Not long after I had published my last blog and readying myself to explore the countryside with the new ‘tank’ and the scooter I went to bed hoping that the weather would stay dry so I could get out there. In the rollercoaster ride which is my journey I was derailed by the sudden onset of pain in my left leg which was as unexpected as it was fierce. Within 24 hours I was struggling to walk at all and standing unassisted was difficult. We are still not sure what was the cause and hoping it was not cancer-related as the rest of me including my normally problematic right leg have been great recently. I thought it could be muscular having had it a couple of times before in the last few months but nowhere as severe and the GP agreed but I shall have to wait awhile for a full verdict.
For about five days nothing else figured as I sought to first control the pain and then hope it would subside. Everyone who came into touch with me were so helpful, people are just so kind when they see you in trouble. As an example I went to the GP and she was very helpful in sorting out drugs. But waiting for the appointment when my name was called I could not get up but people helped me up. At the chemists they found me a chair whilst they sorted the prescription (and when I went in today asked how I was, how nice is that). Throughout, my son pulled me up when I could not stand, cooked me food and checked in to see I was ok. After 48 hours the pain peaked and with the help of the drugs became more manageable so that within 8 days I had stopped taking the hardcore opiate drugs and this week has been one of normalisation of activities as I try to move on.
It is disorienting when you are in the middle of something like this. Part of you trying to carry on, part of you just wanting to sleep, hoping you can find a position, sitting, standing or lying, which is pain free . I’m not great at being a patient, though the practice I’m getting is helping me improve. I guess I don’t like feeling unable to do things for myself though I have already made so many changes and compromises in the last five years I guess I’m a long way along that road already. What hits you between the eyes is how wonderful friends, family and most surprisingly strangers can be when they see you in distress. My default position has always been to be in control, to manage my own health but I am learning fast that I can only do this with others. So, in the midst of your inner turmoil, you have to let others in and not foster a self-sufficiency which cannot be achieved anyway and embrace the help offered. Sitting alone on my bed at 4 am for an hour unable to get up to go to the bathroom is not the best way to manage the problem. But being solution-focussed we have installed a key box outside which would enable anyone to get in without breaking down the doors, every little helps.
I had kept last week fairly free mainly to complete my annual Man Booker short list reading. Four down and half-way through the fifth I was well on schedule to have some 12 days to tackle the last book, an 800 page epic. For six days I had no mental energy to read a single page and the books languished in eyesight but untouched. Now I have finished the fifth and 100 pages into the last book I fear I will not finish it but as always we will have a great night with food and good company discussing the various books and agreeing, or more probably not agreeing, the eventual winner announced late evening this coming Tuesday 17th.
I managed to get a blip out each day but the photos were just what was around me. I did not want to lose that unbroken run sine Jan 1 2014. It will happen one day but this time I got something out. I have hopes for continual improvement this year using the scooter to get out and take some half-decent pics. It is such a joy to take a pic which you look at and think that is not too bad. I am happy to settle for ‘not too bad’. I don’t have enough patience to study and learn the skills of photography. I would have loved to have discovered this much earlier in life but guess my life was pretty full and apart from holiday snaps I did not entertain photography seriously. Now time is precious so I try and improve but am not concerned about perfection – enjoyment and satisfaction will do just fine.
And now I feel ok, back to where I was when I signed off Blog 38. I enjoyed football yesterday although the stairs were very challenging. We have tackled BFC on their lack of concern for those struggling to get up the stairs but I took my time and we got there. Good game, in sunshine feeling good again. Today I enjoyed a lunch out with my son at Welbeck Farm Estates. Lovely place to discover. Never been there before but less than 30 minutes away and has a garden centre, a gallery and shop, a wonderful cafe and a farm shop. There are also walks but we did not explore those today. Used the scooter which made it easy to get round. The bread, made on an artisan bakery on the estate was fantastic, I need a good bakery so will return. So we start the week again, refreshed, back in ‘relative’ control, hoping for a good week.
My week in photos