Time Ticks On

I’ve been sat here for ten minutes looking at the screen but it appears my brain had run out of words! So this blog may be a bit bitty and all over the place as I’m just going to write it as it comes.

Things have been good, I started back at the gym after a lazy break! Truth is I just never got back into the swing after our holiday and then the sun appeared so I was spending gym time in the garden! It was going really well (my return to the gym that is, not garden time, although it was rather enjoyable) I found that I was actually able to run again without any pain. I felt so amazing when I ran 4km, I was happy all the way through, right to my bones. I’m lucky that my best friend is a Personal Trainer so she helps making sure I do all of the correct stretches before and after my marathon sessions. But then, like a lightening bolt, disaster struck. My right leg became swollen and really quite painful. It now hurts to walk let alone run so once again I’m in the garden and not the gym. I know I need to call my surgeon for advice or a check up. But what can he say? Don’t over do it, take it easy, rest your legs. But I’m so fed up of resting my legs (as much as I can in-between being a housewife and full time Mum to three darlings who are on summer holidays!) I am so desperate to just be able to do normal things without a constant fear in the back of my head that I’m going to do some damage.
Maybe I just need to get over it and accept that pain is the way of life now.
I haven’t built up the courage yet to make that call.

It’s been 10 months since I had the Ilizarov removed.
Time is a peculiar thing. You can’t stop it, you can’t fast forward it, it just keeps ticking by regardless. So even though the last ten months have felt like I’ve been zooming through life on a rocket, I’ve actually been cage-less for double the time I had it attached. And time with Ole Nicholas couldn’t have been any slower without actually stopping.

Sometimes I wonder if the accident changed me as a person. Physically obviously it did, and its still taking to time realise that. I need to remember that it’s not about what I can’t do, but what I can do and how well I can do it.
But mentally, emotionally? Do I think differently? Behave differently? Am I the same person?
In all honesty I just don’t know. Certain aspects of my life are hard at the moment and I don’t know if the way I am dealing with them is how I would have before. Sometimes I wish I could pause time for a little while just to be able to stop and think and rather than make choices because I have to then and there, and actually think about what I really want.

The Oxford Mail called me this week. It would seem its been a year since the court case. My memory had stayed shut to that particular event. Being made to think about made me realise that I can remember everything about that day, possibly with more clarity than the accident itself. The weather, the drive there, even what music I listened too whilst waiting. But what sticks most in my mind is the sound of him cheering at the verdict. In that single moment I realised what despair actually feels like.

People go through so much worse than I have and move on, so I’m not sure why I have the need to think about things so much. I’m not a hoarder with physical items in my life, yet with my thoughts and memories, I can’t seem to let them go.

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It’s All In Place

So off I trundled to the JR to find out to cause of my lump and pain. It was very bizarre sat there waiting surrounded by people with casts, boots and frames and being totally free myself. Two of the people waiting I have met a few times before in the waiting room, all with different stories but all with the same Ilizarov nightmare. We share an experience that is very hard to describe in words to others.

After two hours a few X-rays I was reunited with my nutty but brilliant surgeon. The good news is that my bone is completely healed, the plate is still in place and intact. Hooray! But the bad news is that the swelling and pain are caused ‘just because’. I may have twanged it when I slipped or my body may have just had enough of having a foreign object invading it. I’m to go back on March 4th if it hasn’t settled down to arrange a date to have the plate removed. In the grand scheme of things this is just a small bump (if you’ll excuse the pun) in the road that will hopefully be fixed relatively easily.

As everything appears to be as it should I am fine to carry on as normal so have been back to the gym this week. Feeling tired but good!

Our family finished it’s run of bad luck this week with James colliding with a pedestrian whilst cycling through London (said pedestrian decided to try and cross the road in front of him). The result was the pedestrian and James meeting the ground with a thump. James is now sporting a hole in his elbow and the hospital discovered a peace of bone floating around in there. It would seem its an old ‘injury’ though so no action to be taken!

Slip And A Slide

Things have been going really well …… and then the snow came.

With all the New Year enthusiasm I could muster I found a new love … the gym! I’ve been getting a sweat on, my joints working and heart beating with some work on the cross trainer, rowing machine, bike and treadmill. How have I not done this earlier? When someone is around to help I even manage a little walking backwards on the treadmill (where’s the reverse button?) – my physio would be proud! And together with some healthier eating and a swim twice a week I managed to lose 9lb. I have felt so incredibly healthy and happy!

