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  • montanafillingham

Temporary heartache

I've had an emotional few days.

The first thing may seem small to some of you in the grand scheme of things, but it matters to me. I had to say a temporary farewell to Vincent, my cat. I first got Vincent when I was going through a difficult time after another hurdle life had thrown my way. The crux of it was I was attacked, and while I talk about it openly - because I refuse to be ashamed of something that was beyond my control - I will spare you the details for today. After the fact however, I didn't just fall down the rabbit hole I dove head first. Once again my wonderful family surrounded me with nothing but love, but when they had to go home and I was living alone I started having panic attacks along with bouts of terrible anxiety, that some days prevented me from stepping out my front door. Anyone who knows me well will tell you how out of character that is.

It took a fair while to reclaim my life. I had counselling and I will forever be grateful to one wonderful lady and a brilliant charity called Mind - but a big part of my recovery was Vincent. I was living in a small basement flat. It was secure and not in an awful part of town, but I just didn't feel safe. Cue Vincent Moon. This little bundle of black fur who'd gone through the ringer himself. A rescue cat, suspicions of abuse and then abandoned. I never understood - and still don't - how anyone could have been cruel to this, or any animal. We got on from the first moment.

The first night he curled up and slept with his head on my neck, like a little cuddly toy. He showed he trusted me and I felt honoured that this little thing with his ickle paws felt safe with me. Vincent was a different kind of therapy. He made me laugh, gave me fairly constant love (except when grumpy) and he was a reason and responsibility to get up each day. He was only a tiny black cat but he made me feel safe again. My little panther guardian. Since then he's been my fierce familiar. A little pain in the arse at times but he's never once failed to cheer me up with a nuzzle, a head-but or even a surprise play attack. I'm very grateful to the staff who let him into the ward to show him I'm still somewhere. I know I'm soft in the head, but I like to think by seeing me in here he understands I can’t come home to him. He curled up in the nearest corner of the carrier to me and nuzzled my hand. I am also so grateful for the kindness of the King family, who are currently fostering my little boy until I can have him again. I miss him. I'm hopeful I'll be able to come home for Christmas and see him, and will use our separation as incentive to get better as fast as I can; but I know he's being well looked after in the mean time and that is so important to me.

However, after that was another 'see you soon' moment, and this was entirely different.

Some of you reading know me personally may also know my dad, Nick Budd. He has a heart condition, and he has been awaiting a complex surgery. Well that surgery happens tomorrow. I know; my timing was less than desirable.

My Dad conditions is called Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. The centre musculature of his heart has grown so large it obstructs the blood flow leaving the heart to circulate the body. It is often termed ‘sudden death syndrome’, as this is one of the main ways you find out you have it. You simply drop dead. Dad was lucky that it was diagnosed and a pacemaker was fitted to hopefully prevent this. I was 17 at the time, and not to start playing my tiny violin, but the last 9 years haven't been easy living with this. The financial implications were one thing - I was about to move to uni when his job role had to change, which chopped our family income in half - but the worst thing has always been seeing my dad feeling crap and not being able to help, plus seeing him frustrated with himself for an illness he couldn't help having. Sometimes tensions and emotions have run high, but we've always managed to pull it together, and now we all have to again. Dad's condition had been slowly worsening, with his breathing being the main problem, and his doctors decided that the best fix would be open heart surgery to cut away the obstructing muscle, repair a valve and ensure the arteries were providing good blood flow. It’s a lot, but I trust in them.

Both my parents have worked so hard for me and my brother our entire lives. They have supported and loved us through everything. All I've been thinking about the past few months is ways to do that for them.

At the moment I don't care about my legs, my back or any of it. Of course I never intended to be in a car crash, and of course I wish it hadn't happened, but at the moment the absolute worst thing about this shit show is not being by his side. Not being able to hold his hand, like he has mine, and reassure him that it's all gonna be okay. And of course, to not be with my family; to be a complete supportive unit around him. Dad's recovery is also going to be long (not as long as mine dad, beat you there!), which means I won't be able to see him and hug him for a while. Needless to say that is pretty crushing.

No parent is perfect, no person is; but mine are my best friends.

I cried a lot of hot angry tears, sending him off home without being able to go with him. Angry at the world, angry at myself, - just angry. I know he is in the best hands possible, but though the thought is some comfort once again I'm not the doctor in this. I can’t be objective and calm. I'm not in control. That man having surgery tomorrow is my Daddy, and like any loving relative I just want him to be okay and know I love him. But he does know. And he knows I'm with him. Right beside him with all of my will and spirit and determination. And most importantly with Hope, Faith and Love. Hope that he'll be okay. Faith that he is strong and has so many people rooting for him. Love; all my love and the love of everyone who knows what a good man he is; even when he's a grumpy walrus.

I know I've asked a lot of you tribe, but tonight all I ask is whatever your practice... Prayers, Positive vibes, Asking kindness of the universe, Well wishes, Healing energies... send them to my daddy.

I'm right there with you Dad. And so many more have you in their thoughts.

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