This Is Why I Disappeared – A Personal Update

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.

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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.

Emergency department

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.)

Sunrise over Dublin airport

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.

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64 Comments

  1. Prayers for all

  2. We will be here when you are able to come back. Having time you can recognize as precious is a painful gift. I will hold you and your family in my heart.

  3. You have my sincerest condolences. MY heart is with you and your family.May the blessing of shared love help you all heal. Diane

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your Dad. Hugs!

  5. My prayers are with you and your family.

  6. You take care of you and your family. We will be here praying for you. Enjoy your time with the ones you love ❤️

  7. You and your family have my prayers for improved health and the courage and strength to continue on your life journey.

  8. My prayers go out to you and your family. Hug them closely everyday.

  9. God Bless you and your family Laura. I’m so sorry you had such a hard time getting back to Ireland to be with your family. I hope you can finally get some answers and help for your pain.

  10. I’m so very sorry you’ve had to go through this. Take as much time as you need and blessings and peace to you and your family during this difficult time .

  11. God bless you and your family sending you hugs and we’ll wishes from Ontario Canada❤️

  12. Gillian Taylor-Carr

    So sorry for all you’re going through. Much love, take care. Xx

  13. Words aren’t enough at times like these, so please know I’m sending big hugs, and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Oh I am so very sorry for your loss and will keep you and your dad in my prayers.

  15. Fek Laura!! I hope things smooth out soon. Sending love (and enlightenment to your medical team, as well as your Da’s)

    Xxx

  16. Take all the time you need. We’ll hold you and your family in our hearts during this time and hold this space for you for whenever you’re ready to return. Thank you for sharing your story. Even in this hard time, you are modeling how to get the right sh*t done and sharing that the best of humanity is connecting and helping others. Thank you. <3

  17. My prayers are with you. I’m sorry you are going through such a difficult time right now.

  18. U.S. Immigration policy needs reformed and humanized. In the meantime I am praying for you and your family. May you soon have the answers you need. Love and light to you and yours.

  19. Sending prayers for you and your family.

  20. I’m sorry for your loss, Laura. Life can be so difficult when the season of shit is upon us. I hope your doctors find clarity for you soon. As someone who has a loved one with a chronic , painful disease, I know things can be day by day. I hope your father is having a good day today..

    • We’re very lucky that, despite the disease, he’s not in any major pain and, overall, is in good spirits. Very fearful of what the future holds, though. 🙁

  21. Laura what a heartbreaking ordeal, I’m so happy ypu are back with family for now, peace to you.

  22. So sorry to hear this, Laura. Am glad you got home in the end, but I am sorry that it was such an agonising wait and that you missed your Uncle’s funeral. Thinking of you as you deal with many hard things at once. May you be comforted by the knowledge that so many are sending you condolences for the loss of your Uncle and the very best of good wishes for both you and your Dad.
    Love and hugs from Belfast,
    Anne
    xx

  23. I am so sorry to hear about all that is going on. Will be keeping you in my prayers and look forward to your return.

  24. Sometimes life really throws spanners at you. Sending lots of love from Sydney Australia xo

  25. I’m so sorry for the loss of your uncle and that you are experiencing such additional stress. I sincerely hope that all comes well with your Da and yourself as quickly as possible xx

  26. I can’t believe how gracious you are to share this post with us out of your time in agony. I go off and on of you from time to time from my own busyness and schedule. I will always count on you and whatever you have created because you have given me the absolute most motivation and concrete help out of all the sources that I seek through the internet. I’m not exaggerating. I wish you beyond well. I want you to be happy. You have created so many things that have helped so many people, and their generations to come. I feel like I’ve come to know you a bit. And you are a wonderful person. Anyway, I’m glad the Asian couple was there for you. Sometimes you have to break all the way down in order to go forward. Sounds like you had a good go at the cry. And now, here you go with the tough work ahead of you. “Let’s go!” ♥️♥️

  27. What a colossal load to have dumped on you all at once. I’m sincerely hoping things are coming together a little bit or that they will start coming together for your good very very soon. ❤️

    • Thank you, Natalie. We’re waiting on some test results for my dad. That will give us a better indication of what we’re dealing with. Until then we’re just trying to stay positive and be patient.

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