Health · lifestyle

Improvisation is the key..

Wow..Its been a while!

First off, sorry for being so quiet on my blog. I’ve needed some time to put my health first and get some things straight following my recent PCS diagnosis.

Following the events that have unfolded since my last post, the idea of writing this post popped into my head yesterday. So here I am.

I’m due to finish uni in a few weeks. I’ve done pretty well to keep up with my assignments since my accident at the end of January. To the point where I’m extremely proud of myself. The grades I’ve received on them couple of bits of work haven’t been quite as high as previous pieces of work..But that was to be expected.

My dissertation has been put back to Summer, which I am so thankful for. It’s enabled me to concentrate on other pieces of work and do my best in them plus I have field data to collect and not being able to drive for over 2 months put a complete stop to that!

So with all assignments done and after nearly 3 months since my accident I was able to attend uni again for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I survived! My tutor, lecturers and our head of HE have been amazing and so have my friends, it was lovely to see them all again.

So I’ve been to as many lectures as has been physically possible since then and its been nice to get a small amount of normality back (even if it results in symptom flare ups or a day in bed). However, I’ve been faced with making a lot of (very tricky) decisions. The main one, do I think I can do well enough if I sit my final year exams, or do I need to suspend for a year?

I hate blowing my own trumpet, but I’ve been so proud (and surprised!) At how well I’ve done in my first two years of uni and this year so far. However, my exams are worth a huge chunk of 3 of my modules, I would be devastated if it all went wrong at the final hurdle. But I so desperately want to finish this year (I need a break from education for starters!) and graduate with all my friends..

So here I am, 9 days before my first exam, TRYING to revise. Revision is tricky enough, but when you’ve missed over 2 months worth of lectures, my god THAT is tricky! But I started last week and I’m doing much better than I thought with it and I’m determined to give it a good go! If worst comes to worst and I am unable to do them and have to put them off, at least I’ve tried!

Last month my thoughts turned to what happens when I finish uni. I had THE most exciting opportunity waiting for me in June after being chosen as the month long resident volunteer for the RSPB’s Peregrine Falcon Project. If you follow me on social media you’ll know how excited I was about this. But if you read my last blog post about my PCS diagnosis, I’m sure you will see why it’s not going to be possible to do the internship anymore. Making this decision broke my heart and I just felt like I was having to miss out on so much because of this crappy diagnosis (I still often get days where I feel like this and probably will continue to do so for a while to come).

But between these days, you get times where you realise you’ve just got to work out what you CAN do and not dwell on what you can’t. So, when my next thought was something along the lines of (but probably more explicit than) ‘oh my bloody God, how am I going to do a job, let alone get into my dream career, which is the whole reason I have gone to uni!?’ I luckily had one of them – think of what you CAN do days.

So I started looking for jobs I’d be able to do at home, these often involve a computer which is a no no regarding PCS symptoms. Plus, I’ve worked so hard at uni because I desperately WANT to work with animals. I’d be miserable doing something which wasn’t something I was at least a little bit passionate about. Then a bright idea hit me and I started looking into whether it was possible..

And I’m pleased to say, for when uni is finished, I’ve joined a company in Cornwall as a live-in pet sitter! After nearly 3 months of almost constantly being stuck in my house, this took a lot of courage to go for. I’ve lost a lot of confidence and have got a lot more nervous in certain situations, mainly through lack of being around people. But, life can’t stop because you have been given a potentially long-term health diagnosis. I will still need money when I leave uni, I will need to do something to keep me sane and my symptoms will not allow for a 9-5 job and will certainly not allow for the energetic, long hours and potentially stressful conservation based career I want to get into. However, this is just something I can’t do YET. In the future, I will be able to.

Until then, this type of job enables me to choose how much I am physically able to work, will be stress free and if we’re being honest, who wouldn’t be more than happy looking after animals for a living?! 🐢❀

My mum said something to me when I told her I’d found this opportunity ‘no one can say you don’t try Kayleigh. I know plenty of people who would have given up, but you have kept going the whole way through’ that was enough to know I was doing the right thing ❀

In the mean time, health wise I am slowly starting to learn ways to manage my symptoms a little better. I still have a lot of bad days and struggle with the simplest of things which is infuriating. But I have my first specialist appointment with a neurologist on Monday, so I’m hoping things can only get better and I’m feeling positive about what the future holds! 😊

So..what do you do when you think everything has gone, to put it politely, tits up? You improvise! I may not be coming out of uni and going into my dream job..But I have found an answer. You think of the things you CAN do and not get caught up in what you can’t.

Because one day, they will also be the things you can do.

Until next time..


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