And then came the snow.

I am not a fan. In fact I can quite happily say I hate it. And for almost a week it’s been coming and with it bringing then fear of god into me. Every step I take is taken with purpose and its safe to say that newly fixed bones do not like the cold. I’m a nervous wreck every time I step foot out of my front door and my worst nightmare came true last Tuesday whilst picking the boys up from pre-school.
Not even an ice rink is as slippery as the car park there. It’s a death zone! Had I left myself fall on my bum in front of the other parents and toddlers slipping and sliding maybe embarrassment would have have my only issue. However, as my right leg lost grip and slid out from under me, survival instinct kicked in and my left leg (held together with a metal plate and screws) slammed down rather heavily to steady the rest of me. This has resulted in a week in increasing pain, a limp, restless nights and a very irritable me. I relented last night and took a painkiller. Bearing in mind I was taking two of these four times a day and still functioning, last night just one little yellow and green capsule managed to knock me out. James asked me if it helped the pain. From the depth of my unconsciousness I can’t be certain but I had a good sleep if nothing else! He also reminded me that when I first started to take these painkillers they were an alternative to the morphine so compared to that (and those that visited me will no doubt have many a funny memory of me on morphine) they were smarties!
I’m hoping I’ve just badly bruised it somehow 😦 It’s extremely painful to touch, swollen and just doesn’t feel right. I’ve spoken to my surgeon and he is going to see me on Monday.
My gut is telling me that it is nothing serious but that doesn’t stop scary thoughts invading my head. Having metal in your body always holds the risk of problems, I just didn’t expect anything this soon.
Just when things felt so amazing, reality comes and smacks you with a snowball before you have a chance to duck.

I have my last counselling session coming up next week. This will take place at Sainsburys, in the spot where this story began. To this day I still haven’t driven that way in the car park, I go in the opposite direction and park over the other side. I don’t have a logical explanation. I know it won’t happen again but I just can’t make myself do it. If I am a passenger in a car and the driver travels that way fear still spreads through me like a virus when we pass the spot. I’m hoping that by facing it I will finally be able to let to of that fear.

I can’t believe that it’s been eight months. When I look bad it seems so utterly surreal.
Did it actually happen?
Despite the small issue with my leg at the moment I do feel that I am now waking up from what has been a bad dream.

3 Miles …. Done!

Twenty three weeks after breaking both of my legs I have walked over three miles and raised £300 for the Trauma unit that treated me. To say I feel proud of myself doesn’t even begin to explain it!
I am aware that I was never in danger of not walking again with the fractures I sustained, my legs were safe but the fears of how mobile I would actually be ran through me like ice. Living with an Ilizarov gives you independence whilst your fractures heal, however it’s a false sense of security. You develop a way of living and a certain mobility that just isn’t normal but it becomes your every day life so quickly. When the frame is removed, the security you spent so long building up is ripped away in an instant. My walking isn’t natural, every step is made purposefully and with care. I cannot risk twisting an ankle or losing my footing. I can’t bend my ankles like I could before.
Three miles isn’t far, but for me it may have been a walk to the moon.

It was a beautiful day and together with James, Rachel, Trevor and all of our gorgeous children we walked the three miles (plus a bit extra) around the grounds of Blenheim Palace. The beautiful countryside, amazing Autumn colours and the company of fantastic friends made it so much easier. The crutches were made redundant and a halfway pit stop and hot chocolate were enough to keep my legs going. The air was full of laughter and sunshine, the wind carried our smiles.
I am now sat with my legs elevated as the walk has taken it’s toll, they are swollen and painful but I would do it again in a heartbeat, the feeling of complete freedom was overwhelming.
And to know that I raised some money for a unit that helped me makes my heart smile.
You can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/thewonkywalkers

I am back at the hospital tomorrow for my first post-Nicholas check up. I can’t lie and say that I’m not anxious as I am. The wounds on the outside have healed well but it’s the inside that fills me with uncertainty. I have been pleasantly surprised that I am relatively pain free day to day when I am up on my legs but there is a deep throb and occasional shooting pain that rips through my bones. I rub my leg often to feel for any changes. I’m not sure what I expect, to feel a bone suddenly pop out? My mind plays tricks on my I am sure as I talk myself into thinking I have bumps where there shouldn’t be. Tomorrow and the power of xray will tell all there is to know.
I am more concerned about the numbness in my big toe. On the night of the accident my toe was excruciating if touched (the doctor who wiggled it retreated quickly as I screamed the ward awake). Xrays to my foot and toes showed they had escaped any fractures and after the operation the toe became numb and has remained that way. Unfortunately the numbness doesn’t prevent me from feeling the shooting pains of fire rip through my toe and foot. The numbess is starting to spread to the side of my foot which can’t be good. Nerve damage? Most likely. Fixable? Who knows.

