Blog Posts » Update 2023

Update 2023

I thought it was probably time for another update. This post is partly just to let everyone know I’m still around, but also to remind myself that things have improved after everything last year.

I won’t go over everything that happened last year. There is a post on the illness part here if anyone is interested – https://blog.daniel-baker.photography/update-for-2022-hospital-and-stuff/

A bloody tooth and extraction tools on a blue surgical mat

It took some time to recover. I had trouble swallowing and turning my head straight for a long time and had two appointments at Guy’s hospital for tooth extractions. The first was to remove my wisdom tooth and two other teeth. This wasn’t pleasant and took about two hours of the dental team struggling due to the roots being firmly embedded, and the difficulty in getting to them with me wearing a mask and not being able to open my mouth very wide. They were amazing though and I can’t fault them for anything. The second extraction was easier and again the staff were great.

Along with all this I was struggling to get new carers. My main carer also left, leaving me with no one to safely take me out or help me get out of bed.

At the end of August I got two new carers. It took time to train them and I was still regaining my strength and stamina. So there were just a couple of walks before the cold weather began.

Top left Daniel in the snow with steamed up glasses.  Top right Daniel laying in bed with a baby snuggled in his arm.  Bottom left Daniel outside with a countryside landscape behind.  Bottom right Daniel sitting below a stone archway in Oxford.

I now have a bigger team, with two carers that I trust and feel safe to go out with. Most shifts are now covered and things are getting there.

I have managed lots more local walks, going to a couple of parks and even getting out in the snow! I have also begun getting out of Cheltenham again. A couple of weeks ago I visited Oxford and managed to get to a nature reserve near Glastonbury last weekend to watch the Starling murmurations.

There have been a couple of times I have felt pretty ill from doing too much. But I don’t regret pushing myself, and feeling rough afterwards is a small price to pay. The Google map below shows a stark difference between this year and last year. For me and is a reminder, that although things aren’t perfect, I’m better off than I was.

2 google kap screenshots, the top showing 2022 an just a few red dots on Cheltenham an Gloucester.  The second showing more dots on Cheltenham and Gloucester plus a few in different areas further away.

I have had a few good friends in my life support and encourage me these last few months and for that I’m really greatful. It’s made me try harder, and not to just wallow in self pity. My Goddaughter also had a new baby just before the new year. Giving her cuddles every week helps to relieve my stress and gives me something to look forward too.

There have been some nice experiences with people too, a visit to a local National Trust site a few weeks ago raised my spirits and faith in humanity, just by the kindness and acceptance shown by staff and other visitors alike. I was remembered by some staff, even though my last visit was in 2020. Everyone said hello and didn’t care about my wheelchair or ventilator. I wasn’t stared at and didn’t get any comments to make me feel uncomfortable. It was just a nice pleasant visit that lifted my spirits.

It’s going to take a while still to get back to normal. I still haven’t got back to using my DSLR and photography, but I’m starting to think about it again. Last year had a lot of physical and emotional pain, allowing myself to enjoy some things in life and to trust people again is going to take time. I’m not sure how to let new people in again, and I am probably keeping people at arms length that I have no reason not to trust. I need to remind myself to make the most of things. I can’t lose another year of my life to illness and sadness, I must to try to enjoy the summer when it comes and remember that last year there was no hope, and this year there is some!

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