I cannot quite believe I am writing this post, and I keep wanting to pinch myself to make sure it is real. After 8 months of anxiously bidding on properties with our local council, we were offered the most perfect little bungalow at the beginning of May.
It is, quite honestly, a dream come true. When we first found out that the council had approved us for a bungalow, I immediately thought of these. They are on the same estate as my Grandma, are just a short walk from my parents’, and are still within the catchment area for Little Man’s school. I’d even been in one several times as a child, as my best friend lived in one of them.
But as the weeks and months passed, I began to think we’d never be offered one of these. The estate we now live on is very popular, and before this bungalow became available I had only seen two other properties come up in this area (both houses).
I had come to think we would have to move out of the area, and that we would be on the waiting list for many more months to come. Because, like in most places in the UK, there is nowhere near enough social housing to meet the need. And bungalows in particular are very hard to come by, and usually offered to the over 60s.
But here we are, in our dream bungalow and, as I said before, I keep having to pinch myself to make sure it is real. I cannot tell you what a difference this is going to make to our lives.
We’ve been living here for a week now, and already we are noticing how much easier life is (even though we are beyond exhausted from the move and still have boxes everywhere!) The simple fact that I can get from our bedroom to the kitchen in less than 20 steps means I am actually able to get up and get myself a drink whenever I need one. I simply couldn’t do that in our old house, as the stairs and distance made it completely impossible on my bad days, and even on my good days I’d only venture downstairs when absolutely necessary.
Having easy access to every part of our home feels incredible. I hadn’t even realised just how much of an impact it would make. I still struggle with joint instability and pain. I still battle with presyncope and migraines. And my energy levels are still far lower than the norm, with post-exertional malaise (PEM). But the difference is that my home is no longer contributing to the severity of those things.
Getting here hasn’t been easy though. We signed the tenancy on the bungalow at the beginning of May and had 4 weeks in which to pack, decorate, and clean our old house. The new bungalow had been replastered throughout, and every wall needed painting. We also had to source flooring for all but the bathroom and kitchen. And as this bungalow is much smaller than our old house we had to have a major declutter.
We could never have done any of that on our own, because as you know Tim and I are both very poorly right now. It seemed a little bit ironic that we had been given this bungalow based on health needs but then expected to be able to decorate throughout. Thankfully, though, we are surrounded by truly amazing people who have supported us every step of the way.
We’ve had mums I’ve met on the school run coming round to help paint, along with our Minister and his wife. Family friends have done tip runs and taken donations to the charity shop for us. An old work colleague brought his van and helped us move free of charge on the big day. And my parents and Grandma have helped us fund new flooring and a new cooker, which we could never have afforded at this point on our own.
My parents have also done a huge amount of work on both the new bungalow and our old house, and we really couldn’t have got everything done in time without them. I know that as a parent you just do these things for your children, but I also know that they are as exhausted as we are right now. So I am so relieved we had others step in to help out as well. We truly are incredibly blessed.
Despite all that help, the move has still taken a massive toll on our health. In amongst the usual stress of moving, we also all had a sickness bug, I fell and badly bruised my arm (it’s still bruised and sore 2 weeks after my fall), and I had my PIP assessment. Combine all of that together with our usual health issues and you can begin to understand just how exhausted we truly are right now.
But the wonderful thing is that it really doesn’t feel that bad anymore. Physically it does, of course, but emotionally I’m doing really well. I had some really big realisations during this move, mostly brought about by the fact that I had to swallow my pride and just keep asking for help over and over again. And the fact that we are surrounded by green spaces and living in a home filled with light pouring through the windows is a major contributing factor too.
Yesterday, for instance, I set Little Man up with his trains in the back garden and he happily played whilst I sat and soaked up the sun. I have so many plans for this garden space we have (including growing fruit and veggies), but for now we are simply relishing the fact that this is just outside our door. Little Man has even taken to sitting on the grass and looking at the clouds, which is quite a big deal for a boy who never seems to stop moving!
I cannot wait to get outside of a morning to meditate or do a bit of yoga and my physio exercises. And I’m so looking forward to having a more manageable home, once all the boxes are unpacked. But it’s going to take us some time to recover from the move and get fully settled in. It took me 3 weeks to pack up the old house, so I’m giving myself at least as long as that to unpack. Hopefully we’ll be sorted by the time the Summer holidays come around.
And I cannot wait to share it all with you on here. I have so much I want to tell you, but my head is swirling and it’s getting hard to type right now so it will have to wait for another day. Until then, make sure you’re following me on either Instagram or Facebook for mini updates, I’d love to see you there!