If you fear something, the more you think about it the worse it becomes. The mind is such a wonderful amazing thing, but it can also be your worst enemy. Sometimes you need to just stop thinking and just do. That’s how I faced my fear of driving again, I jumped in and drove the three miles home from my mother in laws house. It was petrifying and exciting all at once. I have never been a confident driver and it will take time to build up the confidence that I did have, but at least I have made a start!

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost

2 Sleeps Down …… 12 To Go!!

It’s coming off on October 1st!!!!
The X-rays on Monday showed that the bones are doing really well and new bone growth is there! Two more weeks or loosening it to keep the slack there and we ‘should’ be good to say goodbye to Nicholas 😀
Despite my obvious excitement it is not a given so I am trying not to build my hopes up. Butnlets be honest, I have been waiting almost four and a half months to get a date for removal, it’s only natural to hold a little belief that things go as planned.
I will still need another X-ray to make sure that the bones look nicely repaired and the new bone growth has continued and then my surgeon needs to make sure that I can put weight through my leg.
I have long bolts that run down between the rings and it’s these that take the weight. He will remove the ones either side of where the fractures were and that’s where the true test will be. Very nervous about this as it will have been 19 weeks since I walked on the leg without support.
I know my surgeon wouldn’t take the frame off before he believed I was ready but in the back of my mind I have the burning question, ‘what if my bones break?’
What if I can’t walk on it?
I have lived with this for so long it is going to be extremely nerve wracking to be allowed to walk without it.

Once we get over the hurdles of weight bearing and walking we need to actually remove the two screws and five pins holding my leg together.
After having one pin removed in clinic I said there was no way I was going to let my surgeon near me with wire cutters again whilst awake.
Well …… I’m going to give it a go :/ I am SO desperate to have the cage removed and knowing that on October 1st it will more than likely be ready I cannot walk out of that hospital to sit and wait for an appointment for day surgery to have a general anaesthetic. He has said I can have gas and air and there are ‘other things’ I can have for the pain (handful of Valium?!).
I can do this! I will be cage free!! Just five pins am two screws between me and freedom ……..

I’ve decided that surgeons are all a little bit crazy. Whilst at the hospital on Monday waiting for my surgeon to stroll in (and he very much just strolls around in a leisurely way) another, rather larger than life, surgeon walks past in scrubs and leather shoes with tassels on. He looks at my leg, smiles and produces a sound that can only be described as an ‘ooooooop’ and then walks off. A few minutes later he walks back and has another peek only this time he stopped to have a proper look and enquires as to the reason for the Ilizarov. Apparently, according to him, my leg looks extremely healthy for one being encased in one of these contraptions. He then congratulates my surgeon with a smile and ‘Good job Bob!’
Nice to know I suppose!

A little note to anyone who might read this who has an Ilizarov ….. If trying to catch a toddler who obviously needs the toilet, don’t catch your frame on the door frame because it REALLY hurts and will probably make you cry ………

The Night Before ….. Again

So I’m back to the ‘night before the next check up’ and feeling as anxious as hell as always.
Although this time it’s mixed with trepidation. I honestly feel as though I have come to the end of the road with Nicholas, it’s no more a love hate, it’s quite simply hate. My bones may or may not have finished fixing but I cannot live any longer with this contraption attached to me.
I just to work out how to ask my surgeon as nicely and politely as possible to remove the damn thing!

I haven’t had a pain free day since May 12th and I’ve never felt so out of control of my life as I do right. I need to gain a little control back of my life.
I’m not being melodramatic, just honest with my feelings.
Obviously I don’t want to make things worse for myself but at the same time I need to ask myself at what cost do these fully heeled bones need to come at?
I’m in constant pain, I can’t sleep, I’m plagued with anxiousness and worry and it’s all just too suffocating.

