benefits, Blue badge, Disability, Health and politics, Invisible illness, Mama mifsud blog, Media, Perception

A system worth saving 

So I am one of the lucky ones. I see where tax payers money goes, and how well it can be used when put into the right hands. I’m currently sat waiting for my second brain scan in 8 months. This year so far I’ve seen neurology, rheumatology, cardiology, urology, dermatology, stroke and clinical immunology specialists. I have had the time and advice of occupational therapists and physiotherapists. I’ve had litres of blood and other stuff tested by microbiology. Ive had ct and mri scans, ultrasounds and been constantly monitored. I’ve seen my GP and nurse more than most people see them in a life time. The NHS is a beautiful thing when you genuinely need it.

I recently heard a phone in on the radio about the NHS, and amongst the callers was an aging trucker. He called in complaining about contributing to the NHS with his tax. I kinda understood where he was coming from, he was an ‘overweight but fit man’ in his words, and hadn’t seen a doctor in his 52 years on this planet. It got me thinking though. What if he had an accident on his travels? What if he developed a heart condition? What if all those cigarettes he smoked gave him cancer? Of course I would never wish those things, or anything else for that matter on my worst enemy, but we never ever know what is a round the corner. Thats why we pay into the NHS regularly, to give us all a net to catch us if the worst news hits. Can you imagine having a life changing accident and getting a bill when you finally go home? Or having a heart attack and not being able to afford the medication that will keep you alive for your family?

It upsets me deeply that people can be so short sighted when they think about government spending. So many seem to only consider the self and the what do I get instantly  in return for my money? We are a civilisised, developed society and we pay into a set of ideas and beliefs, that we are supposed to share. The right to feel safe and cared for. The right to education and a home. The right to healthcare and a fair income. We’ve fought as a nation for these rights, and those that stand beside me still do, everyday.

It’s not about me, or you, it’s about the collective… Us all being able to support and care mutually for each other no matter what life throws at us. Yes, granted I take out more from this bank than the average 37 year old, and yes I feel guilty. I always keep my appointments, I always prepare for them to be as efficient as possible. I don’t ever take medication I don’t absolutely need. If there is another way to look after myself than using up their valuable time then I will do it. I look after myself as best as possibly can with diet and exercise.

I set the best example  I can to my children and those in my life. I use all the knowledge I have gained through two decades of serious illness to try help and direct people where I can, and share all that I have learnt. I try so desperately hard to do my bit and give it back somehow. To put something back into the pot when I take so much from it.
Do I want to be sitting here about to get freaked out that the Mri will see my darkest thoughts? hell no…. My brain may be ‘pristine and high functioning’  (got to get that in there!) but it’s terrifying. Every Mri, ct or ultrasound of my kidney, Heart and brain fills me with fear that they will somehow see something that’s explains everything and cuts my life even shorter.

My life will be shorter.

The prognosis for someone like me is not great, to get to 60 would be incredible, and anything past that will be a blessing. It changes everything when you accept that fact. Makes you want to be fierce and live. To take risks and push the boundaries of your life as far as possible. I have too little time on this planet to waste it, as I have done many days, in a vat of self pity, crying over crap that I can’t change.

I feel like a giant lightbulb switched on when I started writing, it’s truly helped me to put my entire life into perspective and grasp with sweaty,tired, aging  hands the strings of my future. I want to make every hour count. To not waste a drop of time wallowing in self pity that this is it. I’m still not entirely sure how to activate this plan fully, but for now taking each day and finding the brightness in it is enough. To make the small and big decisions that lead me on my path towards enlightenment, and peace. To value the sunrise and taste of my food, and the feel of my youngest daughters hands when she strokes my face.

It doesn’t always have to be profound .

I’m trying desperately to give my life meaning and direction, and I feel like I am winning finally. I am set on my path now, I will keep moving forward. Of course I will look back in reflection, and sometimes sadness, grieving all that I have lost along my journey, but I’m not going to dwell on all the could have been anymore. I am not naive enough to think that there will be no more dark days, but you can’t appreciate and value the light without the darkness, so I guess that I am ok with that.

This is my life.

I am lucky.

I am grateful to have it.

Thank you NHS.

In return, i will never quit in the pursuit of happiness and finding my perfect place…. I feel like it’s just beyond the horizon. I love that I have found a sense of purpose for the first time in so long, and I’m clinging onto it with all my might. As I do so, naturally doors are opening, as the world shifts around me. I feel like for the first time in an age I am the centre of my own universe, and all that happens is caused by my gravitational pull. That I am the light that keeps my own world shining,  revolving and growing.

I have well and truly taken the power back from the darkness.

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