Until 3 years ago I poo hooed the word STRESS

That word stress.. For 25 years as an employee and another 25 years as an employer I have up until 3 years ago poo hooed people using firstly “I’ve got a bad back” or in later life “I am off with stress” as an excuse to not go to work. Religiously for 47 years I scraped myself out of bed on far to many occasions and went to work, often doubled up in pain, violently sick, horrendous upset stomachs but I still went to work. April 2015 and the events thereafter changed my whole perspective and despite my then ex partner along with my son being told by the doctors to tell my family and friends to prepare for the worst I am here to type my story.
1962, the week before the 11 plus exam, first rushed into hospital with suspected appendicitis. After at least 15 visits to hospital over the next 20 years with acute stomach pain and everything else that went with it and to this day I still have my appendix. During those years numerous visits to the doctors and eventually diagnosed with IBS. I couldn’t go to school especially on a Monday, my working life meant lots of meetings with customers, sales reps, buying trips etc but my tummy relentlessly gave me hell time after time.
In 1993 I gave up what now I term a very stressful employment and went packing pasta for 17 weeks until along with a former work colleague we decided to become self employed and set up our own business. As this grew and with a young family the worries soon kicked in and the tummy continued to retaliate. I was desperate for relief and spent a huge amount of money on every type of treatment available, hypnosis, desentsitising, acupuncture, Chinese medicines etc etc but I was just absorbing every problem with the business, with my marriage, a young family and life in general and the stomach pain and its by products are getting worse. Doctors called out on Christmas day to inject me with something to calm me down, dozens of colonoscopies and the like but no answer to what I experienced virtually every day.
Then the end of the world, for my ex wife enough was enough and my marriage of 30 years was over. No relief from deep inside and religiously at work despite the pain.
Fast forward to April 2015. I receive a phone call whilst on the way back from being with my son in London for his first marathon. Can you please be at the hospital at 9am tomorrow morning. Yes. Next day i was to then be told to go immediately to my local hospital for 48 hours of tests which became the first 22 days of 114 over the next 6 months. I went into freefall after those first 2 days of tests and during the next 20 days I now know that my ex partner and my son were told to tell the family to prepare for the worst. I pulled round and was discharged but within 10 weeks was rushed back in again, discharged after 14 days and then readmitted after 3 days following a false discharge. 14 days later discharged but within 3 hours rushed back in(another false discharge) to be told ” you are now here for the duration and don’t expect to be home for Christmas” . I was in a mess, liver, kidneys and eventually determined chronic pancreatitis. My gall bladder was full of sludge and had to be removed but I was too ill for the operation so I laid day after day hoping they could build my protein levels up and try to put back on some of the 3 stone+ that I had lost. I was obviously so ill that for the first time in my life I could not do anything about what was happening at work. What I did do after a visit from Richard Crisp was plough through his gift of a copy of his book and absorb what I was reading. I associated myself with so much that Richard had written, a great friend now, whom I had known from our early footballing days 45 years beforehand, the one I wanted to kick because he was good. That word stress that I had hated and poo hooed had been the scourge of my life for over 50 years but I would never until then admit to it or accept it. Its been a gradual climb the past 3 years to get back to something like having a life again. Medication and diet help me and trying to de stress my life as much as possible. Everyday something gets thrown at me but I think I am coping better, for instance today I have found out that one of my major suppliers was burnt out at the weekend. In the past I would have been worried sick as to how I would cope supply wise while they hopefully rebuild but I will do my best to get them up and running again asap.
Stress. For 53 years you made my life hell but I am still here to talk about it and hope that by reading this someone will realise what is going on in their life and not ignore/snub or poo hoo it as I have done until recently.
Finally to Richard and the Tribe, thank you for what you are doing and what you are and will achieve. Without that book Richard I would definitely still be going round with blinkers on, whether I would have bothered to read it if I had not been confined to a hospital bed for so long who knows, but I did. Thank you.

By |2018-03-20T22:16:21+00:00March 20th, 2018|Guest Writer, Your Voice|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Richard crisp 21st March 2018 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Gordon Chilvers is one lives really good guys…he was a ridiculously hard worker but always would find time for others and whilst I hope that he has now learned to take his foot of the pressure pedal, he still has an amazingly active life. He didn’t mention his love of football but surely he would concede that following Notts Forest has done little to ease his stress levels over the years.

    Many years ago a business colleague started to get severe headaches, and for months he would pop copious amounts of pain killers but carried on with is manic behaviours and then one day he had a stroke…at 41…he never fully recovered.

    The mind is a wonderful piece of kit but ignore the warning signs at your peril…it will systemically wreck your body, your relationships and ultimately the quality live that we all want.

    Gordon has been a dear friend for many years and thank god he had started to see the light…

    Thanks mate for sharing your powerful story…I know it will help others and ultimately that is all this platform is about.

    Take care.

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