New Year’s Eve is a strange one for me. For the most part it is a big celebration, a reason to be proud. I’ve got through another year, I’ve survived, I’m still alive and hanging in there. But that happy jubilant mood is always accompanied by a slight nervous fear, a niggle at the back of my mind. The longer I last, the nearer I am to my end. Of course, the same is true for everyone; as time passes, we are all closer to our graves. But with death and expiration dates so dominant in my mind, the start of a new year is always a personal reminder.
Prior to getting ill, New Year’s Eve was always a big celebration with our friends. Every year we would go away for a few days, walk for miles and drink plenty. However since being diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension, I’ve found I am often exhausted after Christmas, so have limited energy to spend just one week later. Although I’ve still got together with our friends each December 31st, until now I’ve always retreated to my bed way before the gongs begin. However, amazingly, this year I was awake as we welcomed in 2017! We celebrated at Ruislip, staying with our close friends. And with the help of a mid-evening power-nap and a few cups of tea, I was able to join in the countdown. For the first time since getting ill, I improvised the words to Auld Lang Syne, toasted the new year with champagne, and kissed everyone in the room. Happy.
Later, as I closed my eyes for my first sleep of 2017, I felt excited. The nervousness about expiration dates had long passed. Now I just felt eager for the twelve months ahead. I’ve now been on the transplant list for six months. So the odds are in favour of this being the year that I will get my new lungs. I’m looking forward to 2017.