I’m currently at home in Ireland but I wish it were in better circumstances. And I wish I hadn’t had to fight with immigration to get here.
This is why you haven’t heard from me in a while, and what’s currently happening.
The week before Christmas my father was rushed to hospital. He had lost weight, was low on energy, and was bleeding internally.
He underwent various tests and, unfortunately, the diagnosis was not a good one. He’s suffering from a life-threatening disease that will see his health gradually deteriorate.
Right now, his medical team have managed to stop the bleeding, and the medication he’s on means he’s comfortable so, apart from regular check-ups and further testing, he can stay at home.
At some point in the future, though, an organ transplant will be required to save his life.
As well as that, the condition is a genetic one and, while further tests are required, initial indications would suggest I may have it too. It’s quite possible I don’t, but blood tests have returned abnormal results, so something is definitely wrong.
Long-time followers will know that for the past few years I’ve been suffering with chronic pain that, as yet, no doctor has been able to diagnose, and has landed me in the hospital on more than one occasion.
I’ve undergone numerous tests, scans, scopes, courses of medication, X-rays, and even surgery over the years to try pinpoint the cause. Each and every time, the pain came back.
Maybe now, finally, I’ll have an answer.
On top of all that, my uncle was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a few months ago. While he was initially able to move around and carry on a relatively normal life, his condition deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and he passed away peacefully a few days ago.
His is the first family funeral I’ve missed.
Because I have a green card pending with US immigration, I was temporarily banned from leaving the country.
But when all this happened I put in a request to travel home for humanitarian reasons, followed by supporting documentation in the form of letters from my father’s hospital and my uncle’s hospice.
When it became clear I wasn’t going to receive a response on time, I called and requested an emergency in-person interview.
To cut a long story short, despite giving me a 9.15am appointment, I didn’t receive my travel document until just before 3pm. For 6 hours I sat in a waiting room, mentally watching each and every flight that would have got me home on time for my uncle’s funeral the following day taking off.
I was devastated.
(In fact, I’m pretty sure that what finally swung my application being accepted was the massive emotional breakdown I had in the immigration office. It was a full-on ugly cry, and I’m so grateful to the Asian couple who came over to comfort me.)
But I’m home. Finally. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to be back on Irish soil, and to see my family again. To hug my father and be able to visit my uncle’s grave.
It’s been a very stressful few weeks and I know you’ll understand why I had to take a sudden and immediate step back from content creation. I’ll definitely be back to it in the coming weeks but, for now, I need to concentrate on myself and my family.
While I know I’ve kept all this quiet until now, I want to thank each and every person who reached out to me via email, message, or DM to ask how I was and if everything was OK. You (and that lovely Asian couple) are the reason I still have hope that we can all treat each other like humans, and not just another number on an application form.
Thank you for your patience and your grace while I re-adjust to my new reality.
And remember to cherish your loved ones and look after your health.