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I have to share just how positive a  day I have had today and just how encouraged I am.

When I determine to keep this blog I promised myself that I would do my best to be open and honest no matter how raw it all got.  It was and still is important to me that others who suffer similar mental health issues to me got to see that they were not alone in this and I resolved to do my best to try to face my own difficulties as best I could in the hope that this would encourage others.

Of course the downside of being open and honest about things is that you do to some degree stand naked before all those who wish to take time to read what you are sharing and so if you are really struggling that struggle is very much on show and subsequently – should that struggling last a while – your blog runs the threat of becoming a downer.

It is therefore important, for a number of reasons, that when small victories come, you are just as willing to share them as you are the struggles and today certainly is a day of victory…

First and foremost I want to thank everyone who thought of me, messaged or emailed me and encouraged me or prayed for me as a result of my post last night and my sharing that I needed to attend my hospital appointment in Dublin today regardless of my being so very tired.  It really was so good to receive your comments and support and I can’t begin to tell you how much they were and are appreciated.

Sleep evaded me yet again last night, despite my being so very tired and despite my best efforts to lull it into blessing me with its presence, and so I didn’t actually get any sleep until sometime between 4 and 5 this morning.  Not tremendously helpful when you then have to be up and 7 but hey at least I got some sleep.

Matthew was great this morning and came in and gave me a lift to the rendezvous  point where I was to meet the Hospital transport minibus taking up to the hospital in Loughlinstown (just outside Dublin).

Hospital Transport, here in Ireland, for those of us on a limited income and who have frequent hospital visits is an absolute God send in many ways.  But it generally consists of a minibus ride there and back going from hospital to hospital en route and depending on the demand (and often the distance traveled) generally goes from busy to very busy and I am not exaggerating any when I say that the minibuses themselves tend to be older in design and a little on the small/cramped side.

So my being a very large guy I would have to say that whilst I am very grateful for the transport I also dread it in many ways and often view the whole experience as kind of like trying to stuff donkey kong into an already over-packed smurf house.

BUT, and I am so grateful for this, today there were only four of us on the minibus the whole way there and back! (Leaves chair and does a little dance in celebration) It really was wonderful…

No intensified self-consciousness as a result of my size and the small or cramped space, because there was plenty of space.

No lengthy delays as a result of having to wait for everyone to have their appointments or having to go to numerous hospitals en-route in order to drop or collect people.

No cramped conditions that increase my pain levels and leave me barely able to walk at the end of the journey.

It really was glorious and I am so grateful!

As for the actual hospital visit itself even more good news as I have lost some 3 kilo in weight since my last visit!  Again this is awesome in itself as I really was worried that I had gained.  So to learn that not only had I not gained but that I had even lost weight is so very encouraging.

On top of that, all my blood test results came back with very encouraging readings.  The new treatment that I have been waiting and wanting to start is part of a clinical trial and requires that a whole bank of blood tests are done each time I attend and the bloods that were taken the last two times I attended (and today’s) are used as a baseline for comparison against results once I am on the new treatment. Which brings me to the next piece of good news.

I started the new treatment today!

I am again delighted!  I can’t really go into too much detail as to what the treatment.clinical trial is as to be honest I don’t really know or understand it all.  But I do know that one part of it is to do with testosterone levels and their effects on obesity and quality of life.  There is of course much more to it than that but that is the part that I understood from all the medical-speak that was offered.

What I do know is that the treatment for me at least started today with my first injection and that so far I have notice no adverse side effects other than the needle which was delicately inserted into my posterior this morning and which I am convinced was even longer than the list of initials appearing after the doctor’s name.

Actually I hardly felt it and although it does take some time for the medicine to be fully injected it was not uncomfortable in any way.  The doctor, whom I like and get on with very well, did assure me that he had received no adverse reports concerning the injections so far and that next time he would inject me in the other side of my rear, alternating it each time so as to reduce the potential for discomfort.

I simply smiled and thanked him, advising him that as a Christian it would provide me with very real opportunities to “turn the other cheek”.

So as you can probably tell, I am very pleased with all this.

After seeing him and starting the new treatment I then went straight across to the next of my next appointments, (I should perhaps explain that I usually also see another doctor, a physiotherapist, a nutritionist and a psychiatrist) on these particular hospital visits and once again everything went extremely smoothly.  In fact I had finished seeing them all in record time and (thanks once again to the limited number of patients on the hospital transport minibus) was back home here in Enniscorthy by late afternoon.

A short taxi drive later and I managed to climb into bed and rest a little earlier this evening and at least enough for me to feel a little better physically.

Not much else to share about today really other than the fact that in respect of the navel bleeding, I have to consult my normal GP as he will have to treat it and make any necessary referrals and that I have to purchase and be fitted for a compression stocking for my leg – which is in a constant state of swollen.  But I shall do this once I can afford it – I am sure they don’t come cheap and that is something that I can deal with another time.

For now I am going to close this posting as I am still very tired and need to rest a little more, but I dd want to share the good news with you all about today and of course to thank each and every one of you for the kind words and support and encouragement and of course for your prayers.

I know that not everyone who follows this blog has a faith and I accept that for some, the good news that I have been able to share will simply be put down to good luck, or coincidence, or whatever but for someone like myself who does have a faith I cannot help but simply give thanks for it and to be so grateful that prayer works.  So much so that even despite my fears and my weaknesses I can today experience a really encouraging day!