Yesterday was Charleigh’s 11th birthday and we had a family day out to Chessington. I had umm-ed and arr-ed all week about whether I should go or not and in the end I did. It was heart warming to see her so excited. It’s the first time in a long time that I remember seeing her so happy (and my treasure hunt for her to find the One Direction concert tickets was a huge success!!).
However it’s come at a price for my legs. The swelling is unbelievably uncomfortable and I’ve given up on the pain meds, they’re not even touching it tonight. I’m not holding out for a peaceful night ahead.
The weekend was spent at my Mum’s as we have family visiting from New Zealand. My three cousins are the same age as Charleigh give or take a year or two and they all get on fantastically. It’s been busy and noisy to say the least! My Mum’s house won’t be my quiet haven for the next four weeks that’s for sure (Rach, you’d better stock up on tea bags, tuna, cheese and donuts!).

Sometimes in life certain happenings make you realise what kind of person you are or person you’d like to be. I would like to think that I’ve grown up into a good person. I’m a loving, caring Mum, my children are happy and polite and mean everything to me and I hope my parents think I’m a good daughter!
Being an only child from separated parents, both of whom met other people (and one remarrying), I have extended family coming out of my ears. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, even four of my grandparents are still alive and very much kicking. I have family in abundance and have always been surrounded by them.
I’m sure that every family has it’s fair share of problems and arguments. I just always seem to be at fault in mine. I feel like the black sheep and, no matter how many years I gain,am always left feeling like a naughty schoolgirl. I’m too out spoken and will let it be known if something has upset me and I will always stand by what I believe in. Stobborn? Probably a little. Maybe some think I should ‘respect my elders’, I actually think respect is something that is earnt and being a specific age in life does not give you the right to be spiteful and cruel. I wont be quiet just because others think I should, especially if it involves the feelings of my children. Nobody has the right to upset my children with their thoughts.
I always speak out for the ones I love and always will, it’s the way I’ve been built.
But just once it would be nice for someone to speak up for me. Just the once.
Being an only child can be a very lonely existence.

Slightly off the beaten track there tonight. Nothing like being too upset to think about the constant throb and burn that is my right leg ………

The Past Week

Since last week it’s been a struggle to get my head around the not so good news. As instructed James has adjusted the cage four times a day, anti clockwise to loosen the frame and stretch the broken bones out. Once again when I walk the bones feel broken. My leg is painful to touch in that area and a bulge has appeared. I now have a week to wait for the next X-rays and the next plan. I have no pre-conceptions on what my surgeon will see or say. I am not guessing at any dates and it’s impossible to give an exact time frame. I have already become a victim of my own naivety in thinking that the initial 16 weeks was a certain. At the time I needed to believe that after 16 weeks the nightmare would be over, without that dream it would have been a harder road to travel. But the result has been disappointment and a huge knock to my optimism.

Over the weekend I achieved very little sleep, insomnia well and truly invaded my body. It has been increasingly hard to get comfortable as the pain has been slowly increasing. By Monday I was zombie like, I went to bed at 10pm and woke up the next morning at 11.30! I can’t go on like this though so am going to ask my GP for some sleeping tablets just for when I have these episodes of insomnia.

Despite the lack of sleep and growing annoyance at my leg being encased in metal, I have tried to get out and make the most of the sunshine we’ve had. We had a lovely day at Cotswold Wildlife Park, the boys were so cute! I am really enjoying them at the moment, their personalities are really starting to shine. I also braved Witney on Bank Holiday Sunday evening which was brilliant. Gin, good friends and good fun! I have however got yet another maxi dress with a hole in it thanks to the bolts on the frame. I feel a shopping trip coming on when I am frame free!

The boys aren’t sleeping particularly well at the moment, well Henry mainly. He wakes up every night screaming and it takes a while to settle him. He is my sensitive little soul and he doesn’t like change. I think he feels very vulnerable as everything around him, where he should feel secure, keeps changing. First I was bed bound downstairs, then I was bum shuffling upstairs, now I am walking around. Even though I am more mobile I still can’t do as much as I could before and I don’t think he understands that. He is in need of extra cuddles and reassurance. it’s taking its toll on James with broken sleep and a toddler out of sorts. I wish I could take it all away.

