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Adrian's story on calling our support line

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
Posted by
30 Sep 2019

Calling our support line gave Adrian hope and renewed motivation for his recovery.

Before Adrian became ill with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL),  he worked for the NHS as a doctor, and then for several pharmaceutical companies. 

"Suddenly one day I got pneumonia, was hospitalised, diagnosed, but told I was early stage, would be on watch and wait for a long time. The doctors believed that the physical mental and emotional fatigue I was experiencing would most likely improve as I recovered from the infection.  But my energy levels far from returning to normal gradually got worse and worse, and I ultimately had to stop work.

"Eighteen months after I was first diagnosed, it got to the point where I was so weak I could hardly walk at all.  Then, shortly after starting treatment, a chicken roll from a corner shop gave me food poisoning.  I was admitted to hospital and found myself unable to safely even get out of bed. I would be in hospital for several weeks, and at first I seemed to be just getting worse.

"Talking about how I'm feeling is so helpful."

"I rang the Bloodwise support line from my hospital bed. Hearing a sympathetic voice, and being able to discuss what other people experience with fatigue, and just how I was feeling that day was so helpful. 

Somehow it instilled just a little bit of hope. We discussed exercises and I agreed to ask the hospital physio if I should restart some bed based gentle exercises I had learnt in outpatients. She agreed that I should just do a small amount of very gentle exercises twice a day. Just things like lifting my leg up whilst lying in bed. 

"Over the next few days not a lot happened. But then the second treatment, far from making me feel weaker, actually made me feel a little stronger. Or perhaps it was more that those exercises were beginning to work. Gradually things improved and I was discharged. 

"The person on the phone helped me see things better."

"As supportive as friends, family, and health staff are, sometimes it is just so helpful to be able to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate support officers over the phone. 

Hope is so important, and without trying to make me pretend everything was OK, the person on the other end of the phone helped me to see that things would get better. That renewed motivation was so important for my recovery period, which has been slow. I have learnt that kindness and understanding definitely helps fan hope into flame."

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