Skip to main content

In My Life

By Andrew Tidswell

How many song titles can you count ?

I WANT TO TELL YOU that my life began on April 2nd 1976. My parents were informed that their LITTLE CHILD had a heart murmur and were sent home in MISERY to gruelly cope with an already disabled child and told it was going to be a LONG AND WINDING ROAD. A year of my life passed, my parents having difficulties feeding me and keeping me warm in PEPPERLAND. My mother, with her instinct, continually complained to the nurses of her LITTLE CHILD having blue feet. Many times I was told HELLO, GOODBYE, finally in THE END I was diagnosed with SOMETHING called Tricuspid Atresia. In single terms my heart had one valve missing, this in turn gave me poor blood circulation and extreme breathlessness HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE along with other disabilities.

My life plodded on for 5 years of not being allowed to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE with other children and play everyday normal sports. It felt like I was tied up in CHAINS, although I was GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME, IT CAN'T GET NO WORSE. Then suddenly I started complaining of severe headaches to my parents, so they informed DOCTOR ROBERT who falsely diagnosed an ear infection. After many incomplete treatments, I was scanned and it turned out that my ear infection was actually six abscesses on my brain. MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER came down and WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS I had major brain surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary. I survived!

Then there was a familiar sound of CRY BABY CRY. My mother become a lot larger (she had to CARRY THAT WEIGHT ACROSS THE UNIVERSE), then suddenly there was TWO OF US. I had a perfectly formed baby sister. SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW (HELEN WHEELS). I was thrilled, a little sister to play with. AND I LOVE HER! In the same year DOCTOR ROBERT decided that I was old enough for my first attempts at FIXING A HOLE WHERE THE RAIN GETS IN, in my heart. This was called an Anterior Shunt. Through much heartache, my family and I survived again.

At the age of six I was HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE and began to attend my first school, a special school designed for disabled children. I did go to a normal school but I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER and IT'S ALL TOO MUCH and had to be removed when I collapsed due to trying to fit in and running myself ill. I felt like THE FOOL ON THE HILL, feeling so different to watch other children running around and playing games, when all the time I had to watch on the sidelines, and miss out on THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. Anyway I plodded along down THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD until finally in 1989 I left my first school.

So in 1989 I began my upper school where I joined the SGT. PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND where I was to prepare for examinations, it was in a normal school with able-bodied students. Where the male students looked like MEAN MR MUSTARD MAN, and the girls looked like POLYTHENE PAM. Again I found it hard to have to watch from the sidelines, with other MEAN MR MUSTERD MEN, AND POLLYTHENE PAM'S having a life I could never have. Always watching, never doing.

On April 10th 1991 the MAXWELL SILVER HAMMER came down once more and I was taken into the surgery theatre for another heart operation, where they were FIXING A HOLE WERE THE RAIN GETS IN. This time it was a Fontan Procedure. It was not only my life that changed for this duration but my family's too. My sister had to be sent ACROSS THE UNIVERSE to her grandparents, and my parents gave up work down on the GOLDEN SLUMBERS to sit at my bedside watching monitors and tubes control my fate and fortun,e and watch their son have a 50/50 chance of survival. Miraculously WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS, I was GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME, I was out of hospital within 3 weeks.

Whilst on a family holiday I had my first epileptic fit. My sister found me jigging around on the apartment sofa and so she thought YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW and called for my parents. I was rushed to a foreign hospital where an Italian DOCTOR ROBERT said ALL TOGETHER NOW, DIG IT, and poked and prodded to find out the problem. Eventually my notes were faxed over. I stayed one night in the MARCH OF THE MEANIES hospital and was fed soggy bread floating on buttermilk! After FLYING home to PEPPERLAND in the YELLOW SUBMARINE I spent the rest of the year off school and missed the most important year in THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD in school life. Yes! The exam year, and I was left with no qualifications.

I floated along in the SEA OF TIME and in 1992 I went back to school part-time. Not EIGHT DAYS A WEEK but just being there and doing SOMETHING, it was nice being back at the SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. In October I was given the dream of a life-time, a free all expenses paid trip to fly ACROSS THE UNIVERSE to America, Orlando, Disney World. It was a dream come true. It was the most exiting MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR I had ever been on. I had always dreamed of those big scary rides, a disappointment as soon as I got to the first ride, some FOOL ON THE HILL had put sorry anyone with heart failures are disallowed on the sign. But I AM THE WALRUS so I thought if I can survive a brain and two heart operations I can certainly survive this, to hell with it, so I did!