I still find it hard to see when friends and family tell me how much I am doing as I feel I am actually doing very little. They have watched as I have progressed to some form of normality and mobility and often tell me how amazing it is that I have come so far.
But the truth is all I try and do is get through one day at a time. I simply do the best I can. Some days my best is simply to not cry. Some days it’s to just endure the pain and discomfort.
I don’t know if my pain levels are any better or whether they have become such a way of life I don’t notice them.
Right now, my best is to just smile and try and get through the remainder of this journey somehow.

A Little Bit Longer

I’ve been trying to write this blog since yesterday but haven’t been able to. I have felt a lot of things on this journey so far but yesterday was the first time that I felt disappointment mixed with despair. I haven’t been sure how to write about it.

I had my check up at the hospital and this time instead of an X-ray I had a CT scan so that my surgeon could get an in-depth look at my bones. It was a mixture of good and not so good. (I don’t like to use the word ‘bad’ as this whole situation is bad). The fractures in the lower part of the leg have healed well and fused together. Unfortunately the fractures near the top haven’t. In order for bones to heal you need the outer layer to fuse thus creating a strong structure for the inside to heal. My bones are still broken. This means that I will have have Nicholas for at least another four weeks, two weeks longer than first thought.
For the past few weeks James has been tightening the cage 1mm per week to squeeze the bones together to try and encourage fusion. As this hasn’t had the desired affect and the bones aren’t in line we are now stretching the bones back out. Yesterday we had to loosen by 3mm and for the next seven days, four times a day we have to loosen by a quarter each time (so 1mm in total per day). The feeling is horrendous when the cage is adjusted. Once again I can feel my bones moving and am having to consume copious amounts of pain killers.
If in the weeks to come the bones still don’t heal the frame will be removed and replaced with a non weight bearing cast to allow the bones to settle. I will then have an operation to pin the fractures together.

I feel I have taken a huge step backwards and am having real trouble getting my head around it and my ability to see the positives has taken a knock. I tried so incredibly hard yesterday to hold it together and even though I succeeded in not falling apart and kept the tears at bay, the disappointment simply buried itself just below the surface and I just became irritable and unbearable.
Maybe there is something to said for just letting your emotions out.

I have been so focused on getting through 16 weeks and to be told it’s going to be longer now is very hard to accept. Living with an Ilizarov doesn’t get easier as time passes by. The weight of carrying it around gets harder, the frustration grows and the desperation becomes unbearable. I am getting less eager to go out in public with it on show. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or worried, however the looks of pity, the whispered comments and the probing questions, it never ends.

So today I woke up with a heavy heart, I am so tired.
I know I need to keep fighting for a while longer, I just need to work out how.

One Down …… Five (and two bolts) to go!

Last night I sat and watched as James had to struggle to get two little monkeys to bed (them falling asleep for an hour at 5pm on the way home from Mum’s was not a good idea!) and then tidy the house. It was complete agony every time I moved and I tried for so long to keep it together but inevitably I lost the battle and crumbled. James held me tight as I sobbed myself into exhaustion. As I predicted very little sleep was accomplished last night. Too many emotions running through me to relax enough despite being so incredibly tired. The inability to find a position that wasn’t painful.

Some days I am just too tired to fight.

We went to the hospital today to get the offending pins looked at. After looking at them my surgeon went off to look at my xrays and was weighing up the possibility of removing the frame. The bones have healed well but they need some extra support for another couple of weeks. The frame could be replaced with a cast however the frame provides better results in the long run. Instead he made the decision to just remove the pin causing me grief.
Up until now I was adamant that I would have a general anaesthetic to have the frame removed. After today I even more adamant!
Even though I have 12 pin sites, there are only six pins as they go straight into the leg and bone and out the other side. So, to remove a pin the doctor starts off by uncurling both ends of the pin from the metal ring and then loosens the bolts holding it tight and in place. Then using wire cutters he cuts one end so there is less length to pull through the leg. And finally he swiftly pulls the pin out.
I have never experienced anything so horrific and it is not something I am willing to go through again. I am happy to go to sleep and have it gone when I wake up.
When we got home I couldn’t even walk from the car to the house as it was just too sore. I tried to stand which resulted in screaming and tears so James carried me in. Painkillers are now doing their job and another course of antibiotics will kill off anything attacking me inside.

