Personal, Uncategorized

New Year 2018 – My Year At A Glance

Last year I wrote a lot about what Shinto practices I do for New Year so I’m not going to repeat it here and instead I encourage you to read that past post. This year, I’m going to write more of a reflection post on the past year and what  I achieved both spiritual and in my daily life.

I feel that this is a nice way to wrap up 2018 and will act as a reminder of all the things that I can achieve in a year if I put my mind to it.

My Biggest Accomplishments of 2018

Joined a Fushimi Inari Taisha Kō.

This year I was blessed to be able to join the Fushimi Inari Faith International Dōjō (伏見稲荷信仰国際道場). This is a devotee’s group established under the direct supervision of the Kōmu Honchō (Department of Believers) of Fushimi Inari Taisha, the head shrine of Inari Ōkami. Being an official member of Fushimi Inari Taisha was always a life goal for me and I am eternally grateful to Gary and Ema for allowing this to happen. If you are interested in becoming a member of our international kō, details on joining can be found here.

Photo by Ema Matsubara at Inari Faith International

(Finally) Getting My Bilateral Masectomy

I am a transman and have been jumping from waiting list to waiting list for over a decade waiting for this surgery. It was partially because of moving from Wales to England and partially past struggles with travel and getting discharged but I finally was able to get my surgery done on the 8th November 2018 at Nuffield Health Brighton.

My surgeon and the hospital were fantastic and I was comfortable and well looked after. I was worried about the surgery and complications as I am type 1 diabetic but everything went as smoothly as can be and my recovery is going great!

I can’t put into words how freeing it is to finally have my chest look like it’s supposed to and all the things I can do now that I couldn’t before. It’s made a huge impact on my life and I am SO grateful for the NHS and that I was able to have this surgery at no charge.

Improved My Diabetes Health

June 2018 marked the time I went to the DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) course at Leicester Royal Infirmary. I thought I knew a lot about diabetes, so why couldn’t I get it under control? Well, it turns out I DID know a lot about it but I really hadn’t been putting it into practice the right way. With the support of the instructors and my diabetic peers I was able to improve my numbers massively and keep them in the same ranges. I truly feel like DAFNE saved my life as I have already developed complications but at least now I know I am not alone and that they can be dealt with.

Getting A Diagnosis For My Legs

The most concerning of my complications has always been my legs. I am unable to stand or walk for short distances due to burning pain and numbness and I’ve been told it was a range of things including fibromyalgia and neuropathy. It was only through DAFNE that I found out about peripheral vascular/arterial disease, a blockage of the arteries in the legs meaning that blood can’t get to the extremities fast enough and causes a burning pain. After DAFNE I was referred to the diabetologist for a swift diagnosis of PVD/PAD and then referred again to a vascular specialist whom I am seeing in January. It turns out that there may be a way to ‘fix’ my legs – a surgery in which tiny structures are placed into the arteries to remove the blockages. It’s nervewracking but I really hope it can be fixed or at least improved!

Other Highlights of 2018

  • My mum got married!
  • Went to Brighton for the first time
  • Took a whole month off work to recover and work on self-development
  • Hit my one year mark of bullet journalling
  • Got back into witchcraft and magic after a long hiatus
  • Reconnected with Bast and Anpu
  • Started working with Hel and Fenrir
  • Went to my first Interfaith meeting
  • Made a corn dolly for the first time
  • Did a tax return for the first time
  • Reduced my bills and spending
  • Joined the Association of Illustrators
  • Got a formal diagnosis for some mental health issues I had been dealing with
  • Went to Kupocon – A Final Fantasy convention
  • Did the T-Shirt Design for Confuzzled 2018
  • Started on the Freestyle Libre
  • Reduced my hba1c to 8.0%
  • Finally finished all three Spyro games (after 20 years!)
  • Started Yoga and got a Yoga mat
  • Started to meditate and recite affirmations a whole lot more

These are just some of the things I have achieved this year! I am hoping that next year will be even more productive and positive and that I will accomplish big things!

Thank you for reading and let me know if you make your own post similar to this, I’d love to read them!

And from me at Fox of Inari, Happy New Year!


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