After my MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR trip I went back to school full time and joined the SEA OF MONSTERS 6th form. A great achievement for me, I passed a now none existent CPVE in Maths, Information Technology and English, and gained a small boost of confidence.

Anyway THE CONTINUING STORY OF BUNGALOW BILL in 1993 I started to COME TOGETHER and joined the SEA OF MONSTERS 6th form once again and passed an RSA in Information Technology - Numeric problem solving, personal effectiveness and communication. After many eye and health tests I decided to GET BACK and began driving lessons. I said WHY DON'T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD and I passed my driving test on July 26th 1994. In October I got my first car, a Vauxhall Corsa. I can now DRIVE MY CAR. It was great to have transport, although I had to leave SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND due to ill health and exhaustion, so my qualifications came to a stand still again.

My life began GETTING BETTER again in February 1995. I was accepted at PENNY LANE a new college, someone wanted me! At my new college I started new courses and passed AEBs in English and Maths and did desktop publishing and computer aided graphics. I actually felt as though I was achieving SOMETHING and doing SOMETHING IN MY LIFE, it felt great.

In February 1997 I began to have symptoms of epileptic fits and, because I reported it, I could not DRIVE MY CAR anymore. I lost my driving licence for 12 months. DOCTOR ROBERT told me my body had gotten used to my epileptic controlling tablets and I needed more per day. (I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER) Such a simple error yet I had to go down THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD and WAIT 12 long boring months for my licence. I was really depressed and in the OCTOPUS'S GARDEN. I was STUCK INSIDE THESE FOUR WALLS, SENT INSIDE FOREVER and only going out occasionally on family outings.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS and family over the next 12 months I had no more symptoms and was rewarded with my license back in February 1998, and I was able to DRIVE MY CAR once more, I was overjoyed, I had my freedom to GET BACK. Another high was I got a new car, a Vauxhall Astra. Now EVERY LITTLE THING in my life was high again it was certainly GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME.

Now after A HARD DAY'S NIGHT I am trying to get my life back on track as I have lost a lot of GOOD DAY SUNSHINE resting and in hospital. I don't seem to have any YER BLUES motivation anymore, I do FOLLOW THE SUN EIGHT DAYS A WEEK.

I do have many interests. As you have found out from this article I am a massive fan of the Beatles and it would make my day if I could have one live glimpse of my all time favourite Paul McCartney, but he is like MR MOONLIGHT never in PEPPERLAND LAID WASTE. I follow his every move YESTERDAY and today. I have every single album by the greatest band from Liverpool. Four Young Men Who Shook The World.

Anyway BACK IN THE U.S.S.R in PEPPERLAND to bring you up to date, I was in CHAINS again in 2000/2001, when I lost my licence again for the second time (NOT A SECOND TIME!) this time it was my eyesight that was the problem. I had failed my eyesight field test; it took well over a year to sort it out. I was the NOWHERE MAN once again going nowhere in my car. I had to ACT NATURALLY and eat WILD HONEY PIE and carry on as normal. Anyway the little PIGGIES at Drivers Vehicle Licensing Agency decided that I was able to have a SAVORY TRUFFLE and have my licence back in April 2002. They had came to the conclusion that I had a static field, and award my licence until 2046 (for life, (PS. I LOVE YOU, DVLA.)

So now I can DRIVE MY CAR once more. I have a new car now, it is a Voltswagon Lupo, in Yellow. Also in February 2001 I was sent into hospital, with very fast palpitations. DOCTOR ROBERT put me on some new medication, and for the first part of the year I was really well. Then I DON'T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY but I started to feel unwell again, and now I'm in MISERY, my blood is thinning then thickening up again, and I just can't get it right ANYTIME AT ALL , and I feel like I'll CRY INSTEAD.

Anyway THE CONTINUING STORY OF BUNGALOW BILL I'm in the GLASS ONION in PEPPERLAND and looking forward to Christmas, and going into 2003 with a full head of steam. But I have always got to remember TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS.

Answer 75...

« View all Inspirational Stories
image description

Help & Advice

Information on managing your heart condition, including Physical, Emotional and Mental Health.

Read more
image description Make a Donation

Make a donation to The Somerville Foundation today and you will help us to continue to offer the valuable services we provide to those born with a heart condition.