My forever jumper was my surgery security blanket

We all have that one jumper we can’t seem to live without. You know the jumper I’m talking about; it’s the cosiest thing you own, easiest to throw on and sees you through the bad times and the good.

When I first saw the Casper jumper in Topshop, I knew I had to buy it, after all I’ve been obsessed with the movie ever since being young, a trait passed down by my mam.

The jumper is made of white cotton that has lost its softness slightly due to numerous cycles in the washing machine. It has baby pink hearts down the right sleeve which make a crinkling sound when you move and add a rough texture to that part of the jumper. In the same material is a picture of Caspar the ghost on the front with the text ‘can I keep you forever?’ If you know you know.

Me at home in the jumper

I’ve only had this jumper for 2 years, but it’s been worn so much the plastic aglets once on the end of the drawstrings have disappeared, due to a bad habit of chewing.

From Zante to Manchester, this jumper has been worn everywhere and through some of the happiest times with my friends.

However, it has also seen some tougher times. When I failed my last driving test (you don’t want to know how many tests I’ve done), you can guess what I was wearing! But perhaps the toughest time this jumper has seen me through was late January 2018 when my appendix, that useless organ no one knows anything about, burst. I’m not talking normal appendicitis; I’m talking whole thing just exploding. A case so bad whenever a doctor met me, I was greeted with “it’s nice to put a face to the case.”

It landed me in hospital for a month and out of school and work for three, right in the middle of my A-levels, which was prime time for 18th birthdays. I missed a lot of good nights, so I’m told.

It’ll come as no shock to everyone that on the night I discovered I had appendicitis I was wearing my Casper jumper. I’d left sixth form early the day before however, everyone just thought I had a sickness bug. After complaining of pains in the right side of my stomach my dad headed to google and later that night I was told to get up as he insisted on taking me to the Walk-in centre. This is when I reached for the Casper jumper because in all my discomfort, I knew it would be a safety blanket. The large oversized fit, leaving my hands constantly covered and me always warm alongside the smell of washing powder that never seems to leave the jumper provided a homely comfort in a scary situation.

I wasn’t at the Walk-in centre long before the doctor sent me straight to hospital, something he was determined couldn’t wait until morning. Within a few hours I was having an emergency operation to have my appendix removed.

After spending almost a week across two different hospitals I was told I could go home, and you all guessed it, for my big return home the Casper jumper was on.

Most people who have their appendix removed recover within in a week, but two weeks later I still wasn’t getting any better. I was constantly feeling or being sick despite taking endless amounts of anti-sickness tablets, my temperature was always really high, I had no appetite and lost an unhealthy amount of weight and small everyday tasks like standing up straight, walking up the stairs and showering were difficult. My parents knew something wasn’t right and as much as I protested, they took me back to hospital. Knowing I’d be in for a long night I again reached for the Casper jumper, desperate for that homely comfort.

I had a second operation to clean my stomach as I had an infection. However, this operation was significantly worse. By this point I’d lost so much weight I was given a child’s dose of anaesthetic and afterwards had two, what can only be described as tubes with bags attached to the end, coming out of my stomach to drain any remaining infection.

First time socialising with friends after my operations, i’d even put on weight at this point

To top it all off I’m incredibly squeamish and scared of getting my blood taken, which if anything should have been the least of my worries.

You’d think this would be enough to put anyone off wearing the jumper again, but I don’t look at it that way. Instead it reminds me to be thankful. Now fully recovered, whenever I wear the jumper, I’m reminded that there are people facing worse things than I did. I’m also reminded to be thankful for the people I have around me especially my parents and close friends.

Me with my Mam, Dad and Sister on holiday, 2018 

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