What sort of a week have you had?  Did everything go as planned and did you achieve everything you had set out to do?  My week certainly didn’t end up as I had hoped which left me frustrated and disappointed.  It all began last Thursday when I decided to go to London to meet up with working colleagues at the Destinations Travel Show at Olympia in London. I had been looking forward to this event for a year, but as I still use a stick (due to muscle weakness in my leg), I decided to miss my hydrotherapy session that day in favour of the Travel Show and enjoyable day with like minded people.  I didn’t see this as a problem, if I took things slowly, paced myself and rested when I needed, I would enjoy the day and arrive back home exhausted by happy, and hydrotherapy could wait for another week.

AmsterdamI got up early, had a leisurely breakfast, took my medication and checked I had everything for the day out.  When you have a medical condition that requires regular medication throughout the day, believe me it is like checking you have everything you need for a trip out with a baby!  I set off for the station, looking forward to meeting new people and seeing what  new destinations were on offer in the travel world, but unfortunately it had rained overnight and the pavement was slippery than I thought.  Being partially sighted I can’t always see how things really are, wet shiny curbs merge with the road and pavement beautifully, and darker strips of repaired pavement look like a curb to me.  My mind on the day and the new people I would when suddenly my stick found a slippery patch and decided to go in one direction whilst my leg chose a different pathway.   Luckily I gently slid to ground, and was helped up by two kind gents.  Undaunted I started to limp towards the station, but the muscle objected and went into a spasm to protect itself.  My calf muscles are short and are therefore and prone to play up under pressure. I had minutes to get to the station, and found myself having to weigh up the pros and cons of going through with a trip to London and a busy day at the show, against the dangers of making the muscle worse and find myself stranded in London.

dangerous wet pavements I often liken this situation to being on an airplane bound for Paris. You are looking forward to arriving in Paris and have made plans, you know exactly what you want to see and do, and then suddenly in mid-air it is announced that your destination is Amsterdam. You have nothing against Amsterdam, you actually love Amsterdam, but not at this particular time. There is simply nothing you can do about it. You can get depressed and rant and scream, or you can carry on regardless and suffer the consequences later on, but through bitter experience, you know this won’t help you or the situation long term.

You need t take a deep breath, put your plans for Paris on hold, and pursue your course to Amsterdam.  In my case that meant me admitting defeat, Stickler syndrome had reared its ugly head and won the day yet again, I had to return home.

destination Travel showThe majority of people with genetic or long term conditions remain positive and accept these problems and cope as best they can, nevertheless, most, including me, find the time taken out of busy lives for recovery extremely hard to deal with. It is annoying and frustrating, we desperately want to live ‘normal’ lives, but our condition prevents this, so life becomes a series of choices and compromises.  Sense prevailed and I made the decision to go back home, return to bed and keep the leg elevated hoping things would improve in the morning, but then a virus that I have been battling with since the New Year choose, as it was no longer the centre of attention, to reared its head, leaving me feeling most unwell for almost a week.  I compromised by turning a bad week into a bonus week, by catching up on talking books and listening to music and simply resting.  A week later and in a better frame of mind, I am back to feeling more human, so let’s hope this coming week will be better for me.


shortened calf muscle


About Wendy Hughes

Wendy turned to writing, in 1989, when ill-health and poor vision forced her into early medical retirement. Since then she has published 26 nonfiction books, and over 2000 articles. Her work has appeared in magazines as diverse as The Lady, Funeral Service Journal, On the Road, 3rd Stone, Celtic Connections, Best of British, and Guiding magazine. She has a column in an America/Welsh newspaper for ex-pats on old traditions and customs in Wales. Her books include many on her native Wales, Anglesey Past and Present, The Story of Brecknock, Brecon, a pictorial History of the Town, Carmarthen, a History and Celebration and Tales of Old Glamorgan, and a book on Walton on Thames in the Images of England series, a company history and two books on the charity Hope Romania. She has also co-authored two story/activity books for children. Her latest books are: Haunted Worthing published in October 2010, a new colour edition of The Story of Pembrokeshire published in March 2011, and Shipwrecks of Sussex in June 2011 and Not a Guide to Worthing in 2014. She is working on a book entitled A-Z of Curious Sussex which will be published in 2016 Wendy also works with clients to bring their work up to publishable standard and is currently working on an autobiography with a lady that was married to a very famous 1940’s travel writer. Wendy has spent many years campaigning and writing on behalf of people affected by Stickler Syndrome, a progressive genetic connective tissue disorder from which she herself suffers. She founded the Stickler Syndrome Support Group and raises awareness of the condition amongst the medical profession, and produces the group’s literature, and has written the only book on the condition, Stickler The Elusive Syndrome, and has also contributed to a DVD on the condition, Stickler syndrome: Learning the Facts. She has also writing three novels, Sanctimonious Sin, a three generation saga set in Wales at the turn of the century, Power That Heal set in the Neolithic period entitled Powers that Heal, and a semi biographical book entitled New Beginnings which deals with two generations coping with blindness and a genetic condition. She has also had a handful of short stories published, and in her spare time is working on several at the moment. She also gives talks on a variety of subjects including Writing and Placing Articles, Writing Local History, Writing as Therapy, Writing your first novel, etc, and runs workshops on the craft of writing – both fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, and a member of the Society of Authors.