Life – What’s going on?

You might think I’m crazy, but I’m grateful for what’s happened since August 6th; I’m pleased I’ve had the opportunity to experience not only who’s really there for me in life but also what’s the most important things about life, hopefully early on.

The friends, family and customers who have shown so much support is overwhelming. I hope I can return the favour to everyone in one way or another.

One thing it has taught me especially is how I may have been slightly over doing it and trying to fit a bit too much in! So from now on Amy and I are only going to be taking bookings together, so we can always be supporting each other and also only 20 weddings a year instead of 50+.

For those who don’t know what happened, well I don’t really know where to start, so I guess the beginning is the best place.

Saturday August 6th 2016,

I woke up early to get ready for the wedding and to make sure I had time to get there with plenty of time remaining – just incase!

All was going well with the wedding and nothing was out of the ordinary, I had a bit of a head ache (but that was normal). Then it all changed. I was taking the posed photos of just the couple and I suddenly had quite possibly the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my head. I brought the photos to an end -(not wanting to say how I was feeling) and we all drove back to the venue. I waited until I was out of sight of anyone as I didn’t want to cause a scene. Thats when a couple of guests I knew saw me; I was sick and they looked after me. Anna&Tom all I can say is Thank you but that will never be enough! Thinking it was heat stroke I felt stupid for not drinking more water that morning. Amy was called and she got there and took over from me in record time – considering she was 1 and 1/2 hours away! Amy I am forever in your debts for your quick thinking and abilities.

Tuesday August 9th 2016

3 days of feeling like I was being shot repeatedly in the head, Mum rang my doctor who came out immediately and she got an ambulance for me to Exeter Hospital – This was something I thought was ridiculous but I went with it as I wasn’t in much of a state to be arguing. Turns out my Doctor knows what she’s doing. After a CT scan I was sent to Derriford hospital via a blue light ambulance, told that once I was there they would be operating at once as I had a brain haemorrhage/bleed on the brain and due to the fact it was at the back of my brain where the vision is, I most likely would have seriously impaired vision. I’m not sure if it was the fact it hadn’t sunk in properly or the morphine, but surprisingly I was taking anything they said very well.


After weeks of being in Derriford I still hadn’t been operated on, just a lot of scans and morphine given to me! Turns out I had an AVM in my brain.screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-14-49-40

Apparently this is something I was born with, and where it is in my brain is a very tricky part to treat without causing damage and mainly due to my age no surgeon wanted to hurt me. The bleed/avm was causing me to have seizures and these had enough consequences of their own.

Finally I was feeling a little better so I was sent home – still with the AVM but told to rest and wait for a plan to be sorted.

At home I had further seizures and then another bleed to the brain. The second bleed was probably was worst memory I have from the last few months…I was at home in my bedroom, and then I’m screaming because I felt paralysed. I was crying because of the pain and then I was being sick. Mum I’m sorry for scaring you, I was trying my very best not to! The ambulance couldn’t have been quicker at getting to me and there I was off to hospital again, with another bleed. I stayed In hospital for weeks once again, then one doctor decided something need to be done and got me sent to Bristol Southmead hospital, via a blue light ambulance. Again I was told that once I was there they would be operating at once and again I could have seriously impaired vision afterward. However instead when I got to Bristol I stayed in for weeks whilst they came up with a plan.

Then I came home, being told that I’d be back there again soon for an embolisation of the AVM… This procedure involves an injection of ‘glue’ into the AVM in order to block it off. The result is that the flow of blood through the AVM is blocked off. When there is no longer any blood passing through an AVM, there is no further risk of bleeding.

Tuesday 4th October 2016

Today was my ‘Pre Op’ appointment at Bristol hospital. Dad drove Mum and I there. I went into the appointment with my surgeon for the embolisation. I was feeling pretty strong and with a good ‘what will be will be’ attitude. I’m not saying this was wrong but I was soon tested. I was informed the operation was going to be Friday 14th and the downsides to this treatment was that it could cause another bleed to the brain, loss of vision or a stroke. I know by now I should’ve been used to hearing these potential problems but I’d never had an exact date for it to take place, met the surgeon who would carry it out, and hearing her say what the risks where and there likelihood of them hit home like a tonne of bricks for the very first time. When we got home from Bristol I went on a photoshoot with Amy, as it was to a place I truly love and I knew it was the last time I might be able to see it before my vision was impaired.

