Campervan bought, initial plan made and I set off from Nelson with enthusiasm! A couple of hours’ driving and one night in a Nelson Lakes camping ground later, I woke up with agonising pain, asked for help and called an ambulance: they thought I might have appendicitis, so rushed me back to Nelson hospital…in a helicopter. It turned out to be kidney stones, diagnosed by ultrasound after a morphine-hazed day filled with pain and vomiting and exhaustion. Everyone who looked after me that day was amazing, from the unsuspecting campers whose car I approached in the morning to ask for help, to the ambulance and air ambulance men, nurses and doctors and my lovely friends who came to visit and put me up in their house again! Never had a stay in hospital before this…never been in a helicopter before (though I wasn’t entirely appreciating it; the funny side of which I was actually well aware of through the pain)!
So, ALL my stuff except the clothes on my back and my valuables was two hours’ drive away, I was back where I’d started and I had discomfort plus nausea, stomachache and headaches: a feeling of frustration compounded by having just been held back for weeks by injury. The first couple of days though I could deal with. Then five days after it had started the pain intensified again with a vengeance and I hit a low point in my mind like I haven’t had for months. I describe it as paralysis because, for anyone who’s never had depression so doesn’t know: that is what it does to you. It only lasted a day but I recognised it like an old friend. At the end of the day I was snapped out of it because I wasn’t in the house on my own, and I somehow managed to go for a short walk to clear it a little.
Write it down… no paper next to me!!
Back of an envelope will have to suffice
Can’t move physically, just have literally no desire to move
Not hungry or thirsty all day
Acute pain in my side
Very little ability to contact people
Waiting for a response that I know isn’t going to come
Have i done the wrong thing
How am i going to survive camping if i get like this
Just want to sleep and not face it all
Want to be stuck here
Don’t want to get out
Want time to stand still, yet go quick at the same time
The next day I finally actively researched more things to really look after myself, made a list and got up and did every one of them, because I’ve learned that it’s being kind to yourself in all sorts of ways that helps to overcome depression.
You have to take responsibility for your own happiness, meaning that only you can change what your thoughts are doing to you, no-one else can do it for you. Understanding what they’re doing though is key to that!