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Its funny life,

sometimes you just think that nothing is changing

then all of a sudden,

everything changes.

For those who have been following our journey, leaving Melbourne and setting up a new home on the Bellarine Peninsula you may recall we headed down here with the thoughts of pre-retirement even though that seemed like a blimp in the far distance, it was a very real destination I knew one day we would be discussing seriously.

So as we made plans to settle down here 4 years ago, we left one adult child in Melbourne who was ready to spread her wings while the other was unable to leave due to health challenges which then began the long search of leaving no stone unturned to find answers to improving Matt’s health.  To date, we have not found all the answers and some things will be an ongoing maintenance for life but Matt has definitely improved dramatically since we first came down here to the point where he is about to fly the coop himself in the next few weeks and start living the life he was meant to live.

I give enormous credit here to Matt who never gave up on searching for anything which could help make his life easier, pouring over forums and speaking with others who suffered the same eye issues as he did, trying numerous online help on fatigue and chronic illnesses and tried anything and everything which may have been the answer to the problems which persisted.

To say I have been fortunate to spend the last 4 years living with Matt is an understatement.  As much as I know I have helped him, he has been such a support to me too in times of doubt through me struggling with a new job and challenges I did not see coming in the first year of working down here.  He has always had my back as I have had his. Our Matt is a lot like his grandfather, quiet, unassuming and witty as hell.  He has made me laugh probably every day he has been here and to me, he is more than my son, I also regard him as one of my best friends.

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Its funny how life works, Matt was not particularly happy that he had to follow us down here – he used to call this little place ‘a hick town’ meaning it was behind the times and old fashioned, but that is what we loved about it and I knew that he would struggle for a while until he got used to it and for a while he did but without better health he was unable to move on so I used to say, that it wouldn’t always be this way, and even if he couldn’t see it, one day will come where he can walk out of here and go and design the life he wanted..

Having said that, as he was recovering from Chronic Fatigue, various eye diseases and a myriad of other issues which comes from being isolated, this little haven gave him opportunity to take care of his little niece and nephew often and watch them grow from pre-school to young children which has now forged a strong lifetime bond between the three of them, so much so it serendipitously provided him with the insight of his new career choice, childcare, which I know will be a fabulous fit for him. It was hard to watch Matt as he struggled with ill health for years to imagine we would get to this point but I kept reminding him that I was sure it was for a reason…a reason we could not see at the time…

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During the first year we were down here when Matt was at such a low point in his life. We had been door knocking on so many doctors doors who just were not helping us at all and searching for answers we needed to help get Matt’s health better.  Around that time Matt wrote a piece for my blog, which you can read here called ‘Don’t forget me’ and it told the story of a scared young twenty something who had his whole life in front of him when he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and as his friends at the time went on to live their lives, all Matt could do was watch from a distance and couldn’t see how his life was going to begin as the health issues were so debilitating and kept him from dreaming that his life could be just like everyone else’s.  But over the past 4 years I have watched Matt step up and hang on to every bit of little energy he had and each week he got up and traveled the 3 hours to  Melbourne to keep his part time job of 12 hours a week to turn around and do the return trip back home and collapse for days on end only to do it all again the next week.

Many others reading this who have any kind of health challenge knows that with those initial challenges giving no end in sight brings a whole new set of challenges such as depression and anxiety. Many times I could see that Matt almost couldn’t bare taking that trip to work some weeks, but I stood firm in his keeping the one contact point to the outside world so he could be with other people as the rest of his days were isolated with both Bill and I at work each day and I was so proud that he listened to me and kept putting one foot in front of the other and never gave up in trying to find help or answers to make his life less exhausting.

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After much research I worked out that Matt’s immune system had been compromised due to having glandular fever as a teen which then developed into Chronic Fatigue and as we couldn’t get any answers from mainstream medicals we began with the help of some local naturapaths and online professionals help to change what we were eating  regularly and began looking for more fresh foods and less processed foods, and slowly, very slowly we began to see Matt’s health improving to the point that he can now think of a life on his own, working in a job he will love and living life on his terms.

Well that time has finally arrived Matt and you may think its come around quickly but everything you have been doing for the past 4 years has been leading to this and I am so damn proud of you for taking this next step and only wish you the most incredible success in your chosen path.  Life is about to open up for you buddy, go and grab it with both hands!!

I used to say to Matt, this is happening for a reason, we just cannot see it right now but you have come down here to live with us to move in a different direction to the one you were on. I too have changed considerably through this journey, learning more about our medical system and how you need to push to get anywhere or don’t put up with some of the attitudes out there and use your instincts to know when to walk away and try another door.  I have also learnt a lot about mental health and illnesses you cannot always see which has given me great appreciation for all those who suffer silently with many who just don’t want to understand their plight.

I remember sitting in a doctors office one afternoon with Matt, explaining to this doctor that my son at 23 did not have a normal life due to being housebound only to be told that “he looked ok”. Sadly this was not an isolated incident.  Through the years, I researched about what we put into our bodies which lowered our immunity and let dis ease in and what we needed to do to be performing at our optimal best. This has led me to my ongoing interest in toxic free products, eating and growing organic foods and allowing less processed foods into our lives.  I know that without the journey we have been on, I may have not got so involved in my growing interest that I now have and am so pleased I want to know more. I have seen first hand through trial and error that Matt has learned what his body needs to work better and am proud that we have done that together and I believe it has established a great base for him to live a fuller life.

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So, this  New Years Eve is particularly special for us as its likely to be the last NYE spent with Matt as he heads off in a couple of weeks to see what life has in store for him so I am dedicating this one to my son as a celebration of where he has been and where he is going. Its been a long road to recovery and with the help of some very special people he will now be able to take the steps he needs to see what life has in store for him…and I for one cannot wait to see just how it all turns out…it also means a very different time is about to begin for Bill and I as it will be the first time we will be without any children living with us after 27 years!  I love new beginnings – it creates new opportunities to do things differently, change things up a bit, clear out oldness and create new ways together, so I am looking forward to that 🙂

And for each and every one of you who read my blog, and have continued again throughout this year – I am honoured that you have stayed with me and even though I may not know you all, I regard you as friends as you travel this journey with me so I wish you all the most special new year with many great opportunities which may come your way.

If you can take a chance, take it,

if something good comes your way, be grateful

and I hope that your 2017 be filled

with love and laughter.

And for my only son I love you with all my heart and am so very proud of you always and will miss you more than you will ever know but cannot wait to see how your new life will develop xx

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