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.
I 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.
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.
The 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.