The summer photographs fell out of the cupboard as I was looking for something else. I sat down with them on my lap and looked through every single one of them. The first packet contained all the pictures from Crete in early July, our first trip of the year. I looked pale, thin and like someone who'd just gone through the mill, of course, I had! The last two years could have been the end of me and at times that's how bad I felt. Endless bouts of surgery, pain, sickness, hospitalization and being artificially fed. At one point, I had so many tubes, wires and gadgets attached to me, I could have been in a horror movie. Then there were uncertain thoughts of the future for both myself and family.
There's not much that I do actually remember, lying in that hospital bed. I do remember some bad things but I was asleep for most of it, thankfully!
Boy! Did I really look as bad as that? When I came across a picture of myself on the balcony of our hotel, I shuddered, took a deep breath and quickly moved on to the next one which was equally as bad, and I thought I looked good on that trip!
I opened another packet, this time it was Crete in late July, our second trip! I looked much better I thought, but still not running on all engines. I still looked rather pale, thin and had come through the mill and out the back door. I had a slight tan in some of the pictures which made me look like a mummy, the Egyptian type, and they'd been dead for two thousand years! Ugh! I moved on swiftly to the next batch. This time was more recent, a trip to Skiathos in late August. One by one I looked at every photo, "I'm a Babe" I thought! I looked so much better. I was tanned, slim, and having the time of my life. That girl was ready for a good time, and I had! If I put the three packs of pictures together, you'd hardly realise that I was the same person. There I was staring at my recovery with every picture, a kind of diary in paint and colour.
I guess the moral of the story is: You can get better no matter how bad you feel. I thought my world had ended, that I would never recover and that scleroderma had finally got the better of me. "Look at me now" I thought! I beat that and I'll beat it again. I feel on top of the world and as for other problems, well, I still have my feeding tube but, hey! It's keeping me alive! I can still moan but it's more to myself these day's, and if I'm feeling blue, I'll just get those pictures out and take a look in the mirror!