(a huge thank you to Rachel for being one of the best friends I could ask for. We are lucky to have you in our lives, always there to help without a second thought and a hug just when I need it. Love you xx)

Pain is a strange thing. I haven’t had a pain free day since May 12th. Obviously there have been different degrees but it has always been there. Sometimes I wonder if it actually lessens or if I am getting better at dealing with it. The human body is truly amazing.
Living with an Ilizarov has been the most painful experience of my life and the memories will never leave me. Not just carrying the physical weight around every day or the scars it will leave, but the pain, fear and anguish it brings.
It really is ingenious invention and I am in awe of how it has allowed my body to repair itself so perfectly. Using someone else’s words, but summing it up perfectly, it is ‘hideously wonderful’

Despite the horror of the pin removal today it has given me a sense of relief that finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I am on the home straight. Although it has also been a big reminder that when the frame is removed, it isn’t the end, it is simply then start of the next chapter.

Well Done Bones!

So today was the day when I was to find out if my bones were healing as they should ……..
This was the first time that I have been nervous about a hospital appointment. But I needn’t have been, all is well!

I am now allowed to walk with full weight on my left leg without the boot. Since having the cast removed and replaced with the boot I have been putting more and more weight through it but walking on it without any support is a huge step to take mentally as well as physically.
When we got home I took the boot off and suddenly my leg felt very vulnerable. I used my crutches and took a few small steps, waiting tentatively for pain or bones crunching, but it didn’t happen, it was amazing! It definitely feels foreign, I can feel the plate inside my leg and my ankle feels very weak, it feels like a strangers leg. However it feels fine to walk on. I’m still walking in a peculiar way, I have to concentrate on each individual step and place my foot with a purpose and remind myself to let my knee and ankle move.
You can never appreciate how many different movements walking involves until you have to think about each one of them.
But each new step is a step closer to recovery.

My right leg, with good old Nicholas, is listening to my silent prayers and we can now see new bone forming. They are healing in the best order so at the moment there are no plans for further surgery. My surgeon is just amazing and I have so much faith in him. He automatically puts you at ease and no matter how trivial my questions may seem to him, he answers them with enthusiasm and encouragement. We are still on course to have it removed after 16 weeks post op, which leaves another eight weeks. I am on the home stretch at last! When the frame is removed the plan is to just let me walk on the leg and not have a cast as I first thought. I will be able to have a splint for some extra support if I want as the leg will be understandably weak. I am so excited!
It is always a very surreal encounter when we see the surgeon. I hate the frame with every breath in me, but when he talks about them, today explaining how they fit it, his enthusiasm is contagious. I feel almost lucky to be experiencing the wonderful, almost magic job that the Ilizarov performs.

The roller coaster of emotions just doesn’t end.

The days leading up to the hospital visit have been a mixture of highs and lows in the Hyatt household. We had a family day out on Saturday to Witney carnival where Charleigh was performing in the parade and the main arena with her dance school. Luckily the weather was kind and the rain stayed away allowing us a wonderful time. There were laughs a plenty and a good day was had by all. My Mum took the children back to her house for the night meaning James and I could have a night to ourselves. Feeling upbeat I grabbed the opportunity and we went out for a lovely meal. Time on our own is something that we seriously lack at the moment. Our life is just so artificial that nothing seems real. Everything feels forced and surreal.

The strain and pressure is taking it’s toll on everyone and unfortunately it is true what they say, you take it out on those closest to you. Despite the good days and the appearance we give of being in control, it feels as though underneath our family is breaking at the seams and it’s tearing my heart apart.
I know I’m not to blame for the accident but I feel so incredibly guilty. My family means everything to me and I hate what this is doing to us. James is working so hard to keep us all together but it’s a different world than that of dealing with customers. I’m his wife who’s job was the house and children and now here he is forced into my role. I am finding it very difficult to deal with and I am having trouble explaining it. I hate arguing with him but I cannot find the right words to tell him how I feel. Instead it bottles up inside and erupts in incomprehensible frustration. Charleigh is suffering too and I think that this has had more of an affect on her than we first thought. I know we are strong enough to get through this but it scares me to think what darkness will be left. I might be the one to carry the physical scars but what scars will my family have to bear?

Despite being surrounded by my amazing family and truly outstanding friends, I have never felt more alone than I do now.