A day for celebration

After months and months of heath issues, Rachel heads back to work today

Today my wife goes to work for the first time this year.

Shingles followed by post-viral chronic fatigue left Rachel barely able to get out of bed or off the sofa at times, let alone carry on her demanding job as a speech and language therapist.

Her health issues have affected us all. It’s been the toughest year I can remember, so today feels like a day to celebrate. There have been plenty of days this year when there was no end in sight. Any hopes of recovery seemed based on optimism rather than reality. And yet, here we are, and Rachel begins a phased return to work and the next step in our journey back to normality.

It is necessary to mention an amazing course Rachel did that has dramatically sped up her recovery. After taking the Lightning Process course in late June, there was an immediate improvement and suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so grateful for that course—and for our families who helped cover the costs. It really did feel like a miraculous breakthrough.

Much as Eloise, Imogen, and I have all been affected by Rachel’s health struggles, no one has suffered as much as Rachel herself. I’m so proud of how she’s faced this year though. She’s had more disappointments and false dawns than many of us face in a lifetime, but she’s kept going, working hard to stay positive even when it felt there was nothing to be positive about.

When life hits us like this, it’s so tempting to go into a ‘poor old me’ mentality. We feel like the universe is against us and as good as just give up. Rachel never did this. She never stopped doing everything she could to try and overcome this debilitating fatigue that was telling her body it couldn’t do anything.

I am extremely thankful for all the love and support from family, friends, and colleagues over these months. We literally couldn’t have made it through on our own. So many times people have offered exactly what we needed at just the right time, whether that be a meal, an encouraging text, some flowers or chocolates, or looking after our girls for a while. We have felt surrounded by love and we’ll be eternally grateful.

Image: Taken by me at our anniversary dinner last month.

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