Friday 14th October 2016

Operation day! I was told It all went well-but I have no memory of that, from looking in my diary I see I wrote… ‘It was wonderful to come round and be taken back to my ward where my mum and sisters were waiting.’ I’m so pleased I kept a diary through October so I’m able to see what happened from my point of view-not just from what Mum tells me. I thank my lucky stars for the fact I have been ever so lucky so far and that this operation went smoothly and hopefully this means good things will come.

The next part is London where they are going to do Radiosurgery. This radiation causes the AVM to close off over a period of 2-3 years and hopefully it will get rid of the AVM once and for all – I can but hope!

So now I wait, wait for the next stage on this ‘Adventue’/’Journey’ call it what you like but I’m ready for the challenges that it comes with!

London.. Bring it on!

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(Outside the Institute of Neurology – London)

 

Mum – Not only are you my mother, you’ve been my carer, my best friend and support system. The bond we have is one I cherish and ‘Thank you’ doesn’t say anything close to what I want to say. The last months might not be ones you’d like to repeat and I don’t blame you, you’ve seen me worse that you’d ever wish but I thank god for giving us this chance to connect more than ever and when again are we going to be able to spend 3 solid months together? Thank you.

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(How you’d often find Mum in hospital – Sat by me knitting & smiling!)

Dad – Down to your hardworking attitude you’ve given Mum the ability to take months off work and look after me, we left you to fend for yourself whilst I was constantly going into hospital and you were always there, ready and waiting to drive me home. What ever happens next, remember I’ll always be your Princess. Thank you.

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(Nearly home after the first time coming back from Bristol Hospital.)

Amy – What would I have done without you? You took over running a business that you had only been working for as an apprentice for a year. You’ve kept things running just as I would’ve done – if not better! You’ve also not only turned from an employee to a colleague but also a best friend. Thank you.
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(The hospital turned into a office the first time Amy came to visit.)

This says it all really…”Our wedding day was magical and Amy and Sophie were a dream, we think Amy’s like you in many ways she’s funny and sweet. Sophie was a darling either running for the umbrellas, sorting my dress out, holding my bouquet etc. Really invaluable, the day just goes so quickly, they were snapping away but in such an unobtrusive way, we cant wait to see the pics now. All i can say is that on the day they were great so you can be rest assured the ‘Emily Fleur photography’ flag is still flying high.”

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Siblings – I may dish all of you ‘banter’ 95% of the time but you’ve all been the best support for Mum, Dad, Amy and I. Your text messages, visits and phone calls have been whats kept me going throughout this time. Hopefully I’ll be able to repay you as a baby sitter for the nieces and nephews soon! Thank you.

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Bridget – (Image taken the week after I was out of hospital.)

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Ali – (A photo I was sent whilst in hospital. Unfortunately for Ali she always visited whilst I was at my worst so I don’t have any of her with me or in hospital.)

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Ross – (Taken whilst I was in Bristol Hospital and Ross came in to visit on the way back from buying sheep up country.)

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Lucy – (Taken in Bristol just after she surprised me by coming back from New Zealand.)

Giles – Pretty sure I’ve said it all a lot of times. But your hospital visits to Exeter and Bristol, you’ll never understand how much they meant. I don’t want to make your head any bigger so I will save the rest of saying how amazing you were for another time. Thank you.

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(There must be something about when farmers come to visit!)

 

 

 

 

A photo diary of the last few months..

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(The first time going outside properly – little bit bright!)

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(Going out on a photoshoot with Amy after months of not even seeing the cameras!)

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(Trying to get use to being out again by having lunch in Sainsbury’s.)

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(Going out to a local comedy night and seeing everyone again.)

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I think all I want to finally say is,

‘Stay smiling!’

Em

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Emily Fleur Photography
Oatnell Farm
Thorndon Cross
Okehampton

Tel. 07828 053265

All text and images
© Emily Fleur Photography 2018