivation to do anything unless I have a deadline. I just couldn’t impose them on myself. When I decided to start looking for work, I had to make myself work for 10 minutes on my resume per day. Thankfully it didn’t take last long and I was applying for jobs. I started one in January of 2015.
Now on the cusp of my fifties, I feel better than I have in years. I no longer need 12 hours sleep at night. I actually woke up this morning after only 8.5 hours. My hemoglobin is steadily climbing out of the low territory it has inhabited for years (anemias of chronic disease was the official diagnosis). I am almost off one of my anti-anxiety meds with no increase in anxiety episodes. I have been noticing these little changes and daring to hope they were going to add up to something big. And here we are.
We have been in Vancouver since Monday when I had my marathon 3.5-hour specialist appointment. Given that today is our 8th wedding anniversary and that I have to be at an early training session tomorrow morning. We found a reasonably priced hotel. We are staying at the Sheraton Wall Centre. Here is what we have done in some particular order:
- Got lost trying to find the ‘Rapid Access Clinic’ in St. Paul’s hospital. WE went to the Thurlow building when we needed to be in the Burrard building. For those of you who have ever spent time at St. Paul’s what is it about the elevators? Some of them only seem to run every 10-15 minutes. It was bizarre. Also everyone seems to be running there plus there were tons of people.
- We had dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was very good. I had the ever-reliable tenderloin steak, which was outstanding. Deb had a salad and a vegetarian panini. There were zero vegetarian options on the menu and she had to ask what they could do for her. It seems strange in a city like Vancouver that there would such a dearth of vegetarian options.
- We went swimming last night at the hotel. It was great. I swam several lengths and then chilled in the hot tub. I was trying to teach Deb how to sit and balance on a flutter board under water. I am nowhere near as graceful doing that as I once was. It was very relaxing. We were starving when we came back to the room and ordered nachos.
- I got up early and went to work early. I had a lot to do and I was able to get it done today. Work is feeling really good these days so I am a happy camper.
- Deb sent me a huge bouquet of flowers today at work. It is so nice to get flowers at work!
- Deb picked me at work and we went out for dinner. We had Japanese food!! It has been years, literally, since I have eaten Japanese. We had tempura vegetables and prawns. I had agedashi tofu, and miso soup. It was divine.
- Now we are back at the hotel watching Dancing with the Stars.
- Don’t forget to check out Derek Miller’s blog excerpts in this month’s Reader’s Digest.
 Squee!!! I cannot believe we have been married that long! It seems like just last year we achieved marriage equality. Although same-sex marriage has only been in legislation since 2005 (thank you Paul Martin and the Liberal Party of Canada) it seems much more recent. We did marry in the period between the court decision and the approval of the legislation.
 Not a boutique hotel.
 Considering I waited more than 6 months for my appointment I would challenge the ‘rapid’ part of that name!